Shockingly good news for Swedish trans people!

I have written before about how trans people are treated in my home country. How we have to do things like share intimate details about our sex lives with “therapists” before when can get a diagnosis. How the waiting list for transition related health care are so long that many have to wait years and years or seek expensive healthcare in other countries. How the state demanded prior to 2013 that every person who wanted to change their legal gender first be forced to get sterilized and if they had frozen their gametes they had to be thrown away to guaranty that no post-transition trans person could ever become a biological parents.

The Swedish state and health care system has a long history of treating trans people like shit. This is why I was so deeply shocked (in the best possible way) over what happened two days ago.

The Swedish Socialstyrelsen (in English: The National Board of Health and Welfare) released a statement saying that from now on transgender people will no longer be classified has suffering from a mental illness!

The reason for this is that they decided to follow the World Health Organization’s recommendation to no longer classify trans people’s gender identity as a mental disorder. This would also most likely not have happened without the work of many trans activists and of the researchers and scientists who have found that a person’s gender identity is cause by biological factors such as genetics and neurological differences.

I honestly didn’t think this would happen so soon and sometimes wondered if I even would get to see it in my lifetime. When I got my diagnosis of transsexualism I was thrilled because it meant I would now be able to get the care I needed but I also felt humiliated that I would from then on be seen as suffering from a deep personal delusion and not something with actual, physiological causes.

But no more! Me and my fellow Swedish trans folk are no longer seen as being insane by the law and the health care system!

The 27th of January 2017 will be remembered in Sweden as a great day for transgender rights.

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Short transition update: Top surgery date set! 

After having waited all December and most of January I finally got my top surgery letter today! My surgery will happen quite soon, on February 15. 

It feels surreal to write this. I’ve had to wait over two years for this day to come and it feels almost too good to be true. But unless something unexpected happens I really will be getting my top surgery in about three weeks from now!

Book review: The Dark Defiles by Richard Morgan

So I have finally finished reading the last book of the A Land Fit for Heroes series by Richard Morgan and here are my thoughts. (I have also reviewed the first and second parts of the trilogy)

But first I really want to mention something I love about this series: the fact that one of the main protagonist is a masculine gay man. Considering that most gay male characters in popular culture are the same typical sassy BFF it’s a breathe a fresh air to see something different for a change.
Because Ringil is everything gay men aren’t supposed to be: masculine, strong, independent and though as nails. He knows what he wants and doesn’t take crap from anyone. I really wish more authors would create queer characters who defy stereotypes  and show there are many diverse ways to be lesbian/gay/trans/bi etc.

the_dark_defiles_uk_hb

The Dark Defiles was a great read. Morgan is a very skilled writer who not only knows how to really draw the reader into the story but he also does it with an impressive mastery of the English language. The book has many interesting expressions and one-liners that had me laughing out loud. Just to name one there is the moment when a character describes a pain as “stinging worse than getting head from a cactus”, which I find absolutely hilarious.

After following the adventures of Ringil, Archeth and Egar for two books I was excited to see how it would all end and I would say Morgan brought together all the loose threads quite nicely, answering the questions raised along the way. It was sometimes tricky to figure out exactly what this answers were due to the complexity of the world Morgan writes about but they are there to find.

Like in the previous two books Morgan mixes science-fiction elements into the story. So much in this book that he sometimes balances on the line between hard fantasy and science fantasy. I find it gives another depth to the story and I am thinking about using it as an inspiration in future works.

The favorite story line in this book was the one following Archeth. I feel like she really developed as a character and it was fascinating to follow her adventures and evolution as a warrior. I also love how the ambiguous ending gives a hint that it may not at all end in the way she thinks but at the same times never really gives the answer, which you could interpret as either frustrating or up to the reader to decide what they believe will happen.

I would give this book a rating of 4,75 out of 5. Can recommend, as well as the whole trilogy.

 

On The Resistance: It’s about survival

Ever since the resistance movement against Donald Trump started many, mostly Trump supporters, have been asking why people don’t just accept that he won and move on. Like, doesn’t it just make you sore losers?
Well, the answer is that for many resistance is not much of a choice. At least not unless you are an completely apathetic being who doesn’t care about bad shit that could happen to you.
Personally I was pretty much done with everything pertaining to politics when Trump won. My view is that humanity is basically doomed and that the most noble thing our destructive species could do is try not to fuck up the place too much before we inevitably go extinct. So politics and everything that has to do with human society leaves me quite cold most of the time.
But then there was Trump. Trump who loves Putin and nukes and assaulting women. Trump who is giving away immense power to Mike Pence and other Christian theocrats like him. Trump who wants to bomb civilians and who doesn’t even have the restrain to not rant on Twitter in the middle of the night. And then, well, even a bitter cynic like me couldn’t  help but feel like it just wasn’t right. So I decided to do something about it.
Truth be told, I’m not a strong supporter of the resistance (I’m not sure I can consider myself really a part of it as I’m not an American) simply because I’m such a nice guy. Had I been a Christian, heterosexual, cis and rich it’s possible I might not have cared as much. But I’m not all these things. I am a natural enemy of Trump and his Christian fundamentalist minions simply by virtue of born being transgender and gay. By being an atheist I am their ideological enemy. And by being working class I am among those who will have to pay the biggest price when Trump fucks up the American, and then inevitably, the global economy.

Because that’s one thing I want to point out: what happens in the US affects us all. A lot of Americans don’t realize this but your country is the most powerful in the world financially, militarily and culturally. When shit goes bad in the US, shit goes bad everywhere.

Here in Europe we have already begun to see a “Trump effect”, where far-right nationalist parties of different countries have grown in confidence and are going to try their best to win coming elections. Just this year there will be many elections in the EU. Among other places in France, where the country soon could be run by a party founded by a man whose racism makes Trump look like an amateur. 

So for many, involvement in the resistance is not about being a sore loser or crybaby. It’s about fighting back against those who want to fight us. 

Here’s the thing: I couldn’t give two shits about your beliefs. If you think I’m a repulsive human being who will be barbecued in hell by Jesus simply for being queer, that’s honestly fine with me. I really don’t care.

And if you think you’re a superior being because of the color of your skin or nationality, nobody can force you to believe otherwise.

But when you actively attempt to make your bigoted beliefs into law…. When you want to take away people’s rights, like forbidding them to marry the one they love or doing what they want with their own bodies, when you want to make them second-class citizen just because they have more melanin in their skin… Well, now we have a problem.

So here’s your answer. Why do people fight back? Because you made them your enemies and they aren’t just going to take it.

But you want to know what really saddens me? That so many never wanted to be your enemies. All could have lived in peace. Gay and bi and straight people. White people and people of color. Atheists and religious people. Muslims and Christians. Cis and trans. But you didn’t want that. You chose a man who doesn’t want that and whose VP most definitely does not want that.

So I guess this means the fight is on. Try not to hurt yourself.

Two months on T

It’s time for another transition update. Today I have been on Testogel for 2 months. Here’s what has happened since my 1 month post.

 

Skin 

A bit more acne, especially in places where I never used to have breakouts before like my chest, shoulders and upper back. I’ve had less acne than I feared I would get though so that’s a relief.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that my skin looks and feels rougher than it used to. I wasn’t sure at first but other people have commented on it and said that my skin definitely looks different.

 

Voice 

Slightly deeper. I didn’t notice personally but others have commented on it. My voice is still within the normal female range.

 

Body and facial hair

Around a month and a half on T I started to feel really itchy, especially on my stomach, thighs and upper arms. I didn’t know why at first but when I looked closer I realised I had small hairs starting to grow in. The body hair I had before has also become thicker and darker.

I also have a couple of hairs growing on my chin.

This wasn’t much of a surprise as I come from a family of very hairy men so I know I have the genetics to turn into quite the bear.

 

Mental changes and mood

My mood is getting more and more stable even if I have my off days. Generally I feel calm and at peace in a way I never used to pre-t.

It feels like I can think more clearly now and I have less trouble focusing. I don’t think it’s the T itself but the fact that I had so much anxiety before and that it made my ADD worse.

One negative thing I’ve experienced is that when writing I sometimes have a harder time to find the right words. Not that I can’t but it takes me a little bit longer. It’s not a big problem but kind of annoying, especially when I’m in that “flow state” and suddenly fall out of it because I just can’t find the right word.

A possible explanation for this is that testosterone is known to affect the language parts of the brain  in a way that could explain why women in general seem to be more verbal and have better communication skills.

 

I wanted to write about the more TMI/possibly triggering things last so if you don’t want to hear about my chest, lower bits and monthly bleeding you can skip the last part of this post.

 

Chest

Looks more deflated and lies flatter to my body than before.

 

Downstairs growth and dryness 

One of the things other transguys kept telling me was how quickly downstairs growth happens, that it becomes very noticeable in just a few weeks. Turns out this hasn’t been my experience at all. The growth is happening very slowly and is not that obvious. I would say the size of my thing is still very much in the normal cis female range. It isn’t really a problem though as I don’t have genital dysphoria. But I think it’s something other transmen should be aware of, that downstairs growth happens in different rates and that it doesn’t necessarily means something is wrong.

Another downstairs thing I’ve noticed is dryness. It’s a common side-effect of the testosterone treatment as it lowers estrogen, which the v. needs to stay in good health. It’s important to find a way to treat this problem as it can lead to yeast infections and urinary tract infections. Estrogen creams are a quite effective treatment and completely localize so you don’t have to worry that it will screw up your HRT.

I have found a cream that doesn’t have any hormones in it and is supposed to do the same thing so maybe that’s a good alternative if you really don’t want to put estrogen on yourself. But I haven’t tried it yet so I don’t know how well it works and I’m also not a doctor so don’t take my word for it.

When it comes to intercourse/front hole sex (if you’re into that) I would say lube is your friend always but especially after starting T.

 

Monthly bleeding

I got my monthly bleeding the very first day after putting on my first dose of T so I’ve had three since then. The first two were normal but on the third one I have experience less bleeding than usual. Hopefully this means it’s on its ways to disappear altogether, which would be a relief.