My trip to Uppsala to meet with the experts on transsexuals. Finally starting transition. The interview. Lots of trans questions and thoughts. The old city and the complex of a hospital. Pictures inside. This is the big post, everyone!
I spent the whole day yesterday traveling to and from Uppsala, which is where the experts on transsexuals are. And needless to say, it was a fantastic day. Not only did the meeting go well, but i got to see a little of another town for once. I don’t get to do that very often, so that was a nice bonus. But let’s start from the beginning! I won’t spare any details!!
Pre train trip and fate of my bike?
I woke up at around 7am, to get ready for the train that left at 8:18am. Nothing eventful that morning. Just very nervous. And about 10 minutes before the train would come, and i was about to lock my bike, the lock broke. So i figured. I could either skip this trip just because my bike won’t be safe, and buy a new lock instead, or(!) i could just kinda ish make it seem like my bike was locked and hope that no one touches it before i get home again. Obviously, the first option wasn’t even a consideration! But it was fun kind of thinking if i did that. I would be disappointed in myself if i did.. But hey! More on the fate of my bike later in this post!
So i did the former, and pseudo locked my bike, and jumped on the train! Now, just to give some context. Last fall, i tried to do (If that is how you say it) college. A college that was about two hours away by buss/train (You had to switch mid way), and back then, when i attempted that, i was under a lot of stress. I’d like to think its contributed from an age long since past, when one bad thing happened after another, and i decided to go closeted instead of being open with myself.. But i digress.
Anxiety story and the happy trip to Uppsala
I was under a lot of stress. I had, and still has to a certain extent, anxiety disorder. Something i wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But back then, i wasn’t able to take the train without flat out bursting out in tears. It was so bad that, at around the end when i had to decide to stop doing college (Which was a little more than a month in), i would sooner walk 1/4th of the way instead of taking the bus. Something that took well over 4 hours to do.
But anyhow. That’s the context. Now, i could actually spend the about two hours on the train, without ever feeling horrible. So that was a huge step for me. I had kind of been a little worried that i might have to suffer through the anxiety of travel with this trip, but luckily, i didn’t. So instead, i got to listen to some podcast and read some news. A really nice trip to Uppsala.
Arrival and complex of a hospital
Then i got there, and just to give you an idea, it is very much spring here in Bollnäs right now, but down in Uppsala (I know.. Weird thing to say. Down in Up-sala, to translate), it was summer. No cool or fresh winds there. Flat out summer. Not that i minded it too much. I was way too excited to care. I didn’t even take off my sweater until much later, that’s how excited i was. Didn’t even care about the heat!
So i walked from the station to the Academic hospital (Which is what it’s called). Didn’t even take 30 minutes until i saw it. This huge complex of a hospital. I only have a few pics of the exterior of the particular hospital building that i was supposed to go to; i’ll remember to take more pics next time i go.
So at the hospital, i decided i would find the main entrance Something that took about ten minutes to find. Ten minutes of getting lost in a maze of corridors. But i eventually found it, at the very end of where i started (So i apparently, i started at the end, and had to work my way down to the beginning). Let’s just say that they had numbered everything from 10 to 70. Maybe that will give you a small idea of how big it was. It was probably more than 70 too.
So yes, i went to the reception at the main entrance where i was directed to the correct building (Which was the first building i saw).
Strangely, but perhaps not unexpectedly it was the most futuristic looking of the buildings in the hospital complex. Imagine mirrors edge, only even more minimalist. I mean, in the foyae, they had a huge branch-less and leaf-less tree-like pole, in the middle of a 6cm (Give or take) rectangular pool.. I don’t know, it was really cool and very well designed. It tickled my fancy.
But to make 15 minutes short, i tried different receptions in that building, and about four (Not counting the one i went to at the main entrance of the complex) or so re-directions later, i was eventually directed to the right place. And as a note, i would like to say that i did get a paper from them, telling me exactly where i should go.. Unfortunately, i didn’t bring it with me. Could have saved me a lot of time and hassle, but oh well. I was too excited to care!
The trans interview!
So at this point, i’m waiting for a doctor to come and get me, at the waiting room of this subsection of this building of this complex. Unless it wasn’t clear enough, this is a fucking huge hospital.
Very excited, i waited. Not listening to anything, not doing anything. Just looking around a little. And then the doctor came to get me, led me to a room in this sub…. Ok, i’ll stop!
So he begins talking with me. Now, there were a lot of questions, and i don’t remember all of them, but i’ll try to tell the good bits and what i can remember. So first, the plan! Both at the beginning and the end of the meeting, he (My doctor’s a trans man) tells me about the plan we have. So first, there’s the initial interview to get a crass idea of where i stand and how i feel about myself, and then there’s the meetings with a few other experts that are gonna get involved (Endo doctor, plastic surgery doctors, other experts in the field, etc). He told me that the way they usually do it is to have a full year of “Making sure”. A process i’m ok with. It sucks i have to, but i understand that we have to. I mean, it is a big thing after all, no matter how sure you are. And besides, it’s almost 100% payed for by the tax payers in Sweden.. Soo…. You know.
Anyhow! As for the questions! I made a Q&A with Jocelyn quite a long time ago, and it kind of reminded me of the questions i asked there. So if you would, please check that one out. Because it reminded me of a big chunk of those questions. But i’ve delayed enough: He asked me things like how often i like to dress up, how i feel when i do it, when i don’t do it; how i feel about my body, if i can look at it; he asked me if i had considered if i was just a crossdresser, androgynous gender queer, gender fluid, etc. And i have to say, for an initial interview, it was quite extensive. I didn’t even get to everything i wanted to say. I remember saying that i follow other transsexuals on the internet, and how i even read a comic with that central theme. And some other less impactful (for me at least) and non-relevant questions was like, if English was my native language or not. Cause a lot of the time, when i speak, i struggle to find the proper Swedish words for things, because i don’t know that many, apparently And he also asked about my sexuality, if i was bi, homo, hetro, or something like that. So it was a fairly relaxed and a pretty extensive interview.
Personally, i wouldn’t read too much into it, because every transsexual i know of has said that it’s different for everyone. We’re all different in how we feel and how our process will be towards SRS, transition and all that. And i hope, and very much think that the doctors knows that. You know.. For instance, you can’t very well expect someone to absolutely have to be 100% girly (And vise versa for trans men) in order to qualify as a transsexual. That would be pretty sexist to be honest, male or female. But i don’t expect the worst of the doctors, nor am i very involved at the moment. We’ll have to see what they have to say, and what they can discern.
At the end of the interview, i told him that i’m 99.99% sure of myself, and how my not being 100% is just because i don’t think you can know something for a 100% fact. And that i was really happy to finally start my transition. I’ve noticed my stress getting less and less pronounced as the days go by, and at the moment, i feel really good. Better than i have in a very very very long time. Very long time!
There you have it. The interview. The juicy bits. They told me that i would get a letter for the next appointment in a month or two (They didn’t say that specifically, but they said that summer is coming, and with it, vacations . And, it takes time to talk things through with doctors).
And before i change subject to the rest of the trip, i would just like to say that i didn’t get to say everything i wanted to say. Like my blog. I didn’t think to bring it up in this first interview. Nor did i get to tell more about a certain moment in my life that i’ve been wanting to make a video of for a long time. And i hope my fears for surgery (Because i have a fear of that in general) didn’t make it seem like something else. But other than that, i think i handled it very well.
A long way home! A long wait.. (Picture album)
Now i’m going out of the modern looking building, and with that starts the 4 hour long wait until the train home arrives.. So naturally, i decided to do some sight seeing. I have some pictures and a short video of it, so i’ll let those do most of the talking.
The building of the complex that i went to
I really loved the forest path they had there, that lead up to the castle (16th-century castle), and the sight from there was pretty great too. Then i went through the streets of the ancient city that used to be there. There was a cathedral and a bunch of really old (But slightly refurnished looking buildings, and just enjoyed the wonderful weather. At this point, i’m well into chatting with Jocelyn too. I had to tell her that everything went well, and how great everything was. Shared the moment with her, so to speak. We also got a little serious (As we tend to do) with transsexuals and bragging too. How progress pics are so often misconstrued as bragging by a lot of transsexuals. And how their envy shouldn’t be considered. Because like she said, she posts the progress pics to be an inspiration. Which is how we both view it.
But yea.. One burger king visit and a bunch of fumbling around in the city later, i finally sit down at the train station, just to listen to a podcast and rest out for a bit. Because at this point, i’ve been active since around 7am to that point. And with no nervousness and a place in the shade to sit, i could finally breathe out, and relax.
Trip home and wrapping up. Some words of advice and comfort!
The trip home was uneventful, just how i wanted it. Had to make a switch half way, and the trains i took were a little slower. So the trip home took longer than two hours. At around 7pm, i finally get home though. Do you remember what i said earlier in this post? About my bike? Well, it was still there!! Lucky for me, no one had touched it. Unlucky though, i had to go to a store about 20 minutes from the train station, to get a new lock for my bike. So i got there and got a new lock, and then went home. Which was about another 20 minutes or so. At around 8pm, i was sitting at home, and that is where our journey ends.
I’m hoping for an answer as soon as possible. But no matter what, i think i’m stuck in a year long waiting time to start the transition proper (They said hormones would be the first step. And i agree). It’s great having some trans news for once, and wow was it an update indeed. I hope some people found this useful. Even if you just read the interview part of it. As long as you can get something from this, i’m glad! Maybe it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect or how it must feel for people like me.
I’ve been meaning to start writing more, so i figured i’d start a new segment on my blog where i write short stories. Mainly because i’ve heard that to be a good writer, you just have to start somewhere. And this is my somewhere.
I have a bunch of stories scattered around in comment sections and facebook posts. But today, that ends. I’ll only post to my blog from now on (And maybe deviantart). This first story is called “The post-modern man”:
“I think i’m gonna blame Obama for a few hours. Then i’ll blame the smurfs, that pelican in Aladdin and the Jews. Can’t forget those lying Jews. Then when i’m done blaming all my problems on everyone else, i’ll buy a the latest smartphone. I know i got one a few months ago, but it’s not as shiny, nor does it have as many terraflops (Lol) as my old smartphone. Then when i get my smartphone, i’m gonna make sure all my many followers on instagram, twitter, facebook, vine, craigslist, myspace and orcult knows about how much in debt i just put myself in for making yet another ill-advised purchase. Then i might as well go back to complaining about how the gays are taking over and how they’re responsible for my financial problems. And i won’t go to bed until around 6am. Mainly because i need to stay up to watch cat videos and complain about how much insomnia i have. I know because i diagnosed myself on web-md, you see. Apparently, i also have every cancer, HIV, small pox and “you’re gonna die, Garrett’s” decease.
It’s always the name of a person in those deceases. I could google why that is and learn something, but taking my new smartphone out of my pocket is too much of a hassle, let alone googling it (Not that i know what i should search for to get the results). It’s probably names everywhere because everyone else is bitter about having a decease. I think it’s fantastic to have all these conditions, though. It means i get to be a victim, and everyone will have to bow down to me when i write about all my woes. And anyone who doesn’t will be blocked. No way i’m gonna look at things from a different perspective! Who do they think i am? Einstein?
It’s now 5am. Someone just told me i was a pedant. So i need to stay up three hours longer and write on my blog how i do not look like a pendant. How can everyone else be so blind? Just look at all those beautiful pictures i have on here.. I took at least 48 pictures yesterday. I couldn’t choose which one was the most lustrous of them, so i posted them all, and tagged them with every single popular tag. Including #nofilter. Because everyone needs to know that i am no fake! No makeup, no filters, no nothing. Just my beautiful face and body in all its natural splendor! It’s wonderful being me. If only everyone could see me for the smart, beautiful and fantastic person i am! They would throw parades in my honor, invite me as a guest to all dinner parties, show me all the respect that i deserve. And i would go to north Korea and give world peace to the world! And they will erect statues in my honor, give me the Nobel prize for most handsomest human being alive. And Susanne, the cheerleader in my old school would finally announce her love for me, and we will live happily ever after..”
Suddenly, the sound of an alarm clock echoed through the dirty room. A noise so loud that it made the empty coke bottles on the table next to the couch vibrate. The post-modern man wakes up in a roar of sweat and tears from the extacy of a vivid dream, and thinks to himself: It was just a dream.
So i’ve gotten another time at the expert’s (That’s what i’ll call them. I’m done trying to think up other professional terms to describe what type of person i’m seeing). Apparently, it’s another doctor; the other doctor was still sick, it seemed. Either way, i’m just happy to go down there.
Both the doctor that i was supposed to have seen last time, and this new one that i’m going to instead, seem to both be transsexuals themselves. And i don’t have any reason, other than their names, to suspect that. It seems that, when people get to pick their own names, they tend to pick some very unique ones (For the country, that is). I mean, i call myself Jenna. A name that is quite common in America, apparently, but not so much in Sweden, i can assure you. The doctor i’m seeing has a very delightful name too, and a non-transgender friend i have changed her name to “Yue”. To me, though, it’s usually a sign of a transsexual. Because unless you have a unisex name (Like Kim), and you like it, you will most likely change your name.
But i digress. I’ve ordered my tickets and will be heading up there around 8am, in time for my appointment at 11am. Feeling pretty eager to go. It’s been too long of a waiting time, and i’m ready!
Other than this, not much has been going on in my life. Not that i’m complaining. Sometimes, it’s good when things are slow. It was a wonderful day yesterday. Reason why i love spring, for sure. That kind of weather!
I guess there’s one other thing on my mind though.. Something that i wouldn’t mind getting an answer to. I’ve been trying to get in contact with someone who i used to chat with all the time, but all of a sudden decided to not reply anymore. And i just don’t know what to make of it. Because i considered her my friend, but what kind of friend just ignores you out of the blue? You know, just one day, leaves without saying as much of a beep. And i know for a fact that she’s seen what i’ve written, and that she’s there, and available.. You know.. Enough to tell me that she’s busy or doesn’t have the time. Anything!
I just don’t know. Is it too much to ask of someone to show respect, have some etiquette and to just be friendly? My lesson is that, unless i get some other type of contact with that person (Any other than just text), i don’t think i could consider it much of a friendship. So yes. Kind of bummed about this. But oh well.
I want to bring some context to this before writing the letter.
A few days ago, i watched a video with the young Turks (embedded bellow) where Cenk Uygur equated transsexuals with ugly. Now, this isn’t the first time he’s been expressing an anti-transsexual sentiment. He’s been expressing that attitude on numerous occasions. But this time, when it’s so blatant and so recent, i feel that it’s a good time to write about it. I’ll try to be as brief as i can.
Before anything, let me apologize in advance. My native language is not English. So there will be grammatical and spelling errors.
I really enjoy The Young Turks. Mainly because i find myself in disagreement with you guys a lot of the time, and because you often bring a fresh view on issues.
When you guys do the “Supreme court”, where we get to hear everyone’s stances and opinions on an issue (Sometimes multiple issues), i think we as viewers ends up well informed. All thanks to the great staff at The Young Turks.
Then you bring to light the less covered stories that mainstream media just won’t report on. Stories like the “Heroes” of that one football team, in that one town, who raped that girl (Not the story that mainstream media did report on, but one before that), comes to mind; horrible to hear about, but i thought it was important that you guys reported on it! You more often than not make me feel that your reporting isn’t like the mainstream, which focuses more on silly things. Like if Taffy is a racist candy or not.
The humorous moments and the lighthearted stories are always a nice break from the very heavy stuff you bring to light. The road to nowhere April 1st episode was very delightful.
All of these aspects of the show makes TYT, The Young Turks, one of the best news shows out there..
However. I’m not sure of your stance on transsexuals. And i have one reason to be unsure — and i want to be fair about this. I haven’t actually heard you explain it anywhere, you’ve just been anti-transsexual, seemingly without knowing it.
You guys sometimes bring up very stupid issues that aren’t really issues, and you start complaining like any other typical liberal would. And that’s all fine and dandy. It’s just the nature of the show. You guys are the liberal show, and that is fine. I am fine with it, we’re fine with it. We all have political leanings, and it’s just the nature of the game, i can’t stress that enough.
But to me, that brings something to mind. Which is that you obviously care about when sexism is being perpetrated, or homophobia, or racism, etc. But like the video at the top demonstrates, you have no issues with calling transsexuals ugly. Just generally.. We’re all ugly. And this isn’t the first time i hear this anti-transsexual sentiment from you, mr.Uygur. It’s happened on numerous occasions. And it just seems strange, because you’ll jump at the most minute, to me, non-issues, when someone as much as makes a joke based on gender/race/etc, and you will tip toe around women’s issues and homosexual issues by saying that you don’t obviously mean something, or that you’re saying it jokingly (Seriously, you always excuse yourself too much. We know at this point that you’re not anti-women or anti-gay or a racist). What we don’t know, however, is your stance on transsexuals. Which is my question to you. What exactly are your feelings towards transsexuals? What’s your stance on transsexuals? It’s unclear to me, and i would like to know, please. Because right now, i feel that you’re just disrespecting us on a purely visceral basis. Which is contrary to every other stance you take. Stances that are thought out.
Thank you for reading.
As a reference, here’s one example of, what to me, is an overreaction:
I’ve been very silent on my blog as of late. Sorry about that. I just don’t know what to really say. I guess Jocelyn, my friend, finally gets to have her name changed, so that’s a big step for her.
As for me, i’m still waiting, and while doing that, i type and type and type on facebook. I very recently changed my name and avatar on there. So i finally get to look the way i want to, and be called what i want to be called. I’m far from going full time though, but at least i’ve done some kind of step, right?
Anyhow.. I wrote this on facebook, and figured i could write something on here, just to have an update. Just a few things i feel are important to point out:
- Disagreeing is wonderful, not horrible.
- An attack on what you believe in is not an attack on you.
- The easiest one to fool is yourself.
- Your groups isn’t perfect.
- Stop playing a victim, even if you are one, it’s better to be strong than to falter at the feet of those who wrongs you.
- The human mind is complex and what she believes is even more so. So we’re all hypocrites in one way or another (sometimes called “Cognitive dissonance”).
- Voting based on tradition, your gut feeling, peer pressure or because it would benifit the people you hang out with socially produces mediocre politicians. Be independent and vote based on reason.
- Curse words are just words.
Promise i’ll do something proper once i get some more news. Just too bummed to really update on here.
An update post is coming later today, but in the meantime, I would like to urge my followers and readers to help out a friend with her name change.
Here’s her donation page: http://www.gofundme.com/1t9t40
So if you could please help, i would be most thankful and it would mean a lot to me. Thank you, thank you. (:
Not sure i’ve gone into any sort of detail what i do for a living.. Or, rather, something i do.. Ok, let me start from the beginning. I’ve had anxiety issues for quite a few years, and a few months ago, i was offered to intern at a job. Completely on my own terms, and to get my accustomed to work, because i’ve been unemployed for so long. I get to pick to the times and everything, and right now, i’m up to 2 hours from Tuesday to Thursday, about to expand an hour each day.
Initially, i was asked to do it for a few months (To April), but i’ve recently got an indefinite yes, and can stay there for as long as i like.
I restore old pictures. I’d show you one, but i don’t feel comfortable taking pictures from my job, because i don’t know if i have the permission to do that. But! Today, my boss asked me if i wanted to restore a picture of his grandpa. I said yes, of course. I mean, i knew that they were impressed with my skills (I’ve been told that a few times), but not this much. I feel very honored that he thinks i’m good enough to do that for him, and it’s humbling when people appreciate the work you do. So of course i want to give back. I’ve already gotten a place to be to rid myself of this anxiety (Which is no doubt a small part of me not having a job or activity) and a huge merit bag from people in the business The money i get from external sources (It’s kind of complicated.. It’s Sweden). But as long as the money i get is enough for me to go about my day, spend on some items i want to buy, and help me with travels and stuff, i’m fine (Which it is. Yay Sweden).
Anyhow. I also, during the moment my boss asked me to fix the picture, mentioned that i was going to do the same with a picture of my mom. I wanted to restore it, and even add color to it. So he said something i couldn’t even have dreamed of. He said that i could do that too, and that they could scan the picture for me.. You know, super expensive, professional scanners, that keep so much fucking detail, and make the picture so high res. I was so happy to hear that, because the picture i have is a smaller two inch (If even that), faded picture of my mom when she was five years old, so i’m gonna need all the initial detail that i can get. I’ll put it as the picture of this post (Which, incidentally, is something i’m gonna get better at)
So yes. Expect to see what i do for a living soon. I want to post a before and after pic of her. It’ll be a lot of fun. Which what my job is to me. Fun! I get to experiment a lot with pictures, get better at making old scratchy pictures look nice. And i’ve always thought that was really fun. From my days of watching “you suck at photoshop” to following the photoshop subreddit.
It gets better and better and has a story too it. Truly unique tutorial videos
I recommend you get a copy of adobe elements or photoshop (In whichever way you see fit) and start working your magic. It’s not the hardest thing in the world, it’s easy to learn, fun to do, and a lot of room for experimentation.
Oh, and if you don’t want to use photoshop, i recommend trying “paint dot net” or “gimp”.