Thursday, November 17, 2011

FTM: Coming Out to Parents II [family]

In my last post I shared a video from Jimmy, an awesome dad of an FTM son. In this video, he along with his son Peter offer advice for transpeople coming out to their parents.

In the following video, Kyp shares his experience with coming out to his family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FTM: Coming Out to Parents [family]

Coming out to family - especially parents, can be one of the most difficult challenges one faces when they transition. In addition to the physical and social torment our bodies cause us, thoughts plague us for years about whether our families will understand or disown us, and ultimately, accept us.

Even though coming out to your parents can be a really difficult thing to do, keep in mind in the end they are your parents and love you and want the best for you. Not all parents will have the terrible reaction we all expect, though - Jimmy is one of those parents.

In the following video Jimmy interviews his FTM son Peter about what it is like being transgender. Jimmy is a remarkable man and the kind of dad anyone would be lucky to have. Most can only hope to have parents that are this understanding and educated about gender and identity.

In this next video, the tables are turned and Forest talks openly with his parents about being transgender. He speaks with them about his past, how he never really fit in, and how they feel about him being trans.

I came out to my parents in a series of letters and through many talks throughout the years. I have always been a fan of the written word and have found writing a good medium in which to express my thoughts; the other party has time to process the contents on their own time and how they feel comfortable without the tension of having to take it all in at once or fearing my reaction which could lead to a verbal altercation and misunderstanding.

If anyone is curious on what to say to your parents in a coming out letter, I have published two of the letters I wrote to my parents in the beginning of my transition in my Charlie Begins blog here and here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pee Shyness [men's bathrooms].

Paruresis /ˌpɑrəˈriːsɪs/ par-ə-ree-sis) is a type of phobia in which the sufferer is unable to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom. It most commonly affects males, though there are female sufferers too. [via Wikipedia]

I recently made this video about “pee shyness.” It is an actual medical condition (a social anxiety disorder) called *paruesis (also called urophobia) that affects a lot of men (women can suffer from this too), and transmen seem to suffer from their fair share of it too. I have done a few videos on men's bathrooms because they really seem to be a source of stress for a lot of transmen.

As the video below tries to show, just relax and take it easy! It is not as bad as you think. The less nervous you are, the smoother the experience will go. Guys are way different in the bathroom; they are not as “alert” as women and want to get in there, do their business, and get out of the restroom with making as little eye contact as possible.

Transwomen have the rougher side of the coin; they go from a “business” type approach to the bathroom to a very social and potentially scrutinizing situation. Women pay much more attention to other people in the restroom; men generally could care less. Men are usually comfortable peeing in front of anyone (though not always the case) and they could care less if a woman walked in - if they did, they could opt to use a stall. On the whole, men don't give a hoot and neither should you!

I did this particular video with a non trans male friend while living in San Francisco to get his opinion on the whole men's bathroom situation and peeing standing up. It is important to remember that these are merely his views and not representative of all non transmales, just as my videos and writings are my experiences and do not represent the transmale community as a whole.

We are all different and have different experiences in transition, and they are all valuable and genuine. It is important not to compare yourself to others and just live out your life and transition the way is right for you.

*There is an organization for those who suffer from paruesis called the International Paruesis Association and they are located in Baltimore, MD. They offer support to those who suffer from this condition and promise you are not alone - they estimate that 7% of the public, some 17 million people may suffer from paruesis.

From the IPA website:

Welcome to the official IPA (International Paruresis Association) website. This site is provided as a resource for people who find it difficult or impossible to urinate in the presence of others, either in their own home or in public facilities. Also, for people who have difficulty under the stress of time pressure, when being observed, when others are close by and might hear them, or when traveling on moving vehicles.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. In fact, recent studies show that about seven percent (7%) of the public, or 17 million people, may suffer from this social anxiety disorder. Often referred to as Pee-Shy, Shy-Bladder, Bashful Bladder, etc., avoidant paruresis is nothing to be ashamed of, and you have made an important step simply by coming to this website.

Inside you will find helpful information on support groups, support seminars (workshops), and even drug therapy. There is also a useful and friendly discussion board where you can share your problems and success -- or just "listen in" -- with others who have the same problem as you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SF & LA Transgender Film Festivals [film, events]

The 10th Anniversary of the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival is happening November 3-5, 2011.

Find them on Facebook here and Twitter here.

If you're down in SoCal, the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival will be held November 4-6 , 2011.

Find them on Facebook here.