Note: I don't make *some hormones. Sorry to imply I didn't make any at all!

I was born with Septo-Optic Dysplasia and Panhypopituitiarism. I don't make: growth hormone, oestrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and the stress hormone cortisol. I'm also blind in my eye. I take pills multiple times a day, injections and T-gel to make up for this. I have other conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, OCD and I'm on the autism spectrum.

Proof: Medical bracelet and coverage of me on Buzzfeed .

Quick FAQs you may want to ask that I can already answer: * I have a vagina. * My eyes don't look any different to most people's. * I identify as agender. * I'm not asexual. I am bisexual. * I heard the hormone pun joke already.

EDIT: I will have to scoot off in a bit to do some boxing but I shall return later!

EDIT 2: Right holy cow that was a lot of comments folks! I've got a few more in the inbox but I need to head to bed. A few people have asked if I'm crowdfunding for my surgery and if they can help. Yes I am. And if you'd like to help you can go to my surgery fundraiser. Thank you. I'll answer more stuff and PMs in the morrow. :)

EDIT 3: Right so I'm going to take a bit of a break until the evening so I don't get carpal tunnel! If you're not convinced by these proofs, I'll snap a picture of a letter I have from my endocrinologist when I get home, if you'd like. I appreciate the kind well wishes from everyone and I'll respond to PMs when I've stopped getting over 150+ messages every time I log in!

EDIT 4: Right so, you wanted more proof?

Oh, and if BuzzFeed isn't up to snuff, here I am in The Independent and the Daily Dot. How's that?

EDIT 5: I know I have some unread messages from this thread but I'll be taking a break from this thread for a week. I wna tto say thank you for all the kind messages and to anyone who has helped me with my surgery fundraiser. I didn't expect my ama to be that popular or for people to offer to help me. Thank you.

Comments: 2824 • Responses: 96  • Date: 

Dr_Chausable1233 karma

Since you can't produce hormones, does that mean you can't produce adrenaline? How do you live through that since you can't do anything too physical or even be surprised by anything without risking a heart attack?

wandmirk1217 karma

I don't know actually. I assume I must produce adrenaline because I love working out and don't seem to have any problems with that. So I assume I do produce that hormone, but not cortisol. So I suppose if I were to become an athlete, I would have to take more cortisol.

Although the one time I did try out for the cross country team (before my knee injury took me out), they did bring up that hydrocortisone (cortisol replacement) is a steroid and that could prevent me from being a professional athlete because my medications are steroids.

inskitron506 karma

Cortisol is not an anabolic steroid,competing as an athlete would be fine,although it can be a little harder work sorting your dose to match your exertions.

wandmirk299 karma

Hrm. Well the cross country coach at my school was a bit concerned about it and flagged it up but I never really got far enough to see. But I wonder, if cortisol does help you cope with stress and having a lower level means your body copes better than it being on overdrive like when people suffer from stress if I have an "advantage" in that regard.

inskitron225 karma

A low level of Cortisol is a very bad thing,I have Addisons disease and take Cortisol and Fludrocortisone everyday to mimic the bodies natural production. In times of stress I have to increase my dose quite significantly to maintain good health,if I can't or don't things can go bad very quickly

wandmirk100 karma

When you say "stress" do you mean physical or emotional or both?

My father took me off of all of my medication for 1 year and I didn't necessarily feel different but maybe I got used to it.

inskitron99 karma

It can mean either,they both suck in my experience. If you had Addisons Disease you wouldn't have survived that year. You would probably be better talking about this with your Dr/Endocrinologist they can explain this much better than me.

wandmirk55 karma

Yeah, I asked him about it and he explained it to me but I have such a poor verbal memory that I honestly don't remember it! I've been told by other endos I NEED my medicine or I WILL go into adrenal crisis and I almost did go into adrenal crisis once when I didn't have my meds so... who knows? XD

inskitron74 karma

Well if your Dr says you need them then please please remember to. Death by missing a tablet would be a very silly way to go and I am sure there are lots of people around(me included) who want you around for a long time yet.

wandmirk66 karma

Yeah I have LOTS of medication reminders. MediSafe is a really fantastic app for that.

Thanks. :)

kairisika5 karma

Story you may find interesting about an athlete with no cortisol.

wandmirk5 karma

Oh cool, thanks!

Dr_Chausable49 karma

That's actually really cool that with all of the issues you have, you can still work out and do cross country and stuff and don't have too many complications as long as you take some cortisol.

Follow up: 1.Are your conditions genetic, and if so does your family have a history of similar conditions? If so or not, are you planning on starting a family?

  1. What was school like? Where you home schooled or did you go to high school?

  2. What is your favorite place you have ever traveled to/favorite vacation spot?

wandmirk114 karma

They don't know if Septo-Optic dysplasia is genetic. It's a very rare disorder but I think they've not really figured out what causes it. Two things in common tend to be that the mother was a very young age and/or exposure to mercury. My mother was 17 when she got pregnant with me and a thermometer did break on her hand when she pregnant with me so... either of those could have contributed.

I do plan on starting a family but I have ambivalent feelings about creating another human life and a fear of pregnancy so I'll likely be adopting.

School wasn't that great. I was bullied pretty badly, probably due to being autistic. I went to public school and was on free lunch. My parents weren't really attentive enough or smart enough themselves to home school me. Neither of my parents graduated high school. I did love to learn. Only I wish I had been put in advanced placement programmes. Apparently when I was little I started writing my homework backwards to make it harder and instead of putting me in a more challenging course, my parents just told me to stop writing my homework like that.

My favourite place I've ever travelled? I haven't really travelled much to be honest outside of living in different places. But I suppose if I were to go back anywhere, I would really like to go back to San Francisco because it was nice. Locally though, Brighton is like the San Francisco of England and I like going there.

Dr_Chausable37 karma

How would getting mercury on your hand hurt your in utero baby (assuming your mom washed it off)?

?siht etorw uoy regnuoy erew uoy nehw oS So did your parents not want you to put you in AP or did teachers just not think you were smart enough?

wandmirk61 karma

Mercury is pretty toxic to humans. According to the EPA, a mercury spill requires some care. I'm pretty sure it's bad to expose to a pregnant person. But I don't know if that's a firm cause = effect relationship.

When I was younger I started writing my homework backwards to make it harder, yes. But not everything backwards. I think my parents honestly just didn't care. They cared enough to be happy I didn't get in trouble at school or cause them problems but they didn't care enough to be invested in my education. They never helped me or asked me about my homework. And I don't know as that any teacher really cared enough to advocate for me.

heechum4 karma

It seems you don't have a good understanding of hormones.

wandmirk6 karma

I know what I know. shrug I never claimed to be an expert in all hormones.

FrittataBatman551 karma

Here's what I don't understand about of all of this.

(And, I mean no offense, I just am genuinely confused and unclear, so I am asking out of a desire for understanding, not hostility or disrespect. Also, I can't currently read the entire article, so apologies if this is covered or considered a dumb question.)

Medically, legally, aren't you considered a woman? I mean, I get the part about a lack of production of hormones and estrogen; But, you medically have the parts of a woman. I understand YOU may identify differently, but from a scientific, factual standing, aren't you a woman?

wandmirk1262 karma

It depends on what scientific sex you actually mean.

"Nature exhibits “sex” in five ways: genetic sex, gonadal sex, phenotypic sex, and, if you choose to count them, the presence of hormones, and breast tissue.

As far as genetic sex, you can be XX or XY. But you can also be XXY, XYY, and a variety of other combinations. I've never been genotyped, so I have no idea what genetic sex I am. I could be XY and have my testes determining factor shut off. Who knows?

Your gonadal sex is whether you have testicles or ovaries. It is possible to have both or neither. I'm pretty sure I have ovaries but I have no idea if I actually ovulate. I probably don't.

Your phenotypic sex is whether you have a penis or a vagina. And it is possible to have ambiguous genitalia that reflects neither of our concepts of what a penis or a vagina look like. 1 in 2,000 infants in the US are born “intersex” with ambiguous genitalia and are surgically altered at birth to make their genitalia look more “normal”. Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics has revised it’s previous position stating that intersex children constituted a social emergency, they now still assert that a gender must be assigned for these children. I was born with a vagina.

The presence of hormones is another way of exhibiting sex. But not all those assigned female have the same levels of oestrogen and not all those assigned male have the same levels of testosterone. There are burgeoning fields of cosmetic and medical intervention to lower testosterone in assigned females to prohibit the growth of body hair (because that’s another thing we’ve gendered in our culture) and to lower the oestrogen in males. Then there are people (like myself) who do not make either and have had medical intervention to begin puberty.

And, if you wish to count it, breast tissue is another way we identify sex, though even that is subject to individuals. There are plenty of assigned females with little to no breast tissue and male breast reduction is actually another burgeoning field of cosmetic surgery.

But all of these categories are something we slap together and call "sex". What we class as sex is completely dependant on social factors, not on any of these biological traits (e.g. if someone has "male" genetics, but has a vagina, wears makeup, dresses in feminine clothing, they would not be considered "male" by society, despite what their genetics are).

And in every biological case, there is more than just a binary classification of different types. You can't narrow down the definition of "sex" to one biological description, because society defines it completely by social rules and perceptions. Even if you WERE to pick one of these and decide, there would still be a third option.

The fact is, we as a society of have decided that there is a such thing “sex” and “gender” and we’ve attributed all of these things towards defining that when it means nothing. Sex is socially constructed.

According to this construction, would I be considered "female". Yes probably. There's an F on my birth certificate.

But one shouldn't assume that because society has created this binary and hidden the spaces between that it's "scientific", "fact", or that it's a category we need concern ourselves with more than say, whether one's earlobes are detached or attached for example."

the_gr33n_bastard570 karma

Sex is absolutely not socially constructed. There are exceptions to male and female, and I think gender is more or less what you make of it, but sex is totally biological.

SupersoakerJones233 karma

Yes, a XY or XX combination results in a male or female, respectively. Any other combination like a single X (Turner's syndrome) or XXY (Klinefelter's syndrome) is by definition an abnormality. Not to say that the people that develop from those genes are abnormal, just that sex is a binary system unless an abnormality occurs.

the_gr33n_bastard101 karma

And there is even more variation than that. Also, those 'abnormalities' are totally biological themselves. What everyone needs to understand is that sex evolved. It is a binary mode of reproduction, and that is how it is supposed to operate. There may be mutations, or medical conditions that alter one's sex and/or sexual identity but the use of words like 'mutation' or 'abnormal' should not be viewed as the slightest bit pejorative, and, regardless of your biological identity, you should be free to live as whatever gender or sexual orientation you believe you are, or were meant to be.

thewhat28 karma

Just chiming in on the part that sex evolved, since that doesn't necessarily mean that sex chromosomes (or sexes) exist in all species. You can argue that evolutionarily, the only thing that matters is what type of gametes you produce and that that, consequently, determines your sex. In that case I'm pretty sure that /u/wandmirk could be considered pretty much the biological version of agender (asex?).

wandmirk26 karma

I'm not sure if I'd be considered biologically agender. Sometimes I get a bit hesitant to use my disorder as an explanation for my agender identity because there's loads of agender people who have "normal" hormones!

the_gr33n_bastard3 karma

Exactly. And, as /u/wandmirk described, they don't know what their sex genes are. They are most likely XX but because of their condition, do not feel they are either male or female, man or woman. In terms of gender, /u/wandmirk identifies as being neither, but biologically they are likely female. In terms of being able to actually reproduce, it might not ever be possible for them, even with hormone supplements, but of course I could be wrong.

wandmirk3 karma

I'm not sure if I'd be considered biologically agender. Sometimes I get a bit hesitant to use my disorder as an explanation for my agender identity because there's loads of agender people who have "normal" hormones!

whogivesanoodle376 karma

This thread has been so informative, thanks for taking the time to post this!

EDIT: Also wow! Fuck me, some of the comments in this thread are so negative.

wandmirk331 karma

Eh it's the internet, what are you gonna do? :P

I'm glad to be informative.

Konstantynopolitancz66 karma

Are your earlobes detatched or attached?

wandmirk64 karma


elypter63 karma

doctors didnt check your genes although there seem to be genetic problems? i would have expected that they are more interested in a rather rare case. seems they dont care one way or the other.

wandmirk17 karma

My disorder might be genetically caused but they don't know. They could have had me genotyped but I've never been told.

FrittataBatman54 karma

Interesting read, thanks for the feedback! All the best.

wandmirk45 karma

No worries, Thanks. :)

Bbilbo1342 karma

Without going into too much detail revealing your personal info:
Where do you live (regionally)?
Do you feel like where you live, your needs (Medically and Socially) and the understanding of your situation is accepted and being addressed?

wandmirk771 karma

In London. I do feel like the NHS is amazing and it's one of the many reasons I relocated to the UK. Outside of transgender healthcare, the NHS is a live-saver and is amazing. I get all the support here I need for my medical conditions - way better than I ever did in the US with or without health insurance.

In the US, after I lost my health insurance, I applied for Medicaid on the basis of need. I was rejected after waiting six months. When I told my caseworker I needed medication to survive, she said, "There are people with cancer who can't get Medicaid because their cancer isn't bad enough."

Even with Obama's new healthcare, it's not enough. Private health insurance wasn't good enough. The NHS has been wonderful... just not with trans healthcare though.

dimplejuice296 karma

Is the anxiety medically related to the lack of hormones?

wandmirk311 karma

I don't know actually! You would think that if I don't make cortisol, which is the stress hormone, that I would never have anxiety. But I do. But then, I have an ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score of 8. So I'm not sure how much of my anxiety is due to my disorder, my brain chemistry, or my upbringing.

Wh0rse246 karma

Cortisol doesn't create anxiety, it just is elevated in response to stress, sort of like a mediator, chronic elevation of cortisol is inflammatory, which is why it has it's negative association. a chemical that can cause anxiety is adrenaline, which is often released when someone is hypoglycemic, but even that is classed a hormone.

wandmirk87 karma

Aaah, that makes sense. Thank you! :)

babiestgiraffe73 karma

I'd like to add in, I think the sex hormones can definitely have an effect on anxiety. I'm a male who lost both testicles at 19. I take a testosterone replacement daily, but if I ever miss it (run out and can't get a refill or just forget because I'm in a rush or something) my anxiety goes through the roof - full blown panic attacks, hot flashes, over sensitivity to stimuli. But even when I take it regularly my anxiety is worse than it was prior. As someone else mentioned in this thread, I think it may be due to the fact that your body can't regulate your hormones based on changing needs, but you just get your set amount for the day (or week or whatever your treatment cycle is) and it can't be raised or lowered to meet the situation or time at hand. Since your body may want a higher/lower amount of this/that but can't achieve it, it can make you feel anxious, or sick, or just not "normal."

wandmirk25 karma

Do you take a "male" amount of testosterone? I take a very small dose.

babiestgiraffe28 karma

Yes I do, I was born and have always identified as male. Do you take a "female" amount of estrogen/testosterone or a different combination of the two?

Also do you take yours on a daily basis through a topical/oral treatment or on a longer basis through injections or subdermal means?

wandmirk26 karma

I take a low amount of oestrogen. Just a birth control pill. I don't think it's really a high amount. I take testosterone through t-gel.

Ryltarr208 karma

You stated that you're on the autism spectrum, mind if I ask how that affects your life?
I'm fortunate enough to only be on the extremely mild side, I mostly just miss social context and non-verbal cues. Often times when people hear autism, they just to the extreme end where an effected individual is pretty much non-verbal.
What types of obstacles does ASD present to you? How do you overcome them, especially in conjunction with the other conditions you mentioned?

wandmirk543 karma

I wouldn't say that my autism is an obstacle at all. I am very proud to be autistic.

Sure, I might have some sensory processing problems that make things sometimes a bit too much to, well, process, but I enjoy stimming and the excitement I get from the things I’m interested in. I feel like being autistic makes me more self-reliant in a way because non-autistic people seem to be so concerned with things that just don’t bother me. I don’t get bored in the same way they do. I’m excited and passionate about the things I love in a way that non-autistic people just don’t seem to have as much. And sure, I may get frustrated or anxious when routines change but, it’s not all that bad. And overall, I’m quite happy to think and see the world in the way that I do.

The only thing that’s an obstacle is the fact that non-autistic people seem to see the world so rigid. Ironically, autistic people are seen as the “rigid” ones, when really, I think it’s non-autistic people that are far more rigid and sensitive. I’m very frustrated by the fact that this society is so obsessed with eye contact (other societies are not), so obsessed with unnecessary trivial niceties that I’m considered extremely rude if I don’t incorporate them into my everyday speech. The most frustrating part about being autistic isn’t being autistic - it’s having to deal with this society’s unwillingness to accept different means of interacting.

Still, I would not trade being autistic for anything in the world.

DDCDT12331 karma

Would you give an example of the trivial niceties?

wandmirk105 karma

Well like asking people how they are when you don't really mean it. Or small talk. I just don't see the point of small talk and sometimes I get really frustrated by feeling like I'm forced to engage in it. I tend to be sort of straight to the point and often times people interpret this as being rude. I certainly don't mean to be but that's how it often is interpreted so I feel like I have to say thing like, "I hope you're having a good day!" and sort of push really hard to be nice if I don't want to be interpreted as being rude.

Ryltarr3 karma

That's a great write-up, and I'm glad that you're getting the positive out of ASD.
I can totally see where you're coming from with the rigidity differences, it seems like differences in the importance of different things are the origins. Whereas I don't particularly care if anyone keeps their shoes on, some people will freak out about it. On the flip side most people don't seem to be effected by people around them changing routines, but the overall scheme of my day is ruined when my coworkers are out of the office.
Anyway, I'm sure we could debate the origins of friction between neuro-typical folks and ASD folks all day. Thanks for taking the time to answer so thoroughly!

wandmirk5 karma

True. But I think neurotypicals aren't as "spontanenous" as they give themselves credit for! :P

No problem.

Procatstinator1 karma

The only thing that’s an obstacle is the fact that non-autistic people seem to see the world so rigid. Ironically, autistic people are seen as the “rigid” ones, when really, I think it’s non-autistic people that are far more rigid and sensitive. I’m very frustrated by the fact that this society is so obsessed with eye contact (other societies are not), so obsessed with unnecessary trivial niceties that I’m considered extremely rude if I don’t incorporate them into my everyday speech. The most frustrating part about being autistic isn’t being autistic - it’s having to deal with this society’s unwillingness to accept different means of interacting.

I am untested for ASD (have been recommended to get tested however) but I recognize this so much. I feel there are a lot of things you have to do because you're expected to do them and I even get why you should do them, but sometimes they just get in the way, especially when you haven't yet learned to do them so often it becomes natural. I also can understand that you if are not on the spectrum it must be as alien to you when people do not do these things, than it is to have to do them for someone who is on the spectrum. It is indeed cultural and I feel we often believe our culture is the only one and the one that is correct. We idealize extroversion for example. Everyone wants to hire team players and even in social situations the default seems to be that extroversion is the right way of being.

My personal theory on autism is that while it sometimes manifests as a disorder, seriously deliberating when one is very far into the spectrum, that it is happening because the brain and body are evolving. There are traits of autism which would be winners in our information age, but we don't embrace them, because we look at the total picture and label it bad. If we embraced it, we could benefit from it. Even if I am wrong, and it isn't evolution, but rather a total malfunction, even then I feel we could reap the rewards of it if we were more willing to be open to it. There are already examples out there of high functioning individuals who have made it very far on their own. Alas, majority rule still often prevails. Which is a shame. But I remain hopeful for the future. Perhaps with a better understanding of ASD things will change. Until then, I am happy to see that you at least embrace the positives. Considering what you have been through as a whole, I admire your positive attitude and find it inspirational.

wandmirk1 karma

I do wish also we wouldn't look at disabled people as only beneficial if they can contribute to a capitalist system as well. Some disabled people might not be able to contribute or function, they still have value as people despite what this society might think.

Thank you. :)

Bbilbo1119 karma

Since you kind of already mentioned it. How was family culture growing up? Were there many difficulties? Any stories you'd feel comfortable sharing?

wandmirk512 karma

[Content note: Mentions of sexual abuse, abandonment, etc.]

I grew up in the South. My mother was a 18 year old runaway from an abusive home who didn’t know she was a lesbian until she was 20. She stayed with and was being taken advantage of my father who was 28 years old when I was born and was her manager at work. My mother has borderline personality disorder among several other personality disorder problems. My father probably has some form of narcissistic personality disorder but was the sort of man who was generally neglectful, thought kids should be seen and not heard, made fun of me, and would bottle his anger until you dropped a dish and then flip out on you.

I had two half brothers who sexually abused me when I was 3 years old and 7. I had a half sister who hated me. All three of them bullied me when I wasn’t being bullied at school by my peers with their encouragement. I don’t entirely blame them because their mother, my father’s ex-wife, was mad at my mother for being my father’s mistress and encouraged my half siblings to hate my mother. They threw rocks at her stomach when she was pregnant with me.

My parents were more or less neglectful, not really caring about me on a personal level. They went out a lot and left me and my half siblings with whomever would watch us. When I was 9 the left us with a male babysitter who molested me and my sister. Both of my brothers lost their tempers at certain points and tried to beat my mother up. They went to live with their mother.

When I was 12, my dad flipped out and threw my mum out of the house. She moved in with a woman she’d gone on 2 dates with. My dad left my sister and I home for ages at a time until the social services caught up with him. My mom took me from him before they could put me in foster care. My dad took my sister and moved to Kentucky.

I then lived with my mum and her girlfriend, but her girlfriend was an alcoholic who hated me and constantly picked fights with me. She started getting violent with my mother so my mother had me sleeping at someone else’s house for awhile. She was going to move to Texas, I flipped out. My mom told my dad and my dad said she was a horrible parent because she was gay and convinced him to hand me over. She did. I went to live in Kentucky.

I then lived with my dad and my stepmother. My stepmother was an abusive Christian who took away my religious effects from me (I was a Wiccan at the time) and forced me to go to church where I’d hear sermons about how I’d go to hell. She forbade me from watching, reading or having anything to do with fantasy or magic, including Harry Potter. She also forced me to take care of my two baby half brothers, her children, more than I should have. During this time my mom moved to California.

When she wasn’t grounding me for not wearing matching socks or setting me up to be punished n whatever way, she didn’t pay any attention to me. I got lice so bad it came out of my hair when I put my hand through it. I went to visit my mother in California and she basically kidnapped me and refused to let me go back to Kentucky. When I was 16, to get out of paying child support, my father disowned me. I haven’t spoken to him since.

I stayed with my mom in California for two years until university. Because of my mom’s borderline personality disorder, this wasn’t fantastic. We fought a lot. She accused me of being jealous of her new partner when I wanted to spend time with her. She moved to North Carolina during this time.

I went to uni for 4 years in Northern California. I got a lot better during that time and studied abroad in London for half a year during that. After graduating, I had no other option but to return to my mother’s home. I stayed with her and her partner in North Carolina for 2 years. It was difficult, I was closeted a lot and we, again, didn’t get along.

I moved to the UK in 2010 and did a Masters degree and then started working here. I’ve been in therapy for a good few years which has made me realise how bad my mother’s borderline personality disorder has affected me. My mother hasn’t reacted well to me slowly being less available online. She’s done everything to keep tabs on me.

I eventually sent her an email outlining several of the things she’s done that have really been messed up, including telling me I’m lying about being sexually abused, and then telling me I’m lying about that as well. My mother responds to that with things like, “I’m sorry I’m not a good enough mother for you”.

I have told my mother I cannot have a relationship with her, since we’ve not had a real relationship anyway, until she gets therapy for her mental health problems. She refuses to. So we’re at a stalemate.

I have really not had a very supportive family growing up. Only now that I have had therapy, I am coming to terms with that because for so long a lot of the stuff I went through just seemed normal.

I do have a supportive network of friends that are like family to me. Not a lot of people, but a good few. And I have a supportive and loving partner.

One day I hope to have a family of my own because I do really love kids. But that won’t be for a few years yet.

Tl;dr - My family was not very supportive.

Bbilbo1156 karma

Jeez. Well, I'm glad that you're in a (hopefully) better position, now. As a southerner, I too am familiar with a harmful culture being tolerated or in some cases, even encouraged, although by comparison, I've had it much better growing up.
Thank you very much for sharing and for your strength to move on.
And thanks for answering more than my fair share of questions on this AMA.

wandmirk141 karma

I have very ambivalent feelings about being Southern. On the one hand I'm proud of it but on the other hand, I do feel like the fact that I've asked my mother to get therapy is committing a big Souther faux pas. You're supposed to respect and never question elders and I think that just leads to a breeding ground for abuse...

No problem. Thank you for commenting.

peregrine_mendicant94 karma

"I'm sorry I'm not a good enough mother for you"

That is a very narcissistic and messed-up thing to say.

wandmirk25 karma

Yeah... well, that's my mum. :(

McCreedy3103 karma

Might seem as a weird question, but what do you do for fun?

wandmirk161 karma

I watch a lot of the same TV shows over and over. XD I also like to go to the gym or ride my indoor bike. I like to write. I'm hoping one day to find an agent! Now and then I go out to events with my partner, but I'm a staying in kind of person. I like cooking as well though I'm not that great at it.

I'm afraid I'm not all that exciting. XD

McCreedy346 karma

That's more then what I do! Also thanks for the reply!

wandmirk29 karma

No worries. :)

Whitegard88 karma

How do you take it when people get confused as to how to address you? By that i mean "They, them, their". I personally would probably need adjustment time, also, these are not very good words to use in my opinion as they can mislead people into thinking someone is talking about multiple people. What do you think about that, and do you have preferred replacement words, or do you like the current setup?

wandmirk183 karma

I don't mind people being confused. And I understand that new pronouns take time to get used to. I think most trans people do understand that.

But you have to understand that in addition to people being confused, I've had people literally try to lecture me and go into detail about how singular they is grammatically incorrect, get mad at me for correcting them, and throw all kinds of fuss when I ask them to use "they" as a pronoun for me. And sometimes those arguments and fits start with someone being "confused" and end pretty badly. So sometimes when someone is "confused", I'm a bit hesitant about where that interaction is going to lead.

I think though, language changes! I mean, we used to say "thee" and "thou" and we don't now. So, I think that it could still change. If I recall 47% of the world's languages, or maybe more, don't even have gendered pronouns. So it's not a thing we have to do. And maybe one day singular they in the way I use it will become common practice.

There are other gender neutral pronouns like xe and such but... if I'm honest, I'm more confused by how to use those than I am by singular they. Singular they's just easier for me. But if someone else knows how to use another gender neutral pronoun effectively, then they're welcome to!

It's okay to be confused or be worried about using the wrong pronoun! I'm pretty sure most trans people have misgendered even themselves at one point. All you have to do is just sort of go "whoops", correct yourself and move on. Same as if you accidentally got someone's name wrong. I think cis people, if I'm honest, are so used to misgendering being used as a joke that they take it way more personally. Like if a cis person gets called the wrong gender by another cis person, it's a huge insult. So people seem to think misgendering is a huge insult to me. And it isn't when it's done on accident. It happens every day. All of the time. Because I have so many people kick up a fuss when I ask to use gender neutral pronouns, I don't bother asking in some cases. I just let people do whatever.

So yeah. If you're confused, just ask. And don't worry if you mess up. Just correct yourself and move on. :)

swb1673 karma

Do you produce insulin and aldosterone?

wandmirk73 karma

I assume so since I don't have to take those orally or via injection and I've never had problems with my blood sugars or blood pressure. Although I did have hypoglycemia when I was a baby and diabetes runs in my family.

redditwizzz57 karma

What happens when you stop using artifical hormones? How every one of the hormones affect your body and behavior? I mean if would stop one hormone at time, have you notice and how?

wandmirk123 karma

If I stopped my cortisol, I might go into adrenal crisis and die if I get sick. If I stopped oestrogen I'd develop osteoperosis. If I stopped testosterone my guess is my hair would get thin and stringy again. If I stopped my thyroid, I'd probably get tired and eventually jaundiced. And if I stopped my growth hormone I don't think much would happen since I don't really take a huge dose but some people believe my heart cells would stop regrowing and I'd have heart problems later in life.

_My_Angry_Account_31 karma

I was told that if I stopped taking thyroid replacements I would become lethargic and then my heart would just stop beating. Not sure if that applies to anyone else that has no thyroid.

wandmirk37 karma

I do get VERY lethargic if I stop taking my medicine but that's usually my cortisol.

My father did take me off of my meds for a year and I didn't die though so... I don't know.

whogivesanoodle47 karma

After reading your article, I find it really frustrating how hard it must be to simply not conform to a gender with the way society is. And it's clear with the way people are behaving in this thread that some people just can't grasp the idea.

After all the troubles that you've been through, do you still face harassment now in your every day life?

wandmirk67 karma

In all honestly, no. Not any more than someone read as a woman would. People don't see that I'm agender, so I don't get harassed for that. I get harassed in the way women get harassed in my every day life. So I avoid doing things like smiling at men passing me by because when I've done that, I've got screamed at. Even though I like wearing my lipstick, I avoid wearing it outside because I can get yelled at for it but... eh, you get yelled at anyway.

I get harassment mostly on the internet if I say I'm trans because most people assume I'm a trans woman. And trans women receive most of the harassment and violence in the trans community, especially trans women of colour.

HelloGoodbyeBlueSky24 karma

I recently learned that trans women of color have among the highest murder rate.

wandmirk20 karma

They definitely do among the LGBT community. :(

ganjab39 karma

How is it that you still feel sexually inclined to both girls and boys even though you don't have hormones?

wandmirk60 karma

I'd say I'm sexually inclined towards any gender, not just men and women. And I'm not quite sure.

Although I would say I experience sexuality in general in a more cerebral way than I think most people do. I don't believe I went through puberty in the way most do. I never experienced "being hormonal" as people say. Which isn't to say my body doesn't work or anything. I just have never felt like my body or genitala existed independently of my mind.

enmunate2810 karma

Have you dated more men or more women?

wandmirk36 karma

Men technically, although that's subject to change. I didn't come out until I was about 23 so that had an impact on that.

SalishSailor31 karma

How important is clothing choice to you, generally? Do you feel pressured enough by gender categories that it impacts your choices?

I ask because I like the part in the buzzfeed article where you mention skirts. As a cis-gendered straight male I wish I could wear long skirts or dresses, without having to explain myself or get weird looks. They're such awesome articles of clothing. Flowing and non-confining. Totally nothing related to how the clothing is gendered (I mean, I don't desire to be "like a woman"), but the gendered aspect of it inhibits me from doing it. I keep thinking someday I'll get brave enough to just do it anyway, but fear social reprisal which is stronger than my desire to wear the clothing.

wandmirk13 karma

My body is such that I don't have a choice to wear "male" clothing. It just doesn't fit me. So I have to wear "female" clothing. I generally just go with what feels comfortable. To be honest, if I find something that fits, I tend to try and just buy loads of it. I have 4 pairs of the same black jeans! I also like nerdy t-shirts from Qwertee!

Dresses are pretty cool and I do wish that you could wear them and not get funny looks. I do think one day you will be able to! Maybe start with some utilikilts and you'll be seen as a badass rocker. :P But the flowy skirts can also be fun. I think panty hose are just a pain though and I need some protection from chub rub!

iheartbrainz25 karma

So because you refuse to identify as a male, your doctor won't remove your breasts? Women who identify as women get breast reductions all the damn time; it's completely insane that a person who doesn't identify as either gender would be refused a reduction. That's complete bullshit.

wandmirk11 karma

The GIC said I hadn't "socially consolidated" my role as agender by changing my name. And I AM going to change my name. Just not now. And my breasts aren't considered big enough to have a reduction on the NHS. :(

huge_ox23 karma

If there's anything you could do in life differently, what would you do and why?

wandmirk52 karma

If I didn't have my medical disorder and need so much medication and supervision, I think I would have enjoyed being a survivalist or living in the middle of the woods. Or I would have probably been more sporty if it wasn't for being blind in one eye because I quite like working out and stuff.

I do kind of wish that I hadn't taken oestrogen because my chest would have never got so big. But then... I don't think I really actually had a choice. They would have forced me to go on it anyway.

huge_ox18 karma

As someone who thoroughly enjoys going to the woodlands and camping out, you can do it regardless of condition :). I myself am disabled and still give it a good go.

How has being in the UK treated you compared to say the US? Are the general public or people you know sympathetic or disdainful?

wandmirk26 karma

It's not so much the physical stuff. I can go camping. And I would bring extra medicine and such, that'd be fine. But if I injured myself, I'd need intravenous medicine and pretty quick. It would be really dangerous to go anywhere where medical assistance couldn't be provided in the US.

In terms of my condition, I don't find any difference between how people treat me. A lot of people, when they find I'm blind in one eye, think it's funny to wave stuff in my face to "test" it. And even people I care very much about have done this. I don't find nationality has any impact on whether or not people treat me with kindness regarding my disability, it's more about how much they know about disability.

In terms of being trans/wanting surgery... well, the comments of the BuzzFeed article will demonstrate the varying opinions people have about it. I'd wager there's just as many transphobic people in the UK as there are in the US. But the UK certainly has more protections for people than the US does.

thenebular12 karma

Does the extra surcharge for 3D at the movies piss you off? Especially if they don't have it playing 2D?

wandmirk22 karma


The fact that I now basically can't see anything in IMAX because it's all 3D is incredibly irritating. So many films I would absolutely love to see on the IMAX screen I cannot see because it's in flipping 3D. :( T_T

One time I thought they'd fixed 3D somehow and I could see it when they got those new glasses without the red on one side and blue on the other but... I don't see in 3D. It's just like wearing sunglasses to see a film and it just defeats the whole purpose.

brandonsmash21 karma

That's a very interesting story.

What prompted your move to the UK? Would you say that the NHS and folk there are generally more accepting than where you were raised in the US? How often do you actually think about your condition -- videlicit, is it a struggle or does everything just fade into the background because you're just a normal person?

wandmirk52 karma

What prompted your move?

Many things. I wanted to leave the US for ages. I considered Germany but I can't speak German. I studied abroad in London and I loved it here so I moved after studying and getting a job here. I fit in better here. I like the culture better. And I don't have to worry about losing my health care if I don't have a job. Thanks to the NHS, I am not worried.

Is the NHS understanding of my disorder?

Yes. But not so understanding of my identity or trans healthcare. I was chucked out out of the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) because I hadn't "socially consolidated" my gender role. I planned on changing my name but couldn't at the time because I needed to keep hold of my passport to get my visa. I plan on changing my name when I get citizenship, but that wasn't good enough for them. They also commented about my "female" presentation, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and other things. When it comes to the GIC, it's horrible.

How often do I think about my condition?

Well, I take medicine 3 times a day, so at least 3 times. I have to give myself an injection 5 days week, so then. And then my chest sort of relates to my condition and that weighs on me day in and day out. If my chest wasn't so large, I'd probably be less bothered about my overall body state in general.

But my disorder does stop me from taking part in some things. I'd love to do more protests and stuff but if I were to get arrested for any reason and put into jail and not given my medication, I would be dead in a few days without it.

Unkillable_Cat14 karma

If you were still back home,you wouldn't be able to use the NHS as a form of funding the surgery. Have you considered paying for it at a private hospital?

wandmirk37 karma

The UK is my home. If I were living in the US, I very likely wouldn't get trans healthcare on any private insurer. Trans healthcare is abysmal there.

I am considering paying for it at a private hospital, but I'm not rich. And it's about a £7k operation. I'm currently fundraising for it. I wish that I didn't have to pay a plastic surgery place to do it though. I'd rather pay the NHS in some way but, hey ho.

geauxjeaux17 karma

How do you make a hormone?

elmoteca66 karma

OP didn't get the joke the first time. You should have just explained it the first time instead of being a dick.

Also, this is a joke that only works when spoken. The spelling of "hormone" and "whore moan" are far too different for an average person to have an intuitive grasp of the homophone just by reading it. They have to think about it for a little while, which destroys the timing.

wandmirk49 karma

Thanks. I actually didn't know if the OC was not a native English speaker and didn't want to be rude but, hey ho.

wandmirk25 karma

Sorry, I'm a bit confused. Do you mean how do I make a hormone or how does anyone make a hormone? Naturally or artificially?

geauxjeaux103 karma

you don't pay her.

wandmirk20 karma

Pay who? I'm so confused as to what you're asking.

geauxjeaux2 karma


wandmirk13 karma

Sorry, I have no idea what you're asking.

Bbilbo116 karma

Seeing as how you decided to move from the US to the UK, for a better life, how do you view the current presidential candidates?
How do you view America, and its future, in general?

wandmirk30 karma

I've actually considered not voting just to strengthen the case of me eventually relinquishing my US citizenship. The less I do as a US citizen the stronger my case is for eventually giving it up once I get UK citizenship.

But if there's a real threat to Donald Trump winning, I may have no other choice but to vote. I haven't voted in the primaries though and don't really know who to pick in between Bernie and Hillary. It seems as though Bernie Sanders is more aligned to what I believe, but a good number of my friends whose opinions I trust very well don't like him and my uber-conservative racist father does like him so... yeah. I don't know what to think.

Overall, I just feel like most US politicians are too right of centre.

Wh0rse14 karma

Do you produce Dopamine ? it's also classed as hormone, so i assume you aren't deficient in that otherwise you'd have Parkinson's

wandmirk19 karma

I assume so yes! But I guess I'm not sure what all they would have tested me for. Septo-Optic Dysplasia is a really umbrella term for a lot of different things. It mostly affects the area around my pituitary.

patpowers199513 karma

Do you also not have testosterone or estrogen? Do you find your emotions are better balanced than others because you are not so emotionally affected by hormones?

wandmirk14 karma

I don't make either of those but I do take replacements. I haven't noticed a difference in my emotional state when I don't have either. The only difference is that oestrogen tends to give me cramps and pains which can affect my mood and testosterone actually has improved the quality of my hair.

I don't think I'm more emotionally balanced than others though! I wish I was, or I might not have anxiety.

BearcatChemist10 karma

Wasn't there an episode of the X-files about you? Do you harvest other people's pituitary glands?

wandmirk29 karma

I might harvest yours tonight. Sleep well ;)

mailslot10 karma

Is the T-gel strong enough for body building purposes?

wandmirk16 karma

I don't know if it can be used that way. I don't take enough of it for that. I don't think I could be a body builder because one of the symptoms of my disorder is hypotonia.

brainotomy8 karma


wandmirk10 karma

Testosterone gel.

3AlarmLampscooter4 karma

Do you produce vasopressin and prolactin normally?

Have you had any genetic testing to find the exact cause? (maybe a mutation in HESX1 or LHX4?)

wandmirk6 karma

I'm not sure... I take genotropin because I don't make growth hormone. I don't know what part vasopressin plays in that. Prolactin also I'm not sure of. I doubt I'd make that though because my endo has said I'd need hormone replacements to be able to get pregnant so probably not.

I haven't had any genetic testing as Septo-Optic Dysplasia is pretty rare and they're not sure if it's genetic. I wouldn't mind doing it though for some cash.

antman20253 karma

Are you bisexual or pansexual?

wandmirk6 karma

Bisexual. I don't really identify as "pansexual". I've got nothing against people who do. Whatever works for you.

KrustX2 karma

Question regarding the nonbinary gender identification. So is it possible to be born a man, identify as a woman but still be oriented to women?

wandmirk4 karma

Sure, I don't see why not!

Criminy21 karma

Perhaps you are not paying them enough?

wandmirk4 karma

Yeah someone's already tried this joke, I'm afraid.

[deleted]-19 karma


wandmirk5 karma

No. I actually take both very low dose of both testosterone and oestrogen. All sexes make both.