Living Semi-Stealth. Sort of.

16 03 2011

OK, so the whole posting every week thing lasted a grand 2 months. Not out of lack of things to say, just out of a lack of energy. As some of you know, I’m in the midst of doctoral research in a small community in Northern Quebec. Lately, I’ve been more and more involved in the community and have very little time to myself. And the little time I do have I (mostly unsuccessfully) try to keep as Jacky self-care time.

But I thought I would drop a line about how interesting it has been living “semi-stealth.” Back home, everyone who knows me knows that I’m trans. For the most part, it’s because they knew me before. But even knew people that I meet find out soon enough because I frequently like to joke around about “that time when I was in the girl scouts” or “when I was in labour” and so forth. Also, most new people I meet are some flavour of queer, or close enough, so that transngess and GQness is something that is pretty usual to talk about.

Living in a small community where there are few queers and where those who are queer tend to stay fairly quiet about it, it’s not something that has come up very often. People that knew me from prior visits know but, since they didn’t see me through the transition, memories of Nancy are far back enough to be somewhat irrelevant to them. An exception is a former lover who doesn’t really want to communicate too much out of discomfort because “OH MY GOD he had sex with a woman who then became a man, does that make him GAY?!?!” But I knew that this was going to happen before I transitioned, and I decided to transition anyway. I loved him, and still do, but chose self love over his love. So his reaction doesn’t really phase me. Other than that, my son, as always, calls me Mommy, which leads to some confusion, but most people have simply taken it in stride. The few people I’ve come out to, because it just came up, have taken it in stride as well. So…no big deal really.

Now, I don’t really care if people know. But since I don’t bring it up unless it comes up (like if someone actually asks me why my son calls me “Mommy” or the time someone actually mentioned a film by one of my trans idols, Lazlo Pearlman), I don’t wind up bringing it up very often. So most people in town believe that that A) I’m a guy, through and through – as opposed to a blend, which is how I actually feel and identify with people that matter – and that B) I’ve always been one. It’s a strange feeling for me, because I’m not into being stealth at all and I’m not used to people just assuming that I was once a little boy.

I am quite surprised that gossip hasn’t gotten around more…or maybe it has. Two of my students were conversing in their own language one time and I heard the term “sex change” pass between them but they didn’t look at me. So it might be that there have been rumours, but since people (students, their parents, colleagues) like me well enough, it didn’t wind up mattering.

Who knows. I still have a few months left here so all kinds of things could happen in the meantime. We’ll see.



How to date a transman

30 01 2008

UPDATED DECEMBER 20, 2009: Link fixed.

Hope this doesn’t come across as self-promotion. I had heard of this page before but hadn’t looked at it because of the assumption that it was just more trannie-fetishising (as in, how to get the transboy of your dreams and keep him in a cage so you can show your friends how cool you are for dating a transboy). But I finally checked it out and it’s a very thorough list of things to consider for anyone to who is sexually or emotionally involved with an FTM. Worth checking out even if you’re not in that situation as some of the stuff applies even in non-sexual or non-emotional contexts.

Blast from the past: Making Love to Metal

26 01 2008

(Originally written March 15, 2006 on my old blog).

I just got back from seeing “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” . This film was created by an anthropologist from B.C. who is a total metalhead. How could someone who can combine two of my great passions go wrong? He could have, but he didn’t, or barely did. 

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Blast from the past: I love my friends

26 01 2008

(Originally written May 25, 2006 on my old blog.)

At some time in my early 20s, I sacrificed quality for quantity when it came to friendships. I had been a loner and a misfit in my childhood and teens, with only a handfull of misfit friends. If these misfit friends were out of town over the summer, for example, then I would have no one to hang out with.

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Blast from the past: Polyamory and the maintenance of autonomy

26 01 2008

(Originally written December 16, 2006 on my old blog.)

I’ve been thinking about relationships a lot lately and have figured something out about the difference in views about relationships that poly and non-poly folks have. Through conversations with friends, colleages, etc. I’ve noticed that what bothers a lot of people about non-monogamy is not so much the fact of there being more than one simultaneous relationship in the life of one or both partners, but the maintenance of autonomy within “the couple.” Read the rest of this entry »

Blast from the past: Polyamory, bisexuality and gender

26 01 2008
(Origingally written December 16, 2006 on my old blog. Disclaimer: I don’t necessarily agree with everything I wrote here anymore. Clarifications will be made in future posts.) 

Over the years, through my involvement with bi groups and poly groups, I’ve noticed, as many others have, an overlap between the two communities. However, there are bi people, as we all know, that are not poly and who do not wish to be. On the other hand, there are bi people who could not imagine being bi without being poly.

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Blast from the past: What is a sex act anyway?

26 01 2008
(Originally written on Oct. 25, 2007 on Facebook.)
A few casual conversations in the last year or so have set me on a long term revisiting of this question. Back as an undergrad, when a few of us were “getting intellectual” at Reggie’s after an anthro class where the idea came up that people in some societies can’t conceive of the possibility of sex between members of the same sex, I not-so-drunkenly suggested the possibility that the acts that we (westerners) would consider sex simply aren’t viewed that way in these particular locations. Years later, I came across literature that confirmed this. Women in a few African societies have traditionally had interactions that I, as a westerner, would consider sexual but that they do NOT define as sex. According to them, if there is no penis, how can it be sex? The underlying premise is that sex, by definition, involves acts that lead to procreation. The other stuff, as earth shatteringly orgasmic as it may be, therefore does not qualify. So for these women, genital contact amongst themselves is pleasurable and romantic but not sexual.