Jake

18 05 2009

I got this link from fellow WordPresser Malcolm. I can relate to a lot of what Jake says, especially about the window on hetero men closing pretty abruptly once I started being read as male pretty consistently (also after only a few months on T). Up until then, even when I had short hair and looked fairly butchy, many men did not only not care, they actually liked it.

What differentiates me from Jake is that I have been bi for a long time so I haven’t only been with men. However, I had been with many more men than women up until a couple of years ago. I think it’s almost even now but, still, my early and most pervasive flirtation patterns were based on hetero (me as female with hetero males) relationships. Like Jake in his early forays into gay and bi male culture, though, I find it intimidating to flirt with queer men. I don’t quite know the cues. Even though everyone I meet reads me as male, I worry that gay men will see right through me at worst and be freaked when I tell them I have female body parts (all of them still) at best.

Another thing I have in common with Jake is that whole: “Wow, my chest looks male even though I have breasts” thing. It was nice to read that because I wondered if there were others like me out there.

Anyway, thanks to Malcolm for the link and thanks to Jake for the page!

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Mother’s Day for Trans Moms

10 05 2009

UPDATED (last paragraph)

I just wanted to spend a special “Happy Mother’s Day” out to all trans moms. Whether you’re FTM, MTF or gender transgressing in some way, it’s possible that people around you don’t recognise you on mother’s day, even if you ARE a mom through having given birth or through adoption.

It came as a sudden shock to me last year when my son and I went out for lunch on Mother’s Day and the person giving out roses walked right by our table. Not that I really like flowers and not that I appreciate the association of flowers with women, as if all women liked flowers. But it felt weird to have my motherhood go unnoticed. And I know some people, including my own mom, are unsure about my current status as a mom. But as I’ve written here, here and here I’ll always be my son’s mom. Always.

My mom wrote to me this morning to wish me a happy mother’s day because she said, I was once a mother. Once a mother. Sigh.

I’m sure other transguys who are moms encounter similar things. IN some cases, they might be fine with that because I know some transguys, unlike me, actually prefer not to keep IDing as moms. On the other hand, some MTFs want to identify as moms and probably aren’t recognised as such by some people around them.

So, anyway, any of you trans folk who are moms and who aren’t always recognised as such for whatever reason, this one’s for you!

UPDATE: So, 5 minutes after I wrote this, 3 friends wished me a happy mother’s day. And my son gave me a card he made in school. So I guess my posts refer more to strangers than anything else 😉 But, still, I know it’s the case for many trans moms so my wish still stands!





A Rant

7 05 2009

Please note: I don’t want advice. I don’t want to be told that I shouldn’t feel this way. I don’t want to be told how I should feel. So if that’s what your reflex is, please abstain from the comments.

I just want to rant to sympathetic ears (eyes?). If you can relate and share in the ranting, by all means. But I don’t want to be rational right now so no advice.

I can’t rant about this on Facebook. Too many people from work on there and some of them are the ones I’m ranting about. I really doubt that any of them read this blog . . .well, I know one does on occasion because he’s mentioned it but he’s not included in the rant because he’s gotten it right from the beginning.

So, on the surface, everything is great at work with regards to my transition. Everyone accepted me, no one gave me a hard time, it was all love and rainbows. A bunch of co-workers even came ot my transition party. So, no harassment, no discrimination. One colleague even said that he thought that it was cool that if anyone in our department did manifest problems with what I am doing, they would be the one to be ostracised. Yes. What a nice, progressive lot.

And, yeah, it’s true that I really can’t complain about that overall vibes.

But.

Fuck.

After ALL this time, when are they going to get the damn pronouns right?!? I was patient for a long time. And lots of them do get it right. In many cases, I don’t know because I’m not there if people refer to me in conversation about work related things. When I’m not there to glare as mistakes, do they even correct themselves if they say “she”?

Anyway, what set this off? I got “she”d by three different co-workers today. Three. 3. Trois. Drei.

In one case, the person corrected herself immediately and moved on. Good move.

In another case, the person corrected himself after I gave him a look of death and said: “What?!?!” But I got that look of “Whatever, it’s not such a big deal, just deal with it.”

In yet another case, the person said “she” to a person I had just met, a relatively new employee who, undoubtedly had read me as male until that moment as 100% of people that I meet have been doing for MONTHS now. Can you say confusion and in need of explanation now?

That’s the thing. When they screw up and I point it out, they don’t even understand why it’s important. I’m the one who is seen as making a big deal out of it but they don’t even realise, or want to it seems, that it’s like they just stuck a knife in my chest, knocking the wind right out of me with their lack of recognition of my gender. And it’s even worse when it comes from someone that I had considered a friend. Someone who has always claimed to “get” me.

Well, if you get me so much, how can you not get that it IS a big deal when you consistently verbalise an identity that is no longer mine, by the same token demonstrating that you can’t see me for who I am?

Why do you NOT get that you complicate my life in relation to new people when you “out” me and force me to have to explain to the new person who I am? When you remove my power to disclose to new people when I see fit?

We, trans folk, are told all the time that we take it too personally when people screw up our pronouns. Most of us are understanding in the beginning, though. And yet after over a year, when people still screw up, you start to wonder.

I understood that when I still had a delicate girly face and a girly voice it was hard to read me as male. I was patient. I didn’t make a big deal out of it.

But christ, I have a fucking beard now. I have a deeper voice. My chest is bound so tight that sometimes it’s hard to breathe. I go through all this shit with the chest binding so that I can present myself to the world in a way that concords with who I feel I am and I’m the one that is taking it too personally, being impatient and making a big deal out of nothing?

In response to that I say FUCK YOU. You’re the one that is losing the privilege of knowing who I am. And I say privilege not because I think I’m any more special than anyone else but because I know that I’m as special as anyone else and that I have a lot to contribute to the lives of people that take the time to know me for who I am.

REMINDER of opening disclaimer:

I don’t want advice. I don’t want to be told that I shouldn’t feel this way. I don’t want to be told how I should feel. So if that’s what your reflex is, please abstain from the comments.