Truth in Political Ads?? Nahhhh

 

There are a few ballot questions for this election cycle. The first, I have spoken about here, on Facebook and Twitter. It is about preserving the protections for transgender people in the Commonwealth. After the protections were voted in place by the people, a group of people managed to gather enough signatures to get it on the ballot again to remove those protections. This is part of why I am trying to educate people. I feel by helping to educate and remove the ignorance that less people will be inclined to believe these people. Thankfully, we have a lot of support. The Boston Globe reported that there were no upticks in public safety after the protections were in place. The lies that the people who want to rescind the protections about men dressing up as women to molest people in bathrooms just aren’t true. According to a report on WBUR:

“Massachusetts General Hospital doctors combed public records and recently published their findings in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Their review turned up 14 cases of straight men posing as women in bathrooms and locker rooms in the U.S. since 2004 — none in Massachusetts.”

So that is 14 cases in the ENTIRE US in 14 years. NONE! I repeat NONE, in Massachusetts! Yet we have had transgender rights for two years! Yet they continue to be allowed to spread these falsehoods simply because we no longer have truth in advertising laws to prevent them from doing so.

What really gets me is that I have all the information and have done the research on Transgender folk, I found that trying to get good information about another ballot initiative, Question 1 regarding nursing staffing as a ratio of nurse to patients, is mired in misinformation.

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I tried to get more information and watch the commercials but still not sure of truth. Here are some of the things I have found while trying to research.

If passed, Question 1 would establish ratios limiting the number of patients that could be assigned at a time to individual nurses at Massachusetts hospitals and health clinics.

Proponents of Question 1 have cried fowl regarding the opposition as they have stated that many of the “nurses” depicted in the ads saying they are opposed are actually supervisors and administrators and not floor nurses.

Logically, the idea of limiting the number of patients a nurse has to attend to should, in theory, also increase patient care as they will have more time to attend to individual patients.

However, the key factor in all of this is the profit margin. Healthcare is a big business. There is a lot of money in it and hospitals and clinics try to minimize the amount they have to pay out so as to increase profits. Profits before people. That is the paradigm we continue to embrace.

They thing is that while I support the idea of Yes on 1 and limiting how many patients a nurse has to attend to, I also know that administrators are going to do as has been told, cut services. Morton Hospital in Taunton cut their pediatrics and maternity sections. Pregnant moms now have to travel to Fall River, Plymouth, or Brockton to have their babies. This was done because these sections were not profitable enough.

This is the state of our health care system and it will just get worse as the demands for profits continue to grow while things get more expensive. Profits before people.

So while I agree with the premise of Yes on 1, I also know the cold facts that administrators will cut staff and services in order to preserve profits. I just wish they were honest about it instead of pretending to be nurses against the proposal. Just be honest, tell the truth, tell the people that if they vote Yes on 1, then you will cut everything to preserve your profits.

The real question though, while a hospital like Morton eliminated their maternity and pediatrics wards, what happens if Fall River or Brockton or Plymouth decide to do the same thing? They all want to preserve their profits.

This is our medicine. Profits before people. It will be a hard decision on this question. I just wish we had more truth to go on.

Your thoughts?

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma Morgaine Croft

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National Coming Out Day – Review

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So we have come around to another National Coming Out Day. Each year, I give hope that as more and more people become educated that acceptance will follow and this day will no longer be needed. To think I started my series, Not Quite A Life Choice back in August of 2016! It was done in part to chronicle my own coming out after doing so at work that July, but also to give hope to those still in the closet. It was also intended to educate people and let them know there is hope.

We seemed to be moving in the right direction for quite a while, but then, unfortunately, Donald Trump managed to get himself elected and moved to undo everything that Obama had put in place with little regard to whether it was good or right. He did try to throw transgender folk out of the military but while a preliminary injunction was put in to stop it, the fight continues as CBS reports today:
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Lawyers for President Donald Trump urged a federal appeals court in Portland to allow the administration to prevent certain transgender people from serving in the U.S. armed forces.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the U.S. Department of Justice argued Wednesday for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a federal judge’s preliminary injunction that halted the administration’s plan and to declare it constitutional.

Brinton Lucas of the Justice Department argued the policy under former President Barak Obama that allows transgender people to openly serve in the military “imposes a risk to military readiness.”

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We have heard their argument before and even the Generals have said this is not true, however, hate always presses their agenda. Which is why we are back again pleading people to #VoteYesOn3 as those who hate pushed to get a referendum to repeal the protections for transgender people put on the ballot for this November. I continue to write in hopes to educate and remove the ignorance that often inspires hate. The worst of it is that there have been zero reports in the State with regards to a transgender person attacking anyone in a bathroom. WBUR reported on their website:

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“Massachusetts General Hospital doctors combed public records and recently published their findings in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Their review turned up 14 cases of straight men posing as women in bathrooms and locker rooms in the U.S. since 2004 — none in Massachusetts.”

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So that is 14 cases in the ENTIRE US in 14 years. NONE! I repeat NONE, in Massachusetts! Yet we have had transgender rights for two years!
Those opposing this will probably ramp up their hate and ignorance program over the next month. They will try to scare everyone into rescinding the protections. Mind you, this is not just about bathrooms but any public accommodation from bathrooms to hotels and even hospitals. Bathrooms are a small part of this as most transgender folk do try to avoid public restrooms.
Please do not cave to hate and ignorance! We cannot allow them to rescind the protections and allow discrimination in this State! The facts just don’t support their allegations.

One last thing, the Federal court ruled North Carolina cannot ban trans people from restrooms. There is now a legal precedent. So on the chance that the purveyors of hate and ignorance do manage to convince people there may be legal recourse to reinstate the protections. We cannot allow hate and ignorance to prevail.

If you live in Massachusetts, be sure you are registered to vote and get out there and vote YES ON 3!! If you aren’t registered, I believe you have until October 17th. We need all the support we can muster.

Sad to think that here we are yet another year later and still fighting the same fights. I have devoted myself to trying to educate people by sharing my journey. I have received some good feedback, so I know it is helping some.

There are people out there that just hate. If we prevail, they may just move onto some other group to attack.  All we can do is try to educate. Remove the ignorance, remove the reason for hate. Be a light in the darkness!

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit!

Emma Morgaine Croft

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Not A Life Choice – Patience, My Precious

Image result for hourglass

One thing you need on this journey is copious amounts of patience. I have not written much more about my journey mostly because it is just living day to day at the moment. I have continued my progression and finally have a date for surgery! They have given me a tentative date of June 4th, 2019. I received all the papers for how to prepare for the surgery. Now it is just a waiting game until one month prior.

Beginning one month prior, I will have to stop taking my hormones. Ugh. It may be up to two months before I go back on them, but I probably will be eliminating the spiro as that is to counter my T levels. One week before, I have to stop taking any aspirin type of medicine. No Advil, Tylenol, or any of the others that I use when my back is acting up. The day before is basically a liquid diet, broth, jello, water. I also have to take that junk to clean you out like I have to for a colonoscopy. Not looking forward to that, but if I can suck it up for electrolysis on the surgical area, that will be a breeze.

Speaking of clearing the surgical area, that is going along. I have an appointment in November and another in December. We will look at what is left in December and determine whether we need to ratchet up and move to every other week. It is expensive, so not looking forward to that if I have to do more than one a month. I have to be totally cleared by May. I have heard that there are some doctors that don’t require the clearing and they do that as part of the surgery, but the last thing you want is hair growing inside there. Ugh. Every time I hear someone say that it is a life choice, I pray that just once, they have to lay on that table and have electrolysis in that area! I swear I have confessed to bringing down the Hindenburg, told her where Jimmy Hoffa is buried and confessed that I am not a real red head. (I am auburn but mostly grey and white now.)

For the most part, I am just living life now. My birth certificate is changed as is my driver’s license. Insurance is all moved over. Once I have the surgery certification, I can get Social Security to change the designation. I will also apply for a passport at that time also. I think my one year surgical anniversary should be a nice trip, say Ireland?

I am already gearing up for First Event. I felt that I was rushed in my workshop as I felt that I had to be over to the Fashion Show, so I didn’t present as well as I should. To those who attended, I apologize. I am more prepared this time and know I have plenty of time to get over and changed for the show. When Sarah T from Sephora and Stevie the hairdresser finished with me, I teared up looking at the image coming back to me in the mirror. I was wearing a Victorian style gown and with the updo that Stevie gave me I looked like I was from the 1800’s. This year, I am going with the sorceress and probably a more Medieval style dress. I might even throw in a crown.

I also received a Save The Date from my Godson for his wedding next July. I am hoping I have the all clear to make it. They say six week recovery from the surgery.  His wedding is July 27th. so barring any set backs, I should be good to go. I might even be ready to dance again.

So things continue to inch slowly forward. I am hopeful for an uncomplicated surgery and quick recovery. I have recovered quickly from past surgeries, but this one is major.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma Morgaine Croft

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Not A Life Choice – Babies

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Every now and then, the topic of babies comes up. This pretty girl is/was our Hermione. She was born with some issues. She had a malformed snout that prevented her from nursing from her mom. We had to bottle feed her every few hours. It was our hope that the good doctors at Cummings Veterinary Hospital could fix it for her so she could live a long and happy life. Unfortunately, as they were checking her out they found her heart was defective also. They said it could give out at any time since it was too malformed. So with heavy hearts, we had to let her go. 

What does this have to do with being transgender? 

Many transgender women have issues with not ever being able to carry a baby or experience giving birth. For many, seeing a pregnant woman serves as a reminder and causes some depression. I recall as a child pretending my belly had a baby in it. Even when I got older, having always had a bit of a pot, I would puff it out and make it jump and say did you see the baby kick? Yes, I knew there was no baby. It was the closest I would ever come.

I often get misty eyed when I see women on TV talking about getting or being pregnant. I feel jealous pangs over what could never be. I find when I go into transgender groups there are many others who feel the same way. With the recent work being done on uterine transplants, there could be hope for a breakthrough for future generations. 

This brings me back to Hermione. Due to us having to bottle feed her, I got attached. In some ways. she was my own child. Even now, the tears are welling up as I think that I will never have that baby up against my breasts as I gave her the bottle. I tried to explain it to my wife, but she just tells me that I had two kids and gave them bottles and changed their diapers. Yes, yes, I did. However, I never carried them. I never gave birth to them. I never had that experience and depressingly, never will. It is hard for someone who is not transgender to understand this. It is like you have had to live someone else’s life all these years. You feel cheated out of all the experiences that girls today take for granted. I think the one experience that hurts the most, is never having carried a child to birth. Hermione was my surrogate child. Yes, I was still just bottle feeding someone else’s baby, but I got to hold her close with her head resting on my breasts. I got to look down into her eyes. And now she is gone. 

We have been fortunate to have mostly healthy babies on the farm. It is rare that we have to bottle feed, though there are times we do it to get them started until the mom’s milk lets down. I hope that any future babies we have are healthy. I don’t think I could go through this again. Though, I know in my heart, I would. 

Still waiting on my surgery date. I was told it would be about a month after I met with the doctor. It is past that now and still no word. I am giving until the end of the week in case they sent it by mail. 

As I close, I am listening to the sounds from the barn and Hottie calling out for her baby. I can never relate to the pain she must be going through in losing a child. I know the hurt I feel and that is bad enough. 

I did not choose this life. It chose me. I am just trying to make the best of the cards that life tossed at me. I am just trying to be a light for another so they don’t have to walk in darkness. 

 

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit!
Emma Morgaine Croft

 

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Not A Life Choice – Father’s Day

FathersDayTie

Ah Father’s day, the great tie day.

Father’s Day has always been a mixed bag for me. My own Father and I were never really close. I was the second of seven kids. He was also working multiple jobs to feed and clothe all of us. Besides his regular job, he also worked for a neighbor creating shavings. Not sure if they were just for the neighbors farm or if they sold it, but it was a second. The other job was drumming. My Father could drum pretty well. He played for a number of bands around, playing mostly jazz, ’40’s type music, etc. That was one gift he gave me was an appreciation of music. I hopefully passed that on to my kids as I exposed them to everything from Beethoven to Alice Cooper.

I had two kids with my second wife. I found that Father’s Day wasn’t that important. Most of the time, I would end up at the ball field, because while Mother’s Day, they didn’t schedule games, Father’s Day, it seemed like they double-booked. I asked about it and was told that of course they have games on Father’s Day, all Father’s want to be at the field with their kids. Yeah, McJock, not all. I would have preferred taking my kids to ride the subway in Boston or to the Science Museum, or out in the State Forest splashing through puddles with the truck. I always loved taking them on the T. I would get us all day passes and just ride and pop up somewhere and take in the sights and then back into the subway and maybe finish the day at Quincy Market for something to eat.

Father’s Day always made me sad. In part because I wasn’t close to my Father, but mostly because I didn’t want to be the Dad. I wanted to be the Mom. Many years, I would sink into depression when Father’s Day would come around. Even after the divorce, I did manage to have my kids for Father’s Day. That helped soften the depression a bit. Having to spend it at ball fields didn’t. Once they were older and all done with sports we got to do what we wanted, but I was forced to ensure that I took them to Church. I had left the Catholic Church, but took them anyway.

Probably one of the biggest regrets, and one of the least understood by others, is that I never carried a child. Thanks to whatever force that decided I should be born a girl with boy parts, I would never be able to. I always dreamed about it. Sometimes I would puff out my belly just to pretend I was pregnant. Of course, I did this all in hiding as no one knew, not even myself, who I really was. That took years of therapy with a psychologist. Sadly, even when we finally got the diagnose of late stage Gender Identity Disorder, as it was called back then, and soon to change to Gender Dysphoria, I always had to hide who I truly was.

These days, I still have issues with Father’s Day. I still wanted to be “Mom”, but that role is already taken. I am stuck with “Dad”. People don’t get it. I am close to my daughter, thankfully, but my son and I are distanced. My daughter says he is like that with everyone. He is off in his own world. I do miss when he used to crawl into my lap when we watched movies. They do grow up. He is taller than me now, so that won’t work.

This is a personal observation. This may not apply to other transgender women. It was just an observation I wanted to share. I do hold out hope for the future. With the recent uterus transplant where the woman was able to give birth, maybe gives hope in the future to others who feel like I do. One day, with the advance of science, they may resolve the issues that prevent someone who once had male parts from having a full functioning vagina and uterus. For now, I have to settle for the vagina. That is if my endo ever gets that letter to BMC so I can be approved and move forward. They said they sent it twice, but just not getting to the right person.

I chose to hold off rather than writing this on Father’s Day. I felt it was a special day for some and didn’t want to darken it in any way. My daughter and I agreed that at home I can be Dad, but when we are in public, just call me Emma. I cannot use Mom. So it’s the best I can do.

Thank you for continuing on my journey, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma Morgaine Croft

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Not A Life Choice – Why So Long?

strongwoman

A friend of mine asked a question on Facebook asking if the Drag Queens had any influence on us older women coming out. It was a great question and got a lot of responses. My response was as follows:

I knew that something was off when I was around 6. I was presenting as a female, though physically male. I was beaten and told they were not having a sissy boy in the family. As Jennifer mentioned about Milton Berle and Flip Wilson, among so many others, I saw that being something other than what was foisted on you at birth, was only get met with violence, ridicule, and ostricization. I learned early on that being gay was bad, and if you were effeminate, they equated that to being gay. I also saw a classmate being constantly abused because he tried to present feminine. They called Arthur, Martha. He was ridiculed and beaten. Not sure what happened, but it cemented in me that I had to bury who I was and learn from my brothers how I should act. While I didn’t go as far as becoming a Navy Seal like Kirsten Beck, I did play football (sandlot), joined the Air Force and was Sergeant of our mobility team. I didn’t have much exposure to Drag Queens, surprising given our proximity to Provincetown. I think what got me thinking the what-ifs was when I heard of Christine Jorgenson and Renée Richards. I always wanted to take an Excacto knife to myself, but fortunately, never did as I found you actually need that bloody thing. 

So long story short, Drag Queens had little influence if any. It was more societal pressure that kept me from being who I was until I first attempted to come out in the 90’s. Even then, it was not well known. I had also taken the COGIATI. Funny hearing about that from Helga. I got involved with some IRC groups that really opened my eyes. I started researching as best I could. I finally went to a psychologist and was officially diagnosed. After losing my marriage, home, family, restricted access to my kids and finally my job, I reverted as I had two kids to support. I complied. It wasn’t until a friend had a heart attack a few years back that awoke that part of me again. I was plotting my death and had written Emma, An Unlived Life, which was to serve as a suicide note. Fortunately, my wife intervened. Next month, I will be two years full time and legally Emma.
I think what helped me was getting more information. As I grew in understanding why I always felt the way I did, I was able to then make the changes needed. Unfortunately, there were no protections when I first came out. Heck, my company only made changes to their transgender health care after I brought it to their attention. In the 90’s was a whole different ball game. Unfortunately, things like electrolysis and laser are still not covered, but who knows, maybe one day. Learning what I did from that IRC channel and taking the COGIATI test, did help me to decide to seek out help. I ended with with a psychologist who saw me as a person that was all messed up. She basically broke me down and then rebuilt me. Only this time, I was built as me, and not what everyone else wanted me to be. That was a huge step.
Getting more information so that I was able to separate the idea of gender and sexual orientation was also a big help. I no longer equated being effeminate to being gay. I was able to toss that on the scrap heap. I came to understand that I am me, a woman. A lot of people did not like that revelation and I lost quite a few friends and some family, however, I became a much happier person in the end. While my first attempt to come out in the 90’s was a huge failure, this time I was ready for the losses, though not prepared for the acceptance. As my counselor told me, I was still suffering from the PTSD from the last time that I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop this time. I think the acceptance is what has made this journey that much easier. Imagine if we took the time to educate ourselves as soon as we found out a loved one was transgender or gay, and just loved them? Maybe that would go a long way to lowering the suicide rate.
I am a senior cloud engineer for my company. I am respected by my peers. Had I not had the love and acceptance this time around, Emma, An Unlived Life, might have just been my suicide note. Instead, I am here trying to educate and remove the ignorance surrounding transgender people. I am trying to be a light shining in the darkness.
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I am Emma Morgaine Croft. I am Transgender. I am Woman!
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Emma
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Not A Life Choice – The Slooow Road

I had my meeting with the nurse coordinator. Outside of her checking the surgical area for clearing progress, we could have done it over the phone. Every time I go in there, I have to take a day off since getting around Boston is a bear. Usually, if I have to go into Boston, I will take the T. I used to work on Comm Ave so I learned the subways over the years. I used to love to take my kids subway surfing where we would jump from one train to another and pop up somewhere and take in the sites and then back down, but that is another story.

She was just slightly late as she had to find my file. We met and went over the process. She told me what to expect afterwards. She also noted that their process was fluid so it was possible that things could change. This was due to them adjusting their process as they only have been doing this for a year or two.

She informed me that she hadn’t gotten letters from my PCP or my endocrinologist. I checked with both, PCP said he had sent it, which they later found. My endo, I had to ask again. I posted the request in the portal and followed up with a call to her secretary. I have not heard from anyone either my endo or BMC as to the letter being sent.

Mind you, the letter is nor a requirement of WPATH which sets the standards for Transgender care. Rather, this is more for the insurance companies. BMC just wants to dot their i’s and cross their t’s so as not to have any issues with insurance down the road. Needless to say, this isn’t the first time my endo has not been forthcoming with a letter. The last time was trying to get the gender designation on my driver’s license changed. She said she had to put it through their legal department and it was months before I got the letter I needed. All it had to say was that she was treating me. Worse, I can download the history from the portal, but they need the doctor to sign off. So I could prove it, but that doesn’t help. I had to threaten to get a lawyer involved before I got a response.

That is the frustrating part. I can do everything that is asked of me, but all these “gatekeepers” have a say and need to sign off. WPATH states that I only need two letters of referral from mental health providers. I got that. Yet, my holdup is due to my endocrinologist.

Of course, getting a call from the nurse coordinator to go back over what we discussed because she accidentally deleted her notes on me, does not give me warm fuzzies. This is the person who will be handling my after surgery care and teaching me all the fun things like dilating.

I sometimes think it would have been faster and cheaper to just go to Thailand. I know a few people who have and are happy with the results. I just felt that going to a local surgeon would be good especially if there are complications or adjustments. I thought also about Mt. Sinai, but then again, a friend is going there and saying she is having the same issues. So I guess I will stay with BMC, but given the issues I have had with insurance with my breast augmentation, I definitely have to gird up the warrioress.

Oh, yeah, that is the other development. The insurance company sent me a letter last week saying that I had to repay them over $700 because they shouldn’t have paid a claim. This was to pay for the anesthesiologist. My insurance is Aetna, and so many have made claims against them that they deny claims, even if they pre-approved as they did mine.

You really have to be your own advocate when it comes to insurance and health care. Nothing is easy. We really need to get rid of insurance companies and go to single payer. Their whole goal is profit, not patient health. How much further along would I be if I didn’t keep having to get approvals for this and that.

So, last week, I did another back to back with surgical area on Wednesday and face on Thursday. The EMLA cream helped somewhat with the surgical area. She still hit a few spots that made me jump out of my skin. My next surgical clearing is June 6th. I am thinking about bathing in EMLA before I go, just to be sure. Of course, by the end of the session it is starting to wear off, but if I can get through the brunt of it.

So I am doing my part to keep this all on track. I wish I could say the same for the doctors. I have still not heard back from my endocrinologist as to whether she sent in the requested letter. I haven’t heard from BMC saying they still haven’t received it. So basically, it is a waiting game. You really need to have patience to go through all of this, as well as a high threshold for pain.

As always, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

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