Monthly Archives: August 2013

5 o’clock window

Walking down the street,
I see an ordinary:

broad shoulders
hard jawline
flat chest
rutted abs
5 o’clock shadow.

I pass a window
and see a foreign:

wide birthing hips
small nose
slim wrists
round face
prominent chest.

my worst nightmare every morning
when I feel sick and throw up
just from my reflection.

Trapped in a body that
I refuse to believe is mine.
Can’t live with it,
can’t live without it.

Every second
of every minute
of every day
is a marathon,
a waiting game.
watch me hit the wall.

Only 1095 marathons left.
and no retries for
a body I can call my own.




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Road trips and bathrooms

A couple days ago I drove to college, which is a good 11 hour drive. Needless to say, the urge to pee happened multiple times and the familiar panic set in. (I had gotten used to the luxuries on the east coast over the summer. Gender neutral bathrooms everywhere.. even at the grocery store and by a soccer field.) I drove in a caravan with a couple of my friends. At the first rest stop, I acted like I didn’t really need to go to the restroom. (In actuality, I didn’t want to brave the busy men’s room and I while I was out to them, I wasn’t sure how weird it would be.

At the next gas station, I acted like I didn’t need to go then either, which was more than suspicious. My friends’ dad came out of the bathroom and was asking if I needed to go. I mumbled something about public restrooms stressing me out. He caught on and let me know that someone was in the guys’ one so it wasn’t all clear to go. The others accused me of having a bladder of steel and I said that practice makes perfect.

My car was running out of gas, necessitating another stop. Thankfully this gas station had a single gender neutral bathroom. At a little town in Texas, I doubted that it was out of concern for transgender people – it was probably out of space limitations and convenience. I started wondering why more places didn’t have gender neutral bathrooms, especially if the only bathrooms they have were single stall. It would be half the work of cleaning it.

This year, I’m panicking a little about bathrooms. There’s no way I’m going in the women’s if I’m trying to get everyone to switch pronouns and I don’t really feel comfortable going in the men’s since everyone has seen me go in the women’s for a year. I think I’ll just run over to a less busy building and use the men’s. It’ll be a pain in the ass, but as an athlete I can’t just not drink water. (I did that for the car ride here and have been suffering the consequences since. Hot climate + summer + running does not work.)

What do you guys do about bathrooms?

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I have never been so mortified

So today I was talking with a family member that I don’t see very often. For some reason, the subject of attractions came up, which has been coming up more and more lately, without my doing. Normally, I would rather people ask me questions, but this experience has totally changed my feelings about that.

Him: Are you romantically attracted to guys?

Me: Nope.

Him: Not at all? What about women?

Me. Yup.

At this point he starts going on about gay rights, so I tell him that I don’t consider myself gay because I identify as male and the word for that would be transgender.

His reaction: But you’re so feminine! You really are very feminine! I don’t see you as masculine at all! (Keep in mind – I wear men’s clothes, have a short haircut, play sports, don’t shave my legs, etc. Not that I’m one for stereotypes or gender roles, but you get the point.)

credit: That’s Church

Me: *headdesk*

On a side note – if you a reading this, NEVER comment on a transperson’s gender expression. Unless you know them really well, 9 times out of 10 it comes across badly.

Here are a few bad examples:

1. “Wow, you look really masculine today!”

Really? Well what did I look like yesterday? Or the day before that?

2. “I saw you in the corner of my eye and you definitely looked like a guy!”

I don’t just look like a guy. I am a guy, dammit.

3. “I met a person that was trans once. I know everything you’re going through…”

– let me continue misgendering you and while I’m at it let me tell you how jealous I am that you’re not going to have periods.

As a general rule, if you wouldn’t say it to a cisgendered person, don’t say it to a transperson.

Anyway, back on point –

Not only did my extended family member comment profusely on my femininity, he proceeded to talk about a transguy he’d met:

Him: I knew someone that was transgender. She got the sex change operation and everything. She got her boobs taken off! You wouldn’t want to do that, would you? She even got a penis.

Me: Yup.

Him: What?? Would you want to get a penis?

Me: (mumbling something about the limitations of technology) That’s actually kind of a personal question. And your friend would be he, not she, riiight?

Him: She was a she, but then she got the operation. You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.

Me: Then I’m not going to answer.

– insert awkward silence –

It got more mortifying, but for the sake of not discussing other people’s matters too much, I’ll cut it off here.

Also keep in mind, that this is smack in the middle of a restaurant. I have never been so mortified. At this point I start panicking about coming out at school this year and what my coach is going to say and if people are going to understand at all. I start envisioning people being totally confused and misgendering me and start dwelling on the fact that nobody in my life except the wonderful people at a youth LGBT group actually calls me by the correct pronouns.

Then I remember that even if the whole world is against me I still have my immediate family. I love my sister to death and am so grateful that my parents accept me. It means  so much. When I survive this crazy August of coming out to everyone it’ll be because of them.

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What it feels like to wear a binder

I’m so sick of my binder and dysphoria. I don’t even wear it all the time or anything, maybe 3 times a week.

Here’s how it goes:

Wake up.
Go on a run, feeling chest with every step.
Peel sweaty clothes off and get in shower. Look down at body and suddenly feel rather nauseous.
Get out of shower. Try to dry off while nauseous feeling increases.
Put on pants, brush teeth, towel dry hair. Organize bathroom to procrastinate putting on binder.
Look at watch. Oh shit.
Pull binder over head. Try to yank downward for 5 minutes.
Realize armpits are chafed and may or may not start bleeding.
Put on deodorant.
Realize chafed armpits and deodorant are a bad, painful combination. 
Adjust chest.
Put on shirt and tuck in.
Realized chest has become un-adjusted to form unflattering uni-chest.
Untuck shirt. Readjust chest. Retuck shirt.
Go to work.
Inhale sharply and wonder who stabbed you in the back.
Look around and realize no one has a weapon.
Feel knife twist in back.
Crack back over chair.
Sigh with relief, even if just 5 seconds.
Feel rib start clicking.
Look at watch. 1 hour down, 4 to go.
Feel drips of sweat and check shirt.
Give anyone smiling a dirty look.
Wonder why people are ever happy.
Run home.
Peel binder off and remember chafed armpits.
Avoid mirrors. 
Catch reflection in window. Briefly consider investing in antiemetics.

Even if you get the right size and quality and everything. It still sucks. I can’t wait for winter. :/

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