book review: “Priestdaddy”, by Patricia Lockwood

man i don’t know that i can actually write the review i want to write? it’s one of the many weird things about having a dead dad, that talking about the things i wish were different about my dad feels like a betrayal. so — who knows. one day i’ll write a proper review! in the mean time: i liked this. it was good. the push/pull of life in the church (specifically) and the patriarchy (more generally) was — i wasn’t catholic but some of this was real familiar.

i will say — it was weird to see some of the sorts of things my parents would do but talked about with affection instead of frustration/hurt/anger. is lockwood a better person than i am? am i just uniquely irretrievably fucked up? is it different and i’m just constantly in need of reassurance because of abuse? yes to all of them?

book review: “born to run”, by christopher mcdougall

for the most part, i enjoyed this! i was kind of not expecting to tbh, but —

— i mean, i grew up in seattle in an evangelical household; i’ve more or less gotten over a lot of it, but between the self conscious yuppified hippie bullshit and the evangelical damage, my big stupid pollyanna heart believes in only doing stuff you love and also being REALLY OBSESSIVE AND WEIRD about it? so a story about a bunch of people obsessed with The True Spirit Of Running and quitting your awful old life and disappearing into the forests to be a weird hippie drifter is, in fact, entirely my jam.

there was def some noble savagery in some of the descriptions of the tarahumara, and the book was written long enough ago it doesn’t include more up to date science about whether or not barefoot running is actually good for you, but all in all — more than a lot of books, tbh, this got at the feeling and spirit of why i like running?

feminism 101

before i started T, i very much thought of it purely as a set of physical changes, but that’s not even close to accurate.

…rather — maybe it’s more accurate to say that a LOT of mental health stuff was wrapped up in the physical part, in much more foundational and fundamental ways than i previously thought. i really didn’t appreciate how much dysphoria was fucking with me until i finally managed to (mostly) crawl out from underneath it

some of the more surprising ways things have changed have been purely mood-related — i’m much happier and more energetic, i’m less horrified by basic life things, i’ve lowered my dosage of brain meds pretty substantially — and others have been more fundamental to the sort of person i am? like —

  • for one thing, i’m just nicer. now that i’m not miserable, i’m more generous than i was before, and i resent it less when i do things for other people.
  • i like kids way more! taking off the gendered pressure that i Must Want Children because Biology makes me a lot more patient and less existentially freaked out by them
  • i’m a better feminist (see title). for pretty much my entire life i had a really hard time wrapping my head around the idea that people actually like being women, or at least don’t mind it. it’s constrained my life in so many ways! but being out from under the crushing weight of expectation has made me less judgy about people i think are doing it wrong, and more willing to see different perspectives, and less disgusted by — okay this is going to possibly sound bad, but — i was pretty horrified by my own breasts and definitely that affected how i thought about other people.

i think i did pretty okay tbh wrt being generous and empathetic, but no longer dragging that big psychic weight has made me a lot better at it/has made it a lot easier to do? which is really nice tbh!


…….as a side note, everyone else in the webring is a lot less blog-chatty than i am, which i simultaneously feel self conscious about and also

I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

walt whitman

(on a semi-related note, i have been rereading some walt whitman now that i know he was gay and: as a sad closeted teenager i really resented him talking about how he saw me and was waiting for me, but now as a [DATA EXPUNGED] trans [FILE NOT FOUND], like — thanks for keeping an eye out for me, gay uncle walt <3)

adventures in ???passing???

i see my face a bunch of times every single day, and i hear my voice all the time, and it’s very hard to tell if i look or sound different

i get directed to the men’s bathroom now, though, and i listened to a recording of my voice and was legitimately surprised how i sound. my voice is cracking again so it might be dropping again. there’s a very light downy pelt across my chest — it’s light enough you wouldn’t be able to see it if you weren’t me and specifically looking for it. it’s exciting!

voice testing for dummies

so —

i know T is doing SOMETHING, i just don’t know WHAT. i’m in this body all the time 24/7, so from my perspective, i can tell my voice is lowER, but not how low. my deeply embarrassing judge for whether or not i’m passing has become whether or not i get harassed in overwatch? which, a., is deeply stupid, but also b., it’s happened way less, which means: ya boy might be passing!

…on the other hand, i also met some random dude who, within two evenings of playing games, has dropped his whole sad life story on me, including a long digression about his bff who he creeped out by being a nice guy and how her boyfriend doesn’t deserve her in a weird gendered way i have encountered before, where a sad man on the internet finds the closest woman or woman-adjacent person to put his emotions on: n-not passing?

just little masculinized chest things

i used to think that i was agoraphobic, or like — agoraphobic because of depression and anxiety, or lazy, or SOMETHING; turns out it might have just been dysphoria the whole time? it’s so easy to just toss a t-shirt on and go outside without the bone-deep tiredness that would come over me every single time i had to put on a bra (or worse, take off the shirt i was wearing to put a bra on and then a new shirt)

the more i transition, the more i wonder — how much of my mental health problems were actually and genuinely depression and anxiety? how much of it was dysphoria the whole time? i’m not really serious when i say that T literally fixed all my problems, but — it… kind of did? every single one of my mental health problems has been alleviated so fucking much just by stabbing myself in the stomach once a week and paying a not insignificant amount of money to get my tits taken off.