The Gates

Alright, let’s talk about the one thing in the trans community that bugs me more than anything: Gatekeeping.

Those of you who know me well know that I have had some bad experiences within the transgender community.  All too often have I seen others tell those on their own journey that they “aren’t trans enough” for whatever reason.  This simply cannot stand.

Ours should, if anything, be a community of acceptance and support.  We shouldn’t be in a race to see who can “out trans” the other.  We deal with too many shitty people to tell those facing similar struggles that they don’t have it that bad or that if they did ‘X’ they would be more valid.  Those of us that have been out for awhile should be focusing out efforts in other directions.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know what some of these directions may be.  But let’s add another, shall we?  We should do our best to guide those who are newer to their transition.  We should provide sound advice without telling others how to behave.  We need to help them find care, love, and acceptance.  Why is this so difficult to understand?

That’s all I am trying to say.  If we can just support one another instead of tearing each other down, we could accomplish so much more.  We could speak with a unified voice and finally be heard by even the most stubborn opponents.  This is all I ask.  That’s all we need.

 

And remember: you, yes you, are valid.

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Roadside

So I have a lot I want to say, but I don’t think one post will do it.  I guess I’ll just divide this into a few different entries.

Something happened yesterday.  I was driving home from work when the tread left my front passenger tire.  It was scary, but once I got pulled over and was able to process my situation, I was okay.  Called my insurance, had a tow truck called, ect.  I was able to change my tire quicker than the truck could get there to take me home, but then I had a thought: here I am, along the highway, alone.  Sure, it might be the middle of the day and the street is super busy, but what if someone stops to help?  What if the queer vibes I emanate flip the wrong switch in the wrong person?  What will I do in that situation?  That was when the fear really sank in.

It was one of those situations where, despite the hundreds of cars going by, I felt truly alone.  I never noticed these situations until I came out and started presenting full time.  I never had to worry about whether or not the “good Samaritan” might have some sort of hidden “fear” of me.  To a white cis male, this may seem like a completely irrational fear.  However, for those POC, LGBT, or female readers out there, you probably know exactly what I am talking about.  Do I have anything to worry about with that stranger on the deserted street at 2am?  What about going to the bathroom at the bar?  What about strangers I encounter while grocery shopping?

That last one probably sounds completely bonkers.  Why should anyone feel threatened while shopping for basic necessities?  More than once has someone seen my very obvious trans pins on my bag and taken it upon themselves to follow me around and tell me the error of my ways.  To tell me that their deity doesn’t make mistakes.  That I will burn in hell.  While I may be used to the hurtful words, how do I know this person won’t escalate the situation?  How do I know they won’t lay a hand on me the moment they get the chance?  So many people currently talk about how we need to kill trans folks because we have the audacity to exist.  Because we refuse to be invisible.  Because we want to be happy.

I’ve stopped going places alone, for the most part, simply because I want backup should my worst fears become reality.  This October may be the first time I travel alone for the first time since my transition.  I intend to go to a concert in Philly, but again, I have all of these variables.  What if I stop to eat?  Use a bathroom?  Sure, Philly isn’t that far out, what with my Harrisburg location, but I have to take these into account.  What if I get a hotel room for the night so I can enjoy the city the next day?  Will I have any issues there?  What about while I am truly exploring the lovely city of Philadelphia for the first time?  These are all things I routinely take into consideration.  In this case, I suppose, only time will tell if I can overcome this constant paranoia and actually enjoy myself.

And you, reader?  Stay safe out there.

 

And remember: I love you.

Mirrors: Part 2

First, let me start off with a warning:  This post is going to have some talk about sexual assault and the like.  If you might be sensitive to that stuff, you may want to skip the sections marked with a ~.

So, body positivity?  Strong stuff, am I right?  But some of you feel like it doesn’t mean anything if nobody loves you.  Well, while that isn’t quite true, I feel you.  I really do.  So let’s touch on love, shall we?

Love.  We all want to feel loved, feel important to someone.  Some of us, such as myself, have too much love to give to just one person.  But, maybe I am getting ahead of myself.  Some of us crave love so much that we will hop on the first attachment we have.  I want to warn you now that this isn’t always the best thing.  Let me explain why.

You may find out that your family and friends no longer love you, which can be quite tough.  One of the toughest moments of your life may be when you come out and you have a family that decides they don’t love you anymore.  In many cases, cutting ties is your best course of action, only to come back and attempt to mend bridges years down the road.  But that isn’t necessary.  One of the best things you can do is to cut those toxic people out for good, build a new family full of love.

You may encounter “chasers”.  The sort of people who view trans people as exotic sex objects.  The kind of people that will tell you that “nobody else will love someone like you”.  I assure you this isn’t true.  You don’t need to be somebody’s trophy to be valid, as you already are.

~You may have a partner that forces you into situations that require you to do things against your consent.  They may tell you the same thing, that you are unworthy of love by anyone else, so you stay quiet and endure the abuse because you just want to feel loved and you are afraid you will never be loved again.  Again, this isn’t true!

~On that last bit: I’ve lived it.  I had a partner a few years back that used me while I was sleeping or on flu medicine or maybe even after a few drinks.  She would brag about it to my friends and family, but I played along because what were my chances of finding someone else who would support me?  Sure, I woke up a few times to being assaulted, powerless to stop it, but it was worth it for the love, right?  The mental scars, the nightmares, the breakdowns, reliving the memories over and over again with no power to stop them.  Was it really worth it?    In short, no.  I let this person into my life and gave over control of my financial independence.  I have been rebuilding my life ever since the breakup, occasionally I still have to deal with the fallout.  I have heard of people saying I deserved what happened, that I was just as guilty.  I’ve internalized these feelings, even though they aren’t true.  If this ever happens to you, for whatever reason, YOU ARE NOT AT FAULT.  You are not to blame for your abuse.

Anyways, love.  You don’t need to give up your freedom and independence for a relationship of any sort.  Not family, friends, or something more intimate.  Do not let someone tell you how need to behave in order to feel wanted.  Be yourself, let people love you for you.  Nothing less than that should be acceptable.  And love your friends the same way.

 

And remember, I love you.

Mirrors: Part 1

I know what you might be thinking.  Why would I have another multi-part post?  Well, I am pissed off and I have quite a bit to say.  This time, I will be touching on body positivity and privacy.

Let me tell you something a bit personal: I’m trans.  I know, huge secret!  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked about the content of my pants.  News flash: unless I’m actively interested in sleeping with you, it’s none of your damn business.  Look, sure, you might be curious, fine.  Whatever.  But it’s really none of your concern.  Yet, for some reason, you rascally cis folks seem to get upset when we want a little bit of privacy in our lives.

Look, I get it.  Why should we trans people be able to have some measure of comfort about our bodies?  I mean that’s our whole deal, right?   We have to automatically hate ourselves and be uncomfortable with what we have.  And sure, many are, and being constantly asked about whether or not they have a ding-dong or a twit-twat does not make anything better.  For some, such as myself, it feels threatening.  Having some stranger trying to weasel their way into your privacy should feel scary to anyone!

But let’s get onto the point I wanted to make: there is absolutely nothing wrong with trans people that love themselves.  Some want surgery, some don’t.  Some take hormones, some don’t.  Some pass, others don’t give a flying fuck.  That doesn’t mean we can’t love ourselves and our bodies.  Let us feel sexy, let us feel handsome or beautiful.   There is no need for body policing and telling somebody that they will never pass because of X feature of their body.  We shouldn’t have to feel the need to get surgery so society can tell us we should feel complete.

So go out there, love yourself.  It’s the most radical form of protest for the trans community as of late.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Eggshells: Part 3

Okay, last part of the Eggshells trilogy, I promise!

So, Cis allies.  No. Not your average, of-the-mill “I’ll support you and your struggles” ally.  No.  No.  I mean the “stop saying bad things about Cis people because we won’t be your friend” ally. The kind that force you to play nice with their nasty opinions and prejudices because they are just the best ally ever!  

No. Do not listen to these people. Do not give in. They are not your friend!  Anybody who attempts to silence your voice in your struggle with trans-ness is not somebody you want in your life. You will be be miserable. These people can and will subtly gaslight you and quiet your voice.

But fear not!  I assure you these are not the majority of allies.  Many allies, true allies, will want to learn. Educate this people with your story. Remember, nobody can tell your story better than you. Nobody has had your experiences. Nobody can tell you that your story is invalid. If your story hurts some Cis feelings, help them understand why they feel that way. Help them improve. 

But remember: if an ally says they can’t support you because of your voice, your story, they aren’t an ally!  Do not play their game of eggshells. Do not let their “minefield” hold you back. Go forth. Be loud. Hurt feelings!  Be heard!
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Eggshells: Part 2

Before all of you run off and start throwing your hats in for congressional office, I feel that I need to clarify. While that is great, that’s not where we need to focus our efforts. 

Look around. What positions in your city are up for grabs?  What is the process you need to follow to run?  Do you have to have a petition with a few names?  How many?  Do you think you could handle the duties of that position, should you win?  

This isn’t about starting at the top and working your way down. This is about getting your foot in the door, finding even the most insignificant post to run for, and getting your name out there.  Once I finally get settled, I also plan to run for local office. 

Will you have nasty things said about you?  Probably, especially if you are coming from the LGBT Community. But that’s why you need your voice to be heard. Represent those of us that couldn’t possible take the abuse. Speak up. Make a difference. 

But back to running for office, loom very carefully at those positions up for elections. Some are little known positions that may have been occupied by the same person for many years. Sure, it may be a no name, no recognition post. But again, get your foot in the door. Show you can handle the work. Once you’ve made a name for yourself, aim higher.  You’ve got this. 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Eggshells: part 1

Now that you know the purpose behind Those Rascally Cis, let’s get down the our main subject matter: those darn rascally cis.  Especially those in power!

 

Since the election, a lot of people I know have been scared.  I have been scared.  But I am not scared of the bright orange puddle of ego.  I am afraid of the people he’s giving a voice to.  Pence? Bannon? DeVos?  These are the people who truly scare me right now.  Some of you folks don’t seem to understand why.  You tell me that they don’t have any real power. And, technically, you are right.  The president has more of a say.  But this group of people that he has chosen have his ear.  We’ve already seen that he is very open to little nudges that always seem to hurt quite a few people.

Here’s the really fun part.  These people with their horrid opinions are in power, so other people with similarly horrid opinions now think it’s okay to act on it.  For some people, this isn’t a huge deal.  For myself and many others, we have to constantly worry about whether or not it is safe to stand up for ourselves and others.  When you live your life walking on eggshells, you can reach a level of fatigue you cannot even begin to imagine.  I’ve had to do it for years, both before I came out and after.  Personally, I am fed up with it.  After the election I made it very clear to those close to me that I am going to stand up for those like me that cannot do it for themselves for whatever their reason may be.

I mentioned earlier that I am afraid.  I should clarify, as it may seem to contradict with what I just said about standing up for people.  Am I afraid of getting beaten?  Who isn’t?  Do I fear death?  Sure, but if it means that someone else can live and carry my torch and make a difference, I think I’d be okay with it.  As long as I don’t have to keep watching my step every second of the day, it is worth it.  More so if it positively impacts the life of another.

But this is not where I wanted to take this.  A lot of you may believe that there is nothing you can do to change things.  I assure you, this cannot be farther from the truth.  I urge you all to get involved. Go to the town halls, run for elected offices, punch nazis.  Go out, be seen, be heard.  Do not let them silence your anger.  Some of you are holding out for some big supreme court decision.  Fine.  But that isn’t where this change will start.  You need to go out and do it for yourself.  Refuse to walk on their eggshells.  March, protest, educate, do whatever is within your range of ability to show them that we refuse to be quiet anymore.

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Let’s have a talk

Okay, so you’re probably wonder how those darn cis can be so rascally.  Don’t worry, I will get to that, but first let me tell you why I am here.

My name is Kaylee and I came out as transwoman sometime in 2014, I believe.  Since then, my world view has been flipped more times than I can count.  I have seen establishments I once respected with every fiber of my being become my biggest fears.  The reverse is also true.  I have seen people whom I had trusted for many years turn their backs on me simply because I no longer fit into their world views.  The world has become a much scarier place than I ever thought it could be and this has to stop.

“but what can I do, I am but a single person who just found this blog,” you may be asking yourself.  Fear not, for I shall explain this all in due time.  For now, take sometime to think about your views of the world and the things you wish you could change.  Let’s give voices to these dreams of a better future.  Who knows?  Maybe, together, we can get something done.