28 December, 2010

On the option of surgery

Those around me are well aware that I have a small handful of days before I board an airplane to Thailand. While there, I am going to achieve what is, for me, a milestone in my transition: Gender Realignment Surgery.

Among the transgender/transexual community, surgery has many different thoughts and ideas. No one of these ideas is, nor should be, the be-all, end-all idea that rules over the entire spectrum that we call trans. Simply put, as I think I've touched on below, everyone has different ideas of what their transition will encompass. For most, the common thread is that their idea of gender differs from the rigid gender idea bestowed upon the person by their biological sex. Past that, I think that gender becomes so different that if we imposed a universal "this is what transfolk must and will do to be trans" rule, we will hurt far more than we will harm.

From here on, I will speak mostly in "male to female" terms, as that is what I know best. Some transwomen want to be able to change their names and identities permanently so as to be constantly known by their new gender. Some do not, and are completely satisfied with just being women part of the time. Some transwomen want estrogen and progesterone hormones to assist in their physical and emotional appearance. Some don't. Some transwomen want to enlarge their breasts surgically, either with or without help from hormones. Some don't. Some want to enhance their facial appearance by surgically minimizing masculine features in a procedure we call FFS (Facial Feminisation Surgery). Some do not want this. And, of course, some want to modify their genitals for hormonal and/or sexual needs. Many do not. This is all important to realize when we talk about what the transgender community wants or expects. It would be horrendous to say that certain ideas should be applied across the board to all trans identified persons. That would cause far more damage to individual identities than it would help.

Speaking ONLY for myself, here is what I want. I wanted hormones; I got them. I wanted to be fully seen as female, or what many of us call "full time." So I changed my name and identification. And I wanted to modify my genitals by completely realigning my penis into a functional neovagina, permanently removing my testes in the process. Now, in a week, I will have that. At this moment in time, though, I do NOT want FFS! And I'm on the fence about my breasts; I actually rather like them, but would like them to be a bit larger. However, since I haven't been on hormones for very long, they may still grow to my satisfaction, so I can't say that I want augmentation at this time.

But that is just my story. Your mileage may vary.

24 December, 2010

On the "holiday spirit"

Friends of mine, and a good deal of my family, know that I am very spiritual, but that I also loathe organized religion. That is my personal view, of course, but I find the philosophy that one must learn for oneself to be supreme over the idea of following the words of a man in a fancy robe.

That being said, as much as I realize the traditions of winter holidays, whether you call it Christmas, Yule, or whatever, are important, they are not so much to me. Sure, I miss my family, but I do not adhere to a faith that celebrates such a holiday, and I couldn't care less. On top of that, the fact that we rely so heavily upon the mass consumerism that comes with the season, frankly, rather nauseates me. Nor am I one to lie. And yet, I can't help but feel that I've made a huge mistake in admitting that?

I knew my girlfriend was different than I on this. I knew she liked Christmas, in a secular form. And in my classic Taurus ignorance, I never realized just how much she did. I have to work, graveyard shift as always, over Christmas Eve and Day, returning home in the mid morning of the 25th, only to sleep and go back to work that night. I never intended to miss work if my job wanted me on. In fact, I usually enter a new job and the first thing I say is, "I don't celebrate Judeo-Christian holidays, so if you need me Christmas, Easter, or wherever, just let me know." So it was with my current post.

Last night we talked a bit about Christmas. I had made some status updates regarding my views, simplified. I never meant to hurt her, and yet I can't help but feel I did. I'm sorry, baby. I'll try to make it up to you, somehow.

23 December, 2010

On sexuality and gender binary...

This is a repost from a FB note I made today. It kinda kick started this whole idea, so I figured I'd make the old copypasta. Enjoy! ~Sera

It has not escaped my friends, nor myself, that the sexuality that I have ascribed to myself has appeared to have shifted in the past several months. I realize that, as many people, like myself, believe that sexuality is inborn, that that may appear hypocritical or even possibly damaging to our greater community. Yet I don't believe that to be the case. It takes many of us a great deal of time to reconcile WHAT our sexuality actually is to us, and many people find that process to take differing amounts of time, sometimes taking even longer than expected as they learn more and more about themselves. And is that not personal growth like any other?

Let me go over this is as great a detail as I can muster. Dealing first with my own gender, I realize that I am transgender, but mostly I see myself as a woman first and foremost. However, while I am not alone in my thoughts of this identity, that is not always the rule. In fact, many transfolk ascribe to the idea of being a separate gender altogether. The more that I explore gender in the world, the more I realize that there are clearly more than just 2 genders, and that this is so prominent in all cultures of the world that it is nigh impossible to deny such an existence. I would hesitate, though, to say that there are only 3, however. Because, as a transwoman, I find that I demand respect for my gender identity, so too must I respect the gender and identity of my peers in the trans community. If I cannot do that, I am being just as rude to them as others have been to me. For that, I am truly sorry if I have crossed the line.

Once we establish that gender has many forms, so, too, must we realize that our sexuality is more complicated than that. Let us take the classic example of the self-identified heterosexual transwoman "admirer," to use the mundane term. Far more times than not, these are men who are captivated by transwomen. Sometimes, this can be accompanied by a like for ciswomen, as well, but not always (remembering that the Latin prefix "cis-" is the opposite of "trans-," this usage is less offensive than other terms for non-transpersons). Some people are just only wired towards one attraction, others, to many. For many transwomen, this works out quite well if they are attracted to cismen. Both parties are satisfied, are they not? Do they harm others with their attractions, even if that is not an attraction attributed to others? No, I think they do not. Besides, that just is the way it is.

For myself. There has never been a doubt in my life that I am attracted to womanhood. Never have I even drawn a line between ciswomen and transwomen. The factor of the male has not really changed, just a matter of perception has changed. In my teen years, I was seen by many as feminine, though I did not present as such. I was seen to be a gay man. Truth of the matter was obviously far from it, but I did receive some romantic affections from men. In many ways, I craved this attention in any way I could get it, so I allowed it. And yet, I was not happy with it, at the same time. I can barely explain my own biology, but the truth became obvious; cisgender men were very rarely attractive to me. Thusly, I shed my omnisexual orientation in favor of simply calling myself a lesbian. And yet, my sexual encounters with ciswomen have, by chance, been nearly nonexistent. Is it fair, then, to call myself a lesbian? I think it is. My attractions are there, yet they have not come to fruition. I have been, at times, teased for having a transgender girlfriend. Surely that would imply that the "right dick would cure me." Don't think so. Been there, done that, don't see it happening. Does liking penetration, giving or receiving, instantly make me straight? Ask a cisgender lesbian if toy play has ever been used in her sex life. I bet you quickly realize that it's not so simple. So, too, is my correlation.

Then there is the transmale. I cannot erase the fact that find a certain beauty in that, as well. That would seem to complicate things, would it not? Perhaps, perhaps not. For that matter, true androgyny is also attractive. How, then, do I define my sexuality? Well, perhaps it is just simpler to say lesbian in day to day life, and worry about the specifics to those who really matter.

In closing, I guess the only simple way to define my sexuality is in two words: "Sorry, boys."


Hello, all! If you've found your way over here, you may or may not know me very well, so here is an intro. I'm Sera Wohldmann, 23, living in Hollywood, CA. I'm a musician - bassist for heavy metal band God's Weapon as well as other assorted projects and session work. I'm also a transgender lesbian. I have a particular fondness for writing on these subjects, and I decided to start up an official blog. Some of my other, more private writings, will be folded into this blog as my whim's dictate. For now, we'll just see how it goes. Keep in touch, I love comments, because I am an attention whore :P