Thursday, 8 September 2005

Music Memed

From A Small Victory, and others.

1. Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function here and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year (eg just enter 1975)
2. Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about).

1. Love Will Keep Us Together, The Captain and Tennille
2. Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell
3. Philadelphia Freedom, Elton John

4. Before The Next Teardrop Falls, Freddy Fender
5. My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli
6. Shining Star, Earth, Wind and Fire
7. Fame, David Bowie
8. Laughter In The Rain, Neil Sedaka

9. One Of These Nights, Eagles
10. Thank God I'm A Country Boy, John Denver
11. Jive Talkin', Bee Gees
12. Best Of My Love, Eagles
13. Lovin' You, Minnie Riperton
14. Kung Fu Fighting, Carl Douglas
15. Black Water, Doobie Brothers
16. Ballroom Blitz, Sweet
17. (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song, B.J. Thomas
18. He Don't Love You (Like I Love You), Tony Orlando and Dawn
19. At Seventeen, Janis Ian
20. Pick Up The Pieces, Average White Band
21. The Hustle, Van McCoy and The Soul City Symphony
22. Lady Marmalade, Labelle
23. Why Can't We Be Friends?, War
24. Love Wont Let Me Wait, Major Harris
25. Boogie On Reggae Woman, Stevie Wonder
26. Wasted Days And Wasted Nights, Freddy Fender
27. Fight The Power, Pt. 1, Isley Brothers
28. Angie Baby, Helen Reddy
29. Jackie Blue, Ozark Mountain Daredevils
30. Fire, Ohio Players
31. Magic, Pilot
32. Please Mr. Postman, Carpenters
33. Sister Golden Hair, America
34. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Elton John
35. Mandy, Barry Manilow
36. Have You Never Been Mellow, Olivia Newton-John
37. Could It Be Magic, Barry Manilow
38. Cat's In The Cradle, Harry Chapin
39. Wildfire Michael Murphy
40. I'm Not Lisa, Jessi Colter

41. Listen To What The Man Said, Paul Mccartney and Wings
42. I'm Not In Love, 10cc
43. I Can Help, Billy Swan
44. Fallin' In Love, Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds
45. Feelings, Morris Albert
46. Chevy Van, Sammy Johns
47. When Will I Be Loved, Linda Ronstadt
48. You're The First, The Last, My Everthing, Barry White
49. Please Mr Please, Olivia Newton-John
50. You're No Good, Linda Ronstadt
51. Dynomite, Bazuka
52. Walking In Rhythm, Blackbyrds
53. The Way We Were / Try To Remember, Gladys Knight and The Pips
54. Midnight Blue, Melissa Manchester
55. Don't Call Us, We'll Call You, Sugarloaf
56. Poetry Man, Phoebe Snow
57. How Long, Ace
58. Express, B.T. Express
59. That's The Way Of The World, Earth, Wind and Fire
60. Lady, Styx
61. Bad Time, Grand Funk
62. Only Women Bleed, Alice Cooper
63. Doctor's Orders, Carol Douglas
64. Get Down Tonight, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
65. You Are So Beautiful / It's A Sin When You Love Somebody, Joe Cocker
66. One Man Woman-One Woman Man, Paul Anka and Odia Coates
67. Feel Like Makin' Love, Bad Company
68. How Sweet It Is, James Taylor
69. Dance With Me, Orleans
70. Cut The Cake, Average White Band
71. Never Can Say Goodbye, Gloria Gaynor
72. I Don't Like To Sleep Alone, Paul Anka
73. Morning Side Of The Mountain, Donny and Marie Osmond
74. Some Kind Of Wonderful, Grand Funk
75. When Will I See You Again, Three Degrees
76. Get Down, Get Down (Get On The Floor), Joe Simon
77. I'm Sorry / Calypso, John Denver
78. Killer Queen, Queen
79. Shoeshine Boy, Eddie Kendricks
80. Do It (Til You're Satisfied), B.T. Express
81. Can't Get It Out Of My Head, Electric Light Orchestra
82. Sha-La-La (Makes Me Happy), Al Green
83. Lonely People, America
84. You Got The Love, Rufus
85. The Rockford Files, Mike Pos
86. It Only Takes A Minute, Tavares
87. No No Song / Snookeroo, Ringo Starr
88. Junior's Farm / Sally G, Paul McCartney and Wings
89. Bungle In The Jungle, Jethro Tull
90. Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance), Leo Sayer
91. Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Elton John

92. Misty, Ray Stevens
93. Bad Blood, Neil Sedaka
94. Only Yesterday, Carpenters
95. I'm On Fire, Dwight Twilley Band
96. Only You, Ringo Starr
97. Third Rate Romance, Amazing Rhythm Aces
98. You Aint Seen Nothin' Yet / Free Wheelin', Bachman-Turner Overdrive
99. Swearin' To God, Frankie Valli
100. Get Dancin', Disco Tex and The Sex-O-lettes

"I'm not in love" is probably the best musically of the 3 I've marked as "favourites". "Cat's in the cradle" meant a lot to me, as children were always very important. There I was, 17 years old, and with a maternal instinct already so strong I'd do anything to be a parent.

But Janice Ian's "17" really struck a chord.
"Dreams were all they gave for free
For Ugly Duckling girls like me."
Except she didn't know the half of it. There's a lot of girls out there who at 17 don't have curves, but facial hair. And you know what? It really, really, really sucks. Worse than anyone no afflicted with it can possibly believe.

In 1975 there were no good options. Now there are, and something can be done about it so such transsexual women can lead a normal, female life. I'd envy them, except that the first half of my life, as a male, wasn't too bad, and I have a wonderful little son, who I wouldn't have had had I transitioned earlier. How awful the price I paid was, I'm just starting to realise, as the hormones do their work, and I finally experience just how good, natural and right it feels to be slowly getting the body I should always have had. Back in 1975, Society wasn't as accepting, and the technology was nowhere near as good.

So although I look at the fabulous photos of girls who have had their awful birth defect corrected before age 20, that was never possible for me. Born 30 years too early.

But assuming the technology had been available, was living as a male for so long worth it? Not just Yes, but Hell Yes. Motherhood - or as close as I could get to it - was always far more important to me than Femininity. And it wasn't too bad, I didn't know of anything different, so wasn't unhappy. I met and fell head-over-heels in love with a wonderful woman, and although our relationship has changed and sadly diminished, the love and friendship is still there. Had this peculiar metabolic oddity not struck, I still would have been trying to be male, just so I could be a normal Daddy. But it did, and here I am. Pretty happy, and getting both a little bit prettier and a little bit happier every day. Still years to go though for the physical changes to complete. The psychological ones ditto, I'm still getting used to the idea of being "Zoe". Defintely a work in progress.

Music is so tied up with memory and emotion, that even the names of tunes can conjur up visions of the past that have a powerful impact, even 30 years later. For someone trying to clear layer upon layer of self-protective self-deception, years worth of deliberate forgetting, just perceiving harmonic vibrations in the air, the dance of molecules colliding in patterns, can be a useful aid. Even if you don't particularly want it to be, as the memories can be heartbreakingly painful. There's a reason why they were forgotten.

During the first few weeks of my metabolic oddity - I won't call it a "hormonal storm" any more because now I'm on Hormone Therapy, I know that no amount of hormone weirdness alone could have caused such rapid changes, we're talking something like 3 months of normal Hormone change in just 2 weeks and there's still no good explanation - anyway, I really didn't know what the heck was going on in my mind.

Think about it, all you guys reading this. How would you feel if you suddenly, very suddenly, started feminising, losing weight at a pound a day, getting changes to your skin, your perceptions, your whole body? One hypothesis I had was that I was actually a male who, in a desperate attempt to save his sanity, was trying to convince himself that he'd had a constant urge to be female, because it looked like he was going to become she whether (s)he liked it or not.

But now that hypothesis is disproved, and has been for quite a while. I'm taking to transition like a duck to water, I was quite literally born for it. I'm still discovering memories long buried - as a child I played with toy cars, as all boys do. But my favourite was Lady Penelope's Pink Rolls Royce. I constructed (and still do) plastic models. The first one I ever bought was an "Angel Interceptor" from the "Captain Scarlet" TV series, because I wanted to be just like the girls who flew them. Those memories, and God knows how many others, had been safely buried for 40 years.

And as for the women reading this - imagine if you too had been imprisoned in a male body? OK, no monthly curse, but also no motherhood, no dating, no... everything. All I have to show for it is a 4 year old son, a wonderful boy who plays with me on the computer, and is bright, and mischievous, and my little son who I love so much. And a 25-year marriage that has already changed into something else. Quite what, we don't know. This is just so unfair to my partner, I don't know how she can stand it. How would you feel if this happened to your husband, or boyfriend? So say a little prayer for all the spouses of transsexual people, because they're the ones who get all the suffering and none of the benefits. A few, a very few, manage to cope. All too many, perhaps the majority, become so terribly hurt that they lash out at the cause of their suffering, trying to inflict the maximum amount of emotional hell on the person they see as the source of all their psychic agony. The rest just let their relationship die a tragic but natural death, and move on.

We shall see. One day at a time. If anyone can cope, she can. I hope. Wish us luck, but her in particular, no matter what may happen.


StinKerr said...

Okay, I tried three times. strike> is not allowed, s> is not allowed and del> is not allowed.

I left out the "<" of course, to be able to post this.

I cannot imagine what you are all going through. Your wife must be an outstanding woman. I wish you all the best.

danman said...

I dont want to sound like a loud mouth know-it-all, but;

Many debs and sex-changes say wait a year or two before any permanent changes,
and are of the opinion that it is like going through a puberty a second time (as a teen girl), with the deep 'needs' desires etc, and after 2 years youll look at it as an emotionally adult woman instead. ;)

But hey, I'm not you.

Zoe Brain said...

Danman, thanks for the advice, so diplomatically expressed.

Trouble is, I'm not quite in the normal situation. Without HRT, I'd still be feminising anyway, just in a less controlled manner. In 5 years at the most I'd end up having to take extreme measures to look adequately male, including a double mastectomy.

Most people doing a transition have the luxury of being able to stop, take a breather, and continue or even reverse course. Not me, it's a 1-way trip. One with no reverse gear, no brake, only an accelerator which I may or may not use.

And of course the "male bits" got damaged beyond repair early on. It's even likely the permanent physical changes to the brain that happen with long-term HRT had already happened before I sought treatment.

Honesty compells me to say that these may all just be excuses for me to do what I want to do anyway.

But on purely medical grounds, SRS may be indicated anyway if I can't tolerate the hormone therapy. My system was going haywire, dangerously so. An orchidectomy might quite literally save my life. If I can tolerate HRT, the urgency is not there, though it would still have both health and financial benefits, no need for anti-androgens and less strain on the system from large oestrogen doses.

If I was paying full-price for the Androcur, I'd be shelling out $200 a month. Instead, I elected to undergo the humiliation of being put on a special register of deviant males whose sex drive needed diminishing by Chemical Castration. All TS-women in Australia taking Androcur (the safest of the anti-androgens) have to make the same decision.

Just another minor humiliation in the process - transition is not for the faint-hearted.

And having gone that far, (the cricketing cry "No Ball!" is appropriate) and with the rest of the equipment nonfunctional, there appears to be no downside to SRS ASAP. It's certainly the only chance I have of anything resembling a normal sex life, be it straight or lesbian.

As regards FFS (facial surgery) and the traditional Boob Job (Augmentation Mammoplasty), I'll have to wait 2 years for the HRT to do most of its work anyway.

There's no hurry, I already look adequately female not to stand out.

But darn it, I want to look better than "adequate". I've looked so ugly to myself for so many years that I think I deserve to look as good as other TS-women.

All I need is $50,000 (Aus) or so... that was my preferred surgeon's quote.

The Tip Jar is on the left BTW. All contributions of $1 or over gratefully accepted. Those less get eaten up by overheads, I don't actually get any of it.

Thanks once more for the advice. It's certainly aplicable to virtually anyone undergoing transition. It's only a handful of oddities like me that it's not completely appropriate for - and even then, it's worth bearing in mind.

Bellicose Woman said...

Hmmm - On the FFS thing - makeup and attitude can do wonders.

Bellicose Woman said...

Ooops - meant to say more on the attitude.
Makeup: most men (and an appalling number of women) use either too much or too little. Find someone to teach you the trick of looking like you aren't wearing any.

Attitude: If you believe you are good looking - others do too. (Barring being totally hideous - which you aren't.) I'd describe you as a handsome woman - which isn't an insult. You'll never be dainty - sorry - so go for amazonian dramatic - that works too.

danman said...

Yeah, I was afraid of getting to personal.

Personally I think you should go hormonal as soon as necessary, because normally its sort of reversable. (but not in your case, as you said). Anyway hope it all works out.

Zoe Brain said...

I've been on HRT for just over 5 weeks now.

I appreciate your consideration, it's just that Stealth was never an option for me.

But neither do I wish to draw un-neccessary attention to the situation. It just is. No big deal.

Yes, I'm playing this by ear, and paddling furiously to keep my head above water. But managing to have more than a little fun in the process too. I mean, Life is supposed to be that way.

Too bad the process is going to take about 7 years to complete.

Zoe Brain said...

Bellicose woman : Thanks for the tips.
I know that "less is more" when it comes to makeup.
Right now, knowing little, that means I take it to extremes - and don't wear any.
I'm wondering whether to get a pro makeover before going to my 30th High School Reunion though.

It's an all-male school.

Bellicose Woman said...

That should be some reunion. Grinning just thinking about it.

Zoe Brain said...

Here's the School Website.