A Boy Razed, A Girl Raised

I grew up with a subconscious hatred of everything that I was.

I hated the facial hair, the receding hairline, the thinning hair, and my voice.

I felt like an alien in my own body, trapped in a puppet that I had no idea I wanted out of.

A figure lost in the matrix, consumed by society’s demands for a boy and for men.

 

Keep the facial hair, it lets you look more mature.

Keep your hair short, it slims your face a lot.

Keep that behavior, it’s more masculine.

 

Kill the girl inside of you because it is an abomination unto humanity.

Drown your feminine side in a flood of testosterone and anger.

You will never be the girl you needed.

 

It wasn’t until I actually left home for good that I finally discovered who I am.

Now, I can consciously call my inner hatred of my body what it is: dysphoria.

I am changing my body because my body is not a permanent state of matter.

I am a river, changing my path and what I look like through my own will and force.

 

My chest isn’t flat anymore and I don’t have as much hair in places I didn’t want it.

My hair is coming back, thicker and healthier.

I’m finding it slightly harder to fit my hips into my pants at times.

 

I am a garden that has come back from the dead after several harsh winters.

A field of flowers in the irradiated wilderness of nuclear disaster.

The person in the mirror isn’t the alien in an uncomfortable meat suit,

The figure in the matrix without a map and no sense of direction.

 

I have flung myself into a new freedom that I never thought possible.

 

There’s parts that will always seem off for me, but the off parts aren’t what I see all the time in the mirror anymore.

 

I erased the facial hair, tearing it to the ground and drowning it beneath my feet.

I grew my hair, the waves cresting along my head like an ink-drowned field on a windy day.

I destroyed the behaviors, the toxins slowly purged from my body in hormonal antivenom.

 

I resurrected the girl, my personal phoenix emerging from the ashes of long burned boyhood.

I rescued my feminine side, scorching the flood of testosterone as she emerged from her well.

I am the girl I needed now, safe at last from the live burial in my subconscious.

 

And it’s all because of moving more into the love part of the love/hate relationship with my body.

 

I see me. I am me.

Reflections on One Year of HRT

A lot can change in a year.

Sometimes things can go so wrong that things don’t really seem like it’s worth sticking it out anymore.

That’s what happened to me last September. I had been approved for my first doses of HRT back in September 2017 – shortly after my birthday, and despite my lack of job prospects and a rather complicated living situation, I was happy.

Then, after a few days, I ended up getting a phone call from my doctor in Minneapolis. He advised me to stop taking my HRT immediately due to a severe concern regarding my liver. Over the next few weeks, I kept going back to do testing before the doctors were able to determine that I had a fatty liver due to a Vitamin E deficiency, and I was put on a vitamin regimen to combat any potential damage.

Those were the longest few weeks of my life, and probably the worst my mental state had been in quite some time. A friend of mine had taken the steps to hide anything that could be harmful to myself, sometimes at my request. I was stuck in a severe depressed state due to the thing I wanted the most and the only hope for my future taken away from me with no guarantee that I would get to go back on HRT. I was, at the time, trapped in a dead end job with every single job prospect turning up nothing. I honestly felt like I didn’t really have much to go on with my life at that time, and I do feel like I was extremely close to deciding I didn’t want to deal with anything anymore.

Things changed, though, starting November 11. That day, my friend rescued a stray cat from outside of our apartment complex, and I ended up adopting her after trying to locate her owner(s). I couldn’t come up with a name, so I named her Pounce, after our college mascot.

46035880_10156759921096322_1411390300017917952_n
The fateful first meeting with Pounce.

A few days after that, a phone call came back to me from my doctor in Minneapolis. My liver function tests had come back and I was given the go ahead to start HRT again! With that bit of news, November 15, 2018 marks my one year anniversary on HRT.

I have successfully made it to a point that I wasn’t 100% sure that I’d have made it to last year. I’m even considering possibly doing some sort of bottom surgery down the line and looking into possibly getting laser hair removal for what exists of my facial hair.

Despite the fact that I’ve still struggled with my depression over the past year, I’d like to think that things are getting better for me. I’ve gotten back on antidepressants lately and they’ve been helping me out immensely when I combine it with my regular visits with my therapist.

The biggest thing that’s coming for me is the impending court date for my legal name change in December. As of writing this, I have a little over a week until that fateful moment when the courts will determine whether or not I will still be known under my deadname.

I didn’t think I’d have made it this far, and I’m honestly still in some form of shock that I’ve successfully reached the one year mark. I thank everyone that helped me along in that time period, and I’m hoping that after my name change, things begin to look up even more. Hopefully by this time next year, I’ll have made even more progress, because as I said in the beginning:

A lot can change in a year.

Let Me Tell You

They send me a message because, “God told them to”, and “they love me”.

Are we listening to the same God?

The message always reads something along the lines of, “You have been on my heart recently, and I want you to see the good God can do in your life, if you let Him”. There is often a sermon or Bible verse attached to a rambling message about my misdeeds; I wonder why they choose to use a sacred text to perpetuate hate. They call it compassion; I call it oppression.

I read the scripture. I listen to the sermon. Sometimes multiple times. I respond in as much kindness as possible. But I hate them.

I wonder at their accusations. Misled. Misguided. In need of prayer. The sins of my mother. Where was my father? I turned against Christ. Debauchery with the Devil.

Sign me up, Sinner, at least the Devil doesn’t mind getting kinky.

They all have strong opinions on my sex life. On my “struggle with same sex attraction”.

Why am I always a lesbian in this narrative? Where is my sexual fluidity? Has my gender taken the day off?

They never ask, but only assume. If they do ask, the questions route me back to a conversion story I want no part of. Different women are in my bed each night; I wonder where they’re finding all of these trans positive, sexually fluid women.

Sign me up, Sinner, sexual freedom is where it’s at.

They speak at me. I speak at them. No one listens. No one wants to change. I get angry. They pray. I snap. They tell me they don’t want to convert me. I quit responding; my heart has been scraped raw inside my chest. I think about what I want to actually tell them; they don’t deserve me. Or you. Or anyone.

I barely stop myself from responding.

Have you ever angry fucked after grown men with signs screamed obscenities at you simply for expressing affection? Because let me tell you, angry fucking in protest against men who’d rather see you dead is a hell of a rush.

Have you ever flipped off a car of young men after they screamed, “DYKE” out their window? They keep laughing and driving, but you and your partner watch for it to slow down, terrified they’ll turn around. Be ready to run. You encouraged them.

Have you ever fucked your way through years of internalized hate to self acceptance? Fucking is your rebellion, your resistance, and eventually your freedom. Sex is fucking beautiful when it’s you tearing down the cisheteropatriarchy.

Have you ever held your partner in front of unsupportive parents? Disgusting, sinful, selfish. How dare you force your lifestyle on them. The passive aggressive sneering. You’re carving out this space as people who are choosing to openly exist. This is a privilege. You will lose things. You already have.

Have you ever twined your fingers together with your partner’s? Only to quickly drop their hand when the looks, the words, the laughter, become too much? Have you ever kissed in protest? Homophobes hate wet tongues.

Have you ever been afraid of going to the bathroom? Which one do you use? You don’t really belong in either one. Your body has lost its sacredness. Peeing is your reclamation.

Have you ever seen the power of LGBTQIA2S+ existence in public? Felt the rage? The resistance? Rebellion? Lust? Desperation? Love? Let it swallow you.

Have you ever? Have you ever? Have you ever have you ever have you everhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyouever

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

 

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

 

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

 

 

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

 

 

 

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

 

 

 

 

Haveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyoueverhaveyou

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever fucking screamed your soul out in the face of hate?

 

-Kain

Kain’s Tips While Hiding the Tiddie

This summer I started binding or, as I like to call it, hiding the tiddie. I’ve learned a lot.  Binding doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or painful as is often painted in the few depictions of binding in media. Binding can, and often is, very important for many trans and gender nonconforming folks, and I’ve listed what I’ve learned while binding below. Happy binding, friends!

 

  1. When folks tell you to drink water, they mean it. Binding is a sweaty, sweaty ordeal during the summer. You get tired. You might feel like a greasy blob. It’s sticky. It’s frankly unpleasant if you’ve been sweating and moving around a lot because it feels like your binder is rubbing your sides raw. There’s a reason that it’s advised to not wear a damp binder for long periods of time. Love yourself and change.
  2. Showers are magic.
  3. Lots of places make binders but binders made by trans and gender nonconforming folks are the binders you want if you’re binding breasts. I use the gc2b half binders and love them. Gc2b binders come in everything from skin tones to bright popping colors and are discreetly packaged. Check out gc2b here: https://www.gc2b.co/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwquTbBRCSARIsADzW88yirhtCpqCEn88XVHkveyhtTYGED-ttqF3kq7FXiIzw3N-wCLGRjtIaAv72EALw_wcB
  4. Buy more than one binder. You will need to change, especially when you are a hot summer mess. Binders need to be washed, and you don’t want to have to plan your life around when you wash your binder if you can help it. 
  5. People who do not bind and have never cared about your breasts before will start to care about your breasts A LOT. Whether they are telling you to drink more water, telling you about the dangerous nature of binding (it’s only dangerous if you do it incorrectly), or asking where your breasts went (They ran away, Carol, obviously), they will have opinions. You will not ask for their opinions, especially since most of these opinions are from people who think about office supplies when they hear, “binder.” Ignore them, drink water, and listen to your body.
  6. Take breaks from binding. It’s helpful to even just take it off for 15 minutes.
  7. Don’t put your binder in the dryer. As someone who frequently forgets I’ve thrown it in the laundry, this has obviously happened. This ruins the elasticity of your binder and can make it unsafe and ineffective to wear.
  8. The first time you put on your binder, you’ll feel like your chest is being restricted. This feeling will go away as you wear your binder and your body gets used to binding.
  9. Measure, measure, measure for a binder that is properly sized. Go a size up if you’re planning on working out, swimming, or doing anything super strenuous in your binder. Again, I recommend gc2b. If your binder gets wet, take it off when you can. If you can, designate a binder to work out in, and one or two others for the day to day. I wear my properly sized binder for day to day things and my one size up binder for working out, hiking, and swimming. You can be active while binding! 
  10. Don’t flatten your breasts out if you can. Your nipples should be pointed out, not down.
  11. If your binder doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. This seems obvious, but it’s something many people make exceptions to.
  12. If you can’t afford a binder, there are some great programs out there! Check out Point of Pride’s binder give away program here: http://point5cc.com/chest-binder-donation/
  13. It’s suggested that binding for years and years can degrade your breast tissue. For some folks, that’s a big deal and some of us don’t care. Make sure to talk with your surgeon about how long you’ve been binding if you’re planning on future top surgery.
  14. If you’re not about your binder showing at all, you’re gonna have to pay attention to the types of necklines you buy. Binders are pretty full coverage, so keep that in mind. I’m busy living that crew neck and flannel life which basically means I dress exactly the same now as I did when I was a grungy 16 year old. I’m embracing it.
  15. Don’t try to put a binder on if your skin is wet. If putting on a sports bra right after a shower is the first ring of Hell, putting a binder on right after a shower is the ninth ring.
  16. Binding doesn’t eliminate your breasts. You’re likely not going to be completely flat, and that’s okay! Button downs, zip hoodies, cardigans, and patterns are going to be your best friend if you’re binding to look flat. Binders work with those things to create a pretty snazzy illusion of flatness that nothing else will besides top surgery. Obviously, breast size plays into how flat or not flat you are. I have C cups and overall am pretty confident in how my chest looks when I bind. 
  17. You don’t have to be trans or gender nonconforming to bind! Many of us are, but not all of us, and we have lots of different reasons to bind.

 

I hope these tips help. I did a lot of research before I started binding, and I’m glad I did, but there was still a lot that I learned after I started binding that I didn’t read elsewhere. Binding has given me a lot of confidence in how I exist in spaces, and has been incredibly freeing. 

 

–Kain