Six months to go from peon to princes

As most people on this website are probably aware of, I am male-to-female transgender. I started hormones back in September and three weeks ago was my six month mark so I'm here to talk to about that a little bit! The short short version of it is: My life is better now.

Hormones are a... interesting thing to experience. Besides the obvious physical changes which I will get into later, the psychological changes have been just as crazy. I find that I am much calmer now, more forgiving, more reasonable, more confident... but with that confidence, I have begun to assert myself more and stand up for myself and what I believe in which blends a little strangely sometimes with the fact that I am also a bit more emotional than I was before. I kind of kneejerk reaction to everything and I have to mentally check myself and step back, analyzing the situation after I calm myself down. It's been a weird thing to get used to... This is all when I'm not on my "period", which is when I get a litttttttttle crazy. I've posted a few times while under that influence and it isn't great.

I had a day after they changed my dosage where I yelled at both of my roommates, apologized, started crying, barricaded my door with my desk, unbarricaded it, had grilled cheese and tomato soup, cried that all I had was grilled cheese and tomato soup, angrily turned off The Last of Us because people were in the same building as me when I wanted to play it, tore apart a piece of paper for no reason other than I needed to destroy something and then cried in my bed wishing I had food that only comes from a place 20 miles away. All within an hour. Girly hormones are weird.

The physical changes have been quite dramatic as well. My skin is softer than it used to be, my body hair grows much slower, my face has changed shape a bit, I have boobs now, I've lost a LOT of muscle, and... well.. The first two here are from the last week, the third one is me two months before HRT and the last one is my ID from when I turned 21.

The things you can't see are that my arms are much smaller, my thighs are more feminine, my waist has curved a bit, my skin is MUCH softer... Ugh, I'M SO different. It's ridiculous. I dunno. I'm pretty now, and I love it.

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The first day of the rest of my life.

I started hormones today, somewhere around nine hours ago as I hit the "save your blog" button here and send this away to be forever etched into the colorful, soggy, tried-to-bleach-it-out-but-these-stains-aint-goin-nowhere history of the internet.

It's an interesting thing to change your life so completely, especially when change comes so quickly. I made the decision to transition on December 3, 2012 and now on September 3, 2013, I have finally begun the process of taking the medication I need to become somebody I can be happy with. I really only began the process of making it to this point on July 1, 2013. Two month is all it took to reach my goal. It seems silly that I stressed out about it for so long before deciding to take the plunge and see a therapist when I look back on it now but it's also a massive change. This is literally life changing, in a way that something big like finishing college or starting a new career can never be. I can go nowhere with one of those things, I can quit a job, but I will never be able to take back being a girly.

But a lot happened in those nine months. Tons of video games were released, many that I played, some that led to me making new friends or rekindling old friendships I thought were long over. I made new friends here on Giantbomb. New consoles were announced. I became so depressed over confusion and stress about my gender and the way I viewed myself and how everybody else treated me over it(they are finally starting to understand that I am serious, though!) that I felt the only option was to take my own life. I came reallll fuckin' close and the only thing that saved me was hesitation causing me to involuntarily stop what I was doing.

I wish I could say that I am genuinely happy now and it's all okay and my life is so much better, but really, not much has changed. Some of my friends are still toxic people that make me unhappy, a couple of people that I live with are still completely awful and seem to actively try to make me miserable... I wonder on a daily basis how many people give a shit about me and/or whether or not I'd REALLY be missed if I were gone. I am still very depressed, but I feel like that may not be the case for much longer. I've been completely over the moon all day. My life is changing. It's the first step on the road to something great. By the end of it I will have a new name, new gender, new sex, maybe a new home, maybe a new job, maybe new friends... I want my life to be something I can be happy with. And maybe, just hopefully, something I can be proud of.

So, uh... yeah. I kinda just wanted to tell the group of people that I've been sitting at the edges of trying to be a part of for years that I'm doing something huge! Follow your dreams or some shit!

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Through all of this, I only feel guilt.

I remember several months ago stumbling across a thread here on the Giant Bomb forums that was asking people who they would miss the most if they were to leave Giant Bomb for greener pastures. The idea of death had nothing to do with it, it was just a very simple but very difficult question: If someone were to leave, how would you feel?

I thought long, hard and what I thought was very realistically on the question. I can't remember if I posted what I thought in that thread or not and I don't feel like going back through my forum history JUST to check, because the only relevant thought that occurred to me then is this: If Ryan Davis alone were to leave, I would be sad, but I think overall, my Giant Bomb experience would not be drastically effected.

I was wrong. It was so easy to say that in the moment. It was all just hypothetical. I wish this wasn't how I found out the reality of it.

There is a hole in my heart and a hole in this website that no human being will ever be able to fill. I've gone and blocked the one in my heart off and it's going to take a while before I fill it with enough tears to the point where I can bear to look at it again. For now, it's just surreal to me. I've spent the last day or two just kind of walking around in a daze. Occasionally I let out a tear or two, but it's still registering with me. I only now am capable of finding a way to turn my feelings into words.

I turn twenty two next Saturday, on July 20. And for the first time in my life, I am dealing with the death of a friend.

We never met, we never exchanged words, but Ryan Davis was part of my daily life in some way or another for three whole years. I felt like I knew him very well. I learned his likes, dislikes, grew to love and even emulate his sense of humor and unfiltered joy for goofy, inane shit. I have never really followed the Bombcast but the few times I listened, I didn't feel like I was listening to a podcast about video games, I felt like I had been invited to sit in on a great group of guys just shooting the shit. It felt like a privilege, and I realize now that a big part of why it felt like that was Ryan's ability to host that show the way he did. It extended to the live shows they do. Something about having him sitting in the "head seat" there made everything just feel okay. You could just feel how much fun he was having and he was letting you in in that, sharing it with you in a way only he could. I think he and I could have got along famously if we'd ever been given the chance to know one another.

I'm sorry, Mr. Davis. You were the best friend I never met. I'm sorry for thinking what I did. You ARE Giant Bomb, as much as everyone else that makes up this website is Giant Bomb. There is no one person that makes this website what it is. It is all of you. And without you, Mr. Davis, the Giant Bomb I know and love is going to be a different place.

I was wrong.

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Dumb things that you should probably play

Hello, world! I am here to tell you about things that I have discovered on the internet, either recently or many months ago, that I think other people need to know about because I haven't seen them posted anywhere else. I would like to say before we begin that I am not Scoops, I was not born with the required superpower to find all of the cool things the internet has to offer. But I do like fun! So I will share things with you that I find fun. I am not sure how it will show up when I click the submit button, but all of the paragraph headers are links so click 'em to see cool stuff!

also i am on my work laptop so i cant really search for images without risking blowing this poor thing up from trying to run flash seriously it is from like 2004 it barely does youtube and giantbomb at the same time

Brutal Doom

If I had a giantbomb soundbite to use as a reaction to playing Brutal Doom it would be Ryan from the latest Sleeping Dogs quick look, Year of the Snake. The way he screams YEAH! YEAAAAHH!!! when the game launches the car into the stratosphere is definitely the closest thing to the emotions I have running through my system when I flying kick an imp in half and shotgun a pinkie demon into fourteen different parts in less than two seconds. If you own Doom 1 or Doom 2, or have ever enjoyed Doom, I feel you owe it yourself to give this a whirl because it is so good. If I still haven't sold you on it, there is a dedicated button for making Doomguy shout quotes from the Doom comic.

GO FUCK YOURSELF

That really adorable Doom roguelike that was just released

I am starting to see a pattern here. Don't care. Throw this in your computerbox and put on a big dumb smile. That this exists is such a wonderful thing and reminded me that, while this is a little simplistic, video games are such a great thing.

Warframe

You probably know about Warframe because it had a quick look on this site. It's pretty good. What you might not have known is that it is no longer in closed beta and you(yes, you!) can play it now. For free! oh gosh what a deal

Get in there and start playing with duders! It's free, so you have no real excuse not to if you have an adequate peesee.

Under The Ocean

I'll be honest with you here, I have not actually played this game nor even heard of it until yesterday. It seems kind of obscure, and I am not really a video game hipster. I just thought it looked cool. I am a fan of this new fad for making video games about gathering resources and building cool stuff and this honestly seems like the step in advancing the formula. If this manages to pull of its ideas the way it wants to, I think we will have a game on our hands that we will be talking about for quite some time.

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I am okay.

I am not going to make this very long because it isn't something that needs to be. I am not trying to make it a big deal. But I would like to first say that I feel a lot of shame. Some shame for involving other people in it, but a lot of shame and a lot of guilt for even considering what I was doing. It isn't the first time I've tried, but it is the first time I've felt so stupid about it. I apologize for presenting myself as an attention whore. It is not what I wanted, I wasn't thinking straight. I just wanted somebody in the world to hear what I thought were going to be my final, rambling thoughts.

But, I just want to say thank you. You, the person reading this, individually, for making this website one of the best I've ever been a part of, and Giantbomb, as a concept, and as the website. The girl I mentioned before is in California right now visiting her sick father and she saw my post almost the minute it went up. She got all of my housemates together who then stopped me mid act, got my friends to drive up to see me, some several states away, to remind me that the world is much larger than the room that I nearly did something incredibly selfish in, and all I had to do was reach out for help, not regress inward and let those dark feelings overwhelm me. I don't feel happy, and I don't think I will for a while, but it's a positive thing that I'm even still feeling.

So, in a way, Giantbomb saved me. Without a place like this, I would not have told a single soul.

To anybody reading this who might be feeling the same way I did, present or future: Don't be an idiot. They say vodka mixes with anything, but thirty-four prescription strength painkillers was not what they had in mind when they said it. Try orange juice. And just talk to somebody. Even if it's to tell them you're about to do it. Just having somebody else know what you're doing might mean the difference between making a memory and being all out of quarters.

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The state of my life and why I've decided to end it.

this will probably get deleted how depressing is that

Hello Giantbomb. No, you did not misinterpret that. I am going to kill myself. As soon as I'm done writing this, actually! Maybe. If not, tomorrow evening. Depends on if I get too sleepy by the time I finish this. If I were the type of person who had the drive to do anything properly I would probably not be in this spot. So hopefully by the time these words are absorbed and analyzed by your brain area I will not be a thing anymore. Assuming this all goes well, anyway. If it does not I will probably be back here in a few weeks telling you about my liver damage.

I spent a long time writing out a very long, very mopey, pity party post but I got rid of it. Some of you are rereading this(maybe?) going "i thought you said it wasnt a pity party this time" and oops i goofed. I don't know why I got rid of it. I don't expect sympathy. But I do know that I would like to tell you a few things because I want somebody out there to hear them. Why you, anonymous internet person that goes to the website triple-double-yoo-dot-giantbomb-dot-com?

Because you've been there for me. I found Giantbomb three years ago when I was at one of my lowest points. I was stuck in California with a girl I'd met online and was visiting. I say I was stuck because I went down there for a small convention, and when it was time to come back home to sunny Seattle, Washington, my father would not let me. He told me there was no room for me at the house I had left two weeks before and I was on my own. This led to me being unable to finish high school which is probably a large reason why I am where I am. Thanks dad. He never told me why, but I think it was because I had implied something to him before leaving, and he was worried it was true. It was true, and I've since told him, and we're good friends. But that isn't the point, because we weren't when it happened. I guess we both had a lot of growing up to do. But anyway, you've been there for me, Giantbomb. You've made me smile when I thought I couldn't anymore, given me hours and hours and hours of entertainment, and while you peoples on the forums tend to call me stupid for my opinions like everybody else does, I at least don't feel that you mean it in a harmful way.

So I'll tell it to you straight out instead of tiptoeing around it like I did with el padre. You deserve that much.

I am transgendered. I feel terrible about not telling you sooner, giantbomb dot com, but it isn't the sort of thing that just comes out naturally. It's something I try not to make a big deal out of because it is nothing more than who I am as a human being, but it isn't really something you can bring up casually, it has to be the center of a conversation. You can't just drop it like "I really liked the part in Halo 4 where Cortana had boobs because hey by the way..." It's very scary. I've had to stare into internet eyes and real people eyes both and say it, and neither is easy. I start shaking and my mind goes in so many figure eights expecting them to judge me or tell me we aren't friends anymore or that I'm some sort of freak. I lost a couple friends the other day because I finally decided to tell them. People I'd known for four or five years. If I can't be sure of how people I think I know extremely well are going to react, how can I try to tell strangers? But it's out there now and I am not going to take it back, for better or for worse. It's one of the reasons I am going to do this. I didn't mean to masquerade around as a proper, natural lady. Some of you probably feel lied to. I am very sorry. It was not my intent.

Anyway, meat of the issue. Or something. I feel completely stuck in life. No, stuck is a bad word for it. I feel I've hit the height of my potential. I am not going to make more money than I do now. I make about $1000 USD a month at the comic book/tabletop gaming store I work at. It isn't bad, but the lady I mentioned above lives with me now after I got her out of her abusive parent's house. I have been paying for her rent and entertainment for the past two years and now I simply cannot afford to take care of two people on that budget. Things have become too expensive, and I have the above thing to save up for and I just can't do it. If I set aside every single penny I had free after paying my rent and my bills it would take me nineteen years to save up for all the medicine and surgeries and other bullshit I'd need to make my dream a reality. I cannot even afford to maintain a car. Not that I have one. Not that I can drive.

I've tried applying to many jobs but every single one has turned me away. Some have even called me to go PFFF WHY DID YOU EVEN BOTHER HAHAHA and that just makes the whole thing even harder. I know it is because of my lack of education, and I have tried so hard to study to rectify this, but the unfortunate truth is that I am not very smart and I have a learning disability that makes it very difficult for me to absorb information quickly or efficiently. Sometimes at all. I do not believe I can advance my education, and with that, I cannot advance my ability to make money. I've tried. Several times. I've failed. I was simply not born smart and there's nothing I can do to fight that.

The place I live in looks like a truly horrific episode of Cops. I live with seven other people and not a single one of them is willing to do anything about the state of the house even though they are to blame for it. I work very hard to keep it looking as best I can. I do dishes every day, I've cleaned the bathroom several times this month alone, I sweep, I mop, whatever. But every day, more dishes, more dog shit on the floor because nobody is willing to take care of their animals, more mould growing in the shower because nobody turns the fan on when they are done showering, more empty Little Caesars boxes and beer bottles lying around every corner of every room that isn't mine, more macaroni and cheese that wasn't cleaned up, just sitting in the pot on the stove. I can't keep up with it, and when I ask people to help take care of the house I am met with ridicule that I am not trying hard enough on my own. I'm being taken advantage of and there is nothing I can do about it because this is the only place I can afford.

I have a lot of trouble making friends in real life. I did not have a group of people I could really call "my friends" until I was eighteen years old. I have not made any new ones since then. The ones I have now don't particularly care for me. I can tell they only associate with me because it is convenient for them at times. I let them take advantage of me because without them, I am completely alone aside from my internet acquaintances. Even the regulars at the store I go to only tolerate me. One of them went off on me when I tried to socialize with their group a few weeks ago. Told me that I am weird and a bother and that I have nothing to live for aside from that job. I wish they hadn't been so right.

I don't know. There's so much to say but I am not very good at putting my thoughts into words. I never have been. I guess the best way to summarize it is that there is nowhere for me to go from here. For me, life will never move beyond wake up, play video games, go to work if I have work that day, if not, wait till bed, sleep, repeat. This is the best I can aspire to, that disappoints me and I don't want to stay in this spot anymore.

I had dreamed of being beautiful. I wanted it more than anything. To be able to look at myself in the mirror and not want to crawl out of my fucking skin because I felt like a liar whose fool was the entire world.

I dreamt of being successful. I had an ingrown toenail that had become terribly infected for about five months because I could not afford to get it fixed. I finally got it taken care of in December after being told I may lose the toe if I didn't bite the bullet and shell out the cash to get it done. I had made up my mind then that I wanted to be a doctor so that I could help people, that they would not have to live with injuries like I had. If I could help one person not be terrified of putting on their shoe in the morning, then I had done made a difference, even if it was small.

But I guess I really was just dreaming.

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Video games hate me...

... or how I learned to start bitching and learn to hate peer to peer.

I picked up Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine for my personal computer box last Thursday because I LOVE Warhammer 40k. It's a really good game. It sells the world of Warhammer 40,000 very well, bringing its brutality, ground scope and sheer ridiculousness to life almost perfectly. It is very satisfying to shoot ten orks in their ugly alien faces with a bolter and watch them all explode into gross alien bits. The melee is a bit shallow unfortunately, but it's still satisfying and the game provides a decent challenge throughout. You should check it out if you haven't yet! There's a demo up on all of its platforms. It's very fun!

But don't touch the multiplayer for more than a few hours.

In less than a week my enjoyment of this game has gone from "I really like this game and want to play a lot more of it" to "i hate this fucking game almost as much as i hate modern warfare 2 i wish i had a physical copy so i could destroy the disc and slit my wrists with the jagged shards" and it is not because the game is BAD or not fun to play, but because the networking is fucking awful. As a PC player, I'm used to certain amenities with my online experience, like NOT FUCKING PEER TO PEER INFRASTRUCTURE WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU

I'd never really cared about peer to peer because it's never really been an issue for me. Yeah, I've played on peer to peer networks before, they're not as smooth or stable as a dedicated server, but hey man, I can play, so it's all good. No longer, brave reader. It took a few years, but Space Marine has taught me that a lack of dedicated servers is a death sentence for your game.

With peer to peer networking on the consoles, everything is gravy because you don't have to worry about differences in hardware or software, how many programs are running in the background, just the actual connection. On the PC, however, there are far too many different setups and differences that may not seem like a big deal, but actually are. I'm not getting into detail, but suffice to say, whoever thought a reflex focused, melee heavy game should be peer to peer needs to be kneecapped. I cannot give those people a hard enough "fuck you."

I recorded a video last night of a standard match of Space Marine. Let's watch together!

Yeah, I could have played better. My tendonitis is acting up, it was 2 in the morning, I'm just awful at assault and video games hate me to begin with. But seriously, what the hell, man. A week ago I was going 15-4 or better almost every match, and now I'm lucky if I go 1-9 because I just can't fight back anymore. I get into an engagement and just die because there's no way I can beat the enemy player because they teleport about or shoot where I was and still hit me, even though I've taken cover or have dodged out of the way. Awesome.

And the unfortunate reality is that the developer, Relic, simply does not care. They have our money. They don't care how much fun we have with their game, or that it's a slow, broken mess that needs some serious tweaking and dedicated servers to remain a viable competitive option. And this is becoming fairly standard in the industry. Rather than take the time to make servers an option for their fanbase, they just shovel in some bogus, barely functioning client dependent networking and give us the bird.

I don't ask for much. I just want a smooth experience that, when I lose, I know it's because it's my fault because I messed up. Not because I did everything right but still died because on his screen, I was running face first into a wall so he could just shoot my retarded wall humping space man to death on his screen and it will kill the actual me.

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Stuff I've been playing recently

uhhh does this go here
 
I went out Tuesday and purchased three video games that I have been spending my unfortunately abundant amount of free time with. I've had enough time now that I think I'm ready to express my thoughts on them thus far.
 
 

Dead Space 2

 
 Lookin' good, Mr. Clarke.

This was the big one that I went out for; I waited about a week to pick up the other two games here because I was too lazy to make the one-hour-both-ways walk to Fry's two times in a row. I went in, picked up the Collector's Edition for my PS3, and waited until it got dark to sit down with my significant other and let it entertain the hell out of both of us.
 
And entertain it does! This game is amazing on all fronts; the visuals, the great atmosphere, tight controls, creepy enemies, satisfying combat that is challenging but never bullshit, the perfectly times musical stings... it's very well crafted. The game is less creepy than the first, forgoing the sense of dread and isolation it worked so hard to maintain in the first for a more intense, on the edge of your seat adventure. There are still monsters closets and fake-out scares abound, but the real parts that get my heart racing and my mind jumping all about in a frantic effort to figure out what I need to do before the thing in front of me kills me dead are the setpieces; dangling upside down from a train hanging loosely from the ceiling or barely fighting off a giant necromorph as it slams me about the room, running down a hall and then into jumping into space to get away from it are the highlights for me. 
 
I like that they gave Isaac a voice, too; he's sort of high pitched without being annoying. A good pick for a nerdy engineer protagonist. 
 

LittleBigPlanet 2

Part of me loves this game and everything about it. The cute visuals, the optimistic "just have fun" attitude that permeates the entire thing, the simplistic nature of the gameplay. All of it. I spend most of my time just searching online for fun levels people have created in their spare time, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the ridiculous concepts people have come up with, or just how much they've managed to squeeze out of the new level creation tools. Every other level I step into I audibly exclaim "Oh, WOW!" It's mind boggling to consider what people will have done months from now, or even a year.
 
But I'll be a little honest here. I'm terrible at platformers. The WORST at platformers. I can go through a significant portion of God Hand or Shinobi on their hardest difficulties, but give me a platforming game and I will want to strangle myself with my controller cable out of frustration within a few hours. I don't know what I was thinking when I picked this up.  I'm glad I did but ugh i am so bad at it i hate myself 
 
My Hell has a face, and it is adorable.


Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

 I love you, but fuck you.
  I will save space and just say this: This game is huge, and it's great fun when it works. But this is not a stealth series no matter how badly they want to try and make it be, this 100% synchronization bullshit can blow me, and the controls suck ass at the worst times.
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Halo Reach's campaign has stopped being fun.

I picked up Halo: Reach the other day as your "standard" Halo fan; I think they're fun games, but nothing amazing. Following Reach before its launch there had been many, many sources saying "If you've played Halo before, play on heroic." I have played Halo before. I also don't suck at video games. I know better than to play on hard my first time through a game, but I figured what the hell.
 
As I type this I have just finished playing the level "The Package" and I feel like the game is dragging on. And on. And on. AND ON. AND ON. I roll my eyes every time the game throws yet ANOTHER wave of three or four high ranking elites, jackals and brutes at me, or a pair of hunters, sometimes two pairs at a time, while providing me with nothing but a very, very hefty stash of assault rifles and half ammo plasma weapons. Arguably the worst weapon in the game, and limited resources for inaccurate weapons that take forever to do anything to the friends of their previous owners. Some of these enemy combinations with the equipment they provide have taken me a half hour(!) or more(!!?)to defeat, often culminating in bullshit death after bullshit death. I have died more times in this campaign than any other game this year. Not once have I thought "Oh, I could have avoided that if I hadn't been a dumbass."
 
I am not one averse to challenge; I think a challenging game is often more rewarding when you can finally overcome it. Some of my favorite games are known for being suicide inducingly difficult; God Hand on Hard, Shinobi, the higher difficulty levels in the Devil May Cry games, Ninja Gaiden, etc. While most of these might be action games, I have completed my fair share of shooters on their higher or highest settings, such as Modern Warfare and its sequel, Halo 3, and so on. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I finally fought through and overcame whatever the game had thrown my way.
 
But playing Reach, I do not feel this. I feel nothing but irritation knowing I'm just going to have to do it AGAIN because the game continues to throw waves of overpowerng enemies without the proper tools to finish it quickly and efficiently in repeated bouts of artificial difficulty. 
 
Fuck it, I'm playing on normal.

91 Comments