kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Tomorrow lunchtime (I know this is late notice sorryyyyy if it helps any I haven't really done my other prep yet either) I have the opportunity to provide a high-profile medical school with advice on how to make their OBS&GYNAE teaching more inclusive of and welcoming to trans patients.

I think I've got the factory-default uterus setup pretty well covered, but I want to make sure that I am representing (as best I can) trans people who *don't* have that set of factory-default anatomy, and their/your concerns about accessing gynaecological health care.

If you would be willing to drop me a line about your thoughts, in comments here or in private message or in e-mail, I would be super grateful. <3
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(content note for mention of misgendering with a happy ending!)

Popped in today to talk about additional paperwork for academia purposes. He's perfectly cheerful about writing a letter to the effect that I'm well enough to resume studies, but the amount of physio/medical appointments/etc I have to do isn't compatible with working full-time.

We also got chatting about sports wheelchairs and The New Chair (I've just booked train tickets to go and pick it up and I am so excited) -- I get the impression he's a cyclist, and therefore goes oooOOOOOooh when you point out you've got Spinergy wheels on, and that wheelchair wheels are basically the same thing as high-end bike wheels.

And while he was distracted by all that, he referred to me using an inappropriately gendered pronoun in the notes he was making, caught himself, apologised appropriately, and rephrased entirely without input from me.

I genuinely hadn't even noticed that he'd spent the past however-long-it's-been carefully making sure that he doesn't misgender me in my medical records.

I am doing a small good cry about it, okay.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I've put together a petition requesting that government bodies include a non-specific gender-neutral honorific such as Mx in all preset lists of titles. I'll be very grateful if you sign & signal-boost.

The very short explanation is that I think it's ridiculous to have a list that includes "Wing Commander" but not "Mx" (as is the case when using the fill-in-on-a-computer version of the ESA application form).

The slightly longer version is that applying for benefits etc ends up with me being misgendered a lot, which is rather uncomfortable, and last week ended up with me being addressed by my grandmother's name (I am not Mrs B. My mother is not Mrs B. That's... very much my deceased grandmother, thanks.) On top of that, a lot of places -- including banks -- make the (completely spurious) claim that they can't offer Mx as a title because HMRC doesn't: if the government can be persuaded to set an example, a whole lot of other institutions and organisations are suddenly going to have to fall into line.

(Last week I realised, slightly to my astonishment, that I hadn't seen this done; and a trawl of petitions.parliament.uk didn't show anything up. So here we are.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Just about all of you have pointed me at Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages, for which I am grateful! But having told [personal profile] jedusaur I'd liked it give or take disagreeing with a couple of the approaches taken, I completely failed to actually elaborate on what those points of disagreement were.

Read more... )
kaberett: A green origami stegosaurus (origami stegosaurus)
Caffeine: still, as it turns out, a bad idea. Probably. (Semi-accidentally had caffeine yesterday evening; was up ridiculously late in quiet tears about largely-disconnected-from-reality anxieties.)

I have just received an unambiguously helpful response from the Yellow Card folk, on two counts: first, they've added Mx as a title and updated my report to use it; and second, they've asked me for some more details and have passed on my specific query ("can you look into whether this side effect is associated with weird lung shit to do with connective tissue disorders as well as COPD, because that was an unpleasant surprise") to the scientific assessment team, who will apparently be getting in touch with me sometime in the next fortnight. So: huh.

Rivers of London: really enjoyed book one, was seriously hacked off with the gratuitous cissexism in book two, am still mildly grumpy halfway through book three -- but I am still reading, so.

Here is an essay: On Conflicting Emotional Needs In Relationships.

Here is a recipe I haven't yet tried: mulled wine plum crumble.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(Cis friends, by all means ask me questions to clarify, but maybe consider sitting out of actually having an opinion in comments on this one. Anon comments are permitted but will be screened; I expect to unscreen unless otherwise requested.)

Read more... )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Two clinicians at CHX GIC have approved me for top surgery, no-hormones, in spite of everything that's physically wrong with me, even though I have been absolutely clear and explicit and unflinching about being genderqueer and having retained my given names as forenames despite their being gendered and my mental illnesses and autism.

If I'd been definite about which surgeon I wanted to see I think they might actually have referred me today, after my second appointment. As it is I get to go away and think about it, and let them know where to send me after my third appointment.
kaberett: Blue-and-red welly boots on muddy ground. (boots)
Item the first: insofar as context permits I reject gendering of clothing and presentation, helped in large part by being extended-family-of-a-sort to [tumblr.com profile] stammsternenstaub, who are pretty much never-endingly fabulous.

Item the second: context, unfortunately, is often not terribly permissive. (In the land outside this social scene/the streets are filled with the gender police/I guess the streets are no place for kings and queens...)

Item the third: up until I was about sixteen I thought I gave no shits about clothing qua style (as opposed to practical considerations) and mostly used it to hide in, as disguise and camouflage (at which I was not very good). Between sixteen and eighteen I got one of the best compliments I've ever had, presentation-wise, from a school friend: there's masculine, and there's feminine, and then there's you, and it's kind of disturbing when you cross over into either. Aged 18 I started binding regularly, and also began developing what has (slightly to my horror and definitely to my confusion) morphed into An Aesthetic, or possibly a set of styles.

Read more... )
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
First Charing Cross appointment survived as of Wednesday lunchtime! Barrett did an excellent job of walking the line of the non-actionable; he was determined to tell me lots of incredibly irrelevant anecdotes about his time working with youth offenders, but fundamentally I treated him like an incompetent and irritating supervisor who considered me incompetent and irritating, and this worked well. (Case in point: I successfully rendered him temporarily speechless by telling him very politely that naturally I understood that he had to take a conservative approach...)

Outcomes: I now ~understand~ that ~gender neutrality~ is like ~anarchism~ in that it is inherently unstable and will inevitably collapse into one of democracy or dictatorship (YOU'RE WELCOME); I note that "people find it too difficult to present as gender neutral in ~~~real life~~~" is not in point of fact an argument that gender-neutral identities don't exist, and you position yourself uniquely to believe that in fact they do not; "but what if in a decade's time you don't feel comfortable taking your shirt off on a beach!!!" is not in fact an argument against giving me top surgery now; etc etc. Not dreadful, nothing I couldn't cope with, and next time I possibly get to see Lorimer.

My mental health has improved markedly since starting the vitD, which is extremely pleasant. I am so, so much better; it's a great relief - I'm back down to PHQ-9 score of 8 (from 18 when we tested my bloods). (8 is operating-within-normal-parameters for me -- I am scoring quite highly on the fatigue questions because I've had a long lab stint, and have been in work every day yes-including-weekends since sometime early last week.)

The rest of the ten good things! )


Oct. 9th, 2014 01:22 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
So I was proper impressed by cliniQ when I swung by this evening as a walk-in patient after a sexual health screening. Actually finding the clinic was a bit confusing - the numbering on Dean Street didn't make a great deal of sense to me and I was initially directed to the first floor where I had a rather confusing conversation with a receptionist before making it to the second floor - but once I was there they were great. I was seen quickly - I think I was in and out inside half an hour - and people were calming and lovely and really just brilliant, and there was step-free access throughout.

Details! )

It was really really good; I was, as I say, impressed (enough to want to give them some of my time); strongly strongly recommended if you're ever in London (you don't have to be a London resident) and they're relevant to you.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Content note for "real names" bullshit.

There is someone I have known for about a year. She's been working at a different site due to lack of lab space; she moved here last week and has been assigned a desk behind mine.

Half an hour ago she asked me if I was coming down to beers. "Maybe, I've got some labwork to do," I said. She looked over my shoulder at the paperwork spread across my desk.

"Oh!" she said. "Your name's not Alex!"

... whereupon I realised the uppermost page just happened to have my full name on it. My full name, about which I'd been feeling gently pleased ten minutes earlier.

"Um, yes it is," I said, covering my first two names with one hand and pointing to the "Alex" with the other. In desperation, I gave her a string of examples of other people I know who use their second or third names. "Oh," she said, "I suppose I do know someone who's really called [name] but uses Ash."

... yeah. Her having-been-gone-for-half-an-hour later, I am rapidly hitting the point of "relaxed enough again to actually cry at my desk."

kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(Not sure what's going on here? The answer is Ancillary Justice.)

We're told that Radchaai does not bother with gendered pronouns. It seems to me that the default pronoun used means gender-irrelevant (rather than gender-unknown or gender-specific, which seem to me to be a useful way of considering pronouns of gendered beings). We're told that Strigan's society uses gender-known pronouns even though it professes to consider gender irrelevant.

And yet: the Radchaai frequently refer to ships as "it" (I note that the standard English pronoun used to refer to vessels is the same as the way in which the Radchaai default pronoun is rendered). It's clearly not as simple as in/animate - ships have emotions, ships have personality and identity, ships are sentient, ships have ancillaries. Except that this is done in a literally dehumanising way - ships are explicitly not Radchaai, not citizens, and therefore not considered human; characters who are uninterested in or unsympathetic toward ships are far more likely to refer to them as "it", whereas characters who like ships seem to mostly not pronoun them; non-Radchaai humans are generally called the standard pronoun for Radchaai, despite being considered by at least some in the society to have sub-human status - and so I am left picking away at what distinction it is the Radch is making here...

Thoughts very much appreciated!
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I applied for a disabled person's railcard, as "Mx Alex B[]", for the obvious reasons. I gave my gender as male because they forced a binary choice and it's a different kind of wrong (and one I'm more willing to tolerate).

There was a silent failure, which I found out about only because I did some serious chasing to check up on progress.

The silent failure was because my proof of eligibility is in the form of a letter from the DWP, who refuse to address me as anything other than "Ms E[] KA B[]". Apparently also including a scan of my passport won't do the trick. Apparently I must apply with "the correct details". Apparently they won't print the railcard as Alex rather than E[] if I apply with the "correct" details.

I am too fucking tired for this.

ETA I am sending them a slightly intemperate e-mail full of documentation that I am who I say I am, and that my name is what I say it is. I used the words "please consider this e-mail a formal complaint", and also "from a security viewpoint ... your position is indefensible". I do not expect it to effect change, but I do at least feel a bit better.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. A tiny quilt arrived from [personal profile] jelazakazone! It is gorgeous! It is lava! I squeaked and flapped with delight in the lift and have been showing it to anyone who'll stay still long enough!

2. ... also in my work post! A book from my largest smallcousin! I have been sending her care packages, frequently including books and occasionally painkillers, so she got the collected works of Arthur C Clarke delivered to me because she is apparently appalled that I've read barely any of his stuff.

3. Yesterday in e-mail! My poster abstract for a conference this autumn has been accepted, with the slightly baffling additional bit of
At the moment, your contribution is high on the reserve list of oral presentations, but is not yet scheduled for a talk and currently we are only able to offer you a poster contribution. We anticipate that there may well be some contributors who withdraw, in which case a slot may open up. We will let you know as soon as an opportunity occurs to move you into the talk schedule.
... opinion among those I've polled is divided on whether this is a bizarre courtesy measure or something they actually mean.

4. Interactions with housemate continue just routinely absolutely fab. <3

5. Have heard from a friend in a way that suggests that (1) he doesn't hate me and (2) the reason he dropped off the face of the earth around March is not another major depressive episode but instead that he has been arranging to move in with his girlfriend.

6. ... I just became the trans rep for Imperial's staff LGBT network. Accidentally. This is probably good, in that I will be able to be useful, but also a bit facepalmy.

7. I voted on some action to be taken by my institutional branch of my union, for the first time, which feels like being a very particular kind of grown-up.

8. It was spitting this morning - raining gently enough that it was quite pleasant to be out in in t-shirt, but hard enough that the normal congregatory points for smokers on my way into work were mercifully mostly clear. And the rain'll be good for the garden - the hebe was starting to look a bit sad but I hadn't quite got my act together to water it.

9. There's another really enthusiastically happy hebe on my way into work - currently lots of big purple floral spikes, and behind it a tree with graduated pink-to-white floral spikes that I don't understand at all but suspect is another NZ species given how that one's planted up more generally; I should take photos and get my mother to identify it, I suspect...

10. Yesterday was extremely wobbly, but I was sensible and took care of myself and today I am managing to leave not only my room but also the house again, HURRAH.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
1. TOL & TOG were just round the corner from home tonight for a show, so via Shenanigans involving me forgetting that Hammersmith isn't actually a single station they stood around in the sun with me for a bit before they vanished in to show (which twitter suggests was as good as I'd expect from Penn & Teller) and I got hugs and sunshine and stern looks about eating enough and bullshit about science and a brief discussion about the point of painting, and having left the lab it was fairly easy to pick up dinner on the way back in. (And on the way out I stopped off at one of my ridiculous corner shops and acquired stacks and stacks of emergency chocolate.) (And while on the topic of polymer chemistry and feeling vaguely contrite about the extent to which these people look after me, [personal profile] sebastienne talked sense at me and I continue to feel better.)

2. We are tonight providing accommodation, as we occasionally do, for waifs & strays with appointments at Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic. Because, fundamentally, we're a trans-positive household a fifteen-minute walk from same, most of which involves walking through a rather nice cemetery, and consequently this is a concrete thing we can do that is helpful.

3. My supervisor appears to continue genuinely pleased with my labwork: we're trying a different introduction system with the mass spec this time around and the ion beam is stable and as of 11.30pm, every single data point from the past two days is usable (where with the introduction system I had been using, I was getting maaaaybe 50% usable data). Or, to put it another way, my chemistry has been fine and my tuning the machine up has been fine (she's popped in to check a couple of times while I was elsewhere, which I know about because she's told me after the fact that she had a play around and didn't change anything because it was spot on) (though I should really have retuned before putting tonight's overnight run on but if I had I'd've ended up locked into the building and that is no-one's idea of fun, and in any case the machine is pretty much rock-solid -- I've lost a tiny bit of sensitivity but nothing that should be a problem, and I'll tweak it back up when I get in tomorrow), it's just the ways in which these are fundamentally finicky beasts that are not actually under my control. Also, supervisor tends to rise early, so me leaving work at midnight means that when she gets in at 7am she can swing by the basement, have a quick poke, and make sure everything's where it should be, and set another thing going if necessary; and then by the time I rock up around 10am it's ready for me to have a poke again.

lots! )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I was a queer teen under section 28. I say I was brought up by the Internet, and what I mean is: the Internet told me that people like me could exist, and exist happily and without judgment, at least some of the time.

And now, after that thoroughly vile FB conversation, I am going to go to Bar Wotever and watch my girlfriend sing cock rock, because I'm an adult now.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Via the Lioness (as so much else...), I've just realised how much I like "fem" for describing my ideal gender presentation; cf "dom/me" for the kind of distinction I'm getting at.

Thoughts? :-)


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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