Jul. 9th, 2007 10:21 pm
egypturnash: (Default)

Getting closer.

Simplify? Redraw less scribbly, to be sure. Something close.

Got to explore other symbology, too. Is this image's complexity a strength or a weakness?

(see my previous post of today for context, if you haven't already.)

Not sure it says 'phoenix' as much with these colors, celebratory though they may be. Getting somewhere, though.


Jul. 9th, 2007 04:06 pm
egypturnash: (transition)
So I started thinking about pride flags. Specifically, the ones for the transgender community.

I have never seen one I liked... because all of them are about 'male plus female'. Various hybrids of the signs for Venus and Mars, and pastel pink and blue. The pastel, especially, bugs me - it becomes something about reinforcing the gender roles of 1950s America. "It's okay to pick your own role", these colors say, "as long as it's one of the two approved ones".

To make matters worse, 'pastel' always feels feminine to me; if I was a FtM, I'd want some much butcher colors!

With that in mind, and a joking suggestion of stealing the Trans Am logo, I doodled in Illustrator.

Not quite there in colors or execution, but I think it's a start on something very different. It's not about the male/female chasm; it's about the rebirth. Proud, bright colors for the fire; an empty white slate for the phoenix, breaking out of the greyness of their previous life. And something firey like a phoenix is a reminder to get out and do something now that you're no longer spending every minute maintaining the pretense of the gender you were born in.

Also it works hung vertically or horizontally, which is a plus.

Comments? Especially from those of you who're on the female-to-male path - does this speak to you more or less than existing designs?

edit: I made some variants )
egypturnash: (transition)
While taking a break from working on the death knell for Jhonen Vasquez' career, I did some web-browsing. On a whim, I asked Google Images for "shemale".

I just compared myself to people who've been packaged and fetishized. Who've been primped and lit and shot with intent to arouse. And you know what? I look at these photos, and I look at what I see in the mirror, and I'm not feeling inadequate. Yeah, I could lose ten pounds (mostly on my belly), I could do with a little more tit-flesh and a little practice in covering the lingering stubble... but I can look at this stuff and think "Huh, I'm hotter than her" and "I'm about as cute as her" 90% of the time. And I'm sitting here in a bathrobe with messy hair.

Given that I spent most of my life being, at best, faintly dissatisfied with what I see in the mirror, this is a really surprisingly nice thing to be feeling.

Hooray for positive body image, even if it didn't come until I was thirty-something!

bad ideas

Jun. 1st, 2006 12:30 pm
egypturnash: (raccoon facepaint)
After doing it a few times, I've learnt to quickly and reliably paint a stylized raccoon mask on my own face. An interesting conglomeration of straights and curves, framing my eyes.

It would be a really, really bad idea to do this before going out to hit up the DMV for a state identification card with my new name on it. Right? It's sure tempting, though.
egypturnash: (Default)
I got my first official pieces of mail as Margaret Eleanor Trauth today: my new Social Security card, my new ATM card, and a bank statement.

Pretty soon I should have some checks, too. The first one of those gets written to Ashy, for the first nibble at what I owe her. I'll probably go into some of the story of that soon, and why it's quite symbolically proper that the first check written by Margaret be to her.

I'm almost out of Limbo.
egypturnash: (happy)
Well. I stood in front of a judge while he signed his magic signature on a piece of paper. I'm not Paul Clayton Trauth any more; I'm officially Margaret Eleanor Trauth.

I was so underdressed, too. I only realized after I left that I completely forgot that courts are supposed to be Very Formal places. I was wearing a shirt swiped from Rik with a picture of a little scribbly gremlin kinda guy saying 'Hi.' on it, while everyone else there for a case was in business dress. Well, this is how I dress to do business; I'm an artist! More importantly, I'd already been to the courthouse dressed nice, ready to do this, but they'd told me the wrong damn date, so screw formality.

There was a little flutter in my stomach when the clerk called my name and I went up to the judge. And then I was done.
egypturnash: (Default)
Well. i got a court date for the name change. How I'll manage to get myself to the courthouse at 8:30 on Thursday is anyone's guess. Copious quantities of caffeine and leaving clothes out the night before sounds like a plan.

I would've had the court date sometime last week, but our phone company-provided voice mail is a black pit. We really need to get rid of it and get an answering machine.

Also, meme. I somehow see nothing good in this one...

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egypturnash: (Default)
Today, Kin and I went out with Rik to Harvard Square. We left him there - he needed to catch up on work stuff, you see, and decided to go get some ice cream before going home.

At the ice cream place, the girl behind the counter called me 'Sir'. This threw me for a moment, then I realized, well, she could only see me from the shoulders up, I hadn't shaved before we'd gone out (though the stubble wasn't too bad, it's still a lot more than a woman should have), and, more importantly, my larynx was right at her eye-level as I looked up at the menu, deciding what flavor I wanted.

I could have let this bug me, I could have let this throw me into a gloom of Not Passing for a few hours. But somehow I didn't. I had one of my boyfriends there to remind me that I'm definitely female in any way that counts. And in the past few weeks, when I was on low estrogen rations, I'd found myself feeling male in some ways and not caring, even kind of enjoying it. Some total stranger's opinion of my gender just didn't bug me. I guess I'm just sure of my gender now. Yeah, I used to be a guy. There're some things about my body and personality that make this obvious. But I'm a girl these days, and I'm pretty sure of this. I don't have to convince myself of it any more.

She said 'sir' a couple times more during the process of preparing my ice cream and Kin's "frappé"*. I think she'd kinda realized her mistake and was hoping for confirmation. I didn't feel like making any kind of scene at all; I just grinned and leaned on Kin and fondled his butt some.

I could feel the little path to gender mopiness opening up, and I just decided... no. Not going there. It was a nice sunny spring day, and I had better things to do than to sit around and feel ugly and male. Not when earlier that morning, I was halfway thinking of doing naughty little doodles of a male version of one or another of my self-metaphors happily fucking the metaphors of one of my boyfriends! Maybe 'gender' is starting to not matter to me as much. I'm a lot happier with who I am now; I've been thinking of myself as female for several years now. It takes time for it to sink in, and today I think I saw some evidence of it having sunk in deeper.

Permanent facial hair removal is on my list of things to do once I get this name change done and can start cashing checks again. It's not the top thing but it's definitely on the list. I'd like to not have to remember to shave every damn time I go out. I'm glad I didn't wait to go full-time until I'd done it, as some people suggest, but I'd really like to not have to deal with it any more.

* Nobody knows why, but this is what Boston calls a milkshake.
egypturnash: (Default)
Dear US Customs and Border Protection,

Thank you for your kind letter informing me that you have seized my shipment of female hormones, in which you offer me the choice of letting you destroy them, voluntarily abandoning them to you (after which they will be destroyed), or forward them to the FDA for destruction. The addition of the flyer patronizingly informing me that "buying medicine from outside the US is risky business" is a nice touch; it made me feel like a child being talked down to by adults who think I'm not very smart.

I will think of you when I find myself spinning into despair and distraction due to the change in hormone levels. Thank you very much!

Love, Peggy.

(note: a shipment from another place did arrive, so I'm not in immediate danger of months of PMS - but I was hoping to have several months of the stuff lined up in advance. I'm also still at a point where I feel like a hundred bucks is something I can ill afford to lose, though my boyfriends assure me it's manageable.)

(later: I realized that the letter describes this as "1 Box(s) Containing PROGYNOVA". I'm going to ask them to immediately forward the Duphaston that was also in there. I suspect they won't, but I'm going to hassle them for the hell of it.)
egypturnash: (Default)
Went on down to the courthouse, form and birth certificate and cash in hand. The person who actually deals with it had left early for the weekend. Drat. I left the form and certificate there, and they should be calling me up on Monday. Gotta do the criminal background check and all that, you know.

I walked back because it wasn't that far and it's finally sunny and kinda warm here. Nice day. I wonder how long that'll last?
egypturnash: (Default)
It's been something floating in the back of my head for a while: what will I pick for a middle name when I change it? I had a few possibilities - Emily, Elizabeth - but they didn't quite work. Other sillier ones as well; Margaret Morgaine Trauth has a certain ring to it (though it works much better with Emily as the first, which is what I would've been given if I was born with female genitals).

I picked up the name-change form I'd gotten from online and filled it out just now. I wrote 'Margaret' on the line for the new name, and then stopped. I'm keeping the last name, I want to keep my history, but I still hadn't picked my middle name. It was time.

My mother's thrown me inspiration in the form of things like lists of the names of the women of my family. She's been supportive of the transition, so I wanted to have her involved in my renaming. At the end of one of her last emails on the subject, there's one that's not in my family. I tried it on for size, and really liked the rhythm and taste of it. Googling for it got a couple of interesting, strong women in history attached to it as the top hits. It's not a modern name, but neither is Margaret-shortened-to-Peggy.

So I finished filling out the name-change form.

Margaret Eleanor Trauth.

(As a side note, writing my birth name on this form felt very weird. There are other forms to deal with that will need it, but this is one of the very last times I'll ever write it out in full, and realizing that was... interesting.)
egypturnash: (Default)
So - that experience of thinking hey wait, I used to be a boy - I just dissected it. Something in my mind does a pronoun check, and it comes up instantly, casually female. And then a moment later, a different result comes in from a different direction, a more intellectual/experience/memory one, and that one's male.

And I realize there's this dichotomy in myself, and I take note. And I just kind of grin if the pronoun check was prompted by something I never would have done when I was an involuted self-repressing boy...
egypturnash: (Default)
Yay, I got my birth certificate just now. I can go on to the next step of name-change.

My mother and father were, respectively, 27 and 29 when I was born. I'm older than both of them were then. There's some odd feeling lurking behind that fact but I'm not quite sure what it is.

I keep having these little moments of "hey, wait. I used to be a boy. I could've never imagine myself doing this when I was a boy." when I'm cuddling my boyfriends. I've been getting this for the past month or so; I think some switch in the back of my head is in the process of flipping. Some realization of how much I've changed now, not just physically, but mentally. Should I mourn the vanishing of who I was? No; not really. I was all closed up and hidden as a boy. Now I've opened up into a shockingly bright-colored person, if you'll pardon the cliché flower metaphor.

Or perhaps I've just gone back to being who I was before the gender dysphoria started to be an issue, and before my father dying sent me fleeing any and all new emotional attachments.
egypturnash: (empty head)
Hee. So I finally got my first check from American Greetings. Yay, money! Unfortunately it's made out to Margaret, rather than Paul: I haven't done the name change stuff yet.

Time to deal with that.

links relevant to a Somerville, MA resident who was born in Louisiana... )

Most of these links are courtesy of and I want to double-check them before acting on them. TSRoadmap is one of the better trans info sites I've found; if you're contemplating a transition, or amidst one, it probably belongs in your bookmarks.

trying to parse these forms makes my head hurt. i think i'm going to go draw some porn now. if anyone reading this knows a t-friendly lawyer type in the Boston area who can help this happen smoothly, feel free to point me to them.
egypturnash: ( all her aspects)
This was originally a lengthy comment I left on a recent entry in someone else's LJ.

I know there's a number of MtFs reading my journal because I'm MtF, and talk openly about it now and then. Someday I still need to get around to hunting down all my old transition posts, making sure people are okay with their comments being visible, and make them public; I know that when I was considering transition, I eagerly devoured stories of people who'd done it, or who were doing it. Because I wanted to find something in one that would say I could do it too.

So I'm taking this from where it's visible to about a dozen people, and putting it where anyone can see it. Because it's a recap of a lot of what kept me from transitioning, and what decisions I had to make to do it. Keep in mind that the 'you' it's addressed to is someone who is currently male and poking at their gender issues; if this doesn't describe you, don't consider 'you' to mean, well, you! (It's probably semi-applicable if you're a potential FtM, but I don't believe I have any of those reading my LJ regularly at the moment completely blanked on a couple people I know damn well are transitioning, or considering it, when I wrote that sentence. *smack self*)

Long. )

Oh, PS: if you're having trans thoughts, is a good site to have in your bookmarks. It's gotten more political since I first ran across it, but it's still full of a lot of sensible talk. It's mostly from a MtF perspective, but some things are common to both directions, and you might find some good FtM links in something they link to.
egypturnash: (Second Life)
I just counted: on Second Life, I have sixteen distinct, different avatars in my inventory. Two are ones I got handed. The rest are all my work. Some are half-finished sketches; some are in the 'depreciated' directory because they're not so good. About half of them are ones I really call "done". There's a few more, but they're slight edits, or archived old versions.

I don't build there; I don't socialize much there; I don't make clothes; I don't sell stuff. I play with code a little, but mostly... I make things to be.

I don't know why, quite. Back on Furrymuck I just never quite trusted people who shifted a lot. Maybe because most of them weren't very interesting, regardless of what shape they were in.

When [ profile] bluewyrm and I were talking, before all the Residents silliness happened, she suggested it might be cool to make a Peganthyrus avatar. I'm done with that mask, I explained; lots of history behind it I needed to get away from. But several of the avatars I have share important characteristics with that mask: blackness, spikiness, and wings. That same feel keeps coming back. I'm just used to being a dark, dangerous thing.

And some of my other avatars are exaggeratedly harmless. Shortish, cute, prone to wearing a turning windup key.

I'll stick to one look for most of a day, when it's done. If that.

I am not any one particular thing, there. I'm one particular thing less, in general, in virtual worlds - on Puzzlebox I mostly play Sosael/etc, who has four codified forms, and several that come and go on the edges, and a tendency to fragment into a swarm of insects. And when I'm a more solidified character, they're still one of five logins I have there. (I haven't been around PB lately; telnetting to my web host to use tinyfugue is terribly awkward and roundabout.)

Do I change masks because I'm looking for a new way to see myself? What am I hoping to see in the shattered mirror of this assortment of femmy, inhuman things? What's missing from them all that keeps me making new things to be on SL? or am I just using SL as a visual medium, and doing what I do all the time in 2D: draw something different every time?

Aside from worries about hormonal backsliding, which're about to be calmed 'cause I got the other check from that freelance stuff, I like what I see when I look in a real mirror.
egypturnash: (Default)
"I'm in this fucking business for the monsters. The monsters are the main thing I love about the fantastic." - China Miéville, in an interview with Believer magazine, whose website design is vaguely smarmy in exactly the same way as McSweeny's.

I think I'm in this business for the monsters, too. Last night I was hanging out at a gathering of random local furries for coffee, and I drew something in [ profile] normanrafferty's sketchbook - it sure wasn't human, but it sure wasn't "a furry" either. It was a monster. Flip through my sketchbook and you'll see retty things, sensible things, but you'll also see a lot of monsters, and some of those monsters represent me. I could burble for a while about that, how I have a long history of that and my becoming more comfortable with myself hasn't seemed to change this at all; I could probably even theorize that my attraction to rendering myself as a monster-girl is some way of constructing my own way of being female without turning into a horrible pink frilly caricature of a Disney princess, as some MtFs do. But mostly I just like drawing monsters. They're fun. You don't have to follow any particular rules if you don't want to.

Yay monsters.

a secret

Mar. 21st, 2004 02:57 pm
egypturnash: (change (oCe))
I was thinking about doing that 'If you know me as [name]...' meme that's been going around. I did, but only in a locked entry. Why?

Because of the first line.

Because if I started it off by saying who uses the name I was given at birth, I'd be outing myself.

I've been a lot less close with this secret lately. I think it's reached the point iRL and online where I should come out in general.

I am a transsexual. Born male, raised somewhat gender-indeterminately. Becoming female in body to match a feminine mind.

I kept a lot of myself closed off and hidden; I didn't want to admit it for a long time, even to myself. I tried to convince myself it was just something I did online, playing a female character as a substitute for female companionship in my life, that I was "just" an occasional crossdresser (no offense intended to the very cool and cute crossdressers I know!), even as I secretly reveled every time my general androgyny led a stranger to use female pronouns on me, even as I grew my fingernails long and accumulated a wide collection of nail polish which I casually wore to work.

And then, early in the summer of 2002, I saw myself in a way that made me realize that doing this change I'd always wished for, beneath what I let myself "really" feel, was actually possible. That I was already very much in the middle, mentally and physically, enough so that something could, and should, be done, with a good chance of actually coming out the other end of it happy with myself, looking feminine enough that I don't feel like I'm a constant center of stares.

I've been a lot happier since admitting this to myself, almost two years ago. And even happier since starting my slow change when I got onto female hormones seven months ago. It's confusing and frightening and wonderful, all at once, to see my body change to match my mind, and my mind change as well, as the body affects it. Being at once in my early thirties and in my teens is... confusing, to say the least.

It's a risk, in many ways. But it's one I'm glad I'm taking. I'm not quite sure who I'll be when I'm all finished with the change, but I'm pretty sure I'll be a lot happier with myself than if I'd tried to continue as a bitter, involuted boy. There are new difficulties, new worries... but I'm already a lot more comfortable with myself.

There it is, something I've held secret for almost all my years online. It's hard to hit that 'post entry' button.


egypturnash: (Default)
Margaret Trauth

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