Apr. 27th, 2011

For some reason I was reminded today of when I first came out in my department. I was told by one of the only other female grad students that she didn't want me to use the women's restroom. So I didn't. I didn't use the men's room either. I didn't use the bathroom at work. I'd try and hold it for 6+ hours straight - and then go about 4 blocks over to a building that had a single occupancy restroom and then use it. The pain was excruciating. I should also say that I drink coffee regularly to keep migraines away and that this was still going on even when I started hormones and I was taking spironolactone every day. For those in the audience unaware, it's primarily a diuretic. It just happens to work as a cheap and fairly effective androgen blocker for us trans women.

I remember one day when I had made the mistake of waiting too long to try and make it over to the other building. The pain had gotten bad enough that walking made me feel like I was going to vomit. Not knowing what the fuck to do, I ended up just curling in a ball on the couch in the commons area and sobbing. I think someone found me and tried to ask me what was going on, but it's kinda hazy. I do remember when the grad student who told me she didn't want me in the bathroom came by, and I don't remember what I said but I think I explained my dilemma. She told me that she didn't feel comfortable with me in there...but that given how much pain I was in it was the lesser of the two evils. So that's how I first used the women's restroom in my department.

Not exactly a story of triumph, is it? They treat me better now, but honestly I don't know if that's because they really accept me or because I look "female enough" at this point that they don't have to think of me as an icky tranny? I don't know. I don't even know if I want to be at a place where my peers have treated me like that. At the same time, I don't want to give up completely on my phd work.

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Mx. Pre-sheaf

April 2012

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