Tag Archives: gender identity

These Days

Some days I wish I had a full beard – coarse, thick hair to run fingers through and shape my face.

Some days I want to paint my nails – pinks, purples, teals, with sparkles and shimmer.

Some days I cringe every time I hear my voice because I feel like it’s just so high – I try not to talk much on these days.

Some days I want to grow my hair out long and be able to braid it and put it in a bun – beautiful and handsome, shiny, wavy tumbles of hair.

Some days I see pictures of cis men that make me crumple like a paper bag because I know I’ll never be that and that feels like the end of the world – it’s like all the air goes out of my body and my body folds in on itself, and lies in a heap on the floor.

Some days I want to bind my chest so flat that I can’t breathe – prop myself up on the tension, feeling like I’m safe in this too-small fortress.

Some days I want to wear sparkly lipstick – shine for days, every word that leaves my mouth dripping with shimmer.

Some days I feel happy when I look in the mirror – like I know the person looking back at me and I’m proud of them.

Some days I avoid the mirror at all costs – don’t show me what I already know, what I already can’t face.

Some days I wonder how on earth my partner is at all attracted to me – so insecure, so far from my truth… how can anyone be drawn to me?

Some days I just want to cry – when it feels like it’s never going to end and nothing is working in my favor.

Some days I just want to run – like somehow I can escape all of the feelings if I can just get far enough away from them.

Some days I don’t want to move – crushed underneath the weight of too much and not enough.

Some days I want to scream – to explode, to refuse to hold it all in.

Some days hormones and top surgery feel so out of reach that I want to just give up – so much paperwork and waiting to wade through, so many hoops.

Some days I feel like I’m making progress – when an inch feels like a mile, and I can fly over it all.

My thoughts and feelings can differ on a daily basis. That’s kind of hard to settle into and be ok with. Some days I’m good at it. Some days I’m not.

The Little Things

Things have been a little tough lately…

For starters, we still haven’t found a very viable place to move to (in 39 days), and that is STRESSING me out! But, I’m trying to learn to be more go-with-the-flow, and relaxed about this because… in all probability, it will work out somehow.. (at least that’s what I’m telling myself lol).

Aside from that, I had really hoped that I might have health insurance by now. I’ve been actively engaged in making phone calls, filling out forms, looking up information, and asking questions, to try and get myself enrolled in health care since March… It’s looking like I might at least be close by now, but I’m still not there. A lot in my life kind of hinges on health care right now, I have some immediate dental issues that need addressing, the legal name change process apparently will be much easier for me once I have health insurance, and I can start thinking more seriously about hormones once I have health insurance! So, as you can imagine, I’m fairly anxious to finish jumping through all of the hoops and finally be enrolled!

I’m not really out about my gender identity at work so I’ve resigned myself to constantly being misgendered there. It’s nice though to have an affirming place to come home to where everyone knows my pronouns and identity and respects them. We were hanging out with some friends the other day who are very familiar with my gender identity and pronouns, but they kept accidentally slipping up and calling me “she”. They would of course correct themselves, but it still was kind of jarring… it always is kind of jarring to hear someone who definitely knows my pronouns misgender me, it begs the questions, “do you just really see me as a cis woman and just use my pronouns when you remember to?” And often I can tell people feel bad about slipping up and they trip all over themselves to correct it, and I don’t feel angry with them or anything, because I don’t feel like they are intentionally misgendering me to make me upset. But it does make me a little sad to think that people don’t actually recognize my gender identity.. I know it might not seem like a big deal, but it kind of is… at least to me…

I guess that’s all for now. Until next time..

After the hiatus

Many things have happened… and not happened… in the past few months that have discouraged me from writing… I have been going through some changes about how I am feeling about my transition. I’m not really sure what spurred these changes, but then again the why’s and how’s about gender have never really been clear for me. I have also been working a lot and hardcore searching for a place to move to when I start grad school in the end of August (68 days away, not that I’m counting). Aside from that I’ve been working on some smaller projects, trying to destroy the long-term to-do list of things to do before moving so that I will feel less stressed (haha yea right) and just kind of feeling discouraged or down in the dumps…

HOWEVER, today is a new day, a few significant positive changes have occurred in my life recently, AND I was just reading BET’s list of Ten Transgender People You Should Know, and I am feeling inspired/motivated/encouraged, so what better time to write a new post? A few weeks ago I started seeing a counselor at the Gender Health Center and while I’m still not sure what I’m hoping to achieve by participating in these sessions, I think they’re helping me be more intentional and mindful about my thoughts and feelings as well as my relationships with others. Which, I am a fan of. So, I’m going to see where this goes. The Gender Health Center is also helping me get hooked up with medical insurance! Which is going to make it easier for me to legally change my name, explore hormone options, explore top surgery options, and in general see the doctor/dentist which is becoming more of a priority. So, that’s exciting!

Another part of trying to be intentional and mindful of myself and to help me battle the blues, I am currently following a 30 days of change exercise program. It’s kind of keeping me grounded and thinking about the present. The one day at a time aspect of the exercises is also transferring to my thought processes and moments of stress about the future, which is a wonderful benefit for me.

So, as I mentioned earlier, my thoughts/feelings about transition have been sort of changing lately. I used to not really be sure about if I was ever going to take testosterone, or get top surgery. And lately (probably for the past 3 months or so) I have had much stronger urges/yearnings to start taking testosterone. As I mentioned, I’m not really sure why these urges/yearnings have become so strong, the reasons behind my feelings on gender are never really crystal clear for me… But I think it might have something to do with the fact that I finally laid everything out about my feelings about gender to my mom, so that’s not as much of a pressure to not start testosterone, anymore. However, I also have been admitting to myself that I really want to be able to have a baby. And, the effects taking testosterone has on fertility aren’t really known, but it is a possibility that taking testosterone could make it harder or impossible for me to have a baby in the future… so that’s a new thing to grapple with… more later on that, I’m sure.

On a somewhat unrelated note, as I am preparing to move (in 68 days) I am trying to find radical/queer/non-normative children’s books to leave for the children at the daycare where I work, so even though I won’t be there to challenge the norms anymore, hopefully these books will be able to a little bit, haha. A friend pointed out this awesome article to me about that pursuit. And my two favorite books I have stumbled upon so far are A is for Activist and Meet Polkadot.

Hope you are all doing well!

Until next time…

Transition

I’ve been following the Janet Mock and Piers Morgan interviews/social media storm over the past few days (Team Janet forever and always, the way she held her own in the face of Piers Morgan’s ignorance and defensive bullshit was incredibly inspiring), and it has made me think even more about, among many things, transition. A word that is used in so many contexts in so many situations. Transition applies to my life in so many ways, transitioning to new jobs, new homes, new ways of thinking, being in school, being out of school, and of course, gender presentation and identity. Transition often means change, discomfort, clumsiness, slip-ups, ups, downs, etc. It’s often a multi-step process of adjusting to something. Lots of times transition leads to an end feeling of adjustment, of having transitioned. However, in regards to gender, I personally feel like I’m never going to have finished my transition. Maybe this is not a common feeling in the transgender community, maybe some people have very specific steps/goals in their transition and once they meet them, they consider themselves done. However, for myself especially because I identify as non-binary, I don’t really have an end goal for transition. I feel like my gender identity is probably going to be in constant flux. I feel like this is the case for myself, for many reasons:

  1. Being non-binary, I don’t have a specific ideal gender presentation/identity that I’m trying to achieve, I just basically know what I don’t identify as, so it’s kind of an ongoing process of trying things out or feeling a certain way for a while and then maybe feeling another way for a while.
  2. I’m not really sure yet if I’m ever going to get surgery or go on hormones, so what could be labeled as the medical aspects of my transition are very much up in the air and I don’t really feel like I’m going to reach closure on them soon.
  3. Kind of a follow-up to the 2nd point, but if I do decide at some point to go on hormones or get surgery, that’s going to take finances which would definitely take a good chunk of time for me to scrape together.
  4. The legal/bureaucratic aspects of my transition are also going to take a while… the legal name change process is long, complicated and expensive (there is a fee waiver, at least here in CA, but again, complicated), not to mention, do I want to legally change my gender marker? Hmmm… while I don’t identify as or use the pronoun “he”, if I ever do go on hormones/get top surgery, I may have some difficulty using an ID that says “she” on it…
  5. “coming out” to my family is… well, complicated, of course. I haven’t decided if I’m in a place where I’m comfortable coming out to them and having some of them say that they aren’t going to associate with me anymore…

I feel like my life is going to be a constant transition, and that’s ok with me. Finding a way to feel comfortable in transition has been and continues to challenge me, but it’s the only way I feel true to myself.

In other, not so related news, here’s a list of ableist terms to avoid I came across on tumblr. In case you are looking for ways to make your language more inclusive. Words are powerful and precious ❤

I guess that’s all for now, Until next time…

Questioning

I have been thinking quite a bit, as usual, about my gender identity and presentation and how I would/will feel most comfortable. I have been questioning myself a bit more than usual lately. I’m usually plagued by thoughts of “what if I start hormone therapy and I don’t feel this way in 5 years or 10 years, etc.” Recently I’ve started thinking about the fact that if I start hormone therapy and if sometime in the (distant) future I was able to somehow find the money for top surgery, that I would start passing as a man. As someone who identifies as a non-binary trans* person, I struggle with the idea of being read consistently as a woman or a man. Currently I am mostly read as a woman, a situation that I’m not happy with… but would I really be happy being mostly read as a man? Probably not… but if I’m going to be misgendered either way, wouldn’t it be better for me to at least feel less dysphoric, and more like my presentation/body match my gender identity? I’ve also been questioning whether or not I desire to be more masculine of center in my presentation because of my romantic/sexual preferences. Admittedly, my preferences are not super clearly defined, they have ranged far and wide; however, I would say that more often than not, they tend toward femme individuals… and as someone who has grown up in a society where the dominant narrative insists that femme people are supposed to be with masculine people, I worry that this has affected my feelings about my gender. Because, our preferences/tendencies do not exist in a vacuum, they were/are formed and/or at least influenced by the society(ies) we grow up in… These are the questions I’m currently grappling with.

Until next time…