Archive for October, 2009

Quick Hit: Translating Identities Conference

Posted in life, quick hit, Uncategorized on 10.21.09 by Maalik

I am going to be at the Translating Identities Conference¬†in Vermont this weekend. I don’t know any openly transmasculine people¬†offline so I’m pretty excited to be going. If you’ll be there, feel free to say “hey.”

The Translating Identity Conference (TIC) explores a wide array of topics in discourses regarding gender and transgender identities, expressions, communities, and intersections. TIC is a free, student organized, non-profit conference that seeks to reach not only the University of Vermont & the Burlington community, but the nation as a whole. A one-day event, TIC has numerous sessions to choose from at any time that are directed towards people at all levels of inclusion in the trans and allied communities. This conference is a safe space for everyone to come, learn, and enjoy themselves!

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Trans Bodies

Posted in about me, queer, rants on 10.09.09 by Maalik

Potentially triggering.

The first person I came out to was a counselor at school. She forced it out of me, and then followed by asking if I “had male genitalia.” Being a distressed fifteen year old I answered her question, but looking back, the incident makes me feel sick.

A high school counselor asked a fifteen year old student what his genitalia looked like. In any other situation that would be inappropriate at best, but because of my trans status it didn’t even occur to her that there could be anything wrong with it. Disgusting.

Somehow the bodies of trans people have become public property. And even though it’s been extensively blogged about before, it’s different when it happens to you. I feel uncomfortable making comparisons to assault, I don’t know if I have the right, but I can’t help but feel like I was assaulted. I was fifteen, she was in a position of dominance, and I was made to feel uncomfortable because of her actions. I still feel guilty about not doing anything, not standing my ground. And I feel exposed because someone coerced information she had no right to.

I hate how one’s trans status negates any sense of human decency towards him– even kids. I can’t think of the abhorrent words of several KRXQ radio hosts. Or of people who are so enraged by our existence that they are driven to murder. When will others realize that before anything else, we are human beings?

Taking the First Step

Posted in about me, life, transition on 10.09.09 by Maalik

I’ve been living in Boston for about a month now. Between having the means to begin therapy and a number of therapist who specialize in gender identity nearby, I’m in the perfect position to start physically transitioning. But it’s been over a month and I still can’t take the first step.

It took me a long time to come out to my last therapist. I agonized over it for months; by the time I actually did it, we had developed a relationship so the task wasn’t as daunting. But now the focus of therapy is gender; I don’t get to build a relationship with my therapist, to feel him out, before I disclose. And further complicating things is the fact that being able to transition is contingent on my therapist’s perception of my identity.

It’s frustrating to have to depend on another person for something that is so important to my well-being. To have to expose myself and hope that the therapist is knowledgable and respectful enough that the experience isn’t troublesome. I don’t do vulnerable or dependance well, so you can see the problem.

Part of the issue is the sense of a loss of control. Between Twitter and this blog, I say a lot of personal things– sometimes uncomfortably personal. But I have control over what I choose to say and I don’t have to worry (as much) about the repurcussions for saying them. If I write that I like to get pedicures and paint my nails, no one’s going to say I’m not man enough to transition. When another person has such control over your future, it’s hard for either party to gain anything from the situation.

As difficult as it is, though, I know I have to do it. Everytime I do the ridiculous dance to get into my binder I am reminded that this can’t continue. But it’s really fucking hard to take that first step.