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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Hi.

Hi. You know who you are. I just finished writing a very bad blog post but I deleted it. I think I said too much in it. Too many bad things.

I guess the important thing I wanted to say is that I’m in a lot of pain. I get really lonely and I feel horrible about myself. And I struggle with urges sometimes. But you’re the reason that I can make it through. You’re the one stopping me from hurting myself even if you’re not here.

One time I was on the verve of hurting myself, I could feel myself slipping and I saw your necklace. The one you shipped to me. I picked it up and cried and it stopped me from doing what I thought I was going to.

When I’m all alone and I’m in pain, I imagine you’re here with me.

I wish I was in your arms right now, actually.

I love you. That’s all I have to say.

Cheating Online?

       Is it possible? I have always had limits. There is a line that I can not cross with online interactions. I’ve gotten near that line before but I never crossed it. I do a lot of harmless flirting but never anything serious and never with any real intent. I have one partner who gives me what I need and no one else, not even online.

       Recently, though, someone was able to make me not only cross that line but shatter the boundaries of what I think is appropriate online behavior. I won’t go into the specifics of my actions but I will say that I told the person that I have a partner several times. I stopped things before they moved too far. But the guy charmed me and slowly crossed the barrier. He did so in such a way that I could not help but participate because I liked it.

       I told a few of my friends what I did in detail and the consensus was that I did nothing wrong. That, what I did wasn’t cheating. Even still, I felt bad for doing it. I know that in contrast my partner probably wouldn’t even like the friendly flirting. She has told me before that she thinks I am having affairs with some of the people I meet. Esp. the trans girls. My friends disagree.

       One of those friends told me that nothing online is cheating and that even some stuff offline isn’t cheating. I was a little shocked by this perspective. It differed from my own greatly but it got me thinking about it.

       Then something happened to make it worse. The guy treated me very nicely. The relationship turned a bit sweet. It started to be a little more than just physical. He made me feel like a girl in a way that no one else ever did especially my partner. He started to satisfy my needs that weren’t being met anywhere else.

       Even with that my friends didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. But I was conflicted. Part of me didn’t want to continue this online relationship but I knew that I couldn’t let it go, because he made me feel good.

       I don’t know where I crossed the line, but after I took one step past my own limit I found it easier to move further beyond it. After that, I felt changed. Like something about me would never be the same again. Despite those feelings, I feel it was good for me which points to some other problems but that’s another story. What do you think? Where is the limit? Can you cheat online?

Rant again

I was talking with a friend recently. He was having some troubles and I was having some trouble but I wanted to be there for him. I tried to push my problems aside for long enough to help cheer him up but a few of my own complaints got through anyway. “God, it hurts,” is all I could say. That’s what I feel like. Every single day. It doesn’t go away. I try not to let it show too often. some days I do a better job dealing with it but more often than not I end up crying in the restroom by myself. I cry by myself because I’m afraid if I let my girlfriend see just how bad it is that she wouldn’t be able to handle it and she would leave me. I don’t have many friends left so I can’t lose her.

People tell me I can make new friends but I can’t. I’m too shy. I’m too scared. When my ASL class last broke into groups I was the only one sitting in the middle of the room with no one. I just sat there and tried to hide my tears.

I actually, don’t know what else to say. I’ll probably delete this post in a few days. I just needed to rant. I cry a lot less when I’m working. It helps to focus on something.

The Anniversary of the Start of My Transgender Journey

     Just over a year ago, after years of silently needing to be a woman, I finally told my partner how I felt. Since then I have been working toward being accepted as a woman. I’ve taken a lot of small steps but I still have a lot of steps to go. For this occasion I’d like to recount the past year for anyone who wants to read it.

Learning who I am:

     Like many stories this one begins with a girl. I was at an IGN forum when by chance I ran into a post made by a very special trans woman. Despite being super shy (even online) I made the effort to befriend her.

     Being friends with her sort of indirectly lead to me running into the book She’s Not the Man I Married by Helen Boyd. I needed a book for a school project and I decided to look for a book about trans people. I bought Helen’s book despite it not being what I needed for class.

     I read and loved Helen’s book so I bought her first book My Husband Betty. I didn’t get through a single chapter in that book before running into a passage that sounded eerily familiar to the day before when my girlfriend went out and I was wearing her dress while she was away.

     Finally, the years of wishing I was a woman and years of dressing in my partner’s clothes while she was away started to make sense.

Coming out to my Partner:

     It only took me a few hours to wrap my head around the fact that I am trans but it took me a full three days to work up the courage to tell her. I did a horrible job of it, too. She noticed that something was on my mind. After an awkward lunch she asked me what was wrong. I asked her not to look directly at me and then blurted it out bluntly and not at all concise.

     After that was a lot of silence followed by a lot of crying and then more silence. Then finally, there was a lot of follow up conversations. Follow up conversations that only very recently, almost a year later, did we stop having.

Acceptance:

     I spent too much of this past year trying to convince myself I was a crossdresser and that I wouldn’t transition. I started examining what I needed. What steps did I feel I need to take? After a while I started to realize that all the things I wanted aren’t what a crossdresser would want. It was a slow acceptance but I finally realized that I needed to transition.

Difficulties:

     I’ve written about the difficulties I’ve faced and other trans people have written about it. Poor school counselors, transphobic comments from students and teachers (and I am not even out at school), lack of services, every endocrinologist in town refusing to treat trans patients, etc. There is very little to say on the subject that hasn’t been said a thousand times.

Taking Steps:

     It took some effort but I finally started HRT and while I can’t afford therapy, I do have friends which help more than any bad therapist ever could. I recently started wearing shirts with the TG emblem on them in hopes that other trans people will seek me out. No luck so far but I am hopeful.

Hopes for the Future:

     Very soon I hope to leave this town and hopefully find a better place to transition and a strong community to support me. I won’t lie. I get very lonely. Esp. late at night when all my friends sign offline and I’m left to my thoughts. My biggest hope is for that to change.

A Final Note:

     I am very grateful both for the first trans friend I met whom has helped me more than any other person and for Helen Boyd who’s wonderful writing allowed me to accept who I am.

Thank you both. Thank you both very much.

Video Games as Transgender Escapism

      “It’s nice to be able to enter into an expansive world where I’m treated as female,” she said to me. I knew exactly what she was talking about, too. I was guilty of the same type of escapism as well as others.

     I had used games to escape before. When my classmates dropped the T-word and listed all the possible ways to spot a trans woman I came home and played Spiral Knights to distract myself. It kind of worked if you don’t count the rest of the time that evening that I was crying and angry. When a sneeze resulted in persistent headaches and dizziness and the worry wart side of me was worried it was something serious, I played puzzle games to keep my nerves calm.

     This type of escapism is very different. A couple months before my friend brought up the subject, I had been playing any game that let me make a female avatar. It feels really good to be treated as a woman even if it is through a virtual self.

     I relied heavily on escaping through games this way. At the time my girlfriend wasn’t being very accepting and my transition was progressing so slowly. I was trying to take steps but accomplishing nothing. So, I’d play games where I got to be a girl and no one told me I wasn’t. I even played some pretty awful games just because I could be a girl.

     It won’t come as a surprise that most of my WoW characters are female. I made a few males because people started getting suspicious. “Why are all your characters female?” one friend asked.

     “They’re not all female. Look, that one is male and that one,” I said, making random excuses to hide the real reason which is, for years, I wanted to be a girl but couldn’t admit it out loud.

     One time I entered a dungeon and someone said, “Oh, another girl tank.”

     “There’s nothing wrong with girl tanks,” I said, feeling proud of my gender and obligated to defend our honor.

     “She’s pro,” one of them said by the end of the dungeon as I was out-DPSing (damage per second) some of them.

     In that case, it was the players that treated me like a woman, even though not all female characters are played by women. It felt great. I loved it. But it wasn’t just in WoW. I enjoyed when NPCs treated me like a woman or even just running around with a female avatar.

     “Don’t really know,” another friend started as I asked him about this type of escapism, “though my Pokemon characters are boys. Even something small like that is kinda relieving.”

     As conversation continued I asked him, “Do you pick guys in all games if given an option?”

     “I tend to,” he answers, “hell, I did even as a kid.”

     Playing games to be treated as our true gender is a good way to relieve the anxiety of not being accepted that often comes with being trans, but it can feel like a trap too. Sometimes I think I relied too much on these games to get the acceptance I wanted. I’m glad I was able to stop it and enjoy games in a more pure way.

     It’s also an important step to go out and find acceptance away from virtual characters. It felt like I was hiding from my problems, but now I have found more acceptance. My girlfriend is trying her best to accept that I am a woman and I have found friends who are kind and caring and when I need a little extra, I can always play a game.

Random Anecdotes

I worked up the courage to approach the girl from my class who mentioned having a trans friend. It turns out their friend isn’t from the area. I was hoping to get information like who the good therapists were (or which to avoid) and what doctors and other places were good for trans people. I went ahead and gave her my information to pass along to her friend. Never got a reply. So far, not having very much luck making trans friends.

On a cheerier note, my girlfriend and I had some really difficult conversations and I feel like the relationship may be able to survive my transition. She is becoming more accepting of me. She still is having a hard time dealing with it but that’s probably expected.

And some more bad news although to not too great an extent. Without being too specific, both because people probably don’t want to know and my own reluctance to give out that kind of information, I’ve been having trouble finding some of the services that I feel are necessary to be able to better pass as female. I didn’t feel like this town was too small until I started looking for stuff to help my transition.