"I'm trying to find the truth
in words, in rhymes, in notes,
in all the things I wish I wrote."
Lover of grammar, poetry, literature, hiking, camping, horses, and Latin


Exploring Gender: This Journey

Exploring Gender has been a large part of my life for over two years. My first post on November 17, 2010 ended with: “This is my personal search for identity, for a place, for courage. These are my thoughts, my feelings, and I hope that through sharing myself I might help others to find the courage to ask themselves those tough questions: Who am I? Who do I feel like I should be?” My personal search is on-going, but Exploring Gender has been there through every step of discovery: coming out as trans*, learning more about the community, going to my first big pride event, changing my name. It’s been a long journey.

The articles have developed from my own personal reflections to the sharing of news and things you should know about the community and transitioning. I have shared great victories and great tragedies, but my favorite thing about this experience has always been you, the readers, the people who have contacted me from around the world to share their experiences or simply to say hello. I have learned about political climates where trans* people have a hard time smuggling in books about the trans* experience. I have listened to allies who are just as passionate about change as I. I have made new friends and seen my old friends share my work with the people around them, trying to spread knowledge and awareness. And each day, I am amazed by this community we have built.

But as my life continues to move forward, I find myself with different challenges and opportunities, and Exploring Gender will no longer be a weekly constant for me, though it may continue on.

So I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for coming on this journey and for making it one of the most influential I have ever experienced. I hope all of you find your place and your courage. May you be surrounded with loud music, long discussions, and friends who will dance with you in the kitchen at 2 am (or something along those lines).

This is not goodbye. I will continue to work on other projects. And as always, you can leave a comment, email me, or contact me on tumblr if you have any questions for me, would like to know about where you can see more of my writing, or just want to share you story or say hello.

For those of you who follow Exploring Gender, my last post on Lezbelib will be going up today. It has been quite the few years writing for them and learning more about myself and the community. It was my passion project for a long time, but on to bigger and better things, including working with my beautiful friends Rebecca, Ruth Elizabeth, and Riley at KNOWhomo. Thank you for all of the support.

Exploring Gender: A Letter to President Obama

President Obama’s inauguration speech was beautiful: “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk along; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”

He is a brilliant speaker, and his willingness to bring Stonewall into the spotlight—the first time a president has acknowledged this uprising—was a validation of all of the hard work of groups such as the HRC. But one eleven-year-old girl, Sadie, questioned President Obama’s exception of trans* individuals in his speech. Thank you, Sophie, for this elegant letter.


Now, President Obama has done a lot for the trans* community, but Sophie is right. The main thing the community needs right now is visibility and support. The President’s choice to mention Stonewall was a major victory, and hopefully in the future his vocal support for the trans* community will stretch into the public arena so visibility will help promote good works, such as this story out of Oregon, which I hope reaches Sophie and makes her smile.

Trans* kids do not have the same access to healthcare as many other individuals, but Oregon is becoming the first state to cover treatments for gender dysphoria in children and teens under Medicaid. Beginning in October 2014, coverage will extend to cover counseling, medication to suppress puberty, and other procedures and care to help trans* kids to handle dysphoria or to transition. Medication to suppress puberty can cost in excess of $1000 a month. Oregon’s steps to help trans* children and their parents will hopefully be followed by other states.


I appreciate Barbara Walters covering transgender youth. Her coverage helps parents understand that they are not negligent or harming their children. Hearing stories of families and transgender youth helps us all recognize that these kids are kids, and when we let them teach us who they are, instead of us telling them who they should be and how they should act, we have truly authentic relationships. 

Virginia Transgender Resource and Referral List

Compiled by the Virginia Department of Health, this list supplies information on trans* friendly healthcare providers, therapists and counselors, and support services. Updated in late 2012, check it out if you need help finding providers in your area.

Exploring Gender: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

"A few days ago, I found this article, describing a young adult novel written from the first-person perspective of a transman: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills. After reading the article, a defense by Cronn-Mills of her decision to write from the perspective of a trans* individual despite being cis, I decided to read the book myself and see how I felt about it. Where does the line between trying to represent the community and appropriation and misrepresentation lie?”

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“Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught.” — Leslie Feinberg

(via knowhomo)

Exploring Gender: 2012 in Review

"2012 has been a year of great news for the community. Four states voted for marriage equality in November. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled gender identity is covered under Title VII protections. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced their new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will list gender dysphoria instead of gender identity disorder and also put out a release in support of the trans* community. But what were your favorite Exploring Gender articles of this year?"

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I think at this point in our world, we’ve got a really confused idea of the way gender and sexuality works. I think we’ve created this really superfluous sort of like binary in the way we think about gender. And I guess I identify as queer because I don’t identify with that. I think that makes us less whole as people. I don’t need to be assigned to what it is I can do or who I can love. And it seems like we keep drawing these battle lines which are completely unnecessary. So that’s what I basically mean. When I say I’m queer, I’m saying that I think human beings are amazing. And love is an honor and an opportunity. And a fragile thing. A fragile process in which there’s no room for doubt, or shame, or hatred.

Ezra Miller