juicy dating gossip and transgender confusion
buttonsnaps
I've been hanging out with a girl named Sam. We've been having fun making music together, talking about art, talking about our lives, and sharing affection.

The first two times she met me - she met Dot. I have been very clear from the start that I am both Ander and Dot, - but most often and Ander, who is boy-Identified. That was a little hard to understand for her, as I sat there in the full superfemme gear that I wear to parties.

She is down with the boydentity in theory, but I can sense she doesn't really //see// me that way. Though, you know, offhand comments about how she really needs a "woman's touch", and dropping the female pronouns frequently.

So why am I even hanging out with this person? My life guidelines include ditching anyone from my personal life who doesn't get behind my identity. It does bother me somewhat. Whenever this happens with people it makes me feel that our relationship is superficial. They are in a relationship with an image of who I am - but it's not accurate. Like they  need to look past the exterior, through my eyes into my brain/soul where my self-concept resides.

But I also don't care. It's like an annoying cold breeze that isn't going to ruin your hiking trip, dammit! I've been enjoying our time together. Part of my just wants to sweep the issue under the rug. I do know it will come back to bite me sooner or later. It's a big deal, so why do I feel it's so inconsequential?

And of course, the whole senario is making me question the strength of  my transgender feelings. Why don't a feel strongly enough about this? ...    What would happen if I entered into a relationship as a woman? ...    Leading my to the ULTIMATE question which nags at the back of my brain - could I live again as a woman? Would I like it? What would it be a woman again after having lived as trans/bigender? Part of me says "Fuck it - just try it and do it so we can get it over with and move on". But I wouldn't want to do it here, in the middle of my current location. I feel I would destroy all of the carefully built up support for my trans I have found and made in this city. I can't even imagine how all my friends and allies would react.

bedroom lace and stylish photobogs
buttonsnaps
I have just spent a chunk of time drooling over several beautiful photo blogs. These are blogs run by young women who love fashion; love the way they look in a vintage dress; love to decorate their homes and their bodies and friends and photograph it to share with the world. Through their lenses, their world seems to be full of pretty people, stylish decor, homemade delicacies - beauty in the everyday. They surround themselves with pretty things and take pleasure in the small details of life.

This is a direction I am going in my life. About four months ago I found an interest in interior decorating. As I poured through library books of decorated homes, I gradually developed a sense of style; developed my own preferences. I was articulating my tastes for the first time. I began to ask myself new questions about what kind of environment I wanted to live in. What colours, shapes and symbols speak to me? Choosing what to put on your wall is an intimate decision in self-representation.

I have been slowly working on my bedroom every since (so that I am sure to make the right decisions). Disrupting my life to paint my room; scouring thrift stores for just the right decorations, dragging heavy furniture home from the alley for major renovations .. all this work feels like a humongous present to myself. It's like saying: "hey, you're worth it. You deserve the life pleasure of living in beauty, amongst colours and objects that please your eyes and heart." I am worth it, and I do enjoy the beauty of little details - eye candy every day of your life.

~~

One decision I made was to embrace femininity in my room's decor. Red, pink, white and cream are the dominant colours, for example, and lace and floral fabrics proliferate. At first I didn't want to admit that this is what my heart desired. I figuered I would fine the femininity of an all-pink room overwhelming.

I almost think of my bedroom as DOT's room, because it is the interior decorating version of her fashion style. As I'm Ander most of the time, it's a little weird to be living in someone else's bedroom, but there you go.

[blogs that inspired this post: http://metrobloggen.se/jsp/public/permalink.jsp?article=19.13096738#kommentera,http://metrobloggen.se/jsp/public/permalink.jsp?article=19.13096738#kommentera, http://meduzz.blogspot.com, http://sadekaari.blogspot.com, http://metrobloggen.se/jsp/public/index.jsp?article=19.5147525 ]

(no subject)
buttonsnaps
sometimes it's funner for your life not to be public; then people have to ask you to tell them about it and it's interesting. Less so when your every move is updated on facebook or chronicled on livejournal. the reason I haven't been posting lately.

Self-Censorship
buttonsnaps
I went to a show last night that featured performance art by-and-for the trans community. It featured several confident young trans women who were very open and comfortable with who they are. They talk about their transitions and realities explicitly, comfortably and with humour. I wish I could do that. It made me realize how I routinely sensor trans-related things out of my conversations.

Part of it is that I spend a lot of time talking to my roommates, and they are not trans. When I mention trans-stuff around them, they don't tend to say anything back. They don't have any knowledge about the subject, so they keep their mouth shut. Or maybe they are just afraid of saying the wrong thing. How I hate silence that is based in fear!

Another part of it is the amount of time I've spent with trans people who don't talk about the trans parts of their lives very much. I spent almost two years in a relationship with a man who transitioned, but doesn't identify as a trans person. The trans parts of his life are censored out of his conversations. But it's different for him - he doesn't consciously do it, it just comes naturally. Ignoring the trans part of himself is about better representing his true self. For me, it just makes me feel self-repressed. He is the first trans person I knew and I have based alot of my ideas about transmen on him. If he does it, then that means REAL transmen don't talk about their girlhoods, or transitions, or whatever, right? I need to get rid of these feelings, but it's hard!

Should I work at talking about my trans life more often, despite the discomfort of those around me? Or should I find new friends and roommates who are strong allies?

I need to live with trans allies.
buttonsnaps
A have a roommate named Brian.*

A different roommate let him know I was trans when I wasn't around, so we have never discussed it.

One evening after he moved in he called me 'she' several times, once correcting himself under his breath. I ignored the slip ups, not knowing the best way to deal with such a situation. I worried about the incident because I have found that once-a-pronoun-slipper, always-a-pronoun-slipper. But I also figured it would all be okay because he did correct himself.

Lately when I'm around, he never calls me SHE, but never HE either. Which isn't a good sign. It usually means someone's not completely comfortable with your trans status when they don't use your pronouns. I like it when people use them all the time!

I'm a bit uncomfortable around him. I'm really uncomfortable being DOT around him. I guess I can just sense that he sees me as female and I don't like it.

Then yesterday, I learned that he's been calling me 'she' when I'm not around.

..Should I just confront him about it? Say to him: "I can sense that you see me as a girl, it's making me uncomfortable, what can we do about it?"

being my own advocate
buttonsnaps
Somehow:

It's my responsibility to initiate conversations about my trans status.

It's my responsibility to ask other people what their pronoun preference is and offer my own.

It's my responsibility to make the spaces I move in trans-friendly.

It's my responsibility to break the ice and talk about gender, so that others will be comfortable doing the same.


I wish it didn't have to be me that does these things, but no one else is doing them, so I guess I better toughen up.

DOTs speeding through crisp winter air
buttonsnaps

The winter weather has made me nostalgic for those good ‘ol days in high school: I would get dressed in many layers of tights, socks, boots, skirts, shirts, and scarves and walk to my high school where I was the only person wear a skirt, or anything more interesting that a sweatshirt and jeans. I was so funky back in those days, I never left the house in something that wasn’t creative, funky and feminine. I remember gradually building my fashionista skills through practice and mother’s advice: learning how to dress creatively and warmly.

I love the layered winter look SO MUCH. I missed it over the summer. MMmm: ruffled skirt, ribbed tights, bunched wool socks and hiking boots? YES YES YES. That is why lately I’m been getting up and becoming DOT and bicycling to next Youth Panel meeting. Biking as a girl is so much fun. My skirt ruffles in the wind as I look down at my legs in tights and rubber boots, pumping away. My body is erect and the wind is in my hair (my wig). I feel that sortof “you go girl” energy, associated with looking good and doing something non-traditional for a woman. You know, like when Buffy beats a scary monster while wearing heels and a stylish outfit.

But then I get to the meeting I’m going to and it’s kinda weird that I’m wearing a wig and a skirt. No one at the meeting acknowledges my unusual gender presentation or calls me by my name: DOT. It’s funny because, in my earlier days of genderbending that’s what I wanted: to be treated the same nomatter what I wore. But today, I like having my identity and persona recognized. Otherwise, it’s just kinda weird and I’m wondering what people are thinking. They are thinking something and I want to know what it is!!


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