"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: 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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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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Exploring Gender: Gabrielle Ludwig and Trans* Athletes

Being trans* and trying to pursue any career in sports is incredibly hard. Most associations consider hormones to be performance enhancers, so when you try to transition and be an athlete, the road can be rough or even impossible. One woman at Mission College in Santa Clara is breaking those barriers.”

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Exploring Gender: Privilege

"Privilege is a status conferred to certain groups by society, not taken by individuals. In this way, privilege is not something of which we are generally aware, but there are inherent advantages and disadvantages to being a part of certain groups. How does being a part of the trans* community affect privilege?"

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Exploring Gender: Procedural Dramas' Portrayal of Trans* Characters

"Procedural dramas allow audiences into the world of detectives, cops, FBI agents. Some follow a simple formula like CSI, Law and Order, and Cold Case, others are more character-driven like Castle, Bones, and White Collar. How are trans* individuals characterized in this formula?”

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Exploring Gender: The Number One Question I Am Asked

"The number one question I am asked by other trans* individuals is: “Do you know of any uplifting media centered on trans* characters?” So what do we have in the way of stories to support us and to help us through those bad days?

"There is a sad lack of good stories with trans* characters. Most media is either incredibly sad or in some way fetishizes the character. The trans* canon tends to be overwhelmingly violent as well: in books, movies, and on television. But we want to see the good things. We want to know loves can work out and not everything is a horror story. We want happy endings. I would love to see a sappy romantic comedy with a trans* character and have it be just as sappy and romantic as any other, but we just don’t have that."

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Exploring Gender: November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance

Every year, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) memorializes those we have lost from violence against the trans* community. Throughout the world on November 20th, there will be vigils to honor and remember those who were lost. The official website of TDOR has a list of those murdered throughout the year in violent attacks on the trans* community as well as a list of vigils happening throughout the world.

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Exploring Gender: Testosterone

"There are so many steps in transition: changing your name and documentation, counseling, surgery, hormone therapy. They all are part of a process to help reach a place where you are more comfortable in your own skin. Transition means something different for everyone, and it is important to remember there is no certain set of things you need to do to transition. Whatever you feel you need to do for yourself is what you should do. Do not prescribe to the concept of being trans* enough. Your identity is your own and no one else can tell you what you need. Whatever decisions you come to, though, it is important to research all of these parts of transition so you can be informed of your options. One of the things I have been struggling with the most has been the thought of testosterone (T). So what do you need to know about T?"

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