waiting for top surgery

[TW: body dysphoria]

sometimes i’m so patient about top surgery. i know it’ll happen one day and freaking out won’t make it happen any sooner. right? that’s what i tell myself, anyway.

but, fuck, i need that shit right now. my dysphoria gets worse all the time. sometimes i try to ignore it so i don’t just panic, but it’s getting harder.

i have trouble with mirrors. if i look in the mirror, i won’t see mx. punk and i might cry. i think it’s better when i’m naked cuz then i can see exactly what the problem is; it’s those 2 round things and they need to come off. the rest is just me and i can see where i end and my tits begin. but it’s really hard with clothes on cuz then my whole body just looks wrong.

i can’t bind now cuz it’s summer and i don’t wanna die of heatstroke, so i hunch when i’m in public. i try not to hunch, but i hunch right back over as soon as i stop paying attention. and i wanna fucking stop hunching over before i permanently fuck up my back, but i can’t relax with my e-cup tits sticking out. which sounds fucking silly, but yeah.

when i was in school, i increasingly stayed home from school cuz of body dysphoria. i’d spend all day taking care of myself; i’d have long showers, hang out naked (cuz of the clothes-problem i described above), write, and snuggle my sweetheart. i don’t think i ever skipped school more than once or twice a month, but it was weird cuz i didn’t skip once til last year when my body dysphoria got really bad.

anyway, what i’m saying is that i’m starting to feel like this is really fucking urgent, but i haven’t done much to save money. i haven’t put up a donate button or opened a savings account where i can put money so i won’t spend it by accident. but i will. i’ll start with a bank account and a donate button on my blog.

and i’m ok. i know i’m ok. i know i’ll keep being ok. shit’s going really well, ya know? and i know i’ll get top surgery one day. so i’m ok.

patience is hard. but it’s easier when i draw pictures of me being patient:
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dear binary trans* guy who complained about referring to people of unknown gender with singular “they”

[TW: ranting, rage, super righteous nonbinary rage, binarist asshattery]

fuck off. just fuck off. you know perfectly well that people frequently use singular “they” to refer to people of unknown gender and/or pronoun preferences. insisting that singular “they” now refers only to people of nonbinary gender denies the diversity among nonbinary people; because of our diversity, we need singular “they” to mean anything and everything, including unknown gender. furthermore, it erases the lives of cis queer people who need to use singular “they” to conceal the gender of their partner in order to stay safe. it’s also just bullshit cuz most people who speak english frequently use singular “they” to refer to people of unknown gender and/or pronouns preferences. it’s embedded in the fucking language. [eta: it might be a north american thing. i dunno. but it’s pretty fucking common, right?]

and when you told that room full of cis people (and various trans* cats) that they should be able to just guess your (gendered) pronouns, that was shitty. fucking thanks. cis people already misgender me constantly; it still hurts even when i correct them immediately. so fucking thanks for encouraging them to continue guessing at my pronouns.

the fuck did you even mean by that, anyway? “you should just be able to guess! don’t i just look like a dude?” are you seriously telling cats that men look a certain way? i suppose you think women also look a certain way, right? what about nonbinary folks? do we all look a certain way, too? you oppressive fuck. people look however the fuck they please, regardless of gender. you have no right to stipulate through implication that a person must prove their gender by looking a certain way. cuz holy fuck, doesn’t that sound familiar.

and nice fucking double standard. you think it’s ok for people to guess gendered pronouns but not nongendered pronouns? cuz, what, nongendered pronouns are extra gross or something? just admit you’re a binarist assclown and go the fuck home.

you spouted all this shit with nonbinary cats in the room and none of us did more than squirm about it cuz we didn’t wanna step on your sacred manly toes, but fuck you. fuck you and your binarist shit.

i’m not gonna call you “they”; i know your pronouns are “he/him/his.” that’s not what i’m talking about. but  i will never again listen and squirm while a binary trans* person spews binarist asshattery. singular “they” is just fine for anyone whose gender and/or pronoun preferences are unknown. stop shitting all over nonbinary people.

also, i didn’t say “fuck you” enough; fuck you, you fucking dudebro.

sincerely, a nonbinary trans*person who’s done with your shit

*   *   *
yep, i feel better. whew. that’s been weighing me down for awhile.

i actually totes don’t hate this person, but i’ve been seething about this for months. i haven’t seen him in a long time and i don’t know if i’ll ever see him again, so i decided to write a rant instead of talking to him in person. and now i’m not mad anymore, so yay.

i really hope my next post is all lighthearted and stuff. maybe i’ll write about unicorns in space.

coming out is hard

i get a lot of messages about coming out. specifically, some of you cats seem really concerned about coming out the “right” way in order to scare away as few people as possible. (this isn’t going to be a reprimand or anything; i’m just gonna address all of you at once.). i get why you might think it’s vitally important to come out a certain way, but shit doesn’t work like that, imo.

like some of you, i’ve spent a fuck-ton of time beating my ass for not coming out better. i used to think if only i’d come out more politely, more coherently, more gracefully, more (insert adverb), maybe my partner’s family wouldn’t have responded to my coming out by ostracizing my partner and i. if only i’d been a better trans* person, maybe they would’ve responded with acceptance and support.

but i’m calling shenanigans on that shit.

coming out never goes well. it’s never perfect. Imagedoing it “right” won’t magically make the people you come out to discover how un-asshole-like they really are. if they’re assholes, there’s nothing you can say that’ll transform them into respectful, supportive people. if they’re not assholes, the most awkward/tense/incoherent coming-out in the whole fucking world isn’t going to transform them into assholes.

so chill, if you can. if you can’t chill, that’s ok. coming out can be really hard even when you figure it’s technically safe to do so; don’t be surprised if you can’t be laid back about it.

but also don’t be surprised when your well-rehearsed coming out speech comes out all fucked up. most folks are nervous or plain scared when they come out; no wonder so few of us manage to utter exactly the words we’ve planned on.

and we have a lot to be nervous/scared about. there’s a lot of stigma attached to being queer (i’m including transness in queerness), especially for those of us who face multiple oppressions. so if your guts get all twisted up every time you come out, even after you’ve come out multiple times, that’s fucking fine. really.

anyone who rejects you as a trans*/asexual/bisexual/fabulous person cuz you were nervous and/or awkward when you came out is a fucking asshole.  it’s not your job to come out gracefully, tactfully, and coherently while doing ballet and reciting shakespeare. just coming out is enough.

actually, since many people don’t have the luxury of coming out, just existing is enough. coming out is a fucking radical act all on it’s own, no pyrotechnics (ex. being coherent and polite) required. even living in this world as an oppressed person is radical; you’re already doing your bit.

k? i get that feels are complicated and you can’t just force yourself to stop obsessing over your past /future coming out experiences, but just know that you deserve respect (and cupcakes!) no matter how (or if) you come out. you are fucking awesome: awkwardness, nervousness, incoherence and all.

*   *   *

feel free to share coming out stories, not-coming out stories, feelings around coming out, etc. please don’t talk about coming out as inevitable or necessary, though, cuz some people don’t want to come out (or can’t); please be mindful of that. thanks!

also, zillions of thanks to south carolina boy for helping me stop blaming myself when the people i come out to reject me. <33333333 cuz you wrote something in a comment or an email (this was months ago) and the meaning behind it just lies along my bones and radiates awesome. yay!

Image

i might start a side blog

i’m thinking of starting a side blog for my poetry. i’d just post poems on it occasionally, but probably not get too involved in comments and stuff.

so what should i call it? i’d like the name of my poetry blog to be related to the name of this blog, but “rainbowgenderpunk poetry” seems really, um, clumsy. maybe “the fabulous poemings of mx. punk”? lulz.

i may or may not start a poetry blog, but it wouldn’t affect my activity on this blog. if it started to, i’d shut down the poetry blog. so nobody panic. i just think it’d be sweet to get some of my poetry out there. cuz yay!

anyway, thoughts? i need name suggestions!

transness as a bridge between my “lives”

[TW: emotional and physical violence, suicide, self-harm, dysphoria, sexual abuse]

this post is gonna be heavy. not cuz i’m down (i’m not), but cuz i’ve been thinking about this for a long time and it’s just heavy shit.

so, i don’t feel like pre-transition mx. punk died or is dying. i don’t feel like there’s a pre-transition/coming out mx. punk and a post-transition/coming out mx. punk. lots of trans* people talk about feeling like their old life is divided from their new life by their transness, but it’s not like that for me. actually, i often feel like my transness holds my 2 lives together and makes them almost whole.

this is how i feel.

in my old life, i was little. my family was always yelling and throwing things. if i didn’t want to get shat on, i had to yell and throw things, too. the most any of us could hope for was that we’d leave each other alone for a little while. we never solved anything by talking about it; emotional and physical violence were law. we were always hitting and grabbing each other. someone sexually abused me throughout my childhood (and i don’t really wanna elaborate on that right now). we didn’t take care of each other and we didn’t know how to take care of ourselves.

it probably wasn’t so bad;i know lotsa people have it worse than i ever did. but, fuck, it feels good to write about it, so i’m gonna keep writing. i feel like i might learn something if i keep writing.

when i was very young, i started cutting myself and fantasizing about death. in elementary school, i went through a phase where all the stories i told ended in death cuz i thought that was a happy ending (for real). i was unable to envision my future; i believed i was going to die soon. at one point, grieving, i tried to kill myself.

i should probably talk about that in greater detail. k.

so my family had a farm; we’d been there a long time. we had cattle, sheep, chickens, and vegetable gardens. a lot of the land was forested and one side of the farm ended on the lip of a river. well, we called it a river, but i think it was more of a deep creek than a river. anyway, the river was narrow and fast in most places. it cut through dense forests of thick red cedars, salmonberries, alders, and maples.

every summer, i lived in the riverbed. i prayed to the river and the sun and the water and the trees and the sky between the trees. i believed the land owned me and that i would die there one day. in retrospect, i think the land was the only reliable source of kindness and safety in my childhood.

they sold the land when i was 19.

i have trouble talking about this cuz i feel like no one knows what i mean. i say, “i grieve cuz they sold my home,” and people say, “so what? everybody moves. why grieve?” and i wanna say, “i grieve cuz i feel motherless. i wanted to die to stay there. if i’d died in the river, the salmon fry and the caddis larvae would’ve eaten my meat and then no one would’ve been able to make me leave. but i didn’t die and that’s why i grieve.” i never say that, though (except to my sweetheart). i rarely even admit to ever having grieved, let alone about something as seemingly trivial as moving. maybe i won’t even post this article. we’ll see.

anyway, we moved to the suburbs and i stopped writing poetry, playing music, and telling stories. i tried to die a few weeks before we left, but i did a shitty job of it. [eta: in case you’re wondering, i’m reallyreally super glad i suck at killing myself. life is awesome and i could go on for years about all the love, kindness, respect, and hope in my life right now. k? <3 so don’t get all worried about me.] before moving, i believed i would die. i would kill myself or i would die of grief. everybody always talks about dying of grief; surely i would die of it if it were possible. and somehow, moving felt like dying.

i’m sorry. i’m really not trying to be a drama king/queen/unicorn/thing, but i don’t know how else to write this. i feel like i died. i feel incapable of reconciling my two lives, divided as they were by leaving my home and grieving. the chasm between my lives is so wide, it feels like death.

my new life is different from my old life.

i’d been grieving for over a year and i was sick of it. i left the suburbs to go to school in the city. my sister told me to get the fuck outta the house and go to school or get a job or something, so i did (yay for my sister!). i met my sweetheart at school and i started playing music again. i started writing poetry and telling stories again. i don’t wanna make it sound like my sweetheart fixed me, but falling in love with him and going to school helped me feel hopeful about the future.

happiness snuck up on me, i guess.

we’ve been living together for almost 5 years. we make food together and we eat food together. we’re kind to each other. we don’t yell at each other or hit each other. we get enough sleep. we talk about our feels and we talk about our future. we grow vegetable together. we work together. we love all our plants and we love the birds who visit us. we love the caterpillars who sneak bits of our lettuces and we love each other. we used to live in the city, but now we live in the forest in a rural area. i guess what i’m getting at is that our home is safe and loveful.

i sing and write poetry. i’m friends with real, actual trans* people. i have a job. i’m out as nonbinary. my mom is my friend. i have a blog with a bunch of super-awesome readers/commenters. i feel like i’m part of a community. i love the sunshine and the rain. the maple trees in the forest out back have leaves bigger than my face. the sugar snap peas in the garden are ripe with all the sweetness of the sun.

i want to do things! i want to help trans*/queer people and make the world safer for trans*/queer kids and grow all of my own food. i want to get top surgery and find a way to help other trans* folks afford the surgeries they need/want. i want to build a house out of cob and learn how to bake bread. i want to hug my sweetheart when i get up from writing this post. i want to wake up tomorrow and i want to grow. i feel like i have a future cuz i don’t feel like i’m going to die.

and i can’t fucking fathom it. for the first few years, i believed i was dreaming. i believed i would wake up and be back on the farm (my real home) with people i hated and who hated me. we would abuse each other and everything would be back to normal. or worse, i would wake up in the suburbs.

of course, it’s not a dream (right? right?!), but i still have trouble grasping my situation. i live with someone who loves me. he helps me take care of myself. he helps me when i have trouble with ptsd. he helps me not be too scared to go to the dentist. he is kind to plants and animals. he plays music with me. we play fun games. we have dreams. we have plasmic sex. i love him. i save him from spiders (i put the spiders outside; nobody gets killed). sometimes we argue, but then we talk about our feels and we grow more. we hold hands all the time.

and i feel like all this is impossible. my life today is so different from my old life, i must’ve died. i must be somebody else. what the actual fuck.

but i’ve always been trans*. there were times when i didn’t know it, but i’ve always been trans*. i’ve always been nonbinary. and weirdly, my transness seems to hold my 2 lives together. i think it’s the one constant.

i know there’re other things that must tie my lives together cuz, really, they’re only 1 life and i’m only 1 person, but it doesn’t feel that way. and feels don’t have to make sense.

like, there’s this thing i do that i’ve done ever since puberty. every time i do it, i feel myself doing it in my old life, too. i feel all the other times i’ve done it. it’s like all the mx. punks of all the times and all the places always do this thing together. i did this thing before i knew trans* people existed or that there might be more than 2 genders. i still do it sometimes; it feels like some sort of body dysphoria ritual.

this is what i do. i squint at myself in the mirror, trying to find someone who looks like me.  i squish my chest down and glance at my reflection outta the corners of my eyes ―like i can see myself if i’m sneaky about it. if i see myself, even if i’m all blurry from squinting, i cry with relief. if i don’t see myself, my body dysphoria gets really bad.

somehow, the feeling that all the mx. punks of all the times in all the places do this thing together makes me feel like my life is almost whole. i feel connected with the 12-year old mx. punk who couldn’t believe how wrong their body was growing. i feel connected with the 14-year old mx. punk who wrapped their tits with ace bandages and duct tape. i feel connected with the 16-year old mx. punk who practiced loving their tits and thought they succeeded. i feel connected with the 25-year old mx. punk who is going to fucking get top surgery one day.

more than that, i feel that coming out as trans* is part of some inevitable arc that began with my childhood or my birth. like how i got oyster shell slivers embedded in my feet and they came out years later. just pushed their way to the surface and my skin bubbled over them like blisters and the skin died and the shells came out all on their own. i think my transness is like that. there is nothing i could’ve done to keep this shit buried. nothing. it would’ve unburied itself one day. i feel like my transness was always in me, even before i knew who i was.

and that inevitable arc feels like a bridge between my lives.

so in spite of every asshat who’ve ever called me a freak or a pervert, in spite of all the friends and family members i’ve lost when i’ve come out, transness holds my lives together. i’m proud to be trans* and i’m proud to be nonbinary. i’m not so proud of being unable to write this without sounding grossly dramatic (i’m reallyreally sorry), but that’s something else. when i say i’m proud of being a nonbinary trans* person, i mean “i’m glad to be me and fuck anybody who thinks i shouldn’t.”

*   *   *

holy fucking long. i dunno if i’ll post this, but if i do i’ll keep this note at the bottom just in case anyone thinks i think this is worth posting. cuz i don’t. not really. but it was worth writing. i feel totes better for having written it.

 

“diversity” my awesome fat ass

know what i’m fucking done with? people saying “gay” or “gay and lesbian” when they mean “queer.” (i’m also done with people saying “queer” when they mean “gay.”)

i just read an article in a newspaper entitled “gay and lesbian community celebrates diversity.” the article is about a local group that organizes pride events every year. they claim to be about celebrating all sorts of queer folks, but this article gives no hint that bisexual, pansexual or asexual (etc.) people even exist. instead, the article talks about gay and lesbian people as though they’re the entire queer community.

to make shit worse, the article uses the word “transgenders.” like, they can only be bothered to refer to us once in article with the word “diversity” in the title— and they think “transgender” is a noun.

i have no idea if this is just shitty reporting or if this queer (gay and lesbian?) group actually erased multisexual/asexual folks during the interview, but fuck off. not that i find any of this surprising, but it still pisses me off.

and i know it’s only the beginning; pride season is upon us. we get to hear about “gay pride” and gay pride parades” all summer. i find this really upsetting; our own community has no space for us.

there’s only one thing to do; go forth and smite those who would erase us, my lovelies. go forth.

what to do if you’re having trouble with someone’s pronouns

k. so i know there are a fuck-ton of these lists out there, but i figure it can’t hurt to add my voice to the din. just remember to check out other cats’ suggestions on this topic cuz then you’ll be extra prepared. also, different situations are different. (where do i come up with these profound sayings? i dunno. i’m just a fucking genius, ok?) seriously, though, i’m sure there are lots of situations my list is totes inappropriate for, so use your judgement. also, multiple perspectives are always good cuz intersectionality.

anyway, in no particular order, here’s what i think you should consider doing if you’re having trouble with someone’s pronouns.

  • let the person know you’re working on getting their pronouns right.
    • be sure you’re not trying to guilt them into saying “oh, you poor dear! i’ll just let you misgender me then!”
    • also be sure they know you’re not trying to guilt them. lots of people tell me how haaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAaarrRd my pronouns are, hoping i’ll give them a free pass. (which will never fucking happen, btw. lawlno.)
    • basically, just let them know that you’re working on it and that you’re gonna keep working on it (i think this is super important). only say it once, though. please don’t say it every time you fuck up. pleaseplease don’t.
    • don’t ask them to have patience with you cuz if they haven’t fucking slain you yet, they are having patience with you.
    • don’t tell them you’re having trouble with their pronouns, though, cuz that sounds different from telling them you’re working on their pronouns.
  • ask them to correct you when you misgender them, but don’t expect them to cuz they may or may not feel comfy doing so.
    • it might be better to just let them know that you’re cool with them correcting you and that you would value the help if they chose to do so.
    • but really, skip this one if you think there’s a chance the person might feel obligated to correct you.
  • if someone does correct you, don’t make a huge deal outta it.
    • don’t apologize profusely or go on about how haaaaaarrrrrDd it is for you.
    • thank them for helping you with their pronouns, correct yourself, and quickly move the fuck on. people who do this are the best and i fucking love them. <3
  • fucking practice! it’s fun and it’ll sort you out pretty quickly.
    • you can practice alone or with a partner.
    • tell your partner (or some imaginary person) about the person whose pronouns you’re practicing; it doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you use the person’s name and pronouns a lot.
    • at first, you may have to speak very slowly and use simple sentences. (ex. “andresa is an astronaut. plus, she like ravens.” etc.)
    • 1-5 minutes a day seems to be about all it takes.
    • lots of people in my life practice my pronouns like this and it fucking works.
  • correct yourself aloud every time you fuck up. don’t like, berate yourself or anything; just repeat what you said with the person’s correct pronouns. it’ll help you learn faster.
  • remember, this is your problem. make sure it stays that way. the person whose pronouns you’re having trouble with doesn’t need you to dump this on them.
  • also remember that the person probably notices what pronouns you apply to them even when you don’t notice. every time you don’t fuck up their pronouns, they notice. and they’re probably totes relieved.

however hard and shitty this is for you, you’re probably only dealing with this one person and their pronouns, but this person is probably dealing with everyone in their life. know what i mean? like, i deal with zillions of cats who have trouble with my pronouns, but the cats who complain about my pronouns only have to deal with one trans* person with “weird” pronouns. so really, the fuck are they complaining about?

thanks for reading! totes check out related writing on this topic. i’m actually writing this at my internet-free home, so i can’t just check online for you and post some links (i will if i remember when i post this), but try googling “what to do when you misgender someone,” “how to learn somebody’s pronouns,” etc. really, though, i’ll try to remember to find some related reading next time i’m somewhere with wi-fi.

and lemme know what you cats think about all this! i want your braiiiins—i mean your thoughts. cuz i’m not really a zombiiiiie.

or am i?!

your pronouns are hard

i’m back from my end-of-semester hiatus!

yay! i missed you! and i have zillions of post ideas! (actually zillions; i counted them.) i really needed that break, though, so whew.

what happened to me? well, i moved and i got all busy with end-of-semester things. also, i’ve been neon busy in the vegetable garden cuz it’s that time of year and growing food is plasmic. yay! i also compiled some recent poetry into a booklet (cuz “book” is probably too strong a word); i might make it available online by donation to fund my top surgery. is anybody interested in that?

also, we don’t have the internet at our place cuz we can’t afford it. i’m actually writing this on a laptop at home; i’ll take the laptop somewhere with wi-fi (today? tomorrow? who knows?) and post this. so, um, shit’s gonna be different around here. i won’t be as in-the-loop as i was before. i won’t approve or reply to comments as frequently as i did before. i won’t reply to emails as frequently as i did before (which was already too infrequently).

i’m pretty worried about comments, actually. there’re a fuck-ton of comments i haven’t even read, let alone approved and replied to. some of them are old and the writers probably think i hate them (i don’t! i promise!). if i’m not going to moderate comments regularly, it doesn’t make sense to have all comments go through moderation before they can appear on my blog. but there are a few bored people who try to slip vehemently anti-trans* comments through moderation—i wouldn’t want their comments to just hang out on my blog triggering folks. and some of these people change their id’s all the time (but i know it’s them), so i can’t just block their id’s. so, um, ideas? do i just try to moderate regularly and see how it goes?

also, if you sent me a message, like, a month ago (or more) and i still haven’t answered it—i will. i promise! i haven’t even been on the internet in about a month, so, um, yeah. i’ve gotta catch up.

anyway, here’s a picture for you:Image

i’m moving and it’s crunch time at school

yep, i’m still alive! yay! but i’m in the middle of moving and it’s crunch time at school (not yay), so this dry spell will continue for a while. also, if you’ve commented in the last little while and i haven’t posted or replied to your comment, be patient. i will survive and then i will do stuff. also, i will answer my emails one day. i promise.

in the meantime, here’s a picture of me not being dead:

ta-da!

to the man who followed me into the women’s bathroom yesterday (poem)

to the man who followed me into the women’s bathroom yesterday

don’t look so shocked; keep your rainfrizzed beard on. people’ve been tailing the back of me into wrong bathrooms since i was as high as the x-ploding elbows of your wet plaid jacket. men’s women’s whichever, there’s always a hapless tailer who’s shocked to smell urinal cakes or to hear a tampon rolling to the scratched lip of a tampon dispenser. you’re # 97654 and folks are queuing up behind you to tail me into wrong bathrooms, so take your chaff-laced boots and split.

*   *   *

so, um, this is my first attempt at prose poetry. and it’s hard and maybe not my style. i’ve been getting read as whatever gender, lately, especially from behind.