A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Posts tagged ‘friends’

Onslaught.

So I’ve been feeling really great about everything.  Last night, my lovely boyfriend and I finally managed to pull enough money together to order a good binder so I can stop using the backbreaking one I’ve been using, my insurance is about to go through so I can see about getting a gender therapist, everyone’s been seeing me as a guy, and people are slowly but surely figuring out the name.

I feel like I’m sitting on a go-cart that I’ve been trying to make go for months now, and finally some deity descended from the heavens and gave me a gentle push and now I’m finally, slowly, starting to roll down the hill.  But suddenly, my stomach is lurching because I’m looking forward and the hill gets a lot steeper from here, and I’m just about to pass that point where, if I wanted to, I could stick my legs out and grind to a halt without any major injury, get up, and walk away.  Things are About to Happen, and if I don’t stop before the Point of No Return, then there’s absolutely no going back and I’m going to have to ride this cart for the rest of my life.

It’s unbelievable, because I never thought I’d have these feelings.  I know it’s only natural to have a little bit of apprehension before the point of no return, but now I’m having this internal critic hit me with a real onslaught of all the really hard questions, things like:

– “Everyone’s going to look at you and say, ‘Why did you even transition, if you’re a gay man?  Gay men are basically just women anyway, wouldn’t it just be easier to stay in a girl’s body?'”

– “You never fit in as a girl, but suddenly you think that if you transition, you’ll fit in as a boy, and you KNOW that’s not true.  If anything, you’ll fit in less!”

– “You’re using this trans thing to explain all your boy tendencies, but once you cross over, how do you explain away all the girl ones?”

– “What if you’re not really a guy?  What if this IS just another phase, another obsession with being different, one that could get you KILLED?”

– “You say this explains everything- the abuse, the dissociation, etc., but what if you’re just making connections that aren’t there so that you can make your life make sense, and when the novelty of being trans wears itself out, it’s just another layer of fuck-up on top of the pile?”

These are the kinds of questions that have been killing me, the ones that have been keeping me up at night, really personal questions that only I would know.
I have answers for all of those questions, and when I remember the things that can’t be explained away with a “what if” scenario, like how only wearing a strap-on makes me feel complete and how being on top is the only sex act that entirely works for me, or how I really only feel attractive and not-deformed when I bind up and have a flat chest, or how I’ve been lusting after facial hair since I was six, and how I’ve always felt gay with boys and straight with girls, even long before I knew I could possibly be trans-

When I remember all those things, and how being trans makes my life complete, and how my mind has been at more peace in the last 6 months than it’s been the entire rest of my life-

When I remember how accepting that I was trans made the voices stop, made the dissociation fade and made me stop seeing things at night, and made my mind finally healthy, and some semblance of normal-

When I see how my friends and family are finally more happy that I’m less crazy and upset and irritable and generally screwed-up these days than they are sad to see the old me go away-

Then I know that everything’s going to be alright, and I can keep going.

My little insecurities and fears are not nearly enough to turn me away from the one thing that has made my life finally worth living.  I have been more afraid to die in the last six months than I even was when I was a child, and I take that as a good and healthy sign that I finally love life enough not to want to leave it.

A nearly rhetorical question:

Why is it that, if you cut your hair, particularly if you don’t give them at least two weeks of preparation, people in your life tend to take it as a personal insult?

On the note of people being blockheads, there’s too much drama going on in this house right now to write a proper blog, so I’d just like to update with that, say that things are generally going good, real good in fact, and wish you all a happy New Year.

Also, before I forget, coming out to my extended friends at the New Year’s party went very smoothly.  They took well enough to my hair (unlike my stepmom, who kept telling me I “look like a boy”, which I’m sure is meant to be an insult but was instead full of win.)  At the Resolutions announcements (after everyone made their satirical resolutions like “ruin the environment and give Micheal Moore an aneurysm” and so forth), I resolved to “become a Man before the world ends in 2012!”  After everyone had their giggles, I said, “But on a more serious note, I do resolve to be on testosterone before the end of the year.”

You could have heard a pin drop in the silence that came afterwards.

It was pretty intense, but after a while, I started getting the questions, and everyone was really getting into it.  They seemed actually really gung-ho about it, which I was glad for.

Anyway, my ability to put together a sentence in this chaotic din is obviously diminishing, so I’ll add a note here that I’d like to put my picture up of my new haircut next post and also a review of Joe’s Barbershop (I was satisfied).  I promise a more in-depth attempt, probably tomorrow morning.

Cheers!

6 months of gender EUphoria!

As of yesterday, on the 24th, it’s been 6 months since I began my transition journal, and it’s flown by unbelievably fast.  My life has been so full since coming to terms with myself, and bringing those around me to be on those terms.  So much has changed- mainly, my respect for myself and my own standards.  I’ve dropped the practice of hiding behind the wrong gender and pretending to be what I’m not just because it’s easier, or because I was afraid.  I’ve gained more friends and more respect for coming out than I would have kept by keeping it all inside.  Most importantly, I’ve gained a father who knows me- not just someone who looks like a girl verson of me- and my father has gained the son he didn’t know he had.  The richness of life this has brought has made my life an unbelievable dream come true.

Just six months ago, I probably would have still worn makeup and even female garb if the situation called for it.  Today, I wouldn’t put those things on if someone told me they would reject be forever if I didn’t.  And on top of that, I’m comfortable enough with my gender that, if I wanted to put on a girl costume just for the fun of it, I could probably do that without any serious emotional injuries.  The point of all this, as contradictory as it seems, is that I don’t wear what I wear for anyone else’s approval, because of fear, or because I believe that what I am is unacceptable.  What I look like in any given situation is now my choice and mine alone- nobody can tell me what to be.

I’ve learned that people in general are very, very stupid.  The 95% majority of them are not educated in the least on the problems that people like us have, and the ones who are usually are misninformed, ignorant of the more important subtleties, insensitive, bigoted, or just plain prejudiced.  A lot of people will go out of their way to let me know that what I’m doing is wrong, but that they still love me anyway, even though I’m going to burn in Hell.  Others will tell me that they’re very sorry that I feel the way I do and that it must be very hard, but as long as I still haven’t had surgery, still sound, smell and look like a girl, I will be a girl in their eyes and there’s nothing they can do about it.  Even the people who do accept and support me 100%, put in the effort to educate themselves, and do their very best to make people like me comfortable in a harsh and cruel world… are simply not equipped to deal with something this complex.  Most of the people in my life are not college graduate gender theorists, majors in psychology or left-wing social workers.  I have to keep in mind that even I have such a hard time sorting everything out, and I’m steeped in this information and situation day in and day out.  There is nothing about this that is easy for anyone.  I have to be grateful for the people in my life who at least don’t make a big deal of it, and certainly for the ones who don’t want to kill me.  There are certainly enough of those in the world.

I’ve also learned that people are very, very different and very unpredictable.  There’s no way to know how they’re going to react to my situation until I tell them.  Some of the people I thought would reject me, hurt me or try to fix me have turned out to be the people who are most supportive- the ones who try the hardest to get the name and pronouns right.  And sometimes, the ones I thought would be behind me 100% all the way turned out to be most resentful of my transition, if for no other reason than I “killed off” the person they thought they knew.  I’ve had to learn to accept and work through the feelings of betrayal that some of my friends have had since this started.  It can be just as hard for me to understand the way they feel about this as it’s hard for them to understand why my female aspects are abandoning them forever, but we all have to work together if we want to get through this in one piece.

I’ve learned that there are places in this world that are surprisingly accepting of people like us, all evidence to the contrary.  I’ve learned there are places that are suprisingly dangerous, all evidence to the contrary.  I’ve learned of the unbelievable bigotry and ignorance in the LGBT community, the place I was convinced I could turn, the people who should understand gender issues more than anyone.  There’s a big difference between queer and trans- in the eyes of the world, queer people LOVE the wrong gender, and trans people ARE the wrong gender.  But we all fall under that same umbrella: the world rejects us because of some relation to the wrong gender, and if we can work together to dispel the gender stigma, then we’d all be better off.

I’ve learned that my own issues run deeper then I thought they did.  Since I’ve developed a healthy sense of self respect, I’ve learned there are things I’m not okay with.  I’m not okay with being touched in certain places, or used in certain ways.  I’m not comfortable with wearing long hair while I still have the soft, round features indicative of the sex my body still is.  I’m not comfortable with being dominated most of the time- I’ve learned of the delicacy of the male ego and the paradox that comes with that.

And of course, I’ve learned all the logistical facts and skills, like how to bind in a matter of a few seconds, use an STP, shave my face, walk and talk like a dude.  I’ve tasted the victory of being “sirred” in public, being read as male at least until I opened my mouth, and being told by some people that my being male “really does make sense of a lot of things” with me.  I’ve been told to put the toilet seat down, to stop being such an insensitive Guy, and to sit with the dudes.  I’ve been called by Tommy at least as much as by my legal name these last couple of weeks, and that, I know, is a huge improvement and a sign of respect and of being taken seriously by those who care.

I have a long way to go.  I still have to get back on medical insurance so I can get consultations for getting on T, but the paperwork is in the system.  I’ve worked out that I will just barely be able to afford testosterone with the paycheck I get now, but I’m prepared to put a lot of other things on hold so I can get my life going in the right direction.  I have to quit smoking before I can get on T, but so far I’ve cut so far back that, when the time comes, it will be a piece of cake.  I still need to buy a real binder, but I think I’ll have that in the works by the time I get back from San Francisco.  I have yet to come out to any of my extended family, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out once I start showing up with facial hair.  I still look female, but my genetics dictate that the T will have a nearly catastrophic effect on my body- my father and mother both grow hair prolifically, and both had very male, broad physiques.  I’m not exactly built with the most feminine structure as it is.  Quite frankly, I can’t wait to get the stuff in my body- it’s going to feel great!

The new year will bring a lot more revelations, to myself and to the world, or so I hope.  I would hate to remain static in this state, either physically or mentally.  I have a lot still to learn.  My opinions on what I may have done surgically, for example, are not the same as they were 6 months ago, and they probably won’t be the same in 2 years.  I’m sure that the effect the T has on my mind and body will direct that.  But to put it all in one sentence:

I’ve walked further on this path than I thought I had, I’ve got longer to go than I thought I would, and over all, I’m just happy to know that I’m finally on my way home.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Severance.

I’d like to say right now that I’ve passed a milestone.  Just a few minutes ago, I had the first female in my life ever to tell me to put the toilet seat down.  Aside from the slight embarrassment (and huge flush of relief that came to realize that she saw it up before her mom did), I felt a sense of… becoming– not quite pride, but accomplishment; the feeling of passing on into being not just a boy, but maybe even a man.

My 21st birthday is in 3 days.

I’ve been thinking about it for about 5 months now, and I’ve finally decided that I am, in contradiction of everything I’ve said before, going to cut my hair.  Yes, I’ve said before that I don’t:

1)  go around wearing what I wear or looking what I look like just to make things easier for everyone else.  I do this for ME.
2)  follow gender stereotypes, because if I think that’s what makes me a man, then I might as well just pack up and go home.
3)  want to go through transition for the sake of being a man, I do it for the sake of being MYSELF.

I still hold to those standards, but the funny thing is, I feel like a completely different person today than I did five months ago.  I feel that short hair would suit me better as I am, that I’m really not trying to live up to that scruffy biker/metalhead image anymore, that I want a softer, shaggy, more boyish cute faggy look as I settle into my male self.  (Plus Hilary Swank looked awfully cute in short hair in Boys Don’t Cry.)  In fact, I could go on listing a thousand reasons I’ve changed my mind- it doesn’t matter.  I will never abandon my resolution to be myself, and if I tried to hold to an image that I was before but not now, just to prove something to anyone else, then I’ve lost sight of that.

This cutting of my hair will also mark the passing of another landmark, no matter how I try to downplay it.  I’ve had long hair for my entire life, as long as I can remember, and losing it will almost be a point of no return.  I may grow my hair long again, in the future when my features have masculinized again, but for now, this is my aggressive visual act of manhood to those around me.  It says, “this isn’t just something I’m saying, or a phase.  I’m serious about this.”  If nothing else, I hope that it will be a constant reminder of what pronoun to use.

So, I’ve decided that, the night before I get it done, I’m going to make almost a ceremonial gesture, an act of severance to the female life behind me.  My friends and I are going to go out for a night on the town, and I’m going in full drag as a female.  There will be nothing questionable about it- I’ll be gussied up in every way possible, from corset to makeup and hairdo, head to toe.  It will be very symbolic as the last time I ever don the female garb, and at the end of the night I’ll remove every piece and say goodbye to the life behind me.

I’m calling it my Severance Ball: my rite of passage from a female body into a male one, and I feel that at the end of that night, I will have no regrets and will never look back.

Boys Don’t Cry

So I’m a little late on the uptake for this one.  I tried my damnedest to find some way to watch it on the TGDoR, but nothing really wanted to work out for me on that day, period, and I wound up stranded at my trans-non-sympathetic friend’s house.  He accepts me well enough, but he doesn’t really see that there’s a tragedy going on with these people, thinks the surgery is “cosmetic” and didn’t do more than shrug when I told him what day it was, or the Statistics.  I started thinking, sometimes the ones that don’t care are worse than the ones who damn us.

But then I watched Boys Don’t Cry.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the story front to back, watched the documentary on Youtube, read the blogs and news journals, but they don’t take you into the experience of the story like the movie does.  And I tend to relate very heavily to a given character when I watch a movie, whether I’ve got much in common with him or not.  Brandon was Me in too many ways for me to even feel comfortable with, before we even got to the bad part of the movie.  (Well, except in the juvenile delinquent sort of way.)

Anyway, I got to sit down properly with my boyfriend last night and watch it (until his mom got home, at which point I got to sit down awkwardly and stiffly and watch it.  I don’t think she likes me and she’d like me even less if she knew I was a guy.)  But as awful as it was, it was worth watching.  He gripped my hand tight through the worst of it.  The rape scene WAS the hardest part to watch, but I think most of the horror of it all washed over my head until the end of the movie.  I think I sat there staring blankly at the screen for about five minutes.  And then his mom told us dinner was on the stove and she left the room, and then I got my plate and sat with it and I couldn’t eat, and then I noticed there were tears dripping onto my plate, and I just sat there like a statue until reality snapped back and I had to go to the bathroom to blow my nose.

I’m trying to think of the only other movie that made me cry.  I can’t remember.

(Might have been Wrath of Khan.)

So on one hand it kinda left me feeling scarred for life, and on the other hand it brought home how dangerous it is out there, really sort of made the danger and hurt mine to own and internalize, really sparked a spirit to do something about this in me.  I’m not sure what yet, but it’s brewing.  After all, I’m only 20.

And that brings home another point.  Last night I stared at my boyfriend’s calendar and started shaking when I realized I have no more than three weeks to come out to my dad if I want him to know about this before my 21st birthday.

I don’t know how to cope.

I’m just scared of how things are going to change around here when he knows.  We’re really tight these days; he’s slowly been turning me into a Trekkie by ordering the first season of Star Trek through Netflix.  Whenever we go out to do yardwork or something together, I call him Captain and he calls me Mr. Spock.  It’s really dorky but it’s something we share, and I think he’s somehow slowly coming to understand me by it.  I don’t want it to end, but in that same way, I don’t want our relationship, as good as it is, to be fake in any way.  I don’t want to be whatever he wants me to be just to preserve our friendship.  I have more respect for him than that.

On a happier note, I came up with a name for my… upper region that’s better than “tumors” or even “moobs”.  They are my chestnuts.

wOOt

TG Day of Remembrance.

I’m feeling baffled and lonesome today.  Not only did my car break down so I couldn’t go to any trans sympathetic events today, but all of my friends seem to be busy.  But if I have to light a candle all by myself today in remembrance, I’ll do it.  This day is weighing heavier on me than I thought it would.

I couldn’t sleep this morning.  I got up before 6 and started writing my coming out letter to my dad.  It’s now probably around five or six pages, and from here it’s just paring it down into something he can process.  I needed to start working on it today, even though I’m planning on not coming out until shortly before my 21st birthday next month.  I want to have time to let it sit and ruminate, decide what to share and what to keep.  Even now I feel I’ve left a ridiculous amount out, but I don’t think it’s the kind of thing he can take in one sitting, anyway.  I want to provide him with so much so that he can understand it- I just don’t know how much he can get his head around in one letter, and if he can’t, what the most important thing is to include on his first experience with this, just in case he won’t want to listen to any more of it.  I may post my rough draft next time I post.

I’m on a quest to find other trans people in the county, because I’ve heard rumors through a friend of a friend about a friend or two they may have.  I don’t really have enough information to go on, but I’m pretty good at internet sleuthing, so I feel that if I dig around with just the right nugget of information, I may uncover something.  I just feel like I’m on the coattails of finding someone around here who’s like me.  I don’t find much support in the queer community, that’s for sure- I’m tired of hanging around with people who either need to be educated, or don’t want to hear it.  I need to get to know someone who already knows.

But, of course, there’s the whole problem of said possibly-existant person being the sort who loves their stealth and doesn’t want it uncovered by anyone, even other trans people.  I don’t know how to broach that line.  All I know is, I don’t want to be alone in this anymore.

One of my old friends from high school- one of the first friends I made, in fact, in Math- I just came out to him.  He sort of figured it out on his own.  I was never actually too incredibly close with him, he was just more of a fun guy to be around but not listed among my top friends.  But the funny thing is, he’s taking this trans thing like a regular pro, treating me just like one of the guys- just the way he’s always treated me, really- and trying harder than anyone to get my name right.  It’s great, he’s like a brother.  We got in an arm punching contest yesterday- I think he stopped pulling his punches when I punched his arm with such force that he stumbled back into his porch door.  It was awesome.  Now I have some bruises that feel just great.  No, I mean that.  I’ve never actually been in a fight before, and I don’t count slugging contests either.  I don’t think I have nearly enough battle scars.  It feels good to get some aggression out once in a while and I’m thinking about getting into some kind of combat class, maybe a martial art, maybe boxing.  I know for a FACT I want to start working out at a gym of some sort- I wish I could afford a membership, but I think the community college equipment is available with permission.  But I’m really getting off track here.

It’s just awesome to have a guy friend who I can joke around with and be a guy with- a straight guy friend, no sexual tension, I’d like to emphasize- and one who really knows what I’m about.  I think this is a major uplift in my life right now.

I’d like to do only one thing for sure before the day is over.  I’d like to rent and watch “Boys Don’t Cry.”  I think one of my other friends is coming over to pick me up today, so I was hoping we could stop and grab it at the video rental.  It’s important to be able to watch it today, on this day, if nothing else.  I wish I could spread the word to as many of my friends as possible about the dangers of being trans, but for now all I can do is keep writing, light my candles and watch a movie.

I feel a little… useless today.

More on the trans movement.

 

Today, I feel like connecting with someone.

I know I just posted about ten minutes ago, but I don’t feel done yet.  It’d be nice to just be in the company of someone who understands, someone else trans, maybe someone old and wise who’s been through it all.  Like Kate Bornstein.

I just checked out the only book of hers that our local library carries, “Hello, Cruel World.”  I know it’s a suicide prevention guide, and my gender dysphoria hasn’t been nearly bad enough lately to make death an option, but I just wanted someone who understood me to talk to me.  She didn’t fall short of that at all.

Even my boyfriend, who is supposed to get it more than anyone else, and who really does, isn’t THERE- he isn’t from this place, and I can’t expect him to automatically understand, even when he tries.  I don’t know any trans people in real life and I have a few remote blogging buddies, but I don’t know a single flesh-and-blood person who can relate and talk to me about this, past me educating them about something they’re clearly clueless on.  When I want guidance, and our conversations mainly consist of “How is this any different from cosmetic surgery?  Why don’t you get liposuction while you’re at it?  You’re fine the way you are,” it gets a little wearying.  When you’re talking about the sobering suicide statistics of trans people, roughly one in three, and the only way the guy can respond is “Well, they must be weak/stupid, anything is better than death,” when you’re stating that one in 12 trans people world wide will be murdered violently and you’re standing up to possibly be counted in that slaughter, and they only way they can respond is to say that it must be easier to change the inside than the outside…

You just know you’re talking to people who have no idea.

It’s a little like being from a different country entirely.  It IS being from a different culture.  Imagine being born part of a race that is physically branded by the color of their skin or the rituals of their culture to be ridiculed, spat on, torn down, made fun of and be one of the last politically “safe” punching bags the bullies can use.  Welcome to our lives.  We are the New Roma.

And guess what?  It’s only getting worse.  In a world where the circle of those who are accepted under the umbrella of protection is expanding, where the fringe of people it’s still safe to beat up on is rapidly shrinking, and where those who love to hate can’t find their fix and are told to focus their hatred and ugliness only on those who REALLY deserve it, there are only the sickos, perverts and inexcusible freaks of nature left.  And sadly enough, in the current world view, transsexuals are still under those categories.

We’re the only people left trapped in a burning apartment that the firemen won’t dare enter for fear of getting burned themselves, and we’re running out of time- if we don’t save ourselves, nobody will.

And this brings me to another topic that really burns my gills.  One of the only ways we CAN save ourselves in the world view is to stop being sideshow events and porno subjects and Jerry Springer fodder and try to make our way up in the world as respectable, upstanding, contributing citizens of society.  And yet…

It is SO hard to give back to a culture that has taken so much from us.  When you go your whole life beaten by the system and expected to be nothing more than punchlines and punching bags, you DO tend to live on the fringe, the only place that will accept you, and it’s hard to really clean up, duck your head, give nod to the Man and go back to living a white bread, vanilla life.  How can you even do that when you’ve seen so much cruelty, how far the all-powerful System falls from grace where we really slip through the gaps, when you’ve seen the really ugly side of life?  And it’s a double sided push, too.

On one side, you’ve got Society, the people who expect you to be unable to hold down a decent job and life and expect you to be ugly, incompatible with propriety and generally wrong- and yet, paradoxically, expect you to be able to overcome all of that, and sneer when you can’t.  It’s a direct challenge.

On the other side, you’ve got the trans community, which, as it evolves with the times and defines itself, can be almost as bad of an enemy as anyone else, in spite of itself.  I feel much more tremendous pressure from THAT side of things to be successful, respectable, and morally upright, and never ever let any cisgendered people catch me doing anything that might cast a shadow on the rest of the community.  In that way, I carry the burden of every other trans person on my shoulders every time I step out my doors, every time I make a decision, every time the public eye is on me.  We all do.  We all, individually, carry the weight of every other trans person out there.

And let me tell you something.  I hate it.

I hate being under such scrutiny that, if I decide to do something a little naughty, suddenly my whole people is paying for it, not just me.  I’m sure that anyone of a scrutinized minority understands that feeling.

The truth is, I do feel a responsiblity to my community, more patriotism than I do for my country or even my blood family.  I want to change the world and make it a better place for those like me.  But suddenly I’m a part of this fraternity just for being born this way, and I realize that things are turning around again for me, only on a grander scale.

I’m not part of the trans movement primarily for the sake of making the world a better place, to make a political statement, or because I believe in something greater than myself.  I didn’t “join” this to be part of a club or to take the banner of something that I believed would make me morally purer.  I’m not here because of some crusade, and I don’t support it because I want to give myself to a cause.

I’ve become trans to become myself, and I feel that if I reform myself because the trans community expects I owe them something on the sole virtue of being trans, then I’ve defeated the purpose we’re all here for.  If I become something I’m not for one side or the other, then I haven’t made any progress at all- just switched sides.

So I apologize if anything I ever do or say seems retrogressive to the trans movement, or if I ever seem selfish.  But I believe that, to change the world, we must first change ourselves, and if I change myself into something that I don’t necessarily believe in, then what do I expect of the world?

I will always try to honor my community the best I can, because I do love them, and I do want to change the world beyond myself, and I would like to make an effort to keep from tarnishing an already almost ruined people.  But I will not be fake to do it.  I will not censor myself, and I will not go quietly into the cage that the establishment has cut out for me.

I am me, nothing else.

Flying too close to the sun.

I think things in my life were getting too good.  I was getting too nervous about being on top of things.  Nothing bad’s happened yet, but with some trepidation I stepped away from my gay little friend with the delicious cock and all the other contraband I’ve been enjoying too much.  I’ve been away from him for three days for the first time in two weeks and I’m just waiting in my storm shelter for the world to collapse around me.  I’ve spent well enough time with my boyfriend in a sort of repentence about making him jealous that I don’t feel so guilty anymore.  But still, I don’t think I can dance away from this fire so easily without getting burned.  Nothing in this life ever works out so easily.  Nothing.  Whether he wants to admit it or not, I’ve hurt him, at least as much as he hurt me, maybe more.  I know I enjoyed it more than he did.  I waited longer.  How can you fall in love with someone and wait for five years to see it come to fruition, and not feel like you’ve cheated the devil somewhere along the line?  There’s an equivalent exchange and a consequence for everything, so I must be paying for what I’ve taken somewhere.  I’m just not seeing it yet.

On other things, there’s this amazing webcomic my bf sent me that is a huge artistic statement for the LGBT movement in my opinion: Khaos Komix.  It takes a while getting to the point (at least for us), but by about part four or five, everything explodes and you’re glad you read it.

What else is there?  Oh yes, the Trans Day of Remembrance on the 20th.  I live 109 miles from the nearest event sympathetic to the holiday and I’d like to be in San Francisco (165 miles) for the big protest event, but I can hardly afford to drive to the store these days, let alone take a road trip.  I’d like to make an effort to bring my friends together and light a couple of candles, but I’m afraid their attitude is less than accommodating.  The general consensus (not spoken, but just inferred by their blase attitude) seems to be…

“Not my fight.”

I’d like to bring my friends together and try to watch “Boys Don’t Cry,” (which I haven’t seen yet, just watched the Brandon Teena documentary in 12 parts on youtube), and I hope to change that attitude.

I know that I need to spread awareness of the trans battle beyond those of us it applies to if I hope to make the world a safer place for the oppressed.

-Calvin Jack Thomas

Sometimes things do work out.

I haven’t blogged since the beginning of November.  I was doing NaNoWriMo, which by the way I fully endorse, but so much has been eating up my life that I pretty much gave up on it a few days in.  I’ve been in a happy place for a long time anyway; I figure, when you don’t have time to write because you’ve been spending so much time with your friends and loved ones, doing the things you love, that you must be doing something right, so… c’est la vie.  I’ll try it again next year, if things have settled down by then.

I’ve got a lot of things to hit on in a short time, so I think I’m going to bulletpoint it again.

– The two foster kids my parents took in have been shaking the house up and making it crazy, but it does have its uppers.  This is the biggest one so far, to me at least.  The little one, a year and a half, doesn’t talk that much, but she’s started calling me something. 

Da-da. 

It kind of blew my mind at first because I’d never mentioned anything to do with my gender to anyone in the family, particularly the baby, so I wrote it off as an isolated incident and figured it was a baby’s mistake, something she’d probably never say again.  But she won’t stop calling me Da-da, which does a few things at once; makes me realize that one day, I want to be a Daddy- I always have, to some extent- and it confirms the gender vibrations I give off to people who are too young to be biased on appearance.  So that has been really cool.

– I got to change the way at least one person views trans culture.  I was riding in the car with one of my friends, and he glanced out the window at one of the pedestrians and went, “Whoa, is that a chick or a dick?”  And my immediate response (as per Calpernia Addams’ fabulous video “Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual“) was:

“If you can’t tell the difference, then you don’t need to know.”

He looked a little shocked at me- “Well, that’s not very nice.” 

I was a little aghast.  “Since when is it our job to tell everyone else the business going on between our legs?  It’s not a matter of  ‘nice’, it’s a matter of the most personal nature.  Transpeople don’t exist to be nice, you know.  We deserve the respect everyone else deserves, too.”

He was really quiet after that, which I took as a personal victory, since he usually has a smart comeback for everything.  I think he really took that to heart and thought about it for a few minutes.  Then he changed the subject, and I chose not to press the issue.  It seemed like a damn good idea to just let it rest.  But if I can get at least one person to view gender on a strictly need-to-know basis and not as everybody else’s business, if I can avert the critical and unblinking eye of one person, and that attitude spreads, then I feel like I’ve done my part.

-And now, the big thing.  You know that gay friend of mine who I thought couldn’t see me as anything but a big, scary walking vagina?

Let’s just say things happened. 

It’s a bit delightful.  We’re kind of on a friend-with-benefits basis, which is wonderful to me.  I prefer to think that he wouldn’t become emotionally intimate with me because we’ve been friends for way too long and it would just feel odd, but he basically came right out and said he always sees me as a guy anyway.  We play video games and mess around and it’s kind of a nice guy-on-guy setup funtime type… thing.  (That sentence completely failed at not being awkward and I won’t even bother to try.) 

I almost feel weak about this, though, because I almost feel like being with a gay guy right now is less about the person and more about personal validation- “If I can be with a person who is only attracted to dicks, PERIOD, then I MUST be a guy!”  I don’t like the idea that, somewhere in my head, that’s what this is all about.  But I can’t help feeling a small amount of personal victory in this issue, either, because it does feel damn great to be with someone who couldn’t possibly see me as anything OTHER than male.

It’s also a little awkward because this is kind of an open thing involving this guy and my boyfriend.  See, at some point this summer, my boyfriend and this guy got together, and I was almost completely left out on sole virtue of having a vagina.  My boyfriend didn’t get why it hurt me so much and basically expected me to suck it up.  But now the tables have turned and this guy is waaay more comfortable with me, and is actually a little freaked out by my boyfriend, who has a lot of trouble respecting personal boundaries.  (Plus I am apparently way better at giving head.)  So now my boyfriend is butthurt, and I’m enjoying shoving it in his face just a little too much.  But it’s the first time in our open relationship that the other person actually preferred me and let my boyfriend tag along, not the other way around, and I just want him to know what the other side of the fence is like before he does it to me again. 

/end soap opera

For once, I’m on top of pretty much everything in my life, and I’m nervous that I’m getting way too happy with the power.  This isn’t me.  I’m not normally a vindictive little bitch.  But for once, the universe has fallen in such a way that I’m holding all the cards, and I want to enjoy it while it lasts.  I KNOW that this won’t last long, that I’m treading very thin ice, and that everything must fall apart sooner or later.

But DAMN it’s nice to be on top. 

(You can read into that all you want.)

Name time!

Now that it’s been 8 days since my last post and officially the longest stretch I’ve gone without posting since beginning this blog, it’s time to jump back in the fray.

I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on reconnecting with my past and working on seeing that I’ve been abandoning things I enjoy just because they were connected with the “girl side” of my life.  I don’t want to do that- it feels like focusing more on gender binary than just being myself, and I know that I’ve spoken about this a lot on this blog, but it’s easy to write about these principles and harder to realize you’re being a hypocrite in real life.

I’d actually been developing a phobia of feminine things, flinching away from anything girly like it was on fire, and it was getting out of hand.  So, as a way of re-establishing a balance in my life, I actually went on ahead and had a “girl’s night” with my best friend.  We watched a Queen Latifah movie, ate Ben and Jerry’s and generally did the sort of girly things that most guys would get shot for doing if the general public found out.  She wanted to straighten my hair, but by that point I’d had enough and we wound up watching Full Metal Alchemist the rest of the night.

It was actually kinda fun.

On to the main subject, I’m having the worst time picking out a name.

I know that a lot of you know me by Jack, and that’s fine in InternetLand.  It’ll probably be my screen name for a long time just because it’s already established with the email and media accounts used the most, and it’s convenient that way.  But here’s the thing.

Ever since this whole integration thing started, we’ve realized that using either my legal first name OR Jack’s name, i.e., my “brother’s” name, would be weird.  I consider him my brother, anyway.  Can you picture how weird it would be, if you suddenly shared an identity with one of your siblings, to use their name and not yours, or vice versa?  Either way it’s going to be weird.  Plus, there’s a sort of stigma attached with his name among people in my life.

With my close friends and acquaintences who became familiar with my DID situation, whether they admit it consciously or not, I know that the name Jack is associated with a condition, at best, or nothing more than a symptom, at worst.  We want to leave the DID behind and bring no more focus to that than the female part of my life associated with my legal name.  This is a fresh start for all of us, and using the name Jack would only be shoving the DID in people’s faces every day.  There’s no room for focusing on that in my life anymore.

All that said, we did at first want to find some amalgamation of Jack and my name, but it came out sounding so hilariously inappropriate that we abandoned that road and fished in other ponds of inspiration altogether.

The first name I almost settled on- Calvin- sounded close enough to my legal name that it would probably be comfortable for my friends to slip into, and it had the added plus of being associated with “Calvin and Hobbes” (which is symbolic enough that I don’t feel the need to outline it for you.)  But I sat on the idea for a couple days and wound up rejecting it.  A couple of the negatives included that the literal translation of Calvin is “bald”, and it just doesn’t sound all that manly, anyway.  It makes me think of some slight, pale, neurotic office worker with no social life.

Searching through all of the names that sound even remotely similar to my legal name, I turned up nothing that fit, not even closely.  So I started another route with my sister last night and went through lists of my favorite movies, coming up with first names that I liked based on my movie character idols.  Three hours later, I wound up with a list of about ten names that almost work but I’m not sure about.  Here they are in order of how much I like them.

– Vincent
– Damien
– Alan
– Thomas
– Oliver
– Xander
– Adrian
– Logan
– Richard
– Jareth (don’t laugh. this was one of the first I crossed off.)

The only problem I can find with Vincent is, it’s such an awesome name I really don’t think I can do it justice.  Is it possible to not pick a name because it’s TOO cool?  Very much so.  I’d like it, but I’m not so sure it’ll stick.

Also Damien is hardcore, but I feel like people would be hardpressed to come up with a nickname that isn’t “Dame”, which I kinda feel defeats the purpose.  It’s like how Anakin’s name got shortened to Ani when he was a kid.  ‘Nuff said.

Problems with other names like Alan, Oliver and Adrian (pretty much any name starting with a vowel) is that they seem to carry too weak of a demeanor.  They’re nice names, but I want my name to have a little bit of a kick.

I liked Thomas because it all seems to suit me nicely (Tom, Tommy, etc.) and I like the tomcat connotations- an extremely virilized, male creature in what’s generally considered a female-typed animal body- but the thing that’s weird about this is that one of my first cats was named Tommy, and it just weirds me out to name myself after a cat.  So this one’s probably out of the running, despite being win on all other accounts.

I like Xander just because it sounds cool, but it’s a little pretentious for me.  Not much to say about that one.

I like Logan because it’s Wolverine’s name.  I don’t like Logan because, for some reason, the sound of it reminds me strongly of sour milk and it kinda makes me want to hurl.

Almost the same thing with Richard.  I like it simply because of Richard B. Riddick, which in my opinion is the most badass thing since Chuck Norris and the only completely good thing Vin Diesel ever did with his career.  I don’t like it because of what people might wind up calling me- Rich, Dick, a lot of other asshole names.  The only nickname I even sort of like out of Richard is Ricky, and… meh.

Jareth I obviously don’t really want to go with because it’s the name of the King of the Goblins in one of the most beloved young-girl coming of age adventure stories of all time.  Just the idea of being associated with Jim Henson makes my skin crawl a little, however, being associated with David Bowie kind of makes up for it.  I mainly put it on the list to remind me of all the J names I could go with, like Jared and Jarron and all those other 90’s brodude names.  Really, what am I thinking on this one, anyway?

We also wound up with a list of rejects I definitely won’t be going with, posted here for your amusement.

– Archduke Ferdinand (Ferdie for short)
– Steve Jobs
– Pizarro
– Boromir, son of Theoden
– Quasimodo
– Harvey Birdman, Attourney at Law
– Yazoo
– Lord Ilpalazzo
– god (with a little “g”, out of reverence)
– Edward (after the Elric variety, NOT Cullen)
– Janosz (pronounced “Ya-nosh”)
– Theodore Logan, Esquire
– Superman
– Zaphod Beeblebrox
– And last but not least, the symbol for “Pi”.

This is what I get for chatting with my sister at 2 in the morning.

I hardly feel closer to the end of my name search than the beginning.  All I really know for certain now is that I need a new one, and I also know a few names that don’t work.  That’s it.

How do you come up with what people will call you for the rest of your life?  It’s awkward right now- I’m in an area where I don’t want anyone calling me by anything that anyone knows me as, so I’m kind of in this weird “He who shall not be named” phase.  I feel rushed to figure it out so the people who know I’m having anxiety about my female labels won’t be uncomfortable trying to figure out what to call me, but I’m having the worst of it just trying to nail one down.  Is it really that hard?  It’s just a little set of letters, it’s just a word.

Funny that so much anxiety can be caused by one little word.

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