Tuesday, August 28, 2018

BIG BABY NEWS




I am interrupting the happiness blog series to bring you all some very happy news! I am four months pregnant. I started IUI (like IVF, but less invasive) in May and my first attempt was successful. So, I bet you have some questions! I have some answers:


When are you due?

Mid February, 2019. Possible valentine baby.


Is it a boy or a girl?

Still not sure! I am having a scan in about a week that will hopefully shed light on the issue.


Do you have names picked out?

I have a short list. They're all pretty traditional.


Who is the father?

Me! Obviously. My children will know me as Dad.


Who is the other parent?

The donor parent was part of an anonymous donor register from the USA. I selected him based on his profile and essays on the donor company's website. When the children are 18, they will have the option of contacting him, if they wish. I have never met, or spoken to, the donor.


So, you'll be a single dad?

Yep. My mother did a fantastic job as a single mother, so I am not worried. In fact, I have a lot of friends who are outstanding human beings who were raised by single parents. And I know some outrageous scumbags who had two parents, so let's not have this debate, okay?


Why did you decide to have kids?

I have always wanted children. I decided to have them now for two reasons. 1. I am 33 and looking young on the outside doesn't make me young on the inside and 2. I want to start HRT and it causes a lot of fertility issues. Not to mention, it would be impossible to breast feed after I have top surgery.

It was now or never. And never wasn't an option.


Will you be chest feeding?

Yes. But as soon as that is done, I will be starting HRT and having top surgery. The sooner I can get these flapping milk factories off me, the better.


Will you be vaccinating?

Of course. My children will receive all their vaccines on the recommended schedule, just like I did.


Will you be raising your children gender neutral?

I will in the sense that when they are babies, I will not put them in gendered clothes. This is because I don't want strangers knowing what my children's genitals look like. People start treating boys and girls very differently from the moment they are born, and I will do my best to avoid that sort of mental pollution.

I will also be keeping the house free of any toys I feel push gender stereotypes, and they will not be allowed to watch harmful gendering on TV or movies. That means most Disney movies are out.

If you are confused, I will give you an example:

Plastic cooking set in primary colours? Fantastic.
Plastic cooking set in bring pinks and pastel purple? Bad.


What if they like classically gendered toys?

I could talk fluently by 18 months old. I am sure my children will /loudly/ voice their opinions on the matter. Let's assume they don't need you fighting that battle for them.


Will you be raising your child with gender neutral pronouns?

No. Even though I know /a lot/ of trans people, generally speaking, trans people aren't all that common. It is very likely my children will grow up wanting to be the gender they are, however as they will have a trans dad, they will know being trans is something I will support, if they feel that way.


Will you be cloth diapering?

Yes. I have dozens of them already. I went a bit hard on aliexpress. They're so cute though!


Will you be rehoming your cats/dogs/snake/birds?

No. I will house the snake in a locked room though, because she is big enough to strangle a grown man and if the worst happened and she got out, she might smother a baby trying to get warm.


Are you dating anyone?

Are you hitting on me? If you are, you better offer to massage my goddamn feet or stop wasting my time.


Can I send you a gift?

Thank you! Yes, you can. PM me for my postal address. Baby and children's books are a huge plus. I have a lot of cloth diapers and soft toys already, so maybe avoid those, but you can never have too many books. Please don't buy any gendered clothing (any clothing you can guess the baby's gender at a glance), or clothing with weird slogans like 'all the chicks love me' or 'daddy's little girl'.


Thank You All So Much For Your Support!

For all the support I have received and for all the support that is yet to come. I have the most amazing friends (and sometimes family) and I am so grateful for all of you each and every day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Happiness Series: 13 - Happiness Exercise 3: What sort of person do you want to be?


If You Could Be Anyone, Who Would You Be?

What if I told you you could erase all your flaws, all your past mistakes, and design the person you want to be from the ground up? Gender, education, family, friends, hobbies, living situation, job, and all the rest?

What if you could be the sort of person who wears beautiful clothes, goes to brunch with friends on Sunday morning and speaks three different languages? Or maybe you’d prefer to be the sort of person who has an amazing garden, who reads in a hammock, in the shade, while bees and butterflies hum around you. Maybe you’d prefer to be an epic chef, who has dinner parties and cooks legendary breakfasts-in-bed for your gorgeous partner.

We both know, the truth is there are probably some things you can’t have. I am transgender. I am, mentally, a man. I would love to have a man’s body. With HRT and surgery, I will get most of the way there, enough that most people won’t be able to tell I am trans. And that is great. However I’ll never have a functional penis and I’ll never father children the traditional way, not unless there is a sudden and dramatic change in technology.

I’d also love to be healthier, and while I continue to pursue new avenues to improve my health every day through drug and diet trials and research, there is a high chance I won’t ever be 100% healthy.

However the fact that I can go from living as a woman for 30 years, to coming out as a man, the fact that I can go from virtually bed-ridden to how I am now, shows that almost anything is possible.

Maybe you’re sitting there thinking you wish you’d married your highschool sweetheart, but, this isn’t about what you wish you could HAVE, this is about who you wish you COULD BE.


But Who Am I?

If you’re really serious about being the person you want to be, you need to know who that person is. You could just say: ‘I want to be kinder’ or ‘I want to socialize more’ and maybe you would make small changes, but the truth is, they probably wouldn’t have much impact.

The reason is, who you are now, is holding you back from those things. Maybe you think of yourself as an angry person, or an introvert. As long as you hold those beliefs, you’re always going to be fighting against what you believe is your nature when you try and be kind, or go out more. Mentally, you will be telling yourself its hard, because its just not the sort of person you are.

So if you are really going to become the person you want to be, you need to work from the ground up. But that also means you’re going to have to accept something really, really scary.

You are going to have to accept the idea that personality and personality traits, aren’t set in stone. Some, not all, of our personalities, come not from nature, but from learned circumstance.

Lets take being shy as an example. Imagine you are five, and you are introduced to an adult. For some reason, this adult scares you a little. Maybe they are too loud, maybe they stink of the tuna they just ate, maybe they are looking at you in a creepy way. They address you and you, in fear, don’t know what to say or do. Your parent, trying to be polite says: “They’re shy.”

Oh, you think. I’m shy.

Next time you have to talk to someone, but you’re not sure what to say, your brain fills in the blank for you. I can’t think of what to say because I’m shy. Every time you don’t know what to say, that belief is enforced. You start to go out of your way not to introduce yourself to people, because you know you are shy, you will get tongue tied.

Its hard to be outgoing, to be the life of the party, to make new friends, to be a social coordinator, when you are shy. You don’t know what to say, you find it hard to approach people, you feel awkward.

Imagine though, if you always knew what to say. Imagine if you always knew the exact words that would make someone smile, or like you, or back off when they are being an asshole. Imagine if you knew with complete confidence, that every time you opened your mouth, the exact right words would come out.

Would you still be shy? I’m guessing probably not. Which proves being shy isn’t really your problem. Your problem is you don’t know what to say. But knowing what to say is a learned skill, some of us learn it as children, some of us have handicaps like autism that make it a lot harder. But the truth is, its a skill we can learn even as adults.

Take acting classes, join your local toastmasters group, read books on being a better conversationalist, join an ASL class and help people who are learning English. Take the time to actually learn how to make conversation confidently.

Then, you can be the outgoing person, the friendly person, the person who makes everyone feel good. Its not nature, its a skill, and its a skill you can possess if you are willing to put in the time and effort.


To Get There, You Need  A Roadmap

So, how do you go about designing the person you want to be, from the ground up?

You sit down with a computer, or a notepad and pen, and you answer a lot of questions. These questions:

1. List the top five personality traits you wish described you?
2. What education level and degrees do you wish you had?
3. Where do you wish you lived?
4. What career would you have, if you were assured enough money to be comfortable?
5. What gender do you wish you had been born as?
6. What sort of fashion, clique and style do you wish you had/were a part of?
7. What sort of person are you attracted to, honestly? (Gender, personality, looks, hobbies, morals, attitudes, etc)
8. What sort of relationship do you wish you had with god/the spiritual?
9. What relationship do you wish you had with your family?
10. What sort people do you wish you were friends with?
11. How do you wish you spent your spare time?
12. List five things you wish you were really good at?
13. How do you wish other people described you?
14. What do you wish you had done, or kept practicing, ten years ago? (Hobbies, skills, languages, saving money, exercising, etc)
15. Describe your perfect bedroom?
16. Describe your perfect working space?
17. Describe your perfect living space? (Living room, kitchen, dining, recreation, outdoor entertaining)
18. Describe your perfect garage/shed/garden?
19. Describe your perfect holiday?
20. If you had to teach a class for an entire year, what would you want to be teaching?
21. All things being equal, when do you wish you could get up and go to sleep? (Allow eight hours for sleeping.)
22. What sort of romantic relationship do you wish you had?
23. What sort of parent do you wish you were? Do you want kids?
24. If you could be the best in the world at anything at all, what would it be?
25. Describe yourself if you were at your ideal weight, health and fitness level?
26. If you were going to start a charity, and you knew with 100% certainty it would live on long after you died, what would that charity be? Who would it serve and protect?
27. Describe your perfect long weekend, from the moment you wake up, until the moment you go to sleep on the third day?
28. What books, movies, documentaries and TV shows do you wish you had the time to watch or read?
29. If you woke up tomorrow with zero possessions, but for your car, photos and an empty house, but you had a million dollars to replace everything, what would you buy? What /wouldn’t/ you buy?
30. What do you want your obituary to say?

Wow, that’s a long list of questions, but if you go through and answer them all, you will probably learn a lot about yourself. A lot of surprising things, I bet. But now, you have a blueprint of the person you really wish you could be.


What’s the Difference?

So part two of the exercise, is comparing the person you wish you were, to the person you are now. Look at each answer, and ask yourself what you can do to make what you have, into what you wish you had.

Maybe when you got to question 29 you imagined a much more minimalist house. Maybe you have no intention of buying back all the clutter that currently gums up your house. If so, read The Magic Art Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Purge your junk. Have the house you wish you had.

Maybe when you got to question 26, you realize you were super passionate about a cause. You might not be able to start your own charity right now, but maybe you can volunteer at another one and spent your free time doing something that matters to you.

Maybe when you got to question 13 you cried, because you want people to describe you as supportive, warm, trustworthy and fun, but really, when you are with your friends, all you do is gossip and complain. But now you can make a change. You can vow never to gossip again and only to complain rarely, and in a constructive way. You can become that supportive listener who makes everyone else happy.


Moving Forward

Gosh, that was a long post. And possibly a very emotional one. I hope you now have a clear vision, even if realizing it is going to mean confronting some painful truths.

Next week, we’re going to delve deeper into some of the questions we looked at today and develop our interpersonal relationships.


Jake, In Summary:

My life the last few weeks has been really hard. I have a terrible upper respiratory infection and I am currently unable to antibiotics. Trying to keep up with my day to day life has a been a challenge, and I haven’t been able to be the type of man I want to be. I particularly miss socializing with my friends, and attending my church (MCC Brisbane).

But it has been a time of great self reflection. I have been working hard on a career plan for next year. So its not all bad. And I have some very special good news to announce in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.