Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Truth Shall Set You Free - "About Me"

So, it's time to get a few things off my chest.  It's not that I was ever keeping anything a secret.  I just never felt it relevant to tell any of this to anyone that I wasn't planning to let see me naked for any reason (i.e. sex or doctor).  Over time it's gotten to be more like I hope people who don't know already don't figure it out.  Not that I cared, but was a bit scared to lose friends that I hadn't said anything to.  But now, at this stage in my life, I have many things I want to say.  Many things I want to blog about.  And I can't without revealing a few truths about myself.  So I'm going to call this post my "About Me" post and hopefully somehow link it to my "About Me" section directly for reference.  This is far from being everything about me.  This is really just everything about this part of me.  So, here it is...

My name is Krysta. I am a pansexual, intersex, transwoman. What does that mean? Let's start at the beginning I guess. At birth, some doctor decided to stick me with the gender marker of male based on a visual examination of body parts and what he and society assume based on that.

Thinking back, my first memory of doing anything that would be considered outside the gender binary illusion would be dressing up as Wonder Woman at age 4 through 6 every day and spinning around till I got dizzy. I guess I figured if Linda Carter could spin around and turn into Wonder Woman then maybe if I dressed up as Wonder Woman and spun around I could become Linda Carter. I also had a little orphan Annie curly red wig I'd wear sometimes around the house for no real reason except I liked it.

Growing up I was never taught anything about gender or orientation. I had a girlfriend from kindergarten. And one right after the other girlfriend, girlfriend, girlfriend, girlfriend, boyfriend... Yeah I didn't care. I liked who I liked and gender never meant anything to me. I was never taught about sex or anything by parents or teachers. I had no brothers or sisters and rarely saw my older cousins. My elementary school we had six kids in my class for sixth grade. Three presumably cisgendered boys, two presumably cisgendered girls, and myself. We don't really know if when they grew up they still identified as the gender they were assigned (cisgendered). I lost touch with all of them sadly. So at school there was no gender separation at that age for me. Was no boy group and girl group. There was all of us. There was we're playing football today that means all or no one. Same with everything. Gender was irrelevant in that situation.

Then I went to junior high and was immediately the outcast. I did not fit in in any way. I didn't act like any of the other "male" children. I didn't fit in with the girls either. I had a few friends that came from my elementary but we quickly grew apart. Who wants to hang with the outcast right? Luckily I was only there for two years before moving on.

Senior high, Christian school, oh god why. Puberty started, surprise, surprise, I'm intersex. I started developing breasts and male genitalia.  I didn't know what was going on. I grew up loving sci-if, fantasy, comics, I had no knowledge of male or female or body parts. My first thought? I'm a mutant! I told no one. I hid it at all costs. Started wearing jackets 24/7 even in the 90+ degree South Florida weather. Got made fun of because of always wearing jackets. Had to hide and change during Phys. Ed. Scared to go swimming, what was always my favorite thing to do growing up, spent the next 25 years too scared to ever go again.

Around my junior year of high school I saw an episode of Jerry Springer. Yeah, I know, ugh. But it was the first time I had ever been exposed to the idea of transgender. I found myself immediately intrigued, I NEEDED to know more, wasn't even sure why at that point. Was blown away that such a thing was even possible. Went to the old North Miami public library and dug through the card catalog and some ancient books with my then girlfriend trying to find information. There was no internet yet, no easy way to find out anything. Came across the story of Christine Jorgensen. I was like omg, this is me! I was excited at first to finally have an explanation for what I'd always felt. Then I freaked. I was like oh no, what do I do? If this is me, no one will accept this, I can't do this, what am I going to do!

So I rebelled at first. Went the heavy metal route. I could have long hair, wear a biker jacket to cover over breasts, wear boots, tight jeans, and yet somehow be considered "male". I got bad into sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. I was doing anything and everything and I was excited about it and didn't care if I lived or died.

In 1991, June, I graduated high school (barely), turned 18, and was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Explaining the eating habits I had growing up with. It didn't bother me that much as long as I took my meds that first decade.

By 1992 I had done enough research and read enough to know that at some point in my life I wanted... No, NEEDED to have GRS. That I couldn't live my life as a lie forever. But I had no idea how I'd ever be able to do it.

Around 1994 I came out to my girlfriend at the time. She was very supportive. Which was actually bad at that point in my life. Because now I was not only very out of control I was able to be myself 100% and be even more out of control.

By late 1995 I had been engaged twice, done every drug known to man, and had a $500-$1000 a day crack habit. I was robbing and stealing from everyone. From work, from family, friends. I was having sex for crack. I would stay gone for days and days just smoking until I couldn't get any more. Then I'd go to work, steal $500+, fake being sick, leave early and continue my non stop smoking.

Then one day in 1997 something crazy happened. Something I still can't understand to this day. I woke up one day, after having smoked for weeks straight, and I had no money, no job anymore, no way to get money, nothing but physical pain. And I decided right then it was more than I could go through anymore. And I never did crack again. Quit all hardcore drugs cold turkey that day without help, just like that.

And so I went back to my first true love... Sci-if, comics, fantasy, gaming, anime. I joined a Star Trek fan club. No one is more accepting than Star Trek fans right? I started a small chapter of another Star Trek fan club. I started running tables at conventions, it became my life, obsessively. I came out to them very early on and was of course accepted without problems. But then some of us broke off from that and started doing other things and it slowly faded and died.

By 2000-2001 I was starting to get really sick from my Crohn's disease. I was in the hospital a lot. Long story short I ended up with what I was told at one point was the worst reported case of Crohn's. I have been on every FDA approved med, several experimental, and several that were VERY dangerous. I've had 13 operations, been code blue at least three times that I know of. I had an ostomy bag on the left side for 2.5 years and on the right for 6 months. A wound vac for 3 months. IV feeding nothing by mouth for 6 months. Have had all of my colon removed and some of my small intestine removed. Have had anal fistulas, abscesses, and a half dozen or more side effects from Crohn's and the meds for it.

Through that 10 years of practically living in the hospital it was always in my charts I was trans. Not once did anyone ever refer to me by my preferred name or pronoun. Every doctor, surgeon, nurse I had told me I can't go through transition, I'm too sick, it's not worth it, my health is more important. They'd ask me if I wanted to see a hospital therapist and they'd tell me the same thing. I can't do it, not worth the risk, not THAT important...

I became so depressed I stopped going out except to go to the doctor or hospital. I became a hermit basically. I did nothing but play online games where I could hide out and be who I always truly was without having to deal with anything. I was down to four friends who I only ever saw if they visited me in the hospital. And three of them were mad at me because I never wanted to hang out.

Then by dumb luck, in early 2010, when I was bouncing from hospital to hospital, I ended up on two medications at the same time. By accident. Neither of which had worked on their own when I had tried them. But together, it stopped my symptoms for the most part. I started feeling better. And in fact an entire year went by, sitting at home, feeling better, but not myself still. I knew I needed to begin my transition no matter what anyone said. But I had no idea where to even begin. I had no money to pay a therapist or doctor. Medicare and Medicaid certainly don't cover any of this. I couldn't find anyone online.

Then one day my then best friend ran into someone she hadn't seen in 20 years. That person, now a therapist, gave her the name of someone for me. That therapist was trans educated AND took Medicare. On my first visit after hearing my story she referred me to my first endocrinologist, my support group; the TRUE Group, and the Yes Institute. I got in to see that endo almost immediately and she began my HRT without even having received a letter from my therapist yet. It was quite clear to everyone I was talking to that I am definitely female.

So then the last hurdle came. My parents. My mom had found out some 17 years ago in the early '90s when I got caught by someone and word got back to her. She was very supportive most of the time. We went shopping and did our hair together and all that mother daughter type stuff. But my dad, he never knew. He was the only person that didn't know. I was living female 99% of the time for so long. But had to hide when going to see him. Made me hate going to see him. I was scared. Would he take back his car he lets me use? Would he disown me? Write me out of his will? Physically hurt me? I had no idea what to believe. He certainly never showed any signs of being the type of person that would be supportive. He was always so racist, sexist, hates everyone that isn't him. But I had to risk everything. I had to be me. So, scared to death, I told him on the phone. He freaked a bit, cried a lot, said he kinda knew, but he didn't understand. I brought him to my support group, and he learned. He went to the Yes Institute and he learned more. Today he's my biggest supporter. He helps pay for my laser hair removal, doctors, and any medical when necessary. We flew out to California to meet Dr. Marci Bowers for a consultation for surgery and she said she could do it even with my medical issues. My dad is going to be paying for that too because he gets it. I don't know how or why but he does and he knows how much I need to do this. My mom on the other hand, considerably less supportive since I began my medical transition. But she's coming around again, I think.

As for my health? My gastroenterologist whom I've had for roughly 15 or more years, who has saved my life several times over, says this is the healthiest he's ever seen me. My primary care doctor I've had for a dozen or more years says if he didn't know how sick I was he'd think I was extremely healthy based on my perfect blood work. Irony here is... The number one cause for Crohn's Disease flare up is stress. It's what triggered most if not all of my flare ups. Had I begun my transition a decade ago who knows how much healthier I would've and could've been overall. All those times I was told it didn't matter, my health was more important, and it was hurting my health all along.

My surgery is set up for about 10 months from now. Life has been amazing. I now write, run and maintain my support group's website. I am a volunteer speaker on the topics of gender and orientation for the Yes Institute. I've been filmed for two documentaries on gender. I embrace the LGBTQ community whole-heartedly and feel they do the same for me. I've made amazing new friends and been through so much in the last year I can't even believe it. I've grown to love who I am, mentally, emotionally, physically. And more so every day the closer I get to surgery. And I am proud to say I'm a pansexual, intersex, transwoman. :-)


  1. So glad you've chosen to be you, both online and in the world. Love you. LJ

    1. It really just sort of became a matter of I can't shut up. I talk too much. I want to talk about what I'm going through and just had to get this out of the way in order to proceed. lol <3 u 2