New Video- Awkward Moments With an Awkward Transkid

AAAAAANNNNND Here it finally is. Well, the wait probably wasn’t worth it if you were waiting, and if you were, well…
It’s awkward. Very! In fact, because I’m just so naturally awkward, I decided to make a video about awkward moments as a transperson, this time only regarding your name and body image.
Warning- The big rant/lecture/purpose of this video truly begins at about 8 minutes in, so feel free to skip the awkward hand and face gestures up to that point, but it will defeat the purpose of the video in it’s entirety. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it, and I apologize for giving you an ‘awwwkward morning’ 🙂

See what I did there?

 

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Finding Love, Faith, and Peace in a Transgender Life

Wouldn’t we all like to have somebody to love us unconditionally?

Maybe find it within ourselves to picture something bigger than us? Or even know that we at a personal level are happy with what we’ve become in life?
None of this is easy to find, and nobody should ever tell you that you have to make those decisions now. Let me these down a bit.

Love
Every one secretly hopes someone is going to come along one day and sweep them off their feet, however it is that they may picture .it in their minds. And of course  are those of us who are impatient and anxious. Being Trans* can open a whole new slew of fear in the world of romance- who would want to put up with this? I can’t even stand it! Oh gosh, how do I even tell them? What will their family say? What if they want to be physical?
Hold still my friends, because chances are if that’s what you’re worried about, you aren’t ready for that type of relationship. A person who truly loves you will stand with you through this, no matter what “stage” you might be at. They won’t care about your body unless it’s not healthy, and they want to help you. Love is tricky in that it appears sometimes in the strangest of ways, but it won’t be below your belt. When the time is right, someone will come along. Don’t settle on someone close by because they might be Transgender too, or some letter from the LGBT alphabet soup that you think makes you more “legitimately” transgender. It doesn’t work like that. The girl I’d never give up for anything is bisexual, but she leans towards girls. Does that mean she’s wrong for me? No. Does that mean I should quit transitioning? No. Does that mean she’s planning to leave me for someone else? Only if I treat her badly. Love is patient, love is kind, love is a whole lot of mysterious things that should not be categorized by general preference.

Faith
Notice that I didn’t say religion. Personally, I have no taste for books preaching about what are supposedly beliefs that alter with every new edition. I have no trust in doctrines or systems that put one human being above another. So thus, I am biased. But this doesn’t mean I can’t believe in something; it means I don’t believe in commonly accepted theories on a supreme being.
Now that I’ve made my platform clear, I should really get to my point. Do not believe that by coming to terms with your gender, orientation, your anything means that you are turning your back on whomever you might believe in. If there is something above us,who truly loves us all in a way we don’t understand, then he will not stop just because you are different than from what other people intended. Maybe you were born into the skin you were given to teach you something that would’ve otherwise been a lost lesson. If I’d been born in male skin, do you think I would’ve ever understood that horrible process called a period? Hell no. Do you think a transwoman would’ve known that men are under just as much pressure to have the perfect everything as women are if they’d not been born as one? Of course not. Despite the dĂ©modĂ© gender stereotypes we try to cast away, there are still valid things we may learn from one other. If there is a God or Allah or Flying Spaghetti Monster, that was all it wanted for you, to better yourself. Have faith in that.

Peace
It takes courage to survive in this world as yourself. Everyone seems to have an opinion about you. Truth be told, that’s not usually the case. It’s paranoia dears, and it’s caused by the few individuals who aren’t at peace with themselves, and they feel they must disrupt the peace within others.
The steps to finding one’s inner peace are practical, and I feel are applicable to anyone, not just transgender people. The first is acknowledging all the bits and pieces that makes you you, and how they work together. The second may or may not be optional. You can take those pieces and make them better. Work on whatever flaw you feel you can’t stand to live with. Lastly is simply existing. You know who you are, you know what you are made of, what you’re capable of, and what you were made for. So what if someone calls you some silly name? Oh look at that, it’s that queer! Okay… well congrats, it looks like your glasses work, now what’s your point?
It’s pointless to let others disturb the foundations you’ve set for yourself. Confidence is key dears, now go and love yourselves.
-Sejay.

College= The-not-as-scary-High-School

You might as well know now if you’re not in high school yet, or haven’t been in a while, that it is it’s own living, breathing hell. Hormones and homework… bleck. Now add in the stress of coming to terms with who you are along with everyone else and oh-my-god-what-is-wrong-with-you’s… it gets old quick.
Well, soon it’ll be old news kiddos, just wait until you get to college!
Regardless on where you end up, college permits you to be a little more of yourself without fear of being reprimanded for it. It might not always be a 100% easy ride, but generally, you’re now seen as a young adult, with your own voice, and the ability to make your own decisions. So in case you’re afraid to introduce yourself as your preferred name and gender, instead feel bold with it. Who will know? Remember to tell your professors of course, but otherwise, now is the time to put a little strut in your step. Your life- really- starts now.

The Name Game

There are a variety of ways to approach the subject of our names- how or why they were given to us, how we feel about them, what we might do with them. Our names are what presents us to the world, and are the labels of our likeness. So of course it’s fitting that we want one to fit ourselves. I’m not speaking necessarily about switching from one gender specific name to another, I’m saying the names we may choose for ourselves should be ones we’re happy with.
When I chose to change my name to Sebastian, it wasn’t a spontaneous decision. I contemplated and debating and even researched it, and it finally came down to my own personal connotation with Sebastian that had me choose it. For the longest time I was stuck between that and Dereck, but after thinking it over for the millionth time, I realized that every Dereck I’d known or heard of was either kind of a jerk or kind of an idiot. No offense to any decent Dereck’s out there, I just haven’t met you! So, the choice came pretty naturally to me. What I mean to say here is don’t go and think of some crazy new name on the spot and demand that to be your new name. I can nearly guarantee you’ll hate it later. Think about it; if it takes years to come to you, let it. Go by a nickname in the meantime if you wish, and don’t worry about your middle name either. Personally, I had a bit of fun with mine, “Jax”. Your name doesn’t make your gender, your brain and body do. Well,your soul may have a part in that too, but metaphysics aren’t my specialty. So, for those of you unsure of a name, do a little thinking and a little reading. And for those of you who DO know what you wish to go by, be patient with others; you’re basically retitling yourself from a cat to a dog with your friends and family. Good luck mis amigos!
-Sejay

Personal Take On An Awesome New Book- “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves”

While hanging out with my family yesterday afternoon, we were listening in on NPR and heard a few interesting things concerning the LGBT community, firstly that Florida was finally headed somewhere towards marriage equality, and the latter being a story on the new ‘textbook’ resource for transmen and transwomen- Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource For The Transgender Community.

The NPR interview link is here=> http://www.npr.org/2014/07/17/332051691/trans-bodies-trans-selves-a-modern-manual-by-and-for-trans-people

Although I personally haven’t read it yet (on my Christmas list) I’ve done a wee bit of research on it. The title is a play off of the feminist manual Our Bodies, Ourselves, and is a base inspiration for the book. Laura Erickson-Schroth, the editor has worked with many another transperson, legal and health officials to put together ” a resource guide for transgender populations, covering health, legal issues, cultural and social questions, history, theory, and more.” (taken from their webpage http://transbodies.com/) I honestly can’t wait to pick this up and share it further with you, as I truly believe this might just be the next biggest step we need to understand ourselves, and educate others. As a young adult trying to transition to male, I can greatly appreciate any help or information I could get my hands on, and so a thank you goes out to the wonderful people who got together to write this.
Okay, book review over, I’ll be back soon!

5 Hardest Things To Come By As a Young Transperson

There’s a plethora of problems to deal with living in skin you’re uncomfortable in. Your body namely doesn’t function the way you’d prefer it to, and then someone’s ALWAYS going to have an opinion on it. There’s no way to know for sure who you can be honest with, pre- and post-surgery, or if you could even tell them your name. But as a child, no matter the circumstances, you’re usually going to be treated like one. Parents especially should know that children and young adults are far more conscious of the world around us then given credit for. And so, we go without, which will start my 5 hardest things to come by as a young transman or transwoman.

5. Validation

“Honey, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I wanna be a boy like daddy!”

Did anyone else remember a soft chuckle and a “no, really” response? It’s true that in elementary school or lower that children have wild and great imaginations and ideas, but the concept here goes beyond that. When a 5 year old tells you they don’t feel good, a parent will check their temperature and ask what’s wrong. If they’re hurt, they cry or tell you, and you fix them up. So, if a child can be aware enough to tell you when something is wrong or off with them, why is their gender different, or their sexual orientation for that matter?
Then in middle and high school, magically we’re just “confused and going through changes”. Um, yeah, I’m growing breasts, and I wanted a beard! Or in some cases, you’re growing a moustache and you wanted hips. Either way, by then you’ve figured out a lot about yourself and deserve validation of your feelings at least. I encourage any adult to be open when a child tells them who they feel they are, because sometimes, yes, there’s a possibility they’re just scared and confused from our lovely friend puberty, but more often than not they are really trying to tell you something.

4. Social Acceptance

“Ewww… are you a boy or a girl?”
“I don’t know…”

So, this one got me in trouble a lot. I spent most of elementary school in a Catholic school and… well, let me stop there before I get rude. Anyway, recess was a living hell, because back then everything was boys vs girls. Every kickball game, soccer game, hopscotch, even the monkey bars ended up being either boy or girl territory. So… where do you go? If all your friends are boys, and at this point you think girls are gross despite you living as one, what do you do? The “real” guys don’t want you to be on their side, and the girls think you’re weird. Complicated much? It doesn’t change much sadly the older you get; guys will get bigger and buffer and girls will get prettier and scarier (hello menstrual cycle). Whichever end you happen to be on, it sucks. Transmen are suddenly freaky tomboys and transwomen are just gay and sissies. Puberty sucks, and the hormones that go with it are just as bad. With everyone already struggling to fit in, adding in today’s sex and violence oriented culture, it becomes a battleground to be yourself.

3. Family Support

“Mom, I don’t wanna wear a dress!”
“It’s a family reunion, you’re wearing a dress!”
“Can I have shorts under?”
“Only if I can’t see them.”

So you might’ve reached a point where you’ve been brave enough to maybe tell your siblings or MAYBE one or both of your parents that at minimum you MIGHT like your same birth gender. You may have also told them you hate clothing traditionally made for that gender and refuse under any circumstances to wear it.
Good for you, you poor innocent soul.
Because unfortunately the moment comes where there’s a wedding, a birthday, a funeral, something where you’ll be meeting up with aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins, and there’s bound to be someone there that your mom or dad will dread having to hear about you sticking out like a sore thumb, or as my mom used to say, “something your not.” I’m not gunna lie, this probably hurts the most out of every other incident where you were ignored or put down or made fun of because of your true gender. This is your family, the people who have always loved you and had your back (usually, not always) and suddenly who you are is an embarrassment. What the hell?!
We all know that it comes down to religion and old prejudices that keep homosexual and transgendered people the stigmas of otherwise “normal families”. Don’t listen to it! Please, for the love of whatever you believe in, don’t let them determine who you are. Eventually, you can choose to let them in or out of your life. You can choose to try and help them understand, or simply walk away if they’re set in their ways. It might be rough, and you might feel pretty bad about it, but you need to do what’s right for you. Don’t keep friends or family who push you around, don’t make excuses for them and be someone your not. Don’t pretend to have a girlfriend or a boyfriend or make up being into some sport or fashion style in the hopes you’ll convince someone “there’s nothing wrong with you.” Someday, you’ll find the right people who will understand and support you. Keep strong.

2. Medical Care

“Hey, is it possible to make boobs smaller?”
“Why? Your chest is flatter than a pancake, you should get them bigger.”

I’ve already mentioned the many layers of hell that is puberty, but it’s come to light that if a child who is transgendered and the parents know, they can set up treatments to make sure they develop the way they’re comfortable with. Does this happen often? No. Why? Reread 5 through 3. The second hardest thing a transgendered adolescent deals with is a lack of medical attention, both for physical and mental health. The LGBT community is amongst the highest rates for depression, anxiety, and suicide, with Trans leading heart breaking rates of around 40% (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). It speaks for itself then that you deserve to get help instead of becoming a statistic.
In addition to therapy and hormone counseling, I know personally I resented certain doctor visits, ones that pertained to gender specific reasons. Discussing with any healthcare professional about your body requires a lot of trust and courage, not something that everyone has to give. But I urge you to still go, despite how uncomfortable it is. Transmen, I can assure you how awkward it is sitting in an OBGYN office with your mom, and the look of the other patients when it’s you they call back. However, your health is more important than your image here guys. Same for you trans ladies. If for some reason you think you need to go, do it. Don’t end up with some horrible condition because you’re afraid of what people might say.

1. Respect For Your Gender

“I’m sorry, you’ll never be Sebastian to me. You’ll always be my little girl.”

Or

“But you’ve been Gina for 18 years, how do you expect me to change that?”

UUUGGGGHH. Nothing irritates me more than this crap. The easiest way to put it is this- “If you can’t respect who I am, that’s fine, but I don’t want to spend time with someone that finds me uncomfortable. For both of our sakes.” Every parent, family member and friend, even teachers sometimes have all these ideas and expectations of how we will end up being, so they’re always resistant to who we turn out to be. The matter of them knowing you as a boy or a girl for however long will become irrelevant- keep track of when you come out to who, so down the line you can say,”Well yes, you knew me as so and so for (x) years, but it’s been how many since I told you?”
There’s also the matter of your body. Why it matters to anyone besides you and your partner, is way beyond me, but unfortunately there are people you believe that if you don’t have a penis you’re not a boy, and if you don’t have a vagina you’re not a girl. YOU DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT NEED THESE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. It is not worth it arguing until you are blue in the face with them, it is not worth it explaining it’s who you are on the inside, none of it. They will have to learn to accept you on their own, because otherwise they’re only trying to convince YOU that THEY’RE right. It’s best to- again- walk away.
For every other occasion, if you’re comfortable enough, introduce yourself as who you prefer to go by, and the pronouns should follow. If you’re reintroducing yourself to friends and family, ask them to remember that this is what you prefer to go by- like a nickname- and to please make an effort to use the right pronouns and such. Remember to be respectful of other people’s views though; being polite will always get you farther. And please, don’t jump all over someone if they screw up if they’ve honestly been making an effort. Think about it from their view too, show them that you’re mature for your age. They will respect it and value your word.

That’s pretty much it for now. Remember the importance of honesty and bravery, because it’ll take you far on this hard road.

-Sebastian; Sejay

Still Just A (trans)Boy

I get a lot of questions not pertaining to who I am as a person. Nobody wants to know what I want to do for a living, what college I want to go to, would I rather live in an apartment or a house, where I want to be in ten, twenty years, anything a high school student should be interested about. It’s always these personal things they think should be open knowledge- do you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend? Do you wear the pants? How do you do the do? Or, the deed, if they’re really that perverted.

I’m a boy. Still just a boy.

Being transgendered will never be easy, whether you just happen to discover it soul searching one day, or you happen to be in your elementary class wondering why the girl you like doesn’t see you as ‘one of the guys’, when that’s not how you feel at all. It’s never easy to go home to your family that day, or your frends an perhaps your coworkers and just go “hey, guess what?” But heaven forbid you’re in high school. I hope you can figure it out beforehand, otherwise my friend, that is one hell of a horror movie. The pressure to fit in and attempt to discover the meaning of ‘normal’ is insanely difficult enough as it is, but throwing in some outlandish term like (pick your poison) ‘transgendered’ or ‘genderfluid’ often becomes interpreted to be “the hell is that?”
I live in the Northern-most-Southern State of Florida. Yaaayyyy, political and social diversity/confusion! Here you have your mix of ‘neck of the woods folk’ and ‘ can I have my latte wih a double shot expresso please?’ people. So, the reactions I get from people are never the same person to person, which no one can really expect otherwise to be honest. No matter who though, the most common question I get is “But you’re so young, how do you know?” And I always answer the same way.

Some people don’t like their nose, others don’t like their hair. Some people want abs, others want a great butt. Some people love who they see in the mirror, others despise its image. I’m the kid that likes their nose, loves their hair, but doesn’t like their boobs. I would kill for some awesome abs and maybe a firm rear, but I would give anything to change the gender outside. I look in my mirror, and see Sebastian, while everyone else sees ‘her’. And no, I don’t hate her, because in actuality, I don’t know her. She’s not real, just the name of the mask my skin wears.
Some kids grow up wanting to be just like their mom or dad, others want to be their own completely different person. Some kids know what their ‘type’ is, others go through trial and error. Some kids prefer doing school work, others prefer doing drugs. I want to be as loving as any parent should be and a better man than my father, and I HAVE to work with my hands. I don’t have a type, I fall in love with someone for who they are, so yes, I could swing either way. I strived to do well in school despite all the challenges at home and with certain individuals, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what it’s like to fall into bad habits to relieve the stress and the pain. Learning who you are is difficult, no matter the circumstances, no matter what you might find. It’s who you have to support you that helps get you through.

Being eighteen has this greatsense of freedom, but only if you can be honest with yourself and others, because chains sucks (well usually). If you’re some youngster passing by on this, or you found this on google, feel free to pass it on, absorb what you read, be a little brave, or even tell me your thoughts on it. I’m not one to judge others for their past because we’ve all got vices and secrets and general “don’t open” closets. I came out of mine, because we all need to feel the sunshine, and couldn’t wait until I was thirty or fourty and developed serious mental problems from staying quiet. I want to become someone’s beacon of hope, someone’s pillar of strength, or even someone’s book of knowledge. Whatever I become, I hope to leave this world with a better, brighter tomorrow.

Sejay Out!….