Tag Archives: Transgender

FB Group: Autistic Adults

Being autistic is a challenge that can be very trying even on your best day. From my experience, people don’t generally think like I do or even process information the same way I do. Bluntly put, I am the odd man out when compared with society. Due to my trouble with noise, I cannot live in a city or town; in fact, I live nearly twenty miles from the closest thing that you could consider to be a town. Even living where I do, next to someone that will not control their barking dog is emotionally draining on me.

Lately, I’ve been very depressed because of various issues going on in my life and I thought that maybe I could join a support group for people that were autistic and hopefully find some people that were a little more like me. So I searched for a few groups on Facebook and joined a couple that I thought I would mesh in. One of these groups was for LGBT autistics, and while the people there didn’t talk much I found that almost everything was geared towards people with Asperger’s, which is on the ASD scale, but it just isn’t how I am identified. Due to this, I quietly left the group after a little lurking because it didn’t feel like it was for me. If the group is still around when my son is older then I’d probably introduce him to it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Another group that I joined was called Autistic Adults, which you can find here if you’re interested.

I joined this group because I thought it was great to finally find a group of adults, that are supportive or so I thought. I asked on the group if anyone else had trouble getting a diagnosis as an adult. I had a few comments on the troubles that other people in the group had getting a diagnosis as an adult and had pretty much resigned myself to a long drawn out battle with doctors that don’t want to give me an answer or diagnosis. I’ve already been screened and the result was positive.

The one of the admins ( I had no clue he was an admin at the time.) chimed into my conversation and made suggestions that I’ve already tried. I told him this, and it seemed like he suddenly had a bone to pick with me. First, he had tried to suggest something that I had already done, which was get a screening. I had stated in the first post, that I just needed the official diagnosis and the screening was already done.

You can see that here in the screenshot.

 

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After this post, this guy kept pushing for me to call doctors (this is after the group had had a discussion about telephone conversations and I had admitted that talking on the phone gives me panic attacks, even thinking about talking on the phone can be triggering.) I told him that there were literally no doctors in my area that would diagnose an adult with autism that was respectful and that I couldn’t travel any distance because my SUV (Good Old Bessie) was currently broken down, but this wasn’t good enough of an answer it seemed.

After this, the guy told me that I should have my friends take me to the doctors.

I laughed. I’ll admit it. I fucking laughed at the computer screen when I read that, I laughed because crying would hurt too much. I told him I don’t have friends, and that I lived twenty miles from the nearest town.

I don’t have friends…something that has been so ungodly painful since June, just thrown into my face. So of course, I’m going to be annoyed with this guy now. He had to be right and I had to be lying, at least, that’s how it seemed to me, how could anyone not have friends?

If that wasn’t bad enough then this guy starts trying to tear apart everything I’ve said to other people. I present to you:

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Not that it is any of this guys business, but yes, because of transportation I haven’t been able to see my therapist since October, something that has not been very good for me.

It was after that post that this guy starts privately messaging me and demands to know if I use drugs and then accused me of using a fake name!

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So yeah, after you accuse me of using a fake profile name, I’m going to be pissed. Using profile names that don’t match the name on their driver’s license has caused A LOT of transgender people to have their accounts shut down. My legal name is Aydan Keeley O’Connor and I’m damned proud of it, I fucking paid enough for it.

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It was clear this guy didn’t care what was “going on with me”, because if he had his opening message wouldn’t have been questioning me about drug use.

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Now, I shouldn’t have to explain this to an admin of a Facebook group, but because he isn’t my “friend” my screen name of AydanKOConnor (which is the link for my FB page) is going to come up, not my name. Then he began to question what I write? This guy didn’t introduce himself to me when I first joined that page several days prior, and now because I didn’t idolize him as some god he was harassing me and demanding to know about me? I don’t think so. I stopped talking to him, but I did message one of the other admin and creator of the group when I first started having trouble with him. She did nothing.

My wife even wrote her and other admins and this was the response she got.

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From what my wife understands this guy was telling other admins that I was using a fake name.

Why? Because he didn’t know how facebook works. If you’re not my friend, you’re not going to see much on my page. However, because this David fellow thought I was using a fake name because my account name was showing up I was removed from the only group that I had found to be catered to adults with autism.

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See the difference? AydanOConnor was already taken when I tried to set my facebook username so I used AydanKOConnor instead. K as in Keeley which is my legal middle name.

I feel like the real problem is this though:

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Right at the top of my groups (which are viewable for all) is the fact that I belong to an LGBT group for ASD. The reason I say this is because when my wife wanted to know why I was so upset ( this put me in meltdown mode) and I shoved my phone at her, and after she read the messages she sent this guy a message of her own, wanting to know why he was doing what he was doing.

He started by belittling her and accusing her of using a fake name as well, and when my wife sent him a picture of proof of who she was, he wanted to know if she (my wife) was really me. So my wife sent him a photo of my ID, and then he started asking for personal information.

So because of this gem, I almost had a complete meltdown on top of teetering back and forth on being suicidal. This is not the way you’re supposed to treat each other in a support group.

I wanted to share this with anyone that reads my blog because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. We don’t need anyone TG suicides or suicides period for that matter, and if I didn’t have such a wonderful wife, this would have seriously pushed me to end it all.

 

Reflection

I will be glad when 2015 is over, this has been the worse year of my life by far. The entire year I’ve spent dealing with one clusterfuck after another, and the day before Christmas was just hell. I am depressed and have to keep reminding myself what I have to live for. I found out just how alone I was really was this year and that I really don’t have any friends, just people that wanted to use me for whatever they could get from me.

The first half of the year was rough, but I had hoped that it would get better. It really hasn’t gotten any better.

I tried my best to get a support group for the transgender community going that would encompass anyone that considered themselves to be transgender. The few people that were interested were interested in the clinics that I wanted to set up after incorporating into a non-profit, but no one wanted to help or do any work towards those goals.  

The few so-called friends that I had at the beginning of the year showed their true colors this year. It was okay for me to always drive into Richmond or further to see them or hang out with them, but they could never be bothered to come to my place. When I mentioned this to them it was always “well you’re so far away”. I’m so far, yet I can drive to them but not the other way around?

What hurt the most though is when I was told by my so-called best friend that he didn’t have the time to be my friend. Yet he had the time to abandon his daughter at her last music recital of the year to drive to Washington DC for a dinner.

So I’m left with only the people I occasionally talk to on Facebook as my friends. I can’t begin to tell you how lonely that is. I haven’t gone out since June, even before then really if you want to count going out as doing something “adultish”. Twice this year I thought we were going to lose our house. A little voice in the back of my head kept whispering ‘back to the streets for you, you incompetent dumbass’.

I’ve been given a “pre-diagnosis” of ASD, but I still, after nearly nine months, can’t find a doctor that is willing to give me a formal diagnosis because I’m an adult, and I should have had that diagnosis before now. Should have. Story of my life, there is a lot of things I should have had access to as a child but I didn’t so now I have to face life as an adult that can’t take care of himself.

I’ve been trying to get disability since June, I was told by the lawyer my insurance company contracted it would take no more that six months. Well here we are in December and the worker for my case isn’t going to decide whether or not to send me to “one of their doctors” until January. So much for six months.

I can’t work. Being around people gives me two things; panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. I feel like a total failure. The one thing I’m supposed to be able to do I can’t.

Of course in May my SUV was vandalized because I spoke on local television about being transgender. Nothing happened to the person that vandalized my truck, in fact they are most likely still walking around Amelia County free as anyone else and rather proud of the hatred they perpetrated on me and my family just because I’m different than them.

Then I was profiled by police not once but twice because of the equality stickers on the back of my SUV. This was when I was using my SUV as a ‘Farm Use’ vehicle and had the corresponding tags on it. Both times the officers didn’t know the laws and threaten me and my wife. This has contributed to worsening panic attacks every time I see a police car now. Even if I’m doing nothing wrong I start panicking when I see flashing lights or a squad car. The current climate with police getting away with murder, literally, doesn’t help at all either.

I thought that things were going to get better when I got back in touch with my parents after two years of not talking. They didn’t like the fact that I being transitioning and kicked me, my wife and our two children out of the house that my wife and I put the down payment on. We had lived there less than two months.

I thought that my relationship with my parents could truly be mended and we could all be a family again. I guess that was just wishful thinking on my part. My parents allowed my brother to treat me, my wife and my two children like trash. He yelled at us, called me a fat lesbian, a stupid bitch, a faggot, queer, and nearly every other slang for LGBT that he could think of, and my parent’s response was for me to just ignore it. They even gave him and his wife a house! Can you believe that?! A fucking house, when they took mine from me.

I tried to look past all of that though. I really did. Then my mother deleted me from her Facebook friends, because my liberal posts make her pissed off and she was tired of being pissed off. It hurt, and it spoke volumes as to where I stand in their lives. To me it said I had no place in their life. They support my brother who refuses to work. He is in no way disabled, he just refused to work. He had his gamer friends raise almost $10,000 to send him to Vietnam to meet the woman that became his wife. He didn’t work for it, and yet I’m the bad person in my parent’s eyes.

To make my year even worse, I wasn’t able to give my kids what I wanted to get them for Christmas, well…Yule. I was barely able to scrounge up $60 bucks for both of their presents. Thirty dollars each…And it makes me loathe myself just that much more. I know what it is like going back to school and seeing all the great things all the other kids got for Christmas, while you got nothing.

See, my parents decided that they didn’t want to do Christmas any more. My mother claimed it was because she didn’t want to see us disappointed when we didn’t get what we wanted, but the last Christmas I remember with them I was so happy because I got a guitar. The only thing that I had been wanting all year because at that time I idolized Garth Brooks and wanted to play guitar like he did. I was devastated after Christmas though, because my guitar had a fault in it and the neck snapped off, it was supposed to be replaced but never was…

So I know that feeling, I know what it’s like to be made fun of because your family doesn’t celebrate the coolest kid holiday of the year.

Even as I sit here writing this, I’m fighting back tears because I don’t want that embarasment, that torment for my children.

Then on Christmas eve, I find out that my truck is broken down to the point where it can’t be driven. I need about $1200 worth of parts to get it road worthy so it can pass inspection next month and I don’t have it. So now we’re stranded almost twenty miles from the nearest town with no way to get food or supplies.

I want to give up so badly.

I want this pain, this lonliness, this life to end.

I can’t even get started into the bullshit I’m going through with my mother-in-law. I am grateful that we are able to stay with her, but after two years I feel more like a slave and inconvience than a son-in-law.

It all adds to the pain, and I don’t know how much longer I can handle it.

If next year doesn’t get better…it may be my last.

 

Caitlyn Jenner does not represent me as a transgender individual.

“If you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable.”

I can not express how utterly disgusted I am once again with Caitlyn Jenner. From the beginning of her transition when she made a huge deal on national television I have not liked Jenner. She has been the topic of several of my posts in the past, none of which have been positive.

Jenner has done nothing for, nor does it appear that she wishes to do anything for the transgender community other than make those of us in it look like total self-absorbed buffoons. Plainly put, Jenner is just another reality tv media loving attention-whore. The message that she is sending, especially with her latest quip, is that is a transgender person does not fit outdated idealistic gender roles are somehow out to trick the rest of the world and make everyone feel uncomfortable.

One’s self-identity has nothing to do with the comfort level of others. If I had worried about the comfort level of people around me when I transitioned, I wouldn’t have bothered and instead of writing this very angry post, I would most likely be in my grave. Our transitions are as unique as each individual that undergo them and in most cases we do not have nearly endless amounts of money to throw into countless surgeries, cosmetics, clothing, etc. Not every transgender person has ridden the coattails of a trending media sensation and leeched off society’s obsession with the Kardashians. So if there are some transwomen that don’t fit Jenner’s ideal of what a woman should or should not look like and she isn’t comfortable with that, Jenner can suck my prosthetic dick.

I am sick to death of so-called celebrities that refuse to climb their asses off their high-horse and come back down to reality. People like Jenner have made their living off their name alone, the only reason that anyone knows who Jenner is, is because she jumped on the Kardashian train and rode Kris Jenner and her daughters all the way to the bank.

Name two other athletes that competed in the 1977 Olympics. Unless you religiously follow the Olympics and sports, I doubt that without the assistance of Google anyone can. Jenner claims that she has always known that she was a woman, yet she refused to compete in her correct gender for the 1977 Olympics. In 1977, there were other transwomen who were fighting for their rights to compete as the women that they are, not hiding behind a lie.

Then it was made public knowledge that Jenner was given the Arthur Ashe award, in exchange for an exclusive with Barbara Walters, after it had been nearly thirty years since she had competed in sports. Thirty years and now suddenly because Jenner came out and said she was transgender she deserves an award? Where is the award for each and every transgender man and woman that have came out and lost everything that they had because of it? Where is their recognition?

If that wasn’t enough of an insult to the average transgender person struggling to make ends meet and afford their transition, Jenner made her anti-Marriage Equality stance rather clear. Way to further divide the LGB community from the T community. As if we didn’t have it hard enough to begin with.

Then you had the Halloween Costume, which I’ll admit I thought was a good idea at first. Some people idolize dumbasses, so why not give kids the chance to dress as who the idolize for Halloween. Then it came out that the costume was marketed towards men, and Jenner supported it! Tell me again how someone can support a costume of a transwoman being marketed towards men and then say looking like a man in a dress makes people uncomfortable.

Now she’s been named as one of the People of the Year by Time magazine and been given another soapbox to further degrade transgender and gender nonconforming people on.

As I sit here fuming over her transphobic comments I can’t help but wonder why someone within the transgender community that has actually done something to deserve recognition isn’t being given People of the Year, or the Arthur Ashe award, and then I remember…they aren’t suckling at the media’s teet, we’re just your average human being, and not some airhead who’s biggest worry is the color of her fingernail polish matching her purse.

Doctors + Being Transgender = Not Good Bedfellows

I hate visiting the doctor, I hate it to the point where I have to pretty much be on the verge of death before I’ll visit a doctor. Part of the reason is the usual lack of punctuality for almost any doctor that I’ve been to, and part of it is because I am transgender. Today I was in so much pain that I forced myself to see what my wife refers to as a “Doc in a Box”, basically it’s a quickie clinic that is normally filled with kids sick from school or people looking to avoid a large co-pay from their insurance companies. They are still, however, a doctor and can do any of the doctorly things a general practitioner would do.

So I went into Patient First in Richmond, VA as I was already in town shopping for groceries for the house. The wait was fairly short, as was the visit with the doctor. I explained why I was there and what the problem was. For those of you reading that are curious I have a lump in my throat on my right side, and really have no effing clue what it is…still.  It’s painful to swallow, turn my head and even breath at times if there is pressure on that side of my neck at all.

The first thing that the medical assistant did was do a swab test for strep, which I expected because let’s be honest, a lot of people don’t know strep from just a sore throat. When that came back negative, the doctor finally saw me. His examination consisted of looking in my ears and shining a light in my throat, all the while keeping as much distance from me as he could.

He asked me if I was taking any medications, I told him that I was taking testosterone. It was then that he demanded to know “what for”. I told him that I was transgender and it was for hormone replacement therapy. He nearly sneered at me and took a step back. I then had to tell him more than five times the list of medications that I am allergic to. (Such a huge list at only three items). The doctor never told me what he thought was wrong with me and instead said he was going to give me some antibiotics to deal with “that thing” and gestured towards me.

He printed about seven sheets off from the printer in the room, thrust them at me and then left the room as quickly as possible.

It is times like these that make me detest going to see a doctor. I absolutely refuse to see any doctor in an emergency room. I would rather die than go to the ER while conscious. The sad thing is the way I was treated is not the exception but rather the rule for anyone that is transgender and reveals their status to a medical professional.

I once met a transwoman that was harassed and mistreated by hospital staff so badly that there was a discrimination case opened on the matter. They refused to treat her, and instead only referred to her with derogatory terms before discharging her from the ER. She had broken her foot and went untreated until visiting another hospital.
This is the common type of treatment we get, and from so-called professionals. When you are a medical professional or any professional for that matter, you need to be able to put your own personal biases aside so that you are able to fairly treat each and every patient you treat equally. You never know, when your biases result in the death of someone…

Texas Bathroom Ban

When is enough going to be enough? When are people going to stop using their narrow-minded prejudices to inflict pain, suffering and emotional torment on others through government laws? The United States is supposed to be the home of the free, but more and more I’m beginning to think that only applies to a select few in this country. Every time I see a bill passed or law put into place that justifies discrimination my heart breaks just that much more.

My grandfather, father, and older brother all served in the Armed Forces; my grandfather Edward Troutt Sr. was on the island of Midway during the Battle of Midway, and my father Edward Troutt Jr. served four tours in Vietnam and was a POW. I couldn’t serve in the military because of the climate when I graduated from high school. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell still hadn’t been repealed and transgender soldiers serving openly in the military was something that was unheard of. I would have been viewed as a woman and treated as such and that wasn’t something that I could handle.

Every time discrimination passes as a freedom, it makes me sick to think of all that my grandfather, father and older brother sacrificed, and for what? So that only the few cisgendered, heterosexual rich white elitist can have freedoms?

Earlier this evening it was brought to my attention that a new bill was passed in Texas, one that prevented people of one gender from using the bathroom of the opposite gender. It was obvious at once that this bill was passed as a way to discriminate against transgender individuals. My parents, older half-sister, older half-brother, and younger brother all live in Texas; now if I visit them and use the restroom in public I have to worry about being charged with a felony offense.

The bill was HB1748 and states:

relating to the use of public locker rooms, shower facilities, and toilet facilities; creating a criminal offense.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 341.061, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 341.061.  LOCKER ROOMS, SHOWER FACILITIES, AND TOILET FACILITIES; CRIMINAL PENALTY.  (a)  An operator, manager, or superintendent of a public building, schoolhouse, theater, filling station, tourist court, bus station, or tavern shall provide and maintain sanitary toilet facilities [accommodations].

(b)  An operator, manager, superintendent, or other person with authority over a building described by Subsection (a) may not allow an individual who is at least seven years of age to repeatedly enter a locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility in the building that is designated for use by persons of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender.  A violation of this subsection is a state jail felony.

(c)  An individual who is at least 13 years of age may not enter a locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility that is designated for use by persons of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender.  A violation of this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (b) and (c) that the individual enters the locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility for a custodial purpose, to give medical assistance, or to accompany a child younger than eight years of age and of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender.

(e)  For the purpose of this section, the gender of an individual is the gender established at the individual’s birth or the gender established by the individual’s chromosomes.  A male is an individual with at least one X chromosome and at least one Y chromosome, and a female is an individual with at least one X chromosome and no Y chromosomes.  If an individual’s gender established at the individual’s birth is not the same as the individual’s gender established by the individual’s chromosomes, the individual’s gender established  by the individual’s chromosomes controls under this section.

SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

So now if I go to visit my family and have to pee I’d better hold it until I get home, no matter how long I’m out. Going to the movies, forget it. Going shopping for anything other than a quick milk and bread run, forget it. Pretty much leaving the house for more than two or three hours, is off limits thanks to this bill. I’m to be relagated to the women’s restroom where I can be beaten, maced, peppersprayed, or worse (because you can pretty much carry a firearm whereever you want to in Texas) I can be shot. What a way to welcome new potential residents or tourists.

Things like this make me wonder why anyone would ever think that being transgender is a choice.

A Welcomed Change

Over the past month I’ve spent most of my time driving between Ford, Virginia and Sulfur Springs, Texas. When I first headed out to Sulfur Springs nearly a month ago, I was extremely sceptical of the outcome of the visit with my parents. My parents hadn’t seen or really talked to me much in over two years and the last time I had seen my mother the conversation had ended in a less than pleasant manner. Since that point in time two years ago I’ve changed a lot, not only in appearance but also in behavior. I’ve learned to let things go for the most part and I’m trying to reach a sort of zen state of mind so that things that I have no control over don’t bother me as much as they used to.

So, with a bit of caution I went to visit my parents in Texas.

The first visit wasn’t bad, it wasn’t exceptionally good, but what it showed me made me so happy that I felt like I could cry. Prior to the first visit, the last conversations I had with my parents had left me with the feeling like I could never be part of their family again. This was the deciding reason I had to change my last name when I did some two years ago. After all this time apart my parents were actually trying to use male pronouns and my chosen name. I know it’s hard on both my parents not only using male pronouns but also using my chosen name since it was nothing like what they named me thirty-one years ago.

Over the past two years a lot of things have changed not only for my parents but also for me, and because of this we have been able to move on from the past and work on our relationship with one another again, which is a very welcomed change from what I thought things would ultimately work out to be.

I’ll admit every time someone told me that  my parents would “come around” I rolled my eyes and thought to myself that they didn’t know my parents like I did. My parents really haven’t just “come around” we’ve just been able to come to an understanding. My mother considers me her “saughter” (son and daughter) which I am comfortable with, because I can understand things from her point of view. She will reference me as my birth name and gender when we talk about things that I did or before I started my transition, and I’m okay with that. I was that person for nearly thirty years. However, when we are talking about the present day or things that I have done after my transition she uses male pronouns and my chosen name.

She slips up every once in awhile and I’ll poke at her or arch a brow and she’ll correct herself, but thus far we’ve the road has been more smooth than rocky.

Administration Matters: Subcutaneous vs. Intramuscular Injection

Since March of 2013 I have been taking hormone replacement therapy; at first my wife was administering my shots once a week intramuscularly (IM), which is to say that I got a shot in the ass each week. Earlier in this year my dosage was changed from weekly to every three days and now it’s every four days. About a month ago I switched to the subcutaneous shots in the hopes that I would be able to self-administer my shots in case my wife and I were apart when I was due for my testosterone shots.

The needles for subcutaneous are a lot smaller than those for IM, the difference is a 29 gauge vs 25 gauge; the larger the gauge, the smaller the needle. The former is the same needle used for insulin injections by diabetics. Not only is the needle smaller, but the syringe itself is also smaller. While a smaller needle and syringe make the puncture from the needle less painful (if you use the same needle to draw and inject) they also make injecting the testosterone more difficult and a longer process. Testosterone is a lot more viscous than insulin, and therefore takes longer to draw and inject with such a small needle.

When I began to have my testosterone administered via subcutaneous rather than intramuscular I noticed a marked difference in the way I felt. Prior testosterone shots gave me a bit of a sore throat on occasion and I was ravenously hungry the next day. I also didn’t feel as heavy and had less problems with depression or mood swings when taking my testosterone via IM.

After my first sub q shot the entire injection site burned like it was on fire, for two days after the injection my side was extremely tender and it was uncomfortable to even have clothing touch it. I thought perhaps the reaction to the first subcue shot was a fluke and ended up taking a total of four sub q shots. All of which yielded similar after effects. Before anyone says that I was injecting wrong, my wife gives me all my shots; before she came down with fibromyalgia she was a veterinary assistant and knows how to give both subcue and IM shots. The difference in giving human shots and animals shots is pretty much nil. Also, we discussed the injection sites with my endocrinologist for a lengthy period of time before we actually administered the shots.

The biggest shock for me, was when I started having mood swings again. For no reason I would become depressed and be on the verge of tears, and the next moment I would be angry. This was on par with my issues before I started testosterone in March of 2013. Taking hormone replacement therapy has actually helped a lot with my mood swings, which was a pleasant surprise for not only myself but also my wife. It occurred to me that the cause of this sudden change in mood swings could be caused by the way that my body was or wasn’t absorbing the testosterone.

The day after I switched back to IM shots rather than sub q, the mood swings stopped, my appetite was back and I was beginning to feel a lot more normal that I had been. As the injection site pains in my sides began to fade so did my opinion that it was a good idea to take my shots sub q. The needle stick may hurt a little less, but in the end the cons are far more than the pros of taking my shots in the ass.