Have you flown the Viggen?

Well, today it happened. I was summoned to the National Board of Health and Welfare where they had their session to process my application for surgery and new legal sex. I went to the big red brick building in the centre of Stockholm and it turned up that they were located rather high up with a nice view of one of Stockholm’s many bridges. Apparently there were more people their for the same reason because the woman who met me told me to wait for an other patient to finish talking with the doctor. There was very beautiful woman there when I arrived. Tall, slender, long blond hair and a delicate face. I tried to figure out if she also was a transsexual but I thought not. However, I was soon called to the doctor and we sat down for a chat. He asked me a lot of the same questions as I have answered before but also some more philosophical ones about the concept of gender and difference between TV and TS. Of course I was asked a lot about my work as well. Then he told me to wait for the actual board session to begin and that all four patient were to be called into the room to see the board and they would take the chance to ask a few questions and then I had would have to step out while they would make their decision. Finally, they would call me in again to tell me about their formal decision.

When I stepped out the other four applicants were there. A young man with his two girlfriends, a rather small and shy blond girl and it turned out…the blond beautiful one was a TS as well! The young man was summoned first and came out for the first time looking a bit taken by the moment. However, he was quickly called back again and they all left hugging. The shy girl also went inside and did the same procedure. Me and the blond beauty started talking and she turned out to be a very sweet girl from western Sweden and we talked about are experiences and needs to talk to other TS-people.

My turn came up and I entered the room and there were 6 people and someone I think was the judge in the room. The asked me some questions about why I thought this was best for me, how I felt about kids, my experiences from relationships and what it was like for me at work. After all that one of them raised his hand and got a chance to ask me a question “You are a captain in the Air Force, right…why do you only have two stripes on your shoulders?” I was both surprised and frankly amuzed by the question so I said something about the need to adjust to how other nation’s ranks look like. The next and final question turned out to be: “I must ask you, have you flown the Viggen (fighter aircraft)?”. I was even more surprised and just said “Yes, I have and it was very nice”.

After that I was called in again and they more or less told me “Good luck!”

I stayed to see how it went for the last girl (yes, the blonde one) and we talked a bit more on our way down. Afterwords I went to my best friend and talked with her for a few hours. I felt I needed that and I remembered how nice it is to just sit down and talk about emotions and life together with a good friend. I realized that I probably must try to be more open about my (own) feelings and try to not always make everything a abstract discussion. Must talk like that more often.

Information modeling and software integration

The past weeks have as interesting as they have been about hard work. Me and my closest collegue have become some kind of chief software architects for the upcoming experiment called Demo 06h that will take place later this autumn. It have involved a lot of work to coordinate all the different functions that are needed to support a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) Headquarters. The setting for this experiment is focused on something called Effects-Based Approach to Operations (EBAO). Basically it is a new process and method to plan, execute and assess multinational crisis operations. This concept is essentially a new process on the same level as NATO’s Operational Planning Process (OPP). Being involved in the design of what we call the Collaborative Information Environment (CIE) is the most interesting (and fun!) thing I have done in my career so far. I realize more and more that what I like most to work with is integrating modern information technology with organizational processes. I like to mention two different tools that we have worked with. The first one is Marratech which is a collaboration client supporting video, audio, presence, text chat, whyteboard and shared desktops. The other one is a very advanced content management platform called Documentum.

National Board of Health and Welfare

Today I got a letter from the National Board of Health and Welfare and its legal council. They are responsible for approving application for sex change here in Sweden. They have got the full contents of my medical file and will decide if the process I have gon through now have been conducted according to their guidelines. In practice that means that they will assign me my “new” legal status as a woman as well as giving the permission for sex reassignment surgery. In the letter they also told me that I had the opportunity to meet the head of the council for a brief discussion. I don´t really know why but it feels natural to go to the meeting even though it is not mandatory in any way. I guess I want to see who the people deciding this are and maybe give some input to my political work.

The only bad part is that we have a process rehearsal for the upcoming experiment at work that day and the meeting is appropriately scheduled for 1300 hours.