Giving birth, being adopted, becoming a “transphobe,” hating reality TV, and generally entertaining revelations against my will

For months now my posts here and at catholictrans have been building up to a new direction. I realize in retrospect that everything I’ve posted recently, original material or otherwise, have been the contractions leading up to massive labor pains. For many insomniac nights I’ve been squinting at my dark ceiling and seeing patterns of motion, webs of ideas, and clashing good n’ evil in such a large vista that my small human mind can’t actually piece it all together and I feel literally insane. But slowly, the different pieces that I feel to be interconnected are presenting themselves to me in an orderly queue. Continue reading

To Miss Frightened-Eyes in the Mirror – A Poem

To Miss Frightened-Eyes in the Mirror (OR: All Will Be Well)

 

All will be well, poor thing,
all will be well,
even though I see your screams
in the watery spark in my iris.
I spot your visage, dimly, as
through a looking-glass.
I’d reach out to hold you,
but I fear the demanding rap
on my closet door.

 

All will be well, my dear,
all will be well,
even though your neck is bruised
by my calloused clawing reach.
I’m sorry to snuff you, I sob,
like a Venetian moor when he
thinks his love estranged.
This is a mercy killing, my love, for
little girls die in war.

 

All will be well, my soul,
all will be well,
for I promise better days than this.
I see how pure your heart remains,
though the world has raped you bloody.
I’d promise sunflowers and silk if
I knew I could; but at least let me
promise a kiss, a warmth, a moment.
You’re so brave.

 

All will be well, my heart,
all will be well
for they know not what they do.
We feel the first stirrings of Spirit even
now, premonitions of lilies, dew, and
a world without end, without fear.
The wind blows in from higher country, there
where our mother, our brother, our lovelies
all dance with us.

 

All will be well, I say,
all will be well.
I begin to be whole again – waxing ended.
Cocoon unraveling, haze lifting,
music in genesis as the Deluge abates.
It is not good for man to be alone,
but from the rib of the old self has sprung
a garden nymph, full with fruit, brimming smiles,
awaiting Divine rain.

 

All has been well, my God,
all has been well.
I confess to too long a watery grave,
I once mere mirror to the sky.
Now, Adonai, I dervish before the stars,
For it is good to be in ellipsis again,
a silver bowl to reflect the Sun,
alight with his penetrating heat, no more
to envy the Moon.

rockwell_mirror

My Transgender Monologue

monologue 2

To be real or not to be real… that is the question.

Last February I was privileged to be part of a show at my University that took anonymously submitted student monologues and performed them to give a voice to the voiceless. Monologues were about everything from race to sexual orientation to depression. Below is the piece I wrote for the show, which was performed by a dear friend of mine. 

In retrospect I might have written some of it differently, but the heart of the monologue is still relevant. 

 

I am not who I seem to be.

Um, I don’t have much time, so I’ll just say it: *Sigh* …I’m transgender. I have the body of a boy, but I’m a girl on the inside. *Sigh* It’s complicated.

The thing is, when people think of transsexuals, they think of some old dude in bad make-up impersonating Marilyn Monroe on the weekends. That’s not me. I’m a poet; I love Jane Austen; I like to dance and smile; I want to be called beautiful. My soul is simple and pure, like a small clear gem. I think my soul is beautiful. The thing is it took a long time to get here, because my entire life I have felt deep shame about who I am. I’ve felt like a freak; I’ve felt like everything that comes naturally to my spirit is somehow bad and insufficient. I’m carefree and hopeful? NO, I must be competitive and pragmatic! I’m compassionate and empathetic? NO, I must be self-sufficient and logical! I want to ask for leather boots for Christmas, and instead I ask for aftershave.

I spend so much energy on fruitless labor. I’m exhausted all the time! Our society demands that I fit into these ridiculous boxes of masculinity and femininity. I’m born with male junk between my legs, and therefore I have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, smile a certain way, express love a certain way. I’m not saying that I have a problem with gender roles or the categories of male and female. The great dance between the yin and yang of the universe is breathtakingly beautiful! What troubles me is that I am automatically not allowed to join in this dance because I am different. I’m sorry, I just don’t feel like a dude. My emotions, my paradigm, my everything, feels female. What do you want me to do about it!? Be a lie?!

The thing is, so far I’ve been mostly a lie. You would never have guessed I’m transgender. I’ve played sports with you. I’ve dated your friend. I’ve pranced around like a regular bro, pretending to feel and think the way I’m ‘supposed’ to. I deserve an Academy Award for Best Actress – no, wait, for a Lifetime Achievement. I’m sitting right next to you, and you don’t know I’m here.

*chuckle* You never can tell with people, can you?

Audio

TRANSPHORIA Transgender Pop Song Mash-up (Demo)

Droppin Logic

So this Christmas break I was on my back with the flu and I got bored, and I ended up making this trans-themed mash-up (very Dj Earworm inspired although not nearly as smooth). Last month I also started making a music video for it, and at some point I’ll release the whole thing as an awesome inspiring trans-2014 Youtube sensation. As of right now I don’t have the time to finish it, but the song demo is done.

There’s a lot of empty spaces in the beginning of the song which will be filled by soudbytes from clips of trans vloggers, trans news items, and film quotes.

Please give me feedback! I’m looking for constructive criticism. This mash-up was a learning experience, and hopefully the next one will be better. If there are any parts that you found awkward or in need of tweaking, please let me know.

Video

Soooo… this transition video is AMAZING

I really thought I’d seen all the MtF transition timelines out there, but this one has a damned alternative title so it escaped my notice until now. And I’m literally crying from how inspiring this woman’s transition is. Not only is she utterly gorgeous (and while looks aren’t important, this girl gots it), what’s really striking is how her smile gets increasingly genuine throughout the video. She goes from a dead mask to a radiant goddess!

Brianna Rose, I just love you! If you ever read this, your wedding photos were fabulous! (That was the part I cried at, btw)

Aside

A list of common MtF transgender traits

This is a list of common TS traits I found in the forums of susans.org. I combined it with some other lists or descriptions of trans people I found. While everyone is obviously different, and this particular list is probably more geared toward those trans people who are closeted/repressed until after puberty, it’s kinda fun to see how you fit the stereotype. Apparently I’m incredibly unoriginal. :/

Common TS Traits: 

  1. We primarily cope with the condition by shutting down all emotions – YES
  2. We have an inability to discuss deep feelings with others – NO, if anything the opposite
  3. We are insecure – YES, I am starved for affirmation
  4. We have very few, if any, close friends, and prefer to spend time alone – NO, I have more close friends than most people, probably because I’m open about my emotions 
  5. We exhibit extreme shyness at times – YES
  6. We have a hatred of (and inattention to) our appearance – YES, although this has changed
  7. We avoid pictures and videos of ourselves – SOMETIMES
  8. We often have inattention to health issues – YES, although this has also changed
  9. We have extreme modesty about our sexuality and partial and full nudity – YES, especially now
  10. We often take on dangerous jobs or activities – NO
  11. We often have well above average intelligence – YES, or so I’ve been told
  12. We immerse ourselves in activities or jobs that require intense concentration and highly technical vocations. – YES, film is one of the most demanding/technical professions out there
  13. We enjoy intense or escapist hobbies such as complex puzzles, video games, highly technical vocations, creative projects, “nerdy” pastimes, roleplaying games – YES, all the above (including game modding, D&D, film editing, inventing card games and board games, collaging, drawing, writing…)
  14. We are extremely competitive or extremely non-competitive with no middle ground – YES, I used to be extremely (insecurely) competitive when I was still trying to be macho, and now I loath competition 
  15. We are very imaginative daydreamers – YES
  16. We possess a tolerance for others, very unlikely to be racist, homophobic etc. – YES
  17. We are anti-war and anti death penalty – YES
  18. We have the need for more than usual privacy in our  lives – YES
  19. We are very unlikely to fight or have a physical confrontation – I DON’T KNOW
  20. We have deep seated hatred of authority – YES, rules are made to be broken, although I’ve always attributed this trait to being Sicilian, not to being trans 
  21. We have on and off battles with clinical depression – YES
  22. We are easily able to place people by the sounds of their voice – YES
  23. We are able to easily read peoples emotions – YES, when I get out of my head and pay attention
  24. We excel in reading and writing at an early age but have difficulty with mathematics – YES
  25. We often have suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts – YES
  26. We sometimes have a delayed puberty – SORT OF: physically I was ON SCHEDULE, but sexually I was probably a few years behind
  27. We obsess over informing others about trans issues and changing peoples’ minds on the subject – YES, dear Lord I’m a nuisance!
  28. We have a sense of detachment, confusion, or being a ‘blank slate’ in childhood – YES
  29. As children we were often sickly. Before transitioning we struggle with chronic health problems like asthma, bronchitis, acid reflux, ulcers, fatigue, and headaches – YES, all the above except headaches
  30. We go through a stage of denial in which we become homophobic, transphobic, and/or misogynistic – YES, God forgive me
  31. We take on masculine/macho professions, or professions where there is a definite glass ceiling for women – YES, philosophy is almost all guys, and the film industry has a really horrible glass ceiling despite the often superior talent of women filmmakers. During the summer I’ve always worked really manly physical jobs like roofing and landscaping.  
  32. We become addicted, absorbed, or professionally tied to computer activities, whether it is online role-playing, blogging, video editing, graphic design, or something related to computer science – YES
  33. As children we prefer solo-play (books, legos, drawing) to competitive/group activities – YES
  34. Before coming out, we often think marriage to a woman will cure our dysphoria – YES
  35. We make many efforts to appear normal – YES

I wonder if there are any trans girls who just don’t fit any of these descriptions. The fact that these characteristics line up so well with my life & personality makes me a believer. Again, obviously everyone is different, but even just talking to other trans people online has made me realize how powerful an effect gender dysphoria has on development. We all have unique personalities that shine through, but we also all seem to have many of the same coping mechanisms up our sleeve.

Just food for thought.

I love lists like this way too much.