Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Today I was planning on following up yesterday's post about my recent diagnosis with the choice I'm faced with about moving out... but something else caught my attention, and is on my mind at the moment.

I was watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, using a take on the John Joan story, of a boy who was, in response to a medical accident given sex reassignment surgery, with the advice that he should be raised as a girl. This experiment failed proving that gender identity is wired in, not learned.

I was so moved by the story I had to write about it. In this one, Lucas had a brother and was the victim of rape and ended up killing the rapist in self defense. The story ended up revolving more around the doctor and his obscene experiments to "train" Lucas into thinking like a girl.

In the end one of the twins murders the doctor, and neither one of them will come forward with who did it. I am not condoning their murder by any means, but I do believe that sex reassignment surgery performed without the consent of the patient should be considered criminal.

I remember asking my mom once if she was keeping a secret from me. Later when I came out as trans I asked her if I was somehow surgically altered at birth, if I was born a girl. Of course I know that that isn't possible now for them to have reconstructed my male parts. I wish however that I had that birth right... I f I was born a girl, I doubt my parents would have fought so hard against me reclaiming my proper gender identity. If the birth defect was only postnatal where someone could see it happen... then nobody would be trying to stop me... but even if not in the way others would like to insist, it really is "all in my head." That is, my head is the portion of my body affected by Benjamin's Syndrome.

Another thing that had a profound... and negative impact on me was unfortunately not intended. Before I found out where exactly the plot was going, I thought he was an aggressive... tomboyish girl, I related to him, and felt like he reminded me of myself, till I found out he was a boy. I can't let this get me down, I know who I am and I know that minor things don't make me less of a girl, but I still wish I had more people I could relate to... I don't fit in with most women or men I know in person. Men are too masculine, obsessed seemingly with some endless, doggish competition for the alpha position, and forming endless silly social regulations on each other, and rating one another on upholding such regulations. (I do not mean that men are bad in any way nor do I know if all men are like this. I have had such experiences myself though, where men expect me to behave in a similar way and I end up preferring to exclude myself. All human beings are individuals and I do not mean that men are animals because some of them behave a certain way. I haven't had this experience among women yet. I associate this behavior as male in other words because of personal experience, that doesn't mean it properly describes male behavior in general)

Women just don't like the things I like. Plenty of girls play video games, and like fantasy and adventure... just none around here it seems. I like a lot of girl things too, but the nerd in me separates me from them... it makes me feel more like a boy, and it makes them see me more as a boy.

More than anything though, it just hit home. He gave subtle signs of being a boy, but overall was living the part of the girl... a miserable girl. He didn't guess what was wrong until he was told, but when it came out it wasn't much of a surprise. "I knew it! I never felt right!" he said. I never felt right either. Send me those estrogen pills I'll take care of them for you. I guess I'll post about my choices tomorrow. I've got a lot to say lately.

Nonfiction about Fiction.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Asperger's Syndrome

I had been holding back on telling people this until I could find out more and know it was true. Unfortunately... today is that day. It might as well be official, I have a high functioning form of autism known as Asperger's Syndrome. It's not like the other more common forms, so its less easy to distinguish or diagnose. Autism is a kind of disorder that makes interacting with other people difficult... as a result learning also becomes difficult. Since Asperger's Syndrome is high functioning, the normal learning disabilities associated with autism are not normally present... that is to say, I can read and write, and speak English, and I generally understand on a college student level, assuming I'm not being self congratulatory.

This blog is not about Asperger's syndrome it's about transsexuality, and if nothing else, my constant pleading not just for me, but for all of us to be seen as human. Being a dissociative disorder interacting with other human beings and sharing in their culture and world HAS always been difficult for me. I'm not exactly where a 22 year old should be in life because the way humans work and tick has been difficult to understand at times. Escaping reality into an inward fantasy world has always been a must for me, and fixations and obsessions are nothing new either. The hardest part is the difficulty with emotional responses, perhaps once the most inhuman moment of my life, was when someone I knew died of cancer... not the friend mentioned in this blog, but long long long ago... there was a sadness buried inside... but I could not understand how to feel... how to respond... and so I hated myself believing I was cold and callous, and unable to feel for anyone unless it directly affected me. The same sinister feeling came over me during the tragedy of 9/11. It isn't to say that I didn't care that those people died, or that I in any way condoned it... but I just couldn't feel the shock of the tragedy, the sadness... I couldn't cry over those who had died... And the longing to feel what other human beings feel, even if they are sad feelings came over me, and became the most presiding feeling for the moment. Now I wonder if I will ever attune myself to these feelings.

But I do have feelings, and a conscience, and a sense of morality. I am human, perhaps unfortunately. I have expressed a verisimilitude of feelings here on this blog. I love someone, not a forced, I'll do anything for you love, a genuine love where I need to be with her. I may be belligerent and rude and nasty and angry with them at times, but I also feel for my parents and the agony I've put them through, even if I haven't fully forgiven them yet for how they've taken it out on me... I still know this is hard for them... and believe it or not I do care. I care what happens to other people, about the poor and the homeless and the hungry. I care about the war, even if I don't directly feel the sadness yet because I have been lucky enough not to lose anyone close to me from it yet (though I have had friends suffering PTSD, but it really isn't the same as losing someone directly or suffering it myself.) I react to the breeze the overcast and the sun, and the moon. I feel sadness, pleasure, terror, nostalgia, sympathy. I like to give... I get an honestly rewarding feeling from giving to others or helping other people, (not to say that I'm not selfish, but rather that I have a generous side too.)

I guess what I am trying to say, is this whole blog is at least partly, a plead to see me, and through me, other transsexuals, as human.

I don't want to let this disorder, this Asperger's Syndrome in humanize me or even others any more in some people's eyes. I am not trying to commit some perverted act by transitioning myself... I'm just trying to live a happy life, I have joys and struggles, morals and beliefs just like you... whoever you are.

None of this is fiction. Claudia

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Child's Play

This post is more unique to my personal situation, and so many other transsexuals might not relate to it. In fact it doesn't really only apply to trans people.

I recently got into a fight with my mother about my habit of constant computer games. Childish? Sure. Boyish? Not in my opinion. The fact of the matter is, right now life being so hard to deal with and waiting for some answer as to where I'll be in the next month, I have nothing else to do.

As I've explained before the Internet provides me with a chance to be a girl, despite the ravages of nature on my male body. I can demand whatever pronouns I prefer, having no image of me to tie me down to my male identity.

But it goes a little beyond that too. It gives me a chance to get away, to escape into some fantasy land with my long distance partner. To be an elf or a magician, to be some kind of magical entity. To be the heroine that saved some town from some plague, or saved some child from some monster, or wicked person. Gives me a chance to feel special.

My mother got sick of my constant escapism, which at this part of my life I feel is even more necessary than it has been in the past. We got into the typical fight, and she yelled threats at me, (I am heavily dependant on her at this time, still living with her and having no working vehicle) and she decided to throw some insults my way about my fixation with "Faeries and Swords and Knights" She said I need to stop playing these games because they are destroying me, making a comparison to how she was younger and used to drink to feel confident and popular. (Frankly I found it audacious of her to think she even comes close to knowing what I'm going through... popular? I just want to be a girl, she had that right at birth).

She left me with the following ultimatum: No video games while living in this household, if you can't live with that go move into the shelter...

perhaps it was my "childish" anger... I opted for the shelter.
I doubt I'll have much time for games there, but having been insulted over who I am, not just in terms of being a girl, but in what kind of girl I happen to be... I was, and still am infuriated with her.

But here I am coming to the first point of this off-topic post: I admit that I am addicted to video games. I'm confident enough in who I am that I can say I don't think that makes me any less of a girl, despite the stereotypes. I can't stop escaping into a mystic fantasy world where being a girl is only the beginning, I'm a beautiful heroine who saves lives and performs superhuman deeds. I go on adventures and face untold perils, how exiting! Its so much better than being a bitter, pathetic, dependant, hairy, untreated transsexual, as I am in real life.

I've read all the arguments about video game addiction, but I believe for me it is a unique problem... where is balance? I know and admit I have an addiction and in no way do I want to spend my whole life doing nothing but playing video games... But I've no desire to give them up either. I do not know how drugs or alcohol or smoking feels, I've never tried any of them, but for me video games are also a passion. Its been my dream to be a game designer, one I've recently had to give up on for now... but not for life.

I believe these games, while obviously a heavily commercial industry, if given the opportunity, can be an art form. Don't get me wrong, I'm a girl, and personally I'm not into blowing off heads with shotguns and seeing how much better I can be than someone else. (I suppose some girls ARE into that but I'm not one of them.) For me it is entering another world, with enchanted forests, where rumors of hauntings just might actually prove true. Its infinite oceans with islands that have yet to be discovered. Worlds of breathtaking beauty and unspeakable horror become possible.

I yearn for the day I can invite people into worlds of my own creation, to wander enchanted glades of my own dreams. To discover adventures in my own faerie world. But my transition and my identity as a woman come first. So my transitioning has put this dream on hold for now, but not forever.

My question is... Is my mom right? Is my passion killing me? Is it impossible for there to be a happy medium where I can be Claudia in real life, and still explore and create in the world of video games? I do not know if drinking or smoking can be a passion like this, but In my opinion there is a serious difference. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe giving up drinking means giving up something that for some people has a lot of meaning and impact.

Or maybe because this is something that has such meaning to me and something where I'd like to place my creativity, there has to be a different answer. Maybe addiction or not, it's not the same as getting drunk or stoned. Maybe it does have meaning for some people and, it's not just me trying to get another fix.

I would like comments especially on this post. Are video games like drugs? Am I just giving meaning to a meaningless thing because I am an addict or is there something to my words?

Shamefully honest~ Claudia