1. College Update

    Decided to give up on the off-campus thing. I can’t remember if I posted about this or not… 

    Anyway, in the process of switching all that info with financial aid. I signed up for housing and will find out August 1 where I’m living. I’m hoping it’s a regular double room, because that’s all I can afford. I’ll probably wind up with a Freshman or Sophomore but nbd. I do better with people younger than me anyway. I picked out a meal plan and everything too. 

    I’m pretty excited about this. I’m pretty sure I wrote earlier about how I preferred the idea of a dorm anyway. I want to be on campus, I want to be around people and trying to make friends. I’m excited about a meal plan again - not having to buy my food or make it. Being able to just go to lunch or dinner with people, etc. Hell, I’m bizarrely excited about being able to use my ID card again for everything. 

    I’m going back to Potsdam on Sunday night and staying until Monday afternoon. I’m hoping to get a chance to go roam around the college and buy some Potsdam stuff. I never really got into it at BU, though I had a few things. I want to make sure I have a few things and get into the idea of being at a different school. :-) 

    Paying for it makes me a little nervous still, but I’m really not that short from what my financial aid is giving me. Plus, I recently figured out that I can ask to not pay part of the college fees, which will save me $150 per semester if it works out. Right now trying to organize that. The Financial Aid office must be really sick of me by now… Anyway, if that works out, I should only have to pay about $620 this semester and about $700 next semester, if my math is working out. I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks once the bill gets to me. 

    I guess I just keep waiting for everything to get settled so I can finally feel like I’m really going and so I can start to get in my head where I’m living, how things work, get excited about the place, learn the schedule, etc. 

     
  2. Hi

    fuckyeahftms:

    Hey all! I need some advice. I’m going to college in the fall and I don’t know what to do about housing. What questions should I ask? Should I tell them I’m trans? I don’t even know where to begin.

    Shoot me a message if you have any advice.

    I,m Mason, btw. Hit me up. 

    A lot of what you can do with housing will be based on what legal action you’ve taken so far regarding name change and gender change and how flexible your school is. 

    I can tell you in my case, I spoke with housing and they told me that they couldn’t put me into a male dorm unless the college recognized me as male. The Registrar’s office said that to change my records I had to present some form of government ID proving I was male (license, passport, etc). Once I changed my name and gender on my license, I sent that information in to the Registrar’s office and they changed my records. Then I was able to make arrangements with the woman at housing to be placed into a male dorm. 

    I remember hearing about another transguy who simply explained his situation after he was accepted and the Registrar changed his name and gender without any documentation and allowed him into male housing. 

    Other schools have gender neutral housing and / or single rooms saved for transgender people. 

    Assuming you haven’t changed your gender yet and therefore your college legally can’t put you into male housing, you could ask if there are single rooms available for someone in your situation and they may be able to help. (Keep in mind that some schools will allow a discounted rate if you prove that the room is medically necessary and some will make you pay the full rate.) 

    Assuming that you can get yourself into a male dorm, there are some things you’ll want to consider: Where are you in your transition and thus how comfortable are you with actually living with a guy? How will you manage changing? Binding? Is there a private bathroom or is it a communal shower? How will you negotiate either? 

    I pose these questions mostly because it is a big step and, in my opinion, depending on where you are in your transition / how comfortable you are with yourself will change how stressful living with a guy could be. 

    In my person experience, my Junior year I was stealth in all of my classes. I had many new friends who knew me only as John. I was pre-T and pre-top surgery. I hadn’t even legally changed my name. My only available option was to live with a female roommate. To be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. I came out to her fairly early and she was very accepting of me. I told a few close friends so they could come over. It actually wasn’t that bad. In the end, it made my living arrangement less stressful so I could focus on building my confidence and beginning hormones. 

    The following year, I was 5 months on T and legally had changed my name. I still had some concerns about living with a male, because I was still pre-op, but I figured I would be able to avoid it well enough. I picked a room with a private bathroom so I could change and shower in complete privacy. I used the times my roommate wasn’t around to not bind. It worked out well. I was concerned at first about it, but the situation worked out pretty well. 

    I’ve also used communal male bathrooms. As long as there’s a way to change in private, they’re not too bad. It’s a bitch, but manageable. 

    At the end of this long thing, my advice would be to call Housing. I’d tell them straight out that you’re transgender and speak to them about what your options are. Ask about whether single rooms are available for medical reasons at a lower rate. I’d also ask about their policy for placing a transguy into a male room. Get as much information as you can. 

    You may also want to contact the Registrar’s office and ask what they can do for you regarding your name and gender on records. It’s possible that they could change it for you; they might ask for a therapist’s note; or they might want legal documentation. At the very least, they might be able to add a note so your Professor’s know that you’re trans and can address you appropriately.

     
  3. fuckyeahftms:

    I’ll be starting my third year in college in a couple of months. I’ve decided that I no longer can stand going by my birthname and that I want the professors that I’ll have to recognize that. What steps should I take, though? I’ll need to email my prof here in a month or two but I’m not sure what…

    This is actually exactly what happened to me. My 3rd year in college I hadn’t legally changed anything and was still pre-T, but I wanted to go by my chosen name and pronouns. 

    About a month before classes started I sent an email to all of my Professors and explained my situation. I kept it fairly brief. I informed them of my status as transgender. I briefly defined what that meant (to me at least). I let them know that my legal / birth name was the name on their class registry but that I preferred to go by my male name and male pronouns. I asked as clearly as possible that they referred to me as only that name in class and change it on their roster if possible. I also asked if they would be ok with me handing in assignments and taking tests with that name (offering to also add my student ID if necessary). For any class that had a Teaching Fellow / Assistant, I asked if the Professor would forward this information to them as well. 

    I got positive responses every time. A few Professors asked a couple of quick questions, but no one was inappropriate or prying. Except for one Professor, I never had any problems. They had the roster changed for the first day of classes and I introduced myself to everyone else as John. 

    You could try going into the Registrar’s office and see if they could change your information, or put some kind of note. To be honest, I doubt they could do much until everything is legal. I think that depends heavily on the school though. I know mine was a large private school, and they were bound by law to note mess with anything on my record until it was legally changed. But I heard about a guy who went to a very small (I think) public school and he told them his situation and right as he was accepted, they switched his name and gender. It might be a state thing, might be the size or affiliation of the school, I have no idea. Worth a shot, but I think going through each Professor is your best bet. 

    EDIT: I forgot to say that after I made everything legal last summer, I was able to change my name and gender with them. I spoke to the lady at housing while I was in the process of changing things. She was really great and very helpful. I met with her privately during room selection and she saved me a spot in the room I wanted and, after everything was legally set with the Registrar’s office, she officially put me into the room. 

    It’s something to think about once everything is legally changed is the housing situation. If you’re still on campus and you change your gender marker with them, they legally have to put you into a male dorm, so just make sure you’re ready for that. I was on T but pre-op and didn’t have any problems but everyone has their own comfort levels. I also had my own bathroom that I shared with just my roommate. 

     
  4. Cornell’s Health Insurance Pays for All Trans-related Expenses

    I was checking it out out of curiosity. Of the 8 schools I’m applying to, only 2 have current health insurance policies that cover trans-related stuff. 

    Cornell out right says it pays for everything. It’s only stipulation is that it won’t pay for more than $100,000 for surgical expensive in one year, which is more than it would probably cost to do it all! Likely you’d have to pay for 20-40% of bottom surgery as the only surgeons are out of the area, but that drops a $25,000 surgery bill to a couple of thousand. Hysto and top surgery could be free. I think Cornell went from my 3rd choice to very nearly my first.

    Adelphi University didn’t say anything. It didn’t say it wouldn’t cover trans-related things, but it also didn’t clarify cosmetic surgery completely. But since it said nothing, I think you can make a case for it covering things. On the lower note, the basic plan only covers $2000 worth of surgery; the enhanced covers 60-80% but only up to $5000. So while that means top surgery and a hysto would be really cheap, you’d still have to pay (I think). Bottom surgery would be cheaper but not by all that much.

    Syracuse is still my top choice, but they have an exclusion for all things trans-related, which is sad. I know that Boston University, where I go now, is under the same insurance company and is talking about covering transgender expenses next year, so things could change, I’m just not holding my breath.

    The other colleges I looked at that had exclusions for all trans-related medical costs were Penn State, Temple University, and Emerson College. UNH had an exclusion for surgery but nothing else.

    Mostly I just want to figure out how to get a hysterectomy in the next year or so without having it cost a fortune, but if I could get a plan like Cornell’s that will cover bottom surgery, I’d so do it while I’m at school.

     
  5. Grad School

    Application completed for Cornell, Temple, and Penn State. Writing samples submitted. And my third recommender is finally submitting his letter (the other two were fantastic and finished on time! Him, it’s been a pain in the ass to get a hold of…). 

    Already submitted my writing sample for a couple of other places and second round of submitting and paying for applications will happen in January. Those are for Syracuse, Adelphi, Emerson, Boston University, and UNH.

    I’m feeling so much better about this now. Probably partly because the stress of finished EVERYTHING is finally gone, partly because I actually really love my writing sample, and partly because I feel like I actually have a top choice now.

    Read More

     
  6. One more day of school…

    One paper down, one to go. One more homework assignment and one quiz on Monday. Both stories written, but need a final edit. Then three finals.

    And that marks the end of my last fall semester. :-(

    I’m both really excited for it to be over and ready to go home and exhausted as fuck, but also sad. Last fall here at BU and potentially in Boston. Also means just one more semester left ever for my undergrad. It’s slowly hitting me more than I’m graduating soon and moving on to being a real person.

    Also, just thinking about how summer is approaching. I was talking to my friend Jules tonight and we both realized that I have just over 5 months to wait until I get surgery. I don’t have a firm date, but I know it will be mid-May, once I get home from my spring semester.

     
  7. Also recently got a question about coming out in college

    Thought I’d share the basics, since I’m talking about that anyway.

    I came out to some people as trans my Sophomore year but was largely in the closet for the year. It was a rough year for me in many different ways and I fell out of contact with everyone during the summer.

    Junior year I started with a fresh start and hoping to be read completely as male. I spoke with all of my Professors before the semester started and explained my situation. I told them that I was trans, my plans for transitioning, and requested that my name be changed unofficially on their rosters. All of my professors responded very politely to this request. They always addressed me by my preferred name, allowed me to use it on tests and papers, and besides a few small moments, there was never a problem. When Spring semester came around, I merely did the same thing.

    I was meeting a lot of new people at the time and so I immediately introduced myself as John to all of them. A lot of the people I got to know were actually queer and thus some guessed that I was trans, mostly based on how young I looked for a college student, but they were always respectful. Some others I told eventually, but that was my choice.

    I was also living in a female dorm still, so I had a female roommate who didn’t know me who I was living with. After about two months of letting her get to know me and get comfortable around me, I told her I was trans and asked if she was comfortable referring to me as a male and by John. Luckily, she was very cool with the situation and did exactly that. She messed up by far the most, but I never really blamed her for it.

    As for when I ran into someone from the past, it was either a passing meeting and therefore I never really commented to them, or I very simply said “I go by John now” or something along those lines and they seemed to get the idea well enough. Some would ask for clarification and I would keep my answer brief. Something like “I’m transgender. I’m transitioning to a male.” Something like that.

    Over the summer, I changed my name and so my name and gender were changed with the university. All of my professors will get my new name on their rosters and hopefully this means there won’t be any problems with having to come out.

    I’m also in a male dorm this year. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about coming out to my roommate. At this point, I feel like I probably won’t. But I’m not really sure.

     
  8. 05:24 1st Sep 2011

    Notes: 1

    Tags: college

    About to leave for Boston

    Tired, excited, nervous, tired…

    I’m really looking forward to tonight once I’m out of the car and unpacked and mostly settled in and I can go hang out with friends and chat with Gabbie. But I’m really not looking forward to this drive or to the moving in bit. Not fun…

     
  9. I’M REGISTERED AS A MALE AT SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    And they spelled my middle name wrong…

    But I’ll overlook that! However, I desperately need to get an updated photo of me because 1) it’s horrible and 2) I have super long hair and look the girliest I ever did in my whole life. Sadly, the professors print those pictures out to learn your face, so that will need to be about the first thing I do. (Well it’s the first thing I need to do anyway, because I need to get an id made).

     
  10. Changing Name and Gender with University

    Ok, this has been a bit of a pain.

    My biggest goal has been getting my University to change my gender so that I can dorm in a male dorm because 1) I have been growing steadily more uncomfortable rooming with girls and would much prefer to have the experience of living with a guy, 2) I don’t feel comfortable with living with a female when I’m neither female nor appear female anymore (even though I’m a tad nervous about living with a guy while still pre-op).

    So early in the process of changing my name, I emailed the Registrar to get information about how to go about changing these things. Their response was that, to change my name, I needed to send in a request for my name to be changed and a photocopy of some document that showed the new name. Easy enough, though there was no mention of what to do for the gender change.

    When I was ready to do this, I sent in a request, a photocopy of my license (as it had my new name and a male gender marker), and a copy of a letter from my psychologist explaining my situation. In the request, I asked for both my name and gender to be changed.

    Since the response from the Registrar also didn’t say how long it would take for this to process, I figured that (since I faxed it all in on Thursday), I’d check on Monday or Tuesday and see where we were. Well then I got busy babysitting and other stuff and didn’t think about it.

    Today, the lady from housing who has been working with me called to check on where things were. I called her back to say I had sent everything in and she said she’d check with them and, if everything was ok, she’d just put me into the room that had been set aside for me.

    Since that kind of reminded me about everything, I went in to check my school email account and there was an email from the Registrar from Thursday saying that, in order to process my name and gender change, they needed a court ordered document (which they didn’t say before! I was wondering about that). So I just went down and faxed a copy of that as well.

    But I’m a bit concerned that what I sent won’t be enough for the gender change. I really hope that it is, but they really weren’t specific or helpful in the slightest. My hope is that the letter and license as documentation will be enough for them, but the fact that the gender change was thrown into the same sentence as “court ordered” bothers me. Either way, I sent an email in reply just now that explained the mix-up and that I had just sent the forms they needed. After that, I gave a quick explanation of the gender change - mostly that they weren’t helpful and didn’t tell me they wanted and, in case this is what they meant, there is no such thing as “court ordered gender change” but that my gender has been changed with NY state, so that should be enough, right?

    Hopefully I’ll get some kind of response soon-ish. I’m trying not to worry about it right now, because I don’t really want anything else to think about / worry about. Oh well…