Category Archives: transgender stuff

Mid-month update

I seem to be stuck updating biweekly…

Therapy: not as intense as last time, but stressful nonetheless.  Talked about how I dissociate so much, both deliberately and involuntarily.  How it makes me feel safer.  How when I cried happy tears the other day, I had no idea why my eyes were watery and it confused me, and how once I realized I was happy-crying I was even more confused because how could I not know that’s what I was doing?  I have serious mind/body disconnect issues, and I want to fix it.

Reading: Saturday I started reading a book that wasn’t fanfic.  Since then I’ve read four more books and am almost done with a fifth.  The last one I finished was a novel, which delighted me.  I want to read more fiction.  I hope this lasts for a while.  Oh, yeah, and three were paper books.  Maybe I need to switch back to physical books.  Yay for good libraries!

Biking: still at it.  I’m having to take shorter rides now, though, because long ones hurt my bad knee.  I have dual rear baskets now so I can run more nearby errands on my bike.  In a little bit I’ll be riding to my sister’s to babysit…

Crafting: My ex-MIL loved the washcloths I made for her birthday.  I finished the pillow for my nephew, only for him to tell me one of the colors was wrong.  (Never mind that he had picked it out.)  So I’m waiting on new yarn to come in.  I warped for my tunic but haven’t started weaving yet.  I haven’t finished the dishcloth I started a few days ago, because I’ve been reading so much.  I got the yarn for Mom’s birthday present (washcloths that match her bathroom decor) but haven’t started those.  (Gotta finish the dishcloth first, as it uses the same needles I need for the washcloths.)  Oh, and Friday I cut out all the pieces for the change purses I’m making.  Now I just need to figure out how to sew on the zippers.  Haven’t done any spinning in a couple of months.

Mental stuff: much less depressed.  Not napping often.  Not eating junk food.  Still dissociating but not as much.  So, better overall.  I’ve been having more good days than bad.  Never did hear back from Hillary’s campaign.  I should call again.

Also… this is going to sound weird and sad.  For the last couple of years I’ve only had a libido when really depressed.  Like, I only get myself off when I’m miserable, because when I feel better I’m not interested.  What does it say about me, that arousal is a sign of depression for me?  I get anhedonic except for lust, and even then I frequently feel desire without being able to do anything about it.  But today I got turned on while in a good mood.  It felt weird, but I’m happy about it.

Also, watching cisgender porn as a trans person is hard.  Because my private fantasies are always with me in a male body, and so sometimes gay porn is awesome, but then like today I wanted to see my own physiology reflected so I was watching straight porn.  Neither feels quite right, but there’s a lack of good trans BDSM porn featuring submissives whom I can identify with even a little.  Stupid transgender problem #873987984789375…

Upcoming plans: Thursday I finally see the dentist.  (My appointment was rescheduled because of the last hurricane.)  Pride festival is Saturday, and I’m going to go for at least a little while.  Next weekend I’m going to a craft fair with Mom and ex-MIL.  In November there will be hiking in Georgia.  And cello lessons!  I resume those on Nov. 3rd.

Energy is back!

Since my last post, I went back up on my Trintellix.  (Which used to be called Brintellix, but it sounded too much like some other drug — Brillenta, I think? — so they recently changed it.)  I am happy to report more energy and more Getting Shit Done.  In the last two days, anyway.  It’s a start.

I have a skirt.  It’s ankle-length and black.  My sister got it for me yesterday at Target, as I’ve had the weird urge to wear one lately.  I put it on with a black T-shirt and my purple Docs, and I didn’t feel even slightly feminine.  Gender-bendy as fuck, instead, which is exactly what I wanted.  I look transmasculine/androgynous even with the skirt on.  It’s lovely.  It really brings home my personal definition of genderqueer: my brain leans more towards female even though I feel gender dysphoria about my body and want it to be a cis male’s.  “Gender dysphoria” is a misnomer, really.  My gender is fine.  I am very happy with it.  It’s my body that’s wrong.  So shouldn’t it be called “sex dysphoria” instead?  At any rate, I want to paint my fingernails and toenails black sometime soon.  And buy some boxer briefs to wear under the skirt.  Thigh chafing hurts.

Hurricane Hermine: why didn’t they call it Hermione?  It would have been so much cooler that way.  Anyway, we lost power several times during the night, but it always came back on within ten minutes or so.  My mom’s room is in the back of the apartment, and mine at the front; our rooms are the same size, as are our windows, but the placement of the rooms meant she couldn’t hear anything but rain.  I, on the other hand, spent all night listening to howling winds try to break my window.  It wasn’t scary, just annoying because I was trying to sleep.  If it had been daytime I would have enjoyed the sounds, but by two in the morning I was ready to get out my isolation headphones.  (I wasn’t the only one listening to the storm.  Several of my local friends were also awake and posting on Facebook at that hour.)  We weren’t damaged, our cars weren’t damaged (despite being under a giant tree), and we didn’t even lose internet for very long.  A lot of locals got it worse; when I went to get my hair cut Saturday, there were women there talking about not having their power back until that morning.

And now, for some goth shopping: Joanns has these cool 16″ vulture skeletons and I want one so bad.  Or the owl ones, the owl ones are badass, but more expensive.  I don’t want them enough to pay $30-40 for one, but damn they’re cool.

Boneyard Vulture at Joanns

Oh fuck, just looked at their site, to get a pic to share, and their Halloween stuff is 40% off.  It can go next to the head-on-a-silver-platter, which still resides on my bedroom dresser.  That really was a good idea, I think.  Which reminds me, I still need wall art for my room.  I should probably get that instead of the vulture, but I can buy art posters all year round.  Ooh, they have a small tombstone for $4.  My dresser is going to look awesome.  My wallet always hates me in the fall, because ALL THE HALLOWEEN STUFF!!!

One other little DIY project I want to do is get a bendy black Halloween spider and make it a tiny bit of knitting-in-progress and bend the front legs so it looks like the spider’s knitting.  I’ll give it teeny needles and everything.  Maybe stick it on a black wreath for the front door.  Spiders spin, and mine will knit as well.  Maybe the knitting will be from that fake cobweb stuff?  Oooooh.

Oh oh oh — I can buy fake black roses this time of year, too.  Neeeeeed.  Okay, shutting up about Halloween goodies now.  But when Eris (my kleptomaniacal black kitty) starts walking around the house with a black rose in his teeth, I will totally be taking photos.  (And, if they’re any good, using them as profile pictures in my online haunts.)

Knitting: the green and black shirt continues, in off moments.  My main project is place mats for the dining table.  They are bright yellow, in a basic basketweave pattern.  When Mom and I moved into this apartment, most of her decorating stuff was blue and yellow so we stuck with it.  Happily, the paintings on the walls look like Tim Burton took drugs (happy ones) and painted them.  So at least a little of the living room is to my taste.

Spinning, weaving, and sewing: haven’t done any of it since the last post.

Cello: not since Monday or so.  As I said, I’ve only been feeling better for two days.  Mom just left for a party, though, so I’ll play while she’s gone.  I feel weird about playing with her here, because I feel like it has to be annoying to hear me play the same thing over and over.  Especially when it’s the same three or four notes over and over…

Okay, enough babbling.  I think I need to go buy a vulture skeleton now…

I don’t think I like my job anymore.

I’ve had a few working meetings with my co-workers, and they all keep misgendering me.  It’s dreadful.  The really funny part? They’re all liberal hippie types. But they’re privileged liberals: white, cisgender, heterosexual, and not poor. They think they’re all enlightened and shit. But every single meeting is misgendering. Except my boss, although he’s clueless about how to fix it.  Seriously, when I told him today that I’m not attending the meetings anymore because of it (and would prefer to meet with him alone), he asked if he could have me attend the meeting by speakerphone so we could all discuss it.  That was both baffling and insulting.  The last meeting I went to, he announced in front of my co-workers that he’s sending everyone to sensitivity training because they talked about it (behind my back) and decided they want to improve.  That’s great, but he did it right in front of the people who were causing the problems.  It was humiliating.

The thing is, normally I don’t care what strangers call me; I know who I am, and I’m happy not being the manliest man on the planet, but these are people I spend hours with, and it makes me question myself even though logically I know it’s not right. Am I that girly? Does it mean I’m not trans enough? Like I said, I know logically that these thoughts are stupid, but I can’t help but think them. And it’s affecting my ability to do the job, and it’s also sent me into a bad bout of depression. Not cool.  I don’t want to quit, I believe in the project we’re doing together, but it’s making me really unhappy.  Maybe I should just quit…

And now, for some gender awareness

Since I wrote yesterday about my current sexuality, today I’m posting a mini-rant I just wrote on a forum I frequent, in a thread for trans people to talk amongst ourselves.  Someone was asking if we were involved with community at all, and here’s what I wrote.

I feel very much on the outside with the trans community. I have no in-person experience, except for my ex-wife and her girlfriend, but online… it seems like among some trans guys there’s a cult of masculinity. I absolutely have the wrong body parts, but I’m androgynous-presenting and dig it. I’ve completely socially transitioned — right name, right pronouns — but I haven’t done anything physical. Top surgery isn’t covered under Medicare yet, and I don’t want to do hormones because… well, I don’t want to pass as a regular cis guy. A rather large percentage of cis guys, even queer ones, are jackasses who don’t understand their privilege. I think of myself as more “transmasculine” than a true FTM. I can’t really do hormones for medical reasons anyway, but I don’t want to shave or start balding or anything else. I’m six feet tall and broad-shouldered. I got called “sir” half the time even when I identified as female. I’m naturally androgynous (or else look like a very butch lesbian, depending on who you ask). I love my body except for the sexual bits. If I could have exactly what I have now but with a flat chest and a real cock, I would die happy.

So I’m an outlier, and get looked down on by a lot of the online trans community for it. Trans guys aren’t supposed to say “ew, hormones, no!” and are supposed to care about passing. I don’t give a damn if the clerk at the grocery store calls me the wrong pronoun. I know who I am. I just want a goddamn dick.

I don’t fit in with the queer community either. I’m quite all right with that, too. Took me years to reach that point, but fuck ‘em.

Sorry for ranting, it’s just… yeah.

So there we have it, me being pretty happy with my gender expression except for the tits.  Could totally do without those, thanks…

Towards a new definition of sexuality

TMI warning for sex talk.

I had an interesting conversation with my sister tonight, instigated by my confusion over my sexual identity.  This may sound ridiculous, but it was prompted by the purchase of a sex toy.  I am not sharing details, but using it is far more pleasurable than any sex I’ve ever had with anyone ever.  (Sorry, any former lovers reading this.)  It made me start thinking about what sex means to me, about who I am as a sexual person.

My sister gave me food for thought that I’d never considered.  She described the majority of my pre-marriage sex life as “performance-based.”  Which is true.  I did have sex because I was attracted to people on occasion (really attracted to, with some people), but a lot of it was because I wanted to be seen as a sex goddess whom everyone wanted.  And I succeeded at that, back then, largely because I was willing to fuck almost anyone who asked.  I had sex because I wanted to show off, because I wanted people to like me, or because I felt sorry for them.  I frequently didn’t enjoy it except for the satisfaction of achieving one of the previously-stated goals.  I mean, it felt nice, but I faked a hell of a lot of orgasms, even with long-term partners.  (My wife and I had a conversation a few years after we got married in which we realized we had both been faking our orgasms during sex.  Not much point in trying, after that.)

Interestingly, my sister was recently discussing my gender transition with an old friend of hers, whom I dated for a couple of months when I was sixteen.  He thinks I was trying to perform “girl” even more than I was “slut”, it’s just that being “girl” was easiest for me by being the town bicycle.  (My words, not his; I assume he was more polite.  Also, “town bicycle” makes me laugh like a drain, which is why I used it here.)  Apparently it was obvious even back then that I was trying to be more female than I was.  I knew that to some degree, but really, my sister tells me that I was the last person to realize I was trans, not the first.  There’s a reason (she says) why my family’s first reaction was “…and?”  People who knew me back then haven’t been surprised, either, even the ones who’ve slept with me.

Anyway.  Back to sex.  I… don’t want any.  At least, not the kind involving a partner.  My libido is higher than it was when I was married, but if my sex toys make me this happy I don’t want to bother with anyone else.  At least, not right now.  Someday (hopefully very very far in the future) I imagine I’ll have feelings for someone and want to share my body with them, but sex for the sake of sex?  Toys.  Hands down.  I don’t know how to have sex with a partner where I don’t feel I have to perform, even with people I’ve enjoyed sleeping with.  And, frankly, I’m not interested in learning right now.  I’m enjoying being self-contained.  (Well, I’m dependent on vibrating things, but you know what I mean.)  Also, I have a very active fantasy life, and fantasy is always better than reality.  For one thing, I get to have the body I want.  Including a fully functional, working cock.  That’s not going to happen in my lifetime.

As far as the identity-questioning goes, my sister pointed out that my self-definition as queer still stands.  I’m certainly not heterosexual.  I don’t think I really qualify as asexual, since I’m still a bit enslaved by my libido, but I’m quite happy to call myself celibate for the indefinite future.  (And hey, if BBC Sherlock — not Cumberbatch, but the fictional character of Sherlock — showed up on my doorstep tomorrow and offered me a night of extremely kinky sex with no strings attached, hell yeah.  But he’s not real, and I’m glad he isn’t.  Mostly.)

To change subjects a bit, but related to me feeling self-contained: I’ve been thinking a lot about my early twenties, when I lived in south Florida with an awesome roommate.  I was single and able to support myself financially.  I had a solid social circle.  I traveled a lot.  I wrote fiction every day in my spare time.  I occasionally had sex with people, but on my terms and with no strings.  I was sane.  I wasn’t anyone’s doormat, which is what happens to me in relationships (my fault, not my partners’.  I do it to myself and I know it).  My life is starting to feel like that again, a little bit.  Different — I can’t fully support myself, and I struggle with the mental illness — but Mom and I live like bachelor roommates (we’ve lived here over two weeks and have yet to turn the oven on, but we know every detail of the microwave and where the nearest cheap takeout joints are) and I have my own space to do what I want with and I’m feeling independent and… self-contained.  I have family, friends, and sex toys.  Life isn’t perfect, but it’s improving every day.  And I’m happier than I’ve been in years.

Also, my sister has grown up to be exceedingly wise and I love her to pieces.  Thanks, kiddo, for being awesome.  I love you.

Publicly coming out as trans

I realized I was trans almost four years ago.  In that time I’ve been out to everyone online, my friends and family members, and the people at the yarn shop I went to when I was living 75 miles away from Hometown.  That’s it.

In a couple of hours I’m going to a rather large mental health awareness event, to help my new nonprofit group director work the registration table.  I agreed with no hesitation.  It wasn’t until about 10:00 last night that I realized that holy fuck, I’m coming out to the entire local mental health community.  I used to be pretty involved, as an activist and professional peer counselor.  My former boss and some co-workers will be there.  Some of my former clients might show up.  Future potential employers and co-workers will be there.  And everyone who knows me from Before will have to hear, “I’m Alex now.  I came out as transgender four years ago.”  And then there will be questions, which will be answered two ways: “When you get home, Google ‘trans 101’,” or “I’m sorry, that’s a very personal question.  It’s been nice seeing you.”

I am, naturally, terrified.  I’m doing it anyway, because I’ll have to come out to this community at some point if I’m going to be working in it again.  I won’t be alone — my nonprofit friends (who only know me as Alex and are very trans-friendly) will back me up, and my sister and her family will be there.  I doubt anyone will be rude to my face, because it’s a pretty liberal community.  But I am also prepared to (politely) say things like “it’s not my job to educate you” and “I don’t make comments about your masculinity/femininity, do I?”  I really don’t give a fuck about passing as a cis male; I’m a bit genderqueer anyway, and my gender identity/expression are none of their business so long as they use the correct name and pronouns and are respectful.

I do wish I’d had enough warning to get my hair cut first.  I’m a bit shaggy.  Yay for hair pomade, I guess.

Now, as to why I’m writing this at 5am: I haven’t slept.  At all.  I’m getting where I can’t sleep because of the Geodon dependency.  I spend the nights shaking and sweating, even if I take my meds on time, even with a Klonopin.  This can’t go on.  After my semester finishes (two weeks left!) I’m going to ask my pdoc to taper me off and put me on something else.  I’m really, really not looking forward to it, but it’s better than feeling like a junkie in need of a fix every night.

I’m going to take a shower and go get some breakfast or something.  I can’t just sit here twitching until it’s time for my morning meds.  (I can’t take them early, because then I’ll get the shakes even earlier in the evening.)

Transmasculinity vs. male oppression

I had a weird session with my therapist today.  I was trying to explain a problem to her, and she just wasn’t getting it.  So I’ll try to explain it here.  If it’s coherent — and please, give me feedback, especially if you’re a cis-het person — I’ll send a version to my therapist.

Some humans are assholes.  A percentage of those people are cisgender heterosexual men.  This subset of assholes (a majority of whom are white here in America) have more power than the other subsets to make other humans miserable.  Sexism is part of the fabric of our culture.  It’s getting better, but it’s still there.  I watch the women I’m close to experience this sexism, and so it’s on my mind pretty frequently.

I do not identify as a woman, but I identify with women.  Do you see the difference?  I see the sexism and I cringe.  I get angry.  It makes me dislike the fact that I am mostly masculine.  (Mostly.)  It’s hard to see the good in my masculinity when I see so many masculine people being utter douchebags.  It doesn’t help that every time I go into an online space for trans men I see just as much misogyny as I do among cis-het men.  There’s a lot of butching it up when trans guys get together, it seems, and it grosses me out a little.

Given the choice I’d rather be non-masculine.  But I’m not going to deny my identity just because of douchebaggery.  I’m transgender and non-binary.  But I hate that I have that connection with assholes.

My therapist didn’t get this.  She thought I should just ignore the sexism and focus on other things.  I’m not focused on sexism, I just refuse to stick my head in the sand like she does.  So we went around and around, and when the session was over I was even more frustrated.

The Valkyrie says I’m not guilty by association, that I can be responsible and point out sexism and not be an asshole.  I try.  I am generally aware of sexism when it happens, and I do what I can to fight it.  But… yeah, I still don’t feel good about my identity.  Sigh.

Hysterectomy scheduled!

Today I met with the surgeon who will perform my hysterectomy.  It’s scheduled for February 25th.  Is it weird that I’m looking forward to it?

I was amazed by how nice his staff was, and how unfazed they were that I’m trans.  They just accepted it and acted like it was no big thing.  It was awesome.  The main reason I’m getting the surgery is because my uterus hates me, not for gender dysphoria.  But it was nice to be treated like a normal person.  I’m quite pleased.

After the appointment I went to the credit union to get my legal name change petition notarized.  I finally picked a middle name, and I want my new name on my diploma when I graduate this May.  Then I went to GameStop (for Dying Light, which is awful so far), Staples (to send a package UPS), Walgreens, and the post office.  Because of all the driving and moving around and stuff, my knee and hip are really hating me tonight.  But I got a lot of shit done, and that makes me happy.

Tomorrow I will go to the courthouse to file my name change forms.  Yay!

Being trans, three years on

Three years ago, as of last month, I realized I was not cisgender.  Genderqueer, I thought.  Being a woman never felt right to me.  I enjoyed getting called “sir” by cashiers and waiters, even when I was wearing skirts.  (I’m six feet tall and built like a cis guy except for my chest and vag.  Same body shape, broad shoulders, etc.)  I always figured I was a really butch lesbian except that I also liked guys.

While I am 100% certain I am not a woman, I still sometimes waffle over whether I’m a man or a non-binary person.  Maybe I am NB, and fluctuate between androgyny and masculinity.  I so frequently identify with women, but without feeling like I am one.  I don’t know.  Do other trans people get confused about exactly what they are?  The Valkyrie and the Naiad are both confident in their womanhood, even if they worry about their outward appearance and expression sometimes.  I like “he” as a pronoun, but every time someone refers to me as a man I feel a jolt of weirdness.  I dunno.  I know that whatever I am is fine and is okay to be, but I’d kind of like to have a gender identity of some kind.  Being confused all the time sucks.