Cardiff LGBT+

This is the video for the Out in Sport campaign that was held by my universities LGBT+ association. A lot of awesome people put a lot of work into making this and running the campaign, so they deserve a lot of respect.

Advertisements

Language and gender

I’ve been thinking more about this (thinking is just about all I ever do, it seems sometimes).

The thing that really bothers me about all this, far more than any body part, is the complete absence of language to communicate the experience of being non-binary gendered. Every time I’m called ‘girl’, ‘woman’  etc there’s a twinge of ‘oh, my boobs define my entire being to you too?’. Especially when those words come from people I know are trans-friendly, and  I’ve explained the situation to them.

What words could replace them though? The male equivalents only work in the sense of ‘huh, you didn’t just associate my identity with my body parts, nice’. It’s a shame it’s still a binary term that feels incredibly restrictive to me. I don’t think ‘not associated with years of mis-gendering’ is quite the same as actually feeling right.

Obviously, my birthname is another factor that really doesn’t help. Nor do I think it’s any coincidence that the gender neutral nickname that forms part of the title of this blog is the name I like people using best. It’s so non-standard though, I’m not sure if I’ll ever go through the hassle of changing it in all areas of my life, especially not with family.

There is but one thing I can and will do though. Fuck defining bodies by their parts. If you’re female, your body is too. In other words, the very last thing I have is a female body. I don’t care how it looks to you, it’s not. That’s true whether you’re a layman, or a doctor, or my mum.

———-

 

In other news, this has been the most productive night for nearly two months now. Only about 200 words and some references  to go, and this is practical report no. 1 out of the way!

 

 

BIPOLAR OWL

 

BIPOLAR OWL.

Found this on Tumblr today, and absolutely loving it. Whilst also mildly worried about the amount of times I’m going ‘Oh God yes, so true’. It’ll  come in handy for the next time I’m convinced there’s no way I’m ill, I’m fine now, how could I have ever thought I was so ill, I suppose.

As for why it’s an owl, I’m not sure. I think it’s probably best explained as ‘it’s a Tumblr thing’.

Very much wishing I felt more like the above image right now, it has to be said.

Still here, honest!

I’ve not been doing very well at updating this.. whoops!

Couple of days back went to a meet up of friends from all over the UK in London. Unfortunately a couple of people I really wanted to be there weren’t able to make it. I suppose that may be the slight flaw in having a group of friends each with their own mental health oddities.

Despite that though, it was a really awesome day. It’s nice to be able to socialise with a group of people who all understand. We chilled in Regent’s Park for a bit, then headed onto Camden Market until the evening.

Now all I have  to do is catch up on everything I’ve missed at uni, which is intimidating.

Student Suspended for Speaking Native American Language – ICTMN.com

Student Suspended for Speaking Native American Language – ICTMN.com.

I found a link to this on Tumblr, and it just beggars belief really.

Does it even really matter in the grand scheme of things if a 12 year old is passing on rude words in her native language to her friends? It’s distasteful, yes, but also very much what 12 year olds do. If the teacher is really worried, she should have enquired as to the language and researched the worrisome words, not banned it’s use outright.

I really wish people would think more about what they’re doing sometimes.

A mildly worrying pattern

2004 – unwell

2005 – mildly better, but not great

2006 – about as ok as I get

2007 – getting ill again

2008 – as ill as I’ve ever been

2009 – slowly recovering

2010 – again, basically ok

2011 – getting ill again

2012 – constant cycling, at least one incapacitating low, more than one high already.

This has been a vague idea floating around in my mind for a while now, but I only just wrote it down tonight. Upon doing so, I think the only words might just be ‘ah. shit.’.

It’s imperative I find the right medication cocktail, and soon. The only problem is that I’m at home now for the next three weeks, and may or may not be back in Cardiff after that. Then there’ll be another stretch at home, and then back in Cardiff. Coordinating appointments around that is not easy, especially not when side effects become just unbearable whilst at home (i.e. right now, with the nausea that lithium causes).

One might argue I should never have gone to a uni so far from home. I could have studied psychology almost anywhere. Should I have to give up on the course and location I actually want just because of illness though? Would that even do me any good, knowing I wasn’t where I really wanted to be?

It’s a little easier this time around. It’s amazing the sheer difference simply knowing ‘this is the bipolar, it does this’ makes. For that reason, I will never disagree with the idea of diagnosis (though, it’s hardly unflawed). I know a little better what helps, that it passes, that other people have the same thing, and simply why today getting out of bed is just not going to happen.

At the same time, this time around, it’s a better knowledge of how it can/will likely pan out. Months of cycling, getting increasingly worse. Potentially making studying impossible. If I’m up, I can make myself feel I will get through it. Obviously, when down, it’s quite the opposite.

I can only hope I am very wrong, and prepare to not to be.

 

Only a tiny bit

I said before that I had ideas for posts lined up, but now, it feels instead like the supply has dried up. I don’t suppose it’ll last forever, sooner or later I’ll have something to say for myself.

The knitting is going well, I shall have to take a picture soon for an update. I’m beginning to manage to learn to not let go of the needle each and everytime, though I’ve not yet mastered the technique, so currently it’s quite amusingly awkward.

I’m also beginning to get just a tiny tiny bit excited for moving into my new house in Cardiff. Only three months to go, should be amazing. So much healthier than living in halls. I’m already making plans in my head for my room. I can’t bear a plain, undecorated room (well, that’s my excuse for why any room I inhabit always ends up in such a mess). My room at home though is tiny, so it’s always been easy to keep it full of awesome little things. I’m very tempted to not only cover the walls in photos and post cards (those mostly from when my cousin went travelling all over the world rather than get in lots of debt at uni. I daresay she’s the smarter one out of me and her), but also to hang some form of display from the ceiling, seeing as for once I’ll have space.

Just a quick post

I had other posts lined up for either today or tomorrow.. but then I heard about something which seemed somewhat more important to draw attention to.

In Germany, a young girl of 11 is being threatened with institutionalisation, and enforced foster care afterwards because that girl is a transgirl. Her parents are divorced and although she has her mothers support, she does not have her fathers.

Please sign the petition to at least attempt to prevent the damage this will cause to this child:

http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-of-berlin-stop-the-institutionalization-of-a-11-year-old-transexual

Keep calm and carry on

Stumbling across this video was interesting. At my university, it’s extremely common to see plays on this poster, to the point where it actually just gets annoying. There was the the union event ‘keep calm and be a lad’.. because laddishness is typified by calm collectedness, I’m sure. Or the student support centre’s ad that I believe goes ‘keep calm and eat beans’.

It’s a shame, because I actually like the original poster and I’d rather not get sick of it.

Additionally, I think I have to buy a book from that shop at some point.

Found on: Well, I never knew « vividreality.

A ramble.

Last time I posted, I spoke about how gender’s been on my mind. I also said I’d try to get that into something approaching a coherent piece of writing. I rather feel I should make good on my word and do so, but it’s not easy.

There’s the worry about who might read this and how they might respond. Or even just what they might think, the judgements they might make, regardless of whether or not they make an overt response. I know that part of this is me worrying more than I need to, but I don’t think it’s entirely irrational, unfortunately.

I think partly it’s inherently ridiculous. I mean, I both thoroughly do not believe in any form of sex, gender or sexuality binary – and yet, when it comes to gender especially, I’d very much like to feel like I fit inside of that supposedly not so existent binary. I don’t think that’s any more possible than the world suddenly realising maybe it’s not worth having a floor for men’s clothing and a floor for women’s because what about the way that the women’s floor needs so much variation that sometimes the measurements are not that different from the men’s and the need for the floor for people who don’t feel like either floor is quite right except sometimes they like to feel kinda femme-y, but not as often as they like to feel masculine and all the other variations you would begin to require. (A department store that worked on the basis of simply selling clothing, without gendering any of it would be amazing). It’s possibly even less possible than that.

The pressure to be cis feels immense. I don’t think my parents would even begin to understand, and quite honestly, what with being queer and having bipolar and scoliosis I’ve been enough of the ‘odd child’ as it is.

There’s also the way I quite like being seen as an adult. Except, let’s be honest at 4″11, if I don’t get a chance to enter into proper conversation with you, that’s because of my boobs. Which means you’re not seeing me as an ‘adult’, you’re seeing me as a ‘woman’. Which isn’t great.

Ok, so yeah, T would probably serve as a workaround for that one. Facial hair, deeper voice, eventually that might swing it. But.. maybe that’d just be the same problem in a different guise? Alright, there’s less sexism involved in being seen as an adult man, which’d be nice and there’s no denying that, but uh no, that’s not the right reason to do that (or the right way to achieve not experiencing sexism).

So, it’s all too easy to feel like I should just stop being stupid and think ‘look, boobs, vagina = woman, duh’. I can’t think that though. It’s wrong, and not only is it wrong, it’s an extremely hurtful viewpoint to all the binary women out there who don’t have those body parts. And if transmen don’t have to see themselves that way even if they do have them, why should I?

In some ways, it’d also be a lot simpler if I could align myself with that identity. Note: I am not using simpler to mean in any way easier. That would be bullshit. Just simpler in that the identity of ‘man’ is at least recognised. That there’s surgery and hormones available to make your body more inhabitable, if that’s what you need or want. That you’ve at least grown up knowing the word for you, even if it took you years to realise you could claim it.

All I know is that when a group is split down the lines of ‘the boys’ and the ‘the girls’, it doesn’t feel ok. That I’d much prefer to be seen as a person than a girl, or woman. I’ve been known to say a fair few times that my body is much more of a woman than I am, and that that is incredibly frustrating and feels incredibly limiting.

I suppose ideally I’d love to have a tall, lithe body that’s pliable in terms of the ways it can be presented to the world. There just isn’t a way to achieve that if you’re not lucky enough to be born like it, even if you’re willing to have your legs broken repeatedly and stretched. I’m not, just to make that clear. I’d also be much, much happier knowing there’s no way I could ever get pregnant. I could possibly be a parent, but there’s no way I ever want to be ‘mum’.

The thing is, right now I have no idea of what the right word for feeling like this is. I don’t think it’s agender, that doesn’t ‘click’ or ‘feel right’. There are words like genderqueer, which sort of works. I’ve known others though who feel similarly who can’t stand that word, and I can definitely see their reasoning. There’s also the fact that it’s more equivalent to stating that you’re binary. For example, you’d say, my gender is binary, I am a man/woman, not I am binary. In comparison, it would be: it’s my gender is queer and then.. I am a.. um. yeah. um. actually I don’t know.

So, I’m left trying to convey to a binary world that I am something that I don’t even know what it’s called I just know what it sure as hell isn’t. With a body that has two options, woman or child. With clothing choices that have two options, woman or boy.

All of this leaves me feeling that in many ways, gender for me is something that is forcibly private and personal. Something that only those that are a) very close and b) have half a chance of understanding can know about. It’s like when straight people say they’re fine with homosexuality, so long as it isn’t in their faces all the time – because that’s only ok for normal love, obviously. Most binary people’s gender, especially those who are cis, is constantly on display, with everything they wear, do, say. In every time they kiss their partner and the way that’s seen, both by their partner and the world at large. It just comes naturally, and so it should.

For me, it’s the complete opposite. My gender is erased even in the smallest moments. That’s right down to nearly every time I have to participate in a study to gain credits for my course. Every single one asks for gender, 99% only offer male or female. It’s a moment where I am being asked to literally define myself, and then denied the space in which to do so.

It’s why I love the term ‘trans*’. The asterisk works as a wildcard, signifying all the non-binary ways to be non-cis. It’s still not quite perfect, but it’s existence means a lot.