Monthly Archives: July 2007

Be an artist and see what happens

Things have been weird around here. My cousin got beat up by some random strangers, and it kind of freaked me out about the issues of random violence here in Saskatoon. It’s pretty funny too after living in the Downtown Eastside for a year or whatever. Big City random violence hasn’t happened to that many people I know. I got beat up once in Saskatoon, it scared the shit out of me. I mean, I just don’t understand people who hit.

Or yell. Yelling wigs me out. Especially at children.

In Indian families cousins are like sisters and brothers. And all my cousins are pretty cool, now that they are older. I feel particularly bad for my one cousin though who got beat up because he was trying to clean up his act.

I think I’ve reached a turning point in my life. Being in a care home has given me the chance to leave the house with as many different people as possible, so I’m actually getting a bit of a life. And the NMAI is putting up a Close Up on me on their website, which will be cool. And I’m going to Banff soon, which will be fun. I need to go be an artist and see what happens.

The Wetigo Hunter

I just wrote the first two minutes of The Wetigo Hunter. I feel like maybe I sped things up a bit, faster than they should be. It’s hard writing the first two minutes, I want it to be perfect. It opens with a character called Erika, a vampire. It’s pretty hot. She has a transgendered lover she feeds on, pretty kinky stuff!

I like screenplay writing. This one I think I will write in my spare time while I do my documentary. If I can get my screenplay produced I will have access to Greenberg funding for screenplay writing. Mostly it’s also a good idea to have screenplays written for the next time people ask “What are you working on?” Especially when I get Bunnyhug produced. I like how Bunnyhug turned out, I’m really happy with it, and that’s a good thing. There were times when I was just pissed off at it, it wasn’t turning out the way I wanted, parts of it didn’t jive with other parts, etc etc. It was definitely a learning process.

Finding a producer is rough so far though. I feel like I don’t know any! Although my uncle is a producer. Bunnyhug could be, like, the landmark aboriginal comedy!! About survival through poverty and madness! You never know!

Weight Loss

One unusual and hopefully permanent trend is my weight loss. Back when I was on Zyprexa I packed on about 60 pounds, ugh! Not that fat is bad, just that it started to get really hard on me physically and what with having to buy newer and bigger clothes all the time.

Now I’m down about 30 pounds, and I seem to keep losin weight. The drugs I am on are rumoured to cause weight gain, but right now I seem to have plateaued into baggy jeans that are practically falling off my body. It’s a nice change I must admit, I just hope it doesn’t go back towards fat because I don’t think my reduced budget will afford me to buy new clothes.

Unfortunately it also means my breasts shrank, which is good on the trans front and not so good on the fact that I spent $300 on new bras.

In truth, I like my new improved body, it seems to fit me better, I like being able to see my toes again. And I hope hope hope that I don’t pack on weight like I did the last tim on these kinds of meds.

crazy sucks

It sucks going crazy. I think one of the nicer things about bipolar disorder is that it doesn’t make one crazy forever. In fact there are LONG stretches of sanity that extend for years even. But going crazy, fuck it sucks. I hate it. I especially hate the dreary energy loss I have right now. want to just go straight back to bed, but instead I am having a coffee and trying to go on with the day.

Last night I spent 55 minutes standing in line for the new Harry Potter book, which I have and assumed I would speed read. Instead I am slowly perusing it and writing here.

It’s nice to be blogging again though. I missed that. I also missed writing, it’s been nice to be writing my screenplay again. And now I’m writing another one!!! It starts with a party in a country house, when a piercing scream shatters the marijuana riddled peace of some rural kids
. . .

Life’s like that

That is the sexiest video ever!!! There’s a program you can get where you can make videos like that. think it’s called Rotoshop, if I remember it correctly. It’s based on an old timey animation process called Rotoscoping where you paint or draw over live action footage. I’ve always wanted to try it but Linklater’s film company uses it exclusively and always will, or at least until he’s done with that type of film work.

Anyway, this is really my celebratory post because yes, I finished that screenplay finally, and I’m so glad! I’ve been working on it forever and I think I am really proud of it. It achieved what I wanted it to anyway. I have to fix the beginning though, because I used an older version of my screenplay to finish and I forgot to put on the beginning, oops! Next I’m doing a documentary, as I mentioned before, and I’m also going to be working on my next screenplay, about some vampire lovers. I’ve always wanted to do the sexy vampire movie, but with like, a message besides “Doesn’t this look hot!” One where the vampires were the protagonists, like really sexy hot vampire protagonists, with ethics about their feeding and so on. That being said, it’s still going to be a bit of a horror film. I was thinking one of the vampires would be like the bottom, but an immortal bottom, and so in a symbiotic process they both need each other in order to live. And then there’s a killer. And then there are also some drunken wetigo hunters who start persecuting the vampires, and this question hanging through the whole film of “Is there really a wetigo somewhere around here?” And maybe the vampire starts turning into a wetigo and so they have to stop the process. I dunno. It’s going to be complex.

The screenplay I just finished is pretty good though. I wanted a love story about madness. I think it works. It’s funny though, it’s REALLY funny, and that’s a good thing, because it has to be a bit of a complex feel good. Because you know, movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Girl, Interrupted, are about SANE people stuck in looney bins, like that kind of trauma is okay for crazy people but not for these clearly sane people. And so I wanted to make the point that even for crazy people, some aspects of psych ward treatment are NOT GOOD! Like restraints. Restraints are dehumanizing.

I got sexually assaulted in the psych ward the first time I was in there, it was harsh. I’m pretty much healed from it now, but then it took over four years to get over it. Sometimes life’s like that.

Issues and Tissues

Probably the worst thing about a manic episode is the memory loss. I totally forgot my password to my old email address, and rather than trying to remember it again I am just using a new one. All my distributors have it which was the main important thing, and then my friends are slowly finding out my new one care of Facebook. Thank god for the name change option on Facebook. I did a coming out where I gathered up as many people as I knew and then changed my gender and then changed my name. The Canada Council knows my new name too now. So all that’s left is for me to go and do a legal name change. I’m not sure what to do with my middle name. I’m not switching Jean into Gene, that’s for sure. I don’t like how Gene looks. Sorry Gene. No Sarain Gene Cuthand for me, although the genetic irony of it is kind of funny. I think I will just go with Sarain Cuthand. Period.

Speaking of periods, that’s one thing I WON’T miss. I’m just washing up some spotted laundry right now and thank god. I hate periods, not on other people, just my own. So messy! So expensive. It costs like, nine bucks worth of pads every time I have my period. Think of all the landfill the millions of women in Canada use just for period products! Not to begrudge women, who after all have to pay for all that soon to be landfill. There are reusable period products though, but I never got it together to do that kind of thing.

There was this one weird part when I was really crazy where I had total empathy for every living thing. I guess you could call that enlightenment but it was fuckin’ intense. I didn’t even want to swat mosquitos because I felt their pain too much. It’s hard for a meat eater to live with. I guess I should give up on Buddhism because the bacon calls my name. I can’t help it, I love bacon. I love bacon in the morning with blue berry pancakes.

One birthday I decided to make myself crepes, I think I turned 22 or something, and I decided I had to have ONE foolproof recipe for when I had a femme lover. So I made myself crepes and mimosas for breakfast that birthday, blueberry mango crepes. They were divine! I love crepes. Anyway, yes, I did get to use that recipe for a lover one morning, back when I was dating Amber Dawn, the Uber Femme. She was most appreciative. She made me gnocci in return, which was so good.

There’s something nice about making food back and forth between lovers, it’s intimate in a way that goes along with sex very nicely. Kind of like “well, we’ve been inside each other THAT way, now let’s be inside each other THIS way.” I don’t know how to describe it.

I think I’m getting that ugly duckling feeling every trans person has their first year. I know I’ll make a cute boy, I’m excited about that, but at the same time I feel sad and worry I won’t find someone who will want to be with that cute boy. Apparently this feeling is really common. Sadness!!! Then again, I am also just out of the hospital and sad about a weird thing that happened between myself and someone I was intimate with at one period in my life and anyway, yeah, it just makes me sad all around.

I don’t want to say too much about it, just that it turned out we both had one particular kink ever since high school and it looked like it might happen, then I fucked up and went crazy!!! Anyway, I still have this moose she gave me in high school. When I turned eighteen. I shouldn’t say I have it actually, For whatever weird reason I lent it to Adrian Stimson and he’s been so busy I haven’t been able to get it back yet until he returns from Calgary.

You know, the hospital really wasn’t so bad this time around. Sharing a room for two months sucked though, and I am sharing a room again in this home. I shouldn’t have to tell you why sharing a room sucks. I might be going to another home that does more proactive work in getting people back on their feet, but that depends on a lot of things, like if they will have space for one thing.

The snoring drove me spare one night. I have since acquired some ear plugs in case it happens again. And this time she used toilet paper but instead of putting it in the toilet where it rightfully belongs, it went into the trashcan BESIDE the toilet. EW!!!! That was just gross. and in the middle of the night she turned on a faucet and then left it running and went back to bed. I’m going to be so glad when she moves out at the end of the month. This is the same woman who took my medication AND her own one night. I can’t believe it! She’s so dotty, I think she must have dementia on top of whatever her issue is.

It’s true, we all have issues, but please put the tissues in the appropriate receptical.

God I’m a fag!

I’m actually waiting for my doctor to decide I am stabilized mood wise for testosterone. It’s kind of like going through a cross between puberty and menopause, so waiting is a good idea in terms of mood.

It seems there is an FTM group that has regular meetings, but not in the summer. So I’m also waiting for Fall to arrive so I can start attending.

I also got a scholarship to go to the Banff Centre for the Arts this spring to work on a web project with video, so I am waiting for the middle of August to go off and be a professional artist instead of a professional nutter. And I have to write up a profile for myself for the Santa Fe screening, so that’s happening too. And basically I am also waiting around to find out when I can move into my new place this fall, which means I am also waiting around to find out when I need to put up a poster at the Avenue centre for a roommate. Whew! It’s a lot of waiting. Tonight I am waiting to go to the Harry Potter launch at McNally Robinson. I look sort of like Harry Potter, which is the funny part. I don’t know, I even have a scar on my face that I got when I was a baby, it was a slip during a caesarean section. I think I spelled that wrong. If I was up to my old self I would go and spell check that but I’m not.

I hated the idea of going into a care home, for a lot of reasons, but now I am kind of relieved I’m in one, for now, just because I realized how exhausted I am from being in the hospital. No way would I be able to do simple things like feed myself on time and do the laundry and clean, which is basically what I get being in the home. I’m not traumatized from the hospital this time, which is REALLY good. I was super traumatized in Montreal and this time I mostly had to deal with the shock of returning to the regular world. After a while you get used to relying on nurses and orderlies to tell people to be nice, and then suddenly it’s over, and you have to rely on the kindness of strangers, to borrow from Miss Dubois, in order to get through the world. No more being able to wander up to someone and say “That person is bothering me.”

That being said, no one is bothering me, except for the day I went to Bare Ass Beach with my Aunt Lori and someone started throwing around firecrackers. Even nine years of Vancouver Halloweens still doesn’t prepare me for trying to laze around in mid summer with firecrackers going off.

Then again Vancouver Halloween firecrackers have the leg up based in context. Everyone in Vancouver just KNOWS that firecrackers and fireworks go off on Halloween. It’s just a local tradition, and for as long as I lived there that’s the way things were.

Saskatoon still, to me, anyway, has this uncomfortable element of surprise. You’re never really TOO sure what will happen in Saskatoon, even though from the outside it seems like a same old kind of small city. Like the lights outside of town, I mean, what the hell were those? Someone suggested they were nature deities of some sort, which I can believe. And the incredible amount of ghost stories I have heard in this city are phenomenal. There’s something strange afoot in this town.

But what this city really needs to go on the map is a major film festival. Yorkton’s been running for ages, but Saskatoon really should have some kind of festival. I am trying to start one, but I’m pretty exhausted right now. And what with trying to find a producer for my film AND recovering AND transitioning AND applying for a big ass grant to do a documentary on my transition While charting the migratory roots of my genome, well, what’s a boy to do?

My mental health team are pretty impressed with how I’m coming along though, apparently I am recovering fairly fast. It’s the energy that I miss though. Not manic energy, just enough energy to get through the day, I keep napping, I don’t have much energy to go for walks or even play basketball. I’m losing weight though, which is a good thing. I have to wear a belt all the time and I’m going back to old pants that didn’t use to fit me.

Once I had to give away a pair of Gaultier pants because I didn’t fit them anymore, and I just about DIED! They were Gaultier!!! God I’m a fag.

Being Sarain

It’s been odd this summer, to come out in such a public way. And yet I kind of think all trans coming outs must be sort of like this, if you are lucky enough to live among queer people already. The manic episode did nothing but fuel my confusion, only to see the whisps of madness fade away until I realized, yes, I am a man, and needing to do something about it as soon as possible.

Unfortunately the referral to the hormones doctor is rumoured to take up to six months. The recovery time from this episode could take another few months. And the saddest news of all, my new apartment won’t be ready for me to move in until October or November. Which means I’ll be living in this care home for another two and a half months at least. Ai ai ai!

I’ve grown comfortable though with the pronouns, the he him his stuff. I’m still using my packer and still feeling okay with it, although I still want to upgrade to a silicone softy one. My dog still loves me and that is good.

Actually a lot of people are really supportive of me right now and that is really nice. I’ve been finding some old friends on Facebook and then basically people I haven’t seen but know. Right now I’m up to 139 friends, which is a big relief because sometimes I forget I have friends.

One of my best friends is sick right now and her auntie just died. I wanted to go visit but I would have to take public transport and I only have two bus tickets left. I’m planning to use them to go get my discounted bus and leisure pass. It’s been a weird summer.

The doctors and nurses keep harping on marijuana being bad for me. I’ve been pretty much sober ever since the hospital, which might be why I’m recovering so fast. At the same time it’s pretty hard to imagine life completely devoid of pot. I miss it, a lot, but I know it’s better to get some time away from what thoughts made me all paranoid and whatever. I’m thinking really clearly now, although a bit depressed. French and Saunders on Youtube are entertaining me though.

Anyway, off to bed I go, to re-read “What they did to Princess Paragon” which is the most funny book for summer reading. I highly recommend it.

Visit with Psychiatrist and Community Mental Health Nurse

So I’m supposed to get referred to another psychiatrist to deal with my trans issues. Apparently my shrink is better suited to the bipolar aspects of me. On that front apparently I am recovering really well, my sleeping is supposed to be pretty normal and I am getting used to my medication. I’m going to A Bipolar Education Group and I’m also supposed to be finding out about starting a psychiatric rehab day program, which would give me something to do in the days. I’ve been pretty wiped out frm my manic episode, as one can imagine. I lost 30 pounds in the space of a month or something, which is kind of good but kind of not. I get 130 bucks a month spending money while I live in this mental health approved home, and that can’t pay for new clothes. I smoke again, which is also bad because it wipes out some of my money for other fun things I could be doing instead. Luckily this is all a temporary situation. LUCKILY since for the rest of the month I’m bunking with an elderly schizophrenic woman I’ve secretly dubbed Poo-Television Lady, since she can’t seem to grasp the concept of where to find the toilet paper and believes everything on the television is really happening. Especially troublesome since one of the other bipolar women in the house is addicted to Turner Classic Movies.

Ted Turner also has bipolar. I’m telling you, WE RUN THE FREAKN WORLD! now you know why everything seems insane!

Anyway, my mum found some of my old shorts and the one that fits my new bulge the best is ironically a total girl’s pair of shorts. They look butch but the label says girl something on it. Or SOMETHING GIRL> hey, that could be a new label!

And on the catwalk, capri’s by Something Girl, pret a porter.

I do my little turn on the catwalk.

I should go, I have to get back to internetless land and weather sharing yet another night in the room with Poo-Television Lady.

I’m used to poop because of my sister, but that still doesn’t make it fun. No scatplayer here!

Oh yeah, anyway the nurse and the pdoc both think I’m doing well for how extremely manic I was. I think I’m doing well too.

One of the funnier things I said when I was crazy was that my Ex, Velveeta, was going to show a video of my asshole contracting and expanding at the Whitney, and that it was called Story of the Eye and it was about George W. Bush. I was an asshole really, but I still think that was the funniest manic myth I spun.

There really is a video of my asshole in the possession of One Velveeta Krisp. We shot it at ECIAD in 2001. She denies it’s mine, apparently it’s just meant to be The Anonymous Asshole.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and being trans

If you don’t know who Elizabeth Kubler-Ross is, she wrote all about the emotional stages of dying and death. Being trans isn’t about dying, but the idea is triggered in my head that it is a type of death of sorts. I think maybe shedding a skin is a better idea of what it feels like.

Ever since I have finally for sure for sure come out as a man, things have really changed and I’ve realized I have a lot to discover about myself. For one thing, I’m coming out as a bisexual man. THAT is quite the turn from being a lesbian. Also I’ve got to say, I’m still more attracted to women than to men, which brings up all kinds of bad feelings the queer community seems to have about bisexuals. It’s an entirely different set of identity issues which I have to deal with now, like getting a new deck of cards.

And yet I never felt that I fit in as a lesbian. I fit in as butch, and that’s totally a different thing because that’s more about gender presentation than sexual orientation. I was always getting weird looks about why I identified with and was attracted to bisexual women more than other lesbians.

That all being said, the lesbian community was a great place to grow up in, especially in the 90’s. I don’t know why. Maybe because that’s when a huge wave of transgendered activism and art suddenly poured out of that era. I could relate to that far more easily than the lesbian community, for obvious reasons, but I still think there was kind of a pansexual playfulness to the times that I latched onto.

I doubt you can find a single lesbian in this day and age who hasn’t seen a friend decide to transition. I know there is always a sort of sadness at seeing ANOTHER butch decide to be a man. Maybe I didn’t transition earlier because I didn’t want to cause sadness, even though it made for a conflicted me. I think a lot of transgendered people were kind of like “Okay, when is he coming out already? Let’s place bets!”

When I was nineteen I think I really knew I was probably going to transition, but I put it off. I just remember very clearly looking at myself in a mirror and while I have a nice female body, realizing it still wasn’t what I was envisioning for myself. The breasts especially. I really never knew how to deal with those. And the periods, I never liked my period because it seemed like such a pain in the ass.

There are some weird questions I have to ask another trans person about how my body will be after hormones, but maybe they are too intimate to list here. I know I’m excited about how certain things will develop, like my voice and my facial features and hair and muscles and things like that.

Right now life is kind of weird because I’m in a ladies care home. LADIES!!! I still go to the women’s washroom because I’m still very very female bodies. I’m pretty much wearing a packer all the time. That’s a type of useless flaccid male genitalia made out of various sundry household goods, I’m hoping to buy a real packer sometime soon. I haven’t bound my breasts yet because I’m waiting to try and make one with my friends Cindy and Megan. Chest surgery is going to cost about $4000. There’s a surgeon in town who does them. I have no idea when I’ll have the cash to do that.

And the hormones, if my doctor is sympathetic enough I might be able to start on them soon. It takes about 2 years for the big effect, and changes continue for about ten years. Some men say it’s like going through a second puberty. And my puberty was bleak!!!!

It’s also funny because I am transitioning to a feature filmmaker as well. I’m going to be making an hour long documentary about researching my families various homelands AND the process of transitioning. It will be funny I hope, parts of it anyway.

Then of course there is the fact that violence happens a lot to trans people. Maybe that’s where the Kubler-Ross stuff caught my eye. And there is a lot of depression and suicide that can occur. All these landmines in the way of me just trying to be true to myself and become someone I feel comfortable with. It’s a lot to take in.

And it doesn’t help that a Nelly Furtado song on the radio keeps making me feel weird!!!!

This is a wicked video “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley