Not A Life Choice – Psych!

the_soul_of_the_rose_300px

Still playing the waiting game. It is frustrating that it takes so long. The frustration compounds when you get a note from the hospital saying they want to move you up a month earlier. Of course, the boss was aware that I would be out a month from the previous messages. I asked if it was okay to move a month earlier. I had to wait for a response since he was out. I was almost giddy knowing that I had one month less to wait. Then psych!! boss says no, we are understaffed and someone else has the time off. So I had to have them keep my old date.

Not sure if it was just this or the compounding of negative events with the passing of our old girl, Brandy. I know it still affects me. Just thinking of her makes me want to cry.

Brandy_snow

I love this pic of her as she loved the snow. She would lay out in the storms and come in totally caked and shake all over. We would be scrambling for the towels. She will always be in my heart. She lived with us since she was a pup for eleven years. It was hard watching as the cancer got to her. It was a hard decision but we buried her with our other sweetheart we lost, Hermione.

38758261_2134061500202536_8117856555900076032_o

I had bottle fed Hermione due to a defect in her snout. We had to put her to rest when the doctors at Cummings told us that she was also missing part of her heart.

So it has been a tough couple of months. Our other pup, Harley, just does not have the life in him after losing Brandy. They were tight as thieves. Now Harley mostly just lays about.  We thought about getting a new puppy, but money is tight and Doodles aren’t cheap. Worse, they are now adding levels of training when you buy them.

Sorry about rambling. I was just feeling a little lost. It hurt when my boss said I couldn’t accept the new date and had to stick with the old. I put in a lot of hours and it just hurt. Worse is that I am on call all this week so have those night calls too. I woke up the other night at 2:30a and just could not get back to sleep. Of course, last night, paged at 4:30a. So dragging a bit and emotional. I have to work Saturday night also and that might take a while. So being denied the change has an extra sting.

Kind of a bummer this writing. Oh, the woman at the top? That is Soul of the Rose by Waterhouse. It was a painting I had seen and fell in love with. I felt it captured the person I felt I was inside. Cindy even had a shower curtain made of it for me. Had a chuckle, I was listening to music as I wrote this and K.D. Lang and Roy Orbison were singing a duet of Crying. Timing.

I guess at this time, I am just floundering. I am hoping the holidays will pick up my spirit. My daughter did say she is coming Saturday to spend the day with me and help with the store while Cindy is away. She also says she has some clothes for me. Hmm, Tony Bennet and K.D. Lang singing What a Wonderful World. Maybe there is hope.

Ohhhh yeah!

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

Emma Morgaine Croft

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018

I was asked to speak at the Transgender Day of Remembrance out on Cape Cod. It was an honor to speak. I thought I would share the talk I presented. I did go off script just a little bit, but for the most part, this was what I presented.

369 trans, non-binary and gender-variant people were murdered in the 12 months from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018.

In 2017, advocates tracked at least 29 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded. However, 2018 has already seen at least 22 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means.

One was, Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, who was found dead in her home on January 5 in North Adams, Massachusetts. Steele-Knudslien organized and produced the Miss Trans New England and other pageants and was loved and known by many in both the local and national trans community.

Add to these numbers, the over 40% suicide rate which has been further exacerbated by the current administrations actions against the transgender community.

When I made the decision to once again try to transition, I also discussed it with my wife that I would do this publicly. It was my hope that in being somewhat well-known as a Mason that it would bring some attention. Having also been a writer, I chose to start a series that I called Not A Life Choice that provided the medical and psychological evidence that shows that what we, as transgender folk, experience, is real. It is not a life choice! My series chronicles all that we must go through to just be ourselves.

One thing that I have heard expressed lately is that people are scared. I have heard some who feel they need to stop their transition. Some have gone to the extreme of talking about leaving the country.

I chose to stand as a light. I chose to try to educate and inform. I chose to try to remove the veil of hate and ignorance. At times, I feel I am failing in this. When I hit those points, I look at the statistics we share today. I look at those who have lost their lives just for being. I look at those who are scared and try to be a beacon of light. I try to tell them to not fear the shadows for if there is a shadow, there is a light shining somewhere.

President Obama heard our stories and was moved to institute protections for the transgender community. Unfortunately, at this time, hate and ignorance prevail and those protections have been rescinded by a mean-spirited administration that seeks to erase us. Know this, President Trump; We Will Not Be Erased!!!!!

Rather than pushing us back in the closet, I have heard many of my trans brothers and sisters speak out. Many are becoming more active within the community. Many are standing up and being heard.

To paraphrase the President’s speech in Independence Day:

And as we remember the fallen on this day, know that this day will inspire us to stand up for ourselves, that we will seize the day and the world will hear us declare in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!

Now is not the time to regress and suppress but rather to support and inspire. There are too many lives that depend on us all to come together as one and help those who are to follow to be able to live in a loving and accepting world. It is time to squelch hate and ignorance. It is time to tell our stories and to be who we are unshackled by the limits of societal norm. We must remember those who fought for our rights at Stonewall. We cannot allow hate and ignorance to push us back into the closets. We must continue to fight hate and ignorance with truth and justice. We must continue to educate and inform until all manner of discrimination is eradicated. My weapon is my pen. (Okay, nobody uses pens anymore) I will continue to write in hopes of educating and removing the veil of hate and ignorance from the eyes of those who wish we did not exist.

I shared on Facebook a flowchart of what we must go through just to get to where we are. I received a few comments about how they thought I was brave and how they did not know just how involved it was. In this case, it took a pictorial representation to show what we go through. So we must use all the tools, all the media formats available, to educate and remove ignorance. We must continue to be lights shining in the darkness for others who are scared and unsure. We must always show love, compassion, and caring. We must not retaliate against ignorance but educate and inform. We must continue to work until we never have to have another Day of Remembrance and never have to honor another senseless death. We must push to ensure that police recognize our transgender brothers and sisters and call them out when they misgender them in news reports or police reports.

Shine bright!!

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

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not A Life Choice -What About Transmen?

I was on a group on Facebook where there was a poll; How many in the group are MTF (Male to Female); how many are FTM (Female to Men). I found it interesting that out of the thirteen respondents, ten were MTF and only three were FTM.

I noted also at First Event, a transgender conference in Massachusetts that they have added Transmasculine tracts over the years, but the focus mainly was Transwomen. I found the anomaly rather curious. Why is it that there are less Transmen? Could it be to the patriarchal society we live in that families have to have a male progeny to “carry on the name”. Could it be that babies born intersexed or with androgynous genitalia were “doctored” to be boys? This has happened and in one case the person, later in life, attacked the doctor who did it to them.

Another thought is that women have a little more latitude in presentation than men. A man who wears a dress is thought as an aberration, but a woman in jeans is accepted. A woman can cut their hair short, they can wear men’s shirts. Yes, some get called names like butch or dyke, but in the end, they can present as they wish. I think also, in the case of female to male, with testosterone, they can grow a beard and bulk up. So it makes it that much easier to pass. A male to female just starting out has to deal with the affects of testosterone like facial hair, bulky bodies and fat in the belly instead of the breasts and buttocks. Once a transman starts testosterone, they add facial hair and bulk up a bit. Their voice lowers, while a transwoman has to try to train their voice to be in the higher range.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying their life is all shits and giggles. They also struggle as transwomen do, but it just seems their numbers are a percentage of transwomen. I was just wondering if this is more because it is easier for them to be seen as a man, than for a transwoman to be seen as a woman? Transmen also face a lot of the issues that transwomen do, especially when it comes to medical support, insurance, and counseling. Also, while a transwoman can have vaginoplasty and have a workable vagina, the technology is just not there yet for a perfect penis for a transman. For many, it appears that they have to be content with just getting top surgery.

Another curious aspect is with all this bathroom bill nonsense. Have you noticed that all of these are focused on “a man dressing as a woman to molest your child in the ladies room”. Of course that is total unfounded hogwash, but that is how they present it. Yet, you never hear about if a transman is forced to go into a ladies room because that is what it says on their birth certificate or license. A bearded transman, can be compelled to go into the ladies room based on these insane laws.

I know quite a few transmen. Many are really handsome. They are all wonderful people struggling on their journey. I just find it interesting that often times they are left out of the conversation. I was just curious and pondering this on a quiet Sunday morning.

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

Emma Morgaine Croft

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not A Life Choice -The Government

Many in the transgender community were concerned about Trump and Pence due to their hate of the LGBT community. We were told we were unreasonable. We were told we were fear-mongering. Yes, we were concerned and it appears rightly so. The New York Times recently published a story stating that the Trump administration is planning on rewriting the rules concerning Title IX.

============================================================================

Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.

============================================================================

I have presented the science regarding transgender people in my series. This administration ignores that science and chooses to base sex only on the genitals.  Their hope is to remove the legal challenges so they can promote their hate and ignorance and basically erase transgender people. This will please their evangelical base, but goes against all the science. They want to undo all the protections that were in place and open up transgender people to unfettered bigotry, hate, and discrimination. Transgender folk had every right to be concerned about this administration!

============================================================================

The National Center for Transgender Equality has posted a response to the New York Times Article:

“This proposal is an attempt to put heartless restraints on the lives of 2 million people, effectively abandoning our right to equal access to health care, to housing, to education, or to fair treatment under the law. This administration is willing to disregard the established medical and legal view of our rights and ourselves to solidify an archaic, dogmatic, and frightening view of the world. This transparent political attack will not succeed administratively, legally, or morally.

In the name of preempting some misinformation, let’s talk about what this proposed rule would not do. It would not eliminate the precedents set by dozens of federal courts over the last two decades affirming the full rights and identities of transgender people. It would not undo the consensus of the medical providers and scientists across the globe who see transgender people, know transgender people, and urge everyone to accept us for who we are. And no rule—no administration—can erase the experiences of transgender people and our families. While foolish, this proposed rule deflates itself in the face of the facts, and the facts don’t care how the Trump administration feels.

To transgender people: I know you are frightened. I know you are horrified to see your existence treated in such an inhumane and flippant manner. What this administration is trying to do is an abomination, a reckless attack on your life and mine. But this administration is also staffed by inexperienced amateurs overplaying their hand by taking extreme positions that ignore law, medicine, and basic human decency.

With each awful headline like this, remember that you are far from alone. NCTE and other organizations are continuing to fight against this bigotry. Remember that there is an entire human rights community that not only stands with us but will always fight back—and fight hard. Thousands of us have devoted our lives to protecting you and your families, and our ability to do so is nothing short of a privilege. And we will not lay down now.

Transgender people have fought rules like this one in federal and state court and won. We have stood toe-to-toe with administrators, legislatures, and executives who would agree with this rule and yet we won. We have fought and will continue to fight for The Equality Act, a bill currently in Congress that would explicitly enshrine civil rights protections for transgender people—Congress must pass this long overdue bill now. We know how to defeat this, and we will do everything we can until every transgender person feels secure in their rights under the law.

At the heart of our work at NCTE is the belief that no one should have to suffer  just to be true to themselves. And yet transgender people are still often forced from their homes, fired from their jobs, harassed at their schools, and denied the most basic level of dignity by a broken system. Knowing this, millions of transgender people wake up every day and step into an uncertain world. This is the most common trait shared by transgender people: A strength and resilience for hard and difficult times. If this administration is hoping to demoralize us, they will be disappointed. If they are hoping we will give up, they should reconsider the power of our persistence and our fury.”

============================================================================

The changes they propose will also be challenged. I hope that the rest of the LGBT community rises up against this also. Just a reminder that they also want to end Marriage Equality and nullify all gay marriages. We must stay vigilant. We must stay strong!  We must fight against hate and ignorance!

 

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

Emma Morgaine Croft

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

lawn-sign

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Coming Out Day – Review

d45d8-comingout

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:
—————————————————————————————————————————————-

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.”

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

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:

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

“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!
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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment