Sticks and Stones and HTML

Learning to pass as a woman: easy. Learning to not be bothered by hatemongers: hard.

When I shared my latest blog entry with my friends and removed the privacy setting I had enabled to control access, I thought one or two more people might discover this blog and read it. What I didn’t expect was that someone with a far larger audience would share my life story with the world, literally. Her name is Zoe Brain.

Thanks to Zoe, I’ve had people in Australia, the UK, France and other places read about me, and it felt pretty good… until I found out about “Elizabeth.”

She maintains a blog that is highly critical of my friend, which is to say, she has denounced Zoe as a fraud and a liar. I believe Zoe, and I contend “Elizabeth’s” accusations are unfair and untrue. I said as much, publicly, on Zoe’s blog. So, it came to pass that “Elizabeth” would turn her gunsights on me and poor, little unknown “lifeafterdawn.wordpress.com.”

And when she did, hoo-boy, did the haters come out of the woodwork. She devoted two comments to attacking me, and was joined in by someone named Gina, at last check. I’m no longer checking, by the way.

But I did respond with a short post on the “Elizabeth” blog to basically say, “HEY! QUIT IT” …in the nicest possible way.

You can guess what happened next. Telling someone who attacked you to stop attacking you is the surest way to encourage them to attack you some more. It’s the same with bullies. Once they recognize that their behavior bothers you, a world of hurt is all that follows. You’d think, 40 years later, I’d have learned that by now.

So I took time to read, and re-read their hateful comments, and formulated a response. One that may never see the light of day. Even if “Elizabeth” does decide to post my point-by-point retort, I’m not continuing this debate. I have the truth on my side, and my friends. All she and her cohorts have are fear, and hatred.

And I have no doubt that this is merely batting practice for the onslaught that will descend upon me when my book comes out.

So here it is; the only change I made to her posts are to change the type to Bold Italics, for clarity. Your comments, as always, are welcome. Even those of “Elizabeth” and her minions.

Elizabeth:

You expose yourself when you post derogatory comments without even doing your homework. I have no argument with you, but I will endure your negativity one more day to respond to your questions, untruths and unfounded allegations, some of which you saw yourself can be easily answered if only you did your homework (i.e., reading my blog, or simply asking me before making a false statement).

Point by point:

“Your story is BULLSHIT.”

No it is not, it is not even a story, it is my life. Who are you to say otherwise?

“In a 3 month period you turned from male to female and all your dick and balls turned into a vagina and labia. Sure they did and the moon is made of cheese.”

I do not claim to have a vagina nor a labia and I never claimed this all happened in 3 months. The changes first appeared in 2005 and have progressed over seven years. I have medical documentation. What do you have, other than bile to spew from your foul mouth?

“I do not hate you. I simply do not believe you because it is medically impossible from both a hormonal state and a physiological state for this to happen to an adult male or any human male for that matter.”

Thank you for not hating me, and you don’t have to believe me.  But again, I ask: since I have both the documentation and the physical evidence (my body), what do you have to disprove the changes I have experienced? The best explanation from a series of doctors working on my case over several years is similar to a comment posted by “Sagebrush.” My T levels crashed. My E levels were found to be elevated, cause unknown, and have made me estrogen dominant. The effect over time is atrophy of both penile and scrotal tissue to the point of regression. Not retraction. My testes ascended and my penis is internalized within my groin area. I have had multiple forms of tests and examinations, including one beyond what any male patient has had to endure to verify these facts. And I have my body as proof. What evidence do you have to prove what I say is untrue?

“The only way what you said happened is with FFS and SRS in a 3 month period. Isn’t it odd these fantastical transformations and magical conversions happen to married men? Gee I wonder why that is.

If you had your SRS then god bless you and enjoy your life but Disney and magical kingdoms only exist in the imagined thoughts of those creating fantasies to make peoples lives more enjoyable even when they are physical entities like Disney world.”

I have had neither SRS nor FFS nor surgery of any kind, ever. I had one surgical procedure to remove a small part of a tumor from an adrenal gland to see if it was feminizing me. It was not. The operation was not a fantasy, I have records to prove it occurred. And while my features and secondary sexual characteristics have a feminine appearance, I have done nothing to physically alter the body I was born with other than a circumcision when I was an infant. I do not claim to be intersex and have documentation verifying I am a genetic male.

“Your name can only be besmirched if you are telling the truth.”

I am, and you have.

May 13, 2012 1:27 PM

Elizabeth said…

@lifeafterdawn

“Okay, I rescind the comment about FFS because if you did have it I would take legal action.”

I am grateful you rescinded your comment but I do not comprehend your attempt at either a threat or humor with this remark.

“We have retractable landing gear, retractable roofs, retractable awnings, and now we have retractable penis and balls or is that atrophied penis and balls or is it just BULLSHIT.”

I refer you to my earlier response. I am not saying “retractable.: That’s your pet word, and its use is unwarranted here.

“I prefer the bullshit scenario based on my firm belief that Occam’s Razor holds firm here.”

You can believe whatever you want to believe, but I ask that you backup your claims with evidence and/or documentation.

“Spent some time reading a little of your blog. No SRS for you but you now have an innie where your penis was or are you mistaking your asshole for your vagina? Did your scrotum magically form labia or do you just have an innie?”

I again refer you to my earlier comment in which I make clear, I have never had nor do I now claim to have a vagina and/or labia. I do know what an asshole is. And I have every confidence, from reading a little of your blog, that you are very familiar with assholes. If not, I’d be happy to show you. All I’ll need is you and a mirror.

“This sounds like a made for television movie right up the alley for a writer/producer like yourself.”

Yes, I know, it sounds preposterous. Hard to believe. And the fact that all the writing and producing I do is based solely on factual information – not fiction – is my only defense in sharing my life story. I deal in facts, not fantasy. I wish that I could make up something this outlandish, and then I would not have a care in the world. Instead, I live the life I live and deal with the consequences of what has happened to me every single day. And now I have you and your cohorts to make me feel even worse about my condition, which is unfair, unjust and just downright mean. I don’t ask you to believe me if you choose not to. But the least you can do is not call me a liar and a loon without having something other than your strong opinions to back up your derogatory accusations.

“You have a wife and kids and then this magical transformation into a “girl”. Excuse my cynicism but well as an Engineer and a Research Engineer to boot I always question why this seems to happy with a somewhat wealthy male with a wife and kids while in their 40’s or later. Funny isn’t it? You and Zoe, 40’s kid(s) wife, sudden transformation, poor wife is shocked, and so forth.”

I don’t fault you for your cynicism or your choice in careers, but where do you come off claiming I’m wealthy? Of all the statements you have made here, this is by far the most wrong thing you posted. It’s not funny. It is scientific fact that testosterone levels do drop in some males after age 40, usually later. I know both Zoe and Chloe through facebook and their individual experiences are dissimilar to mine. You’re comparing apples with oranges, with the only similarity being that they were male, and now are not. Chloe had an operation, you claim Zoe did but she denies it, and I have had none. My transformation was not sudden, nor do I claim it to be, and I have medical documentation and witnesses to support the changes I experienced. What do you have as proof of your statement? And for the second time, I ask you, where do you get off thinking you can mock my wife? She is harmless in this and deserves pity and kudos for being as supportive as she can as the man she loves changes into someone she no longer recognizes, against his will. You have no standing whatsoever to cast aspersions against her, and I would ask that if you choose to respond, you show some dignity in apologizing for including her in your attack on me. Say what you want about me; this is not her fight.

“You might want to push for the movie rights on the Science/Fantasy channel called SyFy or maybe even Logo because if they can promote RuPaul you could boost the male transvestite fantasy viewing numbers.”

Thanks for the tip. You above all people seem to know all about fantasy, of this I have no doubt.

This is your space to blog about what you want and who you want. I have no recourse other than to deny your cruel comments and respond with the truth. If you choose not to post this, that is your right. If you choose to respond, or not, I have no further interest in continuing an unwinnable argument. It’s your call what happens next. I only ask that you consider that there are things beyond what you know, experiences that cannot be explained, and know from my heart that I never harbored a desire for this change. I did not grow up fantasizing about becoming a woman someday, nor did I ever felt trapped in a male body. But after years of living as a male trapped in a body that has become more female over time, after years of fighting the changes without success and with no answers on reversing this, I have adapted to the changes as best as I can.

You can assure Gina that the photographs of me on my blog show more than a few pictures in which I am wearing a sweater and you do not see cleavage, As I have grown more comfortable with my appearance, I have learned to dress appropriately for my body, and I’ve never heard a complaint before about how I dressed. I’m no longer a male fighting to stop being female. I’m a female who has learned to accept who I am, and yet I am willing to conceal it again, to keep my marriage intact.

You can assure Gina I was never a transvestite. What I do now to conceal my true features could be considered cross-dressing since I must appear as male as possible. No easy task, I assure you. And I don’t read gay or TS fiction so I’m not familiar with the stories she refers to. It’s her choice to believe it, or not.  Tell Gina, my life story is my own, and I would not presume to publicly second-guess hers without some evidence to the contrary.

I close with a thank you for at least reading part of my blog and allowing me to at least submit this lengthy response. As I indicated, what happens next is up to you.

Sincerely.

Dawn

11 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones and HTML

  1. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    Hamlet, Act 1 Sc V

    While endocrine issues like yours (or Zoe’s, or Chloe’s) are extremely rare, I find it difficult to believe that it is impossible for a male to end up producing too much estrogen. I know when I hit puberty, despite being skinny as a rail, I had some breast development and tenderness. Our family doctor examined me, shrugged it off, and basically said “Hormones are wacky. So is puberty. Give it time and see if it goes away. It usually does.” There are women who produce way too much testosterone (PCOS).

    As such, a person should treat your story (as well as Zoe Ellen’s) with some skepticism. Even Zoe admitted as such. However, anyone who says they know what is going on with 100% certainty, whithout having examined you and done bloodwork, is just being foolish. There’s 3 billion exemplars of human males out there. Plenty of room for weird biological things to happen.

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    • Thank you, Brynn! If it were not unusual, I doubt I’d have a story worth publishing. Unfortunately, I do indeed. Your insight and support are very much appreciated!

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    • These kinds of stories (Chloe Prince and Zoe Brain’s included) are obvious bullshit to anybody who understands biology because of a few niggling details.

      1. You cannot ‘go in reverse’ on masculinization. Once you are masculinized in ANY WAY, that sticks and must be reversed artificially rather than naturally. There is no such thing as estrogen reversing masculinization. Those on hormones know full well of what I speak — it doesn’t rid you of the deep voice, the facial hair, etc. The only natural sex change we know of in biology only goes in one direction — a masculinizing one.

      2. If there were such a thing as reversing masculinization, that would make them one of the most freakish incidents in all of the known biological world. It wouldn’t be the kind of thing that a doctor would just smile and dismiss. They would NOT be this prevalent either, to where this many people have ‘miracle transsexual’ stories.

      3. If you were going to miracle transform in such a manner, you would NOT have children. Intersex equals sterility, a hell of a lot of the time. Intersex people despise Zoe Brain from every iota of experience I have. Think about that and wonder why.

      There’s a lot more, but suffice to say that you’re full of it. I won’t even touch the ‘miracle innie’ that your penis supposedly did. Give me a fucking break.

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      • So let me get this straight, Amberdextrix… you understand biology? What do you know about my biology? About male biology? When the normal level of testosterone drops in men, things change. Have you seen older men with big boobs? What do you attribute that to, hormone replacement therapy? My body hair thinned to the point where it looked as though I shaved my legs. My voice didn’t change all that much but for whatever reason I’m more often mistaken for my wife or a woman on the phone than as me. My old, male voice is on our answering machine, so I know what I used to sound like. That’s not what I sound like now.

        Doctors could not have cared less. I’ve seen doctors from Harvard to Washington to Florida and back to my hometown in NYC. They tested, they theorized, and could not explain it. They offered solutions that involved flooding my body with hormones, and only now am I balanced, at long last, as a female. I have regular female hormone treatments to maintain that balance. Is this what I thought or dreamed or wanted? NO. Is this my choice to be healthy, to live a normal existence? Yes it is.

        I fathered four children, three survived to term. The fourth was born as these changes started to emerge. My hormone levels were unbalanced in my pre-teen and teenage years, and again now in my 40’s but in between, I was all male.

        I don’t at all care for your tone or language, but hey — you made points, and I’ve answered them. I do apologize for not responding sooner but I took a break from blogging for personal reasons. I invite you to ask more questions if you wish. But would you please show me the respect I’m showing you? I have nothing to gain by lying. I do hope my story raises attention to my condition and perhaps a more amenable solution. That is my hope. Until then, I continue on this path.

        I wish you well.
        -D

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  2. Hey Dawn

    I found your blog through Zoe’s. I don’t have anything useful to say and don’t expect I’ll comment much on either of your blogs but I’m reading and interested and not going to spew hate and bile at you (because I’m not, you know, a jerk).

    I can’t counteract any of the hateful things that people spew in your direction, but I just wanted you to know that at least one kind stranger is here and cares!

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  3. I came via Zoe’s post, and would like to thank you for choosing to endure the malcontents and keep your blog public. Your writing is both articulate and inviting, and we all benefit from its dissemination and exposure.

    Regarding the distasteful subject of this post, I feel — as an engineer and a researcher — saddened by the lack of facility or insight “Elizabeth” repeatedly demonstrates. Even a cursory grounding in modern biology ought to inform her of the plausibility of your condition. Biological systems are the epitome of dynamic systems, something that the day-to-day outward stability of our bodies can easily disguise to the ignorant. Her allusion to Occam’s Razor is entirely specious; she should read Dieter Gernert’s work on the subject if she wishes to be taken seriously — or, if that’s too dry, try Crick on the razor’s place in biology, or Michael Lee’s discussion of the Ockham ex Cathedra fallacy (minimal googling should suffice).

    But reasoned argument is likely not the objective of Elizabeth or her cohort; her use of rhetoric and ad hominem attack all but precludes it. Ignore. There’s no value there. Humans tend to rigidly defend their notions of normative gender until viscerally challenged — that isn’t news. What *is* news is that there is a new, thoughtful voice describing the human cost, in confusion and heartache, of this base trait. Perhaps someday we will see a culture predominate where this is seen, like bullying, murderous plotting, rape, adultery, nepotism, xenophobia, etc. already are in many societies, as a destructive or counterproductive inclination that’s better sublimated, countered, or simply denied. Narratives like yours are an important step in that direction.

    Finally, my heart goes out, too, to your wife and partner. I hope that the two of you may find peace — and a future — somehow. Few things are as discordant and isolating as experiencing the “transitive queerness” of a partner’s gender transition, no matter the degree, direction(s), or dimension(s) of the transition. You are blessed to have a loyal and supportive partner, and shame on any who would mock or denounce her.

    Wishing you strength.

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  4. … also, pretty much what Elise said, above. My soapboxes aside, I’m reading what you write and my heart goes out to you. More than one kind stranger out here cares.

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  5. I remember hearing when I was young, I heard, “if you can’t say something nice, keep it to yourself.” If I have an opinion at variance with someone else’s, I know that the better way to approach it is to offer my opinion in kind, but not to be harsh and abrasive when doing so. I know that if I do otherwise, then I appear immature, coarse and childish to others. It’s a shame that the people who do this don’t recognize it in themselves. Then again, some people get off on drama. One should not wrestle with pigs, everyone gets dirty and the pigs enjoy it!

    Ciao!
    Sarah

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  6. In a nut shell, I agree with what Sarah said. I have had my own thrashings from the person who has recently had you in her sights. Yet, in some strange sort of way that encounter was what opened my eyes to some simple realizations about who I am, what I really want in life, and the direction I needed to focus on.

    Look. Dawn, I have weird medical issues also. I even have a strange familial multi-generational semi-phenomenon which some might think to be a part of some causative effect. In the beginning of transition I thought I ought to be a ‘test case’ for a medical study as well! But, in the end, all that any of that amounts to is happenstance, not circumstance.

    Yes, Elizabeth is ….ahhemm….. just a liiiiiiiittle course in her dialogue. Though when you take a step back and look at what she’s actually wanting to put across as a point, I see a fair degree of validity in her rough rantings. It’s about privacy, safety, and security for the place-holding that women have in societal view. It’s my opinion that she strongly believes that if you are transsexual and have suffered from transsexualism, there really is only one goal to strive for: seek out and get the cure then move on as the sex your are. Particularly her strong focus being on those people transitioning to the female sex. Feminism is alive and well in her. I don’t see that as a bad thing. I believe there exists good argument in support of this outlook.

    From my perspective: I will be a woman once I receive my cure. I already live life as a woman and I do quite well (personally not financially) in that life. I do not need to be a part of a movement. I do not want to be a part of a movement. The movement has done nothing to aid me personally, physically, or professionally. What I’ve done is solely with the concept that when I am done, I will be the sex I was supposed to be born as in the first place. I won’t need “special laws (I don’t need those even now). I won’t need to be in anyone’s face about my present, or past history. And, I certainly will not be beholding to a movement that wishes to make use of my medical condition for political gamesmanship and gain.

    It’s a safer environment. It also does much to secure a level of privacy (though we all know it does not guarantee it).

    Dawn

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