Comparison is such a thief of joy. It can be a valuable tool, but it can also rob you of your own self worth and #MentalHealth. My relationships (family, friends and romantic) will not be like other people. My job won’t be like others. My hobbies won’t be like others. Who I am and how my brain operates is not like others. The more I realise that (this is to me) the more I begin to find my self worth and validate myself.
I need to find what works for me. I need to focus on me and me alone. I won’t be like anyone else and that is OK. I just need to keep living One Jae At A Time!
I just had a hair appointment (it’s getting so long!). As I’m walking into my flat, I see my reflection in the glass on my screen door. I stop and stare for a few and remark “Who is that girl I see?”. I have dreamed all my life of looking like this and I am finally seeing the person I dreamed of. 😭
I do not engage with street preachers. When someone is engaging in that act they aren’t in a place to hear from me. I engaged last year for my first Pride and I learned from that experience. Now I just walk on by and let them have their miserable day.
Today while at #Pride, I encountered some street preachers. What I want to say is its amazing how they think the God they serve, which is not the same God I believe in, would ever be OK with them coming to a Pride event to say we are under the call of the devil.
My God comes to people in love. I do not ever proselytise as that turns me off. My God instead wants me to show love to each and every person. To work on myself and become a better me. My God does not think who I love is sinful or that who I am is an abomination.
Ask yourself if your God is the God of love, why are you coming at me with a bullhorn?
It’s one year today that I began the process of having an orchiectomy. It is the first surgery I went through for my gender-affirming care. I completed it in November and am now just paying off massive medical debt over it
One of the things that kept hurting was the amount of people who asked me if I was sure at doing my orchiectomy. The people, my own mom included, who said I was being impulsive at having this surgery.
I have known since I was 4 that I was a trans woman. I have grappled with it all my life. When Caitlyn Jenner made news, I thought I wanted to do that too. I don’t like her politics, but I admire her doing it despite so much backlash.
I didn’t begin my journey until 2020. I began hormones and my medical treatments on December 15th, 2020. Fun fact, that is my partner’s birthday and was just an amazing coincidence once I realised this when we began dating.
It took me a year of hormone replacement therapy, which I had to get approval to begin that, before I was allowed to begin surgery.
A year ago today I finally had my first consultation on my orchiectomy. For those who do not know what that is, I had my testicles removed. I had to wait for a long time to get this consultation booked. I booked it in January of 2022 after I got the referral from my endocrinologist in December of 2021.
I had to wait many long months and I had to do a bunch of thinking about whether I really wanted to do this surgery.
The appointment was incredibly scary and I remember telling my best friend, who is now my partner, that I was so scared. He and I had been talking through the implications of this. At the time we didn’t realise we would be spending our lives together, he was just someone I was talking to a lot. Like friends do. He talked to me to help make sure I was really ready. He asked good questions, but in a very caring way.
Once I had my consultation I had to undergo some therapy sessions to get a write-off for my insurance. These therapy sessions unfortunately were not covered by insurance and I estimate have cost me between $600-$1,000 out-of-pocket from two therapists. Because insurance didn’t want just one person. I had to put these on credit cards. Which has added to the debt that I am currently working through.
These sessions were very grueling and asked me a lot of tough questions. The therapists weren’t pushing me towards the surgery. They were affirming, but they many times asked me if I was ready. Every medical professional along the way was asking me if I was really ready. They all talked me through the implications of this surgery. I never felt pushed into this, if anything I had to prove I was ready.
I remember once the surgery date was set that I was incredibly scared. I was having some major second thoughts. Someone I know sent me a letter saying this was impulsive. I remember sitting with my partner crying and talking through this surgery while I was visiting with him in October.
I met with a friend of a friend who asked me some very difficult questions. He wanted me to make sure I wasn’t making the wrong decision. Now he wanted me to undergo thousands of hours of therapy (at a cost to me of course due to the healthcare system in this country), but I don’t think any further therapy would change what I knew. I was literally a week away.
The days and hours up to the surgery I was questioning whether I should do this. I thought long and hard again about this. I know the narrative is people are pushed into these surgeries, but the reality is we have to fight to have them.
Insurance, literally with a day to go, almost hadn’t approved it yet and I had to fight to call and get them to approve it.
The day of, the doctor talked it through with me again. My partner and I had some heart-to-heart talks that morning. As I was about to put on the anasthesia to fall asleep, I kept thinking of whether I wanted to do this. This was not an impulsive thing.
I woke up from the surgery and felt relieved that it had happened. I have not lost that sense of relief. I didn’t like the surgery due to the immense pain I was in for a few months following, but it was the right choice for me.
Just please I urge people to not spread the narrative that anyone who elects to undergo gender-affirming surgery surgery is being forced into it. We aren’t. We aren’t being impulsive. We’ve had to do a lot of work to get to this point. You might not realise how much we’ve had to do. But please maybe have a bit more empathy for us.
I’ve been putting off doing this, but I have no choice except to ask for help regarding my medical debt and other debt I’ve accrued because of my transition. I’ve had gender affirming surgery as well as having to move out of my house and this has meant I’ve accrued a fair bit of debt.
I have setup a GoFundMe that I will use the funds to pay off my debt that I’ve accrued. gofund.me/5a8bb03f
From my trans experience sometimes there isn’t anything you can do to stop people misgendering you. You can dress up how you want and people will still assume your gender. For instance yesterday I was wearing and looked what typically is associated with a feminine look and still managed to get Sir’d yesterday. So sometimes it’s never enough.
It’s amazing what one year brings. I remember last May being so unsure of what my next year would bring me. Now this year I’m still unsure of what exactly this next year will entail, but I have a lot of hope about what is to come. Certain things are stable, and certain things are in flux, but my life continues to move on.
You think I’m a monster,
You think you know my life,
You make policies to restrict people like me,
You try to remove us from your world.
Maybe the real monster is you.
Maybe you will realise the creativity you’ve lost in your world.
Maybe you will one day realise how much you needed us.
We just want to exist,
We just want to be us.
I didn’t choose my life,
My life chose me.
Would I have wished for a hard life like this? No.
I may cry myself to sleep,
Just like I am doing tonight as I write this.
I may cry in front of my friends and family,
Just like I did tonight.
But I am happier than you will ever be.
I know who I am.
I seek to lift others up.
You may call me bitter,
You may call me angry,
But you made me bitter and angry.
You made me exhausted.
You made me who I am right now.
I will not let you keep me this way.
My emotions right now will pass,
I will one day not remember how you made me feel in this moment.
I ask you to please think about what your creator would think about what you are doing.
Would your creator be happy that you made me feel this way?
Would your creator be happy with how you’ve have treated one of their creations?
How you used your religion as a holy crusade against the least of these?
How you disrespected a child of God because you think you know your creator’s ways?
Please think about whether others will know you are a Christian by your love.
Please ask yourself if you are treating me how you would like to be treated?
Are you without sin?
Can you cast the first stone?
I just want to sleep.
I am about to nod off to sleep while crying,
But I ask you to please just respect me.
You don’t need to understand me.
You don’t even need to like me.
But I just want to be me,
I just want to be Jae.
Before I get into this post, let me always preface that I do not believe in only one religion or faith. I believe this is a personal journey for each of us. Who am I to discount someone’s journey? What you read is MY journey, but know I will never try to convert or proselytise anyone. If you want to go on a similar journey to mine, I am more than willing to talk with you. But you have to make the decision that you want a journey like mine. I will say I am always fascinated to hear about other journeys because I love hearing new perspectives. You may in fact help me grow on my own journey by sharing about your own “seemingly unrelated” journey.
A year ago today I was agnostic. I did not know whether God existed or even if he cared about me. Many Christians didn’t seem to. My own church in 2020 said “I would be more comfortable elsewhere”. At a time I needed community they weren’t there for me. I even found out we had someone at church who was forced to be a “non-practicing bisexual”. How can you not be who you are? I love men (and women) and I love my partner. I cannot cease to be who I am. I tried for years to NOT be who I am.
So I admit I was angry at God and angry at the church. I was upset that in a moment of existential crisis in 2020 when I needed fellowship everyone seemed to push me away. A former youth minister told me that year that to be a Christian I would need to stop sinning and stop being a trans woman. God “made me an amazing man and I need to not say I know better than God”.
This was a lifelong battle btw. At 4 I knew I was supposed to be a woman. My own family said I couldn’t challenge God. I took them at their word, but it also set me on a very dangerous mindset of “if I can’t do this, then no one else can either”. I was in a very binary way of thinking about life. There was right and wrong with no spectrums of morality or ethics. Anyone who didn’t follow this was bad. This was a very bad way of looking at life. I have spent years learning to undo this mentality.
When I lost my faith, or what I thought was my faith, I began to pursue everything. I did so much research and exploration of faiths and practices. I will say after almost burning down my parents’ house in a burning ritual (do not burn a paper in a tiny coffee mug, bad idea) that I realised who God is to me.
I kept thinking God was angry at me or didn’t exist. When told by family in 2020 that “at least I’m not gay” when I announced being trans and at the time thinking I was asexual and aromantic, it hurt. Because deep down I knew I loved someone but I just couldn’t grasp it. I knew I had this unresolved affection for someone for years. But I was afraid to tell this person because of what my family would think.
What amazed me was seeing how God was there for me the whole time. Even while I yelled at him and used his name in cursing (ps this doesn’t bother me when others do it, only when I personally do it) he still loved me. He was directing my story. Using this painful moment to perfect aspects of myself that he wanted to change. He had never left me. He just knew I needed some time to think and process. He’s God after all. He knows me. Why would he be upset if I expressed the emotions he allowed me to have?
To me, God was not the God that my parents or two of my siblings taught me. He is not a Creationist God. I believe he may have used evolution as his method, but he is not as Simple as we make him out to be. He allows free will and does not send us to hell for being gay or bisexual or being a trans woman.
To me, God cares about my character. Am I treating my fellow humans with respect? Am I cheating on my partner unconsensually? Am I lying to my friends? Am I conducting business in an ethical manner? Am I being a good steward of my environment? Am I using my political power to make good voting decisions? Am I fighting for injustices? Am I caring about the poor, the homeless, the refugee? Am I loving others as Christ first loved me?
THAT is what God is concerned about. NOT who I love or my gender identity. He allows that there are abnormalities that allow me to be born in the wrong body. He allows me to love someone even if our “plumbing doesn’t match”. He loves me and I know that every day. Experiencing true love from a partner has finally helped me understand that authentic romantic love is a small way that God shows us his love.
This Easter, my hope has risen again. I am a Christian and my faith has never been stronger. My faith doesn’t resemble my upbringing, but it is a firm foundation for me to live my daily life by. This is my journey and faith. It may not be yours, but it is absolutely without a doubt mine. Anyone who says I don’t know the Bible, ahem, I’ve read the book many, many, many times. Maybe you should read it and explore the meaning of the love of God.
I am now almost two weeks out from my orchiectomy as part of my trans affirming healthcare. I’ve had many people asking me why I went ahead with my surgery. Quite a few people were trying to convince me to not to do it. Imploring me that I will regret it.
Let me try and answer some of this.
My testicles have always been a rather, let’s just say, unpleasant part of my body. Something I wanted to change since I was very young. Seeing my testicles has caused me some major Dysphoria and made me feel ashamed of my body.
During my transition, I have been on a medicine called Spironolactone. This is being used to block the testosterone that my body produces in large quantities thanks to my testicular tissue. Without this medicine, I wouldn’t be able to see the effects of my estrogen in the same way as I have.
This medicine though has caused my sodium to go low, my potassium to go incredibly high and also caused some issues with my electrolyte levels. I also feel I may have been experiencing brain fog. Ultimately I wanted off this medicine.
There is also a little thing about testicles. They cause your penis to protrude out. Think of the balls as a little pillow that your dick rests on. With them, it is much more likely the penis will protrude. Thus causing some major Dysphoria.
I could’ve held off on doing this surgery until later. This surgery is part one of my bottom surgery, with the next being the turning of the penis into a vagina. I had many people suggest I hold off on doing this until that surgery.
When do I plan to do that surgery? It will be when I move in with my partner, because I don’t want to be experiencing the immense pain and recovery that surgery will entail without him around. This surgery has been painful enough without him. I stayed at my sister’s house for a bit. Even returning to work has been extremely painful.
So why did I not put off doing this surgery? Because frankly I wanted to be done with my testosterone production. I wanted off Spironolactone. I will be doing the second part of the surgery anyway, but I could stop my dick from having a hold on my hormones by doing this surgery now. The recovery, which I’m now two weeks into, will mean that for me I no longer have to be on Spironolactone. There is now no ticking time-clock for me to do surgery to stop this hormone that rages in my body. I am free of Spironolactone and have been free since the morning of my surgery!
Will I regret this? Regret is such a funny thing. People ask this when it’s not something they want to do. Think of something you did that was life-changing and made your life better—then imagine being asked won’t you regret it? There is a risk to everything. Life is a dance that has a risk. If we don’t do things simply because of a chance of regret, we may never end up living the fulfilled life we desire.
I don’t regret what I did. I regret the pain it put me in, but it’s temporary. But the fact I am no longer on Spironolactone is amazing. My penis doesn’t bulge out like it did before. I also have a feeling, I can’t quite describe it, where I just seem to process things better. I don’t know how to describe it, but I am happy. Maybe it’s the effects of having less gender Dysphoria. I don’t know. But I don’t regret it.
So why an orchiectomy? Because I wanted to finally live One Jae At A Time and maybe live that Jae just a little bit happier.
I tried Medium, which is where these prior posts were from. However since joining Mastodon, I’ve been intrigued by the Fediverse. So I have decided to move to Micro.blog. My goal is to start documenting my trans journey and experience.
I constantly get told that I am a man. That I will never be a woman. That because of my Adam’s Apple or my broad shoulders that I will never be a woman. Even about what’s in my pants — and let me tell you very few have ever seen it. Only those who need to see it either medically or for sex will ever see it. Plus, I’m choosing one day to remove it so then you won’t have to worry about what’s in my pants, because god forbid a woman has a penis.
My question to you is WHY do you care to call me a man? Why do you spend your days going after me? Don’t you have better things to do with your life? Sure, I identified as a man because of the penis that evolution put onto my body. That still doesn’t make me any less of a woman. I know I’m a woman because of who I was when I was 4.
There are people you classify as women based on having a uterus or having breasts, many of them who are men/non-binary/genderfluid/agender, etc. Do you think about the women who are women who you toss aside because they might look more like what you think a man looks like? I’ve seen you claim some people are trans, who are in fact cis women. Being a woman is not based on a specific look or appearance or a part of the body.
I do not know why you continue to insist I’m a man. I don’t know what you get from using a phrase that is a factual lie. There are numerous studies about science, unless I’m going to guess you are anti-science (which knowing some of you who are anti-vaxxers and anti-masker and COVID deniers are probably anti-Science), that show that being trans is normal and valid and something that happens.
I guess I just want to end by saying “You are an asshole” if you continue to call me a man. If you continue to cause me harm by claiming I’m something that I’m not. Being an asshole sure doesn’t sound like fun, but some of you excel at it.
In January, I will be celebrating 4 years as a Twitch Affiliate. This is a major milestone for me as Twitch has become the most fulfilling thing in my life. It is where I am THE most alive and myself. I don’t do it for fame, and I don’t do it for money. I do it because it’s the thing in my life that I find satisfaction from. Money DOES help me pay for bills (such as HRT), but it’s not my primary focus.
I have dreams of being a Twitch Partner, an Ambassador, a member of the Women’s Alliance, and even being part of an official Twitch Trans group. All are long-term goals of mine. These goals won’t affect my current love for Twitch but only continue to validate what I’m already doing. Open up new doors and opportunities for me.
I started streaming years ago, actually, though always off and on, back when Justin.tv launched. I had started doing videos in 2006 after having a video of mine make it onto The Screen Savers.
I even was invited out to two conferences run by Jeff Pulver, a pioneer in VoIP, who wanted to show that video on the internet was one of the next big things. I even remember being in his audience as he did a full live stream show on BlogTalkRadio back in 2007. He predicted live streaming would be one of the next big avenues — -and he was not wrong. Just as he said at a keynote that one day people wouldn’t call up by a phone number, but by someone’s name.
I played around with streaming for years, even streaming quite a few PS4 games on Twitch and getting an Elgato Game Capture to stream PS3 games as well back in 2015. (I gave those consoles to my nephew later, so sadly, no PS3/PS4 streams for the time being.)
All of my experiences were why I got into the current degree I’m pursuing in Communications. In 2017 after getting into WoW, I wanted to put my forthcoming degree to use, and I started a podcast with my friends. I loved podcasting (and will be relaunching it in the future once I get more time), but what I REALLY loved was the interaction around doing it live. The shows were fun, but I had so much fun talking with the audience every Thursday evening. So I began again to do game streaming to add more content to what I’m doing.
This continued for a year or two until I decided in October of 2018 to make this a priority in my content production. I was going to work on regularly streaming, so my audience would know when to expect my streams. This started to build a following. I really was enjoying the fact when I was live — I wasn’t feeling lonely. I had begun to find what I really loved to do. Finally putting my video skills to good use.
So one thing that I wasn’t realizing was how I started to change and open up. Opening up parts of myself to others, but I would soon find out that I’d also find myself. I was always working to be authentic, but I’d try to keep things back to “not offend” anyone. I very much would keep myself from controversy. Finally, I began to speak up on issues, though slowly. In 2018/2019, my queerplatonic partner Sascz talked about being trans on my podcast. He was very open with me. Then in February of 2020, I brought my other queerplatonic partner Clara on the podcast, and Clara talked about being polyamorous. Two very controversial subjects, but I enjoyed giving a voice to both on my platform.
I had been promoting Dravvie’s Troll Run for at least two years that supported The Trevor Project. I began to think a lot about my own body and identity while supporting these groups. My story has been said in streams and podcasts, and I’ll expound on it on this blog in the future.
With my audience, I decided to use my platform to be very TRANSparent (SORRY, YOU HAD TO KNOW IT WAS COMING!). Choosing to be representation for someone to explore themselves or to get to understand being trans better. Both have happened many times with individuals coming out or understanding trans individuals better and some even becoming allies for family and friends. I didn’t want to let my platform’s opportunity go to waste.
Becoming vocal on social issues, coming out, and embracing myself has led to some leaving me. Some saying “I don’t want any sexuality or gender discussions when I’m watching a stream.” I was sad and scared at this, but I’ve grown a larger audience. Many of them are straight and/or cisgender, but many are members of the LGBTQIA2U+ and find comfort in my community. This has led people also finally to come out as members as well. If I had to repeat it all over again, I would still come out publicly. I have no regrets now, being over a year later.
Becoming comfortable on stream as a trans woman has helped me become bolder in my real-life situations. If I can go up against hate (and I’ve gotten lots of hate and continue to get hate), then I can deal with hate in the real world. If you’ve watched my content or validated me, then you have done more good for me being trans than you will ever know.
I also was becoming burnt-out on being a creator focused on one game, and I decided to become a variety streamer. This did lead to some people leaving me because I was no longer a creator on their favorite game, but I am now enjoying games again. If I don’t like a game, I don’t play it again or wait to replay it. I’ve met many people who tune into all my streams for the community and me. On the other hand, I’ve met people who only tune into certain games — which is 100% valid. I want you here if you want to be here.
So I’ve taken many risks, made many mistakes, but to quote the song “I did it MYYYYYYYY WAY!!!” I did it, The Frazley Way. What have I learned?
That no one agrees on how to stream, no one has the answers. Every stream is different. If I had the formula for becoming Partner, I’d do it and tell you how to do it. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as THE game to play (although there ARE more popular games). You’ve got to have fun. I would encourage you to be authentic, to be yourself. I would encourage you to set up chat protections in your stream as well. But most importantly, have fun streaming. When I’m not having fun, my stream knows it. And I wouldn’t say I like watching streamers who aren’t having fun either. That’s the ONE thing I can say I know from 5 years as a Twitch Affiliate. Do what you are enjoying.
I don’t know where the next year will take me. I hope that I will be able to begin planning my “1 Year as a Twitch Partner” blog in a year, but I won’t crunch myself into a timeframe on my goals. So instead, I will continue to do what I’m doing. Working to make a difference for others. Being a visible Trans Woman on Twitch. Being myself. Being TRANSparent. And…..dying a lot in games. Or accidentally burning down my ship in Sea of Thieves. Or having my Seamoths destroyed in Subnautica. But continuing to be your girl Frazley.
Be yourself. Be you. And remember that you matter, you are valid, and you are loved.
EDIT: The title originally said 5 Years of Being a Twitch Affiliate. Being fully transparent, I got the math wrong. I will have finished 4 years of being a Twitch Affiliate, but I’ve been streaming for 5+ years. Damn it Frazley’s brain. 😆 I counted and counted many times before making this post. Updated the title to reflect this.
One thing in my online content creation that I haven’t done properly is always keep things going. I always intend to keep things like my old videos, or my old blogs or my old content. Yet, I am starting this all now afresh and anew on a new landscape.
I think I can be excused for it because of one thing, I this last year threw away my old identity to embrace the identity of Jae Bloom, but you will know me as Frazley Sparkspan online. Many things about this ring true for me, I don’t remember many of the old memories of who I was. It frankly is hard to think the old stuff was me, because I was living under a mask my whole life.
So this is the start of something new. Something fresh. Something that will blossom into something beautiful. I cannot promise to be regular, as I am working 4 jobs and attending school. However, I will promise to ALWAYS be transparent with you. The same transparency I give you on my streams, I give you here. 💜