Do you have any advice on what to say when calling to make a first appointment with a gender therapist? I've never done therapy for anything before, so I have no experience with the process. Worse, the only contact listed is a phone number, and I have horrible phone anxiety.
Zak: That sucks, I have phone anxiety as well (though it’s gotten better in the past couple years). What I’d do is rehearse what you’re going to say before making the call. You want to communicate basically who you are and why you are calling. For my last therapist, I said something like “Hi, my name is Zak [last name]. You were recommended to me by [doctor’s name] for transgender related therapy. I was wondering if you were currently taking new clients.” That’s essentially all you need to say and gets at the point. You might also want to ask if they take your insurance and how much each session will cost. They’ll probably set up a first session with you to get to know you and talk more in-depth about what you want to get out of therapy.
Another option is to have a friend or family member call for you. You can have them explain that you have anxiety about talking on the phone (any therapist with experience treating patients with anxiety shouldn’t be phased by this at all) and then get the information you need and/or set up the first appointment with you. If you do this, I’d recommend standing next to the person calling for you in case you have to answer any questions (for instance about your schedule).
Hope that helps and you’re able to get an appointment!
I am trying to explain why I'm male, not female, but every time I try to come up with a reason, I get so angry at myself for stereotyping femininity as all these negatives. Right now, for me, its so hard to define masculinity as anything other than a positive to the negative feminine.
Zak: This is an excellent post about just this issue.
Is it okay to bind while you have a cold and you're coughing a lot?
Zak: I’d recommend taking a break from binding (maybe switch to a sports bra) whenever you have a cough because it’s going to make your cough less productive and could mean you getting more sick.
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I've been to a number of cities in the US and Europe. I feel like there are a lot of bars/clubs/performance spaces for transwomen and/or drag queens. But I've never seen one for transmen/transmasculine people/drag kings. I am not trying to say there should be fewer spaces for transfeminine identities and people, but do you know of any such spaces for transmasculine people/performers? Or good ways to go about creating those spaces?
Zak: Some gay bars have drag king nights, and I think that is becoming more popular in some places. If you want to create a space for drag king performances I’d recommend running the idea of a drag king night by a local gay bar or queer friendly venue and seeing what they think of the idea. You could also start a drag troupe (like Drag King Rebellion in Michigan) that could preform at various venues. I’m not really knowledgeable about the drag scene, though. As for bars for trans guys, I don’t actually know of any bars for trans people in general. Most trans groups I know of lean heavily trans male or trans female, with it depending a lot on the area (for reasons I don’t understand at all).
I was wondering, does testosterone make cellulite go away? Since it redistributes fat and many of the places where you get cellulite would be left with less.
Zak: According to most of the stuff I’ve seen, cellulite doesn’t really go away it just becomes less visible with weight loss (and, I’d assume, fat redistribution).
Hi I'm a trans college student and I'm thinking of living on-campus next year. Do you think I would be able to live in the male dorms, or would I have to be in female dorms? Thanks!
Zak: That totally depends on your college, their policy, and your situation. I’d recommend talking to the department of residence life (or whatever people would be in charge of the dorms) and explaining to them that you are trans and you would prefer to live in the male dorms (at least that sounds like what you’d prefer). That may or may not be a possibility for you, depending on a variety of factors. They may offer you the option of having your own room on a mixed sex floor or something like that. Some schools also have gender neutral housing, which could certainly make this a lot easier for you. Again, I’d recommend just trying to get in contact with someone who is either in charge of the dorms or would be able to direct you to the appropriate person to talk with so that you can get an idea of what your options are.
got any good resources to send to parents explaining what trans is? i sent my dad some videos (like the laci green interview with rob titled "transgender adventure") but he said that "it was too light and they seemed young and inexperienced." he's 60 so i guess seeing people in their 20s is upsetting for some reason??? have any resources which are "heavier"???? (wtf does that even mean). i just want to find something my dad will listen to and respect.
Zak: I’d recommend providing your dad with resources intended more for parents or presented by people who he might already be familiar with and respect. For instance, PFLAG has a pamphlet (available in PDF form here) for parents of trans people that goes over a bit of trans 101 in an accessible way that’s aimed at that specific audience. Lisa Ling, Oprah, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Barbara Walters have all covered transgender people on their shows and might be considered by your father to be more “heavy,” serious, and authoritative than Laci Green. I think Melissa Harris-Perry in this segment did a particularly good job giving a respectful and accessible overview of what it means to be transgender (complete with interviews with older trans people who your dad might see as more experienced). Hopefully that helps give you a starting point for finding resources that he’d be more receptive to.