Saturday, 23 April 2016

Flood Gates

I'd like to preface this post by saying it isn't a post of acquiescence. I'm still doing my thing, I still stand up for my rights with tiger like fierceness, I still have plans to be a thorn in the side of my government, etc. This post is mostly one of observation of the world around us and of course my usual self reflection. So with that being said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to hold back the ocean with my hands. There are countless things that make me feel this way, and I feel like I've been inundated with them the last few weeks and months. First of all there is what is going on socially. It doesn't matter if I'm scrolling down my facebook feed, listening to the news media or hearing conversation in the room I'm in I cannot avoid wondering "What the hell is going on? What are these people doing/thinking?".

It's partially my own fault, I've apparently surrounded myself with politics. It seems impossible for me not to though, because I think politically. If I'm passing some time playing a video game, chances are the things going through my mind are inherently political. It's usually about the rights people have, or don't have, my own rights, how people are treated in our society, etc. So I get that I could possibly never have to worry about these things if I were to stick my head in the sand but at the same time I feel like what is the point of being alive if not to help yourself and others live better? So I always return to thoughts of people being harmed. It seems like the only thing anyone is being liberated from these days are their own lives or rights as human beings to live those lives.

So what am I talking about? The first that comes to mind is what the powerful are doing to the powerless. This manifests itself in countless ways. The bathroom shenanigans going on in North Carolina, something my federal government tried to do here country wide several years back which makes me wonder how long until it gets attempted again either federally, provincially or locally. Most people probably haven't heard about this, but there has been a law passed federally that does nothing but make the lives of sex workers more dangerous, more fragile. Corporations and billionaires that use their endless wealth to influence the individuals of, and therefore the entirety of, government on all levels to make life better for them while the powerless get tread on or forgotten about or just as often, purposefully marginalized and demonized. Something that I naively thought was mostly an American problem but have had it thrust into my knowledge that it happens, not just in Canada, but the very city I live in.

That's three examples, but I hope I'm getting my point across. The list of things are infinite and they are not in the past. The way we've treated indigenous people in my country, particularly the women. For that matter the way society treats women in general. Roman catholic priests and young boys, abortion,  rape victims, corrupted economics, Flint Michigan... I could keep going long enough to find out if blogger has a word limit or not.

To be honest, you have to let all of these things just wash over you, how can you not? If you were to let everything hit you how could you function? How could you not end up a heap of tears feeling for all of these people, if not a ball of rage? At the same time though, I can't help but feel like someone has to think and feel these things, it's too obvious that not enough people do. That does not mean we can't, every single one of us, acknowledge what is happening and at the very least have an open minded and caring frame of thinking for all of the purposeful violence and oppression that is happening. Which brings me to my other point, the non-players.

The non-players as I just called them are the people with no direct link to the issues that come across their consciousness. I see these people occasionally in the media, like when a random interviewer asks a random celebrity about an issue in current news or politics that they really have no information on but yet feel like everyone needs to hear their opinion. I also see these people in my friends or facebook or overheard conversations as I pass through life. I get that they don't know the details of the sex industry, or don't have a transgender person in their lives, or are rich so they don't see the real problems of the poor. What I don't get is the complete inability to let their own opinion rest and have the courage to say "I don't know" at the very least, and to follow up with "please, inform me" at best.

And maybe I'll upset some people by saying this, but it needs to be said again. It is a lack of courage that keeps people from acting that way. It takes a conscious suppression of social anxiety to let people know you have the "weakness" of ignorance. What makes this so detrimental is that their feigned knowledge creates the irradiation needed for the flood of bigotry and hatred and oppression that myself and others like me are trying to keep back with our hands to overtake us. They have no experience, how can they be expected to resist the constant pressure of misinformation and subtle corruption and overt bigotry and hatred?

It is like an old cartoon where the character sees a hole in a dam and plugs it with his finger just to have water spring from another hole that he plugs with a toe, then another hole with his other finger, and etc etc. When will the constant attacks stop? We had a minor victory here in my province where we can now change our gender markers without requiring surgery. (yay!) It is still however near impossible to get said surgery in a country that supposedly believes healthcare is a right of all. In the meantime, we've also had a devastating budget just get proposed that is going to drastically affect many peoples lives. I've read articles that suggest it will force many families into bankruptcy.

So there's that, but at the same time, I mention how I am involved with people in the sex trade, and from select people I hear nothing but platitudes about how they are a scourge to society, not just from cis, well off, white people, but from marginalized trans poor people. For anyone with empathy for all human beings it is a war against an enemy that shifts depending on what battle you're fighting. Frankly it is emotionally exhausting.

I hate feeling arrogant, I really do. I'm human though, so it seems I can't get away from it and I go periods of time feeling like I know more or am somehow better than someone else. I always catch myself and berate myself accordingly and usually put an end to it for good on a given topic. However this is one I can't seem to let go. Every time I find myself in the middle of observing the sorts of corruption, bigotry and hatred I've mentioned here (and the infinite list I haven't) I can't help but think I have the right answer and the people involved are just idiots. Is it so hard to acknowledge every person is different? That every person you meet has lived a different life and has a different perspective than you? And is it so hard to jump from those thoughts to "All of these lives are equally valid. I don't own the key to life."? Apparently it is, apparently it's something that only a handful of people truly get right. I'm not perfect with this, I too from time to time find myself caught in a bad opinion of someone based on nothing. But it takes nothing more than time and I'll realize I'm being an idiot and I make adjustments accordingly.

That's what makes this so frustrating to me. It seems like the end to this war from all sides is so simple it seems childish. Literally all we need to do is get along. That's it. To recognize that the way someone lives their life does nothing to what life means to you. But can people do this? It seems no. can it possibly happen that people can be convinced this is true? Again no. And what really worries me the most, can people learn this before we end humanity? Again, I feel like the answer is no.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Mirror Image

Alright. So I feel like the last several posts have been a little hokey, particularly my most recent, I wrote in at 3am because I wanted to say something but I feel like it didn't come together all that well. Also, most of my last few haven't been quite the topics I used to write about, or as personal as I used to get. That has been for a few reasons. One is that I have been doing well lately, and the personal issues I used to write about are becoming fewer. Another is that I've become more self aware as I've travelled further down this path of self discovery and a little self conscious (very little, I'll get into this). Both of those reasons for my change in style are the same reasons I'm writing this one. So for those of you new to my blog, or that haven't read my earlier posts, prepare yourself.

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned how impossible is it for me to actually see myself. To really realize I am one of the people in the world just like all of the other people I see on a regular basis. I see other people doing... whatever.. and it registers with me. I'm able to place them in the "plot" of real life as easily as people place the main character of a movie as part of the plot of the film. I can see a father, say, taking care of his kids in the mall. I associate the feelings he has for his kids to him, or how his kids feel about him, and even what other onlookers may or may not think or feel about the father. They are all connected with each other through time and space and thought. However when I consider myself, I simply cannot see the same things.

I'm not sure where this came from, or how long I've been this way and I've put a lot of thought into it. Is it from spending so much time alone, or in my own head? Is it because I am transgender and have always had a discontent toward my physical being, and what better way to remove that discontent than to just remove myself from life, so to speak? One thought I usually return to is all of those many years ago when I denied myself the act of physical suicide I wanted to do so badly I replaced it with a mental suicide. If you tell yourself over and over that you should be dead, that you don't really belong in the world, that everything and everyone would be better off without your presence then it becomes easier to tell yourself nothing about you matters. You just as well be dead, so why not act like it?

All I have been able to come up with are the effects it has had on me, some good I guess, and some bad. Some of the good is how I can speak my mind so freely and how I don't mind taking risks when it comes to the point of getting to a place I want to be or getting something I want. It is exactly how I was able to begin this blog. I know I was very personal but at the same time I felt more like I was writing about someone else entirely. What people may have thought about the person they were reading about meant nothing to me. Why should it? I'm already dead, what else can you do to me?

One of the worst effects is I have no inclination or ability to think my actions or words affect anyone in my life. This concept, I think, is the base of the results of my past and everything else stems from it. How do I say what I like to whoever I like? Because I truly feel and believe that what I say does not matter. I believe I have said before, "out of sight, out of mind. In the truest sense.". This is the reason why I think that way. If I go to a friends house, for example. We talk, about whatever, they seem to be engaged in the conversation most of the time but the second I leave I completely and utterly assume that my friends just had their last thought about me until I say hello again and I don't often say hello.

I guess that sounds like I could be judging them but that is the exact opposite of what I'm thinking, I'm judging myself. Of what importance is my friendship? Why would someone waste precious mental energy thinking anything about me once I'm gone? It seems to be total fiction to imagine someone thinking "I wonder what Rebecca is doing right now.". I completely feel the same way about my own actual death. I don't assume, I know (true or not, I'm not looking for pity) that when I die, no one would notice the difference.

I'm not even sure anymore if this is a good or bad way of thinking of ones self, it has become so baked into the cake of "Rebecca" that to not feel like this seems, not impossible but simply not who I am. I have been told on occasion by a few people that they think fairly highly of me. It's something I cannot believe but if I try to imagine a reason, my total lack of self awareness is what I come up with. Mainly because it is the one thing that seems constant in my life. Though I guess it is not hard to see how this leads to a serious drought of relationship, platonic or romantic, and an easy shedding of the ones I have at any given time.

What lead me to writing this post is an experience I had a few weeks ago. I don't remember why but I was in my bathroom looking in the mirror when suddenly I seen me. Every other time when looking in a mirror or at a picture of myself I feel like I'm just looking at a painting, or a movie clip. What I'm seeing is not the person behind the eyes doing the seeing. This time, for whatever reason I seen that person, I connected that image in the mirror to my thoughts. I was utterly shocked, I can't explain the initial feeling, real bewilderment is the best I can do. That moment of wonder turned to fear. I was suddenly terrified to be in the world around me, I almost panicked. It didn't take long though and both of those feelings turned into arousal. Seeing the person in the mirror as actually me started to turn me on, intensely, more that I have been in recent memory. I could hardly help but start masturbating right there and then. All sort of pleasant thoughts started going through my head at that point, the overwhelming thought being "Holy fuck, it's about time!" relating to my finally being, not just a woman, but the woman I wanted to be when I was a teen, the woman I have always longed to be. I finally felt relief, and realization of that longing. The emotional and physical being that I fervently shoved out of existence because no matter how much I wanted or felt I should be that way, it was unattainable, forever out of reach.

The unfortunate thing is that feeling left as quickly as it struck me. I returned to my impenetrable bubble of unawareness. The one thing I was left with is the knowledge of that feeling being there, of it being possible for me to feel that way again. And yes "again". I have always known it was a state of being that I once had, back when I barely knew the difference of who I was and who I was supposed to be, for lack of better words. It was the slow realization that I was not who I was supposed to be that led to being unconcerned with who I am now.

I guess that's the only happy ending to this story. I have a hard time seeing myself in the mirror still, or of thinking anything I do or say matters to anyone even myself. The later being a long journey that starts at the former. My purpose of sharing this experience is because I don't want anyone to think transitioning eventually becomes all roses. I am doing very well these days, well enough that my therapist and I have plans to dwindle down my sessions to finally zero. At the same time, I still have issues I have to deal with. The point now is I am capable of dealing with them. I think that is the goal in transitioning, rather than aiming for some sort of nirvana, aim to be able to take care of yourself.

Monday, 1 February 2016

My Crowdfunding Page

So guess what everyone? I am getting breast augmentation! So I'm about to do something I don't do very often, ask for help. I'm getting close to having all the money I need but I'm turning to crowdfunding to ask for some help getting there. The link below will take you to my Gofundme page. I appreciate any support and I understand not being able to donate, but if you can at the least, please share the link, even that is a huge help. Thanks!

Friday, 29 January 2016


I take cabs fairly often. When we are on our way, I usually try to strike up a conversation with the cab driver, though some are unwilling. It's my insatiable craving for meaningful conversation that makes me unable to resist trying at least. For the most part, the talks are about weather. I live in newfoundland after all and the weather could change once or twice in the middle of a ride from the grocery store. Even so I can usually tease out something interesting, an opinionated talk about climate change, or taste in music, but every now and then, like with any human in life, I stumble upon a great talk with a cab driver.

One ride a few weeks ago ended up falling on what I do for a living. I started to give him a quick explanation, saying something like "I write and give speeches about human rights and..." when he chimed in "there's no such thing." I tacitly agreed and moved on.

It borrowed into my head like an ear worm however. The reason being, he is absolutely correct. I started to wonder "What the hell have I been doing with the writing and the talking?" The answer came to me quickly but I had to map out, in my own head, the space in between question and answer. Which, of course, leads me here. So, if I may...

As I said, the driver is absolutely correct. There is no such thing as "human rights". That doesn't seem to ring true to most people. To most people, suggesting they have no rights would, at the very least, cause an outburst of some sort. What do you mean "I" have no rights? I have the right to vote, to live without threat of violence, to pursue my own goals, etc. These are thought of as inalienable, inherent in us as living human beings.

If that were true, then it would have always been true. Ask the countless slaves current and in history if they feel equality was always a right. Ask women, current and in history, if they feel like they always had the right from violence, or to vote. Ask the LGBTQ2 community, current or in history, if they have the right of freedom of liberty, or of thought.

Hell, ask the residence of Flint, Michigan how their right to clean water is doing these days.

It's obvious what I'm getting at here. Every right or freedom at any given time or place in the world has been given to or taken from one group or another by another group. They, essentially, are not real. In the sense that we had to make it up, like politics. Politics didn't just fall out of the sky, people (men, let's be honest) sat down and created it. They made it up, and we continue to make it up as we go along.

I have thought this way for a long time, though not all of my life. Quite a few years ago, long before transitioning and when I was still struggling with being transgender in a world that seemed to hate transgender people I wrote something about the freedoms people think we have and I thought we didn't. I attacked all of our supposed freedoms, including freedom of thought, and the foundation I was standing on was my own lack of freedom to be the person I wanted to be. I, for one, knew for certain that many of the rights and freedoms that most people assume are inherent in being alive didn't apply equally to everyone. Something that is hard to see from the side of privilege.

Every single one of these privileges we take for granted have been fought for either with sword or proclamation by people who could see the truth. The truth is, there are no inherent, inalienable, "god given" rights. There are only privileges that people have carved out for themselves during the struggle called "life".

I still believe this, and what I wrote those years ago. The difference between then and now is now I have the fire in me to fight for my own privileges and for those like me. I feel like my poker hand in life has developed a finely tuned sense of inequality. While I guess it is possible I would have taken the path of just being interested in myself and fixing my own problems, what happened was I became sensitive to others as well.

There are many fights to be had, not everyone is a fighter I get that, and each individual can't take on them all. If you take a moment to consider all of the injustice and inequality in the world it can be overwhelming. Too many people are happy to plug through their life without lifting their head and recognizing what is happening around them. You only have one life to live and it is unforgivably short. You can choose to be the pilot fish that is just along for the ride, or you can be the shark taking a bite out of life. I have chosen to be a shark.

Transgender and sex workers rights is what I have centered my attention on. The battles are not easy, but living as a transgender person through the times when it would have been unacceptable to be one, and into the time where it has become less unacceptable has taught me how to dodge and weave like a prize fighter. There is one undeniable force those pushing for rights and equality have on their side and that is history. History has proven to look favourably upon those who support or fight for the wellbeing of themselves and the people akin to them and looks with harsh scrutiny upon those who attempt to deny those people of their wellbeing.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Cis Wha?

Explaining some terms, unfortunately I don't know how to unfuck the audio :/

New Medium

I have started a youtube channel! Yay me :)

Friday, 1 January 2016


I've had this post in mind since before Christmas. I'd imagine I'm not the only one that gets caught in an ocean of nostalgia this time of year and reflecting on the last year I realized how different things have become.

It actually came to mind last night, how much my own feelings have changed. It's easy to see these changes when the feelings smack you in the face. The contentment of seeing my now quite feminine body looking back at me in the mirror, the turmoil and close to defeat that I feel when I register I still have a penis, the warm glow from being treated a certain way by men and women (mostly men) that obviously see "woman" when they see me, These are all those sort of feelings, the kind that you can't help but notice. It was last night though that I realized sometimes it's the total absence of a feeling that has the impact.

It hit me last night that I have only lived a few years of my life not feeling totally caged in by life. The absence of a struggle that seemed so eternal and intrinsic that it was part of my base understanding of humanity. I assumed everyone lived like that, and if you listen to most people I think it's difficult to not see it that way. My mistake back then was misunderstanding the degrees of struggle.

When you have only your mind to compare things to, you can make a lot of false assumptions, I'm starting to realize. I don't like to say these sort of things often, if at all, but it has been a part of my journey to recovery coming to terms with how much "worse" the war of being transgender is compared to the troubles the average person has. So lemmie quantify that a bit.

The reason it has been part of my recovery is because my mind worked like this: Friend or relative so-and-so figured out years ago what they wanted to do in life (career, family, etc) and here I am trying to figure out if I'm a boy or a girl? If I'm attracted to boys or girls? How fucking far behind am I? How stupid am I?

The fact that I had no workable answers to the most simplest of self questions made me feel less than everyone else who seemed to have those figured out and are moving on with their lives. The reality is that explains exactly how little footing a trans person has in which to start their life's journey. When you can't answer these basic questions, how can you be expected to answer anything else?

I think I'll leave getting deeper in to this for another post. What I wanted to talk about here is how I was unconsciously, by all parties involved, relieved of a feeling I couldn't identify until after it was gone.

As some of you may know, I've been working with, volunteering for and partaking in the services of the women's center in my little city. I can honestly say, I've never met such an amazing group of people. The sort of people that make a successful business person think "What the hell have I been doing with my life?". The amount of aid these women give is staggering, outweighed only by the demand and their desire to help.

I entered their little world kinda from the side door. A presentation I was giving to them ended up in an invitation to join them, basically. It didn't take too long before the center ended up being a reasonable chunk of my life. At first I had a lot of mixed feelings, the more pleasant of which being two things, I was helping people and I was doing something decidedly not "male" for lack of better terms. I had some worries and concerns too. Tokenism was one and a total sense of not belonging being the other. The tokenism is easy to explain, I was simply worried that I was being asked along mainly for them to ride the "transwave" that's currently happening in North America. Honestly I only bothered myself with that thought because I have learned it is something I sorta need to guard against.

The sense of not belonging was the meat of the problem though. I felt like I was given the key to a room that I was told all of my life that I don't belong in. The place is hyper feminine, I don't mean girly, I mean anything you can think of that a woman needs or does or puts up with in her day to day life, it's going on there. There is a massive, gargantuan, sun sized difference between being a man (a perceived man) in and amongst a woman's world and being a woman in that world. That difference is the epicenter of both my longing and my mundane needs and wants that were never recognized in my long past.

I said all parties involved we unconsciously participating but as I write I think it was mostly me being unaware of just how empathic and caring these ladies are. There was a time during the year that I was going through a hard time and I started to pull away from them, and well everyone. Not only was I given my space and respect and offered help, a few of them were honestly, sly enough, to keep me from severing all ties. I seen it for what it was, and couldn't help but cry a little, and then thank them a lot.

It was the comradery that women in these positions have. The sort that is built from seeing hundreds if not thousands of women come and go through most if not all of the horrors readily available for women to find themselves in. I think, in a sense, that's how they are seeing me, a woman with a serious issue that will take time to work through.

I'll end this with a little story that sums up brilliantly why I feel these women are so special. To me specifically, but undoubtedly to many people in their lives.

We had a little Christmas gathering for S.H.O.P., our/my little corner of the center at large. There was food and gifts, all of the trappings of a good Christmas party. One thing I didn't know beforehand was two of the girls, the two I deal with the most, had stockings for the women to randomly choose for themselves. I'm not big on getting gifts myself, just a quark of mine, so I let everyone go ahead and took the last one home with me. After I got home I took a look at what was in the stocking. There was shampoos, makeup, bath supplies and the last thing to register what they were, tampons.

I think I had maybe a solid 2 seconds of puzzlement. "Hey what are those? Oh....."


Followed by uncontrollable laughter.

It was an honest to goodness, laugh out loud, belly laugh. I honestly can't tack down all of the feelings and thoughts I had at the time because there was just too many, I can place two though. First off I thought, "oh my god, I love these women" and second was the sense of making it through some unspoken, unknown, rite of passage.

It's not like they didn't know I had no use for them. It's not like they didn't have any opportunity to go out of their way to make sure I didn't get tampons of all things for Christmas. The point is they either chose not to concern themselves, which is great, or it never occurred to them, which is even better. And I have reason to believe it was the latter, laziness playing not that small of a role, lol. (love you girls ;) )

But that's what I love about it. However you slice it, I was treated as "one of the girls" for the first conscious time in my life. I think the laughter was the only way I could have handled all of the emotions involved. It is one of those very rare occasions that I'm stuck with the total lack of English vocabulary to describe or explain in any meaningful way the intense feelings I was having. In fact it was more like the whole of the emotions I was having at the time was greater than the parts added together, equating to some kind of new feeling with no word for it yet.

Ultimately this little situation made me look back on a feeling I no longer have. Sorting that out is why it has taken me since Christmas to now to get this actually written. The sense of belonging that has been given to me by the women at the center had me suddenly reflecting on the lack of belonging I had always felt. Honestly, I don't feel like I "belong" in the women's center. As much as I enjoy the work I'm not as educationally qualified to be there as the majority of the women there are. I'm totally ok with that, I love the place, but the feeling I have isn't like the feeling of belonging to an organization or a club. The sense of belonging I was given from them has been one of belonging to a gender. I feel far more at ease, more welcome, more myself, and more among others like me when around women for the first time in my life and it is almost entirely because of my time, experience and friendship with the women of the center.

The feelings of bitter uniqueness, of forced mental solitary confinement are gone, fluttered away. Beaten off by a few feminine hygiene products.