Tuesday, 12 July 2011

6 Months and Counting ...

Today is six months since I took my first Spironolactone tablet and applied my first Estradot skin patch.  A half year and I've begun to feel a peace an happiness with myself unknown to me before. I know it won't always be a smooth road, but I'm happy to be finally on the right one!

What's In a Name?

So why did I choose Vanessa and Tara for my first and middle names, respectively? Just under two years ago, not long after the truth about my gender dysphoria hit my like a lightning bolt, I looked through a book of names called The Hidden Truth of Your Name: A Complete Guide to First Names and What They Say About the Real You. It was compiled by The Nomenology Project and published in 1999.

After looking through many names I came up with Vanessa and Tara; not sure which them I wanted as a first, I made Vanessa the first, and Tara the second. Here is what The Hidden Truth of Your Name had to say about them:


A Kabbalistic Synopsis

Vanassa (Vau, Aleph, Nun, Aleph, Samech, Samech, Aleph)

Vanessa could brighten up the atmosphere in a morgue with her upbeat demeanor and ready wit! Her powerful voice plays an important part in all her dealings, good and bad. When she is not enjoying a bit of gossip, Vanessa prides herself on being efficient, and she is certainly capable of tackling a huge array of tasks with seeming ease and little supervision, thanks to her confidence in her own ability. In her relationships, Vanessa often looks for an older partner, as she has an essentially childlike view of the world and feels the need for a more mature and stabilizing influence in her life.

The Runic Interpretation

(Ansuz, Sowelu, Sowelu, Ehwaz, Nauthiz, Ansuz, Fehu)

Vanessa is known as a perceptive woman. Double Sowelu is a most fortunate combination, signifying wholeness. No matter what comes her way, Vanessa has a sense of optimism and patience, and things do have a way of working out for her. She is good with finances but mus be careful not to attract a partner who squanders money. Vanessa understands that how she packages herself makes an impression on others; therefore, marketing and promoting will be wonderful career options for her.

Elements: Air, air, air, air, fire, air, fire

The Numerological Interpretation

Vanessa (NV=9, CV=11, VV=7, FL=4)

Vanessa is a woman with a definite sense of style. She is very much her own person when it comes to the way she dresses and to her political and social views about life. Vanessa tends to be very liberal and open-minded. She is a forgiving person and doesn't hold grudges; she is too busy investigating and experimenting with her own creative potential. People enjoy Vanessa's company. Vanessa is very innovative and not at all interested in taking the common, well-trodden path through life." pg. 738.

Interesting enough, various internet naming sites mention that Vanessa came from the Hebrew word for "butterfly."


A Kabbalistic Synopsis

Ta'ara (Teth, Ayin, Resh, Aleph)

Tara would be a natural host on a morning news show; she has the ability to talk endlessly in a bright and cheerful way. Tara also has the benefit of being naturally lucky; this is indicated by the fact that the value of her name reduces to ten, the number of the Wheel of Fortune card in the tarot. While Tara is a jolly woman, there is a very serious side to her personality as well, in that she will make sure that she is financially secure. Tara will also make the most of her money when it comes time to invest it. Emotionally, Tara has more interest in friendship and fun than in a long-term relationship, but ultimately she is likely to settle down once she finds someone with the right sense of humor.

The Runic Interpretation

(Ansuz, Raido, Ansuz, Teiwaz)

Tara believes there are no coincidences in life. And she is so intuitive that she feels constrained by rules and regulations. Her finances might be a big mess, but Tara has the double Ansuz rune of intuition to help her find an accountant who can help her sort things out. Raido, the rune of good communication, means Tara could enjoy making a living in either the arts or another creative field. But don't be fooled into thinking Tara is spacy; Teiwaz, the warrior rune, gives Tara the courage to stand apart from the crowd and live by her talents.

Elements: Air, water, air, air

The Numerological Interpretation

Tara (NV=4, CV=11, VV=2, FL=2)

The numbers in this name present a very interesting and somewhat challenging combination of personality characteristics. The name value of four indicates that Tara has a keen interest in her physical world, so that financial security and material possessions are core issues in her life. The consonant value of eleven points to issues that are more abstract, and deals more with community and collective well-being. The first-letter value of two is a harmonizing influence, and a point of balance and relationship. If able to put all these features together, Tara will use her awareness of life's practical realities to do community service, thereby anchoring her place in the world." pg. 710.

I chose two very optimistic names at a dark time in my life, when my false sense of myself had collapsed. And as I prepare to legally change my name (s), I'm reflecting on their meaning. Vanessa Tara it is!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Midnight in the Garden of Herbs and Vegetables

A garden post. After a lousy spring, weather-wise, things are finally shaping up and my garden plots (one at home and another at a community garden about a twenty minute walk away) are bursting with green, leafy plants, long thin onion and garlic shoots, abundant potato plants, blooming zucchini flowers, and rows of carrots and beets. Add to that a few roma tomato plants at home. I'll also soon be getting some potted basil, thyme, dill, mint and rosemary plants. One goal is to cook as much as possible from these and give the surplus to a local neighbourhood house which does outreach to low income folks and seniors. And with any luck, I'll continue growing brussel sprouts, spinach, garlic and potatoes through the fall and winter.

Books To Read: Evolution's Rainbow

Awesome book! Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality in Nature and People is all about gender diversity in nature, particularly among fish and small mammals, although primates are covered as well. The last portion of the book looks at human society's acceptance, and lack of, of its trangender and gender variant members and builds a strong case for civil rights advocacy. Written by biologist and transexual woman Joan Roughgarden.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Movies To Watch: Gun Hill Road

If and when it opens here in Vancouver, of course. It's set in New York and is about an ex-con husband and father trying to restart his relationships with his wife and transgendered daughter (who is named Vanessa!) who is played by transgendered actress Harmony Santana (pictured above). It's already played at Sundance and it's currently playing in Munich, Germany and getting rave reviews. Hopefully either the Vancouver Queer Film Festival next month or the Vancouver International Film Festival in September/October will feature it.

Books To Read: Out Behind The Desk

A little mini-series that I'm starting on LDV: books to read, movies to watch, music to hear, all trans, or at least LGBTQ-related. In this case, a plug about a new book from Library Juice Press called Out Behind The Desk: Workplace Issues for LGBTQ Librarians. Just published a couple of months ago, what few reviews it's received have been glowing. It's a collection of articles written by LGBTQ librarians' experiences coming out at work. I hope to get my hands on a copy soon.

And yes, I just outed myself as a librarian.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Break Through: I Love My Body!!!

Something I actually forget to acknowledge during my transition, as I get pre-occupied with prescriptions, facial hair removal, online shoe purchases and the tense logistics of coming out to friends and others around me, is my changing body: changing for the better that is. For the first time in my life, I can look in the mirror and be happy with who I see and the way I'm starting to look, even without make-up. And of course, after nearly six months on spiro and estrogen, I'm starting to develop and soften. For the first time, I can say that I love myself, my face, my body, the sound of my breath, the light in my eyes, the comfort and confidence in my posture. I love it all!

V s V
4Ever xxx!!!

Neck of The Woods

Another post-electrolysis session post. I had the hair on the lower part of my neck worked on yesterday evening. Oddly enough, I fell asleep while it was being done; I was being lulled to sleep by the music CD I had brought in to be played during the session. Music keeps my mind occupied so that I don't focus so much on the discomfort of the treatment. Still, on the scale of things, this was a mild treatment. While Dina Washington, Jimmy Forrest, the Dominoes, Muddy Waters and Earl Bostic played on the computer speakers, I layed back, calm and happy that yet another patch of unwanted (and stubborn while I'm at it) facial hair was being served notice. I keep my eyes on the prize!