long time no post! don’t act surprised, y’all know I suck at this. but anyway, here’s what’s new and grand in the life of jules.

1) still a dude. yep. it’s going fine, nothing new and magical to report, spare a few stray back hairs (lord help me if I end up with a summer sweater.)

2) I’m moving! again! since the last post I graduated, moved outta my place in oakland, and trekked down to orange county to stay with mom and dad for a month. it’s been lovely getting extra family time, but it’s time to go. where, you might ask?

3) I’m about to embark on my cross country “tour”. quotes because I’m not really actually planning to see anything touristy. mostly I’ll just be schlepping across, making friends, and eating a lot of junk food. oh, and listening to a few books on tape. not sure how that’ll work out but it could be interesting. mystery novels and whatnot.

4) SUMMER CAMP! shay (the boyfriend) and I are spending july volunteering at a summer camp in upstate new york. he’ll be doing training for counselors, and I’ll be doing filler work: answering phones, cooking, cleaning, errands, etc. This of course means that I will have no phone and, gasp, no internet for a MONTH. which will be…. well I don’t know how that’ll be. detox, I guess. if you wanna write me a postcard you can find the address on the website: Camp Little Notch.

5) anyway, after camp my plans are still up in the air. thinking of settling in philadelphia for a while, but I’m not positive. I’m a pretty plan-oriented person, so not knowing what’s next is kind of a big leap for me. probably not a bad thing though.

so yeah, that’s all the news that’s fit to print here. maybe I’ll post a video so y’all can see my big fuzzy skull. eh, later. I’ve still got lots of packing to do and snacks to eat!

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8 months on T– updates :)

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment
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lazy blogger

October 2, 2010 1 comment

vloggin’ up a storm here in the treehouse! 4 things:

1) I’ve been on T for over 4 months now! thrilling!
2) I downloaded some video editing software so now I can cut out boring pieces from my videos. excellent. I can also add really cheesy effects. just you wait.
3) if you the video won’t play when you click it, try again later– it’s still being processed by youtube as I’m posting this.
4) if you’re not familiar with the massive amounts of suicides among queer youths this month, please look into it. bullying is a serious issue and is driving kids to their deaths. if you can get involved with some kind of queer youth org, or wanna check out The Trevor Project, please do. At least look it up. It’s good stuff to be aware of.

So, on a less depressing note, my oily face!

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KITTENS! a special treehouse update

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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Mills Trannies!

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

I really ought to make another video soon, my voice is dropping and I wanna document. But I don’t have time at the moment, so here’s a video from before summer. Made for an orientation seminar at school, the video asks the epic, and often pointless, question “What does it mean to be a mills woman?” If you get bored, you can skip to 3:30 to see my response.

Also, it’s super hilarious that the tags (keywords) for the video were as follows:
* Mills College
* Womyn
* Transgendered
* Tranny
* Orientation
* what is a woman

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August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

[a note: I am bored with this blog. I am going to try and be more entertaining in order to maintain my own interest. Sorry if this is too crude for your taste. I hear Martha Stewart’s website is rather wholesome, if you prefer.]

Have you ever spaced out in the shower, and in the middle of happily scrubbing your pits, realized you were using shampoo? I mean, I guess it works for that, armpits are hairy, shampoo is for hair. But still, the shampoo was meant for my head.

I had wanted to use “dark temptation” scented Axe for my armpits, a foul smelling body wash with a vaguely racist name that Jess had given me after buying a two-pack. But I was so busy spacing out about something, that the shampoo did not reach its intended destination.

Transitioning has kind of been like that so far. One moment you’re naked facebooking and the next you’re realizing your pubes are in an entirely different configuration than when you last paid any attention to them.

we are no longer the knights who say NI!

Whoever thought being a boy would require more maintenance? Staying on top of this body hair is seriously time consuming. And the worst part is I can’t even see most of it. Rewind three days—roommate Kira returns from San Francisco with a new tattoo on her shoulder. Tipsy and face down on the couch, she asks roommate Elissa and I if someone could wash the fresh inky wound for her. Being the queasy and vaguely insensitive boy I am, I hollered (without looking up from my laptop) “ANTI-DIBS. DO NOT WANT.” Elissa, being the saintly and iron stomached girl she is, volunteered.

kira says

Let’s just have a moment for how poorly constructed humans are, from an evolutionary standpoint. We have huge portions of our bodies we can’t see or touch. Which I’m guessing is why we live in packs and such. Clearly I was meant to be an anthropologist.

please avoid the obvious joke here.

Anyway, Kira seemed to understand my desire to be useless to her and let it go without much sass. Which brings us to yesterday. As of late, my butt has been a site of all sorts of surprising and overwhelming, untamable hair growth. Which is… something I am capable of…. detecting without… assistance. I’ll leave it at that. But, the area above my butt crack (i.e. the tramp-stamp department) is a mystery to me. I turn and twist and stretch, but the lighting in the hallway sucks and the medicine cabinet’s mirror in the bathroom is too high and far away to really see if anything’s sprouting in that region. There was only option left.

Me: “Kiraaaaaaaaaaaaaa.”

Kira: “what.”

Me: “I have a weird favor to ask.”

Kira: “ooooookayyyy…”

Me: “will you look and see if I have new back hair?”

Kira: “…”

God bless you, Kira, for not dwelling on my failure to wash your tattoo. After that long, awful pause, she responded with a resilient “Sure!” and followed me into our well-lit kitchen to look. To be fair, I’m sure Elissa would’ve been equally helpful had she been home.

Also, as it turns out, yes, I do have new back hair. And it’s only going to get worse.

thus, the humans created tools.

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7th T shot- a video extravaganza!

August 16, 2010 2 comments

that’s right, folks at home, this post contains a REAL LIVE VIDEO (oxymoron?) of a REAL LIVE SELF INJECTION in my REAL LIVE THIGH. Woo! If you’re scared of needles, you may wanna skip over this post. Otherwise, enjoy! Oh and don’t worry, there’s no blood in this.

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a quick visit to the family

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m sitting in my parents’ kitchen in sunny Irvine, CA, watching a butterfly laze on the stucco outside. Seriously, this shit is idyllic. The only sounds are my noisy keyboard, the new fountain out back, and occasionally, a car or two from the main road. It’s so quiet here. Almost too quiet (insert zombie attack here).

At home in Oakland, there’s so much noise, all the time. I realize that’s just because of the street I live on (even school sounds peaceful when you’re far enough off the roads)– but you forget what it sounds like when you’re not tuning out every bass rattling at 3 am, police cars, ambulances, laughter from passersby. Hell, even funeral processions are noisy (and for some unholy reason they pass right by my house.) Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love Oakland. There’s never a dull moment, there’s so many opportunities to learn, work, and explore, there’s an amazing community of good people of all incomes and origins. There’s art, great food, cheap housing, decent public transit, political awareness, and a million other gorgeous facets that I wouldn’t trade for even the nicest Orange County home.

But still– I’m glad to be here. The primary reason for coming down at all was last night’s LGBT panel at the synagogue. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect; having never spoken on a panel before and receiving minimal instruction from the rabbi, I was kind of at a loss for a topic. He said speak for 5 or so minutes about being trans and Jewish and then the discussion would be opened up for questions. Sounds simple enough, but the idea of speaking in public for FIVE MINUTES makes my internal organs knot and flop about. After agonizing over it for a few weeks and still not settling on a subject, I eventually picked some talking points. On the bima. That’s right, folks at home, I had no friggin’ clue what I wanted to say until I was holding a damn microphone in my sweaty, shaking paw.  Procrastination is the best.

Fortunately things went smoothly. My brain fell off while speaking so I couldn’t tell you exactly what I said or whether or not it made sense or if it even approached 5 minutes (felt like a decade, was probably 14 seconds of panicked quivering and tangents), but folks said it went well. And the question/answer part was much easier. By the time questions were happening I wasn’t shaky anymore and I really do best with a prompt anyway (school has ruined me.) I felt really great about being the youngest person there, but yet the most long term university synagogue member (16 years! Take that, 40+ yr old panelists!) Next time I am totally writing something instead of babbling off the top of my head.

The questions were interesting– mostly they came from the rabbi (I think he just had his own questions that needed answering, not sure if the rest of the congregation got what they needed from that, but ok) and were largely basic questions. Like, how’d your parents do? Is it awkward re-introducing yourself? Did you go through a bi phase? That last thing was something I was glad to be able to speak on. As for my “bi phase,” yes, there was a time when I was identifying myself as bisexual before I was identifying as lesbian or queer or whatever. But I pointed out a common misconception apparent in his sentence– that bisexuality is merely a pit stop on the way to “full fledged” homosexuality. Not so much. In reality, the B is in LGBT because a huge population of people don’t treat bisexuality as a phase– it’s their lives and their identities.  After the panel, some old family friends (one of which is bisexual) approached and thanked me for speaking up about that slip, and it felt so good to be able to have stood up for those where were not on the panel (it was, primarily, lesbians and gay men).

Oh panels, and your tendency to tokenize the ___ experience. I was there representing The Transgender Experience (sounds like a ride at disneyland, doesn’t it?) and apparently (unwittingly) The Bisexual Experience.  Panels are good because they offer a diversity of opinions in a small space.

Things that can go wrong with panels include:

1) essentializing (or, “we need one of every kind because they each can understand what life is like for their entire representative groups”)

2) tokenizing (or, “oh crap, we got the L, the G, and the B… guess we need a T too. QUICK, FIND ME A T!”)

3) ignorant questions from the person leading the panel.

4) happy family statements (or, self congratulatory tactic for alleviating hetero-privilege guilt, like “isn’t is great that we’re so liberal as to even have this panel? 20 years ago this could have NEVER happened, clearly we’ve evolved and no longer have any work to do.”)

Man. I’m sure there’s more but I haven’t eaten breakfast yet (yes, it’s 11:30, welcome to college, where breakfast is a state of mind, not a time of day) and my brain hasn’t kickstarted entirely.

Anyway, after the panel was a little awkward, a lot of folks I don’t know or remember approaching me to tell me I’m brave (maybe I think you’re brave for wearing white pants while drinking maneschewitz) or that I’m “a great guy and definitely going somewhere” (where, exactly? if you give compliments like mom and I have learned to hide our disdain for others’ decisions– “we wish you every happiness”– that could be a really loaded statement). Or folks who wanted to give me pamphlets for their non-profits, business cards with half the numbers scratched out, or ask me questions about issues I have no knowledge about. But more than that, people were friendly, supportive, and kind, if not a little creepy. It was good to visit with so many pats on the back, it was good to see everyone, and it was great to meet my mom’s new friend/support system.

Overall, it couldn’t have gone better. It was scary, jews are hilarious, cupcakes are tasty, and I’m glad it’s over.

Oy vay!

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video update- 2 months

July 27, 2010 1 comment

this video is both an update on my voice and some of my soapboxy opinions about the michigan womyn’s music festival. for another (but similar) perspective on the issue, check out this strange video in which robotic cartoon cats debate it: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6832431/. they make some really great points.

other things I forgot to mention: I am wearing an awesome shirt in this video– it says “I ❤ Trannies” on it, with a picture of a transmission (which I am told is some part of a car, hell if I know.) Also, I am getting a little beardy! Knuckles are getting slightly hairier too. Most of these changes are subtle enough that only someone who obsessively watches their hair grow on a daily basis would notice (pretty much just me.) I haven’t had major mood swings, and have over all been less depressed than before starting testosterone.  But I have had a few funks, some short tempered moments, and that’s been hard to keep perspective on.  Eh.

Ok, ok, on with the video:

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8 weeks

Today was kind of epic. Woke up feeling severely grouchy and unmotivated (as I often am the day before/of my shot) and finally made it to the bus around 10:30. At Kaiser I was sent all over the place trying to get blood tests, filled prescriptions, etc. For all the good things about Kaiser, sometimes the amount of time and effort required to do something simple drives me nuts. I had an 11:00 appointment to learn to self-inject, but when I arrived they didn’t have the supplies, which required a trip to the pharmacy. But apparently the prescription for T, syringes, and the sharp box had been written back in may and was no longer in the pharmacy. They sent me to the hospital pharmacy, where I was told there’d be a 20 minutes wait. So, I decided to walk down to the hospital lab to do my blood work instead of my usual lab. All was going well, until I met my phlebotomist for the day.

She was seriously unprofessional. Starting with an off comment about my unlisted gender on the paperwork, she continued to ask inappropriate questions about my transition, warning me that I should be “sure” about my decision, because “it’s a point of no return.” Firstly, I know. I have a doctor and a therapist and I know what I’m getting into. Secondly, oh my god, you’re the lady who takes my blood, what the hell are you doing asking invasive questions about my medical history??? Of course, in the minutes following instances like this, I come up with 100 witty comebacks and productive retorts. But in the moment, I always draw a blank. All I could muster was a snarky “Yeah… I’m aware.” Not so productive.

I left the lab and went back to pharmacy, only to be told to wait again. Finally, at 45 minutes since arriving the flickering basement of the hospital, my prescription was ready. Marched back to the doctor’s office, and my nurse, Honey, gave me a run down on self injection. Assemble needle, de-pressurize vial, draw back T, flick away bubbles, clean leg, stab, aspirate syringe, and inject. Finish with a band-aid.  It all sounded feasible, but when it came time to actually do it, I spent about ten minutes staring intensely at the pores on my  thigh and aiming. A lot of squealing, nervous laughter, and then two scared little teardrops, and I finally stabbed. I was shocked by how much it didn’t hurt! So stunned, that I left the needle in my leg for a moment, perplexed by my own will and the inch and a half long sharp in my body. Honey gently reminded me to finish– I aspirated the needle, no blood. And then pushed the plunger. Testosterone is super viscous. Like feeding jello through one of those skinny little coffee straws. So it took a fair amount of effort to actually do it. I pulled out the needle, put on a band-aid, and that was that!

All that terror for a tiny poke. Figures. Here’s hoping that my next shot requires a little less adrenaline! Hopefully next time I’ll do it in a video so y’all can see, if you’re interested.

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