Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the Old

I'm feeling really funny tonight, and I wish I could more succinctly describe it than I'm about to. Most of my friends aren't going to have anything to do with me tonight. I'm not even that surprised about it because I feel like this has been building up for a while. In addition, I keep thinking about things that happened about 3 months ago and all of the people that are no longer in my life--people I really cared about and assumed felt the same way about me. I just can't believe that not a single person cared enough to say something or to even attempt to make me feel like they thought I was a real person. Maybe I actually fear that there were people who understood what happened and why I made my decision but they just weren't strong enough to speak out against the mob mentality that had begun to reign over the entire group. I hate when I have to question more than four years worth of memories. Was any of it real? Where are my friends now? Where were they when I really needed them--when I had all but lost my own family, was afraid of being murdered, was afraid to go home at night, was having meltdowns and panic attacks almost every day, and was afraid to even mention it to them because I didn't want to have them make me feel like the problem child? I hated being treated like a nuisance and I hated causing problems for people that were supposedly doing so much for me. But I started to question things. I'm a pretty perceptive person, despite some deficiencies. In fact, I make up for those by being very, very good in other areas. I won't say which ones because those of you that care will know what I mean anyway. It also helped to have eyes and ears "on the inside". I guess I knew it had been going on with certain people for a long time. I'd heard it from multiple people, but I never expected to catch the person I did, and on a night like that, that was the last thing I needed. That was one of the most crushing things I have ever felt. I felt every little fiber of my heart being ripped apart over and over again. And I was seriously depressed for a long time, and I don't think I'm completely over all of that yet, but it sent me on a pretty awful spiral. I lost a little over 10 pounds in a few weeks, partly because I didn't feel like eating and partly because sometimes I just couldn't afford to anyway. I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for me. I guess I'm just feeling really frustrated, and I wanted to get this all out tonight. The year is almost over, and I'm going to have to leave things behind again. But I hate feeling like I have to leave behind all the good things and happy memories because I can't be sure if they were real. I can't be sure if a certain person was being genuine in helping me out all the times he did. I really don't know anymore. He was the person that made me want to stick around the most this year. He was my connection to the rest of them--the one who had known me longer than the rest. I got through some of the shit other people were saying about me because of him, and he made me feel like it didn't even matter because there were far more people who didn't see me that way. But now I'm not sure that that was true, and I'm not sure that he even gave a fuck about me. Maybe he was just doing his job, keeping the peace. How do I tell? I know I'm going to lose them all forever. I don't want that. But I don't see any other way at this point. I need to proceed this way because it's going to happen again, and some other kid's going to get their heart ripped out. I'm seeing the signs already, and I don't like where things are going for some of the others. What do I tell this trans bass drummer from up north when he asks me about joining the line? Think about that one.
I'm queer. And I'm out. This is something I've been struggling with for a while now, and the whole thing gets me absolutely livid. People don't have a problem with gay people. A lot of people say there is no problem at all as long as they don't "act gay". Well, what does that mean? It really means that they are exhibiting atypical gender behaviors. People don't have an issue with sexual orientation. The real problem is deviance from expectations of gender. If a man displays typically feminine characteristics or interests, people take issue and violence can ensue. If a woman does not, she is invisible, ridiculed, not real. It disgusts me to know that had I just been a "normal" guy and kept quiet about my queer life and interests, I wouldn't have been mocked, harassed, and humiliated like that.
I need to start getting ready for tonight. Hopefully, I will be in a better mood later on, but many of the people who could have cheered me up this time last year aren't going to be anywhere near me tonight or any time soon, it seems. Maybe some of them--perhaps most of them--are gone forever too. But I have found new friends in places I would never have expected. In fact, I was sure that I would not like one of them at all, never having had a real conversation. But that just goes to show you that you really can't rely on first impressions. That's a problem that I've faced before too. I'm not always the easiest person to get. I may not say a lot or may seem disinterested, but I'm probably just overwhelmed and thinking way too hard about the whole interaction. I'm not shy, in reality. If you get to the real me--if you can get past all of that other shit--I'm very friendly and love talking to people. And more than anything, I love to make people laugh. I am the ice breaker, and that's often at my own expense. If I can make it easier for the whole group to interact, I will gladly strip myself of my dignity. But you should be aware that this does not give anyone else that right.
Alrighty. Pushups, then clothes, then to the party.

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27

I don't need saving. I don't need to be taken care of. I'm sorry that this had to happen, but that conversation really needed to end when it did.

Another one gone, I guess. How many friends will I lose in this new year?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Neuro Class

I have that funny feeling behind my eyes that tells me I haven't slept through the night, but what feels even worse is the way I can feel my heart beating double-time as I lie there twenty minutes before my alarm is supposed to go off. I knew my day was going to be shitty from the very beginning, and things haven't been getting any easier. I have something to say to professors who think that poster presentations for ten people in a tiny ass room with everyone else in the class wandering around while all of these people are talking is a good idea: It's not. I felt like I was going to scream the entire time, and I couldn't really listen to anyone anyway. And now I have to GIVE one of these presentations on Wednesday. Guess who's going to fail.
You know what that means for the class I'm in now? There's no point in being here for me because I'm not able to pay attention. I'm glad I have this here to keep my a little focused on something, even if it's not what I'm supposed to be concentrating on. You have no idea how happy I will be when this semester is over. It's strange, but I know that the reason that this whole semester has been out of whack for me is because of the way it started, and even if I have most of my shit together now, the fact that I didn't start out that way really screwed me up. I need this current phase to conclude. My filter's going to work a lot better when I can clean out all this gunk from the fall semester.
I'm going to graduate after all. I need to fill out a bunch of forms this week, but other than that, it's going to happen. There were a lot of times when I didn't think it would, for various reasons. Maybe I thought I was going to be arrested. Maybe I thought I was just going to quit because I couldn't take it. And then maybe I thought that I wouldn't be able to afford that next payment.
I don't know why I was so uncomfortable last night. I have some theories, though.
I need to leave this class early anyway. Why did I even show up? Oh, because I didn't go on Wednesday. I've had to miss way more class this semester than I ever have in college, and this might even rival my absenteeism in high school.
I still feel kind of sick.
I'm starting to get that twitchy feeling.
Another thing that pisses me off...When a student sends you multiple messages about missing grades and random zeros you've entered in CourseWeb, it'd be nice to have a fucking response instead of telling me when I confronted you about it two weeks later that you had gotten my messages and that you'll get to them. Some people don't like to miss the start of their next class. However, I just don't like talking to you, and that's my excuse. And you know...I really just don't like you.
I know that I'm probably feeling funny because it's almost time for my shot. I know the dose isn't high enough. I started feeling really shitty on Friday night. I think I'm starting to recognize a pattern here. Dr. Gold never got back to me about the blood tests. My insurance isn't going to cover them. I'm going to have to go somewhere else where maybe someone can help me out. I just want all of the random suck to stop for just a little bit. That'd be great.
I'm really not taking any of this in.
Why do I have to be so messed up? The worst part of this is that I get away with all of this and have for years. I don't know whether that's good or bad anymore.
I promise to write something where I'm not just bitching about random shit soon.
I'm seeing a nutritionist soon, so I have to leave this class early. I'm getting extra credit for it. I'm kind of interested, but I am worried that it's going to be a huge waste of my time.
I am terrified of the insane debt that I've gotten myself into. I don't think I'll ever get out of it. I couldn't make the payment this month, so it pretty much doubled when the late fee was added. And, um, I still can't pay it, so I don't know what's going to happen except that things are going to get much, much worse.
What the hell am I going to do after graduation? It's not freaking me out, but it's still worrisome. I have all these options now, and decisions are scary. It was easy when I knew exactly what I wanted to do and exactly what I needed to do to get there. Uncertainty is a huge part of my life now. I can't tell if that's messing with me or not.
I had another dream about getting into a fight with someone. This was way more epic and involved more people on both sides of it, and it's an event that might have happened a few weeks ago had I chosen something different.
I just want to stop doing things. I need like 3 or 4 days of nothingness. That's not even going to happen over break because I'm working almost every day. I really need to make that money. I just wanted my fucking name changed before graduation, but now I need to worry about this credit card shit before it really gets bad. I mean, it's already bad. And things aren't looking up.
I alternate between believing that I'm actually depressed and thinking that there are certain things going on in my life that would reasonably make someone feel this way. Sometimes you're supposed to feel like shit. There's nothing wrong with feeling depressed when someone close to you dies, for example. So if I am reminded from time to time of something that really makes me feel terrible, it's not pathological to me. I think what's making me question this is the fact that I get reminded of this almost constantly. I feel pretty stupid about not being able to control this--not being able to force myself into forgetting. I think I've said too much already.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ramble Ramble

I think I have such a hard time letting go because I know exactly what I'm missing, and I'm confronted with that feeling of loss from time to time. I have to do my best not to let that overwhelm me, but sometimes I just fail. I don't know how to interpret this or the other feelings that rise to the surface. Maybe this is just a part of it. Maybe this is what it means. I don't want to be that guy. Or maybe I do, and that's the whole problem.
Maybe I don't want to be anyone's right now. Or maybe I just want to be someone's. I don't know what the answer is. I'm not done dealing with the last several months of relationship disasters. I don't know if I will ever be. Christ, I sound sixteen again. I might just be missing a lot of people and things right now. I'm scared to not miss them, really.
I wish I had a bit more time to write, but I have to be up early tomorrow because I'm going on JJ's webcast. Maybe I can get a few more things out anyway.
It's almost Thanksgiving. That means it will have been a year since my parents found out about my trans identity. I say this because I did not choose to come out to them at that time, though it would have happened a few days later, had things gone my way--had the power of facebook not rendered that impossible. So much has changed in one year. That one year feels like it has lasted a lifetime. A lifetime's worth of people have come and gone since then. It's amazing how much experience can be packed in to that amount of time. The story of my life--our lives--will make a great novel some day.
"You have to do the right thing."
Yes, I do. But you and I have different ideas about what that is and how it pertains to my situation right now. But rest assured that I am. We all try to operate under the basic assumption that what we are doing is right.
Things are going to change soon.
I'm ready for this.
I'm going to lose some people. And that makes me very sad. But sometimes that happens when you do the right thing. I've already lost a lot of you. I rarely give up on people, but that doesn't mean that I don't believe in taking responsibility for what you have done. If only I could be more specific. It won't be much longer.

Thank you for coming with me today. Thank you both for spending this day with me when you didn't have to at all. It's one of the first times I've felt like somebody's really had my back during this whole situation. You've really helped me not to lose focus and feel overwhelmed/pressured. Writing things down definitely helped. Talking it through to the point of exhaustion did too. We just kept turning it over and over and over again. And each time, it became a little clearer. And by the end, it was pretty obvious. This is going to change things. I won't get it back, but I'll make sure that no one else has to lose it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

3:11 Just Happened.

I don't like feeling as far apart from you as I do right now. You're more than one person, in more than one place. But I think things are going to be okay. I have to start accepting that people come into and out of your life all the time. I just can't believe that we hardly ever see each other anymore. We spent so much of the last several years together. My friend is gone. Maybe things are just different. I wish I could make sense of this, of all these other relationships that keep happening around me. I think it's all starting to, but it's tough. Maybe this is because I haven't really been outside of a relationship for an extended period of time since early in high school. I never knew your heart could break this many times and still keep going. It's kind of incredible, and it might be weird, but that makes me smile.
I think it's time to nap.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Even though it was in an email, it happened for the first time today. I'm not sure what to make of it yet. I'm not sure if things will actually get better, but this is a start.

Maybe I just want to hear what it sounds like when they say it out loud. I might cry.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Here We Go Again (EDITED)

And I was going to look back through my phone to see the parts of that conversation that were important. But my phone is pretty crunchy right now. Do I really need to start putting stickers on things? I hope this will never happen again. I guess it's clear to me that my family is the only thing that affects me this badly. I've even tried to explain that fact to them, and they just laugh at me. They pretend this doesn't exist too, just like almost everything else about me. I know I really shouldn't have answered the phone. But I was feeling so pressured because it was the third call of the day, and we were at about three emails as well. The first one really made it sound like things were going to be better. And I fell for it. But when he answered the phone and greeted me in the same old way, I knew things were about to get bad, and I knew I should have just hung up right then. But I let it go for a minute and tried to catch him right there and explain that it wasn't okay and that I didn't think he really understood. And then there was screaming. And then I just hung up. But then there were more messages, and then I just couldn't let one of them go. I wanted to at least right one thing. And I think that was my bigger mistake. I can't let things go. I can't let things like this sit in uncertainty. So I tried again. I always try to make peace. I always try to make everyone happy. I always want that perfect ending. I guess I have to realize that it just isn't going to happen for me. They're never going to love me. They're never going to want ME in their life. They want someone else. They want to ignore me. And I can't do that. No self-respecting individual would. Tonight made me realize that this is the way it has to be until I can hear those words and believe them: "Dylan, I'm sorry." What I got tonight: "Elise, what the fuck is your problem? What's wrong with you? What the hell did we do to deserve this? Etc. Etc."
It's the same old story on that end. And it's about to be the same old story on another one too, unless I can somehow prove that it won't happen again. You mean too much to me to let this get in the way. I don't want to be something you can't handle.

I'm doing it for real this time, and nothing they can say, other than what I noted above, is going to change my mind. I won't be able to deal with it otherwise. And I shouldn't have to.

I love you. Please don't give up on me.

This was just a roadblock.

I don't want this to change your mind, especially after the conversation we had the other day. It was one of the best and most honest I've had in a while, and I don't think I've ever been able to say things like that to anyone else. I feel so completely comfortable around you. I still want 'us' to happen.

But I still understand your concerns.

I was doing REALLY well, especially today. Maybe that's why I thought I could handle that phone conversation. Maybe that's why I thought it would change things.

Thank you for telling me to hang up tonight. It was the right thing to do.

I can control myself. You've been right this whole time. I do have the ability to do that. You see that part of me every day. I can be like that more often than I am. And that's what I've been working on. I also have been working on a way to let people know when it's happening and to let them know that it is absolutely okay to leave me alone, and it's sometimes better that way.
The drama is going to stop soon. I'm going to make sure of it. That's been part of this whole plan I've been working on.

That solution might be to take a semester off, which I guess would equate to taking a year off since the only classes I absolutely need are offered in the spring term only. But that would give me a chance to work and raise enough money to take those few classes that I do need. It's not ideal. But we have to work with what we have, and right now, I can't afford to graduate in the spring. This is my reality, and I am okay with it.
I'm constantly surprised by what I actually can live with.
I do need to finish this semester, however.
I am getting help from SJ on Saturday to get my shit out of Greenfield.

Things actually are coming together for me. And it's awesome. And I don't want you to think that tonight is an indication of the way things will be in any way.

Even the things I still have left to do tonight, I'll be able to do now. That's pretty ridiculous. I never would have been able to focus on work after something like that before. But now, I'm ready to go do more laundry and read some chapters in this book. And that makes me really happy.

It ALWAYS looks worse than it really is.
You never have to worry about my hurting anyone, including myself.

I was going a year plus without problems. I see no reason why that can't happen again. And those were pretty stressful times as well.

I'm serious about not letting this get in the way of anything. And I'm willing to do pretty much anything to make sure it doesn't. I just want you to trust me about that. If you can offer me that, I know it'll be a lot better off.
If you can believe that I am capable, then it just helps me out that much more. I don't want to feel like you think I can't do this. I can.

Give me some time to show you that this isn't what it's going to be like.

You're on my mind a lot.
You make me smile.

Please let me know when I am doing stupid things. Don't let me get away with it.
Hold me accountable.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October is Exhausting

I know we all want to stop playing this game. I hate games like this. I only play them because it seems like other people are forcing me to. If I break the rules, I'm the one that gets called out, and if I refuse to play, then I automatically lose. Is it really that hard to have a conversation with me? To ask a question? I'm really upset by a lot of the things I'm seeing and hearing, and I really don't want to believe that all of them are true. Word travels quickly around here. That's the benefit of having such connections. I'm fortunate in that respect.
I still have it. I still carry it with me. I took it out of my pocket and stared at it for a little bit like I stared at the screen this morning, and I had to deal with the same feelings. I didn't know what to say, and when I figured it out, I didn't know how, and when I figured that out, I realized that I couldn't because I was still playing the fucking game.
But it does still mean something to me. I can't forget what it did for me--what it was really about for me. But maybe that's gone now. I really don't want to believe it. It makes me angry when I start to think about where things have gone. I wish there were something I could do.
Making assumptions is fucking dumb.
I know you're talking about me. And you know I talk about you sometimes. Why do we have to hide this? Wouldn't this be much more effective if we sat down and talked it out? One on one? We don't need an audience. We don't need anyone else to know, at least right away. Dirty little secret, anyone?
So that'll never happen. Apparently, no one has the balls to approach me. I made my move. I'm waiting. And nothing. Interesting, huh?

My stomach is full of shitty Chinese food.
I will be in Baltimore performing on an international stage this weekend!
I have so much fucking homework to do that I feel like I'm drowning in my obligations.
Where am I going to get 1800 dollars?
I wonder if they are thinking of me. And I'm not talking about you.
Why'd you have to turn into a fucking doucheface?
I still think you're cool. Call me. For real.

I finally got rid of that black nail polish. That was getting really awkward.
Thanks for writing on my hand :)
I wore purple today.

I want to fall asleep next to you sometime soon.
I hope you feel better. I'm hugging you right now. I hope you can feel it.

I'm too out of it today to write in a more coherent way. It all started this morning with something I saw on facebook. It made me sad. It made me angry. I didn't know how to react. Then I had to run around campus. I looked at my bank account and laughed. I took an exam for which I really wasn't prepared, and I actually think I did pretty well. I skipped my next class. I came home to sleep. I woke up to a phone call telling me about my Homecoming application. Then I found myself staring at an 1800 dollar hold that's going to prevent me from registering again. This time, I really don't have anything to fall back on. No one is going to save me. I don't know what to do. We're leaving in a few days, and I'm trying to prepare myself for that so I don't freak out. I have so much work to do. But now I might need another job so that I can keep paying rent and credit card bills and somehow find a way to stay in school.
I love my new place. But I still need to get everything out of the old one. My head is spinning. Brain train? That's hardly the way that I think about things. Not a good analogy. Unless the train didn't abide by the laws of physics and there were like 1000 of them twisting around each other like worms inside a can.
I was able to save myself a few times today. But I wavered around that midpoint of not being okay for a while. Sometimes it really felt like too much to fight. It would have just been easier to let go. But then I would have had to put my friends through that. Or I would have just run away and locked myself in the office. This is the part that is so hard to explain to people. I've done it enough for some people.
I don't have to explain myself to you anymore. I will if you want me to, though. But you have to ask. USE YOUR WORDS. l.o.l.

That sounded harsh. Oh well.

I'm really not as bitter as this is indicating right now, actually. It just comes across that way sometimes. I think I need to sleep. I guess it would be considered a nap at this point.

Maybe I'll do something creative one of these days. It's been a while. But I hate writing things that sound really angry, and a lot of people and things have been frustrating me lately. I don't want to work myself up to the point where I can't function. It happens sometimes. I'm obviously much better at that now than I was four or five years ago. I can even work myself down sometimes. That's cool to me. It makes me happy. I hope others have noticed too.

I'm for real.
And I'm for real going to sleep this time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pink Lemonade

I've learned quite a bit from the mistakes I have made, and I am actually pretty thankful that I have enough of a brain to realize, at least most of the time nowadays, when my words and actions will have negative consequences. I used to suck at this, and I'd get myself into trouble all the time. I have more tact these days, but that doesn't mean that I always have to use it. I shouldn't really be surprised by how stupid a lot of people can be. Sometimes people just don't think. And that's really sad. A lot of people get hurt that way. But if people want to go ahead and dig their own graves, I'm not going to complain. It helps me out. I say a hell of a lot more than I used to, and that is naturally going to cause me some more problems. I'm not doing such a great job with writing this. Maybe I do just want to come out and say what I mean. If only it were that easy. The waiting game is so difficult.

Everything has a way of coming back to you. And you should be prepared for that. I know I am.

It's not what you're doing but who you are. There was more to that sentence, but it means a lot more to a lot more people if I don't finish it the way that it started.

I'm not as shocked anymore that you didn't make the connection that might have prevented you from saying it. I'm seeing much more clearly now. A part of me wishes I could have pretended for a little longer. A part of me wishes that my heart didn't have to be ripped out and nailed to a wall (or maybe it was tape and maybe it wasn't exactly a wall). But it's better this way. It's hard, though. And maybe I still love what everything was supposed to be. I hate that I have to doubt so much about it now. But no matter what happens now, it was genuine at one point.

I'm thinking of one boy in particular. It makes me so sad to have lost you. I hate that I sound like my parents. I know you're never coming back, though. I'm sorry. You were my friend, and I miss the boy I used to know.

I'm being a bit more transparent now, I guess. Maybe I hope you do. I've had to hold myself back for a while now, when I desperately want to scream. I guess every day is kind of like that for me, even if it is one minute out of the day. Bricks and windows? Not quite my style anymore. Words are my weapon of choice. I guess they seem to be yours too. I like mine better. :)

I like mine better.

I like walking into a room where I get smiles instead of stares. I like having a conversation and being a part of one. I like being allowed to find my own way. I like helping other people find theirs. I like my voice.

I like my voice.

I like being able to breathe. It's not always easy.

I'm not afraid to say it to your face, whatever it may be. It's less messy that way. I guess this pisses off quite a few people. Would you prefer that I say the same things behind your back? You're doing it.

I tried to keep it contained. I don't think that can happen now.

Maybe if you were a rock star...
Baby, I AM a rock star.

It does matter. Keep that in mind. It's going to make sense soon. That I can promise you.

Not one person. Disappointing.
Not THE one person. Heartbreaking.

The same words my brother used.

And you should have known.

This is getting real.

School is way less important than the people that are keeping me here. It's funny how it took me this long to figure that out. Life works in ridiculous fucking ways. But I like giving a damn. I never thought I'd be this person. I never thought I'd be an activist. I never even thought I'd have a voice. I thought much less that I'd be a voice.

Holy shit, guys.

I'm 22 in some ways. A lot of people don't see all the different parts of me. I can count on one hand the people that can. And they are still around. Three. On the way to four and maybe five. I'm opening up. I'm not afraid of that either.

I can talk on the phone with you. And it felt normal. I have so much to say to you. I can't wait until you come home. I can't wait until I can stop moving. November can't come soon enough.

I just want to get through all of this. It doesn't even matter how. Maybe it should. But I'm fine. I'm really okay with my life. Wow, huh?

"What if they get more tanks?" Bitch, I don't need a tank. I breathe fuckin' fire.

Pink Lemonade.
Pink Lemonade. (in a determined kind of way, with a smile on my face)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


How many more of us have to die?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Over Days

People fight. This is something that we all know. But we still have trouble accepting that this is a perfectly normal facet of our lives--that sometimes we'll just have to scream at the people we love and empty ourselves of all the feelings that we've been lugging around for days, weeks, years, or maybe for our whole lives. While it's not okay for this to occur on a regular basis for an extended period of time, we may come to points in our lives when it seems like we are constantly fighting with those closest to us. This is a period of change in the relationship. It's a violent chemical reaction with atoms and molecules colliding all over the place. Our individual responses are modulators that can take the reaction down different roads. They can act as catalysts, inhibitors, or reacting elements themselves. But change of some sort WILL happen. And I don't think change is always negative, despite the way I seem to react to it initially. And just because a relationship is changing doesn't mean you need to break it off to try to preserve the integrity of the relationship that you used to have.

Little arguments aren't the end of the world for me. Even big ones can be okay sometimes. We'll get over it, and we'll try to do better the next time. That's the only thing that really matters to me. It's simple. It's nothing profound that I have said here, but most of my ways of dealing with people are very simple in nature. And I've found that to be pretty effective.

I need to get to the DMV at some point tomorrow. I need some sort of temporary thing so that I can really enjoy going to the reunion on Sunday/get my fifty bucks worth of alcohol. In reality, I probably won't drink that much since there is a rehearsal that night, but having the option would be nice.

I really don't want to go back to listen to this lecture.

So I'm going to run for Homecoming King. This should be a lot of fun. :)

Food. Now. Go.

Monday, September 27, 2010

You don't have to remind me. I already know.
I've got nothing left to lose, so I might as well try.
From the way things are going, he'll be gone soon no matter what I say.

Yeah, I sicken myself sometimes.
I suppose learning to live with myself means learning to live with this part of myself too...and not expecting other people to go through it with me.

I'm going to be more on my own than ever.

So what if you are right?
I still don't know why you had to say it.
I was already feeling like shit.
I don't understand.

I'm waiting for him now, and I guess it won't matter after all. Why am I even trying then? Is that your point? Should I just quit now and let him hate me rather than have my heart broken?
It's too late for that.

I don't care if my head and heart are a mess right now. I'm doing the only thing I can--the only thing I know how to do.
And I know it isn't good enough.
It never was, apparently.

I'm not bitter. I'm admitting it. I understand that much.

I just want things to make sense again. I want to feel connected to people again. I want to feel connected to SOMEONE again. And the person with whom I most strongly desire this connection might break it off tonight or very soon.

I'm trying.
Maybe I can do this, and maybe I can't. We'll see.
It's hard to know what I am saying anymore. I'm not even sure why I am skipping lines and putting these spaces where they are. Nothing makes sense.

I'm not going to ever say that it's not fair. There is no such thing to me. We don't get what we deserve. We get what we get, and that's it. And we make the rest of it ourselves. And maybe I can make something of this, but right now I'm just not feeling it. I think all of this has worn me out, and I don't know what it is going to take to get me back to where I need to be. I know that I really care about someone. That's all I have to go on right now.

Some good people just walked in and made me smile.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I still have Sharpie all over my body from last night. Part of me wishes it could stay there forever. I am happy with myself for last night. I may not be happy about certain other aspects of the night, but the only thing I can say is that I know. And that's really all I need. Thank you.

I was up for hours after saying goodnight. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do in the moment that it happened or for several hours afterward.

It's complicated. But the answer is yes.

None of us know what we are doing, and that is okay.

Although my life is going in a different direction than I thought it would, I am confident in my decision. I am proud of myself for even making that decision, which I will admit I had been thinking about for a long time prior to mentioning it at all. This is what I need to do right now. This is where I am supposed to be. This is what I feel. And that is all I need.

I missed you last night.
I'm glad you're okay.
I understand completely.
I love you.

And I love you.

I'm confused. It hurts sometimes. But we are where we are supposed to be.
It's alright, wherever you are right now.

I can feel myself growing up, this year more than ever.
This hurts too. Most things that are good for you do.

I know more than I think I do. I am capable of more than I think I am.

I can.
I will.

I am.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rhythm Writing

You're different now, on the other side, allied with my enemies, sentries keeping me from sensing inner peace, happiness. Feel the inner beats, listen to the e's, feel me feeling me through a sea of unfamiliarity. There's clarity to be found in the sound that only the trained ear can hear, but you'd rather be deaf than pause for a breath to study the science behind the music of my existence, my insistance on marching in time to the rhythm in my mind.
You're stuck in a dead step not knowing which foot goes forward and which one stays back and you can't take the weight, metal plates on your shoulders. You're older and that's your excuse to justify the abuse you feed me, need me to know that I need you, need me to know that I am nothing without you, the gods that you think you are, far away from me and that's the way it'll stay.
Don't play with me, already failed me, impaled me upon words mailed to me, and it's great to see you defend your son that isn't me that might need to end me, bend me until I am the one who breaks myself and then you'll all say that my gay friends made me crazy, that they did this to me. Listen to me, blissfully aware of the love for me that lies outside of you, in spite of you, untied from you who lied, who cried, who never once tried to see the happy in me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Little About Me

I remember seeing my chest the first time I put a binder on. I was in my old room at Bates, and Kelly was there. I was wearing this shirt--the same one I'm wearing now. You'd never know it was meant for a female body. It's white with a splash of purple that just seems to ooze down the front. I remember seeing my chest the first time and never wanting to see it another way again. She was looking at me. But I was too busy looking at me. I almost cried. It was like seeing myself for the first time--like I was a toddler fascinated with the image in front of me, slowly coming to the realization that this image is the physical manifestation of what I've always understood as the person up inside my head. I felt like I had a body. I was starting to feel that I could own this body. I started learning that the greatest thing in the world that you can possess is your own self, inside and out.

I tried putting this shirt on without the binder underneath. I couldn't stand looking at it. The shirt is too tight to hide anything, and the feeling of this particular cloth against my bare skin made me want to jump right out of that skin. If you haven't figured it out by now, I've got a pretty fucked up sensory system, though it can do some neat things too. Every shirt feels different on my skin. And each feeling can evoke something different within me.
My sense of touch is very heavily connected to my emotions. Certain kinds of touch will elicit negative emotional responses, while others can elicit very positive responses. And I'm not talking about anything sexual at this point. I like my clothes to fit tightly (generally) because loose clothing equates to light touch or grazing of the skin, and it makes me uncomfortable. But something about knowing that you can see the secret of my chest inside this and a few other shirts of mine really fucks with me, and so I use this binder for the security it gives me. It also gives me constant pressure, however slight, on my upper body. I love pressure. I love connecting with other people through pressure. Squeeze. I love the way I feel when I work out because I can feel the blood rushing to my muscles, creating that sense of pressure, and it calms me. It focuses me. It lets me feel in control.
I like motion. Sometimes I have to be in motion. This becomes very difficult when I am trying to sleep, but my mind and body are at war with one another. Sometimes it becomes physically painful not to move. Sometimes I can't control the writhing or the tossing and turning. Sometimes I just have to MOVE. I kind of feel that way now, but moving my hands across the keys and watching the words march right into their places almost feels like I'm moving somewhere. I'll be in a different place when I finish writing this, at least mentally.
I obsess. And I get stuck. I have trouble doing more than one thing at once, and I don't really get grey areas. I have trouble with vague directions. And, similarly, I am overwhelmed and confused by having to make choices when there are many, many options. I need a step-by-step. I need black and white. It's not that I can't comprehend the other ways of looking at things. It's just extremely difficult, and I may need to take a different path to get there. It might be much more convoluted than the conventional path, but that path might be the only one that can get me where I need to be.
I'm getting better at this, but I hate when my foods mix together and would prefer them not to touch. Mixed tastes overload me. And my body opposes certain tastes altogether. I will instinctively spit out anything that is too bitter, which includes coffee, or anything that has an odd texture. I have no control over this reaction. If I try to swallow, I have to try not to throw up. It is very painful. I am terrified of trying new foods because I don't want to have this reaction.
I am extremely sensitive to the temperature of water on my face. I twitch/writhe somewhat violently when it is too hot or too cold, and I have to prevent myself from screaming.
Some kinds of pain are extremely intense for me, whereas I can tolerate great amounts of other kinds of pain.
Sometimes I'm in a bubble. It's like I'm behind a screen watching the rest of the world watch me. Sometimes I can't see beyond that little screen that's in front of me. Sometimes it's like there is static on the screen. Sometimes some things seem like they are in 3D when everything else is flat--like they are in color when everything else is in black and white. Sometimes certain things will attract my attention like a siren and I won't be able to focus on anything else. These are the things that can help me tune out the rest of the world--that help me when my sensory system is on overdrive. MUSIC. I can lose everything else entirely. I won't even register that you have spoken. I won't notice things that I normally would. Music is that thing that everyone else has to shut up for because it's clearly the most important thing going on. It's my obsession. Everything is music. I started talking the other day, and I had to force myself to stop. We were in the car having a conversation about why certain songs are so popular. I think that, just as we have mapped out according to scales/pitch what the most pleasing frequencies/combinations of sounds are to the human ear, there must be higher levels of composition (song structure/chord progressions/rhythmic integrity/etc.) that the human ear prefers. It's a theory I want to develop more, and I probably would have kept blathering about it if I hadn't caught myself. I could talk about music forever. I always want to keep playing. Music is the way I connect with the rest of the world. It's how I feel closest to other human beings. It's my way of being social. I can understand other people better through music. And writing is music to me. There is a rhythm to everything I write, and that's how I find which words go where. Everyone writes with a different rhythm too. I love all the different genres of person that I can experience when I read things that different people have written. I'm doing it again. I'm getting lost in my own musings about random shit. Pardon me. I do it frequently. Sometimes I like to have people with whom to muse, though.
I'm impulsive. Sometimes these things are harmless. Sometimes I poke people. Sometimes I push buttons. I really like pushing buttons. I play with the buttons on my phone constantly (when I have a phone). At least I don't nipple-tweak people anymore...or write on their faces. I think it took me until late in high school to figure out that that wasn't an appropriate form of interaction with your friends.
I have ridiculous attachments to inanimate objects, especially my phone and keys. I feel like I have lost a person from my life when I lose these things. I illogically attribute human qualities or attach emotions to inanimate objects as if they could think and feel the love I harbor for them. I get very upset when I lose anything that I consider important. Everything I own means something to me and stirs up all sorts of feelings, so I never throw anything away.
My hands are the most real part of me. I do a lot with them. And I don't think I could live without them.
Sometimes I can't talk, physically. Sometimes I just can't break down the wall.
This is just a little bit about me. It all started with a shirt. This is another example of what I like to call the web effect. And just think of all the things that I couldn't get out because they happened too fast up there or were on a different ring of the web. It upsets me when I can't get those things out. That's why I have taken to typing things more lately than writing them by hand. I lose way too much when I write by hand.
So yeah. This my brain. It's screwy. But I love it. It lets me remember stupid things like Mark saying that we had to be up in the band room at 7:27 AM before one of the home games two years ago or read insanely quickly or think of connections that don't really make sense to anyone else. And I also love when I find people who actually do understand those connections of mine--the ones that I make and the ones in my head. I've found a lot of them recently, and even if they don't quite get it, they are interested enough to learn, and that makes me happy. I'm also really interested in the way other people's brains work. I love knowing how other people think. I love knowing why. I always want to know why. It sucks when there is no reason why. That also messes with me.
I like that I understand myself. It puts me in a better position to understand other people. I now have a point of comparison. I still suck at understanding people when they act in irrational ways. I feel like everyone should operate logically all the time. I expect this, and I know that I don't even do this 100 percent of the time. But it also disturbs me when I don't do it or when I am incapable of doing it. And then when I notice that happening, it freaks me out and I feel like I have no control, and it makes things even worse.
I had no idea this was going to be quite this long. I thought I would be done after the first paragraph. I might need to move. I might need to go for a walk and listen to music and fool the world into thinking I'm still a part of it as I'm doing this.
I suck at sleeping. I just can't shut off.
So yeah. Again. This is a bit about me. But what about you? I'm curious.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

from December 23, 2006

We are not unique in our experiences, but they are unique to us. Each of us lives and breathes these experiences as if we were the only kids to ever have their hearts broken, to ever have lewd lunch conversations, to ever sneak out to commit acts of dubious origin and questionable legality. We act as though these experiences are one-of-a-kind. And, though they are not, they are genuine. They are true experiences, and they evoke rather different responses in all of us. They fill us with hope. They fill us with sadness. They both urge us forward and pull us backward. These experiences and memories, as generic as they are, are the most important things we've got. Our lives are like cheesy romance novels. Most have the same basic plot and structure, but the differences lie in the decisions of the author. We are the authors of our lives. So what have we to do but write?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June 20th

Today (or yesterday now) was Father's Day. I didn't call. I couldn't. I couldn't bring myself to talk to a man that hates me. He hasn't been the father that I needed him to be these last few weeks. For I short time, I thought he would be my ally in this. I thought I could convince him that I am not insane. I thought he would be able to understand the truth of my situation and the truths of this faultily gendered universe. He seemed receptive to new ideas. He seemed like he wanted to learn as much as he could. But now I feel like things are worse off with him than when we first talked about my identity as masculine. I don't know what to do.
I feel guilty. But I also feel like this might show him that I feel just as invisible and neglected when he doesn't call me by my name. I feel like there is no room for me. I feel like I am being squeezed out of existence. And the only thing I am doing is being true to myself.
How do I say these things without hurting them more? And when do I stop worrying about that and start taking care of myself? I am floundering in my financial situation right now, and I am afraid to ask for help because I don't want them to feel like they own me anymore. I need help. I am about to reach out to my grandmother. I hope that she will be the one. I don't want to lose her. I want to get in touch with others in my family. I want them to see me. Maybe they can help me reach my family. I don't want to feel this way. I want my blood to matter in some way. I want to know that I belong somewhere in my family.
I feel bad about not calling my father today because a very close friend of mine doesn't have the choice. His father is dead. And I am scared that this situation will reach the point where I will not feel anything when my father dies.
It was also my brother's birthday. He's 27 now.

Mom, I am proud of you for trying to lose weight. I am proud of you for realizing that you are worth it enough to take care of yourself. I am proud of you for being strong every day of your life. I am proud of you for not caring about what the world thinks of you. I am proud of you because you kick ass at what you do, and you know this, and you aren't afraid to admit it. I am proud of you for reaching outside of your comfort zone. I wish you could feel these same things for me.

Dad, I don't know how to reach you. I feel like you set yourself up on an island sometimes. Like father, like son, I suppose. I have found a way to leave my island. I am opening myself up to the world after years and years of being a castaway. Please don't turn me away. Please don't force me back into isolation. I am proud of you for trying, and the only thing I want is for you to keep trying. I feel like you are giving up on me when you stop listening to me. I love you.

Brother, I miss you. Happy Birthday.

Observations: Almost 15 weeks

I feel more in control of myself, both mind and body. Because of the way my brain works, this can't be the case all the time. I don't shut down as often, but when I do, the whole thing seems more intense. And maybe that means that part of me is becoming more real as well. If this is the case, then I should be better able to deal with it.
But I can feel the difference inside of me. I feel less like I am looking at the world from under the surface--less like I am grasping to break the tension above. Maybe that's not really true. I know these feelings are still there. Sometimes I am so disconnected from other people. I know there is nothing I can do about that. But I can choose to fight. And I'm getting stronger. I'm getting better at breaking my own shell. I am realizing that I do have the control that I've always desired. I just need to learn how to access it.
I was playing drums today. My hands are better at doing what I want them to do. And I see something different when I watch myself playing in the mirror, and I happy. Like said, I feel more real. My body and brain are feeling less like separate entities. Now the struggle is connecting the whole of myself with the world out there. People sometimes fail to realize the paradox of becoming closed-off/shutting down/having a meltdown/whatever. I guess I just can't deal with the world on its terms. I can't take all of the shit that keeps coming at me. It really is just too much to process. But I don't choose this, at least most of the time. I want to be out there with everyone else. I don't want to be locked in. But I still need to figure out how to handle myself when those things happen. And I do feel like I'm getting better. I feel like I have one fewer disconnect on my plate. And now I can start to focus on the other big one. Maybe improvement in one has bolstered my ability to deal with the other. It's exciting to know that I am gaining control--that it is possible to gain control.
I feel at home in this skin of mine, for the most part. I don't feel like I am hidden behind my eyes. The rest of my face is starting to tell the story. My smile is genuine. I am a real person. I feel real. How can anyone say that I am doing the wrong thing?

Friday, May 28, 2010


Yeah, it's been quite a long time since I've written something here. And it's because I've been so afraid of what other people will find out. I've been afraid to say anything because it might get back to my parents or to people who have some ridiculously unwarranted power over my life. But I don't care. I can't care after tonight. I am quite sick of people trying to make me believe that I suck at things or am useless. I can think of four people within the blink of an eye. I'm sure there are many more, but right now I can't think very well. The web effect has taken hold of my brain, and I am not even aware of my surroundings now. It's as if I am alone here in my head and the rest of the world doesn't exist. My body is just doing things. It walked itself home somehow and managed to have a conversation with someone for part of the way, though I don't remember most of the walk and I definitely don't remember the conversation. My brain has been elsewhere. I had to leave that place tonight. I just couldn't stand being put in that situation again when I thought I had moved past that sort of juvenile behavior. I didn't think that someone so respected in this community would treat me like this, and I will come right out and say that this person has not earned my respect. That's the way it works with me. You cannot demand it from me: You must show me that you deserve it. And so far, this one hasn't come close. It's frustrating. It sucks when other people try to make themselves look better by trying to make everyone else look worse. But I still don't understand why I left. Why didn't I say this in front of everyone? Why didn't I call them out? Is it because I want this all to go well? Maybe if I had said something I would have fucked everything up. But maybe if I had said something, I wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. And why did that have to be the one thing that made me topple over and lose control tonight? I guess I didn't really lose control, but you know what I mean. At least, I hope you do by now. I should have expected it when I got a funny feeling earlier in the day. I didn't know what it was about. I was worried about something, but I couldn't place it. I guess I'd been worried about tonight too. And maybe I'm also worried about the fact that my best friend is moving to another state, and I may never see him again. I don't know how I can possibly afford to visit Connecticut. I would love to go up there all the time. I really don't want to lose touch. And I don't know how to handle this.
I'm tired of being worried about things. I don't want to be afraid of being myself. But maybe that's not what tonight was. Maybe I was being diplomatic. Maybe I really was sacrificing myself for the greater good of this project. But if that is true, does that mean that as soon as I am done with this, I can let it all out there? Is that the right thing to do? Or is the right thing to do to keep playing along with it and hope it benefits me somehow in the long run? I just don't know anymore. I keep trying to play these fucking games with people, and I know I can win, but winning takes a lot of energy because the whole mess of it is bullshit. It'd be so much easier if people would just deal with each other honestly for 10 fucking minutes rather than dance around each other for months or years.
And I don't know but the rest of me is slowly coming back, and I'm remembering the pain in my legs. It's not only in my shins now. My knees hurt now because of these stupid shoes that don't fit, insoles that are too old and I can't afford to replace, the miles that I've walked, and the stupid fucked up feet I was born with. And now I'm in physical therapy for my fucked up shins. I'm supposed to do this massage thing and ice them down tonight, but at this point I'm just getting the bodily awareness back. I don't know how long it will be before I can physically move myself from this spot. I don't even know if I can speak right now. This might be all that I can do. I'm terrified, yet my mind is still doing that thing where it thinks about a thousand things at once, one of which is how and why this goes on inside my head. How can my brain create such a state of experience? I think people take drugs to feel this way. And I guess if you are in control of it and can decide when this is going to happen to you, it might be kind of fun. But this. This just takes you over. I don't know how long I've been in this state or how long it has been since I left, but it feels like no more than 30 minutes could have passed. And that seems like a long time. But it's probably been almost 2 hours. I have no idea. I don't know where everyone is or what to do to get back to them or even back to the version of me that can deal with what is happening right now.
I do remember something. And I think it's the something that made me start writing this. Three times tonight, my life was threatened, and in two of those situations, I knew there was a reason to be afraid. I could feel it. The immediate danger. The willingness to kill surrounding the one group of people. I don't know if I ran away. I can't remember. I don't know if I was just walking quickly or full out running away. I can take one or two or even three people but not 7 or 8. "I'm just going to kill that fucking faggot." And even if it was just this one kid, I know how easy it would be for me in this state to just keep going no matter what. I would do something awful. I'd let myself get killed or seriously hurt someone else because it would have been instinct. And the other time, I should have stopped. Maybe. I should have said something. I thought this. I thought I should have turned around and done something to prove myself. I thought at least once in the night I should have stood up for myself. For everyone who gets threatened like this. I was going to do something. I don't know what could have happened but maybe it would have mattered. I just don't know. This is fucking bullshit.
Why do I have to be afraid to walk down the street in my own fucking neighborhood? Who teaches my peers to be this way? What if I could have taught someone not to fuck with random people on the street? Just one time, someone shouldn't get away with it. I don't know if I will be able to stop myself next time. This isn't right.
I can't get out of this bubble. I can move and do what I am supposed to do but I can't take in the whole picture. I'm so focused on a single point that the single point is inside my head. It's a black hole. There's so much packed into this one tiny space that the rest of the universe is incomprehensible to me. I can only deal with this little bit right now. It's like my circuits have been fried, and I need time to repair them. I don't know how to make this happen any faster, and something this bad hasn't happened in a while, and I know this is because so many different things have been combining to grind me down. I just can't resist that much shit. And the icing on the cake came at the bar this evening. That threw me over the edge, and I knew I wouldn't be able to fix it. So I tried. I tried but I knew it was a bad idea, but I couldn't stop myself. I moved. I just kept in motion because repetitive motion--like walking in time when you don't even realize you are doing it--is something that can usually calm me down. But it wasn't helping. I couldn't even notice it. And then I was alone. And then I wasn't. And both were awful. I think I was more afraid of what I was going to do to somebody who fucked with me than what he was going to do to me. I don't care about getting the shit kicked out of me. I care about hurting someone else or just getting in that kind of trouble where I'd spend the rest of my life in jail. I AM NOT MY FUCKING BROTHER. THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN TO ME. I WON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO ME, AND I DON'T CARE IF EVERYONE IN THE FUCKING WORLD THINKS THAT I'M A PILE OF SHIT THAT DESERVES WHAT'S COMING TO HIM.
In all of this stupid fucking shit, I am incapable of hating another person. And that is my greatest fault. And there's nothing that I can do about it. I am the one who gives infinite chances to people. I'm the one that's always going to be there, even when you continue to fuck me over. I've always got your back, even though you step on mine day after day, week after week. Yeah, I take shit. And I've always taken shit and gotten through seemingly unscathed. But recent times have made me realize that I don't deserve to take this shit and that I am actually worth enough to make that point and have people listen to it. But it's really hard to get out of the habit of trusting people. I somehow trust everyone and no one at the same time. Or at least I trust very few people. Please someone stop me, and get me out of this chair. My leg hurts so much.
I don't know what I am even writing. I'm scared to move, but I want to. And I can't. This is fucking annoying. I haven't had something like this happen in a bit. How do I get out of this? Maybe she will be able to bring me out of this? Am I writing what I feel inside or just what seems like it should be said? Or are these two things just naturally the same for me. Is what I see as logic just my own opinion? I know I'm not this blind. But maybe I am right now. Who knows how I really function in this state? Maybe this is a clue. Maybe if I get everything out here or as much of it as I can before it slips away and the web keeps clouding everything with all these strands going in more directions than I can count, I can figure out where I need to go to get out of it in the future. I know my sentences go on forever. I know there is no pattern. I just keep going. And I can't really control where my mind is headed, and my mind can't control what's happening to my body, and I need a way to get everything to line up again. I need to gain control again. That's it. I don't know what to do when I am not in control of a situation. That's not that true. I can deal with these things quite well, but I have to be in control of at least something or know that something that I did caused me to be in control of something. I don't know. That doesn't make sense. I have to be given some background reason or something to know that I have control over things. I need to have that going in. It's not confidence. It's knowledge. That's what I need. It's security that I can't quite label. And I guess little things eat at my daily allowance of security, and by the end of the day, I may be just fine. But some days I just run out. Some things just take too much out of me.
I feel disgusting right now.
It hurts. I am tired. I am starting to feel my body yet again. But this has only been cycling between nothing and a little bit of something. I haven't been able to get any further. I just want to get up and change my clothes before anyone gets here because I want to cover as much of myself as possible. I guess that means I want to keep hiding. I don't know if I can trust myself with anyone else right now. I don't know if I can trust myself at all. So I guess that must mean I need someone else to help me out right now. But I just don't see how that makes sense. Maybe I do. I am totally confused by my own head right now and know I am not making any sense.
How can people call me normal? She says I'm one of the most normal people she knows? Isn't that funny? Most people might tell you I'm the most screwed up person in the world. At least that's what I've been told to think for most of my life. And my parents I think are still trying to convince me of that. My fingers are twitching and being all weird but somehow they know exactly what to type. I don't know how it's coming out. But it is. I am somehow typing way faster than I ever could and I am definitely not looking at the keys as much. I know more than I think I do and maybe I second-guess myself all the time. I don't have to look. But I do. I worry about it and I don't even realize that I do it, but when I am on auto-pilot my muscle memory takes over and I am fine. What the hell? Why can't this work all the time? I know it can. I just need to get myself in the right place to be able to make it happen. And I know this doesn't make any sense to people, but I know how to do it if given a little bit of time. And the time depends on the situation. I can fix some things pretty quickly. I don't even know right now. I lost it completely.
I might be stopping soon, but I don't know why. Maybe I said what I needed to say without realizing it. I must have. I really don' t know anything of what I said. I feel like I ruined everything tonight. I didn't do this on purpose. I'm sorry. I wish I weren't like this sometimes. I wish I didn't fuck up everyone's plans and spoil shit. I shouldn't be allowed to be around people sometimes. But I don't know when to make that choice. How am I going to be in charge of another human life? How am I so much better at fixing other people's shit than my own?
What the hell? I don't know. I need to stop. I will stop.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I am full-fledged masculinity

with just enough--

a splash of femininity.


words are my weapons



Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Speech from YouTube

This is the written version of my Family video. I figured since I couldn't sleep and I was on this kick, I might as well do what I said I was going to do a while ago.

In my family, ever since I can remember, we’ve had a certain saying that became much more important when our family had to go through serious issues with my brother’s incarceration and we became physically separated from him. Always Together Forever. We would write it as AT4E in all the letters we would send and say it every time we said goodbye. And now I think that my family needs it again. It’s not something that’s only applicable to his situation or to situations in which there is a conventional type of loss. This kind of reassurance matters just as much in unconventional circumstances, and I would argue that it matters more since we are less likely to encounter such reassurance in the larger social sphere. This kind of love should be unconditional. It’s an all-the-time thing.
My parents once I asked me why it was so important to me that they accept me or respond positively to my choice to transition. (I hesitate to use the word transition, even, because I don’t believe I’m changing into something that isn’t already there.) So, why is their support so important? It’s not that I expect total agreement at any point, and I certainly didn’t expect it at the outset. I expected exactly what did come—severe anguish, outrage, disgust, disbelief, depression, and a sense of loss on their part. These feelings are understandable, but at some point, family needs to understand that this decision belongs to you, and that your feelings are indeed stable and rational—that you have thought it through deeply and painstakingly and that you are aware of all the risks, physical and otherwise, that may arise as you proceed with transition. At this point, family members need to step up. While it is important for trans people to understand and empathize with their grieving family members, it is also important for the family members to realize that this situation is not about them. Furthermore, they need to move past preconceived dreams that they had for their child’s future and start to understand how much happier and fulfilled their child will be living the life that he or she truly desires.
Again, why does it matter? Parents who reject their children often say that the child has also rejected them to find family and comfort in friends and that it shouldn’t matter to their child if they support them anyway. But, like most of us in this society, we have grown up with the notion that family loves unconditionally—that they are there when you have nowhere else to run—that when the rest of the world is bombarding us with hate and oppression, we may find solace and comfort in the arms of those who taught us to be the proud, shining people that we are. The last thing that we would expect from these people, who have been there with us throughout the ups and downs of our lives, is a supplement to the transphobic onslaught we are likely to face by some. The last thing we need in our times of desperation and fear are shots of I told you so. When all else goes wrong, and we are forced to hide our true selves from the rest of the world, what we desire most is that safe space with those who supposedly know us the best. We desire that space where we can be and say anything we want—where we don’t have to worry about putting on airs or keeping our guard up. We want the people and places that hold our memories. We want community and stability and familiarity. In short, we want a place where we can be home.
It’s a true test of the family as a whole when something like this arises—when a child tells you that he or she is transgender and wants to pursue gender reassignment options. It’s a test of that unconditional nature of love—the love of a person as a person and not as a normative model for gender. The transgender child bursts a protective bubble that this society has created around the revered “traditional family” model. We shatter norms that most people cling to, hold onto for dear life, as if they risk drowning in the sea of difference that lies beneath their raft of glass. How is this accomplished? We introduce “the Other” into their environment. We bring the foreign, the unknown and feared, right to them. It’s something that just can’t be ignored or dismissed. It’s the same sort of shattering of worlds that goes on when people erroneously assume that cancer, diabetes, and alcoholism are issues that affect other people and families, and not themselves. People unfamiliar with the concept of transgender and transsexual people immediately conjure up popular media representations of the Jerry Springer tranny. They fear being labeled freaks. They fear being different. Yet they somehow do not look to us, the transgendered, in these times. Do they think that we don’t know this same fear? We face this fear every day, and many of us have learned to embrace being different, turning the problem completely around, loving every bit of who we are as individuals, no matter what the fuck anyone else out there has to say about it. I think that parents of trans people should really look to their children to see how strong this has made them--look at their children to see how proud they are of their identity.
Another question several members of my family asked me, quite accusatorily, was why didn’t I tell them first? Why did I have to tell all of my friends and use internet means to convey this information to some? Why did I leave them in the dark to be blindsided by this when they received a phone call from a family member who happened to see my facebook page?
I can first say that I didn’t intend for my parents to be informed by anyone else. I had planned to tell them myself. And that’s the tough part. It’s something you have to plan for. a lot. Coming out as trans to your parents takes unspeakable courage. It takes everything you have to work up to that. You lose sleep over it. You cry over it. You turn it over and over in your head and try to figure out exactly how you are going to do it and when. And a lot of the time, you know exactly how your family is going to react. In my case, I knew that it would be bad. To quote Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird about the level of courage you need for this task… “It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
It’s like facing a firing squad. Signing up to be a kamikaze pilot. You risk losing everything. You risk losing the love of the most important people in the world to you. You risk losing your home. You risk your education, if you are financially dependent on them. It’s a huge burden to have to deal with the issue of having to tell your family, and for this reason it is hugely important to build a strong network of social support before you tell them. It’s important that you have somewhere to turn when disaster strikes—that you CAN make that 4 am phone call in hysteria to your best friend. It’s important to surround yourself with people that understand you and will love you no matter what may happen with your family. This social support network is what often prevents depression in cancer patients, what helps the newly divorced move on with their lives, which helps all the grieving in the world carry on to the next day. With this support network and with our composure the best that it can be, only then can we approach our families. It is not that we have not thought through every little detail of the process over and over again. It is not that the thought has suddenly arisen out of nowhere. It is not a whim. It’s not a game. And it isn’t something that goes away. It’s something that most of us have known all of our lives, whether we have had a name for it the entire time or not.
We ask that you understand these things. We ask that you respect us. We ask that you try to learn as much as you can without feeling the need to cram statistics of death and unemployment in our faces. Do not assume that we aren’t aware of what awaits us. We are very aware. And that is why we need you more than anyone else. We need you because we know that things aren’t perfect for anyone in this world, and that being different makes it a hell of a lot harder. We need you because we have so many wonderful memories with you and want the opportunity to create more of them with you. All in all, what this really means is that we need you, because we love you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

When Someone Else's Book Tells Your Story

"It finally dawned on me that I had not been able to grow up fully because I was never going to be an adult woman. I knew that the only way I could grow up--really be an adult--was to become a man."

"While other men talked about wanting validation as men from their fathers or other role models, I listened to my inner self, recognizing the validation I had received over the years, the connectedness I had always felt with other men, recognizing that my masculinity was natural and real, as natural and real as that of any other man in the room, and that if I had stayed in a female body my masculinity would still have been natural and real, because that masculinity did not depend on the possession of a male body."

"Being true to oneself creates the integrity and self-respect we need to have if we are to extend that respect to others."

"Identity has often been a powerful organizing tool, but it should not be mistaken for the ideal model of community. Identity is not a rigid, monolithic social box into which we can each place ourselves, where we will permanently remain. We are all becoming something, and we can strongly identify with different aspects of our lives at different times, or new elements may be introduced into our lives that we must integrate into our identity, such as parenthood, chronic illness or sudden disability, falling in love with a person we wouldn't have imagined being with, or finding a new career. These evolutionary events often draw us into new communities and new identities. The tendency to 'fix' people's identities as encompassing only one aspect of themselves, or as being unchanging in their various aspects, is equivalent to expecting a person to only eat apples because he or she was eating an apple when you met."

"For me, community exists when I don't have to be afraid to let others around me know who I am, when I don't have to worry about surviving hostility simply because I am different in some way, whether that way is gender- and sex-related, or because of the color of my skin or my family background or my occupation. I want a community in which I receive the same respect I give to others, and the same level of services and opportunities that others receive, a community that is conscious, caring and respectful of all life and all human expression that is not harmful to others."

"Being a man is more than looking like one. It requires knowing what is expected of a man, and choosing how to go about meeting or not meeting those expectations at any given moment."

"I wanted to change my body because I felt invisible. Inside a female body, I felt as if I couldn't fully exist, as if the masculine part of me was compressed inside me to a degree that was not just uncomfortable, but downright painful. We all have hidden components of our personality or selves that we either want to protect or yearn to have others see. We all also have to find the balance for ourselves, bringing out those hidden attributes or somehow finding that place of comfort in our own skins, in our own lives. We all want to find fulfillment. For some people, that means something as as simple as changing hairstyles or driving a certain car, for others it means serious exercising and buying a new wardrobe. For still others it means giving up a boring job and attempting to change careers, or going back to school to get that MBA or PhD. For some people it means adopting a new religious practice or confirming the one in which we were raised. For others it means adopting an androgynous or overtly confrontational style of dress and grooming. For some of us, it means changing our sex visibly, legally, internally, and externally--fundamentally and dramatically changing our bodies."

"This is what normal feels like."

"I am the one who has to live inside my body. This is my body of knowledge."

"Every time a stranger called me 'sir' or 'Mr. Green' in person or over the telephone--something that had been happening for decades already--I felt as if I was less and less able to laugh about it. It seemed I was becoming a man in spite of myself..."

"Being different from both the girls and the boys, I was reluctant to engage in interspecies contacts."

"As I relaxed into the comfort zone of each new relationship, I privately resumed my own internal concentration on hiding my discomfort with my female body."

"Trans people don't know more about sexuality just because they are trans. In some cases we may know even less because our own confusion and fears have allowed us less sexual experience."

"I finally learned that I really do know and accept who I am, and I don't have to rely on my partner's appearance, sex, or gender to validate or reinforce my own identity."

"The extent to which we convey the truth of our experience is the extent to which any audience will receive us."

"The pain inflicted by the refusal to acknowledge the lived experience of a person if vicious and debilitating."

"It was a great relief to be able to shake off layers of defensive behaviors developed to communicate my humanity from inside my uncategorizability."

"So why tell anyone about my past? Why not just live the life of a normal man? Perhaps I could if I were a normal man, but I am not. I am a man, and I am a man who lived forty years in a female body. But I was not a woman. I am not a woman who became a man. I am not a woman who lives as a man. I am not, nor was I ever, a woman, though I lived in a female body, and certainly tried, whenever I felt up to it, to be a woman. But it was never in me to be a woman."

"By claiming our identity as men or women who are also transpeople, by asserting that our different bodies are just as normal for us as anyone else's is for them, by insisting that our right to express our own gender, to modify our bodies and shape our identities, is as inalienable as our right to know our true religion, we claim our humanity and our right to be treated equally under law and within the purviews of morality and culture. To do that, we must educate--if we have the ability and emotional energy to do so. That is what visibility is about."

"People can argue abstractly about the "real-ness" of my life all they want, but it doesn't change the fact that I exist or the qualities of maleness people observe in me."

"The longer my hair grew, the more consistently I was perceived by strangers as male...There is something about gender--not sex or sexuality--that transcends clothing, hairstyles, body shapes, voices, and even the conscious awareness that a body has a particular sex."

"I also knew that whether or not I ever changed my body, I would always be not completely male and not completely female, even though I knew I would fit in the world better as a man. I would always be different than other conventionally gendered beings. And ultimately, by changing my appearance to reflect my masculine gender, I did not narrow my perspective to obliterate the feminine, but in fact I broadened my own understanding of what it can mean socially to be labeled 'man' or 'woman.'"

"Gender is a type of language, and there are some very adept individuals capable of speaking many dialects, as well as derivative languages."

"As we throw off the yoke of early oppressions and remove the barriers to being ourselves, we are left with--ourselves."

And this is how the book ends:

"Just like anyone else, when transsexual people lie down at night and shut our eyes, helpless in sleep and vulnerable as infants, whether we have someone's arms around us or whether we are all alone, we know that all we have to live for is to be the best version of our most authentic self that we can possibly be. Through our introspection and experimentation we can come to realize how very like others we are. We can come to accept the mysterious, the feared and misunderstood aspects of ourselves, to appreciate the whole self, to recognize our differences and similarities, to rid ourselves of anxiety concerning sexuality, to understand the body as a vessel of the spirit in an intrinsic way. For some observers, our journey seems a step outside the boundaries of society; for us, once we have arrived at our own balance point--no matter what that looks like to others--we can recognize our humanity and understand our connections to other people. Though others may persist in excluding or tormenting us, and though we may be driven initially by anger or eventually by compassion, once we find that balance point of self-acceptance we can experience an inner shift toward a kind of peace. The beacon of that inner peace living in each of us enables transpeople to endure, and once we bring it to the forefront of our lives, the resulting self-assurance will eventually speak to and calm the fears of others."

quotes from Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


These snow days have given me time to read again--given me time to think for myself for the first time in what seems like an eternity. So I suppose that means you have to deal with my mental vomit now, as I am drunk with too much thought for my body to contain.

I could say so many things about banquets and suits and events of several weeks ago, but this isn't the time, and this certainly isn't the place. But I can talk about snow and football.

In 1993, a lot of us experienced a snow storm of similar magnitude to that which occurred over the weekend. But this isn't the same. Elementary school snow days, while we all adored them and appreciated them as much as we could, can't quite compare to what we are experiencing now. I am not discounting the stresses of a life from which I have not even truly separated myself (that life being my childhood, of course). But you can see all around you the remarkably effective ways children deal with their day-to-day stresses. Children don't need to be taught to relieve their stress with meditation and yoga and psychotherapy. Their relief springs from a much simpler source: the innate desire to PLAY.

On the morning after the storm, people were ambling, clambering, and trudging through the middle of the streets, now laden with solid sheets of whiteness. The roads became giant footpaths, inaccessible to traffic, and therefore inaccessible to many of the things that distract us from what really matters. Even cars parked on these roads began to disappear under nature's fine white carpet. It's another clue to what's important, and it's a not-so-subtle reminder, like the storm itself, that we are not the ultimate masters of this universe.

But amidst the chaos of collapsing social order and diminishing institutional control (however minute), we noticed something else. I'd like to think it had something to do with the absence of the "essential personnel." In the absence of these adults--these people who have long since forgotten--we were able to remember.

Those students carrying bags of bread and milk (and cases of Budweiser) were significantly outnumbered by students carrying sleds, skis, and snowboards right down the middle of Forbes Avenue. We saw relay races in the snow on the Cathedral Lawn. Snowball fights. Snow angels. People being together. And playing. It was as much a snow day as any other we've had, yet it was way more than any snow day I've ever seen. In an environment where we are conditioned to believe that the only way anyone can have any fun in college is to do Jell-o shots off half-naked sorority girls and tear down bus stations; where we are forced to become enemies with one another because we are taught that being cutthroat will get us further in life, when all that further means is that we'll want to be even further and that we'll have way more to worry about when we get there; where we are constantly being told that we have to be mature, that we have to shove aside these childish pursuits and studystudystudy all the time and make sure we do this constructive activity and that and put this on our resume over here and add this thing too...In this world, I think the most important thing that we can remember is that sometimes, no matter how much shit is going on in your life and how much you should be doing this or that, what you really need is to go outside, pack down a handful of snow into a perfect sphere, and play.

I think football will have to wait. It's a completely different subject, and right now, my time is better spent not spending my time better at all.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Waiting for the Burn

I have new eyes for the guise of
your rising sun and
feet soaked
with the white blood
of winter
and nothing in me
telling me
to go home
without this

I have a new song for an ear that's
yet to hear one note.
on a new voice is the feeling
of hot soup
in the back of my throat
or the ice-cold dive
into the deep end of July