Monthly Archives: March 2016

Is it ok to have friends from before you transitioned?

For those who have transitioned I think this is a question we all asked at one point or another. As one grows in to who they are born to be you learn more about those who have been there not only from the beginning, but possibly further back beyond that.

I remember when i started to live full time. Most of the people around me were new to my life and only really knew me as me. There were a few who had been around before. Coming out can harbor feelings on all sides of life. I remember one friend saying he missed the old me. I didn’t really understand this remark. I was still me. Same likes and same attitude. He just saw something I didn’t.

Probably the most eye opening came with my best friend during my coming out. She was a dear friend of mine and helped me overcome a lot of my fears. She was completely supportive. We would go to gay bars together and dance our nights away and have a great time. Something changes though over the few years since my coming out I did not expect.

I decided to go back to school so I enrolled in the local college. This was a pretty big step for me considering it was not only the first place no one would know my old self but it was the first real time I stepped out without my best friend.

The experience was so awakening. I made sure to protect my secret and be who i was at all times. It was probably the happiest I had been in years. I made many friends at school. We would hang out between classes or during assignments we had in common. No one questioned me. Everyone just saw me for who I was. At least it was this way at school.

My best friend on the other hand had become more estranged to me. I was happy to see her and go out like we used to but it had changed. I could see the difference in how she treated me while knowing everything as opposed to those at school who knew me as me. I could tell my best friend still held back with things and had even become condescending with me.

The longer I allowed myself to grow at school the more I realized how bad things were with my best friend. I could go in to various other reasons that things became bad but they aren’t part of this point. The realization she treated me like she did was very disappointing.

Due to many reasons along with this one we parted ways as friends. Something i have seen happen with a lot of those I knew before I transitioned. The ones I have left are probably the oldest of friends I have. One goes back to high school. One was even a girl who had a crush on me in first grade. Which also leads to another funny note.

I am friends with three of my exes from before I transitioned. Every one of them had the same thing to say when I came out to them. They all said I love you but I’m not in to that. Did they think it was supposed to be a way to endear myself to them? lol. I have no clue but it was pretty funny they felt they had to say it.

My answer to is it okay? Yes, I think it is just fine. You will get used to the two different ways people will treat you. There will always be a huge difference between those who knew you before and those who don’t. Much like with those who have to decide if they can take who we are. We will have to decide if how they treat us is good for us. I know this sounds like a bad Disney saying but if they are true then they will be there forever.

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What makes terms like lifestyle good or bad?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a lifestyle as such.

:the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

In its purest of forms this make people calling how LGBT people live a lifestyle correct. BUT, one thing they are forgetting is that we do not refer to the heterosexual way of life as a lifestyle. We do not refer to it as a choice. It is just what they do. This is why the word has garnered such a bad reputation among the LGBT population.

There are plenty of words that have been used to describe LGBT people. Most of which are no longer acceptable to say despite their more traditional meanings. Calling some one gay in a derogatory manner is frowned upon. Yet no one remembers what its original meaning is. The same is said for the word queer. The word simply meant happy. It still does. No one complained about the film Nightmare Before Christmas when Jack Skelington sang the words ‘how queer”.

The song described Jacks new experiences in Christmas town. Its use of the word queer came from the more traditional definition so the audience had very little to complain about. Now had he said it about another character in the film I am sure it would have taken on a completely different meaning.

On the opposite end of this is the Green Day song American Idiot where the song used the line “maybe I’m the faggot america”. This caused an uproar and forced the song to be censored without even knowing the meaning of the lyrics. The following line in the song is “I’m not a part of the redneck agenda”. A very provocative statement. Especially in this era where the conservative movement has pushed harder to deny LGBT rights.The use of the word was all anyone heard. It was enough for an uproar. At least for those who are incapable of looking at the bigger picture.

The worse use I can remember over the last decade has been in some of my favorite films. I love watching Kevin Smith films. From Clerks all the way to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. These are great classic comedies that talked a lot about the culture at the time and often poked fun at it. Jay and Silent Bob Strike back had one joke though that pointed out a very dark look at his films for me. In it a female bad guy does something that is considered weird or abnormal. Her friend turns to her and simply says “you are so gay”.

As funny as his films are they quite often have very derogatory views on the LGBT community. I do excuse Chasing Amy from this because of the many LGBT issues and messages it gets across, but this only furthers my confusion when I think about it. The earlier films were a voice of their time. The early 90s were full of this kind of talk. By the turn of the decade though things were not so crude. So it made the comment in Jay and Silent Bob very uncomfortable.

Another great point of how those who aren’t labeled by the terms is when actor John Barrowman defended his use of the term tranny. In his opinion the trangendered people of the world should quit whining and be okay with the term. Yet I can only imagine how angry he would feel if he was casually referred to as a faggot and told to accept it because that is what he is to some people. He of anyone should have known better. The power of labels can be hurtful.

So why do I bring all this up you ask? As much as I would like to say I have a simple point I do not.The use of the word lifestyle in our current culture carries one meaning when regarding the LGBT community. It is a way for those who don’t understand LGBT people to understand what they consider to be a choice. This is the only answer I can think of that makes sense and this answer makes the term very unhealthy.

This version of the word has been around for a while. It was further re enforced to me over the weekend when a family member was talking about how she knows gay people and a gay friend was offended when she referred his lifestyle. She felt he was being to sensitive. I even told her as an example what if he was to refer to your religious views as a lifestyle. Yet she pointed out how its not a lifestyle and kept on saying how people are too sensitive.

Like I said earlier. No one refers to heterosexuality as a choice. We don’t refer to being human as a choice. We don’t even refer to ones religion as a lifestyle choice even though people chose which religion they believe in. So why should we hear about our “lifestyle” when it is naturally who we are?

What I personally hear when I hear my life being referred to as a lifestyle is that I have chosen a fetish that I live unhealthily. When I came out my sisters response was “that’s fine just keep it in the bedroom”. Like it was some sort of turn on. This opens up to a much bigger conversation for a later time. For now I want to stick to the issue at hand.

If you feel I missed the mark or see things differently please feel free to comment. I would love to talk about this.

A voice in North Carolina

With one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in North Carolina many people have spoken out against its homophobic ramifications. Sure IBM and a few other companies have spoken out against the new law, but it is a trans man that makes me smile the most. He is doing something I think shines a perfect light on the situation that the officials in North Carolina don’t understand.

I wont show his face but i will mention that he has my support and my hopes are with him. With the new law in place, it is now unlawful to use the restroom that doesn’t correspond to your birth certificate. Charlie has posted online that he will adhere to the law as he doesn’t with to violate it. What this does mean is since he was born a woman he is now going to be using the women’s restroom.

What you cant see here is the fact Charlie has undergone hormone treatment for some time. Any idea that he passed as a woman is long gone. Even if he could I am pretty sure the tailored beard would not help anything. So thanks to a new law that was designed to “keep predators out of the bathrooms and make these areas secure” now enforces those who pass as their real gender use the restroom that doesn’t match them.

Charlie will be in the restroom just like any of us. Little girls will see him in there and be lost as to why he is there. what is amazing is what charlie has decided to do in case he is confronted by a woman. He has printed out a card that explains the situation and informs the person with the problem that if they have a problem with it to combat such a hateful law. He has even said he will not give argument to those who confront him. Just a simple handing of the card and off he will go.

This move is not only brilliant, but completely brave and in the face of those who didn’t understand what they were actually doing. If they wanted to protect from sexual predators then they could have found more appropriate ways of doing so. As it stands all they do is bully a group of people who have done nothing but try to live.

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I love what Charlie is doing so much I have begun wondering what I would do if the same type of law would attempt to be passed where I am. I was told before by my therapist that I am a great speaker and would greatly help. That however is not me. I can speak just fine but what does this do for my stealth ability? Is that something worth giving up?

My answer is actually a resounding yes. What better way to prove a point that by pointing out the fact no one has had issues with me and the only reason I would be out is to show that I was thrown in to a rule that shouldn’t even apply to me. I smile as I think of what Charlie is doing. Part of me cant help but smile when i remember when I first started passing. I didn’t realize it at first but it had become apparent pretty fast.

I was in the men’s bathroom at work washing up after a long 8 hours. As I washed my hands a customer opened the door to come in. I could see him stop in the mirror as he saw me. He leaned back and looked at the symbol on the door. He was clearly shocked by my being there. He even waited for me to leave before coming in.

It was actually that day I had to rethink the bathroom situation. So the question stands could I go back in to the men’s restroom. If this is what it came down to where I am then I would say yes. And I would document the whole thing. I even have more ideas. Hopefully I wont need them, but if I do then I can guarantee they will happen. Way to go Charlie. You are an inspiration to me and probably thousands of trans people across the country. It should be interesting to see what happens.

Traveling when Trans

With this mornings upsetting news about North Carolina. I want to share my thoughts on the subject of traveling while being transgender. I have traveled quite a bit as I have both transitioned and lived my life as the woman I always was. I don’t think this is a topic many people think about when stuff like Indiana and North Carolina happen. Before i start I want to include Georgia in the list of states that are making headlines for creating such oppressive laws.

I have traveled to many states over the last ten years. It is something that can be exhilarating and quite scary at the same time. Traveling while trans however makes what can already be a unsure situation absolutely scary.

I would like to start with a trip I took about seven years ago to Arizona. I was travelling with a friend to meet up with a friend of hers who had moved there a few years prior. The traveling wasn’t much of an issue. We did our usual routine of listening to music and talking about who knows what. The last thing on my mind at the time was what people might have thought about me. That is how it should be.

To say the least Arizona was a nightmare publicly. I have yet to be in another state that made me feel as awkward as that one. People there have no problem giving stares at anyone they don’t feel is right. After we met up with her friend we decided to go out for the night and enjoy ourselves. We stopped and grabbed some food first. They were busy catching up so it allowed me to eat and just kind of hang out. I would join the conversation if I had something to say but otherwise I left them to it.

After dinner we went from bar to bar trying to find anything going on. This is where things fell apart completely for me. When a bar is involved the standard needing proof of identification comes in to play. The dread was felt every place we went as I saw the unpleasant faces of those who would look at me and read my I.D.. The last bar was the worst. The bouncers were police officers. One would think this would be a good thing. I am sure they do a good job of making sure nothing happens at the clubs. The look on the cop at the doors face when he saw me said it all. I was not welcome there. They made sure I knew it as well.

As my friend and her friend went in in front of me I waited for the cop to check out my I.D.. With a scowl now on his face he silently handed me my card and waved me in. Had that been the end of it I could have dealt with the insecurity of it. A quick glance behind me revealed he had waved a second cop over and was talking about me. Both of them had their eyes glued to me as they spoke. They didn’t hide it in the least.

Quickly I caught up with my friend hoping I would be left alone with people around me. They asked if I wanted a drink. I graciously refused knowing that would inevitably lead to needing to use the restroom. If those cops were still watching me there was no way they would let me go to the bathroom peacefully.

A moment of curiosity washed over me as I was trying to be sure things were as they seemed. I excused myself from the table and tried to find a place to stand where I could see the live band playing from. Everywhere i went i could see the blue shadow of a uniformed officer. His uniform was almost black against the dimly lit club. The stage lights made him stand out. Realizing there was a upstairs with a balcony to see the stage from I went up the steps.

To do so I had to pass the main door again. the cop at the door watched as I passed. I could see him nod to my follower as he rounded the steps to proceed upstairs as well. My heart was pounding at this point. My friend hadn’t noticed a thing the whole time. I don’t think she even saw me go upstairs. If something happened then to her I would have just disappeared.

The upstairs balcony was pretty empty. I remember I started to panic at the lack of patrons up stairs. If the cop wanted he could have easily made my night a nightmare then and there. I walked up to the balcony overlooking the stage. In the weird design of the club I laughed realizing the band was so far back their heads were cut off by the front of the ceiling.

Even though I couldn’t see them properly I stood there a few moments. I could feel the cops eyes on me the whole time. After a few minutes I looked around the upstairs area. There were three people sitting at a table on the far side. Beyond them it was just the cop and I.

Terror was getting the better of me. Worse yet it was making me have to go to the bathroom. All that pressure on my bladder was having a very negative effect. Deciding I couldn’t take it anymore I came up with a plan to leave upstairs. It was probably more than I needed to do but I wanted the cop to realize I was aware he was following me.

I turned around and walked straight to him. The moment I faced him he tried to focus else ware but I knew better. I walked up to him and smiled as much as my terrified body could. I asked him if there was a proper place from where I could see the show. His look said it all once again. The fact I was even talking to him disgusted him. Without saying a word he shook his head no.

I smiled even wider and said thanks. I excused myself back down stairs as fast as I could without looking like I was trying to run. I made it back to my friend who was still chatting with her friend. He was waiting for something to catch me on. if i was lucky that was all he was doing. Even then I could imagine far worse things than a false arrest. I saw him come downstairs a few minutes after I did.

Needless to say I didn’t use the restroom till we got back to her friends house. By then the pain was unbearable. Every stabbing pain in my stomach reminded me of the fear that the night had given me. We couldn’t leave to go home fast enough. I never said a word though. I wasn’t about to ruin her trip because of this. I did tell her after we got back but that was it.

I share this memory as a look inside what it is like to travel as a trans person. To say the least I get nervous when the idea of traveling becomes an option. Thoughts of what the people are like, are they super judgmental? I do love to travel, but with the climate the way it is for LGBT people I cant see myself doing so that much. I am proud of the large companies who take stances against these barbaric laws. They have so far been the biggest road block for such bills.

All these fears happen every time I travel. I wish I had something more witty to end with but this cold hard truth is all I have. I may be brave and travel, but the truth is I am aware each state comes with its own set of rules and regulations for people like me. I can tell you this for sure. I have a list of states I will never set foot in again. At the top? Arizona.

Bathroom Use

I was going to wait till after the Easter break to bring up this particular issue, but it seems another state has used the same tired fear speeches to successfully create issues for their transgender people to not be allowed our basic human right.

North Carolina passed a bill in an emergency session that made it’s way to the governor just as quickly to be signed. He did so. The bill was the standard trans people must use the restroom of their gender marked on their birth certificate. In some tweets posted yesterday Governor Pat McCrory stated

“I signed bipartisan legislation to stop the breech of basic privacy and etiquette,ensure privacy in bathrooms and locker rooms.”

It was followed immediately by another tweet.

“Ordinance defied common sense, allowing men to use women’s bathroom/locker room for instance. That’s why I signed bipartisan bill to stop it.”

There are many scary things about this whole situation. The fact that the session was called quickly and under the radar of most of its people. The speed in which it made its way to the Governor to sign. Even what he kept calling the bill. He referred to it in both tweets as the bipartisan bill. Doesn’t that just scream we didn’t want you know know what we were doing? It is so vague.

House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act is what it is really called. It was designed to stop local governments from deciding if it is okay for transgender people to use the bathroom/ locker rooms of their true genders. In the end the state government took the rights of not only its people but the localized government and said this is how it will be.

I have seen more of these bills come and go over the last few years. They are on the rise and it doesn’t look like they will be slowing down any time soon. The same tired fears are used to scare people in to thinking they are in danger. After all you should never waste a good fear. The fear in question is that it will give sex offenders the ability to go in what is protected space to get after their targets.

I have said this every time one of these happens. This has nothing to do with transgender people. This is a straight issue involving very messed up people. Yet their only answer is to lump transgender people (this goes for both trans men and women) in to the category of sex offenders.

If you were to ask and trans person they would agree that such acts of violation are horrendous and have no place in a civilized culture. We are as susceptible to such crimes as any other person. As some one who has suffered from sexual assault and abuse I often scream the loudest when these events are reported. But to disgrace an entire community in the name of “protecting”other people is insane. We should be protecting everyone. So this bills logic is flawed. By the way. Where was my protection?

You want to fix the assault problem. That is fantastic. I stand behind trying to find ways to stop assaults whole heartedly. We need more harsh punishments for the committers. Punishing a group that has nothing to do with the problem is honestly just as vile as the offences they are trying to protect against. There are plenty of trans men and women out there who pass. We walk among the regular world all the time. You want some one who passes to be in the wrong rest room and feel the same fear that you are scared others will feel?

As I said earlier this bill is nothing new. The fact they pushed it through so fast and so head strong is. We have seen anti LGBT bills over the last few years cause major repercussions for their states. Indiana stands as a shining example that the modern world is tired of religious influence on bills. Religion does not dictate out country. We live in a country of religious freedom. Land of the free and the home of the brave. That is a wonderful thing and should be respected. But when we all have to go out in public and be civil. Neither side should be able to dictate to the other how to “properly” live.

I could go on and on with this subject. What it boils down to for me is two things. One. Strict punishments and repercussions for those who commit such deplorable acts. I personally am for the most severe punishments possible for those who violate the rights of other.

Two, own up to what you are really pushing. Bills designed to segregate and discriminate against groups of people you clearly know nothing about. I think I would be less angry if these people would just say I am anti LGBT and this is my concern. If some one wishes to dislike another then that is their prerogative. It should be known so others can judge you for who you are just as you secretly judge those you lie to.

Life has its funny moments

There are always many triggers in our lives that will remind us of the past. Key elements that stick out as either really good or really bad. I have my share of them just as any one else does. I don’t know if I just don’t pay attention anymore or if I am just slowing down. Either way I just found myself smiling at a little bit of the past.

My coming out was pretty much a disaster. While I don’t want to go over a lot of it in this post. I will say it was full of sadness, drinking and all around sense of loss. I had turned to the few friends I thought were close to me for support.

One of the things we found ourselves doing to pass our time and relax was playing video games. They didn’t have many and I had no access to mine at the time. I remember two games specifically that we would play often. It was either that or our aimless travels around the city.

The reason I even write this is because one of the games has come back in to my life. It was a cute and energetic game by the makers of Rock Band. I have had the game in my possession for the last 24 hours. I didn’t even realize what it was till I was cleaning it. I will be going in to more of my coming out experience at a later time. When I realized what it was I remembered many nights we would play it trying to beat each others high scores.

A lot about that particular point in time has been marred by negative events and feelings. That will happen with such events. But that is not what this is about. This is about a happy point in those times. Sure I had lost pretty much all of my normal life and was lucky to have a friend to offer a safe place to stay. We still played the games and had a great time doing so.

Not totally sure what I was getting across with this blog other than the expression of a happy memory. It is too easy to forget the good times and dwell on the bad. Especially in this era. I am glad to have another reminder in my life that even at life’s worst I still had happy moments.

Stealth Trans Dating

“Update” I am adding this update while laughing about it. I feel I should mention I am in no way a relationship expert (no such thing). I am not a professional in really any field. lol. This is all just my persons opinions and views.

This is a subject I used to wrestle with. What makes it worse is there are no clear answers and what is right and wrong can change depending on the scenario. What can be right with one person will be totally wrong with the next. That is to be expected no matter who you are.

The title of this post pretty much asks the main question right away. As a stealth transgender person how do you approach the subject with a potential partner. Their are no right answers. I have been both upfront with potential partners from the past as well as I withheld it till I was comfortable. Both ways have wielded positive and negative results.

I think the best answer I have to give for this question is get to know who you are talking to. We live in a wonderful era of the internet and talking to some one for a while before meeting them is quite common. I have met many people over the years over the internet and then in person. It is a great way to get to know some one and learn what red flags are there.

When I was younger I used to think things would just click when I met some one and I would fall in love and be happy. I thought the idea of putting restrictions and personal wants in the mix of finding a potential partner would restrict my search and possibly deny me the love I sought. From what I experienced I was completely backwards in thinking. By not having thoughts of what would make me happy in a relationship I opened myself up to let down and even emotional/physical abuse at the hands of those I thought I loved.

Is it wrong to keep this kind of secret from some one? That depends on the situation. If you are just talking with some one and everything is casual then what harm is there? However, if you are already flirtatious and things are starting to get heated then it may be time to discuss this. The longer you go with a potential partner without telling them then the more likely it will end in distrust and disaster. If you are both already talking and thinking of things in a more intimate nature then it’s safe to say you trust each other enough to wish to actually be physical. Don’t let something like this actually break that already built trust.

How many dates is okay before you tell them? This is another one up for debate. Naturally the sooner you tell some one the more relaxed you will feel. There is a stress lifted when your partner knows the everything about you. (This comes from my personal experience). My answer is almost the same as the last question. If you can tell things are going really well and a bond is forming then it might be time to tell them.

I know by now there will be some straight people who feel i am advocating for other trans to “lie” to potential partners. This is one of those interesting points you hear about from those who don’t trust the trans community. I understand their point. That being said, it is not a lie. Men don’t walk up to women and start a conversation with i have an eight inch dick uncircumcised. Women don’t meet a man and go here is my cup size and I have extremely large Labia. If they do then I would have to question their interest in a regular relationship anyways.

Trans people are not lying to you. They are not coercing you in to something you wouldn’t normally chose. You have every right to say that you are not interested when the time comes. If the time comes. This particular issue always reminds me of that old joke that straight people never want to think about dating the same sex but quite often will gloat that their same gender counterparts think they are attractive. A mentality I think I can gladly say I do not understand.

One key think I feel is important is don’t feel obligated to tell everyone you go out with right away. If you feel the issue is that detrimental to the situation then I would have to ask if that is a relationship that can flourish at all. If you have real reason to doubt the potential partner then it is a bad situation to begin with. Though we live in better times now. There are still lots of people who aren’t okay with trans people. This is the number one reason to be aware of the people you are interacting with.

There is also the possibility that you will meet the person and there will be no sparks. Sure your casual conversation is good but it’s more of a friend type situation. If they are better a better friend than a partner then there need to know your personal details is not there. Especially if you are stealth. Now if they become a close friend (I am still referring to a non sexual relationship) you might consider telling them. Depends on how comfortable and close you become. I have many friends I have never told.

I share these personal feelings on the subject because there are many times in recorded past that people who are trans have met with grim fates because of coming out to potential partners. While the grim side of it falls mostly to Trans Women who date Men, it be an issue for all other sides as well.

I am sure by reading this far you have already figured out what I am about to say but the key is to get to know who you are dealing with. I know as a trans person in this world, it can feel like meeting anyone who doesn’t see you as a fetish or a freak can seem daunting. At least that was a good portion of the people I met back when I was actually dating. Those kind of people are not worth your time.

Allow me a cliche of an ending here but it is 100% true. To all my trans brothers and sisters. Never feel bad about who you are. If some one else can’t deal with it then they are not worth your time. Find some one who makes you feel like the wonderful individuals you are. Be loved and be happy.

A Question from the Depths of the Non Educated

One memory that has popped up time and time again since starting this blog is from the early days when I wasn’t so passable. It was an instance as pivotal to me as the day i realized being transgender doesn’t mean I have to like men. It’s a memory that reminds me so few people really take the time to think about all the different types of people there are out there.

The memory starts as a few friends and I leave a department store. We had a lot of free time those days and often spent them traveling from one random location to the next. It was a fun way to just get out and live without taking a huge and expensive trip. None of us had any money so it was the bus or nothing. There was a new person with us that day. One of my dear friends friends. He was your average late teen emo looking kid with the personality to match.

We were walking from the department store to a adjoining video game store to see what kind of games they carried. During the walk there were many questions regarding why I was transgender and how I felt about different things. At the time this was quite commonplace. It was becoming pretty commonplace to hear a plethora of questions from curious parties. Though even at the time i wanted to be stealth. I knew it was better for me to be open since it was something I didn’t really have an option with.

The others stepped away for a moment trying to find another friend who was meeting us there. I stood there with my friends friend as he continued his questions. When he saw the others walk away he leaned in and whispered a question that stuck with me even to this day.

“Admit it. You are like this for the girl on girl action aren’t you.” He was smiling at the thought of my answer. I could see he was expecting me to join him in this odd male fantasy.

The question immediately made me mad. It was one of the worst and most judgmental questions I had ever been asked. It honestly took me by surprise. How does one answer such a pig headed remark? Worse yet was the idea I didn’t want to be rude. I welcomed the questions up till that point but this was to far.

In the end I let out a sigh and proceeded to explain so his horn dog of a mind could understand. Sex does not interest me. It never really has. For me it is all about the mental connection between two people.

I even went further explaining how I was not comfortable with my parts nor did I really like using them. His face said it all. I had to work to keep from laughing at his clear shock. I don’t think he had ever heard anyone say those kinds of things before.

“Then how do you? “he asked trying to wrap his mind around the answers.

I smiled and raised one hand in front of him letting my fingers dance in the wind. With that I saw the others coming back and moved on to the game store. It took them a while to catch up to me afterwards. No doubt they discussed what I said. I stood in the store looking at the games smiling. I had only told a few people that before and they were the closest friends I had at the time.

They joined me in the store and no one spoke of it. At least not till later when my good friend told me how I blew his mind. She already knew this so it was funny to her as well.

It is pretty funny. The assumptions people can make about one another. We presume so much about the people around us just by physical appearance. I honestly don’t think he knew anything about transgender people. His mind could only comprehend the male properties of it all.

This was the only time a question like this was asked of me. To be honest I am kind of glad he did. When he asked I tried to see his side of it. The physical nature of who we are was never that important to me. More so after that question. It allowed me to question myself and understand myself more.

Stealth in Games

While I know video games are not always a favorite subject for many people. They are a big part of my life. I have played them since the days of the Atari 2600. I currently play on the Playstation 4. For me, video games have surpassed the ability of our bloated film industry and still entertain with good characters and creative stories. As long as you stay away from the repetitive franchises.

When we wee younger it didn’t matter who you are. Anyone could pick up a controller and join a game. So when I tried to learn about the world of modern gaming and make friends I was shocked to see how things have changed. What was a fun and relaxing way to spend free time has become a segregated, elitist and circle driven genre.

What is even more bizarre is the belief that women don’t play video games. The numbers are probably five men to every one woman when counting the genders of those who game. It might even be higher, but to say women don’t game is completely invalid. So is it any surprise that LGBT video game players are even further down in the numbers. At least publicly.

I tried my hand at online gaming years ago when the start of the X-Box generation began. Halo 2 was a pretty solid online experience and often lots of fun. Though I played mostly with family and the ability to chat with other players wasn’t there at the time. It wasn’t till Left 4 Dead came out on the X Box 360 that I began to see the truth.Those who play online were often rude and judgmental. A lot of CIS women I knew were being told they sound like children and not women. They were treated as if they didn’t know how to game at all. Often subjected to the most inappropriate comments.

Knowing this was how people online were treating others made me really scared to even try it. My first attempt at  Left 4 Dead on X Box 360 pretty much set the pace for most online interactions. I decided to just go for it. The game was new to me but a lot of fun. It took less than five minutes before I heard the rude comments begin. I left my microphone muted for fear of being judged. I could hear them saying things like stupid girl thinks she can game. It only went on for a few minutes before they decided to kick me out of the game itself.

After that I pretty much ignored the online gaming world. The mentality of most of them was far beyond sophomoric. I have tried the occasional game since and had mixed results. Destiny was often just those who want to flirt with the women players they come across. Titanfall was actually the best when it came to lack of abusive comments. It is to bad the game was so short and lost its appeal real fast.

I used to think it was me. I just didn’t fit in with what the modern video game culture had become. After dealing with it for a while I began to realize this was a really good thing. I preferred games with intricate characters and stories. No online experience ever gave this to me.

And then there was the fact I was stealth. No one I spoke to knew the secret I kept to myself. I was treated as any other woman in the gaming world. Which is what I wanted. After all that is who I am. This tend to make things worse though. I got to see how people were treated. I got to see how women and LGBT were treated and I can honestly say about 70% of the time it wasn’t pretty. Narcissism, over opinionated and judgmental people run rampant. Especially if you happen to beat them at a few rounds.

I love video games. I really do. But it can be really rough for anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the Stone Cold Steve Austin mentality on life. Finding like minded people is crucial. I have met some wonderful people as well as complete jerks.

What makes it harder is the idea of subsets of already segregated groups. In many ways I cant blame them, but I have seen lesbian groups kick any gay men or trans women out because they believe its wrong for them to be there. I have also seen this happen in straight groups as well. Being stealth in these situations has lead to me leaving groups because I cant believe how jaded and hypocritical they can be. I still look for good groups of friends to game with. Inclusive worlds are few and far between.

If I was to offer advice to those looking for friends in the video game world I would say this. Be picky. It is your right to only have those around who you feel are good people. The rest will pull you down. Then again this is a good thing to follow in life in general.

Only thing to fear is fear itself, And Snakes

I am literally writing this just a few moments after I wake up. My hands are still trembling and I can feel my nerves on end over it. Our dreams should comfort us. Then again I don’t have the Best track record of that when I am sick.

I like to think I keep a good control on my nerves and fears. It is something I have to do on almost a daily basis. I have forced myself through many situations and grown much better as a person for it. So I hope that gives you an idea of how I try to deal with things when I say I absolutely cannot stand snakes. I don’t think they are gross looking and I don’t think of them as evil. I don’t even really believe in the concept of evil but that is for another time I think.

They petrify me to my core. The idea of being near one makes my body want to find the quickest way out it can. There are no awww they are cute moments. Recognizing one near me means instead internal fear. I can’t even say it is a fear I am proud of because it happens whether I think about it or not. I have been this way my entire life. I remember many nights as a child that I would end up wetting myself because I was to scared of snakes in the hallway to go to the bathroom.

So why do I say all this? Because last night hurt. My dream was non stop torture not only by the creature in question but by some one I love. At one point a snake was even thrown on me in my dream. I could feel it moving around as I tried to get away. My panic agitating the creature and making it hiss and want to strike. Hearing the laugh of the loved one as they watch me try to squirm free. This is the kind of stuff I don’t wake up easy from.

Very rarely can I read my own dreams. I cant imagine putting to much stock in to them while I am sick. If I did I could only imagine the meanings of half of them. Reading dreams is something I generally only do for other people. I have been really good at it in the past. Even told a girl she was pregnant before she knew. All because of a dream she shared with me.

This dream was basic. It was about fear. Snakes have always represented the worst to me. Mainly because of the fear I have of them. Having some one I love tossing them at me? Simple, I am unsure about things and have my guard up. I am trying to protect myself. Which I eventually did in the dream. I did by putting my phone on the agitated snakes head. The phone has a little weight to it so the creature had trouble moving about. This gave me time to get away. I escaped by myself. My phone being a clear answer of support. An easy life line if you will.

The hardest part of the dream (besides the snakes) was the loved one. They giggled as I panicked and eventually squirmed free. Then walked with me out of where we were. I was shaken but still walking with them. Basic fear of being hurt. and given my emotions as of recent I am not surprised at all this would happen in my dreams. Just wish it was easier. Snakes take a lot out of me. I will never understand the total fear that takes me over. How can I? After all, it is on the subconscious level.

I am scared of being hurt. In the end aren’t we all? After all we all take chances that can either change things for the better or hurt us. It is kind of a part of life. One thing I can say is even as much as I hate snakes they have never stopped me from going after what I want in life. Go big or go home is a saying that comes to mind. One I personally believe in. You should always pursue your goals and dreams. No matter the obstacle or threat.