Posts Tagged ‘transgender’
Colin & Mom
Alright! It’s been a while since we posted anything – which is mostly my fault, ger – but here’s an update!
And what about, other than mentality. Everybody has their up days, and everybody has their down days. People get anxious from random shit, depressed from important things, or just blah from not getting enough sun – or vitamin D!
Basically, mental disorders are a thing that vary for every person that has them. I have a friend whose body chemical make up gives her clinical depression, though she doesn’t feel depressed. So when she got put on meds, it helped immediately. It was like she wasn’t fighting with the part of her brain that was saying be inactive anymore when she wanted to do things.
But there are people who become depressed from other things whether it be anxiety, lack of friends, traumatic past, lack of sun, physical illnesses such as cancer, broken bones, or hypothyroidism. Often, people are depressed along with their body’s depressed state, so even medication doesn’t really do much for them for a while, because they are still mentally in that rut even if they’re body no longer is. (Hence therapy is a thing.)
I was in a mental hospital earlier this year because I have a “mood disorder” – number 365 or something like that – which causes general anxiety and episodic anxiety bursts, and I also have PTSD. Basically I was having huge anxiety driven panic attacks which would wear me down and make me tired, but because of insomnia being a horrible things, I couldn’t sleep. Pretty much everything was a trigger. I was always anxious. It made me physically sick. Nothing fit. I went several weeks with having at least two of these debilitating panic attacks a day where I couldn’t control what I did or what I thought, and during which I legitimately thought I was going to die. I finally turned to my mom for help because I couldn’t do it any longer. I didn’t feel like I could go to school, face my friends, get out of bed, face the world. We put me in mental hospital for a week. I didn’t even get put on meds. But for me, being taken out of the situation that was making me super anxious helped me more than anything else could’ve.
My anxiety stems from my PTSD from bullying I went through at my old schools, and something minutely along the lines of OCD. When I get super anxious, it is OCD through and through. Side effects being, the fact that I don’t sleep well as it is changed to practically never being able to sleep, messes freaked me out, but were too big for me to deal with, and made me more anxious, debilitating panic attacks, hearing voices and sounds as if they were really there that I could interact with even though there was nobody and nothing physically there, and the standards in my head running rampant. It was not a good time in my life.
The standards are the more mental part of the OCD-ish part of my anxiety. Basically, in my head I make standards based off the norms of our society, and I try to meet them. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or anything, but I’m not really the norm of society. Really? Meeting these standards was hard, because I just couldn’t. Even in the queer community, I’m not the norm – if there even is one? My brain said there was. And me being trans, ace, (asexual for the masses) and panromantic did not fit that norm that I’m not even quite sure what it is. The voices in my head didn’t help. They made fun of me for not being able to make the standards.
But for g’d knows why, they were obnoxiously supportive of my being trans.
Physically, I just had to be even, and during the worst part of my anxiety, everything else had to be too.
Now a days, I take vitamin D because I’m severely low – or was – which my doctor says probably made the anxiety worse. I’ve also noticed, if I go a couple days – between five to seven – without taking it, I start feeling not depressed or blah per se, but like I don’t have the physical energy to do what I want to do and think about what I want to think about. I also start getting kind of anxious. So I take my vitamin D, because I don’t like being anxious.
That’s how my anxiety panned out, but in the mental hospital, there was another person there with the same diagnosis as me, but an entirely different way of it being for him.
Bipolarness is another good example of that. On the interwebs I found a person talking about her bipolarness. For her, it’s that one day she could be presented with a problem and go at it for hours until she figured it out. And then the next day she could be presented with the same problem and go at it for a while before becoming fed up with it. The next day she could look at it and say it’s impossible and go do something else. The next day, she could look at it and burst into tears and have a manic fit about it. Here’s her actual post if you’re wondering.
One of my fairly close friends also has bipolar disorder. Basically, it starts at a high with her being very happy, and in a few days time, works it way down being severely depressed, she freaks out, and the loop starts over after a few days of feeling blah.
The two are similar but still different.
I guess this is a lot about how I’ve met people that try to shove everybody that has one thing into one box, when mental disorders are like people. It’s never the same, even if they have the same name.
So, here you go! Hope this was helpful in some way or another! I’ve been kind of into researching this type of stuff lately, so I guess that I could make another post at some later point about other mental disorders, the fact that I dislike that term, and other various things in this subject. I don’t know. What do you want?
The bridge, by the way, has been slow. Traffic from the new construction I suppose. Maybe that’s why we’ve been not updating. 😛 Colin, you’re perfect, you know that?!
Terri (mom) and Colin
Pronouns have taken on greater importance since your coming out, right? And I know that we have discussed it ad nauseum. It isn’t as easy as most people would think, though, is it? There are the traditional gender pronouns, he/she, him/her. Now there are new gender pronouns, ze, zim, zer. These are all concepts that I understand. It took me a while to accept that they/them could be a chosen pronoun for a single person. Really seems like multiple personality disorder when a person refers to zimself (Themself!) as a they or them. But, you have persuaded me. I still won’t use it in an academic setting. 🙂
However, what we discuss back and forth and round and round is other chosen pronouns. You have told me that whatever someone identifies with, they can use as a pronoun. If they identify as a tree, they can use tree as their pronoun. Now, darn it! This is just confusing. Will you please tell me why that is okay? Why isn’t it confusing? Isn’t it confusing to you? Do you know someone with such a gender expression? If anything can be a pronoun, how can we navigate language?
I don’t actually see it as that difficult. Maybe that’s just the way my mind is wired. Maybe not. I’d probably say yes to the way my mind is wired. At my school, when PGP’s are explained to new students you see a few reactions typically. There are the few that know what you’re talking about, and either help explain or roll there eyes and wait for you to be done because they already get it and can we move on now? There are those who just light up and sometimes ask, “Wait, so I can use anything as my gender pronoun? Wow – that’s so cool!” It just makes sense, no questions asked. There are also those who after ten minutes of explanation still give you the what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about look and say, “Wait, so why is my PGP he and him? I don’t get it.” Of course, there are other reactions, but those are some of the typical. It’s always just made sense to me. I don’t know why, it just does.
By the way. PGP stands for Prefered Gender Pronouns, and is the words you use to call yourself or have others call you that describes your Gender Identity. My Gender Identity is male. Typically male identified people have the PGP he, him, and his. I personally describe my Gender Identity (male) with the PGP he, him, and zy.
I have a friend whom’s Gender Identity is Tree. This individual uses different types of trees to describe their gender based on how they feel about treeness today.
An individual I have not met, but have heard about – they used to attend my school – has the Gender Identity Rainbow. This persons PGP is the colours of the Rainbow, and changes day to day.
What are your recommendations when using pronouns? What should people never, ever say?
Recommendations are just try to remember. If you are in a fight with somebody never purposely misgender them. That is asking to not ever have that friendship again. Mistakes are forgivable. Just try. I will say. Unless a person specifically tells you they identify as it, never, EVER, call somebody an it.
What is the hardest thing for you, regarding pronouns? I suspect it is the mistakes a few people constantly make, repeatedly. What is your greatest joy?
It’s really frustrating when the same person messes up constantly. If one specific person can never get you pronouns right, even if they apologize when they do, it’s so frustrating. It makes me personally feel a bit underappreciated and disprespected. It’s well appreciated and enjoyed when people just, get, pronouns.
How can we help you? And what can you do to help us?
Um… listen? And I guess if you’re listening, I’ll talk. 😀 I like talking. 😛
I know that this “tree” discussion causes some heated arguments because I have a hard time accepting a person using tree as a pronoun. It makes me think they are a bit loopy. I’m sorry. I can’t help my reaction, but I’ll try and listen and hold your point of view.
All’s well that end’s well.
The weather on the bridge today was stormy and blah. And our conversation was too.
That’s because broska was in the car. 😀 Good day sir!
Colin, Terri (mom)
Alright. So. Ritual. What is ritual? When you hear that word what does it make you think of?
For me, it has many meanings, definitions, and memories – good and bad – behind it. One of the better:
For as long as I can remember, whenever I left for anywhere, a friend’s house, school, camp, anywhere, my mom and I would do say, peace, love, joy. Hand motions and all. (Hey mom? Can we put in a picture here?)
Why yes, we can!
Joy is not as simple as peace & love because it is a motion. You can find a video of the motion here.
It’s a goodbye ritual, wishing you a good day, or week, or time away from home.
Ritual for me specifically, apart from my family, also goes alone with my life. I’m Wiccan, and I do rituals for esbats and sabats. Also done if I have a friend in need – never cast a spell on somebody without their permission, by the way – or for a various amount of reasons. Ritual in Wicca, is a spiritual thing, and when done with another person – I have two people I do rituals with occasionally – shows great trust and/or care for them.
Mom? Any rituals specific for you not involving me/the family?
Well, Christianity is full of rituals! Communion, baptism, even just the events of an every day Sunday. The ritual of coming together and praying. My favorite ritual? The passing of the peace and the genuine loving kindness of the hugs.
Communities always have ritual. It helps them define themselves. If we didn’t have ritual, we’d probably be inventing every day newly. There is some merit in approaching each day in a new way, but how many different ways can you wake up? The best ritual is my first cup of coffee in the morning! The loving kindness of your dad bringing me that first cup for several reasons. He is doing it out of love, I love the smell of coffee and the feel of a warm cup in my hands, and I need to take my medicine ASAP! So it is reaching emotional, spiritual, and physical health!
But not all experiences of ritual is good. Do you want to share a problematic experience?
So I used to be a part of an organization called the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. If it’s not obvious by that name, I was not out as trans yet. So, I’m not exactly feminine. I don’t like dresses or skirts, or skinny jeans, or bows, or bluh, stereotypical female clothing. In Rainbow Girls (the abbreviation, because, g’d, who wants to say International Order of the Rainbow for Girls every time) when we did rituals from our book titled “Ritual” we had to wear floor length white dresses. Hm. So. We’re memorizing page long texts – if not longer – in old English, in several hour long rituals, while I’m in a dress. There’s also people that I wasn’t entirely fond of, or weren’t fond of me, the hierarchy of Rainbow Girls, the late hours, and weird rules that have never made sense to me. Suffice to say, Rainbow Girls was not a good experience of ritual for me. I will also say, there are most definitely people who loved Rainbows Girls and it was an amazing experience for them. For me, not so much.
I think our greatest ritual right now is crossing the bridge together. Don’t you?
Your face is a good ritual. 😛 Yah, yah, fine, whatever. It’s a good ritual. I guess, technically this thing a thing is a good ritual too.
The weather on the bridge today was cloudy. And some of our memories were too.
POKE YOUR FACE!!!!!! 😀
Well, this is our first post. Let us be introduced.
I’m Terri and I’m the 40-something mom of Colin. I’m a chaplain in a detention center and an Associate Pastor in Seattle. I am also a Spiritual Companion for those who need it.
Welp. Here I am, in the flesh. Or more accurately, in the font as it ‘t’wer. My name is Colin d. (if you couldn’t figure that out from my mother two sentences previous), I’m sixteen, in my Junior year of highschool, and basically all types of queer. I want to go into acting in my future.
We drive together often from our home to high school in Seattle. We drive across the 520 bridge. And our conversations bridge culture, age, and gender. The drive gives us a lot of time to chat. The wheels of the car turning seems to get our brains and mouths going also! Since Colin declared his TG-ness last year, it has been a year of discovery and conversations. Each day new things come up, it seems.
TG-ness? Really? TG-ness? I mean, I’m not offended at all, just AMUSED. I have honestly never hear anybody refer to it as that. But okay, if somebody doesn’t get it, I’m transgender, and identify as male.
Recently, I ordered binders for Colin via ebay. I wasn’t sure what we’d end up with, but was interested in the financial savings! When we got the binders, they came with two little rubber rainbow bracelets with the phrase “I’m Lesbian” on them. That is what this conversation was about.
I’m (Terri) going to give you a synopsis of the conversation and Colin will add his comments.
In the morning on the way to school…
Colin said something like, “I can’t believe they just sent ‘I’m Lesbian’ bracelets.”
Frankly, I was on the same page. First, it never occurred to me that Lesbians would wear binders. That is what I had to wrap my head around. Colin then informed me that yes, lesbians where binders. That many more “butch” women wore them to diminish their feminine curves.
Huh. I never considered that. I just assumed that women were the way they were. Although why I would assume that in the age where so many people alter their bodies by adding boob-age is beyond me. If folks want to add boob-age, then there must be folks who want to diminish boob-age.
Colin then told me what he was going to do with the bracelets. He was taking them to school to his gender seminar class and would see if anybody wanted them.
In the afternoon on the way home…
Colin told me what happened. He offered them to the class and told them the story. He then got 15 hugs of affirmation and apology on behalf of the stupid manufacturer that assumed he was a lesbian. Of course, Colin really wasn’t that bothered with it, I think.
I guess I was yes, offended and bothered by it, but it’s not something that I’m hurt by. The fact is, it is actually an assumption that people make, and assumptions are a big chunk of what are world revolves on so, oh well. No harm, no foul. I will also say though. By g’d! Stop the freaking stereotypes!
Who took the bracelets? One teen girl whose boyfriend often passes as a girl. She would wear the “I’m Lesbian” bracelet when they were on dates. Ha ha ha!! And the other one went to a girl who self-defines as queer and nothing beyond that.
So, the bracelets were distributed. We learned a couple new things about binders and who wore them and what assumptions manufacturers make. And we got a great laugh. And it was sunny crossing the bridge.
All in all, a great day crossing the bridge.
And I would say, I agree. 😀