On TERF Beliefs & Sex

No one is entitled to intimacy.

Let me reiterate: No. One. Is. Entitled. To. Intimacy. Of. Any. Sort. Nor. Are. They. Obligated. To. Provide. It.

Even during a relationship, there should never be an obligation to provide intimacy. Every person should have the right to determine what they are comfortable with both inside and outside of a relationship at any point in time. Humans on the whole are not static, after all, and even within the span of a few minutes a mind can go from being a-okay to stormy which is something a person truly interested in the company of another should be considerate of. After all, all types of relationships should be based upon the compassion for the other being. Otherwise, it’s a selfish endeavor by a person unworthy of attention.

Why even discuss this? It’s a common tactic of reactionaries which appropriate the label of “feminist” to dismiss trans people as perverted violators of consent. The first claim is that trans people are forcefully erasing other identities based on sexual activity (think: lesbian and gay) because trans people do not have the “right equipment” to be either:

Lesbian, if they are a trans woman (whether they be a dyke or a femme).

Gay, if they are a trans man (whether they are masculine or feminine).

Second, it’s claimed that trans people decry “transphobia” at anyone who is not interested in being intimate with them. As someone that’s had her fair share of propositions for dates or sex, I find this hard to believe. I find it even harder to believe when I consider the experience of friends dealing with similar situations. I will not say I have never met a transgender individual that didn’t handle rejection well and went too far. Such instances are few and far between, however. It’s hardly a representative sample of transgender people, very much unlike the pervasive nature of consent violations by cisgender males. In fact, it could be argued that all transgender people are as acutely aware of rape culture as cisgender women as rape is often used as a “corrective” tool against people LGBTQIA+. Not only that, but the rift between a trans person’s assigned gender and their natural identity forms very early on in their life leaving them exposed to two different sides:

1) The side they are forcefully made to identify with and act out.
2) The side they are internally comfortable with which they are forced to observe and absorb from a distance.

In the case of trans women, this means being involuntarily subjected to misogyny as any other woman, but from men that think you agree all while one’s brain is screaming about being the target of their aggression. Many trans women find themselves in the predicament between standing up for themselves and other women directly to people that are often more powerful than them (testosterone levels are often lower for trans women) or staying silent and being complicit with the violence being spewed. Is it the fault of the woman for being caught between a rock and a hard place? Or is it the fault of patriarchal ideals which tell men it’s okay to denigrate and humiliate women? To fantasize about committing violence and doing so? In my opinion, which is worth little in this world, it is the latter that is the problem, but often these reactionaries place the blame on the trans woman for finding herself in such a situation.

I know that, for myself, I found solace only in friendships with other women. The men I befriended were few and far between, and they were almost exclusively liberal leaning despite my conservative Republican nature at the time. They were the only men I felt safe being around, and I vetted such friendships like a hawk as anyone else would. I was never one to be a welcome mat for such hatred against people I was a part of, and I experienced the gamut of all the ways the men still clinging to misogyny would show you not to speak up or act out, but I digress.

What I have found in my many years of studying human anatomy all the way from the Planck scale to the atomic to the cellular to the macroscopic is that there is no one way to be a particular sex. There is no one way to be a particular gender. There are often no indicators of what outcome a conscious being will end up with, as well. Thus, there is no right or wrong way to be a lesbian or gay.  Despite the argument that “there’s only penis and vagina and that determines who you are,” nature simply does not agree with such black-and-white view. This false dichotomy would decide that a baby born with dual-X chromosomes (“female”) but an SRY gene within them (genetic code for phalloclitoris differentiation into a phallus) could never consider herself a lesbian if she chose to only be intimate with other women despite her genitalia. While a reactionary will argue that this is not possible because she has a penis and that “she has a genetic disorder,” that is an irrelevant moral judgment based on nothing objective. Claiming a deviation from the average is “negative” in some way is more of a reflection of the claimant’s mindset about the world, that it should be as they perceive it rather than what it truly is, more than anything else.

Thus, a woman with a larger than average clitoris which likes other women is still a lesbian once you push the moralistic view aside to embrace the diversity of nature. Claiming they are neither woman nor lesbian – or in the case of trans men claiming they are neither man nor gay – does show a lack of complete understanding regarding the possible outcomes for women and men which is very much an attempt to stereotype both types of people to fit a very narrow world view for the sole purpose of avoiding a perceived threat. No one would argue that you’re obligated or required to be intimate with them in either case, but most well-meaning individuals would argue that you should be willing to listen to more than what you were taught many years ago when science was even less experienced than present day. No one would argue that you must be intimate with trans lesbians as a cis lesbian, but everyone familiar with such information would certainly say that you should be willing to examine your own beliefs right down to the very root of it. Any compassionate and logical mind would argue that you should be willing to trace every bit of such a belief down to the core to see whether or not it has root rot or not.

How do you know if you’re being transphobic if you’ve only considered it from your own, possibly even extremely limited, perspective?

You can’t know. You don’t know. But do you care to know? Do you care to find out? Do you care enough about other people that are not exactly like you to ensure you are the best version of yourself? That’s the real question – not whether you’d have sex with a trans person.

 

**I do apologize that this was written in a very binary manner, but it was done so for the sake of brevity and clarity. You can chew me out in private messages if you’d like. ❤

Advertisements

Not This $#!T Again! – Texas Anti-Trans Bathroom Legislation

[CN: Bullying, assault, prejudice]

I will be turning this into a video this week, but here’s the rough draft of the transcript early:

As the vibration of cesium marks the passage of time here in the United States, my home state of Texas is marching towards denying civil liberties of many Texans, young and old. With under half of the state being Judgmental Christian, religionist, or otherwise invested in the endeavor of dictating daily lives and growing the size of government, the powers that be in Texas are attempting to force the beliefs of the minority upon the rest. There have been loud rumors about the possibility of a statewide bill affecting minority groups, especially nonpassing or nonbinary transgender individuals. There have already been several cities that have passed their own anti-trans bathroom ordinance, and there have been several others that have had protections for minority groups repealed due to these perverse beliefs.

However, this isn’t much of a surprise to me. I grew up in a small town, one that some might refer to as “rural.” It was pretty average for the area, as far as ideological beliefs go. Kids talked. Adults gossiped. The elderly nagged. It was, and still remains, an excellent breeding ground for ideological indoctrination. Growing up, it wasn’t very difficult for me to pick up on the opinions of others. Whatever the TV or radio was saying was likely to be their thoughts, or whatever they learned from Sunday school that week. The kids were no different. Even if they didn’t pay much attention to the news, they still had their parents to fill them in on what to believe and how to act.

When I was young, I knew to keep my mouth shut. A “boy,” of sorts, that “thought” himself to be a “girl” was something to be disgusted at and corrected, fixed, or abandoned. I recognized this long before I should have, but I had to grow up fast being in such a place. It took a long time before I found a friend that I felt comfortable with opening up to. They were similar to me, or at least I thought they were. Yet, they were a gay cisgender male, and when I revealed how I felt about my life and myself, they recoiled in disgust and told me I couldn’t possibly feel that way. I was eight at the time, and it devastated me. After that day, I didn’t really have much of a friendship with them anymore. I was eight, and I had been devastated. Confused. What made me so different? They acted kind of like me. They liked similar stuff. Yet, they weren’t trans. They couldn’t understand it.

In 5th grade, my body began to change in a variety of ways. It mainly started with accentuation of my torso and the growth of breasts. My body was becoming a confusing mush, to me. It was being pulled in ways that I didn’t like, but at the same time it was being moved to places that I did like. I had already become hesitant to use the restroom, due to my increasing dysphoria and knowledge of how society viewed me. However, sometimes it was necessary. At the school I attended, we were only allowed restroom breaks with the class, unless it was an emergency. These breaks were monitored by a female teacher, which generally meant the boy’s restroom was chaos. I recall going in there one time, and there was a group of kids standing around a urinal. The person trying to do their business was often subjected to physical and mental bullying. I do not remember much about them, even though I tried to get to know them. However, what I do recall is that they had problems at home – financial and probably more. Due to their circumstances, they often came to school with long fingernails, which was strike one against them in the minds of the kids being taught by the religious vultures. He also had long hair, which may have been in part due to the circumstances surrounding his life. The last strike against him was his demeanor. He was timid to the point of shaking, forced to be shy from the constant hate, and had a soft voice. He was the best target for these living bags of trash. The kids standing around him were yelling slurs – calling him a faggot, a sissy, and more. They then began taking turns placing their foot on his butt and pushing him back and forth against the urinal. I wanted to leave, but instead some of them had turned their attention to me. They began to throw insults about cowardice my way, and I was a coward. Not for their reasons, but because I really needed to use the restroom, and these other bigger children were forcing me to make a decision: Press on this kid or be tortured, too.

To appease them, I placed my foot on him, pressed him once, and retreated into a stall. A few cheers erupted from the other kids, and the teacher finally decided that there was too much noise, and began to force everyone out of the restroom. I simply sat in the stall and began to cry. I don’t readily recall if he ever told the teacher, but it didn’t matter.

After that day, I stopped using the restroom breaks. As every other kid filtered into the bathrooms, I waited outside. My teacher took notice, and questioned a few times, but I never revealed the problem. Instead, I halted my fluid intake to make sure I could go all day without using the school’s restrooms. If I REALLY had to go, I still wouldn’t. I would hold it. I would wait until I arrived at my grandmother’s place of work, where I was dropped off after school, and would use the restroom there. Without anyone present.

I couldn’t use the restroom that aligned with my gender identity, nor could I get the assistance required to move towards it. I was afraid of what would happen to me in the ones that didn’t align with my identity. So, I chose either empty bathrooms, gender neutral bathrooms, or I wouldn’t go at all. Often, the choice would be made for me, and it generally resulted in holding on to that fluid waste.

This behavior, this maladaptive coping mechanism as a response to a broken society where the unanalytical push their uninformed opinions, caused me several kidney stones over the years. The lack of hydration, the inability to exist, the lack of facilities that could keep me safe, and more coalesced into some of the most unimaginable pain. It also put me in debt several thousand dollars due to one of the stones being 7 mm and requiring intervention.

This is what this negative behavior results in. This is what coddling special snowflakes that believe their opinions are facts does to children. This is what has been happening for so long in our society, and it’s what will continue to happen as long as we’re okay with letting the vocal minority rule and hijack the megaphone.

Bullying, health problems, and more will befall the children of Texas and any state where this attitude is held in high regard. It must be stopped, and it will be stopped, but only with help of people like you. People that empower themselves. Listen. Know. Understand. Thank you so much for joining me. Stay safe, my witchlings, and know that you are incredible. Until next time, bye~

Right Utopia Pt. I

This was something I dreamed about last night and today. I don’t know if I will develop the idea further, and I definitely didn’t proofread it, but I’d like to share it with you, regardless.

Right Wing Utopia

Ding. Ding. As the light on the intercom flicked on, a soft voice filled the cabin above the roar of the jet’s engines, “We will arrive at our destination in approximately two hours. It appears that the weather will be mild and rather pleasant.” The light glowed for a few more seconds before returning to its normative state.

“Thank you, Rosa!” Ava chimed in the cockpit’s direction. She reclined back in her luxurious seat and smoothed her silken red dress.
“Have you been thinking of any last-minute modifications to our decision?” said Ethan as he startled the air with both his manner of speaking and a quick half-turn to face his wife.

His wife hesitated, breath slowing. They were a power-couple. Mid-forties, well-established, and everyone coveted their life. Ethan had inherited his father’s money and companies when he was twenty-eight. However, he never wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. So, he simply sold everything in a feeding frenzy of investors, and spent the rest of his life doing what he desired. That generally involved travel, and as such the main investment was a private jet for he and his wife. Ava came from a similar background of inherited wealth, and between the two of them they had enough to live several lifetimes worth of luxury. They were completely unconcerned with the day-to-day of the people they flew over. Indeed, they were one of the main advocates for the Body Harvest of 2033. Their wealth afforded them all the privileges of modern science, and today they would be deciding the features of their still conceptualized child.

China as a whole became a sort of bastion for scientific breakthroughs that the people actually wanted, over the years. The massive influx of wealthy individuals wishing to make history for themselves and humanity had made Beijing the central hub of the Galactic Alliance Everlasting. There were a great number of scientists working towards understanding ever-greater obstacles to human progress, and money greased the gears of progress. Humanity had flown through discovery after discovery, yielding little time for consideration of implications or possibilities. It was for the glory of humanity, and many people enjoyed the new comforts of life.

Finally, Ava cocked her head and smiled, “No, everything will be fine. I know our decisions will create a beautiful baby boy. After all, these days we have nothing to worry about!”

Ethan smirked. “Of course they had nothing to worry about,” he thought, “the obstacles were taken care of years ago.”
People had been resistant to change, and there had been several fire bombings of labs designed for the sole purpose of making the Heroic Unified Modification Abiogenesis Nullification (H.U.M.A.N) project possible. These days, those people had been taken care of. It was the pledged sole purpose behind the Body Harvest legislation. At least, that’s what Ava and Ethan supposed. It’s all they heard about in their social circles, and they supposed that it must be true. So, they had pledged money and support. In return, the scientists allowed the couple the right to create the first child.  However, the wording of the actual legislation stated that individuals that could not conform to societal norms were to be removed from society. The “who” and “how” was left open-ended. The night of the legislation the sound of batons rattling the cages, the report of a rifle into the air, and the sound of silence chilled. The dogs of war were unleashed, the larger ate the smaller, and the survival of those best able to adapt was ensured.

The individuals best represented and normalized in media and elsewhere were ensured survival. Their familiarity with the subjects allowed for fewer biases to manifest, and so the hunting for Radicals Alienates and Thugs began. Previously enacted legislation allowed for doctors to condemn a body to be harvested, but this time lobbying had managed to allow for any sentient being to harvest a R.A.T. under certain guidelines. The requirements were left as a simple list:

1. A “uniform” to be worn before and during the procedure.

  1. That the individual to be harvested is of the same criteria as outlined under the G.A.E. guidelines for body harvesting.
  2. Be a citizen of the district you choose to harvest from.

The going rates for a poorly-harvested R.A.T. that could be used for spare parts was well over fifty grand a specimen. For live societal refuse the going rate could be much higher, especially if the buyer felt the strain of life-or-death decisions. The business was booming, but quickly the intended goal was taking effect. Undesirable R.A.T.s were appearing less and less in society, and this meant that progress could be made for the benefit of all humankind.
The soft bump of the runway met them as their plane touched back on glorious Galactic Soil.

Rosa chimed over the intercom, “Excellent. I hope that was pleasant! Have a lovely trip you two.”

“An excellent flight, as always dear!” Ava elated. Ethan smirked and laughed, “Yes, truly glorious as always.”
As they exited the airport, Ava held her hand up to shield her eyes. The shimmering of the white-gold trim on the limo shuttling patients to the Project lab had dazzled her, but no other flickers greeted the arrival. A discovery being tested was simply another day of breath in this city and, indeed, the globe.

As they were driven to meet the doctor, only the whisper of breath could be heard as the couple stared out opposite windows dreaming of their life with the new baby they dreamed of. It seemed so long ago that they had wanted a child. They had tried all prior options to no avail, and had resolved to simply dreaming up their ideal offspring. They were actually the best candidates for the Project, even though it had been tested many times prior with glorious success in the most unimaginative participants.

When they arrived, a lean pale business woman wearing a dark suit greeted them as they left the lavish vehicle, “Welcome Ethan and Ava, glorious day! I will be showing you to your room. Do either of you have any questions at this point, or did you look over the packet we sent you?”
Ava patted her purse as they began walking towards the entrance, “Yes, I still have it with me just in case. It seems to answer anything we could think of and more.”

As the woman opened the door for Ethan and his wife to follow, she smiled, “Glorious.”
They walked down the long white corridor to room seven and entered. Here, they were instructed by the packet to undress and get into two separate sensory deprivation pods after donning the soft-caps resting next to them.
Once they were in the pod, they were instructed to focus only on their ideal child, and the image would be constructed from what they most wanted. The entire process took but a few minutes for them, even though the pamphlet claimed it could take several hours.

After the process, Ethan and Ava cleaned themselves up. A sharp rap was heard as they were finishing the proper appearance modifications for acceptable social presentation. The wife opened the door and Ethan stepped out with his wife in tow. “Follow me, please, we appreciate your excellent cooperation and expediency. Your presence has brought us considerable interest, and we will be offering our services publicly before sundown.”

“Glorious,” Ethan and his wife replied as they were led to the next area. The pamphlet stated that they would be taken to the selection station where any undesirable traits could be removed or last minute modifications to their offspring could be made.

They stepped into the private viewing room with several holograms depicting their child at various stages of life. They were able to see every slice of what their future child’s life would be. The algorithm had already taken glorious care in removing all traits associated with R.A.T.s, as there was no need to breed undesirables into society. No one considered it to be valuable to the glorious goal of progressing humankind.

“He’s so beautiful,” Ava stepped forward towards the baby’s first years. Ethan admired silently the man his son would become, and felt a sense of pride. He looked at his wife and nodded. “I see nothing that I would change.”
“Confirmation complete” a feminine voice echoed into the room. The last stop was to let Ava prep for surgery so that in nine months their child could be born. As they departed, Ava with the business woman and Ethan for the waiting area down the hall, the couple’s eyes locked and Ava spoke, “We will love this child no matter what; we’re finally going to receive our precious gift!” They both smiled and went their own way.

Nine months later, on December 24 of the glorious year 2057 Ethan and Ava had a child which they named Christian. He was everything they had dreamed of and more. The Project managers threw in extra incentives for them, because they had donated so generously to the cause. Christian was given genes to increase cognitive ability and physical strength. Under lab conditions, no deviation was noted from the intended result. All children were born according to the emotions and thoughts from the parents with a little tweaking by scientists. All previous patients were kept in the Project headquarters for study to make sure the desired outcomes were achieved with round-the-clock monitoring of mother and child through the use of sensors placed on the skin. They were afforded all the freedom they were accustomed to, the Project HQ had to be very well suited for the tastes of their clientele. The sensors made sure everything developed accordingly, and after the child was born the scientists kept track of their progress. No deviation from the desired Creation or Development stages was ever noted, and it was fast-tracked through the Galactic bureaucracy.

Ava was the first mother to leave immediately after the procedure and was free to explore the Earth as she saw fit during pregnancy.

On December 24, of the glorious year 2081, I awoke to consciousness. On the 24th year of my glorious life, I understand myself. On the 24th day of the 12th month of the glorious year of our Leaders, I cast down the crown handed to me by Creators. They called me Christian, and I know myself as Christi. What they could not see under their microscope and narrow-mindedness was the miles of concrete above and below protecting them from cosmic rays. What they could not observe in their holograms and in their calculations was the peaceful states of lab rats and influenced outcomes from monitored mice. Over the years I knew about the views regarding R.A.T.s, but for the glory of the Project I decided to keep silent. For the glory of progress, I thought I could change. Over those many years of my life, I dedicated myself to both studying the philosophy of the Galactic Alliance and to educating myself about the Project. Today, I will confess my sins and give my body for harvest. The world I grew up in places the burden upon me for being influenced by the hormones within my mother’s body becoming who I am today. My body is deemed sufficient for harvesting according to the guidelines governing society. I do not have a say in what is done to me. I have no voice. Indeed, I am alone in this world and am faced with the option of staying silent and suffering or ceasing my conscious experience. I choose the latter not because I am a martyr for the tyranny of traditionalist belief and power struggles between the majority and the undesirables, I choose to do so because I cannot lie to my biology and myself. I cannot lie to family, friends, and society. I cannot exist in isolation without community. I cannot exist without myself. I cannot exist.

A Revolutionary Act – Love of Self & Others

“It isn’t being transgender that’s killing us.” (http://huff.to/1LcmSGp)

Facebook is vastly interesting. There are so very few other places that are tolerable to stay for long periods of time with articles being served right to you with a comment section right in your face. I read many articles a day, and often take a quick peak to gauge the reactions from people within. Sometimes they are good, but if they are on certain controversial topics, they can get very ugly. Venn diagram of ugly comments massively intersects articles about trans* individuals, and that is where we begin.

The comment section of any social media site, Facebook more than most, can give you a good idea of what society at large is doing. You have supporters – likes, sometimes shares – and detractors – commenters, but not all of them. A quick glance into any article about trans* people will give one an idea of exactly what one faces as a trans* person. Often, these commenters, “experts,” cite data without fully comprehending its meaning. When they cite that we have a suicide rate of approximately 40%, they do so by asserting the fallacious conclusion that it “must be because we are mentally ill.” They, and credentialed “experts” like them, wish to push a narrative on those of us that are trans* that even the most elementary understanding of statistics would suggest might be a little off.

They assume a cause, assert a conclusion, and use a simplified correlation to generate a biased narrative that is harmful to children, young adults, and even adults that are still trying to figure themselves out. They disregard the information readily available to them, such as that from the Williams Institute (http://bit.ly/1DQGYDu), and continue on their path of insensitivity. They fail to recognize that they play the biggest roles in these suicides (or, as I call them, homicides-by-proxy), because that would require them to amend their world view. That is not easy, however, as their view was shaped by preachers, family, and political pundits that do not want them to deviate from the narrative that they have used to normalize themselves and stigmatize others. Deviation from that means a change in the balance of power from the group to the individual, and we are often told that such a path is “selfish,” even while these people benefit from our own compliance. We trans* individuals are assaulted on all sides by people that wish to erase our very existence by hurting us physically & mentally, removing our shelter, removing our right to use a washroom, and the list goes on and on.

The Williams Institute recognizes these factors in contributing to the high suicide rate of individuals like myself, but a journal article changes society’s understanding very little. That requires a plethora of methods from both allies and trans* individuals alike. If you are an ally, support your fellow humans. When you see intolerance, wipe it clean. Replace it with facts. Data. Hard truth. Do not let them harm another trans* person ever again, because each of those comments represents harassment towards someone – either online or off. Each of those comments represents someone being put in pain and possibly killed. Put yourself in the shoes of someone that identifies as trans* and is subject to that harassment and do something about it. Most of the time, you have the advantage of not feeling the same stress that would be placed on a trans* person trying to affect change. If you are trans*, then decide for yourself if you can handle speaking out. Not all of us are strong enough, depending on our life’s situation, and that is perfectly fine. Do what you can, not what you think you should. Those of us that are capable of doing so must speak out.

Quod est necessarium est licitum – What is necessary is lawful, just. I do not condone the use of violence. What I mean with this philosophy is – do not let other people tone police you. If you feel like being belligerent, swearing like a sailor, and pushing down the negativity with trolling, do it. I have that seek-and-destroy attitude, and it feels great for me. Do what best suits you, but do it well, and plug these leaking holes that are costing us lives each day. Censor them to your hearts content. In the United States, the Constitution grants us freedom of speech, but it does not grant awful people freedom from the consequences of what they have to say. Think about it – if your words could save one life by helping them realize that there’s people out there fighting for their right to live, does that not make it worth it? It does to me, and that is why I do what I do.

As is pointed out within that article, harassment is not the only factor in one’s suicide attempt. There is that omnipresent feeling that we will never be who we want to be. We will never pass the way we want to pass. We will never feel the way we want to feel. We feel that there will always be a negative outcome, no matter what we do. I’m here to tell you that this is not the case. I can hear the collective groan of mostly youthful voices from that sentence, as it’s often pushed on us from day one. It doesn’t help that the social stigma associated with sharing mental health stories often prevents relatable content from being mainstream and readily available to those that need it. That’s not to say it isn’t there – if you haven’t read “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, you need to regardless of how you feel – but just that it’s lacking. This void leaves the question of, “Why should I continue living? What is the point? Once I am dead, I won’t care about how other people feel about my actions. I don’t know what’s there, but it won’t be their ‘tolerance-only’ attitude of my true self, that’s for damn sure.”

On the evening of November 3, 2014, those were my exact thoughts. I was numb. Barring details prior to 2014 (that’s for another time), the entirety of that year up until November was a sine wave of depression. There were brief periods of feeling neutral, capable enough to get basic things done, but there were deep dark periods where even brushing my teeth routinely was a chore. I couldn’t look in the mirror, as it offered a poor reflection of how I felt. Every time I walked by it, it seemed to highlight that my body was not what my mind was truly perceiving. Anytime I wasn’t around it, and I was left to imagine myself, everything was fine. When the reality of it all was presented before me, my chest began to tighten, my breath shortened, and my pupils dilated. Often the only thought was, “This can’t be me. This isn’t how I feel. This is not how I know myself internally.” I’ve known what was wrong with me from a very young age, only learning the proper terminology for it in my teens, but that offered no solace. The only comfort I could get was in my sleep. To escape myself and my darkening feelings, I would sleep for 14 or more hours each day, and I only awoke to go to the bathroom. Meals were sparse during that period, and why bother when it only seeks to sustain the status quo? Had I sought out a counselor for that period? Of course. That August, I met with a counselor at my university, the sweetest one that I have met so far, and began discussing things with them. They told me some new things – previous counselors had misdiagnosed me, PTSD better characterized the majority of how I felt – and some old things – that I did have gender dysphoria and I did need to seek treatment. They offered to help me call somewhere, but the prospect of having to pay without insurance frightened me, and I told them I would handle it on my own. This was a poor choice on my part, because my dysphoria often manifests as social anxiety. So, calling around to places is often delayed – sometimes indefinitely. After the five sessions were up with that counselor, I was on my own. The pressure of finding help mounted, and was only temporarily assuaged when I found several individuals willing to help on my insurance plan, but quickly came back when I felt as though I might be blocked from getting the exact treatment I felt I needed. My insurance was not my own, and family issues began to deflate my options. As darkness began to creep into my apartment with the sun quickly falling from the sky, I felt every possibility at once. Numbness turned to large tumbling tears that would not stop for silence. Heaves of breath came forth as I cried to the ceiling asking, “Why me?”

The prospect of not being able to transition, family judgments, and not wanting to face the future under a banner – a name – to which I did not feel attached to all weighed like granite upon my psyche. I had enough. I began to put my plan into action that would, from my perspective, finally give me peace. I used my knowledge of medications from being a pharmacy technician to combine a variety of medications that might allow me to never see that face in the mirror again. I did not care that most homicide-by-proxies using pills resulted in an attempt only. It’s what I had available, and was the only option I was willing to take. I did not want to horrify the person that might discover me in the morning, and I did not want to scare anyone else – such as my family – that might have to deal with my body. Even at the very end, I wanted to be considerate of other people over myself. I donned my skull-print pajamas, the top being one that I purchased as a gift of peace to myself not long before – one from Amazon’s women’s section – and I settled into the nest of comforters I had placed upon the floor. I drank my elixir and laid down. Crying, I contemplated moving to my bed, instead, but was afraid that I might disturb my neighbors.

I was not afraid.

My crying subsided, and I closed my eyes to rest there. Waiting. I do not know how much time passed between events, but I recall most of it vividly. I remember how it felt to “wake up,” but not be able to see. I remember existing only as thoughts, almost as if my body was a shell around me, and the uncontrollable shaking. I remember recognizing that I was having a seizure, but not being able to stop it. I could not feel anything or control anything, except for my tongue. I remember thinking about how the shaking was rather loud, and that it might be a problem, and then I thought I could hear tapping on my wall from one neighbor and banging from below by another. I had disturbed them. I did not care, I just hoped that they would not ruin my plans by calling someone. Eventually, they stopped, and so did I. I drifted in and out of various dream states that felt incredibly real. Whether they were near-death experiences or not, I may never know for sure, but I assume so. At some point, after being thrown into Hades (not Hell, at least according to the motif), I woke up. I was disoriented, my toe was bruised and throbbed from slamming it into the ground so much during the seizure, and all I wanted was the softness of my bed. At that point, I kind of figured it was over. If seizing and everything else wasn’t going to kill me, then that was, overall, the end of it. It took a great amount of effort to move back to my bed, as I could barely stand for more than a few seconds without feeling overwhelmed, but I made it. I began to feel bad for not contacting my girlfriend prior to initiating it, but I had also not wanted to disturb her with that as it was happening, and I also did not care at the time I was doing it. If I remember correctly, all of that lasted from 7PM to 3 AM. I told her what happened over the previous three hours, and told her that I may be still in the process of expiring. Even then, she stood by me and comforted me. A few hours of talking and hallucinations later, and it was a bit beyond 5 AM when I began to expel the toxic brew as quickly as it had come in. The next day, I was too sick to do anything more than a few minutes of cleaning here and there. I did not know it at the time, but my heart rate was through the roof. It stayed that way, along with the high blood pressure that comes with it, for many months afterwards. The day after the cleaning and recovery, I went to the university clinic for my toe, which looked as though I had broken it at that point in time, and sought help. They brought in a new counselor to speak with me, and he tried to help as best he could. I explained the how, when, where, and why. Every detail that he wanted, and assured him that it was the only attempt that I was willing to make. Shortly after that, I found a therapist that respected me and truly wanted to help me. They found a doctor that was willing to help with HRT, and referred me to them. I have been on HRT since May, and I have never been happier.

My experience has allowed me to answer some of these questions. Why should I continue living? In my opinion, one does not have to. It is not a necessary requirement for one’s true happiness. Indeed, if the pursuit and success of one’s suicide is the path to one’s true happiness, then I feel that it should be an available option. A better question is why should you not? As it stands, we know very little about what happens after death. It is hypothesized that DMT floods the brain and creates a perpetual dream-like state for one’s consciousness, but there’s no guarantee that it stays that way. One may fall from this DMT-induced state to another reality in which they live much the same life as before. Perhaps it may even end in one being trans* in another period of time. We simply do not know, and any speculation about it is that only. Fear of the unknown is a poor foundation upon which to build one’s new life upon, though. I do not choose that path. Instead, I choose things that we do know. We know that sex, gender, and sexual orientation is a spectrum. Current research in biology suggests it, our understanding in psychiatry suggests it, and brain scans show it to be true. I replace the unknown with science, facts, data. What is the point? In the very near future, perhaps even within 10 years, one will be able to become what they need to survive. 3D printing technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. It is reasonable for one to extrapolate, from the current state of our ability to print organs, that we will have the capability to produce fully functional reproductive organs at low cost in the very near future. We are entering the age of designing humans – both old and new. With this, we require a new way of seeing ourselves. We are fluid beings that exist far beyond what our bodies can hold us to, and we should embrace that, regardless of how a few individuals without proper education see us.

Why should I care about other people or how my actions affect others? Simply put, you don’t have to. However, that does not mean that everyone else should be subjected to your apathy. Everyone is capable of empathy, either innately or through training. Using this to treat others the way they want to be treated earns one respect, kindness, and sympathy. It creates community, and allows for the domination of positive outcomes. Life is straying away from competitiveness as we advance in A.I. & robotics. By listening and caring for others, you find more ways to help people up to your level of enlightenment. Pushing people back down the pile only hinders progress and keeps us all divided – which is exactly what certain political groups want us to do. Accepting diversity, rather than taking a “we’re all one” approach, is the engine of creativity and new experiences.  Why me? Why not. Your experience affords you a far greater understanding of the human mind, ability, and compassion than is usually credited. There are subcommunities out there that fail in applying their innate knowledge, but that should not change how you lovely people see yourselves. You are important. You are loved. You are supported. If it isn’t readily apparent, begin seeking out support groups or safe places that show you that it is true through words, actions, or other methods. Let your flame shine brightly, and maybe you will force others to reignite their candle, but protect yourself from toxic individuals that may try to snub you out. Stay safe, in power & love.

Via Tyrone-Pines, Tumblr

Importance of Homosexuality

So, is it any wonder why we have so many children without a stable and loving family? This adoption occurs naturally in nature, and the amount of species that this has been observed in has grown from 500 to over 1,500 known species. Animals display a wide variety of sexual habits, including exclusive homosexuality, and shows just how diverse the spectrum of LGBTQIA+ individuals is. It’s time to recognize what’s normal, and the easiest way to do that is through the use of language that we have cultivated over thousands of years. What one has to say about themselves, their experience, and their place in the world matters far more than what any single person could interpret from an old dusty text that failed to predict any modern problems, let alone provide solutions to them. Treat everyone with respect. Listen to them without considering what you will say in return until after they have spoken their piece. Let people exist as they are, and be happy with how you experience life. After all, the only purpose to this existence is to die gracefully (and perhaps perpetuate the existence of the universe through observation, but that’s a quirk of QM that has yet to be solved).

Image Credit: Jenny Jinya