Saturday, January 30, 2010

Excuse me Sir, I mean Ma'am I mean...

I quite often find myself wishing that it was socially acceptable to ask people their preferred pronouns, without hearing Ms. Manners screaming in the background on the audacity to even think to ask such a vile and rude question. But seriously what is the big deal about asking people their preferred pronouns? It is not asking what is between their legs it is just asking pronouns. Now I know there are probably more people who fit ever so nice and neat in their sex, gender, gender expression and gender identity all at the same time. And I am sure those people would be insulted if asked what pronouns they used since it would be seen as "are you stupid can't you tell". But I would rather ask and get it right then assume I am looking at someone who's pronouns match their gender expression it isn't always that easy. There are people who LOOK like their gender, sex, gender expression and gender identity matched had pronouns that didn't match what you thought you perceived?
Also Queer, trans, gender queer, gender variant, gay, lesbian people are not the only people who look androgynous. There are plenty of Non-queer (excuse the umbrella term) that would not fit in what has been decided as the appropriate gender-expression for their gender and it is just as hurtful to them to perceived as the wrong pronoun. Just as it is for all of us queers. Except the big difference is the non-queer wouldn't be held responsible or judged differently for the mistake. Where as in my experience it is the queer's fault for the wrongly used pronoun and that we should deal with it and adjust not the other people

So I get back to where I got started, why can't asking a person's pronouns be as simple as asking them how there day is or saying good morning or saying my name is Corbyn and I go by he, him, his. I hope someday the fear of being insulting by asking such things will go away and more people will be more comfortable asking and answering the question what pronouns do you prefer? Since the person asking must respect you enough to care to make sure to get your pronouns right.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A must read

This is written by Pat Griffin and Helen Carroll. These women are amazing Advocates for the Trans-Athlete and we are very lucky to have their support and activism.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What I like to call the big itch

I can't get the thought of transitioning out of my head. Now that is not to say that I have never not thought about it till now, but now it is incessantly. Ever since I came out I thought about transitioning but my feelings towards it have greatly changed. At first I thought about transition as something that was really far away in the future, it was something I wanted eventually but not at that time, partly because of sports but partly because I was still figuring out who I was, what I wanted to become, how I saw myself and what would help achieve that vision. I then saw transition as something I wanted very much but I was not yet ready to sacrifice my participation in sports. So transition became almost a reward for my hopeful success and accomplishments in sports.
But more recently I can't stop thinking about transitioning and sports and trying to get this perfect plan on how I can have them both. Or I have been thinking about transition as the primary goal right now and sports becoming more of the distant future after transition instead of the reverse. I've been reading non-stop about other transmen and their transitions, listening to their stories on you-tube, reading up on resources, how to start the whole processes, doctors, therapists, legal requirements, surgery prices, etc... It has been addiction doing all of this, I hide when I am doing this, I pretend I am not as if I was doing something illegal making sure people don't really know how crazy I am going about this. My fiance barely knows I hide it from her because I know how much she worries about me and she knows how much reading and watching all the stuff kills me so I hide my new come obsession. I also hide it because I can pretend I am not this obsessed with transitioning and that I am still the athlete I know I am. I also hide because I am ashamed of how cowardly I am because all I did was come out and I haven't really done anything since then. I know everyone's path to their identity and through their transition is different; but I so often at times find myself wondering what good coming out did me if I have nothing to show for it. I am not trying to diminish the importance coming out and being out and open about who you are can have. But coming out has had done so much negative things for me that I can not help but feel that way.
With all I have accomplished in school and in sports, and having learned to dress more masculine and look more masculine; I still can not look into a mirror. I can't stomach what I see in the mirror. I want to resume bad habits in order to forget about transitioning for 2 more years or at least numb the pain of not, and subdue all of the self-hate and disgust that is bottled up inside of me. I've found that I have become increasingly jealous of those around me who can transition shortly after coming out, of the younger people able to transition and of those who have seemingly found solace in not transitioning. I hate myself for being jealous of them because I know it is a case of the grass is always greener on the other side.
I still love to throw, I live and breathe the hammer throw; but at the same time I can still throw after I transition. I have also come to realize that I don't want to leave track yet because of this preconceived belief that I will always regret not seeing how far I could go in athletics and that my whole career would have been a coulda, woulda, shoulda. I have accomplished a lot in sports thus far but I have always had two dreams in my life one: to figure out and become the real me, and two: to go to the Olympics. I know a lot of people dream about going to the Olympics and never go and I may be one of the people but how I will know if I don't try. But at the same time I wish I could try as a man so I could at least mention my sports accomplishments and not feel like I am lying about what I have done, or not talk about it because it would out me as trans. I already now can barely talk about it since I compete as a female, I want to compete as a man but I fear that once I do my shot at getting to the Olympics is gone.
I have also been thinking about how part of the reason I haven't transitioned is because I care way too much about what people think about me. I was at first concerned about my parents which I have now gotten over. But more so than that I have been terrified that once I choose to transition people won't see me as an athlete anymore and being an athlete is as much of my identity as being trans is. I fear people will see my transition as also my failure in sport. People may never think any of that. But in a way think all of that.
THe debate of starting to transition as soon as I return to Boston in April or waiting two more years has consumed my entire life, it is all I can think about. I am starting to wonder if anything not just a sport if anything is worth the sacrifices I have made and the potential many more to come

*sorry for the long post**

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another internship

So I am in Wisconsin for another internship. This is my last one and then it graduation and looking for a job woohoo! But another internship means yet another time when it feels like my my gender is a the butcher's block and getting spliced in every which way. I go to work bound, and wearing men's clothes that do the best to hide my hips and what is left of my chest and frankly I think I do a good job. I am seen as every pronoun hear I have been called, he, she, she-he, he-she, etc... and when I say he after the wrong pronouns they are not received and I can't tell if it is because they are focused on the patient or what. I have fears about having a conversation with my clinical instructor (CI) about my gender. The last time I had that conversation I almost failed my internship because of it. I know not everyone is the same but I am in an even smaller town and I live at the hospital I work at and so I don't want to ruin my living space as well. I wish there was a way right now that I could walk in with a neon sign across my chest that said "got dick" but alas there is not. I want to know what I am doing wrong to not pass, so that I can fix it. My inability to pass and the effect it is having on in the workplace has been making me consider starting to transition after school which is not what I want to do since I still feel like I need track to exist, like it is a huge part of my identity. I think one of the worst things about being trans is this unspoken obligation to explain who or what you are especially if you don't pass. I wish cisgendered people had to go around for a whole day and correct people all day on their pronoun and get called the wrong pronoun so that they can understand the importance and effect it can have on a person. I don't like to wear my identity on my sleeve, I like people to see me for my character and personality not my gender and sexual identity and I am making an assumption but I feel like most people want to be seen for who they are not what they identify as no matter what that it is. As a trans person it is always out there. When you compete your identity is out there to reassure people that you are competing in the right division and what not, and to reassure people you are not cheating. Your identity is out there in day to day life when you don't pass and have the anxiety of having to chose which bathroom to go into. Our identity is out there when we are at work, school, practice, or anywhere and we are called the wrong pronoun and in a situation in which we have to correct them. As a trans person my identity is always out there whether I want it out there or not. My identity is always what scares and confuses people the most. I know I have said this before but I am going to say it again; if I had any advice to give to any Trans people it is: We have to be better at what we do than anyone else, we have more stacked up against us and we have more to prove. We have to be better to get anywhere in life.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Intermittent Postings

I am currently living in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin and I have very patchy internet service. I am still going to be posting and have much to write about I just can not very frequently.