Hi Jo-I-Dunno!

Sat, Dec 28 2013 04:56pm CST 1
Taegan
Taegan
4 Posts
I didn't think to check back on my comment on genderfork, and just thought of looking back at your post again today. Sorry I missed your reply. I actually mostly meant being on hormones for a while and often being read as a boy, and how it's not ideal but it's also kind of cool to be in the middle. I'm honestly not sure how I identify in terms of butchness, I grew up on the prairies in western Canada and never felt comfortable thinking of myself as a really feminine person, especially when the women around me as a kid were often physically strong and tended to dress like men (and there was a lot of misogyny around about femininity in anyone, not just boys). A word I'd identify with more is tomboy, but I do like to wear light make-up sometimes, and feel like swishy dresses are fun. I also like ties though, and I prefer to wear jeans, and t-shirts, and comfortable shoes. I like a lot of women's clothing, but it's frustrating having to wear more feminine stuff in order to be read anywhere near female (even in safe spaces where pretty much everyone knows I'm trans!). I don't feel safe presenting as a woman (of any kind) in public though, as I still have a fairly masculine face and tend to get read as a twenty-something gay dude when I hide my chest, and lord knows what when I don't (I've gotten laughs, sneers, confused looks). So I'm more in a closeted space, unfortunately, but I could still relate to what you said and your identity as you described it, and it was cool to see someone in a similar space and totally rocking it!
Sun, Dec 29 2013 07:44pm CST 2
Jo-I-Dunno
Jo-I-Dunno
66 Posts
Ah, okay! Even if you don't identiy as "butch" you're still totally welcome here. As I've mentioned a couple times in other places: labels are funny. They're great if they make you feel like you're part of a team, which is why I'm trying to create a community around a non-umbrella label, but they have the unfortunate side-effect of excluding some people unnecessarily. Really I'm just looking for people I can relate to, and it sounds like you're up there on similarities.

Thanks again for joining the site!
Mon, Dec 30 2013 12:04pm CST 3
Taegan
Taegan
4 Posts
For sure, thanks for inviting me! I definitely considered butch as an identity before, I'm still figuring things out though. I'm having difficulty navigating what society expects of me, what my therapist thinks I should be, and then what my identity actually is, like trying to serve three masters and failing all of them. But I have to agree with what you said about the ilikebois tumblr page - that's exactly how I want to express myself, but it's hard to explain that to medical people without them labelling you not trans enough (at least some of the people I see), and really hard to get people to see me as being a woman if I wear a lot of men's clothing still. So yeah, I'm in a sort of 'rock the binary' space, yet still identity as being a woman, and it's really hard to communicate that to people! Butch might be a useful word, still thinking on it though.
Mon, Dec 30 2013 09:29pm CST 4
Jo-I-Dunno
Jo-I-Dunno
66 Posts
Yeah, feeling like you need to prove yourself sucks. My first therapist made me feel like that. Luckily, all my other doctor's have been very supportive. But I've had the opportunity to choose all my doctors. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't get as much choice in Canada, do you?

As for what society expects... I've never held myself to societal standards. Their too low. 19-year-olds can't get a job as a software developer and go to college at the same time! But I did. And I graduated summa cum laude to boot. I'm a proud show-off and I like to think my achievements overshadow any prejudices that might come my way.

As for my internal identity: I stopped asking that question long ago. I like to tell people truth and reality are two different things. Truth is something far away we can never fully understand. It might not even exist. Reality, on the other hand, is where we live. I don't think about who I am on the inside; I think about who I am to the world right now and who I want to be tomorrow. Does that make sense? Not everyone likes to think that way.

I use the butch label because it's functional. It gives me a group of people I can point to and say "I'm one of those" so others can go, "oh, ok, I understand now".
Wed, Jan 1 2014 12:14pm CST 5
Taegan
Taegan
4 Posts
Yeah, in Canada there are not very many gender therapists who can give referrals to different treatments - up until this fall there was only one person working part -time in our province, which has about 1.1 million people in it. Now there's two, but the other person is about 150 miles away in another city. It's even worse in Alberta, can be a two or three year waiting list to see someone. In terms of bottom surgery, there's one clinic in the entire country, and coverage (and criteria/hoops to jump through) for that varies widely between provinces. There's no private medical insurance (except for dental and eyes), so that's not an option. Don't get me wrong, I love medicare, but when there's a gap in coverage there's really no one to fill it until someone with power gives the go ahead. Which both our federal and provincial governments have recently indicated will not be the case for trans people any time soon.

My therapist has been a good fit for most people I know, she just talks about 'living in the female role' and 'femininity' in a way that's almost dogmatic and difficult to challenge or comment on productively. She's kind of a weird cross between old school and new school where she's accepting of non-binary identities and non-hetero sexualities, but doesn't seem to understand where I'm coming from when I talk about being female but hating the gender binary. It seems to be a logical contradiction for her that someone who is transsexual would hate the slotted identities for 'male' and 'female' and all the roles that come with them. So it seems to actually be a barrier to treatment with her if someone identifies as queer or is critical of gender as it's presently constructed. There's been a lot of miscommunication between her and I though, so her outlook may not be quite as I've described it. Sure feels that way though!

I get what you're saying about reality and truth, for sure, although I'm more on the side that truth cannot exist outside of it being perceived, and therefore doesn't actually exist as an absolute at all! So everything's just one gigantic mess, and yes, all we have is the present moment, who we feel we are right now, and who we imagine ourselves to be in the future. So I've given up trying to find a 'source' for my identity, I just live it as best I can, try to filter out the bs and the bollocks that I've been told, and how mean people (read: boring jerks!) see me. It's hard though, as I said earlier. I'm still looking around for a label that I can point to, but for the moment I usually say transgender, or I identify as a woman, or often just 'my pronouns are they and them' (which they are right now while I still feel in-between with everything).

That's cool you've got a good job and a degree! I'm still working on mine, I've had a lot of medical trouble over the last three years especially (did I mention I love medicare?). I only have three half-classes left, hoping to convocate next spring. And as for gainful employment, well, I'm currently writing you from my mom's basement, so nothing close to full-time quite yet. :) Happy New Year!
Mon, Jan 6 2014 05:00pm CST 6
Jo-I-Dunno
Jo-I-Dunno
66 Posts
Yeah, miscommunication with therapists is funny. I remember I used to spend all week figuring out what I was going to say, then after the session, realize I didn't say any of it and I regret everything I said instead. I think therapists try to keep you on-edge so your responses are more "real", but my knee-jerk response in any conversation I'm not enjoying is to just say the thing that'll make the other person shut up. I wish I could've gotten more out of therapy when someone else was paying for it. Smile

When I mentioned my job, I was trying to say it's important to hold yourself to your own standards, not society's. It doesn't really matter if they're above or below or entiely different from society's. I gave a case where I hold myself to a higher standard, but I'm also a loner who prides myself in spending all my free time on video games and movies, something most people frown or hold themselves back from doing. We all want different things out of life; it's only natural to not match up with the norm.

I miss my Mom's basement. Frown My dad turned it into his own home office. If it weren't for that, I might still be living with my parents.

Happy New Year to you too!

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