I don’t understand how people could possibly be against trigger warnings (tw’s). They’re filters, that’s all. They’re filters for people who have been through traumatic experiences or are so deeply upset by specific things, that were they to be exposed to them, it was cause them great distress. Personally, the first time I encountered trigger warnings on tumblr was massive relief. I could hop from post to post without encountering material that could realistically cause me to have an anxiety attack, dissociate, or want to cause myself harm. It’s a way to create a safe space for people (another concept I see opposition toward, for no reason I can ascertain), and who wouldn’t want that for someone they care about?
Shark week was high on the long list of things that make me dysphoric. I have a post I haven’t shared, and probably will not at this point, detailing why – all the little and big factors that put it well in the running for the no. 1 spot.
This one has been different though. Knowing it was coming, I bought a box of pads and a box of cups. I bought a fresh container of Pamprin and a pack of wet wipes, and I left to go on a sort of vacation that, damn it, wouldn’t be ruined by dysphoria, because, damn it, I was going to be prepared, materially and psychologically, to deal with it.
And I was prepared, battle ready, until I stepped out of the shower and into the view of the full length mirror I forgot was there, the one that hangs counter to ceiling, wall-to-wall above the sink in the bathroom of my in-laws’ house.
I could suddenly see myself, from mid-thigh up, wearing a pair of tight briefs and nothing else, and I waited for the dysphoria to hit.
No sudden, painful discomfort. No sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. No dissociation.
I don’t know what’s different now, but for the first time almost ever, I didn’t hate what I saw. I looked it up and down and saw potential. It certainly doesn’t have the parts I want, but I am starting to see how it could, someday.
My name is Ezra. I chose it and for that, it’s special to me.
I’ve always wanted to name myself, even back before I knew I was trans and entertained the idea of transitioning to any extent.
Back when I was aggressively trying to match my agab, I picked a new name and used it for about 2 years. With it came a new personality, albeit a false one, but eventually, I realized I was fooling everyone with my act but myself. I came to understand that I had quite more pressing issues to work out than figuring out what new sound I wanted people to make to get my attention, so I stopped using it and left the decision alone for a while.
I’m lucky in that my birth name has a gender ambiguous nickname, and the initial-chosen name never really caught on. The majority of the people I know still call me the gender neutral short version of my birth name, which makes me feel less misgendered. While my heart flutters when someone uses my correct pronouns (he/him, or to a lesser extent, they/them), I try not to let the often incorrect (she/her) pronouns bother me.
I’m glad to have made a kind of peace with my name. My mother named me, and she died a little over a year ago, before I came out. After she died, more of me wanted to hold onto it, and along with it, a part of her.
I wonder what she would think of all of this, though I don’t have to, really. She probably wouldn’t care, other than wanting to know if it makes me happy.
She was like that.
Coming out is hard.
That’s an understatement.
But for lack of a better description: coming out is really hard.
There are people that I can come out to with pretty much any self-realization without feeling like it could potentially be an immediate mistake, but those people are few.
Nearly a year ago, I came out as bisexual on social media.
I came out at a time when I was fairly isolated from everyone. The majority of friends that I’ve kept in contact with from when I was young live in other states. I was working at a temporary job at the time, due to decreased seasonal hour availability, so I was not seeing the coworkers I was friendly with on a daily basis.
My logic, in part, was that an announcement online would cover more ground, so to speak – it would be easier than several smaller conversations with individuals. Also, I perceived coming out online as safer. I suspected that there would be people who took issue, and the forum could potentially give me the opportunity to suss them out before encountering them physically.
For the most part, it worked out well. It’s easy to imagine that I could employ the same model to come out as a trans male. I’m honestly not sure what the hold up is.
I’m fine shouting “this is how I love” at pretty much anyone, but when I try to say, “this is who I am”, it’s with a smaller voice – less confident, and for all of the thought I’ve put into it, I have no idea why.
In a community generally full of positivity proclaiming, “you are trans enough”, I still feel strikingly inadequate. In a cisnormative society, I feel like a persona non grata.
It’s left me feeling hollow and insincere. Again, I am passing by omission. Again, I am not representing a community I feel a part of to blend into a community I feel a part from. Again, I feel the need to come out, but how should I do it?
The search for and lack of finding any doctor or clinic in my area that handles hrt is becoming increasingly disheartening. So far, I have managed to find a therapist that has experience working with lgbtq clients, but is not, strictly speaking, a gender therapist.
I have read that many who go through hrt find a physician that is willing to administer and monitor hormone treatments, but who often has no prior experience in doing so.
Honestly, that idea is so anxiety inducing, I can’t fully conceptualize it. The physical and emotional changes of what reads to be truly, a second puberty seems daunting enough without turning it into a first-time-for-everyone adventure.
I feel like I’ve reached an impasse, made worse by each dead-end search. My upcoming trip home isn’t helping my spirits either.
See, as a long story short, when I was 19, I moved several states away from where I was born and grew up, because the area became too expensive. I had lost my job, and was only a few months away from all encompasing homelessness rather than the partial homelessness I was experiencing at the time. My mother was unemployed too, and after a particularly nasty fight between her and my father, she too had nowhere to go. It made sense for the both of us to move somewhere together, where we could do things like live in a house and eat food.
My then-boyfriend, now-husband moved with us as well. Being that a large part of his family still live in that area, we visit when we can.
The problem is, whenever we do visit, I don’t want to leave.
The move had been out of necessity, and since my mother passed away last year, being away from the place that feels most like home has been kind of unbearable.
The long-functioning, well-reviewed trans health center in the area that provides low-cost, informed-consent hrt is doing nothing to diminish the longing to move home either.
There are an innumerable amount of times you grow up. They’re incremental. They’re small spurts. After all, if you were all the places you want to be, you’d have nowhere left to go.
“Life’s a journey,” someone said, and I repeat, because I’m not a good enough writer to come up with something better.
Something I’ve always admired are blogs. Like a journal, but to an extent, public, blogs provide the unique opportunity to watch someone else’s journey play out. Unlike a story, they don’t have a plot. Unlike memoir, they aren’t beaten and molded until they make sense. Each entry is often unrelated, but, like a mosaic, step back far enough, and you’ll eventually see a whole, even if that whole is only numbers denoting a time period.
They’re beautiful things. Pure. Often under-appreciated.
I’ve always wanted to write one.