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.

Book Reviews – “The Hidden Life of Trees”, by Peter Wohlleben; “Shrill”, by Lindy West; “Amateur”, by Thomas Page McBee

“amateur” completely wrecked me tbh.

it’s a memoir by the first trans man to box at madison square garden. he talks about manhood and masculinity and what it means, exactly, to Be A Man, and how to be a good man; it included touching on some stuff that is really close to the bone for me (i cried hard at the first time he scares a woman by running behind her, and also when he talks about touch and intimacy between men, and also when he talks about how scary it can be to be a trans man hiding among cis men and how much of manhood is predicated on who isn’t a man, and what that means for trans men).

part of why it really got to me honestly, though, was a really simple thing — i don’t know that i’ve ever really read a description of the masculinizing effect of T that talks about it being beautiful? a thing i struggle with, as part of communities for bi women and lesbians, there’s a LOT of rhetoric about how men are gross and ugly and hairy and thank goodness we’re not attracted to that. there have been people in my life who have talked about the potential changes happening to other transmasc people with such disgust and entitlement that it really knocked me sideways when i started The Juice. even now, you know, i often think of transition as something i had to do (which is not inaccurate; i honestly started getting serious about transition when i realized i’d have breasts for the rest of my life, and i’d rather die than deal with that), as something i’m doing because i wasn’t “good enough” to make it as a girl. reading someone talk about the changes to his body with love and happiness and appreciation for how beautiful it made him was really good for me, i think.

anyway, it’s real good. i am not able to separate out my emotions from it enough to give it anything resembling an objective review, but my cis hetero male coworker recommended it to me, so at least two data points say: it’s good.

Continue reading “Book Reviews – “The Hidden Life of Trees”, by Peter Wohlleben; “Shrill”, by Lindy West; “Amateur”, by Thomas Page McBee”