gender identity Archive

A Trans Woman’s Open Letter to Her Dad

Hi Dad,

It is time to address the last sticking point in my transition. I don’t need to remind you that I am making the single biggest step in this journey in three weeks (and yes, I’m absolutely certain). If required, I will go into greater detail, but you don’t want that and I’m not excited to have to.

Accessing Mental Health Care While Trans

Trigger Warning: physically and sexually violent imagery, transphobia

I recently moved to Boston from NYC. Moving can be stressful for a variety of reasons. As a trans man with mental illness, it can be especially stressful for me to try to make sure all of my healthcare continues without gaps.

Identity

I have pretty much always identified as female. Cis-gender. I have never thought about anything else, really. I have never been aware that there are other options out there, much less considered them. But I’ve also been on the tomboy side of female, right from the get-go. I hung out with boys, I beat up boys, I followed boys into the bathroom and watched them pee. I really really wanted a penis, and I tried as hard as I could to grow one. I remember when I was little I’d sit in the passenger seat of the car as I went with one of my parents on an errand-running mission, and I would feel a certain friction between my legs or against my groin from the way I was sitting on the seat, the way the seatbelt fit or my pants were tugging, and imagine a penis growing between my legs.

Bad Psychiatry Still Haunts Us

In 1988, when I had just turned 14, I made the life changing mistake of trying to figure out what I was using the materials I had on hand. In this case, it was a copy of the book written by Dr. David Reuben in 1968, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask).” The book came from my mother’s top shelf on adult topics, and for a kids just hitting puberty and dying slowly with the changes, I needed answers. Namely, why did puberty feel so wrong, why did I feel a need to be female, and why did I pray every night to wake up right.

Trans is not a Mental Illness

There was the equivalent of a 8.0 Earthquake in the psychiatric community this past May. Although very few people outside the trans community noticed it, there was a casualty. It’s name was Gender Identity Disorder (GID). The funeral was poorly attended, and the only people mourning it are right wing ideologues and rabidly anti-LGBT organizations who feel that LGBT people need to be as stigmatized as possible by the medical and psychological communities.

Two Months Later

Editor’s note: this is a continuation of Fuck. Schizoaffective?

It’s been two months since my diagnosis. Two months to process the psychosis, the diagnosis. Two months to adjust to new medication.

Coming to terms with childlessness

I never wanted to be a mother when I was young. Seduced by the freedom I could have as a single woman, at varying levels of “being about to take care of myself” financially and psychologically, I pushed onward. When I was 19 and in college I had an abortion. The father was irresponsible and unemployed, and I wanted to graduate. I wanted to live an exciting, satisfying life and knew if I kept the child I would be doomed to poverty and single-mother-dom before I had even gotten started.

Staying In vs. Coming Out

I have no beautiful words to share or anything to make the pressing issue of coming out an easier one. I have nothing to offer but the advice I have been given and continue to follow in protection of myself.

It is very much okay to stay in. It is very much okay to find safety in the proverbial closet. Staying in, is in itself, sometimes needed for survival. It is okay to keep your sexuality/lack thereof, gender/lack thereof, tucked away and safe within your chest.

Fear of Addiction and the Fall Into Alcoholism

My first experience drinking beer (well, aside from the time my mother’s brother gave me a drink when I was like five telling me it was soda – I spit it back out on him) was at a neighbor’s party when I was 20 or so. Up until that point, I’d never had a beer, and didn’t even like the smell of it. Over the next year and a half of knowing him, I found an affinity for beer, in relatively limited quantities, anyway.

Mental Illness and Romantic Rejection

“I just don’t think I could handle that kind of rejection.” – George McFly

When you’re a little obsessed with your own mistakes, and you can replay every stupid thing you’ve ever said in your head, dozens or hundreds of times, until you become the biggest idiot in the world and can prove it mathematically, you tend to take some things a little harshly. Romantic rejection isn’t easy for anyone, but experiencing it with a healthy dose of depression and obsession is a whole lot less fun.