Damariscotta, Maine.

It is the height of the summer here, not perhaps the longest period of daylight or some other officially recognized thing, but it's that fifth or sixth day in a row which sees you beaten down by heat before three and by six you are dead. This is just context.

The point is I should be perhaps singing a Korean folk song, but I am not. Maybe Arirang, which no one here knows but is almost the unofficial national anthem of Korea and something on long-ago hot days my mother would sing (even though it mentions the hardship of crossing a mountain pass, the snow and so forth).

Most people have a song or two they fall back on. A tune they whistle or hum when nervous. This is often done without a realizing of the doing. For me it is a piece made well-known by Gene Autry who saw it rise to Number One in the popular music charts in 1949 at Christmas.

Mister Austry was born Orvon Grover Autry at the end of September in 1907 and died 91 years later about three months after Roy Rogers (Leonard Franklin Slye), who was also a famous western man. For his part Mister Autry developed a code for his kind of cowboy that is apparently as follows:

  1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
  2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
  3. He must always tell the truth.
  4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
  5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  6. He must help people in distress.
  7. He must be a good worker.
  8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
  9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
  10. The Cowboy is a patriot

The song of his that accidentally I sing is called Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Not Valentino or Giuliani or Steiner or Nureyev or Hess or Virchow or Schlecter. And these are only all the Rudolphs I know of.

I consider it, the humming and whistling, to be proof, more than any certificate, of my final Americanization, for it is unconscious, even at this time of year. And very American. Mister Autry, after all, flew bomber planes across the Himalayas during the Second World War. As for matters close or somehow connected to my own home, he recorded a song, Daddy's Last Letter, based on the writings to his son of Private First Class John H. McCormick, a soldier who was killed in the Korean War when I myself was also much younger.

He is the only person (it says here) to have so many stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one in each of the five categories as maintained by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce:

Motion pictures, located at 6644 Hollywood Blvd.
Radio, located at 6520 Hollywood Blvd.
Recording, located at 6384 Hollywood Blvd.
Television, located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd.
Live theater, located at 7000 Hollywood Blvd.

The only problem I suppose is more a thing of what others think (as is so often the case). Singing Sweet Home Alabama (while not strictly true) would not cause comment. Equally, whistling a few bars of Amazing Grace would raise no eyebrows at the meat counter while waiting. This Rudolph however, in the midday heat of July, sees more questions in the eyes of others than I feel able to answer.

And always just the first few lines, over and over. It is very hot tonight.


I went to the doctor on Friday.

She wanted to know what felt like my life story. That sucked. Speaking to people about important things is very, very difficult.

I can really only name one friend I've ever had that I felt comfortable telling everything to, and he's the one who treated me like garbage. For the most part I hold people at arm's length because I have a crippling fear of rejection, of being perceived as stupid, or appropriating, or talentless, or whatever. Deep down I don't think I'm good enough for anyone or anything. This behaviour doesn't do me any favours -- it isolates me, and worse, still leaves me open to being hurt. It fails as a defence in absolutely every way.

But it's a compulsive trick of mine that I can never seem to control. When I try to get past it, my jaw locks, my thoughts become disorganized, loud, and overwhelming. I feel like trying to connect to people in a meaningful way -- something I desperately want to do -- is so impossibly terrifying that I may as well not bother.

For the handful of people who've been bearing with my constantly aloof presence for years: a sigh of relief, because yes, I finally am actually getting the therapist you've all been telling me to get. Shut up now. (She said in the friendliest tone of voice she could manage.)

Of course, the primary reason I went to the doctor was not a referral to therapy. It was to be prescribed hormone replacement therapy, because I'm transitioning. On that front, too, I have good news: I'm probably starting on September 20. I have two more appointments, both of which are already scheduled, and the doctor seemed very certain that I could start on the 20th. So that is something I am looking forward to rather a lot.

The days of being afraid to do x arbitrary gender cue in public lest I be perceived as one of Those Things are thankfully behind me. I present female all the time, and apparently I do it pretty successfully because no one has called me male in months (other than certain family members who don't see me often and still have to get used to it). I have accomplished this feat basically just by not trying: I started looking how I wanted just to keep myself comfortable while resigning myself to the idea that people would think I was a super effeminate gay guy, but then everyone started calling me 'she' and I was like, "Oh, I guess I can skip that part? Maybe?" I don't really know how I did it either but it's certainly been a load off my mind...

There's a small but loud-mouthed clique of people on this website who I'm sure have something to say about how I've "self-diagnosed" myself as transgender. I diagnose these people as idiots. Their prescription is to stop talking about stuff they know nothing about.

The pathologizing of transgender identities and gender nonconformity in general would be frankly hilarious if it weren't so damaging. If you do research into this subject, you will go cross-eyed trying to keep track of every researcher's agenda, their bias, their gaping blind spots. You will need to reread passages after figuring out that the writer accidentally started using the words "men" and "women" backwards to how they were using them in a different passage. With cross-gender behaviour, the goalposts get shifted as many times as needed for the majority to be right. This is why transphobes like Roseanne Barr call a trans woman "he" in one tweet and "she" in another one. A few days ago, a friend of mine had someone trying to tell her she was a "woman" but not "female" -- until my friend scanned a letter from her doctor which used the word "female", at which point the transphobe decided that she'd had the words backwards the entire time and was therefore Still Right.

I know this might sound crazy, but would it kill everyone to just fucking stop?

Maybe it's the Evil Gay Agenda talking, but I really just don't understand why people beat the shit out of their kids because they play with the wrong toys. Why people bring their kids to doctors demanding that the kid's preference for one colour over another be cured. And worst of all -- why many doctors actually do this.

You people do know that men and women are the same species, right? The boundary between them is a bit vague, biologically and socially. Trying to enforce gender norms on non-conforming children is provably harmful.1 People who defy societal expectations (more like mandates) about gender do not invariably (or even usually!) grow up to desire transition; half the time they aren't even gay. The entire pissing mess of importance society places on gender is gasoline-soaked bullshit. None of it makes a molecule of sense.

If people hadn't have been so damn adamant that I couldn't be feminine when I was young, that would have made my life easier, even more so than for most people since I'm one of the few people who do desire transition. Or did I deserve all the misery I got because of the way I was born? Did I deserve to learn I was inferior because I wasn't boy enough to be the son my father wanted?

Parents who aren't okay with cross-gender behaviour are not parents.

41% of transgender people admit to attempting suicide. This rate amongst the general population in the United States is 1.6%.2 It is beyond time for people to take these things seriously, without stupid agendas getting in the way. And one of those people is going to be me, because I am sick of it. Absolutely fed up.

...But yeah. My life? Generally a lot better! Transitioning so far has been a blast and I'm super excited to start hormones. I kind of went on a rant here and didn't fully cover what is actually a pretty big issue, but this is just a daylog and these are my simple daily thoughts. Sorry about the mess!

1 Roberts, Andrea L. , Margaret Rosario, Heather L. Corliss, Karestan C. Koenen, and Bryn Austin. Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth. Pediatrics Feb 20 2012. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 20 July 2013 from here.

2 Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, Justin Tanis, Jack Harrison, Jody L. Herman, and Mara Keisling. Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011. Page 82. Online copy.

On long conversations and college-like sleeping habits

Some of you may have read me being alcohol-buzzy on the chatbox yesterday, describing a documentary I saw on the internet. My plan was to kill an hour or two while my phone was charging before heading to my mom's house for the weekend. The planned schdeule was something like this:

  • 7.30-ish: leave my house and leave for the bus station
  • 8-ish: buy a ticket and a Subway pizza sandwich
  • 8.20-ish: board the bus, eat the sandwich, nap the entire trip
  • 10.ish: show up at my mom's
  • 11-ish: TF2 session

However, apparently some idiot tried to kill his girlfriend by pushing her on the subway tracks. Fortunately, he missed. Unfortunately, all trains were stopped for almost an hour while I was inside it (we were between stations when the order to stop came and we stayed in the dark for a while). That caused me to actually get to me mum's almost at 12 with no sandwich and with the alcohol buzz long gone from being hot and angry in the subway.

Anyway, I was expecting her to be asleep watching the late night baseball game, but she wasn't. We hugged a lot and she asked all the questions a mother has to ask when his son comes to visit. No, I don't have a girlfriend. Yes, my job still exists and still pays (not always on time, but it always ends up paying). Yes, that cavity is now removed and even though I bike to and from work everyday, my bones are still intact.

Then came the difficult questions: Do I like living alone? Would I be better with a roomie? Do I like my job? Have I considered other options? I gave her some truth, but not all because I only have bits of truth. It's difficult to answer these things to someone else if you haven't figured them out yourself.

We ended up chatting until 2AM, which of course was incredibly good for me. When we decided to call it a night, I mentioned how odd is that she's up at 2AM.

- Aw, shucks. I have to be at La Salle tomorrow

- Well, but your class doesn't start until 11 AM, doesn't it?

- Not anymore, now it starts at 7

- Well, now you know why some mornings I wouldn't wake up

- I guess so. I'm not used to being in school anymore

- Don't worry. All you need now is some beer and videogames and you'll have a replica of my Friday night experience in college

- No wonder you took an extra semester to finish to finish your thesis.

- (Silence)

- Besides, I've seen you play that shooty thingy and I don't understand shit. I'm better off with a bowl of popcorn and The Godfather. Good night

I love me mum

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.