Soda Dam, Jemez, NM

This is a rough cut image made on Thanksgiving this year.  I prefer spending holidays outside, my partner came with me this year and right beside the road was this perfect hole up in some rocks with a waterfall beneath it. Sulfur hot springs are nearby and trickle into this cave making it an experience to shoot in, along with the traffic that can potentially stop at any moment just a few steps away. It was handy to have an assistant for this shoot. I love this image, I have work to do with it and many similar to choose from, but I love it. I’m just trying to figure out exactly what it means. I’m sure in time, clarity will come.
Posted in images | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Essence – ugliness

 

One of the hardest things I still deal with is facial hair. I was blessed as a guy with a thick beard of thick dense red hair. Electrolysis is ongoing. I’ve been having weekly treatments of 1.5 to 2 hours a session for a few years now, minus the occasional break. I still have a ways to go. I have to grow out my hair for two to three days prior to a session so there is enough to see, electrocute, and pluck out dead. The hour produces 300-350 kills. It hurts. More than that hurt is the hurt by having the facial hair in the first place. I am self-conscious even when I know the hair is not visible. I know it’s there. I can feel it. I can see it. The fact that I’ve gained fifteen pounds, that my nails don’t look pretty all the time, even that my voice isn’t always that feminine, none of that compares to the never ending hate and disgust of what grows on my face. The pain it brings to me inside. It’s a process and some day it will be gone. I live with it, I deal with it, but its always there scarring me a little more every day.

Posted in Bodies of Work, essence | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

reaching

Reaching out to friends, reaching out for help, reaching out to family, trying to reach to get somewhere… sometimes it seemed I just couldn’t reach far enough or hard enough to get what I needed. That’s when I had to reach deeper inside than I ever knew was possible.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Separation

 

Despite the overwhelming joy of undergoing genital surgery for a gender shift, there are plenty of emotions surrounding the loss of and separation from the life I lived for so long.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hate.

One of my dearest friends recruited me to help her make a big sign that said HATE. The organization she was working for put it up at an event on a busy corner in Portland, Maine. People passing by would write someones name on a card and post in on the board over the word HATE. At the end of the night, HATE was effectively wiped out and covered up by all those cards.

I wish this was truly the case. HATE is all around. Regardless of how many words you hear or experiences a person has who transitions, just the fear of having to deal with hate is debilitating. The snide comments, the looks, the direct ignorance… or just plain hate, is one of the hardest obstacles to deal with and overcome. Even dear friends who can’t deal with a friend transitioning and instead of having an adult conversation, just slip away, makes for more stress than is necessary. HATE it leads to transgender individuals having such high suicide rates, low self esteem and extreme difficulty in our everyday lives.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Quote

Thoughts on suicide…

********Because I know some of my family and friends will be highly concerned with this post and what I have to say, I will say this. “I AM FINE, DON”T WORRY”  all this stuff is well in the past.*******

The National Center for Transgender Equality posted facts that a whopping 41% of respondents responded yes to the question “have you ever attempted suicide.” Compare that with the population at large that has a 1.6% rate of attempted suicide.

I am not making assumptions that the survey isn’t flawed, if a formal survey were to be done, the rate may show up markedly lower. What we can take away is that suicide for transgender people is significantly higher than the average population. This makes for a very real issue and for something that Psychologists and other therapists for the transgender population must be concerned with.

It was talked about in my therapy session on occasion. I knew I would never attempt it. All the talk in the trans community about it did get me to consider it more than I otherwise would have. I was aware that I would never even attempt  suicide. That gave me the freedom to contemplate it. I also knew I was going weekly to my therapist and she could keep me straight if I wandered.

I thought of all the methods, how I would do it. I thought of each one why I could never do it. Pills; maybe I wouldn’t take the right ones and would end up brain damaged and still alive. Wrist Sliting; I’m not sure I could watch myself actually do it, and then someone would have to find me like that. It would be cruel to do that to someone. Gun; I don’t have a gun. I would miss and be deformed the rest of my life. Again, someone would have to find me like that. It seems like the cowardly way of all the cowardly ways. Drive my car off a bridge; well, if I was going to…

It comes down to the fact that I have way too much to live for and I know that. I wouldn’t want to do that to my friends and family. There is always another way to deal with hardships in our lives. None the less, I got to the point where I actually considered methods. I considered it. That’s a tough one for even me to swallow.

I wear a bracelet in most of these images that deal with my difficulties. The bracelet is a beautifully simple one a friend gave to me just before I left for the trip to Argentina. I kept it on in the images consciously as a sort of tribute and reminder that my friends and my family are what pulled me through so many difficult times. Too many people who are transgender never get through to the other side. To happiness with themselves. I hope that my work helps people realize the importance of reaching out to transgender people. I hope it educates people to the issues we face and the fact that we are just that, people. Hopefully it will help, in some small way, to educate someone or some people so that their friendship is why another transgender person doesn’t attempt suicide. Just maybe.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumice Stone Field, Puna de Atacama, Argentina…

A little more light-hearted image than some of the previous images. A new piece of ‘equipment’ often needs to be explored and contemplated. Not ever having owned a vagina until a couple years ago, even though I always wanted one, takes time to get used to.

There are fissures in relationships that occur due to this change in my anatomy and that is certainly represented here. Mainly, this is just about coming to terms with suddenly having something I always wanted and getting used to it.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumice Stone Field, Puna de Atacama, Argentina

I needed to learn to mourn the death of part of myself. Who I was for most of my life, who I pretended to be because of that sex organ hanging between my legs. It was most of what I knew and it was how I related to the world. Out of that emerged who I always knew myself to be inside; the person I am now. There was always a part of who I am now that seemed dead inside me. It’s an odd thing, nearing forty years old and just trying to figure yourself out. Sometimes it all feels a bit too much to deal with.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salt Deposit outside of Tolar Grande, Puna de Atacama region, Argentina

There were three crystal blueish teal pools in the salt flats we went to see just outside of the town of Tolar Grande in which we were staying. On the short hike from the parking area to the pools, I noticed this formation. After seeing the pools, which were spectacular, I immediately left to go back to this spot which spoke to me.

Loneliness and isolation; two similar issues that have to be dealt with in a very real way while going through a transition. Most people can’t imagine how lonely the process can be, and it makes me happy that most people will never know or understand it.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cave in the Red Labrynth Hills, Atacama region, Argentina

The inescapable cruel facts are that I will never be able to bear children. If you aren’t born with a uterus, you’ll never have one. I chose not to have children as a male, or to save sperm. It was the right choice. I couldn’t have children like that. A gay transgender woman would have a hard time adopting. Yet I have a biological clock too. My biological clock barely ticks along on a battery nearly dead, running on the limited time I get with friends kids in passing. At this point in my life, even if I could, it might not even be the right choice to have children. What, see them graduate when I’m sixty? My transient lifestyle? No partner to assist? It’s a fact I am okay with, but still one that saddens me.

This image deals with issues of never having a uterus, never being able to make that decision. It secondarily deals with suicidal thoughts. Though never serious, I doubt there is a person who has attempted a transition that has not had their mind at least wander that way. Pain is a constant, you learn to live with it and let it slowly subside with time. But, like the rocks and stones and mountains, it takes the wind and water a long time to wear away their jagged edges.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment