Support and check in for trans, non-binary, pan and GQ people. October 23, 2018 7:55 AM   Subscribe

This week in the news sucked and it's been all too easy to lose sleep over it. How are you? (Hugs, headpats and venting inside.)
posted by loquacious to MetaFilter-Related at 7:55 AM (71 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

Also, supporters and allies are welcome, here, you don't have to be trans or related.

I just want to say to all of you out there you're valid in all of your shapes and forms, at whatever stage you're at and wherever you're feel the most authentic.


#TransRightsAreHumanRights #WontBeErased
posted by loquacious at 8:12 AM on October 23, 2018 [14 favorites]

/me stumbles in, waves at everyone
posted by nikaspark at 8:33 AM on October 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

Rethinking a workplace transition plan. Also wondering how (or if) the college I work for is going to respond. I just came off of a week of taking care of my mother post-surgery so I don't have space to process it.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 8:36 AM on October 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am so, so sad all the time now.

Don’t forget scared!
posted by Caduceus at 8:43 AM on October 23, 2018

My heart breaks (some more). I have little room but a lot of love north of the border, if the time comes.
posted by wellred at 9:00 AM on October 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Since genetic testing has been mentioned in conjunction with this latest fuckery, I'd also like to express support for folk with intersex conditions/DSD.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:01 AM on October 23, 2018 [12 favorites]

I was asked to leave my gym’s changing room today bc someone was made uncomfortable by my presence. I argued it but nobody else in the room said anything and i left.
posted by the list of suspects is just you at 9:06 AM on October 23, 2018 [19 favorites]

WHAT THE FUCK. where did that happen?

god dammit.
posted by nikaspark at 9:08 AM on October 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm glad I accepted a job offer in Seattle last week. I'm (finally) moving away from Texas in the next couple of months. I'm scared, I'm angry, I'm resigned and resolved. I've seen this coming for a long damn time. Here's a spoken word thing I recorded in June that sums up my feelings pretty well:

Berlin Fragments, Seattle's Ghosts

It's raw, needs editing, but I can't seem to give the right number of fucks to go back and make it better. It is just is what it is I suppose.
posted by nikaspark at 9:11 AM on October 23, 2018 [8 favorites]

I apologize for the total septic pit this nation has become.

I'm frightened of the growing evil.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:18 AM on October 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm so angry and so frustrated for you all. Scared, too, but mostly I'm just fucking furious.
posted by sciatrix at 9:28 AM on October 23, 2018

Sending hugs to anyone that needs them xx
posted by ellieBOA at 9:45 AM on October 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

I look like the canonical sample of the kind of person who is ruining the world. I'm tall, white, middle-aged, male. I don't even look queer. (How does one look queer? I don't have the patience for precision grooming.) I have to wear rainbows outside or people just treat me like any other white dude. I just by default hate people who look like me on the street. How does this not bleed into my self image? Well it does. I loathe myself. There are people who care about me but it doesn't sink in much. Sure, I know, therapy. I don't care enough. If I could push a button to send every over 50 white dude directly into the core of sun, I'd push it inside of a heartbeat holding a cheery wave as I disappeared myself too. Sorry if that includes you and you don't suck. It's not about me. It's just how I feel. I identify as non-binary and I hate the skin I'm in, but it doesn't matter. Since you asked. I just veer between rage and despair unless I'm distracting myself with some kind of escapism or working on art. I have lovely cats and a good partner and I live in a nice place and I have enough food to eat and I'm in fine health and I'm just so OUTSIDE of everything.

Thanks for asking.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:06 AM on October 23, 2018 [20 favorites]

Much love to all who are sad or frightened or anxious. Please know that there are those who will take to the streets to protect you.
posted by donnagirl at 10:08 AM on October 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm pissed at Cheeto, but I'm also disappointed with liberal "allies" who spent the last decade debating, waffling, fumbling, and compromising on trans rights. NOW do you see why we were critical of the HRC and Barney Frank? NOW do you see why we didn't think Obama's lame-duck support of lower-court logic was sufficient? Y'all failed to fully commit to the play, and the Right took the ball, got the dunk, and likely will have the reffs call a foul in their favor.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 10:10 AM on October 23, 2018 [24 favorites]

posted by nikaspark at 10:22 AM on October 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

the way cis hegemony forces trans and non binary people to self-erase is fucking evil.

I see you seanmpuckett
posted by nikaspark at 10:23 AM on October 23, 2018 [12 favorites]

How are you?

*Angry gay noises*

Here's a spoken word thing I recorded in June that sums up my feelings pretty well:

That's remarkable. It's amazing. I also read your book, btw, coincidentally over our local Pride weekend last Saturday and Sunday and I laughed at some of it and cried at some of it and thought off-and-on, "This feels like a little, queer, trans, Book of Disquiet." It was moving and helpful and I thank you for your work.

(This weekend I also listened to this summer's Octo Octa and Eris Drew set. If you all want to hear two queer women burning down the house, I highly recommend it.)

Take care, everyone.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:30 AM on October 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

I miss AFABulous' voice on MetaFilter and hope he's ok.
posted by carmicha at 10:41 AM on October 23, 2018 [26 favorites]

What the hell? When did he button!? They actually helped me figure a lot of stuff out and be more brave.

**hugs for AFABulous** I hope you're ok.
posted by loquacious at 10:47 AM on October 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

(re: AFABulous, at the time he did mention he's stepping back from social media generally, and that it's fine to contact him if you have his info thru other channels.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:53 AM on October 23, 2018 [17 favorites]

*Steps into thread, sets a variety of snacks, treats and drinks on a table, leaves quietly.*
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:55 AM on October 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

also missing AFABulous damnit
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:03 AM on October 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

Over here things are pretty ok, just slow and stuck uncomfortably in the in-between, which may last rather longer than I'd like.

I'm finding myself desperately clinging to privilege and safety, and am coming to the realization that it's possible that the best goals I can hope for is being pan/NB and just plain old weird. And weirdly old?

A queer ally and friend reminds me that I've never actually really had the privilege I think I'm clinging to, pointing out all the times trans folk just get aggressively excluded from social circles, and damnit she's right.

But part of my personal metrics of solace are mainly in the form of better mental health, less pain and depression and the internal things that really matter to me. Which, thankfully, are significant. All it takes is missing or being late on a dose of meds and my brain instantly lets me know it's not ok with going back.

And daily I have to remind myself "it hasn't been a year yet. Hang in there. It's getting better."

One of my most recent check in messages to my doctor was simply: "Yep, here's the part where the "honeymoon phase" ends and it gets weird and moody and my body isn't catching up to my brain. I was expecting this and warned you about this phase like six months ago. Thankfully I'm really good at doing weird and moody. I got this."

I also need to remind myself that I went into this knowing doors were potentially closing thanks to the political landscape. I know a lot of people recently have decided to take the leap due to what could be seen on the horizon. There's even discussion of this with my doctor - "Hey, uh, let's get this rolling ok? Things are getting weird."

And at this rate I'm not going to really be that surprised if I end up dying on a street barricade or worse. I remind myself that history is a graveyard. I remind myself that truth has power, and that love finds a way.
posted by loquacious at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2018 [7 favorites]

I was friends with AFABulous here, Facebook and Twitter, all of which he buttoned. I don't have any other contact for him so if anyone is in touch please tell him Bondcliff says hello.

I learned a lot from him, and from others here. Voices should not be silenced. I can't wait to fucking vote in this midterm.
posted by bondcliff at 11:13 AM on October 23, 2018 [9 favorites]

octobersurprise: thank you. Also, I’m excited to have learned about Book of Disquiet today :-)

Much love to everyone and nthing feels and love for AFABulous as well.
posted by nikaspark at 11:22 AM on October 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also not to get all super dour on everyone but could y’all please download your comment histories and pick out the best stuff and print them out?

I feel like we need to have hard copies of our experiences for the future generations of trans kids who come up on the other side of this gap we’re facing.
posted by nikaspark at 11:26 AM on October 23, 2018 [8 favorites]

I'm nowhere near this, middle class cis het male in Chile. But I love you all and would (will) stand with you in this and any other fight where a group of assholes is trying to decide that other people are less human than they are.
You're on the front line here, and have the most to lose, but this is every decent person's fight.
posted by signal at 11:30 AM on October 23, 2018 [5 favorites]

Also not to get all super dour on everyone but could y’all please download your comment histories and pick out the best stuff and print them out?

I've occasionally - vainly - wondered if I have a book waiting to be edited in my history, but omg I should *not* curate it and editing yourself is weird and squicky.

Parts of it are already essentially a journal.
posted by loquacious at 11:31 AM on October 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I did that with my comment history from here two years ago, loquacious. Just edit it lightly and keep it raw. Queer ephemera is what our future queer families will need and they will want it real. They need to see our process, our mistakes, our learning.

Just think, the 5 minute edit window has passed.
posted by nikaspark at 11:39 AM on October 23, 2018 [6 favorites]

I remind myself that history is a graveyard. I remind myself that truth has power, and that love finds a way

There's a lovely passage at the beginning of Heike Bauer's recent book on Magnus Hirshfeld and his Institute, The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture that I've been thinking of a lot lately.
"Scholarship on the histories of homosexuality in particular, which is founded on, albeit no longer limited to, the recuperation of dead white men, has had to expand and must continue to expand its analytical focus to examine the gendered, raced, and classed privilege that underpins the emergence of homosexuality as a category of collective identification. I conjure the figure of the queer angel of history to capture the complexities of the queer past and explain my concern both with the victims of antiqueer violence and the blind spots of emerging homosexual rights discourse in relation to other forms of oppression and injustice. Unlike the open-eyed figure of historical progress so famously summoned in Walter Benjamin’s reading of Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus, the queer angel of history has its sight obscured by the grit of experience. While the angel of history, according to Benjamin, is speedily propelled away from an inevitably receding past, its queer counterpart is pulled hither and thither by an affective “temporal drag,” to borrow Freeman’s phrase, that throws a spanner in the linear works of historical time.On the cover of this book is Paul Klee’s painting One Who Understands (1934). It features an abstracted face that is both drawn from and segmented by a series of lines. According to the description in the Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue, the lines “divide the picture like a cracked window-pane,” giving the impression that the subject is both part of and witness to shattering historical experience, simultaneously formed and fragmented by it. The image captures well my conception of a queer angel of history. A reminder that “motions do not always go forward,” the queer angel of history is compelled by the paradoxical disjuncture between the sociopolitical gains that have improved queer lives collectively and the experiences of violence that nevertheless continue to mark the felt realities of queerness across time."
posted by octobersurprise at 11:40 AM on October 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

My workplace-- in Canada-- has been terrible with trans stuff of all kinds, and folks are still misgendering pretty often, me three and a half years after I started here (I've been out at work the whole time). I just expended a lot of energy to push back on this more energetically than I have been, and I hope it does something, because my mental health took a giant hit because of it.

That said, this week a coworker took the time to email me about the news in the States, saying "I hope you know how easy it was to value your worth, to want to work with you. Wishing you can take extra care of yourself today."

I really appreciated that, since it's so difficult to carry this stuff, both when trans rights-- and my deservingness to exist, to access medical care, etc.-- were recently being debated here in Canada, and this stuff in the States, which affects so many of my trans kin, and not have it acknowledged at all by the people I have to share space with for 40 hours a week.

Sending love and strength to all y'all.
posted by ITheCosmos at 2:20 PM on October 23, 2018 [10 favorites]

I'm having a hard time in a way I can't quite explain. What I want is reassurance, but I'm not so stupid that I'd believe anyone who would try to reassure me, so I'd just get mad at them, and I don't want to impose on other trans people and so I'm alone.

The only person who has checked in with me is my doctor, who I happened to have an appointment with yesterday, but there was this undertone of "Eh, your documents are changed, you pass, you're fine." But, of course, this is all set up for pulling back passport and Social Security gender marker policies (to be "consistent", you see) and REAL ID means that has implications for state IDs. And no one is bloody noticing the obvious.
posted by hoyland at 4:26 PM on October 23, 2018 [6 favorites]

I've resigned myself to making sure that something of who we are survives across this whatever it is long enough for our future queer children to see and know us.
posted by nikaspark at 4:47 PM on October 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was pretty stoked to get SEX: X on my driver’s license upon moving to Oregon. I am the opposite of stoked about this nonsense.

Me and my nonbinary friend cut out pink triangles last night to safety pin to our stuff.

I’m thinking about coming out to my parents, and cool: I am sure they will be supportive in some way. Not cool: I am pretty sure from conversations I’ve had with them that they will completely not understand my gender identity at all!

Me and my other nonbinary friend are gonna go soak at a hot spring tomorrow.
posted by Gymnopedist at 6:10 PM on October 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

“The strong sisters told the brothers that there were two important things to remember about the coming revolutions. The first is that we will get our asses kicked. The second is that we will win.”

“You Can Learn More From Wearing A Dress For A Day, Than From Wearing A Suit For The Rest Of Your Life.“
posted by octobersurprise at 6:10 PM on October 23, 2018

odinsdream, is that the kind of get together where it would be good for allies to show up too or is that not really the point?
posted by nickmark at 6:23 PM on October 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks, loquacious, for making this thread.

Sunday was hard, and I'm not entirely certain why. I full expected something like this to come. I guess expecting it just doesn't entirely get one ready for the reality. It didn't help that I was still reeling from learning that my employer provided insurance, which, by its plain language, seems to cover GCS, in fact, does not, and will not any time soon (if ever).

Luckily for me, my gender euphoria is still going strong, and helping keep me in pretty good spirits. I may be doomed, but If so, I'll be doomed as me.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 6:29 PM on October 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

P.S. thanks for deleting that hot-take disaster of an FPP.

No sweat. You shoulda heard the out-loud "WHAT" when that showed up in the flag queue, I scared the cats.

I'm sorry shit keeps being all flavors of fucked, y'all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 PM on October 23, 2018 [12 favorites]

I've had this song in my head on and off for the past couple days.

I love how Neko Case bears witness to this horrible thing a parent said to her child. I love how it offers this unconditional love for the abused child. And yet the phrase "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME! WHY DON'T YOU EVER SHUT UP?" sticks in my own head from the perspective of the put-upon one, the abused one, the genderqueer one who those in charge don't want to believe exists. I continually hear the song and the phrase in my head as the voice of the child to the abusive parent, roles entirely reversed, and I love it for that as well, because it entirely works on that level too.

I find myself talking back in the car to political ads and pejorative radio commentators and patriarchal wedding-ring ads, in a combined phrase: "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" It's polluting my headspace, and I depersonalize entirely too easily to listen to this crap more than the few seconds it takes to recognize it, tell it to shut the fuck up, and change the station.

It applies to me, yet I have to remind myself it applies to me, that I've always known, and even my once-abusive father knew and acknowledged in his last days, that my brain wasn't and isn't and never has been solely a girl's or woman's brain. Because when I'm not forced to define it, when I'm in my own head, it just is how I am, and how I see myself, and how I dream, and it's not a thing, not an exception, just what is.

We are, friends. We will continue to be. Much love.
posted by limeonaire at 7:27 PM on October 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh here, the original album version is even better.

The whole album, linked in the playlist, is also excellent for times like these.
posted by limeonaire at 7:44 PM on October 23, 2018

Oh man, now I need to go find the deleted thread.

Or maybe recognize more often that diving into that shit is actually a known form of self harm beyond useful situational awareness. I, uh, opened the T_D reddit today to see what they were crowing about after related news, and "Duh, two genders! Science!" is all over the place and it's frankly fucking Brownshirt library-burning territory.

I would ask allies that can handle it to go take a gander and spread the news about how shitty and outright central to all of this that subreddit is and to keep tabs on it.

Keep in mind this is the same subreddit that stickied a megathread and planning thread about Charlottesville, had full on calls to violence and, well, someone died from that already. And then they tried to bury it.

Just around the election they had a full on "No, Trump doesn't hate LGBTQ or especially not trans!" and "I'm a gay Trump supporter!" blitzkrieg of propaganda and, well, here we are. They buried/forgot that too.

A whole lot of someones out there are working together and have their social media manipulation on lock. It's frightening as fuck.
posted by loquacious at 8:21 PM on October 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm tired of giving people cookies for apologizing when they get my pronouns wrong, I am tired of correcting people on my pronouns all the fucking time, I am tired that I could pass and i changed my language to match my body, and my body still just doesn't match at all. I'm lonely.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:23 PM on October 23, 2018 [6 favorites]

Welp, I went and read the deleted thread. Here's my open letter response. Trigger/content warning, tho.

I'd like to touch on this.

The opposite of the article thesis that taking trans youth at their word rather than being a form of conversion therapy is much more likely to be true. Transgendered people are pushed into "Well, maybe you're actually gay." expected roles more often than not.

I was pushed into that by many, many unexpected people and sources and it took fucking FOREVER to figure out that I wasn't any of those things, and that I was indeed trans like I'd been trying to tell people for ages, like I knew all along and didn't have the words for yet.

And in the cases of pre-puberty children? They're usually not actually prescribing hormones or treatment beyond allowing them to express their pre-puberty gender expression and figure things out. At best most trans kids get only puberty-delay through blockers. They can afford to be questioning and flexible, because it's really that much of a life and death via full engagement with life issue.

For example: I have avoided things like school and a career because I couldn't cope and engage with life. I've lost a number of good people as lovers and partners because I couldn't be truly available or engaged.

W/R/T ROGD as described in the article??

For me I had that symptom and path almost 20 years ago when I first tried to come out, and the cause is really and truly because I couldn't take not talking about it or addressing it and having to hide it any more. "I've never known or would have guessed!" is a common response, and this is because of how pervasively, oppressively and even hurtfully cisgender and straight all of society is, and how you're hammered with negative representations of who you are from vintage cartoons to punchlines of jokes and direct physical violence to enforce conformity from peers and family alike.

And so despite getting "I had no idea!" from my mom or dad, they forgot I was expressing femme gender and had femme clothes and got caught multiple times trying to express that or that I never fit in with the boys and so on and so forth. The ROGD wasn't me. It was them, and their refusal to acknowledge or even try to listen to what I was trying to say to anyone, anyone at all.

My mom conveniently forgot screaming at me and telling me I was "disgusting and sick!" when I was caught borrowing her clothes. Or that I got "what are you doing with those clothes!?" from my dad when I tried to get my own.

So it is repressed, and it is that utterly pervasive cutlural oppression and repression is enforced and rewarded continuously from a young pre-puberty child until the transgendered person in question either dies from neglect or substance abuse or a lack of self care OR they fight back and say FUCK THIS I WANT TO FUCKING LIVE AND I NEED TO LIVE LIKE THIS.

It's the unexamined and unacknowledged fact that being trans in society is actually seen as much worse, much less, by almost everyone. Not that they're afraid of being gay or conflicted about who they are attracted to.

It's because it's just that pervasively oppressive in almost all cultures and societies against non-conforming gender expression.

It's fucking terrifying, and it's never been ok.
posted by loquacious at 8:45 PM on October 23, 2018 [18 favorites]

Or maybe recognize more often that diving into that shit is actually a known form of self harm beyond useful situational awareness.

This isn't about me so I won't go into me at length but, basically, even from my far-less-on-the-precipice position: yeah. Yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:27 PM on October 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

Love and hugs to all the trans, genderqueer and non-binary MeFites. Big hugs to AFABulous. Miss your wise words.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:37 AM on October 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

Oh man, now I need to go find the deleted thread.

To save everyone the trouble, it was basically a standard "I'm a straight woman who grew up with gay men, and here's why trans acceptance is just homophobic conversion therapy" TERF sawhorse single link FPP. It was deleted before there were cnut comments (or any comments there were were also deleted) - well done mods.
posted by Dysk at 3:49 AM on October 24, 2018 [8 favorites]

It was deleted before there were cnut comments

It was deleted before there were any comments. I have no idea what my phone thought I was trying to say there.
posted by Dysk at 4:01 AM on October 24, 2018

I keep thinking about the landlady (is it the landlady?) in Cabaret who falls in love with the greengrocer and thinks that the fact she isn't Jewish will protect them. And then I end up with fucking Tomorrow Belongs to Me stuck in my head.
posted by hoyland at 4:08 AM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

This enby is barely hanging in there with a heavy dose of denial over the state of the world. Also, my own personal shields/walls are putting in work for others, so I guess that's a net good, but probably not good for me.

WRT the deleted post: I'm 100% sure I'm not choosing this rather than being gay because any moves forwards femme MAKES ME GAYER.
posted by advicepig at 6:17 AM on October 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Love to everyone commenting and silently reading along. You matter, you're important, and you are loved.
posted by cooker girl at 7:40 AM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is a short passage from Tanya Tagaq's book Spirit Tooth, which cannot be recommended highly enough.
The simple truth is we are simply an expression of the energy of the sun. We are the glorious manifestation of the power of the universe. We are the fingertips of the force that drives the stars, so do your job and F E E L.
This resonated with me particularly because yesterday I was looking at my body and thinking, a hundred years ago, these atoms were doing something that isn't me. A hundred years from now, they'll be doing something else that isn't me. But they're me now.

Perhaps ... that thought might push back the darkness for a moment or two.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:27 AM on October 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

seanmpuckett, that's definitely my spiritual fuel and manna. It's one of the reasons I'm so glad to be where I am right now, and why I keep finding myself drawn towards nature, wilderness and the stark beauty of the cosmos.

My friend commented the other day something like (paraphrased) "Man, I see you sitting out there just watching the stars, the trees and sky all the time and so obviously enthralled and reveling in it... and I think, wow, they're doing it right."

I'm not sure where I learned this, but I'm so very glad and thankful I did. It's taught me to slow down, to listen and think so much more clearly and calmly. I'm out here non-figuratively hugging trees. I talk to the birds, sometimes in actual English words like "Wow, you're beautiful. I love your songs!" and try to verbalize my appreciation for the beauty all around me.

The last couple of days I keep waking up right before dawn to go stand outside and watch the sun rising over most of Puget Sound, lately deeply socked in with fog and cloud banks that we're just above, like I'm above the cloud tops on an actual mountain. The sea of fog and mist roils and glows in the early morning sun. It's been just incredible.

I'm definitely not being coy or cute about going full blown forest witch out here. It's long past time for magick and ritual to return to my life.
posted by loquacious at 8:55 AM on October 24, 2018 [12 favorites]

Been crying for the last few months to the intro from Monae's "Americans"
Hold on, don't fight your war alone
Halo around you, don't have to face it on your own
We will win this fight
All souls be brave
We'll find a way to heaven
We'll find a way
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 9:02 AM on October 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

Hang in there everyone.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:30 AM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

yeah this getting real as fuck folks
posted by nikaspark at 3:39 PM on October 24, 2018

The thing for me is that before "this time we're in now" (New American Fascism?) we trans people existed outside laws that didn't care if we existed or not and we were finding ways of creatively using existing law to find our legal footholds to validate our ID's and gain recognition. The effort to do that was a HUGE cognitive load. And fast forward to now we are going to exist outside laws directed at us at a federal level and designed to invalidate us is just...fuck...That's more than I can deal with really.
posted by nikaspark at 3:43 PM on October 24, 2018 [8 favorites]

I was in Glad Day last night for a magazine launch, just sitting at the bar, frowning at my phone because the wifi was slow and I have a very expressive face, when the person behind the bar checked in with me, "how are you doing over there?" not in a "why is your glass empty" way but in a "your body language indicates you may be in some distress" way. And I said I was fine, and thanked them for asking, said I really appreciated their concern, and got back that quiet nod that says "yeah, there's a lot of shit going down lately, and I have a few spare cycles to help, and I'm going to." And I wanted to just break down right there because of a tiny gesture by a total stranger.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:08 AM on October 25, 2018 [6 favorites]

I spent a good part of the night apparently cosplaying Death and dancing in the rain, wind and incredibly bright moonlight. I swear I'm about to start shooting laser beams and lightning bolts out of my eyes.

Not that this is very useful right now but it's great therapy.

I'd post pictures but it's pointless. Black on black on black in a dark forest under a cloudy full moon does not photograph well. It's hard to photograph even in full noon sun. All you get is an inky silhouette.
posted by loquacious at 7:30 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Several years ago I spent a lot of time being sad and mad about how I was becoming a statistic and no matter what I did I just "tracked to the statistics" for trans people more and more.

One night I was crying about how terrible it really was, lying on the floor of my empty bedroom in my sleeping bag after 7 months of transient living out of my backpack and I wrote on my now-deleted Tumblr blog "What did you expect? You gave up that privilege, remember sweetie?"

Ever since that night I temper my despair with that cold fact. I gave that cis privilege up, what did I expect?
posted by nikaspark at 7:48 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

it is known
posted by nikaspark at 8:07 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

( Allow me to recommend the Macabi skirt. Not cheap, but extremely durable, versatile, and not only has deep pockets but an inner zipper pocket big enough for a 7" phone. )
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:13 AM on October 25, 2018

This also kinda just sums it up, in a different way.

Motherfucking nails it.

I have avoided things like school and a career because I couldn't cope and engage with life.

Intellectualization is my métier. I would've stayed in school forever if I could've—and I have to a degree. It's everything else that I've always been incapable of handling.

Speaking of which, RL Goldberg's piece at The Paris Review on "eleven books that have meant a great deal to me as I’ve tried to learn about both my own transness and experiences less familiar to me. I hope they might be recognized, read, and shared—which is to say, never erased" is very good.

This weekend a friend of mine is hosting an pre-Halloween occult party promising noise, dance, and the destruction of Western Civilization. Right now I'd pay for any one of those, but all three seems like a bargain! You can hear some of her music here.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:18 AM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm glad this thread exists and that y'all exist, but fuck I hate this and it just .

I'm keeping it together by swinging between being EVEN MOAR QUEER and hiding behind my cis-hetero-appearing privilege.



posted by RhysPenbras at 1:13 PM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

You are all magical and amazing and I am, as always, in awe. Watching from my little gray worthless-cishet-ally life and hoping I can help somehow, someday.

My ~husband~ (I love him as an individual, but ugh) gave me a rainbow patch for our anniversary. It's also a Steven Universe patch, because nerds. In reality we are a boring straight mono couple, no better than all those magahat assholes. In our heads and hearts, we wish we were more. I hope and dread every other day that he's going to tell the world what he's told me about himself, and I'll have to reckon with what I've told him (and, well, Ask) about myself. But unless we radically redefine the terms of our relationship, we're just normies. Like all those magahats. We can claim we're something better, but in the end...

It's aggravating that my psychology makes me want to yell more when the right thing to do is to sit down, shut up and let the cool people's voices be heard as they deserve. The "ffs, Fox News-bot in-laws, that's also me *and your own kid* dammit" impulses are strong.
posted by cage and aquarium at 2:08 PM on October 25, 2018

I pass, my relationship passes. But the cost of that was about a decade of misdiagnosis because it turns out that homophobia and gender stuff is a big part of my personal CPTSD, and putting that on the table with a supportive community and treatment team is essential. It's that or let it kill me.

Also, cultural heterocentrism and ciscentrism is like a big smelly and wet fart that fills the room but only you can smell. It's the death of a thousand sniffs. It's work. Kind of pivotal to my understanding of passing is the novel Passing from the Harlem Renaissance, where all the little daily deaths of pretending end up wearing the characters down.

So I have a bit of a thin skin when it comes to the last five years of "discourse" about "passing privilege." Homes and relationships with straight people are fucking dangerous. Yeah, yeah, "not all straight people," but enough of them wig out in abusive ways when you're naked, vulnerable, and have no place to go that about half of us will experience abuse at some point.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 4:08 PM on October 25, 2018 [4 favorites]

I am, as always, in awe. Watching from my little gray worthless-cishet-ally life and hoping I can help somehow, someday.

You are neither gray nor worthless in any way and I’m grateful for your support. I know it isn’t very exciting and I know everyone wants money, but you can help trans people by helping individuals or organizations. This story in Paper should give you some ideas.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:37 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

cage and aquarium: we are a boring straight mono couple, no better than all those magahat assholes.

You know, I'd like to sit down with you and a pot of tea (if you like tea) in a cosy corner so we can talk about this. See, I'm half of a (mostly) cishet mono couple myself... and here's what I want to tell you: sister, putting yourself down does not lift other people up.
You and me can support trans and queer people while being cishet, and without asking them to validate us. If you are not being a magahat asshole, and I trust that you are not, then you are indeed being better than them.

Let's not put the emotional labour of telling us that we're 'good enough' on the same people who need our support so much right now. They have more than enough work to do without us adding to it.

... More tea?
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:44 AM on October 26, 2018 [12 favorites]

Sorry I've been absent. Regarding my gym changing room situation— I'd rather not post the gym's name just yet, but if any mefites know people in the media who might be interested in my story, either for its own sake or as part of a bigger story about transphobia following the NHS's GRA consultation, please send me a private message. I actually picked my gym because I thought it might be trans inclusive and would rather other trans people don't make the same mistake.
posted by the list of suspects is just you at 5:22 AM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm just going to drop this link to the Metro Trans Umbrella Group here in STL in case anyone needs services or support.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:15 PM on October 26, 2018

The gym was PureGym. I wrote about my experience in considerable detail as a set of tweets., if anyone's still checking this thread.

take care, fellow trans mefites <3
posted by the list of suspects is just you at 1:20 PM on November 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

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