I am documenting my personal account of what it feels like to transition (female to male) on my YouTube channel for the next several years of my life. I would love if you would join in with me in support. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about anything during the process. As this is a relatively new science, it’s really hard to get accurate statistics and accounts for health in general terms, let alone personal stories, and I hope that by sharing with you and with people on YouTube, that a better understanding and compassion can come for trans/gender-variant folks as well as a medical account for the changes I’m experiencing in my body.
“My heart didn’t break into a thousand pieces after he left. Instead, I realized all the things he didn’t do. He didn’t want to hear my stories. He didn’t ask me questions. He didn’t smile when I was talking to him. He didn’t hug me out of the blue to make me feel good. His hugs were always a preamble to something else, and after he was gone, I wondered if he ever knew me at all.”—Diane Les Becquets (via perfect)
Happy People: A Year In The Taiga is a documentary about people living in a remote part of Siberia. The only two ways to access Taiga are by helicopter and boat during the summer months.
This dude chopping wood to make his skis to hunt across the treacherous terrain just said something brilliant. He said, “As they say, you can take away anything from a man—-his health and wealth and suchlike, but you can’t take away his craftsman skills. Once you learn a trade, you always know your trade for the rest of your life.”
While there are flaws to the statement, sure, I can’t help but think of my Dad’s swollen fingers from RA and his body shutting down from cancer. He was building things with his hands up until a few weeks before he died. And this Siberian man’s words, although flawed, made me feel a moment of comfort as I struggle to pick up these heavy tools and learn from it all.
It’s 9:34 p.m. on a Thursday, and I’m wearing flip-flops and the tightest, shortest, gym shorts left in the clean pile because it’s laundry day, and I’ve procrastinated until now to walk through CVS searching for detergent with my legs blinding behind waves of dark, ancestral hair, and nobody seems to know where to locate the kitchen matches. These are the times I feel closest to my father. I hope he’s found someone to love him just as he is.
A couple of days ago, I was out riding my bike past the neighborhoods that are becoming more familiar, and this old man who I’ve usually seen sitting on his porch (sometimes singing, sometimes staring off into the distance, sometimes staring at me as I ride or walk by) was standing in his yard wearing a Navy Veterans cap. I don’t know why the cap or the act of standing shifted my perspective, but I saw him there doing something so simple and mundane and imagined him as a young sailor. I could see him so clearly, though, standing the way that sailors do in those unmistakable pants (give it up for those pants on the men and women in uniform), and I felt a certain sadness, but also a reconciliation. I realized that he must have so many bones lying inside of his body. All living veterans must have so many bones inside their bodies.. the men and women they served with, of their friends that died, of their friends that went crazy, of their friends that went missing, of their friends that lived the rest of their lives on a street corner, of the people their friends killed, of the people they killed, of the friends and family of the people that everyone killed, and so on..
I can’t say I know how it feels to be shot, to be shot at, to bleed, to smell death, to not be able to wash the desert out of my hair, to experience war on a ground zero, hand-to-hand combat level, but I do know what it’s like to sit at a desk, and report everything I hear about it. I know what it’s like to collect information to be used in pulling triggers. I’ve heard men die. I’ve seen as many graphic images and video in reports that I could get my hands on, to know what exactly I was a part of and how best to learn from it.
I’ve been around long enough to watch my friends go into those zones. To fear for their lives. I’ve known people that have killed themselves. I know people who have attempted to. I’ve gone crazy and came back at least a couple of times that I am aware of. I’ve watched friends never come back.
Every year in the United States we acknowledge this specific service to our country twice, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day(Independence Day feels more general and collective for me, personally), and I wondered about this man standing in his lawn with his Navy cap on. How many years he’s had to remember and be reminded of the actions of his life.
I don’t know what it’s like not to serve. I didn’t choose that path. But now I wonder what should I do with all of these bones? What will I make of my own bones? How will I best honor the experience of holding life in my hands and deciding what to do with it?
This man has carried wounds and wars and reminders for so long, his heart must be resilient. His untold story resonates within me so strongly, because his story isn’t just about him. It’s about his buddies, his enemies, and the years of reckoning. This is what Memorial Day means to me this year.
You will stay up on your rooftop until sunlight peels away the husk of the moon,
chainsmoking cigarettes and reading Baudelaire, and
you will learn that you only ever want to fall in love with someone
who will stay up to watch the sun rise with you.
You will fall in love with train rides, and sooner or later you will
realize that nowhere seems like home anymore.
A woman will kiss you and you’ll think her lips are two petals
rubbing against your mouth.
You will not tell anyone that you liked it.
It is beautiful to love humans in a world where love is a metaphor for lust.
You can leave if you want, with only your skin as a carry-on.
All you need is a twenty in your pocket and a bus ticket.
All you need is someone on the other end of the map, thinking about the supple
curves of your body, to guide you to a home that stretches out for miles
and miles on end.
You will lie to everyone you love.
They will love you anyways.
One day you’ll wake up and realize that you are too big for your own skin.
Don’t be afraid.
Your body is a house where the shutters blow in and out against the windowpane.
You are a hurricane-prone area.
The glass breaks often.
It’s okay. I promise that the breeze here is wonderful.
”—Shinji Moon; “Here’s What Our Parents Never Taught Us” (via hattiewatson)
Tonight, Granny told me on the phone, “You are so very strong. Do you know that? You are so strong.” I covered the phone as I wept. She continued, “You got to be good to make it in this world. And you got to have luck. Some people who are good never do make it. You have to have both. I think you have both. I think you will make it in this world, and you will do just fine…And man, you are tough.”
To which I cried. I don’t know why some things you just really listen to and some things you don’t. But this one, I really received.