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ilex

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hubskier for: 325 days

a little holly plant growing on the windowsill

recent comments, posts, and shares:
ilex  ·  6 minutes ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 1, 2020

1. Hopefully not!

2. A couple friends-of-friends but no one I know directly

3. Nope

4. Not me, but plenty of people I know are in precarious positions.

ilex  ·  9 minutes ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the International Trans Day of Visibility. I'm Trans. Ask Me Questions?

Grad school isn't the worst place to transition as long as you have a supportive advisor — which I do, fortunately. I came out via email that was basically "I'm a girl now, here's my name, if you have questions let me know, here's a couple links to read if you want" that I sent to a bunch of folks who knew me.

Certainly now there are plenty of people I work with who very much aren't okay with trans folk, but most of them have managed to be respectful, whether because they think Title IX applies or because they understand how to be decent people or because I'm the oldest student in the lab and my advisor expects them to work with me.

I did lose a few friends and mentors over transitioning but I also gained some new ones. While some folks certainly are less comfortable around me, other folks are more so! And if I'm making other queer students and women more comfortable existing here, I think I can be content with that.

ilex  ·  42 minutes ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the International Trans Day of Visibility. I'm Trans. Ask Me Questions?

So I didn't mean to be confusing — I mostly changed names because the juxtaposition of "me two years before" and "me at the time" felt jarring and also I had a great idea for a new handle! I'm still lm elsewhere, but I can see how the change here would come across as something a bit more serious. "lm is a girl now" is more or less how I feel about it.

Also, sorry for disappearing for a while. I really did miss y'all but hot damn I felt like a mess for most of it. Now that I have the benefit of hindsight and being able to rearrange thoughts and feelings and memories into coherent shapes it's easier to talk about, but you know that none of that shit happens in a nice linear fashion or makes one lick of sense at the time.

ilex  ·  1 hour ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the International Trans Day of Visibility. I'm Trans. Ask Me Questions?

There's also a TON of research on motion sickness in flight simulators, mostly because the Air Force has a bunch of flight simulators and research money.

ilex  ·  17 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the International Trans Day of Visibility. I'm Trans. Ask Me Questions?

Yeah for sure it does. It took up a lot of my spare time for a couple years between reading and thinking about things and processing feelings and whatnot. Talking about it with people who aren't supportive is a huge time sink too; I was really tempted for a long time by the idea of figuring out some rationalization for why I was trans so I could finally be Real and Valid and Correct but, honestly, if someone wants to discount your personal experience about yourself then there's really no convincing them otherwise.

A lot of it costs money too! Legal fees, doctors, figuring out how to dress professionally on the cheap...

It did at least get a bit easier once a lot of the one-time things got taken care of and the rest started to feel more mundane than new and intimidating!

ilex  ·  18 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the International Trans Day of Visibility. I'm Trans. Ask Me Questions?

Oh, another unexpected probably-HRT-induced thing is that I get motion sick a lot easier now, which is apparently a thing?

ilex  ·  19 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the International Trans Day of Visibility. I'm Trans. Ask Me Questions?

This is a really interesting question and I suspect the answer is highly variable depending on who you ask! At least for me, I did not entirely feel "like a person" before (and depersonalization seems to occur in at least some trans folk). I feel present now in ways I never had before.

Being a woman comes with a whole different set of social expectations and ways that people interact with me, and that's certainly shaped my personality in ways that they never would have if I hadn't transitioned. Make of that what you will, I suppose?

There's also a strange sense in which a lot of my male-coded experiences — stuff like being in Boy Scouts — are difficult or impossible to talk about with people who I'm not explicitly out to. Or, you know, folks I'm out to but not sure how comfortable they are with me I prefer to not remind too much about that part of me because it's easier to get along with coworkers if I just don't bring it up. I don't really like that but it is what it is.

ilex  ·  19 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the International Trans Day of Visibility. I'm Trans. Ask Me Questions?

I first started seriously thinking about gender in July-ish 2017. My wife had started developing a serious relationship with her girlfriend at the time and that pushed me to actually think about plenty of feelings that I'd otherwise have just ignored. It was by that point pretty obvious that doing so just kept a distance between us that neither of us wanted and that I needed to do something about it. It wasn't fun to sit down and think about why I might feel jealous or inadequate or unhappy with myself, but I felt like I had to do something, even if that was just to be able to talk semi-constructively about those feelings with her.

Sorting through all of those feelings it occurred to me that maybe some of that was gender dysphoria? But I really didn't want to be trans, mostly because it seemed like a really hard time based on what I'd seen my trans friends go through.

For perhaps a year or so before this my wife had been calling me 'wife', I think first as a joke but by this point it just felt right. In October I wrote her a long letter that basically said "I'm not trans but I really like being your wife" and shortly thereafter I was finally like "I guess this is happening".

I got lucky in that by the time I figured it out I was in a position to do something about it pretty quickly. Things kept feeling right. I did feel some pressure to be "out" quickly since IEEE won't let you change the name on papers after they've been published and they only let you publish under your legal name. But on the other hand there's never a perfect time to come out and being done with it has taken a lot of uncertainty out of my life.

There's of course plenty more to it than that so feel free to ask more :)

HRT has been fascinating. Of course there's the expected physical changes but also I feel sensations that I hadn't felt since...I guess puberty? My skin is a lot more sensitive too; now I can feel mosquitoes biting me.

Feelings-wise, I don't think I have new emotions, but definitely the ones I do have I feel more strongly, which certainly took some getting used to. I feel more happy and content than I've ever felt before and I get to feel that way more often, but I can't say whether that's hormones or general personal improvement.

ilex  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What it’s like to isolate with your girlfriend and her other boyfriend

Now is not the time I would want to be trying to figure out how to live with people I barely know even without the polyamorous aspect of things...

ilex  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What it’s like to isolate with your girlfriend and her other boyfriend

Yeah I would feel weird not being able to at least have a cup of tea with serious metamours, and I think any relationship where one meta actively dislikes another is probably not going to work out long term.

Monogamous relationship assumptions get to be unstated because a lot of society is structured to expect them. Figuring out how to do polyamory well takes a lot of talking but once you figure it out, it's pretty mundane, at least in my experience?

ilex  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 25, 2020

Detexify is the only practical use I've found so far for the touchscreen on my laptop!

The paper's on stuff I did for undergrad research ages ago that just never got published. We wanted to see if we could detect static shocks to a computer using only software running on the computer and it turns out that yes you can probably do that, although it's tricky. Looking back on it I wish we had had better experimental methodology but fortunately the project's been revived in a slightly different form so hopefully my dreams will come to pass.

ilex  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 25, 2020

Oh! Due to aforementioned work-from-home, we moved all my lab plants and all my metamour's office plants home. The only place they're safe from the cat is my bedroom, so now I get to wake up to this every morning:

The cat does not care for our aloes so they get to hang out elsewhere:

ilex  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 25, 2020

Thanks! The FAQ they link to about 'on-hold' publications just says "may take a few days" but I will keep being patient as I'm sure they're both understaffed and more busy than usual thanks to everyone having to stay out of the lab and work on papers instead.

ilex  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 25, 2020

Working from home means I've been getting a lot of bird watching in! There are a bunch that stop by our feeder including cardinals, jays, a couple kinds of woodpecker, a red-winged blackbird, and several very round mourning doves.

My conference paper did get accepted! I handed in the camera-ready copy last week and posted it to arxiv.org, but it's 'on hold' and I'm not sure how long to wait before talking to them given waves hands the general state of things. A week? Two weeks?

It's been intermittently really hard to focus but my advisor expects a lot of progress so I'm trying my best. My wife and metamour are both working from home and their managers are all "take lots of breaks" "don't work too hard" which is just furthering my desire to be done with grad school one way or another.

ilex  ·  41 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 19, 2020

Good morning hubski!

Things have been kind of dark lately, but this weekend I attempted this "talking about your feelings" thing a little bit and now I feel better? Wild.

I am itching for the weather to get a bit warmer so I can start on some car projects. Unfortunately the ground leading to my semi-heated garage is saturated with water, so all the stuff I do has to be done outside or in an uninsulated barn with a gravel floor which is about as much fun as it sounds.

The survey paper updates progress, but slowly. My advisor submitted another journal paper I've been working on, so hopefully that will get reviewed quickly and not need much in the way of revisions. I'm still waiting to hear if a conference paper we submitted is going to get accepted but I have pretty high hopes for that one. I'm still not entirely sure on the etiquette for posting preprints — am I supposed to wait until it gets accepted/I send in the final revisions or is posting earlier better? Either way I would like to see more stuff end up in preprint servers as I can't see a downside to more widely distributing your work!