Ever wondered what it’s like to be transgender?

Imagine being a kid. Your favorite toy is a remote control dump truck, and even though your sister tries tirelessly to bribe you into playing Barbie’s, you gravitate towards the huge diverse bin of legos. Your birthday party involves Thomas the Train, and your mom whispers in your ear “I know you won’t really like it, but when you open the square-shaped one over there, pretend like you’re thrilled.”  This is not a new phenomenon. You nod, acquiesce, and make sure to profusely thank the parent that gave you a deluxe little-kid hair accessory set. You also begin plans to shoot the hair bands at your sibling from afar. By grade five, you’ve already assumed the characters of Abraham Lincoln and some other important dead guy for school projects and ignore your mother’s polite requests to embody more feminine figures; after all, you came, you saw, and you conquered elementary school.

You’ve realized, by then, that you’re atypical. But it’s elementary school… not that big of a deal, right? So what does being different mean when you grow up?

It means getting a cold, clammy, rush of epinephrine every time you even think about applying for a job. School dances? Public bathrooms? Forget it.

It means hearing “on your mark, ladies” echo louder than the .22 caliber pistol at the starting line of a race, or putting on rank, sweat-stained clothes and muddy, worn-out shoes every day, knowing that you’ve been running for 20 years and there’s absolutely no getting away from this problem.

It means going to a trans group and knowing that at least half of the people in there have tried to take their own lives, and others have made 2 am calls to the suicide hotline. You see people that may as well be orphans because their family is dead to them. Or rather, they are dead to their family.  You see a person whose arms are so trashed with white-hot remnants of self-mutilation that you don’t even want to imagine what it’s like on the other side of zir eyes. You notice on each person’s face a shadow of a constant fight with demons. On the rest of the world – an expression of ignorance transmitting the all-too-clear message that people simply don’t care.

It means waking up, looking in the mirror, and seeing hips the size of Alaska, even when they’re probably just the size of Colorado, and hating your voice not for the load of shite it normally carries, but for the utterly wrong frequency of energy that rolls off your tongue. You wonder why a bunch of adipose tissue and hyaline cartilage in the wrong places can cause your neural pathways and lacrimal glands to go haywire.

It means tasting the salt on your face at night, and wishing all the next day that your contacts didn’t sting so badly. It means being upset and then getting more upset about being upset and trying in vain to hold it all in because Boys Don’t Cry.  It means knowing that you have to live like that every day for at least the next two and a half years, until some therapist deems you not crazy (or maybe crazy enough) to shoot yourself up with some man.

It means being called by anything from he/she, it, tranny… and recognizing the rest of the world can tell you what you look like, sound like, feel like, and even smell like, but they will never be able to tell you who you are because that part of you just is.

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Lovely Blog Award

I got nominated for the Lovely Blog Award by Because I’m Fabulous. Definitely one of the best blogs I’ve gotten to know and you should check it out. Thank you!

one-lovely-blog-award

I guess I’m supposed to say 7 facts!

1.  Unless I’m doing a road trip, I typically put more miles on my body than I do my car.

2. My dream house is this itty bitty home.

3. I’m intelligent enough that it makes it difficult to connect with other people.

4. My 5k PR is 18:59.49, which I somehow got after I did a 3k steeplechase.

5. If I could have anyone’s acceptance in the world it would be that of my high school coach.

6. Though my plan is to go to grad school, get a PhD and become a professor, my real dream is to be a lead singer and guitarist in an alternative band.

7. I use T-shirts as pillowcases.

Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Include seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know about the award.
5. Display the award and follow the blogger who nominated you (if not already!)

In no particular order:

1. Naominizer

2. Today I Am A Man

3. a little more each day

4. Joy Runner

5. Mom. Wife. Runner. Coach.

6. That Lesbian Teacher

7. My Life Without Tits

8. 278 to Boston

9. The Flannel Files

10. Running Shorts

11. A Boy and Her Dog

12. American Trans Man

13. Neutrois Nonsense

Thank you all for writing such lovely writings to keep me entertained and fulfilled.

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A new year, new profs

I’m lucky enough that I only have a couple professors this semester that don’t know I’m trans. In this case though, both professors are for Spanish classes, and in that language, more words than pronouns have gender. Adjectives do as well. On professor hasn’t replied yet, but the other one simply said:

Estimado señor Transiteration,
No hay problema!
Hasta martes,
-Profesor

This translates to “Dear Mr. Transiteration, No problem! Until Tuesday,”

I’m excited about that class (and the other Spanish one) because I think it’ll have pretty much all people that I don’t know. It’ll be a possible opportunity to go stealth, which I haven’t really done before. I guess it just depends on my voice. I’ve been working on it. I’m pretty sure my voice is pretty low for a biologically female voice, but pass-ability is iffy. I haven’t worked on it too much before though, so I’m hopeful a bit of effort will help.

Either way, people are gonna have to use the right pronouns/adjectives in those classes because otherwise it’s gonna be grammatically incorrect. Muahaha. I’ll let you know if the correctness actually happens.

Have you ever had to come out to professors? Have you ever been able to pass just based on working on your voice alone?

 

 

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Back to school time!

It’s August and everyone’s headed back to school. For me, this means no more 40 hour/week physical job and trying to train at the same time, which I’m pretty excited about.

It means no more outrageous lengths of time between posts, and probably more interesting things to blog/read about.

I’m pretty excited for this year. I’m only in 12 hours of class, which is still going to be a challenge as a student athlete, but will leave me with more time to be active in the community and do things I love.

Old followers, thanks for sticking around while life’s been too hectic to post, and possible new followers, expect to see many more frequent posts about my all-too-normal boring life as a trans-student-athlete.

Are you going back to school? What are you looking forward to this fall? Tell me about yourself! With this new time I’d like to get to know more of you.

Take care,
Transiteration

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Iron Man No Longer

A while ago, I wrote about my experiences with IV iron for iron deficiency anemia.

In short: I got an IV about 4 months ago. My ferritin went from 14 to 179!

I haven’t been feeling so good (ears ringing, dizzy, tired), so even though my training has been fine, I went for a ferritin test.

It came back a 10. I’m devastated. It cost so much to do the IV and I feel so much better not destroying my gut with supplements. It’s lower than every test I’ve ever had, except when I was truly anemic. (It was a 2 and I was literally passing out.)

I think I’m going to try to get another IV before XC season starts. I’m really tempted to start back on the supplements, but I’m worried that my ferritin will go up enough that the docs won’t want to give me an IV, but still low enough that I feel like shit. For a distance runner, it should be above 60.

I am thinking of the causes of the drop, and I think altitude is a huge factor. I haven’t been taking supplements because the docs told me not to, and going up in altitude (home for the summer) and training well would make my body produce more red blood cells, depleting my iron store.

I also haven’t been taking my B complex or D vitamins.

I guess it’s a call to the doctor to see what I should do. The iron battle saga continues..

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THANK YOU to the strangers at the park

a group of you pretentious adolescents,
five or six, maybe seven.

As I circled the lake
the waves gently lapped
and you shallowly shouted:

“Is that a guy or a girl?”
“No, look, that running over there.
what is it?”
“I can’t tell!”
“I don’t know.” you said, “Ha, ha, ha!”

Haha.. ha.. ha.
I looked over and returned your stares,
my eyes outnumbered
as your laughs flew with the breeze
and landed in the air around my ears.

You paused, and I paused, stricken.
The perfect moment of suspended silence,
but you went on.

Though my stride remained steady,
anger pounded through my veins
and sadness prickled at my fingertips.

I looped around again, intently,
how best to spend my next two cents?
I kept those pennies for another day.

A lap longer, a mile more.
A second stripped off my next race.

and I have only you to thank.

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Trans issues in the workplace… (Update!)

Last week I wrote about a conversation I overheard at work about trans healthcare and medicare.

The next day, one of the two coworkers that was sitting at the desk with the woman that defended trans people asked me about the note I left.

“Hey missy, what was that note about?”

I ignored the missy. Really? One look at me pretty much yells not-a-missy. “Oh, yesterday?” Laughing nervously, “I guess I was too vague.”

“Yeah, I asked he if she knew what it meant, and she didn’t know.”

“Oh, I guess I’ll have to explain more.”

I built up the courage for the next day and a half to leave a another note with a better explanation. I didn’t have time on any of my breaks, but I still wanted to say something.

Believe it or not, this transguy actually talked to her instead!

As I was on my way out, I went by her desk and made some small talk and then got into it.

“Er- sorry that my note was so vague.”

By the look on her face, she knew it was what I came to talk about. The funny thing was, she didn’t ask what I meant. She said “what did you hear?”

“I heard-” I quickly lowered my voice, “- you and James talking about.. medicare.”

She definitely knew what I was talking about then. “Yeah. He’s… weird.”

Satisfied that she knew I was grateful, I dorkily replied “Yeah. But it’s all good,” and high-tailed it out of there. Based on her expression and how she talked, I think she knew what my note meant the whole time. I think she just said she didn’t know so didn’t have to explain to my other co-workers, protecting me from any awkward questions. I guess I’ll never really know, but it feels good on know of one sane person in my ultra-conservative workplace.

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