I am misgendered every single day. I am misgendered when someone calls me she/woman/girl/female. I am misgendered when I’m called him/guy/boy/man/male. I struggle myself, after years of hiding this enormous aspect of my reality. But with each passing day I’m learning more and more about who I am, and with each new understanding comes growing pains…and the pain inflicted on me by those who love me the most. Continue reading Learning From Being Misgendered
We currently live in culture trying so desperately to figure out how to be human and humane that there is a disturbing backward trend that results in people clinging so desperately to ignorance and fear that there is an acceptance of inhumane treatment and actions, to the point it is celebrated and stoutly, and violently, justified to act in such a manner. Somehow, somewhere in this painful growth spurt in humanity, any thought, existence, idea that makes an individual uncomfortable is automatically wrong and that person is justified to act in any manner they see fit to address it and that action should be automatically accepted because said person is just acting authentically, and well we should accept all people for who they are…
I call bullshit.
Continue reading Raising Faith
It is not a secret that I take immense pleasure when I am addressed/referred to as anything but female; it’s almost juvenile. I love being called sir, dude, etc because woman/female doesn’t fit. Although being male doesn’t fit either, having spent 30 years being labeled in the wrong term, any reference outside of said label is liberating. It’s exciting. It’s the opposite of everything I’ve been told I am. It’s outside of the identity I was told to have.
Still…as I begrudgingly admit, being referenced as male is incorrect, despite my somewhat childish glee from it.
Continue reading You’re a Pretty Man
Perspective is a fickle, interesting creature. It was just a few days ago when this line got thrown across my lap while sitting around a fine at a friend’s house. There I was, firmly comfortable in my squishy chair, playing with my backwards cap as I happily listened to the laughter of this rag-tag group of kids that I’ve grown fiercely protective of. I was, for the first time, comfortably clothed the way I wanted to be, and had spoken to a few more people about my gender identity. Not a huge coming out by any means, but a quick glance at me didn’t scream female and that made me happy. Comfy red, oversized flannel partially buttoned over a black tank top, dark blue jeans, black sneakers and a well-fitting Valken ball cap. I was feeling good all around, and dressed in a manner that you really couldn’t tell what my sex was. I was happy.
I’m not entirely sure how the conversation shifted to gender, or if someone was making a comment and my cousin was just responding, but in his easy-going manner that makes it difficult to both hate and love him at times, he responded to the person talking and waved his hand at me while saying “you don’t count you’re just confused.” Continue reading You Are Just Confused
Faith is not my legal name; although it will be when I can finally afford to. I never liked my name, and long before I started on my gender identity journey, I was on an overall who am I journey. During that time I was writing about my past, the traumas that I faced, and was told to choose a name to protect my identity. I was taking a class that focused on writing about love and loss, and my professor was going to include my essays in his textbook. I spoke about self-harm, child abuse, suicide attempts, and overall depression. To keep all of his students safe, my professor asked for pseudonyms. Faith was born then. Faith, an ideology that was broken within me. Faith, a concept that I was trying to regain in my life. Faith, one of my favorite characters on TV in a show the resonated around the world. The name became my own.
Broken, drowning, lost and feeling so disconnected from the world around me, Faith rose up within me as I navigated my world through essays, reflections and prose. Taryn Davies came later, through gentle musings and a need to feel complete. My given name is still used, out of legality, out of disrespect and out of confusion. But that girl is gone. She is gone with the gender roles and deep secrets that always held her back.
One of the issues that I’ve found in the LGBTQ+ community is the consistent use of umbrella terms. I understand why the practice exists, and continues. Writing out the entirety of the community could take years as a new term is added under the glorious rainbow umbrella each day. With the variations that take place even within basic terms, like “lesbian,” I understand the struggle the community faces in finding a home for all those searching for love, understanding and identity.
Then there are those outside the community trying to understand the melting pot our community has become. Many are trying to be allies, and trying to understand so that they make their loved ones feel loved and accepted. It’s hard. Years of conditioning (gender binaries, heteronormativity etc) are working against their attempts in understanding, and for them, understanding is important. It gives them a connection to us. It is something more than just “accepting” us for who we are. Continue reading I’m Not Transgender, I Have Gender Dysphoria.
I should start this post by stating that I am no expert in this field. I am still navigating my own gender identity, and each day can be a struggle. However, it doesn’t mean I won’t share what I feel and what I find in my own search for understand who I am as a person.
The first time I truly was educated on the concept of gender I was in college. Stereotypically so, I was in a women’s studies course, and naturally we were talking about sex, sexuality and gender. If I’m not mistaken I think the class was titled that, but it has been so many years. I digress, there was I was, a young adult, sitting in an uncomfortable desk having my concepts of gender completely torn asunder.
Yesterday I attended a mental health support group called Rational Thinking. The purpose of the group is to address issues with irrational thinking, and provide skills that will assist with reframing negative thought processes into positive ones. I pride myself in being able to identify my irrational thoughts and I work hard not to let them overrun my mind. For many that is no easy task so, again, I take pride in my skills.
The wonderful person leading the group had decided to try to address irrational thinking in a new creative way. She asked us to take an index card, write down an irrational thought, and place it in (anonymously) in a box. She would read them aloud once everyone was finished. I took two index cards. I understand the power of putting words to paper, so the chance of placing negative thoughts on paper and then giving them away wasn’t something I was going to pass up. I put my first irrational thought down, and then turned to the second card. What to write? I had been grappling, for weeks, with relationship insecurities, so I decided to write about that. However, I never expected the words that appeared in front of me to be what they were. Continue reading Irrational Thoughts