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My Journey

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February 2016

Short Documentary

Hello my lovelies,

I will be posting a full blog post tomorrow, but for now, I wanted to share with you a student made documentary I participated in. It’s on my YouTube channel so hop on over there and give it a watch. Let me know what you think in the comments, feel free to share it with your friends, colleagues, coworkers, loved ones, etc. 🙂

Oh, well, apparently when I pasted the hyperlink it embedded the video so you don’t have to go over to YouTube. So here you go! 🙂

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Fast Forwarding Through Life

I was just sitting here purusing social media, looking at the pictures on Instagram of my friends on the East Coast and I found myself wishing I could have a fast-forward button.

There was a time in my life where I wished I could have had a rewind button so I could go back and change things; however, I no longer wish for that. My experiences have shaped who I am today, and created opportunities that may not have existed had I not made decisions or experienced certain events. I don’t believe in regrets in my life. Every decision, every experience is a learning opportunity. Whether, you feel that way in the moment is different. It’s important to spend a certain amount of time being retrospective and understanding the lessons from your past; and recognizing that some events may take years to gain that insight.

But back to my first paragraph, I do find myself getting lost in the future. I daydream, I love to plan, have tall dreams and goals for myself. To the point that I often wish I could fast-forward to when those plans, goals, and dreams have come to fruition. But then I take a step back and realize, what good would that do? I would have learned nothing from the experiences I had along the way; and who’s to say that an experience I have tomorrow completely changes my future. What I often have to remind myself is to live in the moment. It’s ok to make plans, have goals, work toward those goals, but it’s also equally important to be in the now. To be flexible with those goals; which is something I have had to learn very recently.

My original goal was to be out east by this spring, this fall at the very latest. But because financing for finishing my bachelor’s degree is not as easy or straightforward as I wish it could be; I’m going to have to stay in Des Moines for a year or two and work full-time for a place that offers tuition assistance, among other benefits I need (including coverage of transition care in the medical benefits). I have a phone interview Monday for a company who’s HR department’s email tagline includes a phrase similar to that of “XYZ is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer for Veterans, sexual orientation, and Gender Identity.” (Mind you I was paraphrasing that). According to a friend they are one of the most Trans* inclusive businesses in the city; so here’s hoping my phone interview leads to an in person interview that leads to a job.

So I’m trying to teach myself, or rather to remind myself, to enjoy the moment. Don’t think of changes in plans or dreams as a bad thing, but rather a ripple effect of life.

Don’t hesitate to comment below, or on Facebook/Twitter/or Tumblr.

All my love and good thoughts to you all,

Rivka

Help support my book! Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/rivkaschrodt

Twitter: @rivkachrodt

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Soapbox One (of probably many)

Why are we not talking more about Trans* related healthcare? I’m talking specifically about transition related care, but also sex-specific preventative care?

So many, insurance companies have blatant exclusions to all of their plans regarding transition related healthcare (i.e. hormones, surgery, etc.) Some go so far as to have statements like “if discovered through chart review or case notes that patient discusses transition related care, transgenderism, or gender dysphoria, or anything related to gender identity, company xyz has the right to deny coverage and/or the patient risks losing coverage”.

WHY IS THIS NOT IN THE NEWS?! WHY ARE THE LGBTQ+ ORGANIZATIONS NOT DOING MORE ABOUT THIS?!

How are we supposed to reconcile our innerselves with our outerselves if we can not receive the proper medical care we deserve and pay premiums for?

Healthcare.gov states that such policies may be discriminitory based on sex or other bases, and that is forbidden under the ACA. What they don’t tell you, is that more insurance companies than not have been “grandfathered” in and so such discrimination is still possible, much less allowed.

Whether a company’s insurance policies cover transition related care is a make or break issue for me regarding whether I will work for that company or not.

But again I ask, what is being done about this federally? Why are we allowing insurance companies to get away with discrimination. Why are we compromising and codifying discrimination into our laws just to pass them for the limited benefits they offer?

The presidential candidates (Democrats, I mean) are not talking about this. I bring this up at every rally I attend. When I was at the caucuses on the 1st, the Martin O’Malley representative started talking to me and I asked him (through my interpreter), what Mr. O’Malley was going to do for Transgender individuals when it came to healthcare coverage, both for transition related care and sex-specific preventative care. His response was something like “well, he certainly supports the LGBT community and supports the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage”. I quickly responded, “that’s not what I asked” and he looked very uncomfortable and made an excuse to get away from me.

I have seen no rhetoric from any of the candidates regarding this issue and that disappoints me. Just because we won the Supreme Court case regarding same sex marriage, does not mean we are done.

The Trans* community is forgotten about time and time again. We’re left out of hate-crimes legislation, anti-discrimination legislation, healthcare legislation. HELL, several states are making it a CRIME just to use the BATHROOM. They are making criminals out of us for simply trying to pee. More needs to be done, and you will find me at the front of that rally. I’ve officially had enough. I’m pissed and am going to fight like hell for equal rights for Trans* and Intersex people. I love my LGB sisters and brothers but we have our own, specific needs to attend to. Further, we’ve allowed our rights and protections be traded to allow for our LGB brethren to get their policies passed. I’m not trying to villainize the LGB community but enough is enough. We will not be swept under the rug anymore. We will not be traded for your rights. We will not be told any longer that “your time will come, if we can just get our rights it will pave the way for your rights.” Now is the time for us to have our rights.

In solidarity my loves,

Rivka

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/rivkaschrodt

Twitter: @rivkachrodt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rivkaschrodtprofessional

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Emotional Masochism?

Despite what my rational mind and therapist say, I’m jealous of my friends who are married and have kids. I’m jealous of my brother and his wife. I’m coming up on my 30th birthday and I have had three meaningful relationships in my life and nothing to speak of them except the experiences I gained from them. Which, sure, that’s important, but still.

My rational mind and therapist tell me that yes, those are invaluable lessons and that people are starting their lives later now. That it’s just not my time to be in a relationship and what have you, as I’m going through so many changes and I’m going to be in a completely different place in mind, body, and location in due time; so why would I enter a relationship with someone knowing all this? I get this, rationally.

Emotionally, is a completely different story. I miss the feeling of being held by a significant other. I miss the emotional, mental, and physical connection that comes from an intimate partner. Sometimes it’s debilitating. I think debilitating is too strong of a word, but it’s a strong feeling. I notice it more at night, when I’m not distracted by work and school.

I have so much going for me, a book in the works, a second book in concept, a burgeoning new company, I’m at the tail end of finishing my undergraduate degree and going to graduate school to follow my dreams. I’m making my dreams and passions come true, but they feel hollow sometimes. Am I being a whiny, ungrateful, privileged twat? Probably.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, and this has no correlation with the “holiday” that is tomorrow. I’m the answer person. I’m who people come to for answers about life, about their problems. I don’t have an answer on how to make these feelings cease, or to make my rational brain and my emotional heart coexist.

What are your thoughts? Advice? I hate hearing things like “it’ll happen when you least expect it” or other canned responses like that, it doesn’t make it better. Leave your thoughts in the comment section here or on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr.

Hope you are all staying safe and warm (it’s fucking cold here). All my love,

Rivka

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/rivkaschrodt

Twitter: @rivkachrodt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rivkaschrodtprofessional

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One Month on Hormones – NSFW ish

Fair warning, this post is not safe for work. I’m going to be going into detail about changes in my body so if you’re at work, wait until you’re on your lunch break and read it on your phone, or wait until you get home. If hearing genitals, and bodily  functions make you uncomfortable read no further. However, if it’s because it’s an uncomfortable topic for you, not because you’re grossed out by blood and stuff; I implore you to keep reading anyway. You’ll learn something (hopefully).

So today is, or rather was, my one month anniversary on hormones. I have noticed a myriad of changes already, moreso in the past week and a half.

At their full dose, I will be taking Spironolactone 100mg and Estradial 2mg. I’m currently on 25mg of Spironolactone and .5mg of Estradial. In one month my doctor will bump me up to 50mg of Spiro and 1mg of Estradial. Two months after that I will be bumped up to the full dose and will be on that until I have surgery. I intend to have both bottom and top surgery.

Current medical recommendations are to be on hormones for two years before having surgery. Once I have bottom surgery the Spiro will be either stopped or dropped drastically.

The reason for this is with the removal of my testicles, I will no longer be producing as much testosterone and will no longer need such a high dose to block it.

Some Trans* women take progesterone; it’s not often recommended for women with mental health concerns it can make them worse. Due to my mental health diagnoses I won’t be taking progesterone.

I have started noticing minimal breast development, I’ve been debating getting my first bra; but I’m not sure yet.

My emotions are all over the place. If I’m anxious about something, my anxiety is more pronounced. I can go from crying to laughing back to wanting to kill someone in the span of 15 minutes. I don’t notice joyous emotions as strongly as what would consider “negative” emotions. By that I mean, I haven’t noticed occaisions of more pronounced joyousness or happiness, but sadness, lonliness, anger are all more pronounced. I’m not sure if that’s my anti-depressent or what the cause of that is. That’s not to say I’m walking around constantly depressed or angry. When I’m not feeling those feelings I feel… mute?

This past week I’ve begun to notice/have hot flashes. Sometimes they last hours, sometimes they last a few minutes.

As far as sexual side effects or my genitalia, I have noticed in the last week that I can no longer maintain an erection. Within the first week of starting hormones I noticed my ejaculate had changed in consistency which is my body not producing sperm. I would venture to guess at this point I am permanently sterile. That is to be expected, but I wasn’t sure how fast it would occur. I haven’t yet figured out what arousal and orgasm mean to me or how to achieve them. That will come with time and experimentation.

That’s all I have for now. Hope you’re safe and warm. Don’t forget to comment below or on my Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr, information is all below. Also, don’t forget to donate to Patreon if you can, it will help me afford to work on my book.

Rivka

PS: Check out Scott Matthew’s Album – “Unlearned”. All of Scott’s work is great.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/rivkaschrodt

Twitter: @rivkachrodt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rivkaschrodtprofessional

Tumblr: http://www.rivkaschrodt.tumblr.com

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