“Hi, my name is Gabriel and I use they/them pronouns.”
Sounds like an easy way to introduce yourself and your pronouns, doesn’t it? I thought it would be. That is, until I got a seasonal retail job.
Once I got that call to schedule an interview, I got excited. Excited at the prospect of finally having some sort of income coming in since I was let go from my previous one several months ago. The interview happened in two parts but, despite my low self-esteem, I managed to pass with flying colors and landed the job.
I was skipping my way home and tell my friends all about it, when my orientation would be and what my schedule would be like. It wasn’t until my friend asked me if I told them my pronouns during my interview that it hit me.They/them pronouns are hardly used among my own friends who are a part of the LGBTQ+ acronym, let alone coworkers. Despite the company’s strong support for LGBTQ+ folks, why was I afraid to let my coworkers and supervisors know? Continue reading “The Trouble With Pronouns”
Top surgery — that milestone that most, if not all, transmasculine folks look forward to and try to save money for. Looking through countless top surgery pictures and stories on Facebook or on other social media platforms, we can’t help but get impatient with our own transition and wonder when it’ll be our turn to feel at home in our bodies like those happy folks.
Top surgery, however, like with any surgery, is not something that you can schedule in a few weeks. If you want things to go smoothly the first time, there are some things you should be aware of and keep in mind that will make planning for top surgery more manageable.
Continue reading “Getting Started With Top Surgery”
When you search the word transgender on Google, you’ve probably have run into many success stories or videos of children or teens that have been safely transitioning thanks to to the support of family and/or friends.With new state policy changes, online resources and medical institutions offering trans-inclusive/trans-sensitive services increasing each year, transgender people are starting to discover themselves earlier than ever before and are able to live more fulfilling lives.
While transition is unique for each transgender person, the most common themes tend to appear in transgender stories:
- They have known they were transgender (or least felt something was wrong) since they were kids.
- They were extremely masculine/feminine presenting before coming out.
- Invasive details or plans about their surgeries and other changes (if any).
- Highlighting their birth name, as if it’s extremely important for the reader to know.
- Title explaining how the transgender person used to be female or male.
Continue reading “Debunking the Popular Trans Narrative”
There’s no denying it — being transgender is tough. Reaching a point in life where my transition didn’t pollute every inch of my thoughts was my ultimate goal.
Or so I thought.
When I first started questioning and looking for guidance, I participated in a few transgender Facebook groups. The people were inherently nice and I got my questions and concerns answered but I noticed that transition was treated as some sort of race to get hormones, change your name, get surgery and just move on with life. Now that I’m farther longer in my transition (but not necessarily post-transition), the most common questions I’ve seen were either “When would it be a good time to change your legal name?” or “When did you get <insert surgery>?” While these can be done whenever, I noticed many people rushed to get it all done and went either stealth or went on to help others early on in their journey. Being close to 2 years on testosterone, most transgender people I meet would, while asking me about my transition, automatically assume that I was post-op only for me to tell them otherwise. For a while, I also originally thought that rushing to get it all over with and then go stealth was the right way to go — until I realized it wasn’t.
Continue reading “The Race for Post-Transition”
Let’s face it — transition isn’t as accessible as it seems. Despite every transgender person having different needs, transition can get very expensive and not all transgender people are fortunate enough to afford the cost. To make matters worse, not every insurance company (or plan, even) covers trans-related care and it can leave a transgender person to fend for themselves and pay out-of-pocket. Depending on where you live, hormones, bloodwork and fees for changing your legal name and documents can easily rack up and put someone in debt.
And even when you get to the point of being on hormones and you finally changed your name and gender marker on your documents, there’s still the question of having surgery (if you feel you need it). According to the FTM Surgery Network, top surgery costs are generally in the range of $3,500 – $9,000 with most recent price quotes being on the higher end. While some can afford these surgery costs on top of hotel, travel and additional fees (if traveling elsewhere) right off the bat, most of us have to pinch pennies and raise money after choosing your surgeon and having the consultation.
With surgery costs easily in the thousands and having bills to pay, what’s a transman to do?
Fortunately, with the Internet, it has become easier than ever to reach out to others for help in raising money for surgery. There are multiple ways to help raise money on the Internet and even in real life. While I’m pre-op at time of writing this, I’ve got a few ideas and methods to help fuel the fundraising that I want to share that can help.
Continue reading “How to Make a Top Surgery GoFundMe Successful”
Disclaimer: My experiences and narrative are mine and mine alone. Every transgender person is different and this should not be taken as a universal truth. I don’t shame anyone for being part of the gender binary or being outside of it. Respect, love and understanding is key.
When reading online about gender dysphoria or hearing about what is dysphoric to other transgender folks like myself, I start to question whether or not I’m really transgender. Not so much because I haven’t had dysphoria (I know I have) but that it didn’t manifest itself in ways that most transgender people commonly described and it’s a shame that there are transgender people out there broadcasting their close-minded beliefs that you need to have a certain type of dysphoria to be transgender or else you aren’t.
My physical form was, ultimately, not the biggest obstacle for my transition as most described.
Continue reading “Different Type of Dysphoria?”
When researching about transgender folks back when I was questioning my gender identity, I found myself unable to relate to many transmasculine YouTubers that documented their transition as they were predominantly white and most of their troubles were generally just coming out to families and gaining acceptance as a man. While those are common issues we have to deal with, transpeople of color like myself additionally deal with cultural barriers within their own families and systematic racism.
No amount of YouTube videos could have prepared me for my own transition as a Latino immigrant. What’s worse is when transpeople, who have white privilege, feel the need to talk over (more like erase) experiences of transpeople of color because it personally hasn’t happened to them.
Continue reading “What White Trans People Need To Understand”
Going through transition, whether social, physical or emotional, is exhausting enough. It can be emotionally draining having to jump through hoops for a healthcare system that seems to act as a gatekeeper when trying to get hormones, surgeries, etc. or navigating different institutions (work, school, etc.) in order to be seen as you really are. Depending on where you live, trying to navigate the world as a transgender person can put your safety at risk.
That’s why, for most of us, it is definitely important to have a support system of people to help you get through these potentially hard times that you are or will be having. However, the question remains: who is willing to be supportive?
Here are a list of red flags that may mean that you need to drop some people in your life (from personal experience):
Continue reading “Signs That You Need Better People In Your Life”
Oh Caitlyn Jenner. If you’ve been up to date on transgender current events, you’ve probably heard of her. Or at least the name will sound familiar.
For those that don’t know who this person is, Caitlyn Jenner is a newly out and proud transwoman celebrity associated with the Kardashian family who appears on Keeping Up with the Kardashians alongside her ex-wife Kris Jenner. She is also a retired Olympic athlete who won the 1976 Olympics decathlon who recently starred in an eight-part documentary series I Am Cait. As a result of her fame, she is unexpectedly thrown into the limelight as a transgender advocate which so far has been…disappointing at best.
Continue reading “Caitlyn Jenner Has a Lot to Learn”
Disclaimer: I have no problem with the men who were featured in the BuzzFeed article in question. Let’s not get it twisted, okay? Also, these opinions are my own, not the transgender community as a whole.
Representation in the media is very important for transgender folks like myself. Media can show the world that we are just like them — human beings. Granted, each person is unique in their own way but we are still essentially human beings that deserve the same rights and privileges as any cisgender person. And that is the message transmen, who are out and proud, want to send to the world and do whatever it takes to make it known. We should strive to, however, not just use ANY outlet for exposure and settle for scraps. Continue reading “I Am More Than My Body”