Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 30, 2011 - Trans Advocate Tanya Bloomfield Forced to Leave Canada Today

Tanya Bloomfield is a tran advocate who moved to canada in 2006. she ran a business, raised money for lgbt initiatives, & chaired social & support groups. sadly, the transphobic Harper government refused to extend her immigration temporary pass and pushed her out today. She will arrive in the uk tonight unemployed, without her cats, without many of her belongings, and with no financial income. She has been abandonned by Canada. canada just lost a big piece of our heart and soul. this is exactly the type of person we should be attracting and retaining to canada. I am ashamed to be canadian today because of the negative and discriminatory transphobic treatment she was subjected to at the hands of the Harper government. Well Harper, I got news for ya, I am one Nova Scotian transsexual that you can't deport! So f*ck you and all your bigotism!

Listen to Tanya's It Gets Better video here

visit her blog here

and join her Facebook Group here .

Tanya, thank you for your many wonderful contibutions to Canada's lgbt community. I hope steps will be taken so that you may be allowed to return one day, should you want to.

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011 - Georgia Marathon photos and video

Well, the blueprint for the pics are out and they don't look too bad. Compared to other marathon pics, the two things I seem to notice both are the extra weight, and the fact that I am smiling in almost every pic. this was clearly the most satisfying run, albeit the most challenging, run, of my life. I think it is actually 100 times tougher to run a 5 and a half hour marathon while out of shape, then it is to run a 3 hour 16 minute marathon when you are in great shape.

This was the first marathon I entered when I clearly had no idea whether or not I would even finish. to complete the race 55 days after sex reassignment surgery, and to do so by setting a personal worst by only 7 minutes, far exceeded anything I could have hoped for.

and here are 5 of the many pics that were taken of me my the professional photographers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011 - Georgia Marathon & back to work

well, it was an awesome weekend for me. after finally getting thru customs, i had a great little trip to boston and atlanta. i met up with friends in both places, saw a transsexual health care specialist, and ran the geogia marathon. in addition, i got to spend a day outside in summery weather and work on my tan a bit.

well, most were shocked when they learned that i was even considering a marathon this soon after surgery, but the chat i had with my surgeon, as well as discussions i had with other transwomen runners, gave me the understanding that this was doable. my recovery seemed far enough along that running would not cause any damage to the surgical site. the only real issue was the fact that i entered overweight and under-trained.

having experienced overweight and under-trained conditions last september when i struggled thru the newfoundland marathon, i used that race as a blue print for this one. the run in atlanta was very hilly, and my quads are suffering now because of them. in the end, i set a personal worst of 5.34.14, which is not bad considering i ran a 5.27 back in september. this race wasn't about speed. it was about finishing and proving something to myself.

once again, by setting extremely challenging goals, i either set myself up for expected failure, or extreme elation, with success. this was probably the most satisfying run i have ever had.

meanwhile, it was back to work today. it was nice to get myself back into my normal routine, if in fact, i have a 'normal' routine. although my surgical area still makes it difficult to squat or kneel, i didn't have too much trouble accessing the many file folders from the bottom shelf today. people were generally glad to see me and were excited and happy for me, knowing that i had successfully had my surgery.

now comes the challenge as i try to juggle work, vaginal maintenance, and further marathon training, over the next few months. the vagina requires frequent 'dilations' for 6 months post-op, to ensure that it keeps its shape and depth.

speaking of running, the quads enjoyed the rest yesterday. i managed to have no problem today as i stood on my feet for most of the day. the chronic pain in the left foot was not a factor in my run last sunday, nor was it a problem today. i had a light 4k run after work, on my way home.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

march 17, 2011 - airport debacle

today, i was detained for 2 hours by USA customs. apparently i was guilty of "traveling while trans" which apparently is not acceptable. i was eventually freed and cleared to visit their country, but not until after i had missed my flight. it was never made clear to me as to why it took 2 hours for them to realize that i was who i said i was, and that i was not a threat to national security. some complaints will definitely be filed shortly.

while i can appreciate the importance of airport security, it is totally unreasonable to consider transpeople a threat simply because they are trans. this complete lack of respect for me as a traveler is what bothers me the most. i sat in a waiting room while at least 20 other people were serviced and processed before i was called to the desk for 'secondary screening'.

what a mess. oh well, at least i got to my destination, albeit 3 hours late, and after i had to pay an airport change fee to switch flight.

the issue of biological sex vs legal sex is an interesting dichotomy that likely contributed to this issue. the red tape of sex change government paperwork process is another concern. i am now almost 8 weeks post op and still don't have my new paperwork.

more on this story in the days ahead...


Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011 - general update

Well, it has been a rather good week for me. I had an excellent telephone job interview with the Government of Alberta for an information management and privacy position. I find it interesting that although I send my resume all over the country, Newfoundland and Alberta seem to be the only places where I make it past screening to interview stage. I can only assume that having work experience in Newfoundland, and a Bachelor Degree from an Alberta school, are the key reasons. It makes me wonder if there isn't a little provincial bias in all human resource programs.

Amazingly enough, 4 years ago when I had pretty much given up hopes on finding a decent job with the Ontario Government (despite completing what was supposedly a very prestegious Ontario Government Internship Program), I found myself having job interviews for policy analyst positions in Alberta and Newfoundland. I knew I aced both interviews and sensed that there may be not one, but two job offers to choose from. I made up my mind that I would acccept which ever one came first. Well, two phone calls came within 10 minutes of each other, and the rest was history!

Given all of that history, it would be highly ironic if I ended up leaving Newfoundland for Alberta this year! As much as I still want to make Newfoundland my long-term home, I would jump at the chance to go to Edmonton and take this job.

Anyway, I have been battling a bit of a cold this week, and that slowed me down for the early part of the week. I finally felt better yesterday, and gave myself my toughest running test to date since coming home from surgery. I ran two 10.55k sets, with an hour break in between. a quasi-half-marathon. It was a strong and steady run with practically no discomfort in the surgical site area. It was a great work out and a great confidence booster. I can tell that I am very close to having all of my mobility. There's still some discomfort when I sit in a chair for long periods of time, but I sense that a week from now, I will be 100%.

Meanwhile, I have stuck my nose back into the books, having read autobiographies of Ric Flair and Pete Sampras this week. Still on the book shelf next in line will be biographies of Don Felder (the disgruntled ex-guitarist of the Eagles), Boris Becker, Monica Seles, and John McEnroe. As I attempt to regain the best physical health possible, I hope I can pick up some pointers by reading the stories of some of the best and most successful people in the world who I admire.

Whether I have the pure athletic talent or not, what I know that I have, and what gives me an advantage, is my killer instinct athletic zone. Sampras definitely had it, as I knew he did. Whenever he stepped onto that tennis court, he just oozed with confidence. He believed in himself and he knew he was going to be the best in the sport, which he was. As out of shape as I am right now, I have this sense of inner confidence. I just know that whatever running goals I will set, I will hit them. I have no doubt in my mind that I will be back at Boston again soon. I also have no doubt in my mind that I will do the unthinkable and one day break my personal best marathon time that I set in 2008 as a male.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 6, 2011 - Running Update & More

Well, as documented, I haven't done much running as of late due to my recovery from Sex Reassignment Surgery on January 24. But in recent weeks, I have slowly started to make my comeback. the comeback officially started 21 days after surgery, with a very light 1.6k run on Feb 15. This was more like a tin-soldier trot, but it was the first time I had my heart rate up in 22 days, so it was a nice first step.

I would end up running about 3 times a week for the rest of the month, leading up to an 8k run towards the end. I ran a total of 44.1k in February. As we enter March 6th, I can feel my fitness levels return to at least where they were before surgery, which is not saying much. But the future is bright. I am now at about 80% mobility and I can run gently for long periods of time without pain. Ironically enough, I still can't squat down to pick something up off the floor, or sit in a chair for long periods of time, without a moderate to strong level of discomfort. But the good news is that the antibiotic topical ointment cream that my doctor gave me last week, is really starting to help the healing process of the sensitive raw skin down there. I appear to be right on schedule to reach full 100% mobility in about 2-3 weeks time.

Well, as we enter March, my cats are starting to shed their winter fur, which means tons of cat fluff all over the place. I think I spent an hour brushing the carpet this morning! Too bad I can't turn all of this cat fluff into a human hair wig! I probably have enough material if it was possible.. lol

Kudos to american blues rocker Melissa Etheridge for coming to Newfoundland last night for a concert. She is probably the best-known lesbian in the rock music business. She has been very open about her life struggles, ranging from being accepted as a lesbian and doing tons of advocacy work, and dealing with cancer. She is a role model to so many, and unlike many in the music business, she actually is a great role model.

Well, I got some good news from my office the other day. While it is no secret that I am upset at being what i feel is severe underemployment, one thing I don't talk about much on here is the fact that i do at least have a job. It only pays half of what I was earning in my last job, but at least it is paying me enough to cover the basics. Rent, heat, cable, internet, telephone, food. It always gets paid for. My temp assignment has now reached over the one year mark, and I was excited to learn that it was extended for another year. The folks at the office have been very accepting of me as a trans person, and they have been very understanding of fact that I feel under employed. I must have asked for time off for job interviews at least 10 times since starting there, and not once have they ever raised concern. On Friday, the entire office chipped in and surprised me with a lovely get-well-soon gift basket, that contained fruit and chocolate. It's nice to know that I am missed and great to know that I am valued not only as a file clerk, but as a human being. I will definitely look forward to my return to the office in a couple of weeks.

Well, blog is now up to date, the apartment is clean, the cats have been fed and brushed, so I think it is time to head outside and get some fresh air!