Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


waiting to exhale

it’s been a whole month since my daughter and i ventured west to california, an annual pilgrimage for us –  not just because we still have a place in the northern mendocino mountains, because these days we kill two birds with one stone, merging this ‘vacation’ ritual with appointments at the UCSF child and adolescent gender clinic.

but this year was special!  this year ziona reached the inevitable  ‘tanner level 2’.  that means that she was ready for the next step in her journey to her true self.

in the months leading up to this visit, ziona had been very distraught over the increasing ‘pop-ups’ of the part of her anatomy that betrays her.  the level of pain this caused her psyche apparent in the renewed threats to simply ‘cut it off’.  all day long that unruly and incorrect member beset her young mind with the constant reminder that things are not as they should be.

now it has been a month since the magickal implant was placed in her arm.  and the difference this has made is amazing.  tho results are individual, the relief of her ‘symptoms’ is already huge!

the first week was horrible! she kept on expecting that she would be free of the erections and the growth of the testes would be immediate.  she accused the implant of being a dud.  she cried every time a ‘stiffie’ raised it ugly head.  she begged me just to bring her back to the clinic and insist that an orchietomy be performed.  her anxiety that nothing would stop the onslaught of male puberty nearly consumed her.

i explained to her that it would take some time for the vantas implant to get into her system and shut down testosterone producation.  and altho i had faith that this was the case,  i found myself as on pins and needles as she seemed to be.  so i held my breath, hoping i would be proved right, the sooner the better.

so here we are now, a month later.  the testes are visibly retreating.  the horrid erections are nearly non-existant any more.  my beautiful daughter is far less anxious about the process and protocols that we are following, far more convinced that we will be able to make sure she doesn’t grow a beard, or develop a deeper voice.

on our way back home we visited with a good friend of mine, one whom i’ve known for eternities i’m sure, one who just happens be transgender.  altho dropping in on her had much more to do with my self wanting to reconnect with Candy after all the years, it served as further evidence that surgical gender transformation would eventually liberate ziona to become fully female as well.  it felt almost like a part of her was reassured in a way that simply telling her how this whole protocol worked could never quite do!

we skinny-dipped in a pond at my friend’s house.  so ziona saw a beautiful transgender woman, who had shed the cocoon of her former self and become who she was always meant to be.  the visage wasn’t wasted on her – she almost seemed to breathe a relieved sigh.

as for me, after feeling as tho i’ve been holding my breath for many months, i can finally rest a bit easier.  we have put one foot in front of the other on the path that is unfolding before us, and i’m no longer suffocating…no longer waiting to exhale!

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a light in the darkness

amidst the very mixed news regarding all things transgender came the awesome news this week, that medicare will begin to pay for treatment of gender dysphoria, including surgery.

this is awesome news for us! we are at the place as of this month, where such things as puberty blockers and much more counseling are the reality.  and since ziona receives medi-caid, this means i won’t have to wrangle and threaten lawsuits to get them to pony up the dough.

it is good news for every transgender person!

so altho there are still small minds out there that don’t understand what it means to be trans, at least the rules have been changed in favour of those who must put up with small-minded folk.

of course, there may exist a few more battles in acquiring this treatment for minors.  but it just got much easier to care for and support the needs of our transgender children.  if one cannot be kept from having a life-saving and time proven, non-experimental therapy as an adult, the same treatments cannot be withheld from pre-adults…i hope.

so we are on our way as of the end of this week.  ziona will be seen by her team at the ucsf child and adolescent gender clinic.  she has already been assessed as ready for the puberty blockers, and her psychiatric therapist has already deemed going forward as absolutely necessary to her health, and well-being.  and now, the expense will be covered as well!

so despite the nay-sayers, the small minds, and the previous reluctance on the part of medi-caid to cover expenses, she will as of this month begin drawing closer to the goal of being ‘all girl’, as she calls it.

a light shining through the darkness, for ziona….and many others!


if only i didn’t love her

today we, ziona and my self, spoke to her psychiatrist for gender dysphoria in advance of our trip out to university of san francisco for her appoint at the child and adolescent gender clinic.  dr. giamattei asked me something that i almost never hear: “what are you doing for you?”

having a transgender child is worrisome enough. there are hurdles and protocols, expenses that often one must fight to have insurance or medicaid pay…there is the pain of watching the child’s pain about something beyond our power to reconcile.

it’s not like when they’re sick, and feverish, … so that an over the counter pain reliever or febrifuge will suffice.  it’s not like when they’ve fallen down and skinned their knees, when a bit of healing salve and a kiss to make it better helps.  it’s not like when someone at school has been mean or unfair to them and you march right down to wherever to stand up for them and demand an apology.

there’s no one to speak an apology for what has happened to ziona.  there’s no medication to alleviate her pain.  and all the kisses in the world from ‘mom’ or anyone else can’t make it better.

things like puberty blocking implants are only a first step…the one we are at these days.  then it’s down to waiting again. for time to pass, for the magickal age at which she can start cross-hormones. and then another wait. it will be at the very least, five whole years before she turns 16, when a surgeon who has already agreed that ziona should get the reassignment that early given her level of dysphoria, can give her the rest of what she will need to feel whole.

because ziona is also autistic, and has issues with self-calming and ocd, this whole transgender thing, this condition, is even harder on her than on a child who is able to ‘take a breath’…to let this ‘wrong part’ not be an overwhelming thorn in the side,  one who is at least capable of  avoiding a melt-down when the unavoidable pop-ups (erections) occur.

yes,…it hurts us as parents when we must stand by, with nothing whatsoever that we can do to alleviate our children’s suffering…it hurts…and i don’t know what to do for me.  for the frustration i have that time doesn’t go faster, that i can’t wave a magick wand and change her into the girl she is. i don’t know what to do for me, to make me okay with the pain i see her going through every day.

if only i didn’t love her…


on pins and needles

there are few things that hurt a parent more than bearing witness to their child’s pain.  the depth of love we feel for our children touches us to everything they must endure…a fever, nightmares, hurt feelings when another child betrays them, bullies them…the frustrations they encounter are our own, the diseases they contract we’d gladly take upon ourselves to spare them pain.

my daughter was born under a sentence…one that was unfairly imposed upon her…one that only grows more painful with the passing of time…the words: “it’s a boy”.

she’s not a boy.  altho it took 3 1/2 years for her to be able to tell me, and another couple of years for me to hear it, she is really a girl…

since 6 years of age she has been living as the girl she is, dressing in the clothes she chooses, her hair down to her butt almost, everyone using the proper pronouns in referring to her…even the name she has chosen as her own…all add to her identity as a girl. but of course, there are body parts that aren’t a girl’s parts.  and lately these have been causing her mountains of pain.  you see, she has reached an age where erections have become frequent, and the testicles have begun to fill out.   i can’t imagine how much this must bother her, how unfair it must seem to her.

so she has once again, as she did when she first found out that the ‘boy parts’ (her words) wouldn’t just fall off some day, begun verbalising a desire to ‘cut it off’…and verbalising how she’d rather die than have these parts.

her dysphoria is intense!  no matter that she knows there exist some transgender females who are not opting for surgery to change them, who know they are girls no matter what parts they do or don’t have,  she is adamant that for her surgery is a must…she wishes we could lie about her age so that she could have it done yesterday!  no matter how much she understands that these ‘parts’ are really her ‘girl garden’… one day to be used to fashion her new and more fitting parts.

she is into tanner level 2 now.  a magickal assignation for transgender girls because at this stage she can be placed on testosterone blockers, or puberty blockers…she hopes that these will stop the ‘stiffies’ (again, her words) that she so hates for the reminder they are to her of that sentence she is under…the one spoken when she was born.

it means she will either get an implant or have monthly injections to stave off any testosterone changes,  hair growing where girls shouldn’t have it, voice deepening, bones lengthening, hands and feet getting large, an adam’s apple…all the things which that hormone would do to further rob her of her identity as a girl.

so in just under a month, we will be at the child and adolescent gender clinic at ucsf discussing which method we will use for delivery of the gnrh…and when to begin the subsequent cross hormones that will usher her into puberty as a girl.

i hurt for her, but i can’t really know her pain…i’m a cis-gender woman, i’ve always had the parts that affirm my identity as female.  still, i am as anxious as is she to get this show on the road, so to speak.  to take the first steps to move her toward a goal she knows she must attain if she’s to feel completely ‘good’ about herself.

until then we’re both on pins and needles!

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Australian judge says adverse consequences for trans child likely, rules for puberty blocking drugs

as the mother of a young transgender girl who is extremely dysphoric of her ‘wrong parts’ and who is also fast approaching puberty, every story like this one is of absolutely vital importance…

so i post this…

Australian judge says adverse consequences for trans child likely, rules for puberty blocking drugs.

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only 1% !

this article is an example of sound reporting on a difficult and widely misunderstood subject. i have read and shared many articles that likewise attempt to reveal the intricacies of supporting and treating transgender children. some of the other articles i’ve shared have been loathe to mention the drawbacks and concern, and are great because of the positive tone they set. but there are concerns, and people who want to understand our transgender children need to have a balanced view. they have questions, and questions need to be addressed.

nothing that is true need shun the light of scrutiny. studies and research have been done that effectively exhonerate the supportive parents and medical professionals as are part of the solution to a problem, that isn’t really a problem. this article points out some highlights of research that suggest the differences in actual physical brain structures and workings which align the transgender child more closely to their preferred or affirmed gender than the one allocuted and assigned at birth on the basis of genitalia.

it also addresses the issues of the consequences of a transgender child not being supported or allowed to be who they know themselves to be: self harming, self-mutilation,depression and suicide are among the common results of ignoring this need. in contrast, children once allowed to express their true selves, in a context of loving support and proscribed protocols of appropriate treatment, are far more likely to manifest and far fewer of these symptoms.

for ziona, the difference was like night and day. she is still a moody child, she tantrums and cannot self-calm. but these are mostly associated with the fact of her autism. the moment she was allowed to live outloud as the girl she knows herself to be, even these symptoms diminished by almost 90%! she got happier, quit trying to ‘off’ the ‘spare part’ and smiled alot more often. nor did she feel compelled to ‘out’ herself as a “boy-girl” to folk she just met, something she used to feel was necessary for honesty sake…since referring to her with male pronouns ran contrary to the truth she knew to be.

allaying fears that somehow the parents are ‘to blame’ for their children being transgender seems silly but no parent of such a child that i have come across feels the least bit intimidated by counselors and other psychiatric professionals being part of the treatment. if anything, we are relieved to help the psyche of our little ones heal from any loss of self-esteem they might suffer because of being different. this said, most surely with more research it will be determined that transgender folk are not mentally ill, a fact already known by most. but then, who can’t benefit from a little counseling when going through something as all encompassing as is the transgender person’s reality.

recently in the news, there were a couple of articles that seemed intent on casting aspersions on the practice of listening and seeing to the needs of transgender children. one even went so far as to accuse a doctor of wrongdoing in the case of providing care for a transgender person who eventually decided to ‘go back’ to their assigned gender. the article in question seemed intent on presenting that this is common. it is not. nor can we understand what extenuating circumstances in a person’s life might make the decision to ‘revert’ a comfortable one. are they ostracised by family, friends, and others in their environs? is the pain of subsequent rejection or the hardship of just ‘being different’ in a society that condemns one for it a factor?

that’s why i was especially glad to read in the article i’m sharing today, that only around 1% of transgender people who receive treatment decide later to ‘change back’.

read and pass along this article which tends to be even keeled and logical…especially share it with those whose eyes could use a little opening.

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change the world

today while reading through the voluminous emailed news stories to which i subscribe, it hit me. not unlike a bolt of lightning out of clear blue skies.

it really does get better!

cliche, to be sure. but no less accurate because it is. there have been literally hundreds of stories about progress made in attaining basic civil and human rights for the lgbt community. marriage being legalised in a number of states. bills and legislation being passed to protect against discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference and gender variance. there was a transgender beauty contestant, and the controversial case of recognising that a state cannot deny an imprisoned transgender person the right to have appropriate treatment provided.

there have been high-profile media events on talk shows and magazine type t.v. programmes such as 20/20 that have focused specifically on the subject of child and adolescent transgender people, like my beautiful daughter. in our personal life, no one in my family circle or even in our neighborhood thinks twice about referring to ziona with the proper pronouns. acceptance is seamless and utterly without strain these days. (it wasn’t always this way.) and it goes without saying that ziona is much happier than she was before she began to live outloud, our term for her social transition.

it does indeed get better it seems.

until it comes to this. as time marches steadily forward, we draw ever closer to that time when ziona will approach puberty. this will mean puberty blocker implants, blood draws to monitor hormone levels and eventually cross hormones so she can go through puberty as a girl. in addition, no matter how much more accepting society, friends and family might be of ziona, she naturally has difficulty accepting herself.

it must be so difficult, every time she has to go to the bathroom, to be reminded that nothing ‘down there’ is right. she can’t bear the sight of her naked body, so every bath is overfilled with bubbles, the better to obscure the unkind reality. and despite how better things might be in the world at large, for ziona, it will only be ‘better’ once she has had the surgery that will right the wrong of her ‘birth defect’.

altho she knows there’s nothing that can be done about it for now, she resents that fact, and often tells me, that the reason she doesn’t smile as much as other people is because there is always sadness about the being “a boy on the bottom”. and altho i know that nothing can be done about that for now, it fills me with a similar sadness at the betrayal her body seems to her soul. if i could wave a magick wand over her to make it alright i would of course. but for now we both are trapped by the circumstances.

i’m gonna admit something here. i almost wish sometimes that she weren’t transgender. but only because i know how hard life is for her now. and because i fear that despite the leaps and bounds of progress that seems to be happening in society at large, life will be hard for her even after the surgical gender alignment, and throughout her later life too. i know that despite the legisation and increased awareness in the world, people can be cruel, hate and ignorance can’t be legislated away, and many folk cleave to those parts within their religious traditions which seem to them to justify rejecting and fearing people like ziona. even in the larger LGBT community there are some who will take issue with her, and feel righteous about judging her as less than a ‘real woman’.

so yes, i admit that i wish ziona didn’t have such things, such hurdles and hardships, ahead of her. but i also wish she didn’t have autism or juvenile polyposis syndrome.

it is what it is.

despite these things i wish were otherwise, paradoxically, i wouldn’t change her for the world! instead, i will go out of my way, exercising whatsoever powers i can muster, to change the world for her!


my gamer girl


this is my beautiful gamer girl!

it’s impossible for me to see her as anything but a beautiful, creative, game-loving 9 year-old girl. but of course, the reality is a bit more complex.

on any given day we do our homeschool lessons and she fights with me over them a bit, then co-operates and afterward is allowed to play ‘games’. one of her favorites is skyrim, where she is always a female, but rarely human. another one she enjoys is sim’s city creator, where after each build, she chooses from among the various disaster modes offered, and goes about wreaking havoc and destruction on the towns. these days she’s into minecraft. not surprisingly, these are the games i enjoy as well, tho i am not nearly as good at playing them. she is in many ways, a girl after my own heart.

she wants to travel to exotic places, and we do. right now we are saving up for a trip to thailand. it will be an expensive trip, because in addition to seeing the sights, by the time we save up enough to journey there, she will also be getting gender aligning surgery in one of the best places on earth to get it.

there are at least 7 years between now and then…and we will take other, less exotic excursions in the meantime. like the cross-country roadtrips we take every summer to visit california, our home and friends there. or the planned adventure to venezuela in a year or two. maybe another one to belize, or one to peru. and most certainly every trip from now until her gender alignment surgery, we will be making return visits to the child and adolescent gender clinic at ucsf, perhaps even taking in another genderspectrum event in the bay area.

it’s surprisingly rare that the whole topic of ‘transgender’ comes up in our household. zee, innocently enough, doesn’t really relate to that assignation. to her mind, she is just a girl. the unfortunate reminder of a body part that belies her own truth does bother her, however. she can’t bear to see her ‘spare part’, relies on me to ‘dab’ after she pees (of course always sitting down for this), insists on bubbles for the bath and when she gets out the robe is her shield against the reality of her body right up until i have dressed her.

so today, as a part of our homeschool ‘video day’, we watched one about propaganda and its effects on behaviour, then we watched one about ‘transgender children’ which i had selected because the child portrayed in it had such a similiar experience to zee’s own. like ziona, this child knew from a very early age on, about 3. like her, this child had begun to live outloud, as we call it, at around age 6.

at one point in the programme the child’s parents said they had noticed their transgender daughter becoming very concerned about her body changing ‘into a man’s’… always checking the mirror worried that she might begin to have facial hair. the child voiced her fear, and as she did i chanced to look over at ziona’s face. it would be hard to describe her expression. but it looked like one of fear.

i turned off the video at that point, deciding that it was a good enough place, (it was near the end anyway) to stop and have a little discussion. in doing so i was to learn that ziona is indeed still terrified that somehow we wont ‘catch it’ in time and that ‘boy changes’ may start to happen to her. a nightmare that she pushed to the back of her mind whenever it occurred to her. even tho she knows the whole procedure of going forward to become the girl she’s always known she is will be full of injections and at least one major surgery, despite how much she hates shots and fears pain, she is far more terrified by the prospect of having ‘boy changes’ happen to her.

it is a good thing that we watched this, that i noticed her expression and that afterward we had a heart-to-heart about her feelings regarding this. she always seems like such a carefree child! it never occurred to me that she might be genuinely terrified, deep down inside. not of the painful surgery, not of the hormone injections, but of what would become of her without them.

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How Norman Spack transformed the way we treat transgender children – Lifestyle Features

the following article is a great thing to see in the mainstream media. many people who don’t – but want to – understand more about our transgender children can be directed to this article, for their own education and edification.

for parents like myself and so many others, who are helping our gender variant, or gender dysphoric kids become who they are, such articles as this one serve to preach to choir perhaps, but are an affirmation of sorts.

introducing, dr. norman spack

How Norman Spack transformed the way we treat transgender children – Lifestyle Features.


time to act

today was ziona’s yearly ‘check-up’ at her primary care physician’s office. she needs to start a diet and exercise program as she is a bit on the chunky side, we learned. (not like i didn’t notice the baby fat belly). but we also had her testicles checked for development as is necessary to ascertain the dreaded tanner level, the physiological proof of testosterone beginning to rise with peri-pubescence.

we are there. and just to make it all the more fun, her testes have somehow become ascended and lodged up inside.

so now there will be ultrasounds to determine if some procedure will be necessary to deal with this unnatural ‘lodging’. and we’ll have to begin the testosterone blockers to prevent any further release of the hormone into her body, thus preventing the male features which she so fears we wont catch in time.

i’m on it!

a strange surge of adrenaline has been coursing through me since we left the pediatrician’s office. i’m revved up and raring to go. it is time to act!

in a way it is a relief not to have to wait any longer. we have caught it in the nick of time, and we know what happens next. i’ve been through it all in my mind, the cost of the testosterone-blocking injections, trying to get medicaid florida to pay, preparing to suck up the cost myself when they don’t. no more waiting! her journey has begun a new phase.

for ziona, the first phase was realisation that her body had betrayed her. the second phase was living as a girl, being accepted as and referred to as a girl. now. the third phase is the preventing the body from betraying her further; intervention.

she is anxious for the surgery that will remove the part she knows doesn’t belong on her body, but there will be a couple of phases between here and there. in a couple of years, phase 4 will ensue with the cross-hormones that will initiate her puberty as a female and all the body changes that will bring. then as soon as she turns 15 we will begin preparations for the sex-reassignment surgery she’ll get at age 16, probably done in thailand. vacation time!

we both know how hard she will have to struggle to be the girl she is. these necessary first steps and the painful surgery that will remove the last vestige of the y chromosomes betrayal. no doubt we’ll stay in thailand for a full month to ensure a full recovery before returning home to the U.S. (if we even decide to return)

somehow, the journey has begun in earnest now. altho, for her, it began long ago. i feel like we stand on the precipice of a dream-come-true. ready to leap.

and neither of us has the sense to be afraid.