Why Being Morbid Can Be A Good Thing

If you’re one of my close friends, you probably know that I think about death a lot. I have since I was pretty young as well. I have a tattoo that literally represents death and I think about it on the reg.

This sounds morbid, depressing, and potentially creepy. But I don’t see it that way.

Being aware of my own mortality and my impending death pushes me to live. I know that I am not going to be here forever. So while I am here, why not do everything that I want to do? Why not get the tattoos I’ve been wanting? Why not stay in if I don’t feel like going out? Why work at a job that I hate? Why not live out and proud? Why not take a crazy chance? Why not do a crazy dance? If you lose a moment, you can lose a lot. So why not. Why not!!

If I’m going to die one day, I might as well live the life I have exactly how I want. And being aware of death is ironically what pushes me to live.

I’m not sure what prompted my daily thoughts about death (holy shit that sounds so creepy and weird wtf!!!) but I’m glad for it. Besides pushing me to live how I want while I’m still living, it’s given me a new outlook on regret.

It sounds stereotypical, but I really do think that the “no regrets” thing has some clout.

But I would modify that a little bit. It’s not that people don’t have any regrets. We all have regrets, no matter how small they are. I regret one of my college majors. I regret not coming out sooner. Fuck, I regret saying “you too” to the people who sell tickets at the movie theater when they tell me to enjoy the movie.

But all of these decisions are things I can live with, and have made me who I am today. Who knows where I’d be, better or worse, if I hadn’t done those things. When trying to decide something, there’s nothing helpful about asking yourself “What if I regret it?” because that is always a possibility.

The real questions you should ask yourself are, “If I do it and I regret it, can I live with it?” And, “If I don’t do it and I regret it, can I live with it?”

Let’s look at some examples from my own life. I know that I’m a trans guy who wants to medically transition, but I wrestled with the idea of starting hormones for almost a year. The main thing holding me back was my nagging fear that I would regret my decision to start them, seeing as some changes are irreversible.

But the idea that I could die tomorrow without ever even trying hormones was more terrifying than the idea that I might regret a permanently lower voice. I would live with more regret having never gone on hormones that I would if I do go on them and regret it.

So I’m starting hormones this Tuesday and getting two new tattoos next Saturday. And if I regret either one, I can live with that.

We all have regrets. Which ones can you live with?

 

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Losing a Queer Identity

The title here is misleading because I am queer and will always be queer.

However, once I realized I was trans (transmasculine to be specific) I did experience a loss of part of my identity. While I gained happiness and confidence, I lost my “queer woman” identity, which has caused me to experience a wide range of confusing and upsetting emotions. (Let me know why that intro sounded like a shitty first draft to a persuasive essay you wrote in the 7th grade).

Throughout college, I was extremely unhappy. I had some amazing times, made amazing friends, and met the love of my life. But deep down, I constantly felt unattractive, unhappy, and unmotivated. Looking back now, I know it is because I am supposed to be a boy, but I was living as a girl.

But at the time, I had no clue. I began college as a straight girl, clinging to femininity thinking that it would make me happy to have men attracted to me as a feminine woman. While I know I was objectively good looking, and I know that men were attracted to me, I was still unhappy. I became almost self-destructive and made my whole self-worth based around my looks and whether men wanted me.

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Meet my past “straight girl” self (left) who wore crop tops to class and apparently fake leather shorts and sandals to frat parties.

Obviously that is unhealthy and that thought process was likely because of my upbringing as a woman in a patriarchal world.

So when I figured out I was bisexual as a sophomore, it was as though a whole new world opened up to me. My thought process went something like this: Men never made me feel good or like I was worth anything, so perhaps focusing on my attraction to women will make me feel good about myself.

And while this logic is still flawed as it uses other people to value myself as a person, it was kind of right. Discovering I was attracted to women as a woman made me the happiest I had ever been.

I was suddenly more confident in myself. I loved being gay (I’m using gay as an umbrella term here, I am bi, but I like the word gay for myself as well, let me live). I embraced my queerness to the extreme.

I wore exclusively tumblr lesbian clothes. I watched the L word on repeat. I posted selfies on tumblr on the reg. Snapbacks were a lifestyle. Softball 4 dayz. I even watched all of Carmilla (my fellow queer people, you know when you watch Carmilla that you are DEEP in queer culture). I embraced my already pretty gay walk. Queer lady YouTubers were my people.

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The peak of my gayness: Summer 2015. Peep the vans, the button up, and the sunnies.

I got to be the classic gay feminist constantly having gender and social justice discussions with my friends. Halsey and Fifth Harmony hypnotized me with their hotness. I had a sexy picture of Emma Watson in my room (to be fair, I had this up before I realized I was queer. lol at my past self thinking I was straight).

I walked around like I was hot shit. I wanted people to look at me and think “queer.” I flirted with girls and was with girls in a way that I had never been with or connected with men. I was actually loving myself for the first time. I was so proud to be a queer woman.

So why was I still unhappy, even when embracing my queer identity? I didn’t figure it out until the end of my senior year: I wasn’t a queer woman. I’m a queer guy.

Realizing that was a turning point for me. I am the happiest I’ve ever been right now living as a boy. I’m starting hormones soon, I’ve changed my name, and I’m in a much better place.

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I made my mom take this.

But being a man means that I am losing my place in the wlw, queer woman community. Being a queer woman brought me so much confidence and happiness during a time in my life when not much else made me happy or even made me want to get out of bed.

Not only that, but I am afraid of not appearing queer at all anymore, not just not appearing like a queer woman. Im not super masc or anything, but I’m afraid as I start passing that I will be straight/cis passing as well. I am so proud of my queer identity; I don’t want to lose it. I don’t want people in Provincetown to think I’m just some straight tourist. I don’t want to go to pride and have people upset that a straight appearing cis-looking guy is there.

Realizing my trans identity has given and is giving me so much. I’m just afraid about what it might be taking away.

It sounds dramatic, but I feel grief over the loss of this identity. But I’m also confused. I know that I’m a guy, but when I see queer lady stuff like Hayley Kiyoko’s new gay as fuck music (WHICH I AM LIVING FOR BTW) and Lauren and Halsey’s queer duet song and girls holding hands in public and other wlw stuff, I feel a kinship with it. I feel like, hey that’s just like me!

But it isn’t anymore. I feel cut off from that world that brought me happiness and confidence during a time where I almost always felt like shit. And when I feel like I’m a part of that wlw community still, I start to question my trans identity. How can I be a guy and still wish that I was a part of a wlw community? How can I look at my favorite queer lady YouTubers and feel so connected with them as though I am one of them if I’m really a guy?

Being a gay girl gave me things I desperately needed as a depressed 20 year old: community, confidence, and hope for happiness. Losing that is really hard for me to deal with. But as a guy who is sad about not being a gay girl anymore, it is a confusing loss. I know I’m moving forward and being who I really am as a boy. But being a gay girl was fucking fun, and I do miss it.

Hopefully that made some sense and can resonate with someone out there. You can be trans and miss parts of being your old self. You can be a trans guy and miss your experience as a queer girl. Being trans doesn’t have a rulebook or any requirements.

I’ll just keep telling myself these things until I really believe them.

I do horrible drawings 4: Pride Edition

Hello to my non-existant readers!! How have you been? Probably anxiously awaiting the next installment to this series.

I’ve been alright, thanks for asking. Besides my almost constant anxiety and depression and my intense gender confusion, I’ve been alright. I graduated college, I’m living with my mom, I’ve started working as a real professional ~writer~, and I’m in therapy. Fun stuff.

This month has been especially fun because it is PRIDE MONTH! Rainbows and queers galore. I went to Boston Pride with one of my best friends, and it was great. Being around so many of my people made me feel so validated and happy.

I thought I would bring back this series of my heinous drawings with a BANG: why not draw some of my favorite ~celeb~ LGBTQ+ humans?? And that’s exactly what I did.

As usual, I tried my darndest to draw the pictures to be EXACT COPIES of the photographs. Also, as usual, everything went terribly awry.

DISCLAIMER: If any of the people I drew for this post sees these drawings (however unlikely that is) I apologize for making you unrecognizable aliens.

Without further ado, let’s get into this.

Me and Jackie

This is me and my friend Jackie at Boston Pride! So I guess we aren’t ~celebs~ as you would normally think of the word, but when I told Jackie I was drawing her for this post she said that we are, “celebs of our social circle.” I’ll take it, I guess.

Onto the critique. This is a doozy. First of all, I fucked up our legs. Mine look like tree trunks, and Jackie looks like she is flexing the shit out of her calf.

It took me a while to place what Jackie’s face looks like in my drawing, but then it dawned on me: she looks like Smitty Webenjagermanjensen from SpongeBob. Jackie: I’m sorry I made you look like a deceased fish. Smitty: RIP.

 

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They’re both #1 in my eyes.

I also managed to make my glasses extra girthy because I kept messing up the shape and trying to fix it, which resulted in some thicc ass frames. I also tried to get fancy with ~color blending~ because I didn’t have an olive colored pen to color in my binder. My solution was to first use a green marker and then blend in some brown marker to make olive. The flaw with this plan is MARKERS DONT FUCKING BLEND. The result I got is green with obvious brown streaks on top. LIT!!!!!

Besides these small flaws, I managed to bring my artistic eye to the picture, meaning that the people in my drawing are still somewhat recognizable. Also, this post is not sponsored by T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, unfortunately. I am a maxxinista, and I could use the sponsorship or at least some free boys size 14 polos (yes I wear boys size clothes I’m smol and dysphoric about it so let’s drop it).

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Next, I drew my girl Miley on her Wrecking Ball. I’ve got a soft spot for Miley. We named our softball team “The Wrecking Balls” after her timeless classic (we created the team when this reference was still super relevant, but I feel like it still works). Party in the USA got me through some tough times in High School. While she can be problematic, her support of veganism and the LGBTQ+ community is great. Thanks, Miley!

I guess creating a really unflattering drawing of her isn’t the best way to say thanks, but I did my best. I actually think out of all the drawings I did for this post, this one is probably the least bad. Sure the proportions are downright horrid, her head is much flatter and larger than it should be, and her body looks like it’s a Bionicle, but her general essence was captured. Her sad, longing eyes are juxtaposed with her sexual swinging on a giant ball. So ~symbolic~. Also, I think I did her hair pretty good (well, at least good when you’re drawing with a ballpoint pen).

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If you haven’t listened to Lauren and Halsey’s new song “Strangers” off of Halsey’s new album: YOU MUST! Not only is it a boppin song, it is SO IMPORTANT! Two bisexual women of color coming together to put out an awesome song about women loving women?!?! SIGN ME THE FUCK UP THAT’s sOME gOOD ShITTT RIGHT THere! If you want to know why this song is super important and amazing, read this article.

So Halsey and Lauren: thank you. Creating a pretty horrible drawing that makes Lauren look like an evil doll from a horror film and Halsey into a Neandertal with a goatee might not be the classic way to give thanks, but it’s all I got.

The picture isn’t all bad. I mean sure, I managed to give Lauren 5 separate chins and an eyebrow the size and shape of Long Island. Sure, I gave Halsey the neck of a linebacker. But you could totally tell it’s them if you saw the picture, right? And look at all the small details I managed to include: Halsey and Lauren’s tattoos, the fashion details (i.e the many holes in both of their outfits. Do you think they planned that?), Halsey’s small beauty mark and jewelry. While these details might not look GREAT per se, they are at least THERE. So, there’s that.

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Lastly, we have Chase Ross, a trans YouTuber who has helped me in so any ways. His transition and his videos have helped me through such a tough time, helped me understand myself, and also helped me become informed on a variety of issues I was ignorant to.

This drawing is simply unrecognizable. Besides the hair, the drawing just is horrible. Chase: I’m sorry if your eyes are seeing this drawing. This drawing is NOT what you look like.

Also, peep the black earrings I gave him in the picture. Can’t tell in the original photo if those are actually earrings or just the pictures of cats in the background (I’m an idiot).

My dad tried to give me some advice a couple of months ago about drawing noses. He said that most drawings of noses have more to do with shading than with the lines, which is true. However, I apparently decided to take this as “don’t draw any lines”. So the ~minimalist~ nose I gave Chase here looks like he doesn’t have a nose at all, or that his nose was flattened like that guy from Austin Powers who wouldn’t move out of the way in the room of steamrollers.

 

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What a cinematic masterpiece.

 

 

 

I think I overestimated the size of his head while simultaneously making his face too small for the proportions to work out. Will I ever learn how to draw proportions correctly? Leaning towards no. Also, the way I’ve drawn his teeth makes him seem like he only has exactly 5 teeth. It reminds me of those fake hillbilly teeth I would wear as a kid.

 

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Imagine getting a call from your agent saying they got you a job modeling for hillbilly teeth.

 

 

But let’s end on a positive note. What am I PROUD of? This is the ~~~pride~~~ themed post after all. I thrive on making lists, so let’s do just that.

I’m proud of…

  • The hair on all of these drawings. Hair is pretty fucking hard to draw. Go me.
  • The pops of color on these drawings. I bought those markers months ago for the specific purpose of making these drawing blog posts, and I thought I wasted my money because I haven’t posted in so long. 5 dollars well spent.
  • My writing. Personally, I think I’m fucking funny. Hopefully, these posts make people laugh. I hope my other posts on queer issues have helped people as other people’s posts and videos helped me.
  • The fact that I made this post at all. Depression makes things super hard, but I did this anyway. Go me.
  • Myself. Things are kind of shitty, but I’m still working and I’m still constantly trying to understand myself. I’ve also been motivated to get up and do things recently, which is a huge step forward for me. #depressedlife
  • My queer identity. I love being queer. I love being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m so proud of my identity; I wouldn’t change a thing about myself. Love wins.

Hopefully these posts will become a regular thing again because I really enjoy writing them and drawing for them. Stay tuned! Also, please let me know if you want me to draw you because I’m running out of willing participants.

Be proud, stay strong, love wins, and happy pride!

 

I’ve Known Since I was 5: An LGBTQ+ Stereotype

One of the most damaging stereotypes about being LGBTQ+ is the belief that all LGBTQ+ people know from a young age that they are LGBTQ+.

While this is often true for many people, it’s not for others. Many people (both LGBTQ+ and cisgender heterosexual) believe this idea wholeheartedly, and it actually invalidates many queer and trans* experiences; it can even lead to people invalidating their own identities because they didn’t discover this identity or part of themselves until later in life.

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Double Rainbow.. all the way

As a young kid, I didn’t think about sexuality or gender in any way. I was just being me. I was a “tomboy,” but to me that was just who I was. Attraction and gender didn’t even enter my mind; I was too busy playing Runescape and worrying about whether Harry would defeat Voldemort (spoiler: he does). When sexual attraction did enter my life, I was attracted to men. This is still true, but it turns out that I am also attracted to women. But, did I know this in middle school or high school? Not at all. I was so oblivious to my sexuality; I assumed all girls had a crush on Katara from Avatar: the Last Airbender, dreamed about dating Emma Watson, and felt tingly when hugging girls and boys. Looking back, I was so, so, so bi. But I didn’t know.

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Me in the black shirt with the attached tie. Soooo queer. So unaware of it.

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Confused Gender Rambles

I was in the middle of writing a post about making tofu scramble, but I just couldn’t finish it. I don’t want to be disingenuous and continue to write something that I don’t care about (right now, anyway). I’m not in the mood to make a joke about how “eggs-cellent” my recipe is. I want to write what I feel. Writing when you have something to say is always better than when you are writing what you think you’re supposed to say.

 

So, I’m writing about gender today. And I have honestly never given gender much thought, besides being an ally for trans/non-binary/genderqueer people. I feel rather informed about the subject, but I never really considered it to personally affect me.

 

But now I’m not so sure, and it’s making me feel weird. I feel so many conflicting and differing things that I don’t even know what I feel. Excitement at the possibilities of who I could be combined with depression at not knowing who I am sends me on an endless cycle of questioning. I feel cripplingly lonely, but I also have the love of my life who makes me feel so incredibly happy and loved. I’m happy and sad, I’m confused, I’m scared, and I’m excited. All at once. Yikes.

 

It reminds me a lot of when I was trying to figure out my sexuality. I knew I wasn’t straight, and I knew I wasn’t gay, but I didn’t really know anything else you could be. The sorts of “middle” sexualities that are under the bi+ umbrella are not as defined in our society. Or when they are, they are belittled or stereotyped to seem horrible, inherently sexual and, overall, lesser than the binary sexualities. I would spend hours agonizing over how I felt, wishing that I could “just be straight” or “just be gay,” because then it would be ‘easier.’ At least I would have one category to belong to, and at least people would understand and accept being gay (again, I’m not saying this is actually how it is, but this is how I felt at the time). Being bisexual was so hard for me to accept, not only because I didn’t really know anything about it, but because I subconsciously knew that being bisexual had it’s own struggles and obstacles that were so much different than the ones for monosexuals.

 

I feel like I am right back where I was 2 years ago when I was agonizing over being bisexual. I started watching a lot of videos on YouTube back then to help me figure out my sexuality, and it’s no different now with gender. I’ve been watching so many FTM transgender videos on YouTube, and those videos made me start thinking about my own gender. But yet again, I feel stuck. I don’t feel like I am trans, as I don’t really feel like a man. But I don’t feel like a woman. But I also don’t feel agender either.

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