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Anthony doesn't live here anymore. She's Anna now. Please visit her new home at annaeveryday.com instead!

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News of a Personal Transition

Hi! I am pleased to share with you news of a personal transition. 

If you’re reading this, it means you have known me as Anthony or, likely, Tony (or, I guess, it’s possible you never knew me at all). It also means you’ve likely known me as a boy. Upon receipt of this message, however, you will no longer know me as those things.

Instead, you will know me as Anna Lauren Hoffmann—a proud and (as of this moment!) fully out transgender woman.

The short version (of the recent history of a much, much longer story): in the fall of 2012, after a long and private struggle, I began working with a counselor to address issues of depression and anxiety tied to deep questions regarding my gender identity. In spring of 2013, I began discussing options for physical transition with doctors in the Madison area. Last fall, I began hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In the time since, I have been transitioning socially–living increasingly as a woman and slowly shedding the boy identity that served as a crutch for so many years. As of this posting, I live exclusively as myself (which, upon reflection, is a super weird thing to say).

At this time, I am pleased to report that I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. Transition has been difficult—impossible at times—but I’ve found an amazing network of support. I am lucky to have had only positive experiences with medical and mental health institutions. My counselors and doctors have been amazing and the nurses at my clinic are lovely. I’ve had new friends and family meet me with warmth and encouragement; I’ve had old friends come through for me in awe-inspiring ways. Most importantly, my partner, Mariah, has gone to superhuman lengths to make me feel beautiful and validated in my chosen identity. She has been a warrior for me, our relationship, and our future family. I can’t imagine making a life without her love and support.

A welcome side-effect of my transition has been a return (and then some) of my ability to focus and work. I am happy to announce that, pending a successful defense of my dissertation, I will be graduating this spring from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a PhD in Information Studies. Most importantly, I will be defending and (fingers crossed!) graduating as Anna. I look forward to that moment as a further symbol to myself and others that transgender women are strong, bright, and beautiful individuals deserving of support and recognition.

In addition to this news, I want to talk briefly about those aspects of this transition that are a choice and those that are not. Yes, the decision to start transition was a choice (and an incredibly difficult one, fraught with serious social, economic, and political consequences). The decision to take the name Anna was a choice. Finally, the decision to live openly and proudly in a way that most resonates with the core of my being was a choice. In the end, it was a choice to not cower in the face of hard truths about myself and even harder truths about the world.

Other people like me will make different choices on their path. Some will transition sooner, some later, and others never. Some will seek medical or surgical intervention, others will not. Some will transition and live in their chosen gender identity without disclosing their trans status. Some will take on different identities or labels. I want to stress that these are all valid choices. In coming out, I lend my voice and my life to the idea that people should be free to choose their path without having to unfairly risk unemployment and lack of access to health care or face severe threats of social exclusion, violence, and death. To those who have also had to make impossible choices, whatever those choices have been: I affirm and support you.

What was never a choice, however, was the struggle against the body I was born into. Difference was thrust upon me from a very young age–my earliest memories are colored by confusion and heartache with regard to my gender identity. I have, for many years, carried a great deal of shame, the toxic effects of which I wish on no person. Along the way, I’ve made some poor choices. In the long run, those choices led me down a path of depression, despair, and a disregard for myself and others. If my struggle ever impacted you in negative ways, I offer my profound apologies. Truly, I wish you nothing but peace. To borrow a line from Zadie Smith, I hope life offers you fine weather and ends properly, “like a good sentence.”

In transition, I’ve chosen a new and different path, one that has allowed me to move through depression and renew my relationship with myself. Along the way, I have found a heightened sense of empathy and compassion for others. For the first time in my life, I am full of hope and optimism for the future. It humbles me to be able to share this feeling with you.

In closing, I ask that you respect my choices by recognizing me as Anna and using feminine pronouns (she/her/hers) from this point on. More than that, I hope you will affirm and support me as I move forward in my life as a happy, healthy, and proud transgender woman.

Like a good sentence,

Anna Lauren

http://annaeveryday.com

Posted on Tuesday, March 18th 2014

Things

Frightened Rabbit, The Winter of Mixed Drinks

Today’s theme song.

Posted on Monday, November 11th 2013

mollywoood:

The neighborhood, Riverwest

Always weird when a place you are intimately familiar with randomly shows up on your dashboard. I used to live in the huge studio that is the bottom floor of the first fully visible building on the left (behind the tree). Across the street is the Falcon Bowl, where you can still buy off-sale beer and wine until bar close (thanks to a grandfathered-in antiquated liquor license).
For a bit of Milwaukee trivia, this is also the street/scene depicted on the label for Lakefront Brewery’s Riverwest Stein amber lager - almost to the exact angle!

mollywoood:

The neighborhood, Riverwest

Always weird when a place you are intimately familiar with randomly shows up on your dashboard. I used to live in the huge studio that is the bottom floor of the first fully visible building on the left (behind the tree). Across the street is the Falcon Bowl, where you can still buy off-sale beer and wine until bar close (thanks to a grandfathered-in antiquated liquor license).

For a bit of Milwaukee trivia, this is also the street/scene depicted on the label for Lakefront Brewery’s Riverwest Stein amber lager - almost to the exact angle!

Posted on Thursday, October 31st 2013

Reblogged from information addict

Source mollywoood

The Zuckerberg Files
Over the weekend, Michael Zimmer (my advisor!) launched The Zuckerberg Files - “a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.” The archive contains “over 100 full-text transcripts and nearly 50 video files are available for researchers to download, analyze, and scrutinize.”
The project grew out of a conversation Michael, Kate Raynes-Goldie, and I had (over drinks, of course) during the Association of Internet Researchers annual meeting in Gothenberg, Sweden in 2010. At the time, Michael was embroiled in writing about privacy and social networks, Kate was critically engaging with “the Californian ideology”, and I was looking at how Facebook frames its users’ personal information as property (users “own and control” their information). We were all frustrated with how difficult it can be to track down the comments of important figures like Zuckerberg—comments central to our attempts to analyze certain discourses around persons, privacy, and technology.
Of course, this immediately struck us as amusing: we scramble to gather Zuckerberg’s statements for our work while, at the same time, Facebook holds much of our personal information in centralized databases. Wouldn’t it be funny, we thought, if we could turn the tables a bit? More than that, wouldn’t it be immensely useful?
Michael took the idea seriously and set out to build the archive. I’ve not been involved too much since those early conversations (save for the bare bones logo/header I whipped together for the site) but I’ve been hanging around, waiting to see what became of the project.
In light of all that, it’s super exciting to see the reaction the archive has gotten—coverage has ranged from the Chronicle of Higher Ed to Gawker to Ars Technica to Forbes—in just a few short days. If you’re a scholar interested in discourses surrounding privacy, personal information, and social networks, get in touch! Or, if you’re feeling particularly cheeky, you can like it on Facebook!
[The above image comes from animalnewyork.com - my favorite use of the logo so far.]

The Zuckerberg Files

Over the weekend, Michael Zimmer (my advisor!) launched The Zuckerberg Files - “a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.” The archive contains “over 100 full-text transcripts and nearly 50 video files are available for researchers to download, analyze, and scrutinize.”

The project grew out of a conversation Michael, Kate Raynes-Goldie, and I had (over drinks, of course) during the Association of Internet Researchers annual meeting in Gothenberg, Sweden in 2010. At the time, Michael was embroiled in writing about privacy and social networks, Kate was critically engaging with “the Californian ideology”, and I was looking at how Facebook frames its users’ personal information as property (users “own and control” their information). We were all frustrated with how difficult it can be to track down the comments of important figures like Zuckerberg—comments central to our attempts to analyze certain discourses around persons, privacy, and technology.

Of course, this immediately struck us as amusing: we scramble to gather Zuckerberg’s statements for our work while, at the same time, Facebook holds much of our personal information in centralized databases. Wouldn’t it be funny, we thought, if we could turn the tables a bit? More than that, wouldn’t it be immensely useful?

Michael took the idea seriously and set out to build the archive. I’ve not been involved too much since those early conversations (save for the bare bones logo/header I whipped together for the site) but I’ve been hanging around, waiting to see what became of the project.

In light of all that, it’s super exciting to see the reaction the archive has gotten—coverage has ranged from the Chronicle of Higher Ed to Gawker to Ars Technica to Forbes—in just a few short days. If you’re a scholar interested in discourses surrounding privacy, personal information, and social networks, get in touch! Or, if you’re feeling particularly cheeky, you can like it on Facebook!

[The above image comes from animalnewyork.com - my favorite use of the logo so far.]

Posted on Tuesday, October 29th 2013

hndrk:

Antony & The Johnsons - Fistful of Love

A very minor addendum to a singular career, but Lou Reed also delivered the impeccable spoken-word intro to my favourite song of the past ten years.

I was lying in my bed last night/ Staring at a ceiling full of stars/ When it suddenly hit me/ I just have to let you know how I feel…

Posted on Monday, October 28th 2013

Reblogged from Wishful Thinking

My Big, Gigantic Drum Kit: Thoughts on Reading 'Another Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover, and Equally Lovable,...

davebloom:

Contrary to what the Wikipedia entry for The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Loveable, Furry Old Grover says, I’d say the original Monster is rather just gussied up modernism, and its Elmo-enhanced sequel the truly postmodern entry in the series (disclaimer: I have not read the…

Well…this.

Posted on Wednesday, October 23rd 2013

Reblogged from My Big, Gigantic Drum Kit