Tuesday, November 06, 2007

bits of odds and ends

I haven't posted here about it yet, but after giving blood last week, I got a letter from the Blood Bank requesting that I "refrain from future donation." After calling them back and discussing the matter, I'm not allowed to donate blood anymore. I wrote a couple of long posts about it over at the FTM livejournal community, so I'm just going to link it (click here) rather than rehash it. There's a link in that post to my earlier post about it, as well. Basically, the New York Blood Center still thinks my blood plasma is "female" and they don't use female plasma, and because I'm a guy but I have (according to them) female plasma, their heads are spinning round and round and they've asked me to stop donating blood. To which I grudgingly said yes, mostly because I was chagrined at how polite and reasonable in his request was the guy I spoke with, and because it's actually fairly legit, unlike what I had immediately suspected of them upon getting a letter telling me not to give blood, which was "OMG teh tranz is dirtydirtydirty, can't let him give blood anymore!" So that was a nice surprise, but still- frustrating. Especially because I'm skeptical of his reasoning that my plasma should be considered "female."
Speaking of frustrating, had a funny moment this weekend while at a bar watching the Oregon Ducks whup Arizona State. I was there with my sister and a bunch of friends from high school who live in New York now, and surprise surprise, we ran into a girl who'd also gone to our high school. I didn't recognize her, but she recognized us- my sister, especially, since they were in band together. So she came and chatted to our table for a bit, whatever. But then, as we were leaving, she apparently said to Kate "Wow, I didn't realize you were here with your sister-slash-brother!"
and Kate, bless her heart, my stalwart champion, said right back "I'm here with my brother. No slash."
to which the girl replied "oh, uh, well, what's the name?" [ed. note: way to ask for my new name without having to use an appropriate pronoun. very sly!]
Kate told her, and then she bounded over to (the oblivious) me, and shook my hand and said "Nice to see you again, man!"
So that was funny and annoying and, as Kate said, "Another moment for the memoir!"
And it seems that after all, while I'm clearly much more masculinized, I don't look THAT different than I did in high school. Not to mention that between being one of a set of high-profile, extremely sociable twins, and my various purple mohawks, and being the only out dyke amidst all 1600 high schools- well, I guess I'm pretty memorable.
But I'm sad that Kate gets put on the spot like that, even as I'm glad to have such a stalwart person to speak on my behalf. It's a reminder that while transitioning was (has been/is) a huge personal endeavor for me, it hasn't been purely personal. My family and friends have had to transition with me, and- particularly my immediate family and particularly especially Kate, being my twin- they have had to shoulder some of the burden of making space for me in the world. Sometimes too much burden, for my liking. It's something I'm forever guilty about and grateful for.
And speaking of masculinizing, I inadvertently started my Great Winter Beard Experiment 2007 a few weeks early. I'd been planning to stop shaving as of November 1st, and grow out the whiskers til it came time to go home for Christmas, at which point I could assess to see if I looked reasonably okay, or too dorky/adolescent to be seen in the family Christmas card, at which point I could take appropriate measures. But I got sort of lazy towards the end of October and just didn't shave for about 6 days, at which point I figured why waste a week's head start?
Anyway, I try not to obsess to much about my growth pattern, and only spend about 5-7 minutes a day tilted in over the sink in the bathroom, examining my chops. It's clearly still an immature effort, thicker along my jaw line and sideburns than up on my cheeks, and with a moustache that doesn't connect to the rest of the beard and still looks a bit like it could be gotten rid of with a good washcloth scrub.
Talking to some friends who said that they first got their real beard growth towards the end of college, I realize that it'll probably be another two years until I catch up in hormonal age with my peers and am able to grow out a respectable/adult beard. But oh, I love my whiskered face so much. It's hard to wait!
And while I definitely think I look like I have a young beard, I don't think I look downright ridiculous. So I'm going to keep it for a while longer, and see what I can manage to produce by Christmas.
Pictorial evidence of the beard, such as it is, from this past weekend. The last picture is also a nod to my friend who asked me a few months ago whether I could possibly be in fact F-to-Monkey, given my hirsute nature.

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