Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kingdom Hearts and My Gender Identity

I was a sophomore in high school when I heard rumors and started reading articles about a video game collaboration between Disney and Square Enix. The initial reaction amongst gamers were typical: What kind of love-child will such a union make? Will it be good? How could Square allow itself to align with something as "family-friendly" (minus the hidden sexual innuendos found in various Disney films and VHS covers) as Disney?

Kingdom Hearts logo

After a year of hype, skepticism, and curiousity, Kingdom Hearts was released in late 2002 and went on to becoming a huge commercial success. The cheerfulness and light-hearted nature of the Disney worlds and characters balanced nicely with Square Enix's depth of storytelling and plot, bringing together a game that was enjoyable on many different levels.

Shadow, the lowest form of Heartless

The story of Kingdom Hearts revolved around the concept of darkness residing within the hearts of people. If someone allows their inner darkness to consume them, they become creatures called Heartless, entities devoid of emotion. They become purely instinctual beings bent on seeking other hearts to corrupt and turn into Heartless. Think of it as the Disney version of the zombie plague, a bit violent in nature but not nearly as gory or grotesque in appearance.

Kingdom Hearts II took the concept even further by introducing creatures called Nobodies. As darkness turns a person's heart into a Heartless, another process occurs simultaneously that turns the remaining body and soul into a Nobody. While the strength of a Heartless is determined by how much darkness is within the heart, a Nobody's strength is determined by its will. If the will is strong enough, a Nobody can retain an appearance strikingly similar to their former self. Strong-willed Nobodies appear human, are able to think and make decisions, and even have memories of their former selves. Nobodies in general, however, do not have emotions because they are without hearts. They often will use their memories as a way of pretending that they still have emotions. And yet, without hearts, Nobodies know that they are not meant to exist.

Dusk, lowest form of Nobody

As a transgendered person, I know what it's like to be both a Heartless and a Nobody. All the light and hope that was given to me in the first four or five years of my life began to dim as I got older and became painfully aware that I was different. I hated wearing dresses for as long as I could remember, had no desire to play with Barbie dolls or wear makeup, and I was more interested in playing sports and games than being attracted to boys. While many girls enter a "tomboy" phase in their early childhood, most of them outgrow it once puberty hits or by early adulthood. I, on the other hand, despised my body as it started taking on a more female appearance. For me, puberty was the beginning of my inner darkness.

What kept the darkness from possessing my heart was my imagination. In my heart, I was Aladdin singing 'A Whole New World' to Jasmine. I was young Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone to become King of Britain. I was the hero rescuing the damsel in distress from out of the hightower. In my heart, mind, and soul, I was everything that my body could not be. Instead, my body had to adhere to the expectations of society and culture. People tried to make a Princess Aurora out of a Prince Phillip and being a child who longed to be accepted and loved by others, I did the best I could to be that princess.

However, the darkness weighed heavily on me again sometime around high school when I realized that I was not a princess but I could not be a prince either. After being told for so long that having a female body disqualified me from "Prince" status, the imaginary world that kept my heart full of light began to crack. And thus was born my Nobody, the female body that was able to interact with people and the world around me but lacked a heart. She was able to trick herself into being in love, forming relationships with family, friends, and coworkers, all the while aware of the emptiness inside her.

My Heartless, on the other hand, was what many would call a "man-hating lesbian". I figured that if I couldn't be a man, then I might as well call them out on all of their nonsense and emasculate them to the fullest extent without risking getting knocked in the face. I grew up in a perspective where so many guys were breaking girls' hearts, so it pained me to be the shoulder they cried on while I yearned to say, "If I was him, I'd never make you cry."

Roxas (left) and Sora (right), one incomplete without the other.

As the player progresses through Kingdom Hearts II, they come to realize that Roxas is Sora's Nobody, created from when Sora sacrificed his heart for Kairi's back in the first game. Even though Sora escaped his brief life as a Heartless and returned as his former self, Roxas was already born and completely oblivious to his prior existance. Unlike normal Nobodies, Roxas contained some essence of Sora, thus allowing him to feel emotions.

Roxas and Sora becoming whole

After countless battles and struggles, Sora is not only reunited with his long-lost friends Riku and Kairi, but he at last meets Roxas and becomes whole again. In learning to accept and embrace myself as the prince that lived in my heart for so long, I too am finally whole. Although the darkness remains ever present in the world today, the light in my heart will continue to endure and shine on for the world to see.

Whoever said that you can't learn about life through video games clearly has no clue on the subject at all! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Email from Thomas Beatie!

A couple weeks ago I emailed Mr. Beatie because I was curious as to where he got his top surgery. He was born, raised, and transitioned in Hawaii and so he's very much a local island boy like myself. He didn't tell me exactly where he got his top surgery done, but by his reply I realized that I'm better off planning a trip to the mainland for my top surgery instead of hoping for a local plastic surgeon to do the procedure.

Oh well. I love traveling!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Knowledge is Powerless if you Don't use it!

So I've been pouring through YouTube a lot lately, learning from other guys and their experiences. I've been getting ideas on how I want to work out, get in shape, eat right, etc...but I'm so busy studying and researching that I don't make time to actually DO something with the things I'm learning.

For starters, I want to learn how to dance hip hop pop/lock, tutting, etc. I've been on a K-pop kick lately, well, with only one particular group (SHINee and their song "Lucifer") and it's motivating me to finally learn how to dance. I'm just nervous about being able to afford classes or having the proper place to practice at home. I'm pretty good about thinking, but not so much on doing. I gotta keep working on making the two things more balanced in my life.

In other news, my voice has dropped more lately. Yay! And my Dad loves me no matter what, yay! Life is good. W00T!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Eye of the Storm

Not even two months into transition and I'm already praying for the day when this is all over. The day when I'll be able to look at myself in the mirror and smile from ear to ear no matter what part of myself I see. The day when I join my brothers in the "100% passing" club. Actually, it should be called the "No Longer Misread" club only because I am at odds with the term 'passing' right now. For me it implies posing and I for one am not a poser. Not since coming to terms with my male identity anyway.

What really sucks is that my first 6 months on T coincides with how long I'll be without a driver's license. I wish I could take that night back...I wish I could take back all the stupidity that occurred before, during, and after that.

And dumbass has lost my State ID, the only other source of legal identification when using my credit or debit card. Granted I can go to the state office and get a new one, but I haven't even had it long and I've already misplaced it. To top it off, my car battery died earlier in the day. Thankfully I was able to get a jump and make it home safely, but now I can't get it start up again. Mom was being a grouch about it earlier today and I haven't had a physical conversation with my Dad since getting my new phone on I'm lost and thinking I just need to find my own way to get the battery and install the thing myself. Or tell my dad about it in the morning. He'll be at work, but at least having another conversation with him via text messaging will mean another step towards having a civil personal conversation later.

In the mean time, I have two legs, money for bus rides, and an mp3 player. I'm not worried about getting around, but I'm going to miss the convenience of having a car taking me hither and thither about.

There are so many thoughts running in my mind. It's so weird to watch life move in such a crazy, fanatic fashion all around me and yet in my heart I am calm. Depressed and lonely at times, but generally calm. My own little eye of the proverbial storm of life. Life is hectic as it is, but adding on the extra steps of transitioning just makes the equation even more complex.

No one else that I know of personally has ever had to deal with the negative effects of being misread or mislabeled. Most open-minded folk (such as my friends and a few of my coworkers) would just laugh and shrug if some cashier called them the wrong gender pronoun. If they do react, it would probably be because they feel offended and not heartbroken. For me, every time someone uses the world "girl" or "she" when referring to me my heart sinks and I feel a part of me just shrivel up inside. This occurrence ebbs and flows throughout any given day to the point where I come home feeling like an overused accordion.

Then I've got the people who are gracious enough to listen to me rant and rave about the goings on in my life, but later on they treat me like I'm being melodramatic and overly-sensitive. Seriously, can anyone really blame me for being sensitive about my life right now? I'm caught between two worlds, the one occupied solely by me and the one I'm forced to share with others. I'm trying to open my world up to everyone else by way of transition, but others don't seem to care about my world.

The only one that has cared and been as committed to this transition as I am is the woman who helped me start my transition in the first place. While I don't feel safe being her boyfriend while we have a long-distance gap between us, I do feel safe knowing she sees me for who I am. She was there when I (as "she") died and I (as Cyrus) stood in "her" place. She understands the disconnect that I see and feel between who I am in my heart and who the rest of the world thinks I am. She is everything I could ever ask for in the way of moral support even though we are separated by half an ocean and three quarters of a continent.

Despite her love and support, I know I have a lot to work on within myself. Not just with me dealing with transitioning and having to deal with people dealing with my transition, but the normal day-to-day things as well. Things that I fear might get loss if I focus too much on my transition. Things like college and saving up money for things like traveling and buying a new car audio system. I don't want transition to run my life, but right now in these early stages I can't help but be caught up in it.

Needless to say, sitting in the eye is just a sad consolation prize. All I want is this storm to be over.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Came Out to My Father

So...on Wednesday I sent an email to my father. I'll post it as a separate page. I decided to hang out at a friend's house thinking that I might need some solace while I read my father's return email (I emailed it to him while he was at work). Unfortunately, I did not get a return email. The only sign that I got that he might've even read my email was the long look he gave me as he pulled into the parking stall as I was ready to leave. I've been panicking, going over every harsh scenario in my mind.

I mean, my own mother said to me, "How do you expect a woman to love you if you're like that?" and "Why would you go against God's way". She even tried to force me to say that I'm a girl and the only sign of acquiescence I gave was when I reluctantly said, "Yes, I was born a girl."

So if the parent who hardly had any positive say in my childhood could have the nerve to say something like that to me, imagine the things the parent who worked three jobs to raise my three siblings and me could say...

I've been scared to be home when he is. I haven't been able to sleep or eat well and I'm an overall mess..

All my friends have been trying to support me as best as they can and I love them dearly for it. And yet...I feel so damn only solace is reading the transitions of other men or watching YouTube videos. I'm really wanting a hug right now...a touch from some other human being telling me that I'm okay and that I'm loved. I know these things, but it's been so long since I've actually physically felt that kind of comfort.

Sometimes, actually....a lot of times...knowing that you're not lost and alone doesn't stop the feelings from hurting.

Friday, July 16, 2010

When Romance Comes to Terms With Reality

I have spent my entire life being one of those hopeless romantic types. My very first crush happened in the first grade with a girl named Tara. We spent many good times together, both by ourselves and amongst friends. One memory that stands out in particular is when she and I were hanging out around the jungle gym singing "A Whole New World" together after school. Naturally, I was Aladdin and she was Jasmine. I'll never know how she felt about that moment, but it was incredibly significant and romantic to me. That memory is probably the beginning of why I am a sucker for girls who sing and love music.

I also have my father to thank for my musical romanticism. My parents divorced when I was about five years old and the years that followed were filled with listening to him sing songs like Toto's "I'll Be Over You" or The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody". Every time I heard him sing, I felt the power of his emotions through his voice. All the joy, heartbreak, passion, and sorrow he ever experienced he put into whatever song he sang. And not just at karaoke outings either. He and a few of his high school pals put a band together and they performed at local gigs all over the island. I don't quite remember going to their performances (probably because I was way too young), but I do remember the practice jam sessions. It made me want to learn music so badly.

Well, music has been a strong interest of mines but I never got serious with it. I love to sing, but I know I'm an amateur. That never stopped me from trying to recreate the magic of a nice, cheesy duet though.

The only difference is that this Aladdin never found his Jasmine. Or maybe I did, but lost her somehow. No idea either way. What I do know, however, is that I want to create more than just a sweet-sounding tune with someone. I want to create a lifetime symphony of highs and lows, melody and cacophony. And that is not something I can do alone.

And yet, I am alone. Recently single. Granted, part of the reason was self-inflicted. I left my girlfriend of a year and four months for my first girlfriend from 11 years ago. She made me believe that we had a chance at restarting a romance that began when we were both too young to know who we were. We wanted to believe in all that Hollywood BS about "love conquering all" and all that, but instead we learned about human nature and the reality of love. Back then we were separated by distance and finances. Back then we lacked maturity and the the freedom that age would've given us. Above all, we did not know who we were as individuals. If we lacked that important piece of knowledge, how the heck would we have survived as a long-distance teenage lesbian couple anyway?

Thankfully, time has allowed us both to grow and mature into our own. We grew apart, and yet we both held on to feelings of hope. And sometimes that little spark of hope is what it takes for love to grow. Sometimes hope is all we ever have against an uncertain future. But still, we grew apart. There were times when I was allowed to peek into her world to see what was going on and I found myself not liking what I saw. I'm sure she had seen some things about me she found displeasing as well. No matter what I didn't like, something told me that she was still the same girl I fell in love with all those years ago.

And now, here we are. Me, a quarter-century old transman in his early stages through the transition gauntlet. She once told me that she loved me for who I was and not for what I was. I believed her then and some part of me believes her still. But learning from past experience, when someone tells you that they still need to "figure themselves out", it usually means that they're just not that into you and would rather look for someone they're into but are too chicken to say so to your face. Or, maybe this time I could be actually wrong for a change and what she said should be taken at face value. As long as she decides not to talk to me, I'll never know.

I've learned the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone and trust me, I sometimes wish such a difference didn't exist. Having them be one and the same would've spared me a lot of drama and sadness.

But my life wasn't meant to be that easy was it?

I know that I'm not an easy person to be with. I'm stubborn, possessive, and I have an ego that likes to be stroked. I like having at least some notion of where my feet are going even if the entire itinerary isn't fully mapped out. I like knowing that I'm wanted and that I make a difference. I like knowing that I matter to someone. But then again...don't we all like knowing that?

The thing I value most in a relationship is honesty. Yes, the truth hurts. Yes, the truth is ugly, but lies, excuses, and deceit is even uglier. And I don't want that in my life. What I want is someone who can call me out on my on BS because rest assured I'll be more than happy to call them out on theirs if I have to. I want someone who isn't afraid to say exactly what they think or feel and doesn't bother wasting my time with pretty words and false hopes. I want someone who is aware that my heart is not some plaything that can be used and discarded at their leisure.

But when it comes to me being romantically involved with someone, it isn't all about me. And so I stepped back and gave her the space she wants to figure her life out. I find myself wondering exactly why am I still in love with her after all these years in spite of the fact that we've never met in person. I wanted to find out the answer to that very question, that's why I put down a relationship with the person that stood by me through all of my BS.

So here I am, alone and wondering when any of this going to make sense. While I'm definitely not putting my life on hold, my heart still waits for an answer. It still longs for a song the can only be sung with two voices. The song of Love.

Guess you can say that I'm still a romantic, but thankfully not as hopeless as I once was.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2 Weeks 5 days on T

- Ingrown hairs on legs are becoming more inflamed and pronounced.

- First time experiencing "hell week" while on T and although the cramps were still annoying, I ended up not taking my usual amount of ibuprofen (not sure because of the T or pride or both). 2nd day is usually the heaviest/most painful and that is when I keep the generic meds handy, but I decided not to use them. The pain wasn't so bad that I needed to reach for the bottle in a manner of desparation, but it was present. Flow is slightly less than I've noticed in the past as well.

- Continued oiliness in face resulting in more breakouts, but daily facial washing is keeping it to a minimal.

- Trying to record more of my singing voice. While I might miss being able to hit higher notes later on, I don't like how I sound when I "sing like a girl".

- Not sure if I'm actually seeing an increase in arm hair or if I'm just waiting to see it.

- While I'm not sure if my muscle mass has changed much yet, I do somehow feel a little stronger and I am becoming more nervous about increasing abdominal fat. I really should try to work out.

- Leg hairs seem normal. Underarm hairs seem slightly thicker and also seem to grow back faster, but I'm not sure. Am still shaving in those places because it just looks better on me that way. If athletes and male models can shave their body hair, so can I.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Highs and Lows of Life and Death

Tuesday, June 22, was my second T shot.

Noticing a definite increase in sex drive. Strange how before T I could fantasize without getting physically aroused by my thoughts, but now I'm finding that just thinking about things manifests themselves physically that makes it increasingly harder for me to control.

Just as fast as that rush hit me, now I find myself crashed up against the rocks somehow. I feel this strange loneliness that I haven't felt in a very long time. I'm not sure why when every day that passes I get closer to living the life that I want. I guess it's true that for every gain there is a loss. The more I see myself as Cyrus, the more I realize that "she" is dead.

And now I remember when the last time I felt this loneliness. I was a little over twelve and a half years old when my uncle passed away. He was the first person that took the time to notice me and actually showed interest in what went on in my mind. He was the first person to allow me to express myself freely without fear of rejection or guilt. Even now I suspect that he knew me better than I knew myself at that age and I sometimes wonder if he had known that I would walk this path.

After a couple of good cries tonight...I realize the root of this pain. I'm in a state of mourning. Mourning the death of a young woman who did not live to see 25. Her favorite color was blue and she had a thing for King Arthur stories. She was a protector of women and ass-kicker of assholes. She wanted to learn hip hop and impress her friends who she assumed didn't take her seriously about wanting to learn how to dance. She had a lot of hope for an awesome future.

Just as I learned to carry my uncle's memory in my heart, I'll hold her memory close to me as well. I will live my life to the fullest for them and for me. I'm grieving now, but I know I won't grieve forever. She wouldn't want me to do that.

Rest in peace...and thank you. For not being afraid to live, learn, laugh, and love.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 8th = 1st Day on Testosterone

I've been having some really crazy days lately. I wish I could've made a YouTube video of my "First day on T", but considering how behind I've been on vids anyway I'm not feeling too bad about it. A good number of transguys on Youtube are really thorough about documenting their transition, but I guess with everything else I've been going through lately (namely, my first DUI arrest and a recent break up) my motivation has not been there yet. Oh, it also doesn't help that I got my Hepatitis A shot as well and even now it's still hurting my arm.

Anyway, on to the first doctor's visit. I wasn't sure that I was going to get my first shot done that day actually. I was worried about the cost and the fact that I haven't told my dad or most of my coworkers yet, etc. My doctor's assistant told me in the exam room that there is a student that will conduct my briefing interview. I was expecting a med student around my age, but she ended up being older, but probably not by a whole lot. Late 20s to mid 30s maybe? I'm not sure. Older people love me because I always guess younger than they are. That went well and next there was a small physical exam. With all the questions she was asking me, I wondered if I was supposed to say that I was worried that all my saying "No" was actually a bad thing. I honestly didn't know if my mother's side of the family has a history of medical problems, I didn't know whether to mention that I had an uncle who was diabetic, or even if my mild congestion was anything worth concern.

Then I met my doctor who I found out that day is a Reverend in an inclusive Orthodox church. He had his black priest attire under his doctor's coat, which I found really interesting since I've only seen that on TV maybe once or twice. He got my questions answered about self-injecting, the dosage amount, taking androgel if I ever feel the need to, etc. As he was going over the results of my lab work, he mentioned that I am not immune to hepatitis A and asked if I wanted to get the shot for that taken cared of as well. At that time, I also felt the need to ask them about getting a pap smear done since I hadn't done that at all yet.

So there you have it, if yesterday was a book and I had to give it a title it would be called, "Two Shots and a Pap Smear". Personally, the T-shot was the best part of them all, but I guess I'm pretty biased about that anyway right? LOL

Oh speaking of which, it's a 200 mg dose shot administered every two weeks. It felt like a rush of cold water into my butt actually. Of course, there's no immediate effects, but for some reason I did feel calmer. Probably just relieved that I'm finally getting this started. I also found out that while the office my doctor works at deals strictly with transgender and HIV patients, I'm only the 3rd or 4th FtM their office has had. Majority of their transgendered patients are MtFs. As happy as I was, my day tanked a few hours later when I received letters from DUI attorneys asking to represent me in my upcoming court trial. In between that I had a late lunch/early dinner with my mother at a Chinese restaurant. I had to give some basic ftm trans 101 since I had mentioned to her about "being a boy" but I don't think it sunk in with her that I wanted to physically transition or what that entailed. Naturally, she asked all the typical questions about body parts and while I sighed I figured I will just have to learn to get used to it.

It just sank in with me on that day just how small the ftm community is here. Makes me feel more alone than I've already been feeling, but somehow I still have this inner sense of peace telling me that I'm doing the right thing and that I'll be okay. I did a recording of myself singing both parts to Owl City's "The Saltwater Room" and laughed at how my "girl part" sounds terrible anyway. Oh well.

Sleep and I have been on and off lately, so I am going to attempt to sleep again. At least I managed to document something of my day LOL Good night...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Honesty is the best policy...

...even if the truth is a sonuvabitch.

"If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it dosent, then it was never meant to be." -- Anonymous

I'm figuring out very quickly that there's a difference between "meant to be" and "meant to last". Take my relationship history, for example. They were all meant to be because they happened, but they weren't meant to last because they didn't. The worst one is the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. I compare it to a married couple whom one of the partners comes out as gay or trans. It devastates everyone involved once the truth comes out but...what if the truth hadn't? The partner that comes out may love their spouse so much that they were willing to suffer quietly on the inside, but how can one stand to live with themselves if they're living in pain?

I'm sick and tired of closets and the skeletons that lurk within. All I want to do is to live my life free of both, even at the cost of being seen as a traitor or an asshole. Hey, at least I can call myself out on own BS. I would rather be hated for being honest than hated for being dishonest. And honestly...I really don't care if I end up walking this path alone. There will be someone out there someday who will be able to look at what I've done and say, "You followed your heart. No one can fault you for it." Until then, people can throw all the tomatoes they want at me.

Am I really selfish for wanting to do what I feel is right? If any of my exes had been nearly as honest and upfront about their stupidity as I am about mine, then maybe I would've hated them a whole lot less. I wish someone would understand that someone didn't just show up in my life out of nowhere and caused this. The truth is that I've held on to past feelings and that has affected every relationship I've been in since. I kept trying to give my whole heart to others when I did not have a whole heart to give. People won't understand because most of them don't know about it. It wasn't for them to know.

I wish someone could see what I see. I see that I could potentially be making yet another big mistake in my life, but I believe that I will be a better person for standing up for myself. I'm not saying I'm without heart, because mines is breaking even as I write this. I'm beginning to wonder if my tear ducts are shot because I've cried so much already. And yet...I've done everything I can to be understanding of other people's thoughts and feelings...why am I not shown the same regard?

I'm not afraid of walking this path alone. At least I'm doing it with my own two feet.If someone wants to find me, they wouldn't have to look far. This invisible man is not hiding anymore.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Karma's Great Big Ass-Whooping

My male-bashing started at the tender age of 9 years old. After careful reflection of what was going on around me and through mediums like television, I told myself, "Boys are stupid. All they ever do is break girls' hearts."

From there, I polished myself to be the gentleman that I only saw on tv or read in books. The kind that I thought didn't exist in real life. This was the beginning of my "knight in shining armor" era/mentality. This concept was further reinforced by the various King Arthur books and movies I absorbed and anything that I could find about the Middle Ages. Of course, I would later find out in a high school history class that the Crusades didn't start off as being a noble pursuit and that knights of that era were originally jobless thieves and mercenaries that eventually learned to clean up their act.

If you want to talk about someone defending women, I was one of them. For any guy that broke any of my female friends' hearts, I gave them the stink-eye. When girls wanted to cry and sob about their boy issues, I made sure I was their shoulder and listening ear. I even tried to stop one of my closest friends (and one of my biggest crushes in the 7th grade) from dating the guy she wanted. I tried to be everything that I thought the "perfect man" should be and despised the rest of the real-world men whom I saw as chauvinistic douchebags.

That era crashed and burned when one of my romantic relationships failed miserably and made me see just how far gone I was in my delusions. Not that I didn't have the right heart about it. Even now I still have a soft spot for protecting women and wishing that the men they try so hard to win over weren't such complete morons. (And I also have a horrible habit of cock-blocking when I'm drunk.) While I was once the knight riding off into the sunset on a white horse ready to rescue the next damsel-in-distress, I'm now a battle-tested veteran comfortable with keeping my sword and shield on the wall of memories.

And what made me put down my armaments? The realization that I was just like the boys I so loathed and despised. While I did break a few male hearts during my first stints at dating, most of the hearts I've broken belonged to women. I betrayed my first love when I was 14 years old by kissing one of my male classmates (who ironically turned out to be gay). Why did I do it? Because I was scared. Scared of being attracted to women and the backlash I would get from family and friends for that. Scared of committing to someone who lives half of the Pacific Ocean away and not ever knowing what physical intimacy would be like. Scared that it was "just a phase" that she and I were going through and that at any moment, one or both of us would decide that we made a huge mistake. In the end, my fears led to me becoming the very thing I hated: a heart-breaker.

More heartbreaks later brought me to understand why I male-bashed so much: I wanted to be them. I guess you can say that I'm the trans equivalent of the homophobe who goes around gay-bashing to hide his closeted gayness. I wanted to be the cute guy that the girls giggled and pointed at shyly huddled next to their lockers. I wanted girls to see me as the boy with the nice eyes and sexy smile. As a confused teenager, I listened to all the female gossip and chatter and took notes of who I could be if given the chance. When I came out as a lesbian? I played it up to the fullest! My best and worst relationships were with bisexual women because they could see my masculinity before I was even aware of it.

Things have now come full circle, but in many ways I feel like I'm at square one again. While I've accepted my male identity, I still have to learn the mannerisms and social protocols of men. Several nights ago I ran into two friends I haven't seen in awhile. After finishing up conversation and realizing I needed to go home to get some rest, I hugged my female friend without a problem. When it came time to bid my male friend farewell, it was an awkward shoulder-hug thing because neither of us knew how to really interact in that situation. Having been perceived as female for so long I only know what works from a female perspective.

While I look forward to living and growing as a man, I actually like looking back on my life to laugh at all the irony I see.

EDIT: In case people get confused about what I said, I know men and women break hearts all the time. Hopefully you got the message that I was calling myself out on my own childhood prejudices against cismen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

This and that

I just realized something today....

I'm only funny when I flirt with girls or when I'm around my friends. The other problem is I can't keep a straight face DURING my attempt at being funny. I think about the punchline ahead of time and I'm already giggling (boys DO giggle, so shut up, you haters!) MIDWAY through the joke, making everyone around me scratch their heads and think, "What's funny? Did I miss something?"

*sigh* Must be the Filipino in me...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You Tell Me What Makes a Man...and I'll Tell You To Shove It

I'm irritated. I've been irritated with something ever since a friend's mother tried to make a point about it to me a couple of years ago. At one of the earlier stages towards the downfall of my last relationship, my friend's mom (whom a few of you reading this know will know who I'm referring to) verbally cornered me one evening over dinner at L&L at Town Center trying to figure out "why I was gay". A lot of subjects and tears came up that evening that I really don't want to remember, but the thing that has stood out most clearly in my mind was when she told me, "I would not ever want to be a man. I do not envy my husband because of the hell he goes through putting up with me, the responsibility of being a man, etc etc"

Back then, I was confused by that statement. What does two women in a committed relationship have anything to do with being a man? At the time she was a pastor's assistant and would later tell me that she doesn't believe that there's such a thing as a gay person. She was convinced that they "became that way" because of poor upbringing, bad childhood experiences, etc. She said that while she could believe that there are legitimately gay people out there, she's convinced that the majority are just confused and sorting through their issues.

Flash forward to just a couple of nights ago. I confronted one of my co-workers about whether or not she had read my note about my coming out as trans. She did and we had a nice, small conversation about it, which was nice because I felt relieved that she had actually cared about me enough to read it. Towards the end of the conversation though, she told me "It's hard being a guy. You get into a lot of fights and stuff." And I, yet again, was completely stunned. Later on, after getting some thoughts processed, I finally replied, "I'd rather get into fights than be someone that I'm not." What I really meant to say was a quote from one of the YouTube videos I've seen recently that said something along the lines of, "It's better to be hated for who you are than to be hated for who you are not."

Later on THAT SAME night, I go to my last workplace to visit a friend/former co-worker and I run into another former co-worker who just happened to be there that night having some beers and hanging out. I'm talking story with him, catching up and sharing updates on what's been going on in our lives and later on in the conversation he talked about how he doesn't ever want to go drinking at The Shack. I asked him why and he said it's because he has to watch what he drinks so he doesn't get too drunk and then start getting into fights. Which made me beg the question, "Why would you just all of a sudden get into a fight if you don't initiate one or just leave other people alone?" and he basically says, "Guys are just like that. They have all that testosterone in them and when they get drunk they get fired off about anything like who looks at you a certain way and whatnot."

On a side note, a friend recently expressed her dislike in my chosen name simply because 'Cyrus' reminded her of some unpleasant person she knows. She then tried to plea with me to help her come up with possible-Japanese names as other alternatives to consider. I took it politely, but inside I was fuming. I don't know who the fuck this other Cyrus guy is and clearly he's not me so why would a similar name remind you of someone that I'm not? I compromised with her by saying that she and another friend can think of a nickname for me since Kris and K-chan will one day be obsolete, but really I was crushed inside.

So these things that have happened before and after my coming out as trans has clearly opened me up to a lot of experiences, mostly positive but occasionally very puzzling. People are so conditioned to believe that genitalia is what makes a person to a point where even a lesbian is quick to ask me "So how much does it cost to get a dick anyway?". Of course, I was one of those people at one point. Like I said earlier, I thought the only way to transition to a male was to have the phalloplasty. Then later when I learned that top surgery and T-treatments were enough for most trans men, it made me see that what goes on underneath the pants is nobody's business but the person and whoever he/she sleeps with.

It's no one's fault for being initially naive and unaware of certain things, but it becomes ignorance on their part when they try to bury their heads back into the sand of their old beliefs just because they're afraid of what's different.

But back to the original subject, hormones also do not make a person. Just because a dude's naturally swimming in T doesn't mean they have no common sense or rational thought. Yes, excessive alcohol tends to dull one's thinking, but you still have control over your body. I'm finding that what many people think of as being a man or a woman is absolutely ridiculous. But I guess that's easier to say coming from someone like me who blurs the gender lines without conscious awareness of it most times. Even Paula's mom admitted to me that if she were to be reincarnated in another life that she would want to be reincarnated as a man because "it's a man's world.'"

I'm finding myself questioning the validity of such a statement more and more. It's one thing for men to be chauvinistic slimeballs, another thing for all people to be supportive of equality on all levels, and another thing for women to be complacent with the inequity in their lives with their "that's just the way it is" attitude. I'm sorry, but I can't live in a world with that kind of narrow-mindedness. I think people should listen to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" more often and learn to see beyond their five senses.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Binding - Phase Two: Professional ones

Okay, so I quickly got over using elastic bandages because not only are they uncomfortable, they're just not effective for the long-haul. I knew that would be the case, but I got it simply to hold me over until I get something better.

And that "better" just came in today. I bought the black compression muscle shirt from I ordered it yesterday morning and it arrived today, from Miami, FL all the way to Hawaii. Nice!

Does it work? Well, yeah, but it doesn't completely flatten out the chest area. There's still a noticeable bump there, but I think with some layering it'll work. I will try different types of layers to see what will work, but for the most part I am happy that I made this one my first purchase. I can use it at the gym or underneath my clothes.

More on that later...have a slight headache. Could've been a combination of playing ODST with the muscle shirt on, staring at the tv screen too long, not getting enough to eat and drink, etc.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Binding - Day Two+

So I've been tweaking how I work with the bandages that makes it tolerable and adds to the desired effect. I wrap one, pin it down with one clip, wrap the second one around and pin that with two more clips. I might've lost the other clips, but I'm not sure.

God....can't wait til I don't have to worry about this anymore...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Binding - Day One

So even though I got paid today, I made myself go to Longs/CVS yesterday and used some tip money to buy a couple of elastic bandages to use as a binder until I get something a little more professional-grade. I know I've been able to pass on and off without binding, but keeping those things out of plain sight will make it a lot easier.

But it hurts, gives me trouble with breathing, and the resulting lack of oxygen to the brain made me a little weak and tired today. Hopefully I'll adjust. I asked myself today, "Is it worth it?" and a soft voice stood undeterred by the pain with the answer, "Yes."

Until this problem is permanently fixed, I just gotta suck it up and take it like a man XD

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Transitory L1fe

Welcome to my other blog, folks!

This one is intended to cover more personal things, especially this new life I've started as a trans guy.

I leet-ed work "Life" by adding 1 in it not just because the original domain name was taken, but also because I wanted to point out that we, as human beings, have only one life to live. No matter what spiritual background you have or whether you believe in an afterlife or not, what is certain is the life we're currently living. The act of living is a miracle in and of itself, so my strongest advice to anyone is to live it to the fullest and with no regrets.

In the words of Jon Larson, the genius behind the Broadway musical Rent, "No day but today..."

EDIT 5/30/2010: I have changed this blog from "My L1fe in Transit" to "The 1nvisible Man" because not only is it my favorite 98 Degrees song but it is true to the spirit of what I am trying to convey in my writing. More on this in a future blog.