“Blow Up The Outside World” 

I had a bad dream last night that involved one of my younger brothers becoming a parent and my jealousy and envy of them.  I know most people probably wouldn’t understand why such a thing would cause me pain, but I have always felt inferior to my 2 younger half brothers.  They are normal, successful, married and not afflicted with the ugly gene that has ruined my life.

The dream plus my dysphoria has left me feeling extremely low. It was a challenge to even get out of bed this morning and take a shower, but I cannot be in my apartment for too long as I am quite literally “cut off” from the outside world.

Chris Cornell’s death is really affecting me.  I listened to an hour long tribute to his life and music on the radio last night on the Nikki Sixx show.  I knew Chris suffered from depression, but I never thought that he’d take his own life or die before his time like many of the other tortured grunge era musicians.    I also thought of an (almost) ex girlfriend of mine who was utterly obsessed with Soundgarden and Chris Cornell. She must be devastated.

I feel utterly burned out for some reason. I think I did too much socializing yesterday.  I think my dysphoria is getting the better of me.   Too much “outside world” exposure and rejection have done a number on me. I’ve given up on the idea of dating and ever becoming functional. I’ve largely given up on myself too.  It’s a permeating sense of defeat that is only going to continue to eat away at me until I can no longer take it.

I’m going to starve myself after I’ve used the food I have left.   I feel like a bloated, huge ugly monster.   I still have too much muscle in my upper arms and shoulders, despite being on HRT for over 3 1/2 years and not producing teaosterone.  If I starve myself, I’ll waste away.   It’ll make me sick, but I don’t care.   I’m disgusted by my body and by food.  I wanted to put a bullet in my head when E noticed the muscle in my right arm.   

I feel like I don’t belong anywhere and the feeling is only getting more intense as I get older.  Society has changed, I have no love in my life and most of my idols are dead.  I can’t even look at the news anymore because it scares me to death.  I feel like I’m just waiting to die.

Wishing that I could just ‘opt out’ of the human race

Pre-admission testing for my surgery next week was largely stress-free.  They’ve somehow changed the name in their system, so there’s no risk of my deadname coming up, even though it is still on my insurance card.  I’m actually dreading not being able to wear makeup or even use moisturizer on the morning of the surgery more than the surgery itself.  I’m literally going to have to cover my face up with one of my scarves to hide my ugly makeup-less face from passers by. At least I’ll have someone with me and he’s very sweet.  They said that I should be out of hospital the same day.

The asshole security guard was still there this morning, but I know that it’ll take time for any action to be taken.   I don’t even care about him anymore.  I intentionally sat on the same bench where he harassed me on Friday for over an hour yesterday, just drinking my Diet Pepsi. He didn’t so much as look at me.  I can definitely still be an asshole.  

I’ve started reading Nightwalker by Heather Graham.  It seems like a good book and somewhat different from the genres I usually stick to.

I’m going to see if I can talk to my therapist at open access this afternoon.  I still don’t know how to process what happened to me on Friday. It’s left me feeling uglier than ever.   I can’t and won’t de-transition, but I need to figure out if there’s a way that I can simply remove myself from the human race and only interact with people online.  I can’t do this “living on the margins of society” crap.  I’d rather just escape it and not be reminded of what I’m missing out on.

With all the shit that’s happened to me, I didn’t even notice that spring has finally started to kick in here in Western New York.   The trees have suddenly started coming to life and turning green.  It’s supposed to hit 84 on Thursday which means I can finally wear shorts again.  

Why the drive for transgender ‘visibility’ is a bad thing in a predominantly gender-conforming society

I hate the fact that I’m still here and still writing, after I said I’d stay away until it was the time for me to leave.  It makes me look like a joke; someone that just threatens suicide. I can assure you that nothing has changed as far as my desire to be dead and gone is consented.  What has changed is that as long as I’m still here,  I’m done with just internalizing the pain that other people cause me, either because I’m afraid of what they might say or do, or because I’m too nice and I don’t speak up.  One of the few things I miss about the old me is that I used fight and win my battles.  In the eyes of the world, I was a regular heterosexual cis male and no one could see my Achilles heel.  Despite my anxiety, I fought and won many battles.  I wasn’t target then and no one had any reason to mess with me in my daily life.

Which brings me onto my next point…

I’m going to be brutally honest about something else too that is somewhat connected.  Perhaps the transgender community should cease this “visibility” bullshit and instead focus on campaigning to make people look “less trans”.  Rather than place the onus on transgender individuals to somehow accept unacceptable flaws associated with their sex assigned at birth, why not push to ensure that regardless of income or age, transgender people wools be able to get all the help they need to blend in as much as possible?  As a society, we need to stop labeling such procedures as “cosmetic” as we do with cisgender people.  And yes, it would come at a cost, but overall we are talking about perhaps 1% of the population, so I doubt that we’d even feel it.    In providing transgender individuals with the procedures they need to blend in, I’m pretty sure you’d see the transgender suicide and attempted suicide rates drop significantly and you’d make such individuals more easily employable, thus removing the need for them to claim public assistance just to survive.

The drive for visibility is a bad thing, because it is actually preventing progress in terms of helping people transition sufficiently enough to be safe and comfortable in their own skin. Look at it this way, if we can’t eliminate racism or sexism from society, then we certainly can’t eliminate transphobia.  We can sit back and blame society all we want for transgender suicides, but the reality is that acceptance is impossible.  The more ‘trans’ people look and sound, the more risk they face and the more marginalized they’ll find themselves.  Visibility also attracts the wrong kind of attention. It leads to intrusive questions and comments borne out of curiosity. Also, bear in mind how the bathroom issue has become more of an issue since the drive for visibility. Transgender people had been using the correct bathrooms most likely for decades, with little fuss being made.

I strongly believe that the vast majority of transgender people don’t want to be visible.  Even if they claim to support visibility, it is most likely that such sentiments are borne out of defeatism as far as their own transitions are concerned.   It is easier for most people to say they’re “trans and proud”, rather than admit to the pain inside caused by dysphoria that will never go away.  Even if I were able to accept my own trans-related flaws, I wouldn’t, as it wouldn’t help the greater good. When the time comes that I do take my own life, it will be because of these flaws, not because society doesn’t accept me.  My own suicide would serve as a strong message to both society and the transgender community that the drive for visibility just causes more pain; it causes people to hyper-focus on such flaws, rather than just ignore them or focus on the aspects of my body that do look almost or even completely female.  Visibility is the reason why many cisgender allies to make a point to tell you how they accept you and don’t judge.  While their intentions are usually good, I don’t think they understand how upsetting and invalidating it is to be told this constantly.  Again, I hold the drive for visibility highly accountable for this.

I place visibility in the same slop bucket as I place “be yourself” and BYPs (‘be yourself’ people).  It is the same form of idealistic bullshit that places the onus on the individual to have to deal with all the perils and pitfalls that come with being yourself and being visible in a world that will never accept them.  We believe that by promoting this nonsense, we are somehow ‘educating’ society and helping to evolve the species.   I’m pretty sure those who have a problem with the word “normal” and normalcy promote this nonsense because they see it as a form of rebellion against normalcy and conformity.  Well, newsflash, dipshits: we are all human beings, we are social creatures and whether we like it or not, to be a part of society and experience friendship, love and stability, we all have to conform a little.  Unless you’re ultra-rich or blessed with amazing genetics, you have to make a difficult choice between two prisons.

Fuck “visibility”.
Fuck “be yourself” and BYPs.

Neither actually help transgender individuals.  Let’s help people by helping them to look and sound less trans, which would save countless lives and give transgender almost / the same quality of life that cisgender people take for granted.   It would also encourage the countless others who don’t transition because they feel like they’ll never pass (such people exist and I’ve even spoken to some of them).

Lastly, there is something else that we, as a society can strive for that will ultimately lead to acceptance of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.   It will also help to eliminate sexism and misogyny at the same time.  We can work to eliminate gender roles and stereotypes and remove all gendered pronouns from our language.   From the minute a baby is born, it’s either a boy or a girl and in many respects, the infant’s way of life has already been decided before it has the ability to even choose.  Women and men would be truly equal and would have the same opportunities. Men wouldn’t be told to “man up” and women wouldn’t be disadvantaged in the workplace or pressured to have children by a certain age.  I am fully aware that males and females are different (probably more aware than most because of my need to transition), but I would love to see a society without gender.  In such a society, you could quite literally “be yourself” as long as you weren’t hurting anyone else in doing so.  But that isn’t the kind of society we live in, so back to reality.  Unlike BYPs, I accept that my own idealism is far removed from reality and isn’t likely to happen without a drastic shift in the evolution of the human race.  And how is this relevant to the drive for transgender visibility?  Simple: as long as we continue to live in a superficial and gender conforming society, transgender people that look and sound ‘trans’ will most likely never be accepted by the majority.

The end.

The basic human need to socialize and dangerous advice that encourages us to accept loneliness

I’d like to pick this quote apart, if I may. I do not agree with it:

Human beings are social creatures and have been so since the dawn of time.  The need to socialize is almost as hardwired into humans as our need for food and shelter.  We need both company and competition in order to be physically and mentally healthy.

Article: We truly are social animals: Loneliness as bad for your health as obesity, study shows

Being told that you need to learn to love your own company may seem empowering, but it is actually bad advice.  Such advice is essentially a copout.  It does nothing to address the 21st century epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.  It demands that lonely individuals go against their hardwired need to socialize, rather than switch the focus to the disease of loneliness that is an epidemic of modern society.

It is almost a form of victim-blaming to place the onus of wellness on chronically lonely individuals.  It’s like telling a hungry person to accept starvation, rather than give them food and empower them to feed themselves.

Loneliness has been proven by multiple studies to be a health hazard and a cause of premature death in human beings.  I can cite my own experiences as one ofcountless examples of this.  I do not accept loneliness as something we should be normalizing.  Instead z we should focus on making society more inclusive and encouraging the restoration of communities and extended families.  The price paid for decades of fostering and encouraging individualism is an epidemic of loneliness and social isolation that now affects young people too, not just the elderly.  

As for the Mandy Hale quote, it is a little ambiguous as to its actual meaning, but it implies that you should learn to do something which goes against human nature.  For that reason alone, such advice is dangerous to the individual and to society as a whole.  Better advice would be:

“Accept that as human beings, we need to socialize, but it’s important to find the right people in your life and to not look to them to solve your problems.”.

How “Be yourself” can be terrible advice

When I first came out as transgender, many people so candidly told me that it is important to be yourself and that doing so is the key to happiness. 

Bullshit.  

While I have no desire to de-transition, “being myself” in the sense of my gender identity has cost me dearly.  I have lost everything in the process: my marriage, my job, my confidence, my ability to function and my independence.  I’ve had a few short relationships, but most were shit. 

The painfully ironic thing is that I have lost an important part of who I am by giving in to my gender identity.  I have sacrificed my invisibility and my ability to fit in and appear ‘normal’.  While you may scoff at me for wishing to at least appear normal, it is a key component of who I am.  I’m not happy.  I’ve no intention of going back, but the old me was liked despite depression and anxiety. I had the freedom to go from place to place.  I had a partnet that loved me and tried her best to make it work. 

So please use caution before you so recklessly tell someone”be yourself”.  At least try to determine whether invisibility and a desire to fit are not vital to them. Bear in mind that not everyone *can* be themselves without becoming totally marginalized and at risk.  It is one hell of a sacrifice to go from being a part of society to end up being alone, scared and marginalized.  It is trading one prison for another.  Please bear this in mind.  

Loneliness – The Silent Killer 

“Loneliness is an absence of a sense of belonging, rather than an absence of people in your life”.

I came up with that stupid quote as I lay awake in bed, unable to get back to sleep after waking up at 3am.  I killed a bit of time by watching a rerun of the last episode of The Walking Dead, which I missed.  Now I have to kill approximately 26 more hours before I’m able to venture out again and approximately 104 hours before I’m able to talk to another human being again: my therapist.

Onto the subject of loneliness, i make no secret of the fact that I am ridiculously lonely and now almost completely isolated for days on end.  Though in hindsight, I feel equally as lonely when I’m around other people, if not even more so.

In my case, loneliness is indeed a pervasive and overpowering absence of a sense of belonging that has plagued me for most of my existence.  I’ve never really ‘fit in’, even before I came out as transgender.  Friends have been few and far between and I’ve always been an outcast, not by choice.  I’ve not even been able to make connections with other equally marginalized people with some of the same issues that I face.  The transgender and wider LGBT community has not been a welcoming place – quite the opposite.  

Loneliness is the silent killer that very few people want to acknowledge. It is as deadly as any disease, leading to both mental and physical illness.  Admitting that you’re lonely in this society is admitting that you’re a failure.  People will generally avoid you and judge you if you’ve got no friends and don’t have a partner or children by a certain age.

Loneliness Is Deadly‘ – Jessica Olien, Slate.com

If I felt like I belonged here and had some sort of purpose, perhaps I wouldn’t feel as lonely as I do.  If I had the ability to go out and make connections with people, I would’ve done it already.  I know there are many other lonely people, quite literally waiting to die, as I am. I could take an overdose right now and I’m pretty sure no one would find my body for over a week, when the motel cleaners would probably notice the smell.

I find that I don’t feel as lonely when I’m surrounded only by nature, with not a human in sight.  Perhaps I could be almost content if I were totally cut off from the human race, rather than forced to live in the midst of it all, forced to watch as if I were being forced to watch a terrible movie.  Just being around other people is quite unbearable.  I envy their ability to blend in and at least appear normal.  They have children and careers and true love – things that were denied to me by genetics and shitty brain chemistry.

The closest thing I’ve had to experiencing a real sense of belonging was when I was married to S, but she was miserable and I was hiding a secret (my gender identity).  It was a great feeling while it lasted though.  But I selfishly had to ruin someone else’s life just so that I could be with them.

I’ve never felt quite as lonely as I do now.  And it’s only going to get worse as I get older.  I can’t fake a sense of belonging when I’ve barely any friends, no partner, no children, no career, no physical attractiveness and not even any hobbies to distract me from my pain and emptiness for long enough to make a difference.

I’ve always been able to relate to this song by The Smiths:

Validation and fitting in

Time to challenge a conventional train of thought that bugs me….

Whether we choose to accept it or not, we as human beings depends on validation, even if it’s minimal.     We are social creatures and in order to live and function in society, external validation is necessary.  Many people are blissfully unaware of the privileges they have, when it comes to external validation that they may take for granted.  For example, most cisgender people will automatically take for granted that other people will get their gender right and use the correct gendered pronouns, but to a transgender person correct gendering is a form of positive (and much appreciated) validation. 

Those who say that they do not to feel valdated are usually people who take the validations they receive from others for granted.  It’s easy to say you don’t need something when you have never known what it’s like to have your identity placed at risk every time you venture out.  It is the same as people telling you they love being weird, different and standing out.  It’s because they have a choice to be different, rather than their idendity or physical appearance forcing them to be.  You can choose not to fit in, but I don’t like it when people project that onto me, being as I don’t have the privilege to even make that choice.  

I don’t believe that anyone wants to feel like an outcast, although many outcasts struggle to admit it.   We all need to “fit in” somewhere, even if it’s with just one other person.   I am no exception, but I admit that I need validation, else I am just kidding myself and living in denial.