[Image taken from: https://www.nme.com/news/music/janelle-monae-considering-mass-producing-selling-vagina-trousers-2307676
Description: Janelle Monae, a badass black feminist singer, actor, and fashion icon, is dressed in a pink top and fluffy pink pants that look like labia. She’s linked arms with a bunch of other black women in similar garb but a couple of them are not wearing vagina pants. They’re all in a line with a desert in the background that is partially pink.]
It’s been now a total of two years today since I went under the knife in Montreal and came out with a vulva. In that time, I’ve had a lot of struggle and strife, pain, and growth. I’m someone a little different from who I was back then. A little more adjusted. A little wiser. And always, a little more jaded.
Continue reading My Two Year Post Op Tranniversary
[artist cred: Sophie Labelle who’s paid stuff can be found here: https://www.serioustransvibes.com/ . Sorry! I couldn’t find the actual source for this comic in her Tumblr archive and didn’t want to link back to one of those anti-trans meme sites!
description: a comic of a white cis man looking defensive sitting in bed with a white trans woman looking done with this. The caption for the comic says, “why didn’t you tell me you were trans before we slept together multiple times? I mean, don’t take it personally, but I’m not into trans women…” and “huh yes, you were very much into me, you’re just very transphobic.” and with a caption under the entire comic that says, “geez…”
I like to do text base role play. It’s one of my major coping mechanisms for life. I’ve been doing it since I was 14 and have likely written thousands of pages worth of stories and smut over the decade and a half since I began. I’ve spent now more than half of my life engaging in this medium.
I roleplay because I get to be people I’m not. I get to do things I can’t have. Namely, I get to pretend that I’m worthy of romance and sex. I can pretend that someone desires me enough to want to touch my body. To build a life with me. To do the things I so desperately dream of but can’t have.
A few hours ago, I asked one of my RP partners if I could play a trans woman with a vag like myself. His response to my vulnerable request to be me was to say that, “I’m not into trans”.
Continue reading “I’m not into trans”
[image from https://depositphotos.com/12854762/stock-photo-diffuse-woman-body-silhouette-behind.html
Description: a faded, black feminine silouette standing with hands up pressing up against the screen. This silouette is against what looks like a white screen or background, like it’s some kind of barrier between the presumably woman and the viewer.]
This piece is in response to a moment that occurred the other week (I wrote part of this, cooled off, came back to it, and finished it). I was at a really cool talk on trans necropolitics. But as I looked around the room, I noticed I was the only trans woman in the room listening to a lecture by a trans man of colour interviewed by an tenured white trans man professor. (Both of whose work I appreciate).
Hearing about brutally murdered trans women of colour and being in the room where no one else was a trans woman of colour was so distressing for me that I ran out of the room.
After reflecting on my reaction, I realized it was rash for me to leave, but at the same time, I’d like to stand with my choice even if it wasn’t the nicest thing I’ve ever done. By me leaving a talk as a trans woman of colour, it begs a few questions. Where are the other trans women and trans femme folks? Where were the white trans women when there were white trans men present? Why aren’t there any trans women of colour in the room when they’re the focus of the talk? Why does it feel so uncomfortable when I speak about trans women of colour when I’m white passing?
The talk was haunted by the spectre of trans women of colour.
Continue reading The Spectre of Trans Women of Colour
[Description: a drowsy looking mixed race transfemme aka me is looking at the camera with an arm above their head and the other on their chest. They’re wearing a blue gown and have a blue sheet covering them while laying on a hospital bed. This is a photo that was clearly taken right after surgery.
Taken from: my personal collection of photos]
It’s been a year since I had vaginoplasty so I’m calling it my vagiversary. There’s going to be a party tonight, but none of you will be invited to it.
It’s been quite a journey to get here. A lot of sweat, blood, tears from not just myself, but from my kyn and my network of friends.
And was it worth everything I sacrificed? Yes. Do I regret getting a vag? Hell no. Am I happy with everything? No. But such is life and such is the risk of surgery itself.
Continue reading One Year Post-Op – Was It Worth It?
It’s that time of year, Autism Awareness Month. Where parents and service providers raise autistic voices in developing self autonomy over their own bodies and experiences and obviously not keeping autistics silent and making money for themselves/developing their own careers. So I thought I’d interview an amazing autistic activist.
Meet Whitney Hodgins, a full time university student taking a double major in anthropology and history at Brandon University. Whitney uses she/her pronouns.
[Image provided by Whitney Hodgins
Description: a young, white woman is smiling at the camera on a black background. Her dark hair is pulled back likely in a ponytail with some cascading onto her shoulder. She’s wearing square-ish glasses framing blue/gray eyes. She may be wearing a nude lipstick. She’s wearing a crimson dress shirt with what looks like a shiny leaf decal. A chain is visible on her neck and a low-cut shirt is visible at the V where her dress shirt buttons up.]
Note: this is a long interview. Very informative and I really enjoyed chatting with Whitney again, but autistics can get pretty chatty when we get on our specializations. Browse the questions that interest you. We cover a lot of interesting and important topics!
Continue reading Autistic Activist Interview: Whitney Hodgins
Description: A grey cat with golden eyes has a brown rat between their pays while they’re biting through the rat’s neck. The rat is clearly dead and the cat is sitting on grey painted wood with what looks like snow in the background.
Taken from: http://asianetindia.com/natural-ways-to-kill-rats/ ]
A few weeks ago, I received an email York University with a response to my PhD application. I was terrified when I saw the notification, but was at work. I left the email unread until I arrived back home so regardless of the results, it wouldn’t impact my job. …Much. I spent the rest of my shift low key anxious and Facebook messaging my kyn (the word I chose to describe chosen family) with plans to look at the email as a household.
By the time I was in the door and greeting my kyn, my anxiety spiked. But I was surrounded by people who’d be there for me regardless of the results of the email. Hiding in one person’s shoulder, the other read the email for me and told me the results.
I got into a PhD program! This was such a huge relief for me. Finally! My life can begin! I’ll be able to fix up my body. I’ll be able to fix up my brain. I’ll be able to have nice things and not feel like a burden on my kyn as the poorest one in the house! (Regardless of how much they’d say otherwise, the reality of making approximately $800 a month is real…)
Getting into a PhD program at York has been my goal for the past few years. I live in a household of PhD candidates. We all met in the same MA program (in various stages of completing our degrees) and eventually became a household. Being marginalized in multiple ways hasn’t made it easy for me to get employment regardless of how much experience I have. But for some reason, my abilities are recognized most often in academia. It’s my best chance at doing what I want and making enough to pay the bills. And specifically at York, I would have access to things that no other university could provide.
And then I received my funding package. $22,000 a year which was higher than the (rounded up) $10,000 a year. (Keep in mind, this is still below a living wage). But then at the very bottom of the page, it mentioned that I was going to be offered either a Fellowship, TA, GA, or RA position. And my world crashed down upon my ears.
Continue reading Why Unions are Important in Universities
[Description: Fireworks on a black background. There are four bursts of colour in the image. Two reddish gold fireworks in the foreground that overlap and are located close to the center. There’s another gold firework above it and a green one to the right of the gold.
Taken from: http://www.hormonesmatter.com/female-orgasm/ ]
I started my fifth month post with silver nitrate applied to my vag which was less-than-fun. The application didn’t take long fortunately. My gynecologist took what looked like a matchstick with a silver tip and gently brushed it against my labia. And then came the burning sensation as the silver nitrate did its work.
For those who aren’t aware, silver nitrate is used to treat hypergranulated tissue – when your body heals up too much and there’s what looks like a red, shiny scab left behind. It needs to be burned off in order for your body to heal properly, hence the silver nitrate.
The whole procedure took a couple minutes and the burning sensation lasted a few minutes more. It wasn’t as bad as I feared. The pain was nowhere near as bad as getting a tattoo. Or even getting a needle. It stings, but it’s over within a few minutes. It’s akin to getting a cut disinfected.
After the silver nitrate is applied, your body has to heal. And part of that healing involves bleeding and old skin that looks like grey goo coming out of the vulva. I joked with my kin that this was the period that I’d never get. My cloth pads were finally getting used for what they were designed for. I felt sore and sensitive for a few days as my body healed. And I had to continue douching and bathing to wash out the gunk. The whole process was messy and made dilating less pleasant, but by this point, I was getting used to cleaning blood out of my sheets and the sight of weird gunk coming out of my vag.
Continue reading Post Op Months 5-8
[Description: a human figure with breasts and long hair wearing a red long sleeve and navy blue pants, has grey skin, a wind up key in their back, and they’re flopping forward with their arms hanging down. Above them is a battery icon with only a small amount filled in all in red. This is supposed to signify “low on power”.
Taken from: https://www.liebenswert-magazin.de/burn-out-dann-hilft-eine-therapie-mit-vitaminen-499.html ]
The third month post-op was exhausting. I wasn’t informed how exhausting it was going to be. After two months at home with the occasional exertion outside, I was expected to be healed enough to start working again. And still be dilating three times a day. While I was overjoyed to be finally out of the house doing stuff and back to work, I would often come home and collapse into bed or on the couch and veg because I was so exhausted. And it was a struggle to get 3 dilations in a day.
Continue reading Months 3-4 Post Op
[Pic taken from: https://www.buzzfeed.com/jonmichaelpoff/profoundly-beautiful-disney-quotes-that-will-inspire-you?utm_term=.rx00o58Z1#.csabDmE9G
Dear trans men,
My relationship is complex with you. You are my coworkers. You appear in a lot of the community activities I’m a part of. You are part of my inner circle that I let see my weaknesses and guard my secrets. You are in the media I consume. You are the fan fic writers I sob over. And sometimes, you are the humans I develop crushes on. But my relationship with you is one of ambivalence.
Continue reading Dear Trans Men
[Description: A monarch butterfly emerging from a chrysalis against a blue sky background. The monarch butterfly is still furled up and half emerged from the chrysalis which seems to be attached to a branch.
Taken from: http://ewebarticle.info/xtenbinfo-butterfly-emerging-chrysalis.html ]
The biggest issue I’ve faced coming home was that my nurse practitioner, the trans healthcare specialist at my clinic, was away and I had no idea when she was going to be back. Because of this, I didn’t have the best healthcare I could have gotten. My family doctor, although aware of trans issues and was able to help in some ways, wasn’t a specialist when it comes to post op trans healthcare. It has led to my healing process taking longer than anticipated.
Continue reading First Couple Months Post-Op