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On the brink of transformation

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It’s been over six months since E joined our household.  They have been six pretty delightful months, E is a pretty cool guy, but from his perspective they have been six pretty challenging months too.

As I’ve written about before, when E first came to us he had been trying to access services in rural Victoria, on the border of NSW.   There was confusion about his referral and the original reason he came to stay with us was because he was hoping to have a face  to face meeting with the psychiatrist rather than a skype visit,  only to find his consult in Melbourne had been referred to Canberra….. little did we know it was the first of many challenges.

E was the kind of young man I would hold up as an example of how to do teen stuff right.  He worked for the major fast food chain, did the management training, I told J this would mean he would be in employment soon.  But six months on, countless job applications later and E has had a little cash in hand work and two job interviews.  We worked on his tax returns and he had some cash in his account and when this year’s group certificate came in he did his tax himself, teaching a man to fish in action.  He has been unable to register for government assistance, although I have finally talked him through the process of gently refusing the government line of “your parents will help” to keep standing up for himself and saying that they have not and it is unlikely they will.

There have been some significant wins though.  Through a little transgender community grapevine action he connected with a well known GP who had recently moved to a new practice with the ability to take on new patients who referred him to a psychiatrist with extensive experience in the LGBTIQ community.  E now has his “diagnosis” and two weeks ago had his first T shot.  He has also started progressing through the recruitment process for an employer in a field in which he is interested in working.  It’s a field where being 21 and with no experience is not seen as a barrier as he is viewed as young, enthusiastic and a model for a new generation of disability carers, if he is successful.

His smile is wider, that gorgeous enthusiasm that marked him as someone special when we first met is bubbling to the surface again.  My heart couldn’t be gladder for him.

 

 

 

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Posted by on July 17, 2016 in parenting, transgender

 

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A year on

A whole year.

A year since Jeremy reached out and asked to try living as a boy for three years.  A year to get used to the idea of calling my baby Jeremy, buying boys clothes, no more budgeting for eyeliner.  A year since we were given a D Day of 1 January 2013 to launch into this new phase of our lives.

Last week we had consultations with Jeremy’s pediatrician and psychiatrist.  Let’s start with some biology.  I was concerned that there did not seem to be any urgency on the part of the medical professionals to start any treatment.  I talked about watching Riley on Insight and other programs and wondering if I was being supportive enough ().  The pediatrician explained that for male to female transitions there are many biological changes that happen to males between the ages of 16 and 22, where shoulders broaden, Adam’s apples get more apparent, voices get deeper and facial hair gets thicker.  Men who make the decision to transition as adults find that these physical manifestations of adulthood cannot be reversed surgically.  So in Riley’s case, as she is the same age as Jeremy, there is some urgency for treatment to begin so that she can halt this final stage of puberty.

In Jeremy’s case, medically there is no hurry.  He will not get more feminine. To provide us with some reassurance that we are proceeding in the right direction we were told that Jeremy’s pediatrician had attended a seminar  the week before in WA where she presented to the group of professionals about medical issues of transition youth.  Also presenting was Aram Hosie.  Who?  Aram Hosie is the domestic partner of Louise Pratt.  Louise and Aram were in a lesbian relationship for some period of time.  In her mid 20’s Aram determined that she was transgender and started her transition to male.  Jeremy’s pediatrician a) had no idea that Aram had once been female and b) was struck by the contentment that Aram displayed while presenting, his certainty that his decision, made as an adult, was correct for him. Each person’s journey is so different so for me it was reassuring to know that there are people out there who make these decisions later in life and if that is Jeremy’s path then he will be physically a convincing male.

Jeremy’s psychiatrist has also extended some practical support.  She understands Jeremy’s difficulties in going to school and will support Jeremy doing distance education.  We are half way there then in regards to getting J educated in a way that means he can make it to the end of year 12.

Jeremy has new binders and they are fabulous, his pediatrician remarked at how boy like his chest looked.

A whole year.  A happy and healthy well adjusted child.  It’s every parents wish, and my joy.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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