Coming Out Day or Something Like It

coming out is a process

coming out is a defense mechanism to protect us from your cis-heteronormative view

coming out is choosing between physical danger and emotional anguish-every day

coming out is colonized 

coming out is gate kept

coming out is not pretty or easy

coming out is as often as not, not at all empowering

coming out is not the answer for all our woes 

coming out is a laundry list

 • diamoric bisexual

 • nonbinary transmasculine

 • aro/ace spectrum

coming out is virtue signaling

coming out is bullshit

coming out is never done

coming out is ignored

coming out is erased

coming out is vilified

coming out is dismissed

coming out is survival

coming out is death

coming out is heartache

coming out is ecstasy

coming out is terrifying

coming out is comforting

Coming out is not our salvation

Coming out is not our salvation

coming out is not our salvation

!

coming out is just a thing

and you can do it 

or you can not

.

coming out is just a thing

and they can do it

or they can not

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The Long Way ‘Round

Thirteen years ago, drenched in pregnancy hormones on an otherwise inconsequential hike, I realized I was transgender. It took me months to even be able to say the word out loud, longer to begin to tackle what, and how I would live that. 

For two years I tried to figure out what that gender place meant to me, what my identity was in the terms of the language of the time, what my transition would look like. I had so much internalized transphobia, the vanity of relative youth, and a partner who was having trouble dealing with her own unrealized covert transphobia in a few different ways. 

Eventually, after a very tense or tearful exchange at the peak of my physical dysphoria, in which she told me she was afraid of the health risks of my taking testosterone, I decided not to transition, basically, though I refused to acknowledge to myself that was what my choice meant. There were a lot of reasons I made that choice, fear, lack of sincere support, lack of ideal results, distrust in doctors, survivor/ptsd fear of surgery/anesthesia, internalized transphobia, and non binary transition being unavailable in my experience, were all big parts of that decision. 

But even a bad decision can offer a brief repose and having made any decision, there was a certain amount of relief. My instant relief also allowed me to wield my tendency for being hyper focused, in order to figuratively box up my trans status and get on with living whatever life I could. I told myself it didn’t really matter as long as my friends and loved ones knew I was not a girl. Maybe on some level, for a time, that was even true. 

When my girlfriend and I broke up later, finding myself a single parent with an office job at a very large company, I slowly put my gender even further back in the closet…I didn’t mean to do that, in fact I would have and did rationalize it many different ways if I was asked about the presentation change. None the less, I slowly shifted my gender presentation to a more socially acceptable geeky manic pixie dream girl style femme. It happened slowly over time, my work pursuit of a dangled promotion that would never come to fruition. To cope ai was almost entirely disassociated from my body during the time. I even went so far as to only own a full length mirror in which I could not see my body and head in it at the same time. 

If I was asked, while I still used the terms transgender and nonbinary transmasculine, I rarely discussed with anyone what that meant to me, only explained in cis palatable terms, and had very few healthy or protective boundaries around that identity.

It was fine I, I would repeat indefinitely. What boy wouldn’t want to have such a great rack? *bemused sigh* 

Then when my health had deteriorated so far that I had to quit that job, I suddenly found myself again, the master of my own gender identity and expression. Slowly as I started talking to people more about what being nonbinary transmasculine meant to me, my gender presentation and gender feels started sliding slowly and quickly back to where they had been so many years ago. 

So here I sit, yet again desperate to start hormones and have nonbinary top surgery, finally unafraid, feeling profoundly sad about wasting so many years of my life trying to maintain familial, romantic, and friendship relationships with people that have been burned away by time, ableism, my poor health, my anxiety, my autistic difficulty reaching out, and covert racism directed at my family. 

I remember how afraid I was that I would never be deserving of love, that no one would ever see me past everything that makes me different than them.  I wish I could have told my then self about my now self, about all the loving community I have found, how much confidence and self love I have grown, how complex and expansive my chosen family and love network has become. 

I wish I could tell my past self that I was not and am not a failure, a waste, or a “freak”. Knowing it now may not undo this seemingly wasted decade of transition pause, and it may not soothe the panic in my heart right now, it certainly doesn’t silence the constant list in my head of physical transition bullet points I will never be able to afford

~

• a wardrobe that actually fits and allows me to feel confident and comfortable in my skin

• nonbinary symbol tattoo in nonbinary flag colors

• trans symbol tattoo in rainbow colors

• low – medium dose T

• top surgery or radical reduction – no nipples or entire nipple and areola saving

~

It won’t muffle the desperation and despair  that not having access to these things causes, but it isn’t actually less than nothing either. 

.
I have grown as a nonbinary man. I have grown as a human. It isn’t enough but it is something, and something will just have to do for today. 

Moderately Fucked Avenue

My Dysphoria has been very bad lately. Winding it’s fingers around my every word and thought and shaking until everything is mash and muddle. 

I am getting to a place again where I really need low dose T and top surgery or a nonbinary radical reduction to function in this sick and broken flesh house emotionally. Unfortunately those things are inaccessible to me due to finances, executive dysfunction/neurodiversity, and disability. 

So I’m stuck not passing at all. To be clear I know my body is a transmasculine body because it is my body and I am transmasculine, buuuuutttttt very few people can see *me* underneath how they interpret my gender presentation, even other queer and trans people, honestly even other nonbinary people, myself included, often struggle with separating our understanding of gender now from the concept of immutable gender/sex/gender presentation that we were raised with. 

As a culture we just aren’t quite there yet. It takes a lot of work and bandwidth even for nonbinary trans people to do the internal work we need to do, to avoid ascribing gender roles to secondary sex characteristics and gender presentations.

 Which unfortunately in my case, for a lot of reasons, including but not limited to disability,chronic illness,  age, and body shape means most people see me as 85% middle aged (girlwoman) mom and 15% might be a lesbian or something™. It forces me into a socially isolated space in which I have to step into these wrong assumptions about me to exist at all. 

Not existing isn’t really an option. 

Being forced to exist twisted into someone else’s shape is harmful in the short or long term. My mind and body rail, twist, and wail at the constant indignity and implied gaslighting. it’s an exhausting cycle that sometimes I am able to navigate and sometimes I am really not. 

Right now is one of those times of not, I’m sure I will get there eventually. I’m sure eventually the words will loosen up, unstick from their mire and play willingly for me. I hope. I try to stay patient and positive or something. 

ha! 
…Or something. 

Recently I got a cane and some fabric, reusable, filter type masks. Both of which I’d probably needed for quite awhile but financial limitations and internalized ableism had prevented happening up until recently. I expected to have a complex emotional reaction to actually having assistive devices. But one thing I hadn’t really expected was how good it would make me feel, how powerful. 

I’d had my reasons, other than money, for not using any assistive devices before of course. I had bought and used paper filter masks before but they didn’t really help, and honestly really embarrassed me. People looked at me like I was personally carrying the plague or zombie flu, it fogged up my glasses, and made my face feel claustrophobic or something…It just wasn’t worth it for the lack of help. So I hadn’t bothered trying any of the valve filter reusable masks, since budgeting for them would be difficult anyway. 

As for a cane, it has taken me forever to even realize a cane could be an helpful option for me. Internalized ableism, cognitive dissonance, and pure obstinance had me thinking canes were for people who had some sort of issue with their limbs, bones, muscles, or joints specifically. It never occurred to me that if a cane could help me function, i could just use one. It never occurred to me it could be as simple as that. 

So when friends recently offered to help me get a couple masks and a cane, to hopefully give me some independence and accessibility back, i said yes, though with a swirl of emotions. I knew that I wanted to be more independent, at this point more independence was the key dream, the goal of goals. But I was also afraid. I was afraid I would “do it wrong”, that someone would tell me I wasn’t actually allowed to use them for the purposes I needed them for (asthma and standing for longer periods respectively), that I would look ridiculous, or that I would get my hopes up and be let down again. 

For two days I waited, both excited and anxious. Once they arrived, I ripped the packages open and immediately tried them out. As I did something surprising happened…I felt…proud…I felt confident…I felt capable, strong and sexy. 

Whoah. 

Mind blown. So to speak. 

So here I am. I haven’t actually gotten to use them out of the house to much. I’m not able to go out to often even with a cane and a breathing mask. But one thing I know for sure is that every time I do use them, i will be using the resources i have at hand to help myself…and not only is there is absolutely nothing shameful about that. It is fantastic, it’s a sign of strength, coolness. Dare I even say it, it’s pretty fucking sexy.  

And so help me, if anyone does see fit to complain about my using a cane so that I can stand with my family, they might just regret it. 

Because I bet this thing is pretty good for shin walloping too. 

Survival as Resistance


Well here we are, just a few short days into this new administration.

I wish I could say that my fears had been assuaged in some way. I’m sure you have seen those same wishes go unfulfilled. Sadly, as is, if anything my fears have not been broad or sweeping enough. They have not prepared me fully for the loss of rights, assistance, and basic humanity that is looming over the horizon. Even having seen it coming, my partner and I are still reeling a bit, making plans, girding our figurative and literal defenses. We are still waiting to see what exactly comes next i suppose, before we know how to respond. 

For now that may just be part of life for many of the marginalized people, in America in this new even more openly callous regime. A dance that has always been complex and exhausting, especially for those most oppressed, IBPoC who have never gotten a break from the oppressive onslought, made more so by all new, boundaries, ceilings, naysayers, and indiscreet systemic sabotage. 

So I take what action i can to make a tangible difference. I do what I can to reach out, educate, call in, and do better. I make plans and plans and plans, an entire ocean of if/then cause and effect scenarios. I stay as connected as I can as a poor, disabled, chronically ill, neuro-atypical person, concurrently reaching out and holding space for others struggling, holding space for multiply marginalized folks and IBPoC who have struggles which may overlap with mine but are also so much different than mine. Reminding myself that we are not alone. I am not alone. I hold hope that you are not alone either.

My emotions are deep and wide on this one. I know I don’t have any answers, but I have a voice, and a will. I am listening and pushing on in the best way I am able. 

I am here and I am alive, today that will have to be enough. 
My love, faith, empathy, and solidarity to all who are struggling right now. I am here and I am listening. 

Keep breathing

New Year, New Hope?

New Year, New Hope?

Well another year has come and gone…

I wish I could say I was filled with positivity and hope like so many of my peers and friends. 

Frankly, I feel mostly tired…tired but determined

Ready to continue the fight for equality in every way that I am able. 

Determined to continue working as hard as possible with my best friend and love to improve our financial situation, to do our best to dismantle the oppressive elements of our society, to not be complicit in other people’s oppression whenever physically possible, to keep working on improving ourselves, to keep working to be the best parents we can be. 

The last week has been a more personal struggle, the slow, enveloping, sinking, suffocating feeling of depression has been winding it’s cold, boney fingers around my heart. 

I am keeping on. 

That’s what I have right now.

Determination. 

It is enough. 

It has to be.