Transgender Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I submitted a piece to be displayed in my school’s Juried Student Show, and it was actually selected. It’s an Oil Pastel nude of a trans woman. This is a picture of me in front of it during the opening night for the show.

It was an amazing experience to have a piece in a show.  I didn’t think I would be selected but it was. I got to see how many paintings were submitted and it was a lot of stuff.

I think that is also the first time I’ve shared a photograph of me on this blog.

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A Lonely Night

Things have been a bit interesting for me lately. I’ve sort of integrated into a new group of friends. I’ve had a lot of knew experiences. And I’ve been much happier overall. I haven’t had a bad day in Weeks. Having friends in person actively supporting me, and trying to help me has been really great.

Although I’m about to go out of town for the weekend and everyone seems to have gone out to do things, and left me here alone. No one invited me along, and people barely talked to me all day. I’ve always felt like I was sort of observing the group from the outside – like I have a backstage pass to all their happenings but I’m not a full member. It’s nights like this that make me feel that way. Everyone took off except for one of the friends, but they sent a girl back to pick him up, so I’m the only one that got left out.

I’ve told that guy how I’ve felt. He said that I’m not and he sounded very convinced but there’s still always moments like this. Moments where, despite the fact that I live with them, that they go do things together without inviting me. It wouldn’t be so bad except that these five guys are my only close friends. They’ve become like my family and this is my home, but right now it’s a very empty one.

I wish I could spend time with my friends before I’m gone for a weekend. Even though that’s not a long time I’m still going to miss them a lot. I’m still working on my issue with getting dependent on people. I feel like I’ve made progress but moments like this still get me down. I really don’t like being alone. It was ok when I was alone most of the day but all day and all night is too lonely for me at this point.

 

Quick note to anyone who emailed me. Sorry for the late reply, I did just answer. Always feel free to email me again, everyone.

Hello Readers

If anyone is still following my blog, I just want to say Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, and Happy New year.

My semester ended and I’ve just been enjoying some time off. The end of the semester was pretty rough but I managed an A in Art and a C in ASL which is good enough to let me get into my final set of classes. Which means, other than some financial problems, I am all set to graduate in the Spring.

During my break I’ve just been relaxing and playing games. Been in a Mega Man mood lately. Mega Man X and 3 are the games I’ve been playing from that series. I tried out some of Wii Sports Club and it’s pretty fun, just like Wii Sports was. Also thinking about Castlevania lately. Last time I had a vacation I beat Rondo of Blood for the first time. Wishing I could do something like that again.

So, Thanks readers. Feel free to leave a comment, I like receiving comments. Tell me about your christmas, or your favorite MM/Castlevania games

Dorm Life and Video Games

Personal Stuff:

It almost feels like a completely different life. It’s not very different but it does feel it. It’s a different kind of lonely. I’m not falling asleep on a cramped couch because beds are too empty anymore. Now I sleep in a small-ish bed. Sometimes someone else sleeps in the bed three feet away. I still sit at my computer and hide away only now sometimes there’s people around to talk to.  But I still end up crying with no one noticing.

University itself is a little different. In art I sit at a table with a guy and a girl who I talk to. No one else does that. We just like to talk while we work. It’s nice. Unfortunately the girl is the only one that calls me ‘she’ in the whole class. I found out that she didn’t realize I was transgender right away. I think it was until I mentioned it  which is nice that I passed for that long even working in the same class as someone.

I also met a guy while I was wearing a skirt and then talked about being transgender in response to a question about why I was living in the dorm instead of at home. And then he asked me what pronouns I like. Not in those exact words, but that was the general question. No one had ever done that before. It was really nice of him. Most people just assume I am a guy but he got it, and asked.

It’s weird having a roommate that I’m not super close to. The last two roommates I had I shared a bed with, and etc.  But my new roommie isn’t that kind of roommate and it’s weird. We do talk. And I really really like him. I don’t know the odds but I got really lucky with roommate selection. I could have been in a room with someone who was mean or unaccepting or messy, but instead I got the opposite. He’s nice, and friendly, and he’s accepting of pretty much everything. I wish we could be closer than we are.

But of course I don’t have any close friends. I have classroom acquaintances. And even one girl I met up with for a movie once (and only once). But no close friends. No one to hold me when I’m sad. Or even talk to when I’m upset. Out of 4 people sharing my kitchen/living room, I’m the only one without anything to do on a Friday night.

Video Games:

Unfortunately, I’ve got no money for new video games so my Pokemon obsession intensifies. I really like X. I haven’t enjoyed a Pokemon game this much since Red. I’ve found so many new Pokemon that I like and have never heard of. Like Gardevoir and Honedge/Doublade/Aegislash.

I tried Breeding Pokemon but I discovered that breeding for competitive play is definitely not for me. I was breeding Ralts so I could try to get a shiny Gardevoir (Yes, I know the odds). But then in my third batch of eggs I discovered a Ralts with the Nature ‘Lonely’. I felt so bad that I stopped breeding. I could not release that many Ralts like they were unwanted. I gave that Lonely Ralts a Pokedoll so he won’t be as lonely and I trained him and evolved him into a Gallade. He’s going to help me catch Legendaries. I trained him along side a Jigglypuff (also for catching Legendaries) and his brother who evolved into a Gardevoir.

If any of my readers have been playing Pokemon X/Y, please tell me about your experiences. Or your team or something. I want to know if anyone is still listening.

Not Quite a Year Since Coming Out

I was sitting in the same hotel I used to hide from my parents when I first came out and I found it funny how many things had gone wrong since then. As some of you know, I had moved back in with my parents in order to live with a girl who I had met online through a mutual friend. We lived together for eight months and then partly due to my emotional problems and partly due to my parents not being accepting of us being trans women, she left.

But she wasn’t happy where she moved and she decided to come back.  We planned and waited and I talked to my mom so she could talk to my father, because I had felt uneasy around him ever since my roommie left. Everything was set, we had the plane tickets paid for and everything was well. Except that my mom never talked to my dad about it. She comes in at the last minute and tries to convince me to move the date, which would inconvenience everyone but her and cost me a lot of money.

Then she tells my dad about my roommie’s arrival. He freaks out of course, which my mom stated she didn’t expect. He enters my room while I’m trying to shop for a birthday present for someone online and he starts to speak loudly and angrily at me. He basically rants while misgendering my rommie that she can’t come back and that he doesn’t want her to even come to Brownsville.

That’s the part that scared me. His fear and hatred was so strong that he tried to bar someone from the entire city. What made it worse is that I know that the reason he doesn’t like her is that she reminds him that he’s in denial about having a daughter. I fear that one day he will no longer be able to deny it and he’ll freak out on me. So, I left.

I stayed in one hotel then another and tried to get an apartment. I found one that with just a little help from my mom,  I could have afforded. But she decided she would try for a dorm instead because it would be “more convenient”. What it really did was cost us both a lot of money (more than my plan) and now that I’m in it, It’s not that great. I have to share a kitchen with 3 guys (because I’m transgender). My bedroom is tiny and the only plus side to it is that my roommate is tidy and leaves for the weekends which will give me some privacy.

Well,  that’s way too much disappointed for one person all at once. When can my life just be simple? Uncomplicated? Maybe a partner, a job and a shitty apartment? Yeah that’d be great. One day please?

Personal Stuff

I can’t even believe how crazy the past weeks have been. Mostly my life has been continuing it’s rut. Anxiety for my financial aid, which has yet to arrive was increasing and I was beginning to think that it wasn’t coming. But then I got an email from my teacher saying she couldn’t let me attend class anymore. I assumed I’d have to drop out and find something else to do.

That same day my ex-roommie told me she changed her mind and wasn’t coming back. Not sure if I mentioned but she decided to come back, then decided not to, right after I thought I had to drop out.

Later she said she would again and that same day I got a call from the financial aid saying that they put me back in my classes and that my money would be available within a week. That was great news. Everything bad from earlier completely reversed itself, and I was happy.

But it’s all been hectic. and everything else had to continue. School is stressful. My body is frustrating to say the least. and my nights are lonely. It’s a lot to deal with. I started falling apart. Even with the good news recently, things are still hard. I had a breakdown in class and started crying. I had to excuse myself twice. My professor had to ask me if I was alright. I wasn’t, but I held it together for the quiz.

In other news I met someone cool. An online friend of a friend or something. I don’t know what else to say about him. He’s really fun to talk to. In a time in my life when I seem to be losing more friends than gaining them, I’m really happy to have met him.

Anyway, how are you, random couple readers?

Random Stuff

I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since she left. Somehow I simultaneously can’t believe it’s only been two weeks.

I spent the first few days coloring and crying. Then after that I’m not even sure. I got into a sort of rut. It felt like all I was doing was waiting for sunrise.  I’d wake up and talk to a few people. Then they’d all go to sleep and I’d have to wait another 8 hours + before the sun came up before sleeping. I started sleeping on the couch too. And not a lot. I seem to sleep in naps every day. rarely more than 4 hours in a row. Most often 2. And even in that short period, I still wake up more than once before finally deciding I can’t fall back to sleep. And it was just that, for a large part of these two weeks, and change.

To make things worse, while I was busy dealing with personal stuff, I have been having trouble with school. I can’t get registered for some reason, I kept running into problems and then registration ended. It didn’t help that the website kept going down the last week of registration. I’m told I can add classes during add/drop week. Which is now. But the website isn’t letting me. So, I need to get that sorted out fast or I’ll have ruined another semester.

I’ve managed to  do some productive stuff so it hasn’t been all a mess. I’ve started working on a new webcomic called T 2.0. It’s a sequel to girl.T but focusing around new characters and with much less pictures of the main character staring into computer screens although there is some of that just at the beginning. I’m trying to get the website set up to display both my comics so the new comic isn’t up at the moment. I’m also working on a visual novel spin off to girl.T following the story of Rachel Nguyen a few years after she broke up with Lara. I didn’t think I would but I did reference Lara in the script for the new novel a couple times and I’m thinking about giving her a short cameo. I’m having fun with both those projects. I didn’t think I would do so much stuff with girl.T. When I first started it, I didn’t even expect a visual novel version but somehow ended up with one.

OK, well, the Gilmore Girls is about to start; I’ve been watching reruns. SO, I’m going to do that now.

She’s Gone Now

I’m alone. My roommate has officially left. I haven’t slept and I’ve spent about the last 12 hours crying, with a few breaks here and there. But it’s ok, I have a thick Ninja Turtles coloring book and a big box of Crayola Crayons. I’ll be alright.

I’m really going to miss her

She’s leaving sooner now. I keep listing off things in my head and remembering new things that I wanted to do but didn’t, or that I’m going to miss.

I regret not taking her to the beach. We live right near it but she’s never seen the shore.

We just beat golden eye and we were going to work through perfect Dark together. I thought it was going to be great but now it won’t happen.

There were so many games that I thought we’d play together. Thing she would show me.

She sings this song. I don’t know it. And I can’t remember the words but she sings it often enough. At first I didn’t like it but now I’m really going to miss the way her voice sounds when she sings it. It sounds different than it does at any other time.

When she first got here she would shake when she was falling asleep. I think she’s gotten comfortable here. She doesn’t shake as much now, if at all. Sometimes she asks me to rub her back while she’s falling asleep. Says it relaxes her. I like doing it. I like feeling like I’m helping her. I don’t have very many days to do it left.

I keep thinking about how sometimes she climbs into bed and holds me and she’s scared, I can tell, and she’s sad, and she cries, and she asks me to take care of her and not to let anything bad happen to her and I say I will, because I mean it. But now how am I supposed to take care of her. How am I supposed to take care of her if she’s gone.

When she started speaking to me like that I was beginning to think she might stay with me forever. I would have liked that. I want to take care of her.

I just don’t want her to leave.

Catherine (Gender Issues + Review)

With all the attention Catherine had gotten when it first released, I found myself really wanting to play it. I heard several people talking about how good it was. I was pretty excited. I knew a game by Atlus would let me down in some ways but I didn’t know I’d find all of these problems.

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The Girlfriends:

The game’s two love interests, Katherine and Catherine, as characters, really lack any sort of depth. This is possibly due, in part, to the fact that the characters aren’t really given many scenes or much variety in the scenes they are in.

Katherine and Catherine come off as archetypes. There is the nagging girlfriend (K). Then there is a flirty/crazy one (C). Because those seem to be C’s two modes, she’s flirty and naked or she’s crazy and threatening Vincent. These personality traits even carry over to their text messages—there is the sound of K sighing when Vincent reads her text messages while C’s texts are all giggly.

That’s all there is to these characters. As my roommate said, they are two dimensional characters.

To add to their poor portrayal, Vincent always seems to be written as the victim being overwhelmed by these two forces. The women, then, are shown as antagonists, to the point where they are literally a few of the bosses.

Then in most endings, he is never punished for all of his poor choices. Everyone decides to ignore the fact that he actively lied to his girlfriend, and actually did cheat because the succubus was, in fact, a real person, even if they couldn’t see her.

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Erica:

Then there’s Erica, the most disappointingly handled character in the game.

Even from her first interaction with the main cast you can see questionable choices. Similar in theme to Persona 3′s trans woman, Erica’s introduction as an important character is her flirting with the boys and referencing kink.  In the scene, Toby is complaining about never getting girls, saying that he wants an older woman and mentions adult fun. Right on cue, Erica shows up saying, “Hmmm? So, did I hear someone call for me?” followed shortly by, “I’ve got a nice pair of stiletto heels I know how to use.” Because, of course, a trans woman in an Atlus game will immediately flirt with the inexperienced, eager, young man.

Throughout the game every major male character says things that are transphobic. First, when Toby starts to develop a crush on Erica, everyone starts to tell him he can’t date her. Before he asks her out, everyone at the table wonders aloud whether they should “tell” Toby. This, of course,  hints at the fact that Erica is trans, and that the characters are thinking about outing her.

In another scene, Toby declares, “Got rid of my V-Card, Boom!” and Orlando looks shocked and concernedly asks him, “with who?” Then Orlando looks clearly bothered by learning that Toby had slept with Erica.

Immediately after that, Toby says there was “something weird about it,” after which Orlando quickly and nervously changes the subject.

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Later in the game it’s discovered that Erica started having nightmares, too. Toby says, “I thought only men had that dream… So maybe gender doesn’t matter, huh?” to which Orlando replies, “W-Well, I’m not so sure…” suggesting that Erica isn’t a woman.

Near it’s end, the game explicitly states that only men are the ones to have the nightmares with such lines as, “I have these hesitant gentleman climb that…” and other similar lines, but Erica still had the dreams, even though she is a woman, which tells the player that the writers thought of Erica as a man and therefore think of all trans women as men.

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, in one of the game’s endings it is revealed that Erica is trans in possibly the worst way. During the game’s ending, Toby is upset because he’s never “gonna win big”, to which Erica teasingly hugs him, saying they’ll always have each other. Then Toby complains that “The other guys knew [Erica] as ‘Eric’ back in school” and that he wants his “damned V-Card back…!” To this, Erica just smiles, winks and says a wordy version of “Nope.” Then the cut-scene shows another character video-taping the interaction and enjoying Toby’s misery.

This scene continues the transphobia, because Toby seems really concerned that “The other guys knew,” showing that he feels ashamed/embarrassed by having slept with a trans woman. By recording and enjoying his misery, the other character is confirming that, yes, sleeping with a trans woman is something to be ashamed of.

Furthermore, Erica’s taunting and gleeful manner, coupled with her eagerness to flirt with Toby at her first opportunity, paints the horrible cliché of trans women as deceivers trying to lure men into bed. And with that, Erica is one of the worst portrayed trans characters there is.

Review:

So, despite all the flaws in the female characters, how is the game? Well, you spend most of the game playing uninteresting puzzles, in which you have to push around blocks in order to climb a big tower of blocks, most of which aren’t hard by themselves, but then you get to frustratingly cheap boss levels where the boss is set too close behind you and you get killed a few too many times. To make this worse, the dying screen is fairly long and annoying to watch every time and some of the boss’s make noises that are abrasive to listen to. I actually had to mute the game on two portions because the noises coming from the boss were much too irritating.

The other portions of actual game-play include walking around a bar, talking to people, answering text messages and drinking. This part could almost be called fun if it weren’t for the fact that, as you heard before, the characters are badly written. You won’t have to look too hard to find a sour NPC sitting in the bar, uttering something misogynistic. Furthermore, the text message choices were not very good. Each time I found myself thinking, “OK, which is the least bad of these choices?” Despite that, this actually was the best part in the game. A game that was so bad, I actually looked forward to these segments, if for no other reason than that I could see more of Erica, who, despite her poor portrayal, is still my favorite character in this game. That anticipation, however, started to wane as the game continually made transphobic comments.

But surely a game with so much hype has a great story. Nope. Unfortunately I found that the story is at best silly and at worst really kinda stupid. Vincent, for one thing, makes unbelievably poor choices and he’s a pretty terrible person. It makes me feel like all I could do was try to salvage what I could of his pathetic existence so he could continue to be a bad person. To make this task worse than it had to be, none of my choices felt like they impacted anything major in the game’s events, and all the choices I made weren’t actual interactions between characters. I had to answer some of the worst questions they could have possibly thought up like “Are all men stupid?” After playing this game for a few hours, I found myself picking “yes”, because if these male characters I encountered represent men, then yeah, they are.

As I told my friend, the story shouldn’t have lasted more than 20 minutes: Vincent would accidentally cheat, I should have been able to make him break it off with the crazy succubus girl and confess to his loving girlfriend, Katherine, and then she’d break up with him and he’d die alone. But the game didn’t give me any satisfying choices; instead, I had to choose who Vincent ended up with by answering questions that seemed random, and sometimes unclear as to which way they’d cause the in-game morality meter to sway.

I don’t even want to bring up the sociological inaccuracy that is the premise of the main plot twist, if for no other reason to prevent me from spoiling the horribly stupid surprise that you will encounter if you are unlucky enough to decide to play this game.

Then at the very end, in the most condescending way, Catherine (the game not the girl) explains all the themes and metaphors in the game through a chesty girl with an afro.