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’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.
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.
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
Cis people don’t question if they’re qualified enough to be their gender
Gender is what you make of it, and it’s importance is up to you
You are allowed to and deserve to transition if you want to
Transitioning looks different for everyone, you don’t have to want surgeries to be trans
Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Agender, etc are all valid trans identities
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today is really triggering a lot of not-good feelings.
I hate how having a body…
this female-assigned body
tends to affect my life
I hate being reminded about how my body dictates
I hate how my body is dictated by people who aren’t me
people who employ me
could stop me from getting the care I need
the care that currently keeps a lot of the self-loathing
the self-mutilation fantasies at bay
the thing that’s made me feel me and human and be okay
I need birth control to be able to be me
and not try to plunge steak knives into my gut every few weeks
and decisions like this
make me want to pull out my uterus
and stick it on a stake
and never have to deal with it again
to not be subject to my body
the needs of my biology
I want to be able to get rid of that which people say
makes me a woman
because I’m not one
and with birth control and anti-depressants
I can be a person
I can live
but without them? I’m not healthy.
right now I just need to run away. right now I feel boxed and gendered because things that effect my body effect me, and me and my body? we’re not the same. I feel dysphoric today, and it’s really hard.
I’ve never talked about this explicitly publicly – I’m open about it to people who ask, and I don’t hide it, but I’ve never really felt the need to come out and say it (because honestly, it’s no one’s business).
The reason I’m coming out with it now, is because I embrace it – I’m proud of it even, and it would come out eventually, so why not?
I’m bisexual. It took me a long time to admit to myself due years of repressing my sexuality growing up, years of feeling guilty because I wasn’t completely straight – but I embrace it now, I love this about me, and it’s so freeing to be open about it.
The other reason I haven’t mentioned it was because I was afraid of the fallout with family. I’m not anymore, because it doesn’t matter. I’m not a different person just because I’m bi (I’ve always been bi) – but this doesn’t mean that I flirt or drool over every female I encounter, just like I don’t do that with every male that I encounter. Just because I’m not 100% straight doesn’t mean that I’m on the prowl or uncommitted to my husband (because he’s my favorite person. period.).
Actually the openness about it has been beneficial to our relationship – because hiding part of yourself from your spouse or significant other is never a good thing.
So here I am – I am the same, I haven’t changed (except for getting a tattoo) – I’m just not hiding anymore.