It’s never too late…


So, I’m not sure which quote is the proper one and since I love both versions I thought I’d share them together. 

The idea of it never being too late to become who or what you were destined to be is the best way to sum up my journey as a person in this adventure called life. 

I should have grown up to be an addict or a convict like my kin but I am not. I was assumed female at birth but I am not.

I have been really bad about keeping up with this blog due to the craziness and busyness of life so I’m going to share what’s been happening for me since my last post. 

I SURVIVED THE BOOBY BASHER!

St. Marks was trans* AND chocolate friendly
I thought Operation Squish was going to hurt like a MFer but it turns out it really doesn’t hurt much at all. Yes, it is still awkward and it can be uncomfortable for sure. I mean, the tech just grabs one of theGirls and throws her into the Squisher without really even talking much or giving you a heads up. That was a bit new for me. The Side Squish is extra awkward with your body in some unique poses and a quick command to hold your breath for a few seconds. All in all, it was not scary or painful. At the end, I even landed some chocolate love. 

I think most of my anxiety and fear was related to my gender dysphoria and the fear of the unknown. I always get extra nervous the first time I see any new doctor and especially when you know they will get all up in your biz. 

I was worried the staff here would start calling me by my birth name but they knew to ask my preferred name. It probably helped us all get on the right page that I went donning some trans* gear. 

I highly recommend getting your girls squished at St. Mark’s Hospital in SLC if you have to and if you’re trans*. They are extremely professional and trans* aware. Somebody somewhere (and I think her name starts with Dr. L;)) trained them right. THANK YOU, Dr. Luikenaar! I wonder if I could get a tee that says,”I got my Girls squished at St. Mark’s.” I’m sure that would be taken the wrong way, though.

APRIL 5, 2016: THE Day

This is when my whole life changed. I had a special date with Dr. Cori Agarwal that morning. Seriously, it was the best first date ever. Shhhhhh, don’t tell my spouse. 😉

First Day Post Op:

Bosom Buddies:

FIRST WEEK:

NO showering for one week was gross but then  someone  finally discovered dry shampoo!

During this time I was on some hydro for pain and that stuff wreaks havoc on your body. I learned to love prune juice. Well, as much as anyone under 85 could truly love it.

Since I couldn’t really do much myself this week, I had an adult-toddler tantrum mid week and demanded some sort of independence. Shira made me this Self-drinking Hydration System.

FIRST POST OP APPT:

Meet Franken Chest! 

NO more drains! 🙂


​​
​​

Real men have bellies. 😉

In all honesty, though, I didn’t realize just how prominent my belly was until after the 4-pounds-worth of Girls were removed. I’m going to own my belly because I love me some pizza and beer. Hey, I’m working on that. 

SECOND POST OP APPT:

NO medical binder anymore! 🙂

It’s never too late…

10 Reasons I Started Shaving Again

Day 17
This year I was over the moon to participate in my first “no shave” Movember challenge. Now that I have been on T for 10 months now, I had really wanted to take it to the next level physically. I really wanted to unleash my mustache-clad hipster man that I know lives inside me.

I wanted the world and myself to finally see me on the outside like I see me. I encountered some unanticipated bumps along Mustache Lane, which is why by the time mid-Movember struck, I made the intentional decision to shave once again.

I’m not calling this defeat or failure. In fact, I’m chalking this up to a personal experiment and an opportunity for personal growth. I ended realizing where I was on this transitional journey and where I had yet to arrive. It also prompted me to finally start the series of steps to get my name and gender marker changed. I even set up my consultation with Dr. Cori Agarwal for the end of December to discuss top surgery. I need to do more right now to help the world see me as I see me and then I’m going to grow one hell of a ‘stache!

Here are my top 10 reasons why I decided to shave once more:

  1. To Pee or not to Pee. Once I started growing a pretty noticeable hairline on my lip and chinny chin chin, I realized I could no longer comfortably use public restrooms. I didn’t feel comfortable using the Men’s Room with multiple stalls and urinals. I was fine using the Men’s Room if it was a single seater, but it turns out those were hard to find. I found myself either holding it (don’t recommend this) or dining at places I already knew had single seaters or unisex bathrooms. Someone really needs to create a “where to pee” app for trans* folks.
  2. I Ain’t No Bearded Lady. It turns out I’m not ok with looking like a fuzzy lesbian. It also hurt more when people saw I was growing a pretty nifty ‘stache and still called me she or her or lady or whatnot. I know I’m supposed to embrace this middle place shit, but I found it much harder to do so with a fuzzy face and a giant, smushed female chest.
  3. Shy Shopper. After a while, my gender and body dysphoria started to get worse. On the one hand, I found I passed a bit more as male; however, when this happened and then I had to show my ID with my birth name (bleh) and birth gender (bleh), then a little part of me died on the inside. I could feel myself cringe with disgust having to show my ID.
  4. Suddenly Sober. Ok, so it’s not the most crucial thing in the world to complain about but I didn’t think about something as simple as ordering a drink in public before I started becoming Mustache Man. Part way into the month when I was digging my pre-pubescent fuzz, I was out to dinner with my lovely partner. I proceeded to order a drink, but then it suddenly hit me that I would need to show my ID. My heart instantly sank and I clammed up. My spouse asked me what was wrong because she saw it on my sullen face. I confessed that I wanted a drink and I wanted to be seen the way I was finally starting to be seen, but that showing my ID would take that all away.
  5. Check Mate. I found that it became increasingly harder to get up and drive into work because of the dread of having to go through the military checkpoint. Another mandatory moment where I needed to show an ID and name and gender that I loathed.
  6. Gimme Me a Break. Two weeks into it, I realized that I was avoiding the break room at work or casually conversing with workmates. Instead, I was a bit curt in passing. I kept my eyes down. I didn’t linger. I just wasn’t really myself.
  7. I’m not in Drag. Having done a brief stint as a one-time-only DC Drag King (woot, woot), I know what it feels like and what it looks like to be in drag. Watching all my brethren grow pretty sick beards or ‘staches in the same amount of time I was growing my peach fuzz made me feel like I was on stage again. It was exciting when I was home alone or in my community or with my friends, but out in public I felt a little embarrassed.
  8. Show’s Over. I started realizing that in conservative Utah, I was drawing more attention than I wanted in certain places.
  9. Microaggressions. In defense of my homeland and workplace here in UT, I will confess that nobody was outwardly or blatantly rude to me. There was an air of increased discomfort and the subtle microaggressions became more and more noticeable to me, however. I’m sure there was even some internalized transphobia at play here too.
  10. Naked No More. Getting naked during this time period was a new level of hell for me.

(I will still be making a donation in honor of Movember to Point5cc. 💜)

/p>

10 Reasons I Started Shaving Again

Happy Movember, my fuzzy brothers and sisters!

Hello, everyone! I have decided to participate in Movember this year! I’m also going to be donating to my favorite trans* stealth clothing and activist company, point5cc.com, and I hope you will feel inspired to do so as well. 

If you’d like to support me and this month-long challenge, then feel free to make a small donation in my name (Aitch Muirhead Alexandar) via the point5cc’s online form after Dec. 1st. See the link below. 

Point5cc NSN Challenge 

Video explanation:  
  
Day 1:  

Day 2:  

Day 3:

   

Day 4:

  

Day 5:  

Day 6:

  

Day 7:

  

Day 8:

  

Day 9:

  
Day 10:

  

Day 11:

  

Day 12:

  

Day 13:

  
Day 14:

  

Day 15:

  
Day 16:

  

Happy Movember, my fuzzy brothers and sisters!

It’s a boy! 

I just a had T baby! 9 months on HRT has gone by fast. 

Most noticeable changes are: 

  • voice
  • acne
  • body odor
  • no menses (thank the Heavens!)
  • hair line
  • jaw line

Favorite part: 

  • deeper voice
  • building muscle 🙂
  • no more periods!!!
  • educating people
  • sharing with friends/family
  • meeting more trans* people now 
  • my doctor rocks! 

Least favorite part: 

  • still perceived to be a woman or a boyish lesbian  😦 
  • dysphoria is still strong with this one (I still loathe my body. I feel sick at the idea of anyone seeing it.) 
  • anxiety/depression (When will people really see ME?) 
  • bouts of what my spouse calls “Trans* Self-absorbion Syndrome” [TSAS] (Do I have facial hair? Does my voice sound manly? Do I smell? Can you see my acne? Me, me, me!) 

9-months-worth of photos:

(Feline assistant not on T) 

  
    
    
    

    
    
    

  

Gallery

On the Outside

I have spent much of my life as an outlaw in my own family and my own body.

My entire existence growing up was one act of defiance after another. From a failed attempt at being the lookout during the Candy Bar Heist when I was 7, to when I stole a hacky sack when I was 8 (and couldn’t even look at it!), to when I prayed to God at 10 that he made a mistake and that I really was a boy, to later when I was 14 and left my family. 

I was taught you’re never supposed to leave your family behind but I did. I traded them in for a future.

I was supposed to lie, cheat, and steal like my country kin. I was supposed to have a 3-page rap sheet like my parents and my siblings. I was supposed to grow up to be an addict and spend my adult life in and out of prison like they did.

But hurting people always weighed too heavily on my sensitive soul. And that makes for a pretty shitty criminal.

As far as being an addict and why I didn’t go down that path either, well, I chalk that up to my innate ability to learn from the mistakes of others. (Oh, and fear too. That definitely played a huge role.) I personally witnessed the people I love turn into Zombies. They are either the Walking Dead still or they are simply just dead. 

My mom died in 2011 after 25+ years of heroin and meth abuse. This goody-two-shoes betazoid who carries the burdens of my family and who always feels too much, TOO FUCKING MUCH, had a front row seat to my mom’s slow, tragic demise. 

I didn’t know until then that all of the hardship and trauma I had experienced in my life had strengthened my foundation so that I could endure this moment. I had taken comfort in riding the line and picking my battles as an adult for the most part. But if you treat a loved one of mine like shit, then you better Watch. The Fuck. Out! I totally released the Kracken in the hospital those weeks my mom was there. 

I had family members who didn’t really care about my mother until she was tragically dying in a hospital bed. Then they swooped in like death vultures to basically snuff her out. Even the staff asked me to block them because they were just that horrible. One of these relatives said this notable gem, “What kind of life will your mom have? Just a junkie in a nursing home waiting for a fix.”

A Junkie. That’s all my mom was to them and to many in this world. But not to me. I had never seen someone so strong and I had no idea I got my twisted sense of humor from my mom until I saw her fight for her life in that hospital. 

As my siblings were high or incarcerated, I remained an anchor at my mom’s deathbed, voicing her last wishes. When she wanted to live, I fought for that. When she wanted to die, I fought for that too. The latter defied every bone in my body but I did it. For her. I gave her the power the world took away from her. 

My mom literally died in my arms. I held her for two hours as she let go. Her death, and several other deaths in my life, have helped me now fight for my own life. 

This year I finally came out as trans* and am transforming into who I always was on the inside: a beautiful, fucking, manly butterfly.  

(Thanks, mom!)

On the Outside

Aiden 5.0 

It’s been five years since Aiden Rivera Schaeff took his own life. I will never forget the date: April 22nd, 2010 (Earth Day). I will also never forget that morning when I got the phone call from Aiden’s mother, Cathy. She called and said, “The police think they’ve found Aiden’s body.” I didn’t even know he had been missing. I didn’t understand what she meant by “body,” so the word played over and over in my mind as I hurriedly made my way to their house.

I didn’t know that Aiden had slipped silently out of the house in the early hours that morning before sunrise. I didn’t know that he had sent text messages to countless friends saying he loved them. I didn’t know that we would never see this amazing, artistic, charming, funny, kind, brilliant kid again.

When I pulled up to the house, I saw the police car and immediately knew in my heart that only bad news awaited me. I walked into the house to hear Cathy tearfully mutter, “Patty just identified the body.” Patty and Cathy’s beloved son was gone. Our collective little dude was no more. The Aiden of a 1,000 friends and family members who had loved and supported him had just departed this world. Forever.

I didn’t find out that day how exactly he took his own life. And knowing now I don’t think those details even need a voice. What does need to be acknowledged, though, is that Aiden had been bullied and harassed by his teen peers as he courageously transitioned from female to male. I didn’t know that the hate and pain must have stung a million times more than all the love and kindness in his life.

The day Aiden died is still a day of unsurpassed sadness. That day, I did my best to help comfort his parents. We consoled one another; we straightened up the house; we made difficult phone calls.

The whole experience was surreal. It’s hard to process how someone can be here and then how quickly they can leave. Never again to return in physical form. (Unless you’re Buddhist, or Hindu, or Jewish.) Once someone you love is gone, all we have left are the memories, photos, drawings, videos, journals, clothes — essences of life remembered.

That night I had to fly out to Europe. I wanted to cancel my trip but it was for work, and it had already been postponed by an unexpected appendectomy and then an Angry Volcano in Iceland. In the end, it hurt even more knowing that I had to leave.

I stayed with my bereaved friends for as long as I possibly could before flying out. I called dear friends of theirs and they took over where I had left off. Friends and loved ones showered Cathy and Patty with love.

In some ways because I was overseas later that day, and ultimately, missed Aiden’s funeral, I never really got to say goodbye. At the same time because his life ended so unexpectedly, I never got to give him thanks either.

I never got to thank Aiden for being in my life, or tell him enough just how proud of him I was, or give gratitude to him for being such an inspiration to me and countless others.

Aiden left us all and the world way too soon but he isn’t the only one, and sadly, he won’t be the last. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, 41% of trans* Americans have also attempted a similar fate. I too have even struggled with throwing in the proverbial towel at various points when life seemed too unbearable.

Now five years after Aiden’s death, however, I have been given a new chance at life. The last thing I never got to tell Aiden was that he gave me the strength to finally transition to a more authentic me. The truth is that in some ways Aiden Rivera Schaeff saved my life. I hope by sharing his story and my own, it will help raise a collective voice for those still out there, especially young people, struggling to just live

Aiden 5.0