Blog

A slow decay

I filled the vase full of water, nearly to the top. I hate when flowers prematurely die. The bouquet was intensely bright, each petal full of life. Two days later I noticed a handful of petals had begun to dull ...
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Get Out the Pitchforks: Anti-LGBTQ Group Divides Town With Fear

Read the second part of my story about Fairmont, WV ...
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Using Trans Panic to Stop Equality

For me, and probably for most of you, Fairmont, West Virginia is merely a dot on the map. It’s a small town nestled in a valley surrounded by rolling mountains. It’s a place you’d call cute as you passed through ...
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Heroes and heartbreaks in Fairmont WV

We need our heroes most when we are too tired to save ourselves. We manage most of the time. We fight our battles, and we carry our crosses. But sometimes, we are outnumbered, or we fought too long. We don't ...
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On his birthday

My brother has always been the funnier one. He is hilarious. He uses his whole body to tell a story and does a spot on impression of our mom. He is also the smarter one. He scored significantly higher than ...
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Charlottesville: Call it by its name – racism

I have seen some weak denouncing of what happened in Charlottesville. The best way to avoid a conversation about racism is to not call it racism. In the last three days, I've seen white people say, "Hate is not tolerated ...
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Gender labels ruin performance

We all struggle under the weight of labels, even the self-imposed ones. Labels are a way for us to feel connected to a group/community. For us, to say, "Hey, I'm one of you." We use labels to be seen or ...
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Don’t Call Trump’s Anti-Trans Military Tweets a Distraction

In the midst of the Russian investigation and the ACA vote, many people's reaction was to call Trump's ban on trans people in the military a distraction from the 'real' issues. But saying this was a distraction is both untrue ...
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Allow or Accept: Importance of Semantics in Trump’s Anti-trans Military Tweet

This morning Trump tweeted that the government will not allow or accept transgender people to serve in the military. Let me say this upfront; trans people are currently serving our military. We are there. The weight of his words doesn't ...
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The odd cruelty in passing

When I was 16, my friend would drive us to the mall to walk the entire place. None of us had any money. We're there for the company. During one of our mall-walking nights, a group of pre-teens began to ...
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Pump It Up: How Better Trans Visibility Crushed My Self-Image

I was on national TV, once. In 2015, I appeared on a segment of The Insider when us trans folks were becoming of the moment. I responded to an Instagram callout for trans people to ...
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Things are changing here

Hi all, I've had the good fortunate of getting paid for some of my recent pieces. I will continue to post links to my work on this blog. However, I will rarely blog here. You can read all of my ...
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Focused on my throat

My birth would be described as traumatic. Tragic. You see I was born with my umbilical cord wrapped around my throat, and one of my lungs had collapsed. The very thing that gave me life was taking it away. They ...
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When your words have worth

I've been sharing my gender journey publicly for over two years now. During that time I've received such kind and beautiful emails and comments. I know some of you have sought solace in my words and, for that, I'm happy ...
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Dead inside this American Dream

The last bit of mulch spilled out of the wheel barrow. The dog barked because he has separation anxiety. The kid repeated the same phrase over and over. I don't know how I got here. In this suburban setting with ...
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What do sex and gender have in common?

Answer: Everything. In order to breakdown the binary, we first have to understand that the current medical definition of sex is a social construct. In my creative project research lit review I broke this down through the lens of the ...
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A lesson in being lady-like from a former lady

If you peeked in on my fifth grade class, you'd see me sitting at my desk with my ankle-length jean skirt and tennis shoes. I'd be the tallest one in the bunch, I always was until high school. My hair ...
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More Than A Pee

This piece is meant to give you a glimpse into my lived reality. To help foster empathy for an experience you may not be familiar with. To build a bridge of understanding. To help you see that the bathroom policing ...
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Trans students, you are not alone and you are still protected

Today news broke that the Trump administration rescinded protections for transgender students. This is an open letter to those students: I was you once. I was different from most everyone else in a lot of ways. I stuck out when ...
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Refuse to remain silent

'You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.' - Anne Lamott This is the thing about the cycle of abuse - it relies on the ...
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Hey, I love you

Bigger than my fear is my love for you. You, you might be someone I've spoken with once or someone I've held close, but I know you. Because as I look up at that star-filled sky, I know you're out ...
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A verbal march on Washington

I won't be attending the Women's March on Washington tomorrow due to illness so this is my verbal march. It's a march for all of us that can't be there in person. We are here, we are queer We are ...
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The Queer Rapture: Seven

When George Michael died, my friend Michelle Brooks wondered if we are experiencing a queer rapture. Being previously Pentecostal I was rather familiar with the biblical story of the rapture. John was sent visions to warn humanity about their impending ...
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gendercube

Reaction to the Gender Cube

The gender cube has been brewing in my world for nearly year. It started as a way to add depth to quantifying gender. My thought was by giving the gender category more depth more people could be categorized and legally ...
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Before Trump Presidency: Crucial for Transgender People to Update Their Passports

Carl Charles ( @charl_carles), an attorney in NYC, outlines via tweets why it’s important transgender people change their gender marker on their passport before January 20th. And how to go about changing your passport. 1) A passport is a fed ...
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Comment section wins presidential election

I've struggled with what to write since the election results. I thought the most useful thing would be determining the true devastation the Trump presidency might cause the LGBT community. However, that task has been started: What a Trump Administration ...
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Avoiding true understanding: My experience as a trans person in the ER

One of the most difficult hurdles for trans people is finding educated health care practitioners. 50% of trans people said they had to educate their health care provider about trans care in the 2011 survey by the National Center for ...
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Why you should stop looking for your true self (especially if you’re trans)

Sometimes we stumble over words. Ya know, when they just don't seem to fit in your mouth and you find yourself wrestling with your tongue to spit it out. I often find myself wrestling with saying I found my 'true ...
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That big, old house beckons

There is a grand house down the way. It's on a corner lot of tree-lined streets. It sits quite a distance from the road with an wrought iron fence guarding its expansive yard. The outside is covered in gray stones ...
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Transgender standards of care used to protect the gender binary

Years before my first testosterone injection I sought therapy. Not because I was in some gender battle in my head, but simply because I was having relationship problems. I had an immediate connection with my therapist and left each session ...
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When your dreams come true

Three years ago my heart shattered and as the pieces bounced off the floor I heard something in their echoes, "walk toward kindness." I set off more determined than ever to find my true partner in this life, to build ...
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We don’t need your moments of silence

When I said I was afraid the line went silent. When I said I was neglected, your mouth didn't utter a word. When I came out, you closed your eyes and your lips. When I felt threatened, you walked away ...
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Thank you, AG Lynch: The words we’ve been dying to hear

There are words that ring so deep inside you they reverberate on your spine and they create chills throughout your body. That's what Attorney General Loretta Lynch's announcement has created in me. A wave of chills. She promised that the ...
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When the spirit moves: A love letter to Pentecostalism from a transgender man

The fervent thickness of tongues filled the sanctuary. "It sounds like the Titanic sinking," my friend said. It sounded like Sunday night to me. A night spent chasing a spiritual high. As a Pentecostal youth Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights ...
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Privacy, women, children: The bullshit behind North Carolina’s bathroom bill

Let's start with the assumption that you are a logical person and statistics and facts have meaning to you. From this point let's talk about North Carolina's bathroom bill. The bill says, '(Public agencies, local boards of education) shall require ...
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The constant invalidation of personhood

Birth doesn't necessarily grant us personhood. Our daily interactions constantly validate us as people. There is a great quote from Judith Butler that explains this complicated relationship between the self and the other. She says, 'Lets face it. We're undone ...
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Why trans characters can be played by non-trans actors

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to see the musical Southern Comfort at Public Theater. The play is based on the documentary by the same name. The documentary is centered around Robert Eads, a transman who was ...
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Transgender people burning at the stakes as modern-day heretics

Back in the day, like way back... say 400 years ago, if an individual questioned authority or long-held beliefs they could be tried for heresy. Heresy is defined as 'an opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted.' One ...
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3 reasons I won’t use the term ‘dead name’

A term has popped up on my radar. The use of "dead name" instead of "birth name" when someone is referring to their name before transition. Initially, I was unsettled by the usage within the community. It felt like an ...
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3 Fuck Yous to anti-transgender bills

Generally, I write my blogs and columns as a way to bridge the gap between people outside the gender binary and those living deeply within it. I frame issues in a way to create dialogue and mutual understanding. This is ...
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A request on the anniversary of my top surgery: Let’s be nicer

In 2003 I searched online for other trans guys. I found a LiveJournal Community called FTMVanity. In the same vein (or should I say vain) as Instagram it was a platform for trans guys to share photos. It was the ...
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Gender Identity Dysphoria: Self at the mercy of the body

"For this reason illness disrupts the continuity of the biography, at times turning the self literally at the mercy of the body," from Body/Embodiment: Symbolic Interaction and the Sociology of the Body Self at the mercy of the body. Aren't ...
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gendercube

A new legal definition of gender

Judith Butler discusses what it means to be 'human' in her book Undoing Gender, "The category of the "human" retains within itself the workings of the power differential of race as part of its own historicity. But the history of ...
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Why I removed my blog from the HuffPost: The fine line between creating change and creating walls

Why I removed my blog I had this blog removed from the HuffPost but left it on my website. When I published it here I had some positive reaction from transpeople. When it reached a wider queer population via HuffPost ...
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Nomad on the gender spectrum

It seems your message can get lost in the language of the world. Your own personal truth. The message that you wrote to yourself years ago. It gets smudged under a coffee cup. The ink fades. When I began transitioning ...
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Enduring after top surgery

In January of 2012, I increased the limit on a credit card to afford top surgery. I had the consent letter I received from the therapist years ago. I scheduled my top surgery for February 6th, 2012 in Cleveland. I ...
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5 things I learned taking testosterone

Disclaimer: This my experience alone. I don't speak for any other transpeople or anyone else taking testosterone. A one and half inch long needle penetrates deep into my muscle and pushes the culturally-prescribed masculinity into my system. The first few ...
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From a binary to a spectrum: Ending the violence against transgender people

Gender is a social structure that shapes interactional expectations, institutions, and social groups (Risman 2004). Structuration theory argues that people act on social structures as social structures act on people. These actions can change the social structure (Giddens 1984). The ...
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Acceptance disguised as kindness

accept: [ak-sept] 1. to take or receive (something offered); receive with approval or favor: 2. to agree or consent to; accede to: 3. to respond or answer affirmatively to: kind: [kahynd] adjective 1. of a good or benevolent nature or ...
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How Leelah broke my silence

This day last year I was wrapping up my holiday by visiting my girlfriend. This day last year Leelah Alcorn was wrapping up her short 17 years on this earth by stepping into traffic. When I read Leelah's suicide note, ...
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My parents call me ‘she’ and that’s okay

The waitress looks around at the mismatched bunch at the table. A man with an overgrown goatee and striking blue eyes. The woman with her long hair in a bun and soft skin. And me. She starts to take drink ...
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Braver than the binary?

'It takes real courage to do what you're doing.' 'I'm so proud of you.' 'You're being true to yourself and that's so brave.' I've been told I'm brave quite a few times the last couple of years. Yes, this transition ...
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