When you first meet me, I’m painfully shy and have a difficult time carrying a conversation (especially if I don’t find you particularly interesting…shhhhhh…)
And once I warm up, I’m a passionate flailing-muppet-arm word-vomity mess. Without a filter. I overshare. I’m brutally open and honest to a fault. Some may even call me abrasive or obnoxious.
Especially when you get me going on issues I’m passionate about.
This has been something that has become painfully clear to me over this past year on my path to a deeper sense of self awareness.
And so, here I am, with a whole lot to say about things that directly affect me and the people I care about, trying to figure out how to speak about them and gently educate people who may not be aware of them and/or strongly disagree with them.
There’s a fine line to walk and, over the past election season especially, I have witnessed all sorts of variations of communication and debate.
CW: Trans murder rate, murders of POC, this damn election
I don’t even know where to start. It’s not hyperbolic when I tell you that I am deeply grieving for My America right now. The America that was just beginning to acknowledge people like me as worthy of rights like marriage, adoption, protection from being fired because of my identity, and other things that so many people take for granted.
I could fill this page with empassioned wailings about how concerned I am for the safety of myself as a queer woman and my other LGBQ friends, my trans friends, my friends who are people of color, Muslim, immigrants, disabled, lower income, single mothers, people with uteruses, women…
Yes, these concerns exist and are so visceral I feel it seething out of my body, feel myself getting hives, unable to eat, bawling all day at work, and feeling like a tightly coiled spring.
*Disclaimer: I wrote this with information I knew at the time. Details may be shifting, but this was what was known upon time of publishing.*
I woke up this morning knowing I wanted to write a blog post, but had no idea what it would be. And then I opened Facebook.
“Shooting at Orlando Gay a Nightclub Kills 50,” read the headline of an article dozens of my friends have shared.
June is Pride Month, a time of celebration for my community. And then this happens. It is being called the largest mass shooting in modern history. Andthough there is some debate over whether it was related to ISIS, it was also a hate crime, plain and simple.
CW: violence against transgender individuals, trans suicide rates
This country is becoming more terrifying by the day.
Especially for a community I care about deeply and tertiarily am a part of: the trans community.
I will begin by adding a disclaimer: I try my hardest to keep up with the changing appropriate terminology, but please let me know if anything I say is wrong. I also cannot speak for members of this community, other than one of a vaguely genderqueer but mostly female identified person like myself.
Seven years ago, I was completely uninformed about this topic. I knew it was a thing, but didn’t understand it at all. And I will admit that I probably cracked some jokes on behalf of transpeople at some point, for which I am eternally ashamed.
But as I became more entrenched in “researching” the LGBT community as I begin to identify my own pansexuality/queerness, I educated myself about transgender issues.
I began to develop the inklings of understanding about what it must be like to know from your earliest memories who you are, but be told you are irrevocably someone different.
I’ll couch this post in several warnings/qualifiers:
In this post, I’m going to discuss my experiences and observations regarding dating men and women. I’m going to limit it to cisgender (a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex) partners. Experiences with my transgender partner are unique and outside the general scope of this post. (I’ve spoken with my ex and he’s given me permission to write about our relationship more in depth at some point. Stay tuned for that!)
Furthermore, since I only have experience with dating one woman (and marrying her and subsequently divorcing) my experience may be a bit limited in that. Though I have the experiences of friends to corroborate my stories and feelings.
So really what I’m saying is I’m just gonna tell you about how I feel. Which is what I always do here so why would now be any different?
Get ready for a ping-pong match of compare and contrast stream-of-consciousness wordvomit on this general subject. I make no guarantees where this will end up!
Ever since college, I wanted to shave my head. In one of our theatre department’s productions, a woman was cast in the role of an androgynous sorcerer, and was designed to be bald. Initially, the plan was to use a bald cap on her, but either due to allergies or just frustration with the length of the application process, the actress decided she was going to shave her hair off. She was gorgeous and strong and proud with her bald head. She rocked it, she owned it.
And it was then that I decided that, at some point in my life, I would do the same. I had heard women talk about how liberating it was, how cleansing, how it taught them things about the way they viewed themselves and the way the world reacted in turn.