Gender specialists like Dr. Curtis Crane see new bonanza in youthful transgender surgeries

4thWaveNow

In modern history, there is no prior precedent for adults publicly advocating for minors under the age of 18 to undergo major, elective surgeries on healthy tissue. Surgeons don’t tout breast augmentation or reduction for minor girls.  Even adult women have a difficult time finding surgeons who will perform elective hysterectomies, since most doctors are reluctant to permanently deny future fertility to healthy women of reproductive age. After all, these women might change their minds later. (It never seems to enter anyone’s mind that a 20-year-old FTM might also change their mind but…never mind.)

In an earlier post, I wrote about the successful lobbying by TransActive of Portland, Oregon, along with their enablers and allies, to lower the age at which parental consent is required for these permanent procedures in the state of Oregon. The Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s taxpayer-funded Medicaid equivalent, now also covers transition services, thanks to lobbyists…

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The Quest for the Perfect Pair of Roos

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve worn cotton briefs.  My Mom did put me in nylon briefs for a time until she finally realized I was allergic to them and my little bum looked like I had measles.  I’ve navigated years of underwear purchases fairly well until this year.

I’m a big fan of comfort and functionality.  I’m weird, I guess, but I don’t find underwear and bras sexy.  I never could understand the fascination with Victoria’s Secret.  Lace, under wires, foam padding and god knows what else women stuff themselves into to feel sexy or look sexy for their mate.  When I had to start wearing a bra, I hunted for the plainest one I could find.  After sorting through a horde of bras, I found a basic white one, but it had a stupid little bow in between the cups.  Was this supposed to make one feel more feminine that a BRA had a little bow on it?  I promptly cut that sucker off with a pair of scissors.  Today, it’s sports bras all the way.

So for decades, I’ve worn plain, white, all cotton briefs (yes, granny panties) with elastic at the legs and I’ve had no problem finding them, until now.  I wore briefs from Sears for the past decade.  Once I found out they fit the way I liked, I stockpiled those puppies.  I broke out my last pack of new ones a few years ago and as happens with all roos, they wear out.  Just when they are the most comfortable, they start getting holes.  A few, you can make excuses for, but after a while, you know you just have to bid them adieu.

Time to face reality, I headed back to Sears.  Well, to say that the quality has dropped off, would be an understatement.  My once seamless roos have seams on both sides (ouch), the elastic is cheap as hell and the cotton so thin you could shoot peas through it.  So much for those.  I started exploring other brands. Undertaking the mighty underwear quest, I combed through mall stores, Target and Walmart.   Even looked online.  Wasn’t impressed.  Bought I don’t know how many packages only to find them as crappy as the Sears’ ones.  Time was running out…in an act of desperation, I decided to check out the men’s underwear.  Figured, what the hell do I have to lose?  It’s winter in Maine, it’s 35 below out, and I NEED underwear.  So I checked out the boxers…nope too loose feeling and what’s with all the plaids?  Like wearing a little kilt under your jeans.  Tried the short style…felt like I was wearing another pair of pants under my pants.  For shits and grins, I bought a package of tighty whities.  Felt very weird picking those out and taking them to the register.  Felt even weirder trying them on, but I did.  They fit well, they didn’t have any seams, the elastic was nicely covered with soft cotton, they didn’t ride up me bum.  Of course, they do have that unnecessary hole in the front, but it doesn’t open up, so who cares.  I wore them around the house for a few days before I worked up the gumption to wear them out in the world.  They work great and they are way cheaper than women’s underpants which is very interesting since they are better made, use more material and require more work to construct.  I’m still holding on to the last few pairs of women’s briefs for any possible Dr visits, but I ran out and bought another package of tighty whities.  I can only imagine what would happen if I do get in a car accident and I’m discovered wearing men’s underwear, but until then, I’ll enjoy being comfortable and warm when our subzero winter returns.

Introduction

Why is it always so hard to write about the one thing in life you know the most about….yourself?

I was born and raised in Maine. My father was a lobsterman out of Boothbay Harbor and my Mom was a housewife. We moved to Portland when I was five so my father could attend the University of Maine. As soon as he got his degree, he divorced my Mom and moved to Augusta to be with his mistress.

From then on, it was just my Mom and me. We stayed in Maine through the oil crisis of the 70’s, but Mom was afraid that the cost of Maine winters would leave us destitute so she put me, the two cats and the dog in the car and headed South. She had no particular destination in mind except to go where it was warmer. We ended up in Culpeper, Virginia. Ironically, they had the worst winter they had ever experienced the year we arrived. It was in the single digits for days. School was closed for two weeks because they ran out of heating oil.

My teenage years in Virginia were, quite frankly, a living hell. I dressed differently, I had a different accent and I preferred “boy’s” clothes and activities. To say that I didn’t fit in was an understatement. The first time I walked into the girl’s locker room for gym, they screamed and hit the deck. I survived, but I spent all of 7th grade having diarrhea every morning before I went to school. If I had a dollar for every time someone yelled out “Hey, are you a boy or a girl?”, I would be a wealthy woman. I faced insults daily and physical attacks frequently. Amazingly, I did very well in school, but once I graduated, I never looked back. Never been to a reunion, never want to see anyone there ever again.

The day after I graduated high school, I headed off to Alaska for the summer. I took a year off from school and worked. Went to Mary Washington College (now Mary Washington University) and graduated with a BA in Political Science. Shortly after I graduated, my Mom contracted lung cancer and died six weeks later. My only family was gone.

I went back to school and got an AAS in Veterinary Technology and have worked with animals for a majority of my adult life.

When I was 35 years old, I finally figured out I was a lesbian. Kind of explains why I never went out with any guys my whole life. Coming to that realization, I was able to put those pieces about my life that never fit into place.

I’ve lived lots of places over the years (Michigan, New York, Virginia), but I always come back to Maine. It’s my home and I truly feel like I belong here. I left as an adult for the wrong reasons and hopefully, I won’t make that mistake again. After the end of an eight year relationship with my partner and her son, I moved back here to heal, learn and reflect. After a frantic week of commando house hunting, my realtor and I stumbled across a small house in Southern Aroostook County along the Mattawamkeag River. The universe decided this was where I was supposed to be and everything fell into place. I love it here. Lots of nature and very few people…my town actually deorganized this year. I’m probably the only lesbian in 50 square miles, but that’s ok. I love to drive and Bangor is only 1 ½ hours away. I occasionally see one or two in Home Depot or Best Buy.

You live life differently here. The store is 50 minutes away so you can’t just pop out if you’ve forgotten an item. You make do or do without. Life is more deliberate. The winter’s here are long and hard, but there is nothing better than being in your cabin with the woodstove cranking, a storm raging outside and you, and your pets, are warm and safe. The beauty after a storm cannot be fully appreciated except in person…the blinding sunlight and azure skies, all the ordinary objects outside transformed into works of art by the snow, the snap in the air that makes your eyes water and your nose run. The satisfaction of watching your dog bound through the snow in pure joy. The exercise you get shoveling your way to the bird feeders and the garage. It’s not easy and certainly not for the dainty or faint of heart, but for me it’s heaven. Now the bugs in the summer…they’re a pain in the ass. Black flies, mosquitoes, horse flies and my personal favorite, the deer flies will drive you crazy unless you are prepared, but one does have to take the good with the bad.

I got interested in blogging by reading others blogs and I wanted to find a way to express what I’m thinking to someone besides the dog. This is a very conservative and not well educated area of the state so conversationalists and liberals are hard to come by. I’m going to highlight life in this off the beaten path area and discuss topics that interest me and we’ll see how it goes.  I’m new to WordPress, so I’ll be tweaking the site as I learn more about the program.

Logan

Don’t Tear Your Piriformis Muscle

It didn’t seem like much at the time.  I was carrying in wood in a firewood bag.  I was walking on top of about four feet of packed snow and as I stepped forward, my right leg broke through the surface and I was up to my crotch in the snow.  I felt a slight tearing sensation in my right hip, but I didn’t give it much thought, extricated myself and hauled the wood in the house.  Little did I know, this was the beginning of four months of hell.  I tore my Piriformis muscle that connects my hip to my spine.  Unfortunately, this little bugger hugs your sciatic nerve (the largest nerve in your body).  Never make fun of old folks that say their sciatica is acting up.  I’ve endured terrible pain in the past, but you don’t know hell until that nerve is constantly being crushed by a swollen muscle.  Forget about sleeping…the muscle tightens up like a rock.  Forget about sitting….it feels like someone is stabbing your butt with a knife.  Forget about walking, standing, driving, bending, lifting, sneezing, coughing, sitting on the can, you name it….it hurts.  The blog got put to the back burner until I could at least sit for more than a few minutes.  Hopefully, things will get better.  I seem to take two steps forward and then something irritates it again and I’m back at square one.  I had my hand crushed in a log splitter last August (a story for another post) and I’d rather have that happen again and again, rather than deal with this stupid, but mighty, little muscle.

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