Andrew Guy

We speak to our NSW #YourChair winner Andrew Guy about his journey as a trans person #TheProjectTV

Posted by The Project on Monday, September 7, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

My Warrior Women

Okay so bit of an update on this topic as I personally find it to be quite a funny topic in my world ... unfortunately and still for now I keep the majority of it private as at the end of the day as much as the world is 'accepting' of someone like me, I still very much feel the need to protect anyone close to me based on any stigma / society judgement they'd face by 'god forbid' being near to me or shockingly ... even closer !! gah! ;-)

Anyway so with that in mind, I have to bring in one of my favourite quantum physicist quotes here ... that old ball and chain of a one that's been around forever that you may have experienced for better or worse ... the "nothing ever disappears it just changes form" one ... usually I always get reminded of this one when I'm happy someone I personally find annoying has finally left my world, only for another one to show up with similar traits and it's like OMG truly?! 

But not that I find this case with 'my' women of course! people I think do wonder, wow how does someone like him find someone to be with ? ... rest assured I'm all good, irrespective of whether I have a 'someone' around me or not at any particular time, I do LOVE my me time more and more and more ... I just think bachelor life is for me sometimes; you know freedom, quiet time, wake up when I want to, TV remote mine, food choice mine ... just why would you ever go back I think somedays (shhh! I didn't really just say that ... swear!)

But yeah the physics quote, I just tend to find I always seem to come into contact at whatever point with some strong powerful female force of an energy that commands presence (like cue from the wings) at EXACTLY the right time for what I need; it's quite uncanny ... sometimes its sexual, sometimes it's not and you know that's all good, it is what it is ... I've been told before I have this knack with connections (I don't say that arrogantly as I've never said that nor do I feel that way but others do ... some charisma or something ... I don't get it as to me I'm just this weird looking guy thing that's sometimes kinda okay looking depending on if I can get hair product right at the time (a touch and go issue).

So my current conclusion on all this is that I just think the world is full of tribes, I do! Even today, just disguised in a society that operates and dresses and appears the way it does, huge tribes, loads and when we're lonely it's because we're missing our tribe. 

My tribe people, as I say, tend to me these grand strong female presences that arrive at EXACTLY the right moment, always to my relief to help with some issue I'm struggling with (whether it be physically, emotionally, legally, mentally, artistically or employmently) and thank god really! It's always necessary!  

I was in an physical acting workshop a few years ago getting a body correction attended to and once the correction was done her comment was "oh my goodness look at your body, you hold the world on your chest, finally one of my people, great to have you hear" ... I wasn't quite sure what she meant at the time but I do now ... I think we really all do have our people that we are here for and we instinctively gravitate toward one another and generally you recognise this by those you feel repelled by ... as in they ain't your people.

The best way I can highlight this is with a current recent interaction I've had. Not long ago, I bumped into a 'female kind' in a theatre foyer and it was only via retreating to Facebook the next day did we have a proper interaction (love social media) "so hi it's been forever but did I see you at the XYZ yesterday" ... "yes I was wondering if that was you" ... so we hit it off again from there after maybe 10 years or so, not that we were even that close back then. 

Safe to say there's been a BIG reason for that connection that's lead onto a LOT of necessary positive things since that I can't yet speak of but hope to in another few years. And only this past week did this really hit home as we were sitting in a very nice inner Sydney swish proper corporate restaurant discussing "professional matters" and all of a sudden the conversation shifted to a place I don't usually talk about casually over dinner and that was to our spiritual beliefs and practises. So anyway it turns out we've both privately undertaken our own spiritual modality practises and training (loose term) over the past few years but had completely similar experiences ... in summary 'gotten a lot out of it, fought with the leaders constantly, and have had these absolutely weird random moments'. For her, the respective guru dedicated their practise in one of her retreats, started to literally move out of the picture in the Shrine room toward her. 

To someone like me I find this absolutely HYSTERICAL! To my comment "yes XYZ-ji was probably trying to leave the room too" (stop it Andy!) but to the point, people come to these retreats time after time thirsting for some big spiritual awakening, and this gorgeous soul walks in and has this great experience first time much to the anxiety of a lot of other longer term delegates ! boom! in that moment I was like YES this is definitely one of my tribe! And then we went back to our important corporate human rights matters!  

SO my point being, if you're out there and you're lonely, just keep looking for your TRIBE, I promise they're out there, it's all divinely worked out and I'm sure we're all just finding each other again from ancient Cleopatra or Joan of Arc kinda times! I think I must have been some really bad man that burnt witches at the stake to have this life swear to god but whatever! I keep walking so just do the same, stay strong and always be true to yourself with the people you keep company with !!

Dedicated to all my 'warrior women' ;-) ... you know who you are! muah! 


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Puberty Blockers

I've been deliberating over this post now for a while alongside giving it a lot of thought. It's a topic I have to say I've generally dodged or diverted answering journalist questions because I've not wanted to comment; firstly I'm not a doctor, but nor do I have any personal experience to the topic (which is where I prefer to write from). 

To the point though, puberty blockers and hormone replacement in transgender children / teenagers ... yep a biggie! Firstly yep I'm fully aware there would be a lot of professionals out there with different and greater insight to mine and as always I welcome comments. That said I am also going to give my thoughts now that I've had a little experience and consulted a few different medical opinions over the past few weeks. 

In summary the topic intimidates me, mainly from the point of view of transitioning myself as a fairly OTT health conscious adult and I can assure you to get through all the elements of my transition; particularly the physical, mental and surgical elements (7 surgeries in 3.5 years) I've needed to call on and use EVERY resource (internal and external) available to me and still I'd say I'm not yet back to a '100%' I used to be ... and you think the Tour De France in intense - truly!! Whether I'll ever get back to that past 100% I've given up wondering and instead just see what level of health each day brings ... 

SO that being said, a question that's always stuck with me is that it's all very well and good to be an adult celebrity (or not) transgender individual who confidently walks through such a massive physical and emotional and mental enduring process but WTF is that going to be like for a child who adamantly identifies as this so early in this day in age (from living this I'll never doubt them for one millisecond - it's real and the truth as if you are this you just know, no further explanation required really) ... but is medical progression also problematic in development?

As in it's a pretty major thing to experience an external substance injected into the body designed to halt puberty progress, "delay it" if you will whilst the teen makes sure (at age 16) they definitely want to medically transition (as in that's currently the correct standard practise from the medical practitioners perspective and the Government legality ... hmmm?!?) So at 16 you can begin hormone replacement or put another way; start your puberty experience ... completely over riding a time of body change where A LOAD of development is happening, huge amounts, everywhere! 

With that said, having recently accompanied a young friend of mine on his first visit to a paediatric endocrinologist (thank god they exist!) I'm a little more settled and I still have questions. The point here I think is that early treatment is truly a 'new-ish' thing, and there aren't a load of medical studies yet done to refer to about the affects of all of this, if any! 

But from researching and questioning doctors the way I like to (they love me deep down I'm sure, truly ;)) I can see that it does work and is pretty much okay. The main issue being that the intervention does sway a little from the 'normal range' puberty onset time period so the teen can allude the appearance of looking a different age to their peers as their puberty progresses differently.

There are a few things though that get me questioning what the blocker is actually targeting. There are a few different substances used, the main ones I can see work by suppressing signals from the pituitary gland (used similarly in some cancer treatments) which stops the hormone regulation signals to the ovaries or testes respectively (not just the sex organs directly - which I ignorantly thought was the case). As I say here though, I'm not a doctor, the specialists looking after this process are doing very well and I applaud their abilities to step in and offer this to trans kids as it is needed. 

I am though just questioning questions a little as is shown in these diagrams ... 

The pituitary gland does affect other things as well sex organ hormone production and does suppressing this affect these other developmental areas as well; i.e the adrenal ACTH, thyroid TSH, bone density measures, kidney ADH as well as the sex organ hormone release?

Specialists have commented that bone density mass development catches up within a few years of hormone replacement so it's of no consequence to long term to susceptibility of conditions like osteoporosis. The other elements I've not had comments to yet but I hope to in time and more so I would love to see more medical research reports done to the topic ...  

Which brings me to my question has enough research been done and is this actually physically and physiologically healthy, particularly the element of restricting hormones until the age of 16 when most other kids start their puberty earlier, all for the sake of 'what if they change their mind?'. I'm not convinced, they aren't going to change their mind - truly, this is medical practitioner protection talking! But who knows maybe the odd one or two will, I'm looking forward to seeing that though and being proven wrong. 

Blockers generally start around 10-12 once you get through any legal issues with that -- bless Human Rights Commissions for their work to this point as even this isn't that simple depending on what country you're in. But back to the point the age is dependent on their Tanner stage as to not affect their height growth too much - google that point though, tis another topic that isn't for this post. My personal issue is that 10-16 is a lot of years to be suppressing the above functions (in my opinion as an alternative health practitioner). 

I believe hormone replacement should be available from 14 (as agreed by a child transgender child specialist I read from recently) especially if the teenager is requesting it. They are old enough and I think it is healthier. I do definitely think the legal restriction of access to hormone replacement at 16 should be challenged by medical practitioners and parents respectively. It's too late in my opinion particularly if a trans individual choices later in life to go ahead with the genital realignment surgeries ... they are going to want to be as healthy as humanly possible to avoid any of the (up to 40%) surgical complication rates (more joys to look forward to, truly!). I hope in time with doctor / medical advancements these reduce too, I'm confident they will as they work every day to do so.

In summary with this said mentioned, do I think a trans identified child (even with the new frontier that this is) be denied this process and have to grow into adult-hood before beginning any sort of medical transition -- absolutely not. It's likely they'll self harm themselves before that time, and THAT you will always have my word on. 

There is a duty of care though I believe to more acutely watch body functions during this time; particularly mood, metabolism, thyroid function and bone density development etc etc. It it were my child I would be onto monitoring all of this constantly (without trying to make them a lab rat) and be the normal pain in the butt patient / civilian I always strive to be ;)

Cheers as always for reading! 

Total Pageviews