#NotUpForDebate

The Politics of Language

How do we know what we know is true? Or valid? Academic institutions deal exactly with this sort of question. The academy is not only a place for learning and accreditation, but more importantly a place for contention. This is the case especially with the question of sex and gender. University of Toronto historian Nick Matte stated that the idea of ‘biological sex” is a “very popular misconception.” Here, Nick Matte uses his scientific expertise in support of this claim (Bradford)

Peterson, on the other hand, uses his position as an academic to maintain an essentialist view of gender aligning with one’s biological sex (one you are born with). Therefore, when one identifies as transsexual, he recognizes their dissatisfaction with their bodies to the extent that they must dress the part.

“If the standard transsexual person wants to be regarded as he or she, my sense is I’ll…

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Turning 30…Going Through Puberty

I turned 30 this week (Nov 1st). It wasn’t a hard birthday. I was fairly excited about it. I mean it’s the big 30. However, it was very strange for me too. I am so not where I thought I would be at 30.

In high school, I had it all figured it. I would be married with at least one kid and probably working on kid number two. I would be in a successful job.

Real life:
I’m divorced. No kids. I’m going through a second puberty. I work at a retail store and will be going back to school.

You know what though? I couldn’t be happier!! It know it’s strange to think about. I look at my life and it can seem like this long winding road that seems like a lot of doors are closing. However if I look closely enough there are so many open doors.

SO what does my 30th year going to look like? First I have no idea and that excites me. It’s also crazy for anyone to have an exact plan on how life is going to go. One of the things that life is really great at is throwing curve balls. Oh and it really does!

What are my hopes for it?
I want to start school and study social work.

I am going to change my name.

Explore myself more. There are so many things that I am finding that I like now that I’m going through my puberty. It’s crazy. I don’t know what is going to continue to change, but I welcome it.

I want to play more! I want to find more people who can continue to teach me. There’s so much out there that I don’t know about and I want to try it.

I want to start making a stand for people who speak out against the LGBTQ community. I want to educated people on various issues. It’s so tough sometimes find safe places. That needs to change.

I want people to love each other.

So if you’re concerned that life isn’t what you thought it would be, celebrate what you love and change what you don’t. No one needs to stay where they are. Live a life that makes you happy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If family or friends can’t accept the life you want to lead, then they aren’t your family or friends. You can’t pick your relatives, but you can pick your family. Family are people who love and accept you unconditionally!

My Identity Is Not Up For Debate

To say every day I struggle with discovering who I am and what my life means may seem like an exaggeration. However as a trans guy, this is a fairly true statement. Being a trans guy who is on the femme side of masculine spectrum is extremely touchy. However, I know that I’m a guy. I am a man.

Man is a new identity to me. For a long time, I wanted to shy away from that term because of all the connotations attached to it.

“Man up.” “Don’t be a sissy.” “Don’t cry.” “Talk like a man.” “Act like a man.” “Be a man.”

Men are expected to demand respect and not take no for answer. Men don’t apologize or admit their wrong.

Does this sound familiar? We put so much pressure on people to conform to gender “standards” or “norms”. These standards can be stereotypes and cliches. Standards should be affirming or milestones such as graduating high school, getting their first job, etc. Standards should not be things in which put down other people.

Another reason it took me time to be comfortable is with the personal effect that the word man means to me. As someone who lived the majority of his life as a woman, I have personally seen how men interact with women. Women are looked on as inferior, soft, delicate, or less than. They are questioned all the time to ensure they know what they’re talking about. Women have to present facts and figures and look professional  but also attractive to be heard. If they become tired or sick, it’s because they can’t handle the work load or have too many distractions. I didn’t want to be part of something that can make people seem small.

Women are not without faults. They can be catty and tear each other down.  Gossip is definitely a problem. However women are tough, extraordinary, and capable of so many wonderful things. They have come so far and will continue to soar.

As a man and a trans man, I do not want to raise my voice over my femme siblings. They so deserve to be heard. I never want to be ashamed of my background as a woman, but that doesn’t give me any more of a right to speak for women. No one person can speak for an entire gender.

As people and humans we need to remember that just because we don’t agree with someone or persons, it doesn’t give us a right to demean or disrespect that person. We should focus on building up each other.

I want to use my voice which unfortunately may be heard louder than my femme sibling as a platform to build up the others around me. I’m not just talking about femininity vs masculinity. I’m talking about all the minorities and majorities helping each other to create a better environment.

Being Gender Fluid and Dating

Dating while gender variant or nonbinary is really difficult and filled with land mines. I use to think the hardest thing to do was just trying to flirt or date a same sex partner…I was wrong.

How can I tell if they’re attracted to all of me? As in the feminine side of me AND the masculine AND the other genders of me? Do I go to the first date dressed androgynously so I don’t scare them off? Are they expecting me to look femininely? What if I want to be masculine? They should be able to accept me as me right? But what if I scare them off or they don’t want to finish the date? What if my masculine makeup looks fake and they can see right through me?

I have had online people make rude comments about how I’m insane for being my gender.  Somehow dating online gives the illusion that you can ask invasive questions about body parts or what sexual preferences. People ask these questions before barely knowing my name. It’s crazy and rude.

It sets of some gender dysphoria and social anxiety. Gender dysphoria is a term that describes what people who experience significant dysphoria (distress) with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. It makes it really hard to want to meet people. I understand that people may not understand what gender fluid is, but there are better ways to learn about me.

My experiences of course aren’t all bad. I’ve met some really cool people and friends.  I’m actually meeting someone tomorrow (Friday, Nov 14) that seems really cool. He and I have talked about my gender and he seems to be accepting of it. He’s seen pictures of the multiple sides of me and is willing to hang out with me no matter what gender I present as.

My advice to those who are nonbinary or transgender or gender variant and trying to date is to be true to you. If someone cannot hand your flavor of gender, then they aren’t worth your time. I know this is really hard to handle and makes me feel invalid at times. Surround yourself with friends and people who support you and you can call/text/message to build you up on your low days. I have friends from my Facebook groups, Poly group, Queer group, and etc that I can contact when I’m having a dysphoric day and need to vent. This is a vital step in gender self-care.  If you need help finding groups to belong to, please comment below or message me and I will do my best to get you in contact with a group.

My advice to those who talk to those are nonbinary or transgender or gender variant talk to us like we are anyone else. It’s great to ask us what our pronouns our and call us by the name that we give you. Other than that, what is under our clothes isn’t your concern until you get to know us. Our gender shouldn’t be a priority when you’re first getting to know us. Our interests, hobbies, etc would be a good starting point to talk about.

A few good articles are listed below:

12 Questions About Non-Binary Gender Identities
http://www.bustle.com/articles/74316-12-questions-about-non-binary-gender-identity-youve-been-afraid-to-ask-and-real-answers

8 Things Non-Binary People Need to Know
http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/03/15/8-things-non-binary-people-need-to-know


7 Ways to Lovingly Support Your Gender Non-Binary Partner
http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/02/20/7-ways-to-lovingly-support-your-gender-non-binary-partner/

Nighttime Monster

That’s right…Insomnia. It’s a terrible monster that robs sleep, dreams, productivity, and peace. I’ve been trying to go to bed a regular hour and going through the motions to try to get in the habit of going to bed. I lie awake with my thoughts turning and racing. I go through my breathing exercises and visualization exercises and prayers. I’ve taken my sleep aids. I don’t find much relief.

I’m going to make an appointment with a psychologist tomorrow. My current one is no longer covered under my insurance. It takes time to get into the doctor and the first appointment is the intake appointment. I’m currently in the process of adjusting/switching meds so it’s going to be a confusing couple of visits. The medication that I am is to treat my OCD and anxiety. Right now, it’s not really doing the job. I’m up to my full dose. It takes time to get to the full dose because it causes upset stomach. The hope is that on a full dose that the OCD will be treated and the insomnia will start to get better. Unfortunately, the insomnia is only getting worse which makes me think that the medication is causing the insomnia. I’ll know more once I meet with the doctor.

I don’t want this to be a negative rant, but it has kind of turned out to be. Insomnia strips me of so much. I feel like tired all the time because I’m either over sleeping or under sleeping. I am on working on cutting out caffeine. It hasn’t made a difference. I’m meeting with a friend to discuss essential oils to help get relief as well.

These troubles remind me of one of my favorite songs. Blessings by Laura Story.
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise’

I know He has a plan for me through this. I will be a better and stronger person. I just need to weather the storm. I keep holding onto to the truth that sometimes the reason we weather storms is to build our faith. This may not be the case for this situation However since I don’t know the reason, it’s a good enough reason to hold on to. I just know that God has a plan that that He won’t let me fall. I’m sharing my story with you because I know that someone out there can benefit from knowing that there’s someone else struggling with something similar. Please let me know if you’re out there. (I could benefit from it too)