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Category: Gender

Hysto Date!

HOLY SHIT.

I’ve been wanting  needing to get my uterus out for years. I have talked to so many doctors about this, and about sterilization before that. I will document the process that I went through to get here later, but the big news is:

Monday, July 30th, 2018, at 9:30am I will be undergoing a total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy which in english means: it’s all coming out. No ovaries, no cervix, no uterus. GONE.

Gone and donated to science but maybe I will ask for a picture or something to burn later.

On Thursday, I’ll be meeting with the surgeon and sometime after that talking to the anesthesia people about what I need to do to prepare.

I’m not sure what all I will need (probably pads, soft things, a ton of gatorade?), but if you want to help me out, you can donate to the hospital/recovery/prep fund here: https://cash.me/$kieryn or https://www.paypal.me/mxdarkwater 

 

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What even is gender

I feel like I’m mourning/saying goodbye to a part of me that doesn’t need to exist anymore. My body isn’t familiar on the outside anymore, I don’t have hips, or a waist, or cleavage. I get sir’d and he’d more often than not – the pharmacy actually put me down as male in their system?

None of this is unexpected really, I just didn’t know how I’d feel when I reached this point and I guess the answer is that I feel mixed. There’s a large part of me that feels stifled when I’m immediately pegged as a cis boy…

I’ve been struggling to figure out and find words for this since school let out and I’ve finally been able to settle on the shape of the angst that’s been plaguing me in the background for a bit.

I still envision myself with tits in my head, I still operate as though I have hips that carry shit (and then get confused when I don’t). My internal vision of myself doesn’t match what physically exists yet, even though the chemistry is right.

I feel normal and at peace with myself and aligned. I’m happy with the dose I’m taking and don’t want that to change much. I think what I need is to sit with the part of me that’s sort of mourning the familiarity of curves that aren’t there anymore, and maybe add some slightly femme elements to my presentation to help my brain with that difference.

12.5 months HRT :3

It’s sometimes just as jarring being seen as a boy as it is being seen as a girl. I am semi-fluid but solidly nonbinary, I’m finding more and more as I spend longer on HRT. All of my masculinity is informed by my femininity and they intertwine. I am both and neither, but not one or the other. Binaries are bullshit, is where I’m at, basically.

This has been really hard to write because I’m still trying to sort it out. Some of me wants to judge the validity of it, some of me is like this is just part of being fluid and you’ll ride it out (which is probably true but not a reason to not write about it), and some of me is like “this probably makes no sense” (which is probably also true, unless you’re also a transmasc enby which is why I’m writing this anyway).

These are the things I know:

I’m a fan of how I feel in my body right now. I’m a fan of this new confidence and being at peace with myself thing that is happening.

So these are good. The other things I can experiment with.

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The Awkward In-Between

I’ve noticed myself try to be quieter as I’ve started becoming more visibly masculine.

When people read me as male I feel like suddenly (in the feminist & progressive discourse spaces I inhabit) I no longer have a voice worth listening to. It’s difficult to balance the way feminist discourse at large tries to get masculine voices (without specification) to take a goddamn fucking seat while expressing my own particular brand of masculinity that has been informed and constructed by my femininity.

I’m stepping into a social place where half the time I’m read as male and taken super seriously (and half the time not). I know what (cis white) men are supposed to do, which is pass the fucking mic; so my quandary is:

Does being read as a man instantly invalidate my voice and experiences?

Queer Feminist discourse tends to sway largely in the yes direction. Having grown up being told I should be silent because of my gender expression means that being told by a different social group that I should be silent because of my gender expression is something I’m already good at instinctively, even though I know it’s wrong and entirely unnecessary.

I suddenly understand why so many transmasculine people become quiet about their experiences. I think a lot of us feel this – because we know what it’s like to not be listened to. Suddenly having people’s ears because of voices dropping a couple octaves is really disorienting. It doesn’t mean that all of the oppression I’ve internalized is suddenly un-learned and I’m suddenly granted every single privilege a cis white dude has as if my life had never happened to me.

(apparently in my brain, regardless of not being white or a man, cis white dude is still my bar)

I have agonized over minor things like being the first to move or speak up, because I’m read differently. Some of that is because I don’t want to deal with the confusion and some of it is because I feel like because my voice isn’t femme of center anymore, I’m somehow less allowed.

It’s really like going through that part of puberty where you have to decide how much social projection matters to you about how you express yourself and gender. With added complications because being non-binary means there’s nothing to switch to, so this extremely binary conversation is happening while the binary-ness of it all is also extremely irrelevant.

I’ve fallen into the trap I saw coming but hadn’t fully grasped. I’m going to work hard to write more about my experiences and feelings and disoriented-ness on HRT because I don’t need to carry the internalized lies that my voice has no value due to my expression anymore.

I’ll just keep doing what I’ve always done: speak my truths and elevate the voices of others as I can. There’s room for everyone’s experiences, even mine.

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It me, a trans boi

I didn’t know I was trans until my mid 20’s. I didn’t have the language or the context to explain what I felt growing up. My writing over the last 8 years has actually thoroughly documented parts of that process. Coming to terms with my gender and what that means to me.

I spent my entire childhood just feeling wrong at my core. Never able to measure up, never able to be the girl they wanted me to be, because I just wasn’t, no matter how hard I tried. I did “ballet” (and legitimately enjoyed it), I wore dresses and pink, I played with dolls, I did my nails…I did everything society told me good girls did, and I tried very hard to play the part of demure and graceful damsel waiting for her prince.

Spoiler alert, I am not demure nor particularly graceful playing a damsel. My failures at this were just compounded during high school when I got bored talking with other girls because all that we were supposed to talk about was future homemaking and homeschool curriculum and other very traditionally girly things that just didn’t interest me. There was a period of about a year and a half when I was 14 where I was able to fly under the radar (thanks to an undesired move and pregnancies) and pretended to be a boy on the internet (that was the deal I made to be allowed to blog when I was 13, because predators don’t…go..after..boys…apparently) and offline I continued that persona and wore camo and got away with being “one of the boys” at speech and debate.

Looking back it seems obvious, but at the time I just thought I was broken. I wasn’t a girl, I wasn’t a boy, but I didn’t have the language to describe or even have a frame of reference about what trans-ness was. I just thought, as I had been told by my parents and pastors and every authority figure in my life, that I was inherently broken. I was just wrong and only God could fix it, but he didn’t seem to want to, so I just tried really hard to play my part as well as I could. I internalized the messages of wrongness and brokenness because I didn’t match up what I was told good godly women were like, not inside. I could cook and clean and sew but those crushed my soul and the future I was promised was not a road I wanted to take.

I wasn’t allowed to explore the woods, or play outside, I wasn’t allowed to play video games. I wasn’t allowed to do anything that was considered a boy thing. I feel like it’s important to note that I didn’t want to only do those boy things, I just didn’t want to be limited; I wanted to have both options. I wanted to be able to express both masculinity and femininity but that was definitely not allowed. I had one option and one option only, unless I was sneaky.

The idea of having children bothered me on a visceral level, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered how very connected to dysphoria it is. The idea of having a human come out of my body goes straight to lizard brain levels of “no. this is death.” I suppose when I interpreted my period as the ultimate betrayal of my body against me that should have also been an indication.

Instead I spent years wrestling with myself, hating myself with every fiber of my being until I was about 20 and finally started discovering the language to describe how I felt. It happened by knowing other people who came out, and finally putting a name to my sexuality, talking with other queer people. I embraced my queerness when I was 22, which was the first stepping stone to discovering my trans-ness.

Autostraddle, Tumblr, Everyday Feminism, and It’s Pronounced Metrosexual were all really great resources where I finally started learning that I wasn’t alone in my feeling, that having a uterus but not being a woman is completely valid.

I started talking to nonbinary people and trans girls and eventually realized that I am trans enough, and no one is stopping me from transitioning but myself. Meanwhile dysphoria was getting worse, now that I knew how to identify it and what it was. I talked to my partners, friends, and therapist. And learned some things

  1. Cis people don’t question if they’re qualified enough to be their gender
  2. Gender is what you make of it, and it’s importance is up to you
  3. You are allowed to and deserve to transition if you want to
  4. Transitioning looks different for everyone, you don’t have to want surgeries to be trans
  5. Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Agender, etc are all valid trans identities
  6. It is your body, you get to change it (or not) however you see fit

For a while I thought I just wouldn’t transition. I’d just deal with estrogen and periods and do what I could to mitigate PMDD and everything that goes along with that. At some point…actually, at Burning Man, I realized I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to start HRT and see what happened. I could always stop if it wasn’t right for me. Both of these are valid.

So in December of 2016 I started HRT. Testosterone works FAST. Within a week my muscles started moving, I started losing curves, my voice started getting deeper, my clit grew. I’m approaching shot 4, I have angles and a jaw line, I feel right. I had no idea what it felt like to actually inhabit my body until I started HRT.

I’m not a woman, and despite taking testosterone, I’m not a man either. I’m just your local nonbinary fairy boi taking baby steps to being in their own skin.

 

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Kieryn Starts T

Yesterday.

Yesterday I went to the wellness clinic in SF that does HRT and primary care on a sliding scale for uninsured people and I started my first dose of Testosterone.

HOLY SHIT.

Immediately prior to that I got my hair cut, and turns out I’m a super fucking cute boi.

{Later that night, at a party, looking dapper af}

As I was walking down the street I started noticing a lump in my throat, and then hunger like you wouldn’t believe. What is hunger, what does it want, why.

I feel alive, my voice is lowering, I have energy, I feel like I’m right in my skin for the first time. Everything is clearer, I feel capable and like I could take on the world.

And I will.

Also probably will start drawing adventures in T on Chronicles of a Bitch Goddess because my twitter stream for the last 36 hours has been discovery after discovery.

One of them, being even more confused when people call me she.

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Fairy Dust and Awesomeness

IMG_0516My body is changing. I’ve talked about it before.

It’s confusing, disorienting…scary.

I can’t hide my boobs anymore, because they’ve grown too much.

I have massive cleavage in a sports bra.

My hips and thighs are bigger, rounder, more curvy.

My body is growing into more of a “woman” shape than I would like it to, personally.

And sometimes it’s really easy to feel betrayed by it, as I move fluidly between genderless/genderneutral and somewhat demigirl?

The confusing path of my gender identity that I wrap in the titles of femme-presenting non-binary and genderqueer.

Feeling like my body is betraying who I really am isn’t unusual for me. It’s been doing that since I started having periods.

It’s easy to hate myself right now – to hate my shape, my weight….

To hate it in the night when I can’t get to sleep because my boobs are in the way, and my bones and muscles are unsure of how to hold all the sudden…extra that occurred, leaving bright stretch marks and dull aches in it’s wake.

It’s easy to hate it when I have to re-learn how to use my body, because my belly is softer and rounder, my skin rolls, my thighs are bigger, and I generally take up more space than I’m used to.

 
More space than I ever have.

 

It’s easy to hate it when I feel like I have to be small, invisible, and take no room because I’m not worth having space.

It’s easy to hate because I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to be growing, physically, changing sizes. Even as a child my growth spurts were few and far between. I was 3’6″ until I was nearly 10. I was always underweight, and my mom made a point to note how even at barely 100 pounds and age 16, I was bigger than she was at my age.

I don’t know how to be okay with letting my body be.

And I don’t think many other people do either.

We’re socialized to hate it. To hate it because we take up space, and people who were assigned female at birth are also trained from birth not to take up space.

I went to the doctor the other day, because having a period means I need Women’s Wellness Exams.

Anything related to periods and uteri and….general having the ability to reproduce tends to trigger a beautiful dysphoria fun time.

Easiest time to hate myself…easiest time to hate my body.

I was weighed for the first time since before I moved, and they didn’t tell me my weight when I told them I wasn’t looking, and they didn’t judge.

But my weight was on the take-home paper, along with proof that I have a heartbeat and blood pressure.

I’m 162 pounds.IMG_0527

I weigh more than I was told (lied to) that my father weighs, more than my mom thinks she weighs when she’s pregnant….

And for the first time that knowledge didn’t bother me.

For a moment I had the realization….

 

I’m 162 pounds of awesome, and that’s perfect.

 

Hillary Rain started Lush Folk and is doing 7 Days of Tenderness and the timing is good, because moments pass and it’s easy to hate myself. But it’s beautiful to be reminded that I’m allowed space, I require space, and I don’t need to feel guilty for taking it up. I should own it, and so should you.

 

Right now I’m in a good place.

I am 162 pounds of star stuff and magic and fairy dust and awesome. I take up space and that’s actually good. I’m worth space, I’m worth taking care of myself, I’m worth having clothes that fit and not trying to squish my changing body into clothes that are the size I think I should be.

I’m healthy and alive and perfect.

And so are you.

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Pepper Potts in an Iron Man Suit

Pepper Potts was in an Iron Man suit. The suit was keeping her alive. She couldn’t just take it off whenever she wanted to, because to do so before she was in a place to receive proper and necessary medical care would be her death. As it was, the condition that lead her to live in an Iron Man suit was complicated and treatment wasn’t easy, not even for someone close to Mr. Stark. So Pepper Potts wore an Iron Man suit. She wore it every day and every night. She wore it to parties and running errands, work, and taking out the trash.

Tony was supportive, he knew Pepper was in the suit, and that living in the suit was hard for her. He kept her company and made her as comfortable as possible. He taught her how to use it and tried to show her the plus sides to living in a suit. He was there to listen when she had problems, to hold her iron clad hands and watch netflix, but most importantly, he saw her. He saw Pepper for who she was, not the suit she was wearing.

Whenever Pepper left her home she had to make a decision – a decision that was revisited upon every interaction with every human she encountered during her day. She could go out in the suit and be mistaken for Iron Man, talked to as if she were Iron Man, or reveal her identity as Pepper and be disbelieved, ignored, or beaten, harassed, and tormented. Of course, there was the off chance that some people would believe her when she said “I’m Pepper Potts, this is just a suit, it’s not a reflection of me” but those people are rare in public.

Most often, she got called “fake” and her life experiences were invalidated because all people could see of Pepper was the suit she was wearing. They thought, well if there’s an Iron Man suit, obviously it’s only Iron Man in it, and as soon as they learned otherwise, they harassed, threatened, and called her a poser, just trying to get attention, a wannabe, not real.

But it’s only Pepper Potts in an Iron Man suit. We all know that what we wear isn’t who we are. 

Sometimes I feel like my skin is a suit. It’s something I wear, something I have to wear because this suit is what’s keeping me alive. But whenever I go out, because of my suit, I have to decide if I want to put up with the misogyny and misgendering that my suit brings me, or risk confrontation. I often opt for keeping my head down and avoiding conflict. It doesn’t make the way people treat me – when they see my suit and harass me because of it, or keep calling me her when I’ve told them I’m not – feel any less painful; it’s just sometimes easier to ignore it than fight it, until I have the energy to. I haven’t found my powers yet.

My skin is a suit, it isn’t me. I’m inside of it. And the people who see through the suit and into me are the people I want to keep around. I want to be seen, my suit doesn’t define me. 

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misc

My kitchen cabinets that store dishes and food are organized and nice now.

We came back home from the park and I was like, wow, it’s so clean. It’s a nice feeling. We’ll see if I can’t stay on top of it.

Eventually I should reach the top of the fridge, but that involves a chair (as do all the high shelves) so maybe I’ll wait for my bruise to heal from when I used the chair and then failed the dismount, first. 😛 You know, so I can do it again.

I’ve been playing minecraft so much it’s invading my dreams. Seriously. EVERYTHING IS MADE OUT OF BLOCKS, and I keep finding coal (which I’m cool with because XP, woot, but dream XP doesn’t transfer dammit).

Minecraft is super fun, but also, upon reaching the 4th hour straight I start to seriously reconsider my life (as I make an inventory full of pickaxes and get back to mining) and like, why am I even? So I will probably attempt to resist the urge to mine tonight to give my brain and dreamspace a break from….mining and crafting.

I drew again yesterday and today for inktober, and fought the urge to burn them right after posting. My lines are shitty and my drawing is crap right now. It feels broken, but meh. I drew my coworkers as superheroes which was fun. This is what I get for taking a break and not drawing for a couple days, apparently. My hands just forget how pens work…which isn’t depressing at all….or anything.

Apparently “taking a break” = Kiery posts random boring shit on hen’s blog everyday.

I wrote about my recent weight gain on my fitblr, and I’ve been confused as to how I feel about it. Mostly because I feel several conflicting things at once and things I expect to feel but don’t, necessarily. On one hand, I feel heavy (because weight) and that makes me uncomfortable. On the other hand, when I look at my body, I see a human, instead of whatever I saw or didn’t see before. On another hand (lets pretend I’m like an octopi or something) when I look in the mirror I see a human body but I don’t necessarily recognize it as my own, just like, oh, there’s a person in the mirror. On yet another hand, I actually almost sort of feel comfortable like I’m at where I should be….right before I get bombarded by my mom’s voice and criticism about how she was so much thinner and tinier than me at my age and all the ages, and how she was a size 6 but should be smaller and and and….

But then earlier today, as I was trying to figure out how exactly I felt about my body and whether I felt good or bad about it today, I thought maybe it’s not either, maybe my body just is today, and it’s whatever it is. I don’t have to judge all the things all the time.

Sometimes I feel like if I’m not constantly at war with myself it means something’s wrong or makes my identity somehow less valid, which, now that I’ve written it out, seems kind of absurd. I think judging whether I, or bits of me (my body) are good or bad and having to almost decide that, stems from old fundamentalist mentality where the answer is almost always “bad”. But I don’t think everything is inherently anything, it just is, so why can’t I extend that to my body?

And, importantly: how I feel about my body (and myself in it) on any given day doesn’t change my gender identity, validity, or who I am.

Jerk brain, for some reason, doesn’t find that obvious unless I write it in a sentence. As if trying to feel better about my body + me is somehow a bad thing. Sometimes my brain is a real asshole.

Apparently the autumn is at peak so we went to one of the state parks and walked around and I stepped on all the crunchy leaves.

 

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A Woman On The Internet

Yesterday I wrote about sexism and feminism and stuff on my kierygeek blog because it kinda relates to why I’ve been so silent on youtube. It’s occasionally weird having multiple spaces for things, especially when they cross over, I’ll write more personally, and in detail here eventually (likely soon), but below is an excerpt of some musings brought on by trolls last night, and you can read the rest on kierygeek.com:

Sexism and misogyny to me are dehumanizing. It’s not just objectifying me, it’s denying me the truth of my existence, and equating me to the presented sum of my parts. I feel less than and other and not-human when people make assumptions based on my body, or when people are just…openly sexist – not even to me in specific, but to other people, because of their bodies and presentation.

It’s confusing, and painful, and not really safe-feeling. I know what it’s like to be a woman on the internet, even though I’m just a person on the internet.

But the complicatedness of my existence sometimes makes it easier to be quiet instead of speak, and that’s sort of new for me and I don’t like it, I just don’t know what to say.

Read the full article at KieryGeek

 

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Being a Girl is Just Better

I found our last two bibles in the closet the other day, one of which is KJV (of course). I spent this evening trying to do art with/deface it, and I got up to leviticus before getting bored/having it in my face started getting to me. It’s weird how triggering objects can be – bibles, dental floss, strollers, big vans…

I’ve felt weirdly out of it this week, kinda listless and unfocused, but antsy. So I’ve been puttering. Puttering is a weird word, it’s really fun to say, but it was also a word my parents used a lot, but it’s also a word I don’t know how to replace. Puttering: doing random busy work/cleaning that doesn’t require too much thought or result in much stress energy. I putter around on the sites I manage – make tweaks and updates, I’ve been de-cluttering random stuff IRL (actually only have two reachable surfaces left)…puttering. The phrase is like a low grade trigger.

And maybe it’s that, and a run-in with general triggery things this weekend that’s been making the phrase my dad repeated ad-nauseam stuck in my head all day.

Being a girl is just better

I don’t know what made him think that – maybe a little bit of jealousy because my mom got to stay home and sit in a recliner in a state almost-constant pregnancy, or maybe because in their sexist complimentarian marriage, he had to carry all the weight?

What wasn’t said at the end of the phrase was strongly implied:

Being a girl is just better:

  • because you don’t have to worry about responsibility
  • you don’t have to make hard decisions
  • you don’t have to fight or stand up for yourself or your family
  • you always have a man to protect you
  • you don’t have to get a job or do anything but homemaking (fun?)
  • you don’t have to think about anything
  • you don’t need to be smart or have thoughts of your own
  • you get to be served by men (by staying home and doing what they want you to do in exchange for dates and some of their income?)

Being a girl is just better because who needs autonomy anyway?

Being a girl meant:

I didn’t get to decide anything (and that was better because decisions are hard)

I always had someone to take the fall (which was better than me having responsibility for myself)

I didn’t need to learn “male” skills – like basic building, or how to pump gas or change a tire (I could just have a guy do it for me)

If I could cook, hold my tongue, and produce children, I would be a success (because women don’t need their own thoughts)

My dad/husband/brother could/would get me out of any situation and defend me (because I couldn’t defend myself)

In exchange for my autonomy I get a pre-defined life of luxury (if luxury = breeder, chef, teacher, house keeper, and sex toy)

 

Even though no one has told me that phrase in years, sometimes, with conversations with people, it’s still a really strong undertone.

Because even though other people never phrased it quite like my dad did, this insidious patriarchal brain worm, this line they tell people-born-with-uteri: Life is better for you, great for you even, just stay in line, and you’ll never want for anything.

I think being reminded that I’m not what any of the parent-figures in my life had planned for me to be, is just another version of the same line.

Being a girl is just better: just stay in line, and everything will be perfect*.

But even when I was a little kid, and I was told that my lot in life was just better… I knew it was a lie.

Maybe some people can happily trade their autonomy and agency for being “taken care of”, but that deal never seemed sweet to me, it seemed wrong and unfair, though I didn’t have any words for it or any way to express it.

Being a human adult may be more work, require more effort, and mean I have to own my decisions, but I lived without autonomy for my whole childhood, and I’d much rather own my decisions than be denied my agency.

I don’t care if that means I’m not who I was planned to be.

Fuck the patriarchy.

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