Katherine Walter dot Com

A MidWestern transgender woman trying to survive in the real life.

My Addiction to Twitch

Tazkabaz ending a stream.

I first discovered Twitch when I saw a Twitter post from Lord of the Rings Online stating that a stream was happening live. I decided to click on it. It was fun to watch other people playing the game. I began to explore other people playing Lord of the Rings Online.

The first person I found playing Lord of the Rings Online was TesslaDaPanda. She was also playing some Overwatch, which I have never seen before. I couldn’t believe how fun it was to watch other people playing games that I loved, and exploring new games that I never played before. Not only that, but there was a sense of community in the chat rooms that made everyone feel like family.

I thought I would explore another game that I loved: The Sims 4. The first person that I found was Tazkabaz. She had this beautiful English accent and was entertaining to watch. It wasn’t long until she made me a moderator – someone that patrols the chat room and make sure everyone was following the terms of services. She has since become one of my favorite streamers.

Every so often streamers would do raids bring their viewers over to another person’s channel. One of the people that Tazkabaz raided was MomGamesHard. She was playing The Sims 4 at the time. She was playing the game as a story: Sims Big Brother for example. I grew to start liking her streams and personality as well.

Now I have a schedule when from 8am to 12pm I watch MomGamesHard. I then pop over and watch Tazkabaz play from 1pm until 5pm. Lastly I watch TesslaDaPanda from 7pm until I go to sleep. This is my day every weekday. There are times when some of them don’t stream due to real life getting in the way. I manage to find something else do. It is usually finding other people who are streaming.

My Mental Health

I suffer from some mental health issues. I had suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. Yet, it has gotten worse especially since I transitioned.

I went to see a therapist for my social anxiety. I use to ballroom dance and I was so anxious when I would preform in front of people. I never experienced a problem like this, but I gradually learned it was because I identify as a woman. Ballroom dancing is very gender specific and I knew there was something wrong with doing the steps and movement that were for men. I began Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) on February 2014 to have the physical appearance of being a woman.

I was feeling better once I started but I began to get very anxious of being clocked (viewed as being my wrong gender or of being transgender). I began to develop agoraphobia. I didn’t want to leave the house and run into people. I didn’t have a fear of leaving the house, but rather being around people, mainly because of my gender dysphoria.

I will talk more about my mental health in this blog. I’m currently in therapy now and I loss my job chiefly because of my mental health. I’m still unemployed but I hopeful that I will be getting disability retirement soon. I already got approved for being disabled, but I have not received any payment yet.

A New Start

I started a blog a long time ago on this very site, but I never renewed the domain name. I thought that I would start it back up again and see how long I can maintain it. On here I will be talking about politics, sports and whatever else I might be thinking about. I don’t know where this will be taking me, but as they say a journey begins with a single step.

I Am a Transfeminist

I am a transfeminist, because transgender women are women.

I have viewed myself as a girl at a very early age. I was told that I am wrong that I was born a boy. I had to hide who I was. I believed the stories that were told to me that if I did accept that I was a women society would never accept me. I would be viewed as a freak and not be able to find a job.

In my early 20s I came out as bisexual, but soon after came out as a gay man. I rejected calling myself gay because I believed that meant I hated women. I learned this was not true when I befriended some gay men.

Coming out as a gay man did not help with my depression. There was suicide attempts and a self loathing. I knew something had to be done and I finally made the very hard decision to not only come out as a straight transgender woman but to begin the process of transitioning. It was the most difficult decision I ever made in my life but also the most rewarding.

As a transwoman, I have a unique perspective on society’s gender policing: girls do this and boys do that. I didn’t want for society to see me as a boy. I wanted society to see me as a girl. It was – and still is – to get society to use the correct pronouns when talking to me. I experience emotional violence and disrespect when some view me as the correct gender but eventually learn that I’m a transgender woman and they believe I am trying to fool them.

I am a transfeminist because I don’t want to see other women like me go through the same struggles that I have gone through.

Tolkien Birthday Toast 2015

When they had sung many songs, and talked of many things they had done together, they toasted Bilbo’s birthday, and they drank his health and Frodo’s together according to Frodo’s custom

The Fellowship of the Ring, Three is Company

After Bilbo Baggins left Bag End after his 111th birthday, Frodo Baggins gave a toast to his uncle on Bilbo and his uncle’s  birthday. (They both shared the same birth date.)  Samwise Gamgee carried on the tradition after Frodo and Bilbo made the trip to the Undying Lands. I would like to think that Frodo Gardner (the oldest son of Samwise and his wife Rose Cotton) continued the celebration as well.

The Tolkien Society carried on with this event, but did it on January third, J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday. At nine o’clock your local time you raise your glass and say “The Professor!” and take a sip or swig of your beverage. Today is Tolkien’s twelvety-third birthday, a very queer number indeed, as Bilbo would have said.

I celebrated the day today alone with some of his writings and some rum.

Harassment of Transgender Women by the Kansas City Police Ignored by the HRC

A few days ago the New York Daily News had an article about the Kansas City police department posting an anti-transgender on Twitter. The KC police have a tweet-along where they would tweet their daily activities. This isn’t uncommon and many police departments have drive-alongs or virtual tweet-alongs like the KC police department. There was a series of tweets where police officers tweeted that they stopped to talk to a “possible prostitute”. Again, nothing unusual, many police departments like to harass sex workers, or those they expect to be sex workers. I personally don’t think the time and resources should be spent harassing someone who is trying to earn a living. As they were reporting their discussion of the nature of her work and telling her to get a different occupation, they found out she was a transgender woman they then said “she was … a man” and caller her a him/her. It was all very degrading of the police officers to misgender her in such a manner. She is in fact, a woman, not a man. It seemed to me that the Kansas City police department needs some sensitivity training when it comes to dealing with the transgender community.

Yet, what really got to me about the article in the New York Daily News was the very last paragraph. They stated that the Human Rights Campaign called Kansas City, Missouri a “beacon of hope”. The Kansas City Public Media went on to report that the Human Rights Campaign gave the city a perfect score of 100 for two years in a row in their Municipal Equality Index. What a joke. As tweeter Wick Trick tweeted,the Kansas City policy department have harassed transgender women in this manner in the past. I found an article from GLADD from the 2012 Transgender Day of Remembrance that supports this. A transgender woman shared her experience of police harassment in the article.

During September of this year, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin gave the keynote speech at the Southern Comfort Conference where he apologized to the transgender community for their lack of interest in issues that affect transgender men and women. It was a good speech, but I want to hear him put those words into actions. How can the city of Kansas City, Missouri receive a perfect score in the HRC Municipal Equality Index when the city’s police department harass transgender women? Not only that, but getting that mark two years in a row. These indexes that HRC puts out for companies and municipalities are a joke and only useful for gay white men.

You can talk the talk, Mister Griffin, but you are going to have to more importantly walk the walk. It is time for HRC to stop doing what is politically correct and do what is morally and ethically correct. The HRC turned their back on the transgender community when they had to “take the T out of LGBT” for the 2011 Employment Non-Discrimination Act (HR 1397) for political reasons. It is time to put the T back in not just for ENDA but for everything, including the indexes that the HRC publishes every year.

St. Louis Rams show support for Ferguson

Members of the Rams’ receiving corps show their support for the Ferguson protestors.

On Sunday during the introductions of the Rams players for the Rams-Raiders game at the Edward Jones Dome in Saint Louis, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt entered the field with their hands up in the air. The gesture was used to show solidarity with the Ferguson protestors. Since the August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, protestors have been using the rallying cry “hands up, don’t shot” while raising their hands up in the air in a surrender gesture. It is intended to send the message of how law enforcement are mistreating young African-American males by assuming that they are a threat because of their ethnicity and gender.

As a life long Rams fan, I was moved by the gesture of solidarity. It showed how much the Rams, or at least these five players with the Rams organization, care about the Ferguson community. During the 2014 NFL Draft, the Rams made the bold move to draft Michael Sam, making him the first openly gay American football player with the NFL. The Rams are keeping in stride with positive social change by showing that they are against racial profiling. The gesture also reminded me a lot of the 1968 Summer Olympics Black Power salute done by Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony.

It didn’t surprise me to read comments by other Ram fans on social media who were against it. In fact the Time OUT Sports Bar & Grill in Saint Louis are boycotting the Rams over it and turning their support to the Kansas City Chiefs. It saddens me when people take an act that is trying to draw attention to social injustices and then turn it around and make it look like the person drawing the attention to these facts are the violent ones.

The Gender Pay Gap

Jaclyn Glenn

I have a confession to make. I’m an atheist. I consider myself to be an agnostic atheist. I grew up Catholic, but started to lose my faith in my early twenties. I started to become more of a rational person then a person that lives a life based on faith.

I follow some YouTubers that defend atheism. Most of them I don’t care for since they seem to be anti-theists rather than atheists. One person that I do like to follow is Jaclyn Glenn. I don’t agree with everything that she says, but the majority of the time I listen to her I find my thoughts to be the same as her thoughts. One thing I disagree with her is on feminism.

A few weeks ago a video posted by FCKH8 went viral. It features girls informing viewers about feminist points. They give there point across by using the word “fuck”.

Jaclyn Gleen appeared on the podcast Drunken Peasants, which is also posted on YouTube. I personally don’t like to follow the Drunken Peasants; they just annoy me. Yet, I wanted to hear what Jaclyn had to say about feminism. Yet, again I disagreed with her.

The FCKH8 claimed that women are paid 23% less than men. Jaclyn then said:

I get so frustrated whenever I hear this because it is kind of dishonest. I mean if you look at the numbers … you’re not factoring in job choice and hours worked and women, for example, taking maternity leave and stuff like that. If you take all of that out there is still inequality which is bullshit and should be addressed. But, whenever you start adding numbers making it seem more of an issue than it is just kind of bothers me because it is not honest. It is definitely not 20% or 25%, I heard both, it is more like five.

Let’s take this apart and see how honest Jaclyn is with this statement. I will be taking the December 2013 Pew Research Center report titled On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now. I’m using the Pew Research since they are a nonpartisan think tank, so there will not be any liberal or conservative bias in their study. It is also the most current information I could find.

I want to take her last statement and figure out where she got the number that women earn 95% of what men earn. The actual inequality according to the December 2013 report is 84%, meaning that women are earning 16% less than what men make. The White House released information saying that women make 77% of what men make, which comes from comparing differences in annual  earnings rather than weekly earnings like the Pew Research Center report. This is where the FCH8 gets there information that the women are paid 23% less than man.

Where did Jaclyn come up with the 5% figure? It comes from Christina Hoff Sommers who says that it is at 5-7% when factors are “adjusted”. She claims that this came from the a 2009 Department of Labor study. I could find no such report. I did find a blog post titled “Myth Busting the Pay Gap” which supports both the 77% or 88% depending on how data is examined. So, the 5% figure is just made up and is dishonest.

Major Life Change: Two Weeks Away

My last post was a little over a week ago. In that post I mentioned that I will be having a major life change. Two weeks from today I will be undergoing hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) to begin my transition from a male to a female. I don’t know what could be more of a major life change!

My therapist faxed a referral to my primary care physician about two weeks ago. She also called to confirm that the fax was received. Yet, when I got there my doctor didn’t know anything about it. There are only two people on the staff plus my doctor. I can’t shake the feeling that maybe the referral intentionally didn’t get to her. My doctor wanted to talk to my therapist about this, so I signed a release of information. So far, my therapist and my doctor have not been communicating.

I turned to Howard Brown Health Center, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clinic in Chicago. I set up an appointment with them for next week. A week from today. I’ll get some blood work done with them at that time to check my hormone levels. Then a week after that I will be given information and my hormones. There isn’t a therapist consent needed. Instead they operate on an Informed Consent practice.

So, two weeks from today a new journey will begin for me. I actually have an appointment for consultation with laser hair removal tomorrow as well. It’ll cost me a bit to get rid of all of my body hair, I’m sure. Not to mention the clothes shopping I’ll need to do on top of the cost of the hormones themselves.

I am both excited and nervous to begin this new phase in life.

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