Tag Archives: personal

Unlearning

Sometimes I forget that unlearning all the internalized oppressive crap that has been instilled in me is an ongoing process. Sometimes I get to a point where I feel like “yep, I’ve unlearned it all, I’m good to go.” And the next thing I know a thought will pop into my head or I’ll do something without thinking and afterwards I pause and go “hey wait a minute, that was really messed up… I guess I haven’t unlearned it all…” And that’s kind of a disheartening thought, realizing just how entrenched all of these messed up values are in me is really distressing. At the same time, it’s an invaluable reminder of the fact that I will never be done unlearning. I live in a society where these horrible ideas are all around me, therefore it is a constant battle to say “no, that’s not right.” But it’s a worthwhile battle because all of the racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, sexist, etc. crap that we are bombarded with on a daily basis is not ok. And I’m not just going to give in to it just because it’s hard to recognize it and unlearn it.

At the same time, I struggle with remembering that others are working on unlearning it too and it’s not my place to judge their process. It’s really important for me to remember that I hate the system that puts these ideas in place, I don’t hate the people that the ideas have been instilled in. Hating people instead of hating the system is a distraction, it is an obstacle in the way of real change. We are all struggling to unlearn the idea that we do not deserve good things and neither do others, for whatever reason. We are all worthy of love. We are all worthy of respect.

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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.

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…

Updates and Things

Hi Everyone,

So an interesting development in the work drama saga: I have learned that I legally have the right to only have my preferred name appear on things like the schedule and the time clock at work. I’m not sure about the specifics on this exactly, but if anyone does know about them, I would greatly appreciate the info! I am going to wait until after the holiday season, when I will *hopefully* no longer be a “part-time, seasonal” employee to ask again that my preferred name be the one printed on the schedule and in the time clock. I’m going to wait because as a “part-time, seasonal” employee, I can be let go at any time and without the managers having to give me a reason. But I’m pretty sure they have to list their reasons for letting go of people who are not seasonal, and it’s illegal to fire someone because they’re trans*, so I’ll wait until I have that protection… of course, they could just list another reason for firing me, but at least I feel like my position is a little bit more secure that way.

In other news, my partner just gave me a haircut! It was getting way too long and all over my face. It’s a big relief having it short again. It’s only been a few days but I’ve really noticed that acquaintances or people I don’t know very well seem to be a bit colder toward me… It’s not like my hair was THAT much longer before, but now that it’s shorter it’s almost like people are looking down on me for moving in the opposite direction of normative gender conformity. And I realize that maybe I’m imagining this, maybe it’s just been a coincidence that the people around me have been in bad moods, but as a friend of mine once said, “someone could be looking at me funny because my shoe is untied or because I have food on my face, or maybe they’re looking at someone else entirely, but my brain is always going to go straight to “I wonder if they’re looking at me because I’m trans*.” I dread comments like, “oh your hair looks nice but I liked it longer.” Because for me, it’s a matter of feeling comfortable, of not feeling anxious every time I look in a mirror. I cut my hair because I wanted to, not because I was looking for anyone’s approval.

As I settle more and more into the fact that I’m probably not going to find a job doing social justice/community-based/gender equity type work until after I attend grad school, and that until then I’m going to be stuck working somewhere I’m not thrilled about, I’m trying to prioritize having fun. So I’m hanging out with friends, making new friends, reading for pleasure, writing for pleasure, and brainstorming free ways to enjoy my time outside of work. Having pets really helps because they keep me busy, get me moving, and love to cuddle <3. If I don’t prioritize these things, I find myself moping around feeling sorry for myself, dwelling on the bad things in my life, as opposed to thinking about all the great things in my life. So, here’s to de-stressing, strengthening relationships, and learning to enjoy life.

That’s all for now, Until next time…