Friday, February 27, 2009

Our Secret Hate

I've been thinking a lot the last few days about discrimination against transpeople, and the LGBT community as a whole.

It occurred to me that on a whole, we tend to expect the worst from people. Our life experiences have shown us that when we out ourselves to family, friends, religious people, work, etc., things tend to go badly. We're met with hatred, misunderstanding, miscommunication and ignorance. Because of this, we are guarded around "outsiders" - people who aren't members of the exclusive LGBT community. We expect to be met with these negative reactions, and prepare ourselves to lash out. We wait, ready to strike back and defend ourselves.

What happens when the blow never comes? What do we do when someone stops, and steps forward, reaching out in an attempt to understand, us with our fist held back ready to strike at an attack that doesn't exist?

I've noticed in some cases, people in the LGBT community will lash out anyways, perhaps some manner of "preemptive strike". Maybe it's just easier to start swinging and keep them at an arm's (or a fist's?) length than to meet them halfway. It's possible we're just sick of dealing with it, and would rather not bother with the effort of helping them understand. Why would we? They never listen anyways!

Considering all of this made me come to the conclusion that sometimes we bring homophobia and transphobia upon ourselves. When people respond in this fashion, all we're showing them is that we're unapproachable, angry people who don't want acceptance or understanding. We don't want justice. We want revenge. We want the "str8s" to just go away. It's our own little form of separatism. It's our secret hate.

If someone is trying to understand us and we chase them away, we've lost another ally. We've made that person less likely to try and approach another LGBT person on friendly terms. We've potentially added another notch to the Bible Belt. We've lost another vote against Proposition 8, or Amendment 2.

If people outside the LGBT community are willing to step forward in trust and understanding, I'm willing to meet them halfway. It's not easy, and it's not supposed to be. You can't change a millennium of programming in one blog post, but maybe you can change someone's mind for just a few minutes. Even a moment of reconsideration is worth the effort. It's possible that our actions are futile. It's also possible to change someone for a lifetime. We'll never know until we try.

I'm going to end the cycle of hate, starting with me. I hope you do the same, because no one will accept us if we are unwilling to accept them as well.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I went to one of my favorite LGBT related sites, The Bilerico Project, for my usual favorites in LGBT Blogging and News. There was a popup from Nielsen Online for a survey to better understand site traffic. From what I can gather it's a branch of The Nielsen Co., a company I worked for a few years back doing data entry on television commercials under Nielsen Media Associates.

I figure, if it's to collect data on the site, sure why not?

First line: Age ... god I'm in the 35-44 age bracket?? *cringe* *click*

Second line: Gender: Male, Female



*looks at the LGBT, site zie's on, looks back at the survey*

*shakes head*


Monday, February 16, 2009


I figured since I get asked this question a lot, I should just put all the information in one place.

Wikipedia states: "Breast binding is the material used in, or the act of reducing visible breast size in both women and men through the use of constrictive materials."

In pre-operative FtM transsexuals, transgendered persons, genderqueer and crossdressers, this is done to minimize the breasts as much as possible, and to give a flatter, more masculine appearance, or the appearance of male pectoral muscles.

Depending on your breast size, this can be done a number of ways, some relatively safe - such as sports bras and binding vests - and some incredibly dangerous, like duct tape. My personal preference is for the binding vests from Underworks. I own the 997 model, and it does a fairly good job at compressing my 38DD chest. I'd like to get a second vest (possibly the 980) and layer them for additional compression. I'm worried at how hot these are going to be in the Florida summer *cringe*.

Binding takes time. It takes time not only to get into your binder, but to figure out exactly the best way to wear it for you, and to get comfortable with it. I'm not going to lie - binding can be incredibly uncomfortable at times. If it pushes on your stomach it can make eating a pain, and if you don't sit properly it can really cause an ache in your back. You need to keep at it, keep experimenting, and find out the most comfortable method for you.

Once I get moved, I'll post before and after pictures of my specific binding, and how effective it is. For now I'm going to post what resources I have collected below for people who are interested in learning more about different binding methods. As many will state, I really do recommend getting a binder, and not using tape or elastic bandages, which can be incredibly painful and hazardous to your health.

Hudson's Guide to FtM Binding
Binder Reviews
FtM at Underworks
Tip For Keeping Binders from Rolling Up
Breast Binding Photos before Testosterone

Hope this helps anyone who was interested. If I find any other links of interest I'll post them asap. Good luck!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"No, she's a girl, she's just living transgender"

In the few years that I've been out, I've been lucky enough to only face a few instances where my being transgender was responded to negatively. I lost a friend over it.

Tonight I was faced with a tremendous amount of hostility for being me, from people who I thought were at least acquaintances, if not friends. People who will so willingly accept and learn new things and accept restrictions from people within their subculture, but who adamantly refuse to learn about anything outside that little comfort zone. Even if it's just to foster some kind of mutual respect or understanding.

What's bothering me is when a subculture that wants to be respected and taken seriously can't respect or take seriously other subcultures, or minorities who are different from their own. People seem to think their minority, or their subculture is the only viable one, and there couldn't possibly be any overlap.

Like a transgender person can also be gay, or straight, but in many cases neither the gays nor the straights want to accept them into fold. A transgender person can be into BDSM, but the BDSM community may not accept a transgender person.

Walls built on top of walls, all it ends up doing is dividing us, whether we are LGBT, BDSM, or any other manner of subculture. There's no love and there's no cohesiveness to our goals if we are constantly finding more reasons to exclude people.

All this leads to is hurt feelings and lonely lives.

They don't have to accept me. No one has to accept me. In the end, acceptance is entirely their choice. I'd at least like people to give me a chance, offer me at least the benefit of the doubt, before automatically discounting me as not worth the effort. Yes, my feelings are hurt. This isn't the first time, and I know it won't be the last.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flasback! 7th Grade

So I went out to run errands today: picked up an Ebay purchase at the post office, went to CVS to get cold medicine for my sick roommate, and stopped by Arby's to bring home some dinner (forgot how expensive they are!).

As I'm pulling out of Arby's, Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue comes on the radio station. Suddenly it's like I'm transported back to eight grade, and I'm twelve years old again.

I remember a classmate tearing the legs off the Gumby keychain my oldest brother gave me.

I also remember someone handing me back the mix tape I'd made for the class party (I think for the last day of school). This was of course after someone had smashed it.

I recall the school dance, where the only person who would dance with me was the assistant principal.

*sigh* Ah, memories.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Relationships are an odd one in my situation.  I'm transgender, identifying as third gender, and a lot of people really don't know what to make of that.  

My last long term partner, a bisexual man, had no problem with any of my gender expression.  Since our breakup over a year ago, in my search for a new partner, I've come across a myriad of responses to my gender identity.

Once, while sitting in a diner with me, my potential partner, a gay man, and a very sexually liberal thinker (straight, but very accepting of everyone in the LGBT community), we got on the discussion of transgender, and I mentioned to them that I am transgender.  My not-partner (who already knew this) said very loudly "No you're not!!", startling the hell out of me and our other two friends.  I think that was when I realized it really wasn't going to work.

Someone else I crushed on once said "I wouldn't care if I found out tomorrow you had a penis, I'd love you just the same."  It was one of the best things anyone had ever said to me.  Then he disappeared, and I haven't seen or heard from him since last July.  So much for that.

Then I met Baron.  Baron is my current partner, and we've been committed to each other for five months.  I came out to him very early on in our friendship, and I think it kind of threw his brain for a loop.  Instead of doing what some people I've met have done (which is run and hide, or never talk to me again) he buckled down, and he researched.  He read, he studied, he met other transgender and transsexual people and talked to them, he did everything he could to understand as best as he can.

We both knew early on he is a strictly heterosexual man, and if I chose any kind of surgical transition, it would mean the end of our relationship.  I understand that.  He's heterosexual - he's not attracted to penis.  As it stands, identifying as third gender, I really have no surgical plans in my future (except maybe a breast reduction, someday).  I like living my life very gender ambiguously.  To me, it's comfortable.  To us, it works.

My partner, despite being heterosexual, is comfortable with me being as out and vocal as I am, and with being beside me in public, when I dress and present as male.  Sure, this might mean we could be mistaken for a gay couple.  Let them.  We are who we are - two people who love each other - no matter how straight or how queer you define it.

Yes, I live a pretty queer life, and I'm in a pretty queer relationship.  We defy the idea of a heteronormative couple.  It's like those tshirts: "I'm not straight but my boyfriend is."

Well, it's true:  I'm NOT straight, but my boyfriend is.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I'm lucky enough to have never been the victim of any kind of bashing, but I don't rule out that it might happen in my lifetime. It's sad that the word got co-opted like this. defines bashing as:


1. the act of beating, whipping, or thrashing: a series of unsolved bashings and robberies.
2. a decisive defeat: We gave the visiting team a good bashing.
3. (used in combination)
a. unprovoked physical assaults against members of a specified group: gay-bashing.
b. verbal abuse, as of a group or a nation: feminist-bashing; China-bashing.

Now, I'm guessing they're using the 3b. definition of the term. Last I checked, that's a protected right known as "Freedom of Speech". Is definition 1 and 3a., the definitions used typically in the homosexual community, protected under Freedom of Speech laws? Of course not. That's assault, and a hate crime. It's sickening how they can compare definition 3b. to definitions 1 and 3a. There's no comparison.

I have the right to not agree with your religious beliefs. You, however, don't have the right to beat me half to death for it.