[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
[Image taken from: https://65.media.tumblr.com/92534fe84b34615a4ea697b665250b40/tumblr_nk921y0JwB1t4elojo1_500.jpg
Description: An edited photo of Liam Payne and Zayn Malik kissing. Both of them are conspicuously clothing-free, but we are only blessed to see a little bit of their torso with most of the focus on their faces which are mashed together gloriously in a messy, stubbly kiss. Liam is wearing a snap back backwards and has a hand carding through Zayn’s hair.]
Dear non-culturally queer, non-trans men,
You should be reading gay fan fiction.
Now I know this may squick some of you out, but here me out. Reading gay fan fiction will help you get laid and/or get dates! I know! Unreal right? And no, this is more than just a chance for me to drool over one my favourite pairings.
Continue reading (Cishet) Men Should Read Gay Fan Fiction
[Image description: On the left is Laverne Cox, a black trans woman actress/activist known for her role in Orange is the New Black and her vocal support of trans/black communities. On the right is all black with white text. It says, “It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist. -Laverne Cox- AZ Quotes.
Retrieved from: http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-it-is-revolutionary-for-any-trans-person-to-choose-to-be-seen-and-visible-in-a-world-laverne-cox-64-17-80.jpg ]
***Fag and hag are both considered terms that can be homophobic and sexist under certain circumstances. I’m using them here because they were ways that I and some of my communities joked about and used ironically/half seriously. I’m also using them to demonstrate the dynamic shift that I’ve experienced since transition. These aren’t terms to use freely.
Once upon a time, I was a bisexual/gay/queer/I’m confused boy-ish critter. I was pretty young and naive and believed in a politicized queer community. It took 7/8 years for me to go from that to jaded, frosty transfeminine critter. This journey was filled with oppression of varying sorts. I’m writing this to document for any questioning critters out there who internalized all sorts of grossness. I’m also writing this as a big fuck you to the psychiatric bullshit that categorized trans women (who were acknowledged as trans women) as either “homosexual transsexuals” and “autogynophiles”.
Homosexual Transsexuals were trans women who were exclusively into men prior to transition. Autogynophiles were trans women who were exclusively into women prior to transition. Notice the lack of bi/pansexuals, ace spectrum, and non-binary folks here. The ideal situation was the Homosexual Transsexual who’d become a “heterosexual woman” through the process and forget about life prior to transition. Autogynophiles were understood to be an extreme fetishist where the trans woman would get off to femininity (of both herself and other women). Both of these terms were coined by a non-trans sexologist, Ray Blanchard and demonstrate the violence of having white non-trans men theorizing about bodies that aren’t like their’s. Theorizing about people’s experiences and bodies should never be in the hands of those who don’t live it.
I’m still hella gay even though I’m transfeminine. I’m always going to be gay and it doesn’t matter what my gender identity. I’m too queer to function. My feminine gender is how I express my queerness, it does not make me straight.
Continue reading Going From Fag to Hag: My Transition From Gay Boy to Trans Girl
[Image taken from: http://access-denied.ca/img/logo-accessdenied.png
Description: a red circle with a horizontal white line cutting through it and the words, “access denied” flanking the line.]
I recently came back from a life-changing workshop with a bunch of trans women writers and I definitely learned a lot while there.
But not everything was sunshine and roses. Actually, I felt excluded, less valuable, less part of the group at times. Now reflecting on the whole experience, I realized a number of things were going on. I felt awkward being surrounded by people who I had just met and a number who already knew/were dating each other. They would split off and do their own things or hang around in their circles and I’ve always found it hard to enter conversations. My autism manifests in part as strong writing skills and obvious weaknesses in non-verbal communication. Aka, I’m good behind a computer screen, but I’m a socially awkward turtle in real life around strangers. With friends and in classrooms, I’m more an annoying chatterbox that probably talks too much.
I was also cut off from my support network because I didn’t have data in the US and didn’t have my crew to turn to. This resulted me into curling inside myself like a child in fetal position and I was just so upset that I lost the ability to speak for a bit. I can’t recall the last time I became so upset that I became non-verbal. None of this helped in making connections with the people around me. I didn’t have any friends to step in and help ease me into conversation with strangers.
I eventually got a little support from a couple people which I’m super grateful for. It definitely helped a lot. But the point of me writing is not about the people who were supportive. I’m writing this piece to draw attention to the production and creation of undesirable bodies.
Continue reading What Undesirability Looks Like
[Take from: http://shotgunseamstress.blogspot.com/2012/10/pay-it-no-mind-life-and-times-of-marsha.html
Description: a black and white photo taken probably at a rally or protest. Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, is handing out pamphlets to people on the left side of the picture. The eye is equally drawn to the picture of a young black person with a curly head of hair. They’re holding up a sign that says, “Come out of [two women symbols] your ivory [two male symbols] [trans symbol] towers & into the street”.]
It’s that time of year again. Pride. Or at least it is here in Toronto. I’m of course, gearing up for Pride like a lot of people breaking out the glitter and picking out an outfit in hopes to impress the queers and friends that I’ll bump into later today. But I was reminded today that this isn’t a party.
I’m reminded once again of how so many of my friends, how many people in my community, are poor, on OW/ODSP/other forms of social assistance, and struggle to eke out an existence. Particularly my transfeminine friends, many of whom are disabled or of colour. I chose this image of Marsha P Johnson to remind everyone that it was trans women of colour sex worker who started the movement which we now know as “gay rights”. Additionally, the sign beside her is a reminder that rights isn’t about just academic theory, law, or policy, it’s about human lives, human experiences.
That being said, what are we doing to make the lives of our friends, our community better?
Continue reading A Pride Reminder…
This piece is revised from a Facebook post I made. The night I wrote this, I was feeling angsty and I was hurting too much. I have no clue what set it off, but my usual chronic feeling of -part of me is missing and I need to complete it like I need to breathe, eat, or sleep- decided to push itself to the forefront of my mind/body. I decided to work on my little rant further because other people chimed in with similar feelings. Here’s to hoping that it’ll have a little more impact now.
Continue reading I Feel Ugly
Taken from: http://www.deviantart.com/art/No-One-Mourns-the-Wicked-419431348
[Description: Two figures, one with green skin and black hair, and the other with pale skin that is almost blue with platinum blonde hair touch foreheads with their eyes closed and hands intertwined. Between their hands is a light. The caption under them says, “No One Mourns the Wicked”. This is all on a black background with the artist’s signature in the bottom right corner.]
I’ve always been a fat child. I was born with a physical disability and inherited a couple genetic mutations from my father in the form of “deformed” fingernails. I was in a car accident as a small child which left a visible scar above my right eye. My body was operated on as an infant non-consensually in order to, “correct” my physical disability (it didn’t work and left behind tons of trauma).
Continue reading Why I Feel Ambivalent Towards “Love Yourself”