Some exciting news! I had my court date yesterday, and after a minor fiasco with my birth certificate, everything went well, and I’m officially “Alex M.” instead of “Allison Marie.” The judge was very culturally sensitive and affirming. After he called my name and I stood up, he realized that my name did not match my gender presentation. I had already sat through 10-15 name changes, and knew that he’d ask me why I was changing my name. When that point in the questioning came, however, he had a private conversation with me instead of having me explain the situation aloud with everyone else in the courtroom listening. He wished me luck, and the rest is history! Today is the first day where I’m legally Alex, and I’m secretly hoping for the opportunity to sign something today (not that my signature is really going to look any different anyway, I have an illegible “doctor” signature–you can really only see the “A” and “G” anyway!).
It has been very exciting (and interesting) to see how my gender presentation and mannerisms have changed along with my physical transition. What has been interesting, however, is that I have actually become more effeminate as I’ve become more physically masculine. I feel like (this is just an intuitive guess), that when I looked more like a woman, I felt like I had to act more masculine to compensate for being unable to be a man. However, now that I am a man, I’m just free to be myself. I’m physically very masculine, but man, can I be a queen sometimes. No worries at all, though, because I’m certainly okay with that.
Since I last posted, I also had the opportunity to go out to dinner with my partner and a transgender professor here at ASU. We shared our stories, talked about research, and finally, trans surgery. The professor we met with does research with Dr. Meltzer, who happens to be my partner’s surgeon for top surgery. We talked about the possibility of me shadowing Dr. Meltzer for some of his trans surgeries so I can gain exposure into what he does on a regular basis. Since I’m considering becoming an SRS surgeon, but I’m still unsure, this would be an incredibly valuable opportunity. Cross your fingers that it all works out!
In non-trans related news, life has been a little crazy as of late. My brother-in-law was in a really bad car accident that left him unable to move his arms or legs. I’m happy to report that he made some progress in wiggling his limbs a little in PT yesterday, but the whole situation is just…ugh. He’s a kick ass guy, and one of my favorite people on the planet, so thoughts/positive vibes for a speedy and uneventful recovery would be greatly appreciated!
I’m also still figuring out life with Type 1 Diabetes, since I was officially diagnosed about two weeks ago. I’m constantly reminded of things that I never had to think about before–like that if I take insulin before a meal, I can’t just decide I’m full half way through, unless I want to get incredibly low blood sugar from taking insulin for food I didn’t eat! (I’ve only done that a few times–eek!). There are other little things, too–like trying to memorize the carbohydrate content of everything under the sun, or manage my insulin injections on long days when I’m teaching and feel uncomfortable giving myself shots in front of a group of 25 people! Like I’ve said before, though, my partner, mother-in-law, and a close friend also have Type 1 Diabetes, so I’m lucky to have veterans that can show me the ropes.
Other than that, I’m just busy with the usual–teaching, research, and school. I’m still checking my e-mail constantly, hoping to hear back from medical schools. The waiting is the worst! I’ll also be assigned a mentee soon through a program at the YMCA to mentor LGBTQ youth, and I’m very excited about that.
In sum, life is keeping me busy, but I love it!