Category Archives: school

Cellarboy the Overlander (also Jake Bugg)

I’m tearing through a series of books by Suzanne Collins about a kid who visits an underground world and has to save them a bunch of times from utter doom, because why would you want an army or a police force when you’ve got unassuming twelve year olds? It’s written for young kids (not Doctor Seuss young, although that would be terribly amusing), more for the 9-12 age-range, hence the books’ placement in the 9-12 section at Chapters. I feel a little weird picking them up, but then again, it’s sometimes equally embarrassing wandering the teen section. Have you ever looked at that shit? It’s the fastest way to completely crumple up your faith in the world’s goodness.

In these books, our inexplicably successful hero falls down every once in a while to the underground world, where he rides giant bats and fights mean creatures that want to kill him, eat him, or dismember him. (Reference to scary alive jungle vines.) One of the things I really like, though, is how he never comes out unscathed – sure he always wins, but people die, get sick, and generally are worse off than they were when they started out. His dad was missing for years, held captive by rats, and his mom, in the last book, suffered from a plague and nearly died, forcing a time limit on him to go find the cure. He also has a baby sister who is, I must admit, ridiculously adorable, and there’s also a romantic intrigue in there, (a somewhat unlikable warrior girl) although Suzanne Collins doesn’t make it cheesy or stupid, and thank God for that, because everybody knows how insufferable those 9-12 romances can be. Hey, you guessed it, Rick Riordan.

The story isn’t fantastic, but it makes me happy, and it’s hard to be happy these days. My mom has been in the hospital for the past couple of days, but she’s doing better and they’re pretty sure it’s just an awful infection – and that they can fix it. I went to see her a few hours ago and she was sitting up, and she could walk again, and she laughed at my stupidest jokes, which is a sign that either she really is doing much better or that the narcotics she’s on are really working. Either way is good.

I missed school all last week, and this week I haven’t gone, either. My anxiety has been attempting to build a spiky building of some kind inside my stomach, and any way I move, it hurts. I don’t know if it’s completely because of my mom, or a mix of several things, including her of course, but I’ve been having troubles. My obsessive compulsive stuff keeps me up an extra twenty minutes or so every night, and it’s at the stage where I dread getting up even if I have to go the bathroom, because I know I’ll get stuck doing some ritual or other. And grandma, please stop coming into my room – especially if it’s because of the unripe red bananas we got at the grocery store. I miss being at home, because there’s less people – just me and my mom, and my cat – and therefore less chance for interruptions. Not as if I mind interruptions all the time – but when I’m sunk deep in my writing, and it’s about the bananas – I just need that couple of hours where I can be on my own. To decompress, as my mom calls it.

The Suzanne Collins books are starting to get uncannily relatable, because of the fact that the main character’s parents are both having issues, and he has a little sister, and there’s, you know, jungle vines that would happily dismember him, that being a metaphor for my problems. His mom’s sick, my mom’s sick – his dad’s sick, my dad’s sick. He has to face horrible things that he hates and wish would go away. I really feel like we’re in the same place, even though he’s twelve and not real, and I’m sixteen and real. I think. Let’s not get existential again, though. I’m too tired for that, fuck.

And you know, I got ten hours of sleep last night! Funny, because I feel exhausted. The world gets a nice long middle finger for that. At least ten seconds, maybe fifteen. Why don’t you make some sense sometime, eh? I’ll buy you a chocolate bar or something.

Maybe it’s psychological. It probably is. I had to go to the hospital myself, in the endocrinology-something section, where they were finally able to set up my Lupron injections. My grandma brought me because she knows that I’m transgender now – and she was extraordinary about handling the news. A quote from Nana: “She is just ‘he’ with an ‘s’ in front of it.” Well, shit. You don’t find grandmas like that anywhere, do you? She grew up in the 50s and 60s when being gay wasn’t accepted, and she takes this news like, I don’t know, even; like an extraordinary person. My uncle knows too, after seeing a pamphlet about transgender stuff that I left by the computer, but we haven’t talked about it and besides, he’s my uncle. Find the most understanding and accepting person you know, and increase their awesomeness by 10, and you’re still several notches below my uncle. He has some sort of Asperger’s-like condition or other, so he’s different than other adults – but more wonderful than other adults, too. Nah, I don’t worry about how he’s taking it.

So, I sat in the endocrinology-something place for a few hours and was brought in to see the first doctor, a pregnant woman whose name I missed. She asked me some stock transgender questions, and was really nice and awesome; she reminded me of one of my best friends. One of her questions I found really funny – she asked me what my idea of masculinity was, and asked me to tell her what person I saw myself as; I thought that was a bit tough, because there’s nobody I really see myself as, but I said Win Butler, and so she Googled him. Then she said I looked like him. Then I died. The ultimate honor! I look like Win Butler! Holy shit! After that I told her to Google Jake Bugg because, if I look like anyone, it’s him, and frighteningly so. If my music career falls through I’m going to be a Jake Bugg impersonator, because I feel there’s money in that, or will be in the future. Anyway, the whole thing amused me greatly, and I told my mom today about it. She suggested the reason that the doctor asked me that was because they want me to have reasonable expectations for what testosterone and surgeries can do – so no Arnold Schwarzenegger body, in other words. The doctor even asked what my expectations were, and if I was thinking about rippling biceps – I said a very passionate and honest “No way, ew” and then directed her to Win Butler and Jake Bugg, who are, let’s be honest, somewhat girly men. It’s no secret I can be somewhat on the girly side – or what do you call it when it’s a boy? Flamboyant perhaps. A moment while I shake the rainbows out of my hair.

When I can joke about this stuff it becomes less stressful. However, I don’t know how I can joke about the needle they’re going to stick in my leg next week when I get the first Lupron injection – because that isn’t funny. Surrounding the idea is a cold haze of unpleasantness, similar to how I felt about my blood test a little while ago. And apparently I have low levels of calcium and vitamin D, but at least that’s a normal thing – so now I’ll just be sitting around force-feeding myself four glasses of milk a day to account for it. Or taking the supplements, which is what they actually prescribed.

Fuck my room is cold. I have this suspicion that the two outside-facing walls are just a sheet of drywall, some tissue paper, and another sheet of drywall or something. I have four blankets, count ’em, four blankets, and they actually kept me toasty last night – I felt like a caterpillar on a summer’s day. It was nice. I’ll do that again tonight.

Probably going to stay up too late again, too. Last night I was so tired I had to go to bed early, and by eleven I was out like a light, not to wake until ten thirty the next morning. But my usual thing is to stay up far too late into the strange twilit hours of the morning – I’ve shredded my way through an entire series of anime and 12 episodes of another one, plus a lot of writing and internet-messing-around. The anime series I finished was really good, I wish I could say great, but meh – a little too much inconsistency to win a wonderful mark from me. Plus it constantly felt as if it was going to turn into some kind of porno, even though, ah thank God, it never did – you have all these good-looking men standing around leaning in close to each other, and after a while you just sit and accept that if it’s going to be a porno, it’s going to be a porno. You should note that the Japanese are surprisingly and somewhat uncomfortably free with exploring the sexual aspects of things – and sometimes it gets pretty grating. In this anime (Kuroshitsuji, or Black Butler) nothing actually happened, but so much almost happened that I came away from it relieved and vaguely disappointed. What I really liked about it, though, was how they played around with gender – there’s actually a transgender character in there, even though he’s kind of stupid and ridiculous; but I appreciated it, at some level.  Not to mention whoever does the story seemed to thoroughly enjoy sticking the main character, who’s a boy, in dresses sometimes, maybe in a comedic way, or maybe not; and the other main character, the sexy butler guy, is not exactly masculine. Plus in his demon form he has high heels on, so you know. Hey, shit gets real when the sexy butler wears heels. And it’s true.

I’m looking around for another anime to watch now. I was into Sword Art Online for a while, but it’s starting to taper off and get less interesting; and I tried Attack on Titan, but I hate the main character, so I can’t watch it. I find it impossible to enjoy something when the main character is difficult to sympathize with. Unlike in Gregor the Overlander (Suzanne Collins) who I can completely sympathize with. I have the fourth and fifth books, and I look forward to being happy by reading them – I’ll take my time to appreciate them more, too. I usually just speed my way through everything and then only remember half of it, including life, I think. I should really slow stuff down a bit so it doesn’t keep passing so quickly, as I barely get my feet down in one month before the next one’s come up on me. For instance, it’s nearly March, and I’m pretty sure it was just January.

Spring’s coming, though. I can feel it a bit in the air, seeping into the dark winter chill and breathing some freshness back. It’s still cold out, but not bone-chillingly, and there’s more sunlight – I’m looking forward to the spring, for the first time in years, thanks to the magical boa constrictor I wear around my chest. And that first Lupron injection is coming, it’s almost here, and then I’ll go through menopause. Sounds really fun, doesn’t it? Sixteen years old and psychologically a boy, and I get to have menopause! But seriously, that’s what it is – my evil little girl-hormones are going to get the shit knocked out of them, for about three months, until I can procure my Magic Boy Drugs, otherwise known as testosterone, and hopefully then face the new school year in a better place, a much, much better place. But first I get to be a middle-aged woman.

I really hate that idea, and I bet the spam bot reading this thinks it sounds weird, which YES, IT DOES, I fully admit that it’s weird. Talk about your weird puberty. Go from regular female puberty to menopause and eventually to non-regular male puberty, and then fuck knows where, I guess I’ll just be a Jake Bugg impersonator.

I think that’s all I have in me today. Thank you for getting this far, as always.

– Brynn

jake bugg

photo (19)


(I couldn’t resist, my apologies, spam bots. Also the fact that our haircuts are exactly the same is amusing but not intentional.)


I’m Not a Happy Lizard on a Warm Rock

Tell me why tomorrow is school, please – I need a philosophical explanation, not just a “Well it’s Monday, you see.” I know that, thanks. I want to know why, after all the thousand years of human civilization, after the big bang and the slow creation of galaxies and stars and universes, after the culmination of endless decisions – tomorrow is school. I want a graph. Make me a graph that says why.

But shiiiiiit, is there anything I would possibly desire to do less than go to school tomorrow? Perhaps run across a field of hungry crocodiles. I say perhaps. Look, I sit here going through the motions of life, and somehow it all boils down to the same thing: school. Ecole. I could dress like a gypsy, buy a horse, and ride all over the American southwest doing card tricks and busking on street corners, and I think I still wouldn’t be able to escape the omnipresent whisper in my ear, “school.” Like a nagging itch – school. How about I just kick people’s shins all over the school board until they give in and hand me all the rest of my credits.

I was looking at my report card on Friday (I did well, surprisingly, in both my subjects) and was horrendously disheartened when I saw that there’s still about fifty gamillion credits to get. Fuck – I’m in grade eleven. Next year should be my last year of high school, and then I can throw my schoolbag off a cliff and hold up my middle finger to the world in general and just be OUT of there. But I can’t physically squeeze in all the credits I need by the end of next year, not even if I actually LIKED doing this crap. It’s hard enough to actually force myself out from the warm safety of my bed in the morning, they’re also asking me to toil in the agony of classrooms and social situations just to wring out the credits that I need to continue on with my life, where I’ll be expected to work somewhere just for the pleasure of staying alive until I eventually die one day. And I know some people would kill to be able to go to school, who live in countries where education isn’t guaranteed – and I’d give them my spot in a heartbeat. For sure, take my education, go ahead and go to my stupid snotty high school – you might even like it. Me, I will sit in my room typing out angry blog posts and scribbling fantasy novels while The Doors plays sadly but inspirationally in the background.

Tomorrow is school. Yes. Thanks to the fathomless workings of the universe. Why couldn’t I be a lizard sitting on a warm rock somewhere? No educational pressure or social pressure or Asperger’s or gender dysphoria or ADD or OCD or whatever the fuck when you’re a happy lizard on a warm rock. I want a graph that explains why I’m not a happy lizard on a warm rock.

Sometimes I read over what I’ve just written, and have to cringe a bit. I swear I’m not completely insane.

Jesus, though, does it ever get tiring – school five days a week, with the brief respite of the weekend, which is just a short breath you take before plunging back into the water. Really cold, nasty water, too. And the world expects you to do all that and LIKE it, too! “Look, unsuspecting five year olds, you get to go to SCHOOL now! Isn’t that great?” No! Not ten years down the road, it isn’t. Not when you’re sitting there in the classroom feeling like your stomach is going to spontaneously burst into flames from anxiety. Sorry, world – I don’t do twelve years of school without complaining about it. No one should have to! Fuck! The stress of it is unbelievable. And then they expect you to do university or college afterwards, like stuff didn’t suck enough already. Human beings, with beautiful intelligent minds, shouldn’t be stuffed into large buildings five days a week and made to sit unmoving for hours at a time forcing their brains to learn things that are, first of all, barely ever interesting, and second really only serve to get you a job later in life, not to make you think or learn anything useful. I mean, I certainly understand the need of doing Bohr-Rutherford diagrams until you want to throw up – because when one day a man is bleeding out in the middle of the street, SOMEONE’S going to have to figure out HOW MANY ELECTRONS ARE IN A HYDROGEN PARTICLE.

The work itself is bad enough. I could stomach the work, I think, if it weren’t also that I’m sitting there in stuffy rooms surrounded by kids I can’t talk to, and who don’t talk to me, and so I am therefore floating there in a state of semi-conscious agony hoping that things will just be over quickly. Fuck I hate the social part. I haven’t made any real friends this year, unless you count Borong, but she’s not even in my classes anymore. So I’ve made no friends, none at all. And I still go, because why? Because credits? Fuck credits. Patti Smith went to New York instead of credits and became a rock star. No shits are given over credits. The school board can take their pretty credits, and stick them places.

I think I’ve said it before, but here: if I can tie my shoes and navigate a grocery store and dress myself in the morning, I don’t need my credits.

Part of the reason I still go is because of my mom, and how much she cares. She thinks it’s a good idea – and yes, she’s right. It’s probably a better idea than not going, but it’s also infinitely more painful to make myself do it. It’s like purposefully stepping on hot coals.

Whatever. Fuck. How do I make friends? Is that a thing I forgot? I think I used to do it pretty well. And then girl-puberty and social circles jumped on me like a rabid animal and I can do shit all about it, at least until the stupid people at the stupid hospital set up my appointment to “talk about Lupron injections.” How about, here’s an idea, how about we skip the talking, step on the talking, and actually DO shit. I have no idea where I exist in the confusing, grotesque social circles of high school anymore – not as if I would have any pleasure in existing in those circles – I just want to not be the weird “unknown” anymore. I’m trying really hard to be happy about myself and I feel like I’m actually losing ground for some reason. Being pleased with who I am is so close I can taste it – it’s like a carrot on a string. Really not a very pretty method, but it’s there, it’s spurring me on – and I’ll keep running for it. I’m so fucking close. In the meantime, I just whine a lot about stuff to the spam bots.

So, God – God, who most probably doesn’t exist – could you fix things for me? Turn a switch up there or something. Or just adjust the dial slightly from “pretty fucking awful” to “sucks, but bearable.” I figure you must have those powers, if you exist. Which you most probably do not. That’s too bad. I wish God was real just because you’d have someone to blame – and it’s really hard to blame the universe, because the universe seems to have no consciousness, and is a big infinitesimal game of chance. So you got an awful life, eh? Well, the universe doesn’t care. It just makes stars and stuff.

In a perfect world, I’d be lying on a green lawn somewhere, on a cool summer morning, with a blue sky and clouds, and trees with inviting shadows under them. There’d be water down below, a big sparkling plate of blue, and I’d have sunlight all around me and from somewhere Arcade Fire would be playing, because you can’t have paradise without Arcade Fire. There’d be none of this silly being a girl business in this perfect world, and I’d be drinking iced tea and feeling at my awesome sideburns. I’d be barefoot but there would be no glass or rocks to worry about. And my cat wouldn’t be banging his head against the door wanting to come inside my room at ten o’clock at night. He’d just be sitting with me, enjoying the sunlight as the world rolled peacefully on, devoid of any trouble or anxiety or agony.

Woo, but unfortunately, the universe is not so kind. You need a little everyday shittiness, or you just start taking things for granted. And maybe that’s sort of a kindness – a paradise would be great, but without bad things, you wouldn’t appreciate the niceness. But I think, if I got landed in paradise right now, I’d never stop appreciating it, after the shit I’ve gone through.

Not so say my life is worse than yours. Don’t think I ever think that. But I’ve had my fair share of shit, from evil stepmothers and otherwise. I deserve at least one day on a sunny green lawn, I think.

And I feel like I ought to stop writing now, though I wish I didn’t. Every time I sit down to write, I inevitably reach a point where the inspiration starts to ebb and drain away – unfortunately. I’d love to just sit here and write until the cows come home – weird expression, now that I think about it, and that would probably take FOREVER, seeing as I don’t think cows have ever lived around here.  But I wish I could just etch out my thoughts, until there are none left and I could feel empty and satisfied and fall into bed without having to worry about anything. Of course that won’t happen, and I’ll have to touch things a million times like always, because of all the rituals I can’t help. Heating grate ritual and rug ritual and tap ritual and computer ritual and checking for monsters ritual and etc. Being a happy lizard on a warm rock would be so very nice, even for just a little while.

Hey, you know what tomorrow is? School. But as a fortune cookie once told me, ‘Your creativity will create a phenomenon’, so you know – maybe things will be all right.

Why I have to go to school tomorrow

The Wheels Are in Motion

Words, as inadequate as they are, could not properly express how much I don’t want to go to school tomorrow. In my defense, school just took a steep turn downhill – in fact, it even broke the fence and went plunging down off a cliff. I’m taking math and science (because that’s the epitomeeeeeee of fun, twitch, twitch) and I don’t have any friends in either class, despite some vague acquaintances in science. I shouldn’t complain, because there are several good things going for me this term – but I’m complaining anyway. You can suck it.*
I mentioned it all briefly last time, I think. But I can’t even remember most of what my last post was even about. (Again, reference to the gaping hole my brain has become.) So I’m going to talk about it again.
I’ve had a weird couple of weeks; there’s been a lot of things going on, but at the same time I feel oddly disconnected from it, like I’m seeing it all happen through a lens. It’s a familiar feeling to when I lived at my dad’s house and my stepmother was mean to me – they call it dissociation, I’m fairly sure. I think it’s your brain refusing to accept the difficulty of your situation, and so it puts a veil between you and the world so things don’t hit you quite as hard. That’s my theory. I think it’s why, even though all this stuff is happening, I can only feel it at a distance – or that could be my medication, which I’ve always had the suspicion makes me a little fuzzy. Maybe it’s both. The thing is, this time, my brain is trying to protect me from something that isn’t necessarily bad – the thing being coming out to the world and letting them know I’m transgender, and that I actually plan to go through with it. It’s not bad, it’s just momentous. The stuff with my stepmom was bad, yes indeed – and this isn’t, it’s just I feel vulnerable, and if someone turns their back on me, whoever that person is, I don’t know if I can take it. So far, there’s five people close to me who know – my mom, my dad, my grandma and grandpa, and my aunt. (Not counting the therapist, doctor, school counselor, etc., etc.) We’re five for five. But now my other grandparents, my uncles and aunts, and my friends have to receive the news, and I’m downright terrified of what it’ll change. Hopefully nothing. Probably something, and what the fuck do I do about that?
Six close people, my bad. Zoe knows. I already said that last time, didn’t I? Well, she knows, and her reaction was fine, even though I hid behind the couch again when I had to tell her. I haven’t seen her since, and I’m worried that next time I see her something will be different; although she’s Zoe, one of the most wonderful people on earth, so I can’t imagine anything major will have changed. I want to go to look at the dumb ice sculptures at Winterlude or something like her dad was suggesting, just to put my mind at rest. Then I can say “Look, a dumb sculpture” and not have to mention being transgender ever again.

Why are supposed good things bad? I’m only doing this so I’m not miserable. If I had to live the rest of my life like I am now, I’d go insane. I don’t WANT this – I mean I don’t WANT to be transgender, it would be really damn great if I liked my body in the first place – but because it IS the case, I have to fix it. Someone with a broken arm gets a cast. No one argues with that. Really it’s the exact same thing here, except it’s in my mind, or my DNA, or wherever it is, and people think it’s crazier for some reason. At this point I have no time or willingness to listen to anyone arguing against it (not like anyone close to me has); I just want to do the whole stupid treatment, and be happy, and never have to think about it again. I hate going through this, of course, but I almost hate having to put other people through it more – because they suffer on my behalf. They probably worry, and don’t quite understand. Or just the act of <em>trying</em> to understand is hard. I don’t want people to feel bad.
But moving past that, even if they do, I can’t just turn back and forget about it – the wheels are rolling, like my mom says, and we’ve started down the track; now, and here’s the thing, now I’ve just got to impale myself with a needle for the rest of my life. Nice payment for happiness, right? I didn’t know that you have to do testosterone shots your entire life, but apparently you do. Apparently you do.
Fine, though, I’ll do it! I’ll hate it, but I’ll do it. All this because I was tossed into a body I hate. Thanks a lot, nature, God, universe, whoever’s in charge of these things. You did a beautiful job with me, you certainly did, thank you muchly for your time.
I could get spiritual about this. But my spirituality would eventually boil down to “if God’s real then he’s a GODDAMN IDIOT.” Which I think is true. It’s not enough to throw the daily pains and agonies of life at a human being, you also have to be in the wrong body while you’re at it.
Not to say my life is worse than everyone else’s. Certainly not so. I live in a nice country with nice people, and the only evil people in the vicinity are my evil stepmother, my crazy aunt, and my crazy uncle – otherwise, it’s clear sailing, as far as I know.

Then moving back to school, because it’s tomorrow – in twelve hours, about, all the poor souls in this city will drag themselves pitifully out of bed and meander to their morning class. I’ll meander to my first class after lunch, when I meet my friends, who are ignorant of the giant flashing sign hovering over my head that says BOY, which everyone politely ignores, even though it’s bright enough to sear their eyeballs. Except Nathan, that terrible package of intuition, has intuitively begun to figure out what’s going on with me – or that might have been the transgender sticker I had on my bag last term, which I forgot was there, and also forgot I would be bringing to school. Anyway he made a reference to some teacher who has a trans butterfly tattoo at lunch the other day, which is MUCH too coincidental to be a coincidence, if you get what I mean. Nathan is undoubtedly on to me.
What do I DO about that? My instinct is to hide. Behind the couch, if I can.
Except there’s no couch out in the big scary world (unless it’s one of those couches people leave on their lawns to be picked up by the garbage truck.) But one day, possibly soon, I’ll have to let my friend know. I have no idea how I’ll do it, especially without something to hide behind, but I have to do it. Fuck all this. But I still have to do it.
And in the meantime, wonderful math and science, with teachers I’m not totally sure are going to honor the guidance counselor’s command to use boy pronouns. They seem fine, and they haven’t thrown chalk at me or gave me angry, bigoted stares yet – in fact I like them both a little already, and am pretty amused that the science guy looks so much like Jack Black – but it’s too early to know. They haven’t even referred to me yet, since it’s only a week in, so I don’t know if the pronoun thing will be used or ignored. The thing is, I don’t feel, outwardly, much like a boy – on my own, in my room, you can bet I do – but out there in the world, it’s different. You get extremely conscious of every aspect of what you look like. I may have shortish hair and I may be wearing the equivalent of an angry boa constrictor around my chest, but I’m no GI Joe here – I don’t have rippling muscles and five o’clock shadow and size thirteen boots. I feel little and skinny and the farthest thing from manly when I’m there in class, surrounded by twenty-odd people who don’t give any shits at all what I am, and at best write me off as that weird androgynous kid who scribbles needlessly terrifying monsters all over their math folder. That’s not the worst thing ever, but well, you know. I aspire to at least be like that short Icelandic guy which nobody knows about but that I’m referencing anyways – cool and interesting, short, but clearly not a girl. That’s all. Thanks. Short Icelandic guy, that’d be really great.
Look at all the nice whining. Well, nobody has to read it, that’s all right. Or the spam bots can, if they’re so inclined; just again, I ask for no more women’s weight loss websites spam. I understand some women would find that helpful (well, probably not, since it’s spam), but I for one do not require it, and it also wounds my unreasonably sensitive sense of self, which is, right now, hovering painfully between some weird boyish lesbian and a short Icelandic guy. It’s not pretty over here.
Well, <em>sometimes</em> it is. When I convince myself the girl with the glasses at Shoppers thinks I’m good-looking. And that’s only in moments of sudden pointless optimism.

Whatever, whatever! Be positive, I can do it. Grrrr. That was a manly growl, by the way.
I can get through it. Yes, I can. Five more (five more??) god-freaking months of school, and then summer, glorious summer, rendered all the more beautiful because I can wear t-shirts again, thanks to my boa constrictor – and, assuming the system doesn’t screw with me like always, I might get the Magic Boy Drug in about three months, after I finish with the pointless Lupron stuff. Then it’s clear sailing, man, all the way to glorious September 2014, where I’ll be headed into school again, guns a-blazing, wielding my three months of testosterone and what I can only assume will be an even better Jake Bugg impersonation, and bam! With a great explosion of rainbows – no, not rainbows – shrapnel and hot coals! – I’ll be headed down the long path of Life as the actual me.

Sounds wonderful, but that’s six months away, and I haven’t even heard back from the doctor about Lupron yet.
So, we’ll just sit here reading manga, then. Lots of manga. I’ve shredded my way through seven volumes already since yesterday (they’re pretty thin, though, maybe 100 pages, and mostly pictures, of course), and I’m one volume away from finishing the whole series. Although, naturally, the library doesn’t have number 27. Just, because. I expect nothing less of the world. Also I need a new series to read, not manga, just of anything; I feel like I’ve exhausted Earth’s supply of good stories by now, but I may be wrong. I just have to carefully comb the library or the book store now to see what comes up next – and if someone tells me it’s that one about the secret society of teenagers living underground and fighting demons again, I’m just not going to believe them.

And school? Yes, yes. It’s tomorrow, which is a surprisingly short amount of time from now – and after that, guess what! More school, you’ve got it – unless I run away to Alaska. It’s getting awfully tempting.
I wonder if things will stop sucking soon. We can hope, as unlikely as it seems. I have to keep that image in my brain – that one of me going to school next year, not as Brynn the Girl, or even Brynn the Androgynous Kid – but as Brynn the Boy, well and truly, for once. And when that happens, Jesus Christ, someone’s going to get a huge kick in the shin, I don’t know why, exactly – I feel like running up to everyone I’ve always disliked or not gotten along with and just smacking them good. As if to say “There! You’re an idiot but I’M happy!”
Or something. Well, here we go, beginning down the track – the wheels are in motion.



Japanese Movies, OCD, Sea Monsters, and More! (see inside for boring details)

Haven’t been around much lately because I’ve been stuck touching the light switch in sequences of four since the last blog post.

Well, no, not really. But my OCD has been bad lately, due to who knows what – it can’t be stress, can it? Aren’t I doing better? But whatever the reason for it, I have all these ridiculous rituals that don’t involve simple touching anymore, but also sequences and timings and even thoughts – pun intended, it’s a very touchy business. Like always, I have to check the tap to make sure it’s off, the toilet to make sure it’s flushed, the light to make sure it’s off (even though I can TELL it is already), and I have to see that the grate is closed, but not entirely, so that just a little bit of air can get through (I don’t want to freeze, exactly); and then there’s my laptop to make sure it’s closed, and the rug to make sure it’s stepped on just right, and I have to check the time on my iPod before I go to bed so that I can count the hours of sleep I got in the morning. Most of this happens at night – and although there’s less completely thought-oriented rituals going on than there used to be when I was little, it’s not necessarily any easier. Thought-rituals can go on for an incredibly long time, but I can usually tear myself away from the physical ones all right. Not always, though, and sometimes it’s so frustrating that I want to scream and kick things. But if I kicked things I’d have to kick them in a sequence of four. Just joking. I hope I’m joking.

I don’t get why other people like doing things in threes. I used to do threes, then I realized it wasn’t symmetrical, and moved on to fours, so you can have two groups of two. So you see, obviously much more reasonable. Most of this stuff bothers me at night, or when I’m anxious – although occasionally it hits me at school, and I just have to hope that no one sees what I’m doing. I’ve never thought I needed help for my obsessive compulsive stuff before, but now I’m wondering if I ought to, because it’s somewhat intrusive. When I was little I used to have it bad, and then for a long stretch of years it seemed to get less bad, and now it’s bad again. I don’t get how that works, but there it is. I guess brains go through cycles.

So besides that, there are many other things to talk about. Because I’ve been stuck on that light switch for a pretty long time, kind of just mulling around not sure what to blog about. And the phone rang, and nope, I’m not answering you, you’re an 800 number. I don’t want an Indian guy assuring me condescendingly that my computer has a virus like last time. And that really happened, as stereotypical as an Indian telemarketer might sound. I’ve always felt there’s a reason that things become stereotyped – because they actually do happen sometimes, enough to actually BE stereotypes in the first place.  

But anyways, on we go with the words and the thoughts and the attempt to get my thoughts down in a readable and vaguely understandable manner. A large amount of stuff has happened lately, and I think the biggest of it all is the fact that my dad knows about the whole transgender issue now. Or, the “LUBR” (Large Uncomfortable Boy Revelation.) He took it pretty well, and he deserves more credit because he’s going through really hard things himself right now. He said initially that he found it weird – not me, just the thing in general – but now it’s more or less back to normal. We’re talking a lot over the phone because he needs to get his thoughts out to someone, and I likewise. So we talk almost every night about usually his things, but he always encourages me to talk about my stuff too, and even uncomfortably says that we can talk about my transgender stuff, if I want. I haven’t really talked much about that with him, though – I haven’t really felt that I have to. He went to the appointment I had with Dr. What’s His Face, and even talked with the doctor alone a bit. When he came out he looked vaguely shell-shocked, but he was all right. I feel awful that he has to deal with my crap as well as his crap right now, but my mom says that isn’t my fault. We all want to feel better, after all – me and my dad, my cat. Everybody just wants to be happy. That’s the root of everything, in my opinion.

So he took it well, and I’m so relieved I feel like screaming, not with anger or unhappiness, but just with the release of all that tension and worrying. Now I’ve got both my parents behind me, plus my French grandmother, who is like THE best person to have on your side – she is a ground-tearing whirlwind of support and definitely the sort of person you want with you, not against you. I feel like with grandmaman behind me I’ll be all right for sure, and even if Rome musters a legion against us. Just fight ’em back with tortiere, grandmaman.

My friends, though, remain seated in a strange world where they call me a girl but probably think of me as a boy, hence the fact that I get little special treatment or awkwardness, from anyone – I play the video games, talk the Pokemon, and am, I feel fairly sure, not very girl-like at all in their minds. I really couldn’t imagine HOW they’d even think of me as a girl, at this point. I know no one else has a girlfriend, but I haven’t gone out with a boy ever, and besides my brief love of Jake Bugg a little while ago, I remain steadfastly on the I-Like-Girlsmobile. I’m probably actually driving the I-Like-Girlsmobile. (And they’re in the back playing Yu-gi-oh cards.)

But shit, sexuality is confusing! Sorry to sound like the opening sentence of a puberty book, but really. Isn’t it confusing?  I used to not be weirded out by the idea of liking boys, and I still think Jake Bugg is handsome (I can’t HELP IT), but now I’m drawing away from that mindset, more or less. Which is not really a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just a thing; I could be somewhat gay. I’m flamboyant enough to wear suspenders, so you know. But if I have to be somewhat flamboyant, I want to be like Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. Flamboyant and awesome – and also a wizard. (I’ve always had an extreme liking for him, even though he’s an animated character from a Japanese movie. No! BECAUSE he’s an animated character from a Japanese movie! There’s something desperately attractive about Studio Ghibli’s way of animating handsome men characters. Shit, the dragon boy from Spirited Away? I just, I can’t even express myself about the dragon boy from Spirited Way.)

Hey, it feels kind of good to be so open about that. I think the main thing is that I just like who I like. I may be into “boy things” and identify as such, and like girls, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a crush on the dragon boy. I should be completely entitled to have a crush on the dragon boy, because who wouldn’t? There’s the question. There is the question indeed. I say I’m generally weirded out by the idea of liking boys, and that’s true, but there seem to be exceptions.

Also, someone in history class started sitting next to me, a girl named Stephanie who I think is actually Zoe’s friend by some amusing fluke of the universe. Why she’s sitting next to me is totally up in the air, and therefore I can put forward all of my stupid hormone-fueled wonderings. Maybe she likes me. When I told my mom that someone’s actually finally sitting next to me, she suggested that maybe Stephanie is thinking to herself “Hey, that Brynn kid, maybe that Brynn kid isn’t so bad.” I hope it’s “Hey, that Brynn kid is HANDSOME, as handsome as the dragon boy from Spirited Away! I ought to sit next to that Brynn kid!” (I’m withholding pronouns because I won’t lie to myself and imagine anyone at school thinks of me as a boy, while at the same time I don’t want to put a “she” in there.) Very possibly she’s just out of people to sit next to or something, and defaults to one of the two loners. There’s a kid in front of me, Jeremy, who’s a fairly nice guy, but maybe more snobby than some would like – and she could’ve sat next to him because he also doesn’t sit next to anyone, but she didn’t. (Why me and Jeremy don’t sit next to each other, as you’d think would follow logically, I feel no one knows.)  Maybe she feels better sitting next to a “girl”, but I’ve got some unfortunate news for her. And really, if a girl wants to sit next to another girl for comfort’s sake, there is NO way they go for me – they go for the girl who actually looks like one, and preferably isn’t hunched over their desk reading The Return of the King with pictures of dragons and demons scrawled all over their history work.

I’m sort of glad she’s sitting next to me now, because I don’t feel quite so lonerish and weird, and have hope that at least someone in the class considers it safe to enter within a radius of several feet of me (lest I raise my Harry Potter wand and chant some transgender Asperger’s black magic at them?) But anyways, yes, she’s there now, and that’s pretty okay. I somewhat enjoyed my previous isolation, but I suppose this is a decent progression. The first day she sat with me I didn’t even say hi, and then today I said hi and told her I’d just been shy yesterday. She said that was fine by her and we even talked a little about arbitrary school stuff. At least none of us asked What kind of music do you like? Whenever someone says that I feel a desire to shove my head out the window and breathe some fresh air for a while.

I hate what people talk about. Did you get the new iPhone? What classes are you taking? Fuuuuck. There is an infinity’s worth of other topics we could be discussing, us high school students – the oceans beneath the surface of Europa, the sea monsters that might inhabit them (in my imagination); books we like, the colors of trees in the fall, for God’s sake – and it’s always What music do you like?

So we didn’t reach rock bottom. I guess when she asked if I was worried about my exams, that was getting into the region of danger, but it was fine. I don’t mind talking with people even if it’s just for the sake of talking and not feeling alone. And she’s nice, and must be smart, if she’s in gifted – that or just really good at school – so I lucked out in that department. I could be sitting next to the girl from math in grade nine who talked an endless stream of horrifyingly vapid nothingness to her friend.  How do people actually manage to be like that? There are moons with water on them within our solar system that might have _SEA MONSTERS_ in them, and you talk about exams and iPhones and VAPIDNESS. Fuck.

But never mind my snobby views on human beings in general, I should get around to mentioning how I’ve finally gotten desperate and confident enough (a strange combination) to try out a binder thing. That’s for making your breasts look non-existent, and I’ve been having so much trouble with that lately that I talked to my mom and she actually went out and found one and bought it for me. (She’s very amazing.)

Anyways, the binder thing, as it’s officially called by me, is a curious device – it initially felt like a wrestler had gotten me in a choke-hold and was trying to suffocate me, but now I don’t even notice it very much. (That’s weird, how I got used to it.) It’s not fun, and getting it off is like wrestling with an angry cat that has its claws in your head and really wants to stay there – but it works. It really does work. I was doubtful that anything could manage to get rid of them besides surgery, which I of course still want, but this manages, and quite well. Unless someone actually comes up to me and pokes me in the chest, I don’t think you could notice – definitely not in a sweater, and it’s still unlikely in a t-shirt, which is beyond amazing. When I first tried it on I was giggling a little over the absurdity – as in, It was always that easy? And also, Hey, I’m wearing a wrestler that wants to suffocate me just to feel better.  It was all a bit strange to me, but I’m accepting it, and if I could explain how much better it makes me feel – well, if I could, but I can’t, really. It’s like being stuck in bed for months, in the dark, and hardly being able to breathe, and then suddenly walking out into the sunlight. Pretty good.

Although, and here’s where the painful irony comes in – I LOVE how the binder thing makes me feel, but at the same time, I’m worried that people will be freaked out over where the breast things went. (You know I’m uncomfortable because I can’t even name them straight.) Like, I am totally sure that Borong, the nice girl who sits next to me in English, looked strangely at my general chest area yesterday when I took off my sweater. Yes, I took off my sweater in front of actual people. Because there’s nothing visible to be ashamed of. And she didn’t make a big deal or say anything, but she looked, and she noticed, and that was embarrassing. I hope she’s not wondering if she’s totally been misunderstanding English pronouns. And it’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t speak your language too well about something as complicated as being transgender – I know people are transgender all over the place, but what’s the word for it in Chinese? And even when you have the word, how do you explain it? Even in English, that’s hard. Oh, and this is transgender in what Google translate calls “simplified Chinese”:  变性, bianxing. Maybe I should write the characters down and hand them to Borong if ever she has any questions… assuming Google translate didn’t fuck up the translation, which is infinitely possible. Imagine if I slid a paper over to Borong and it said something like “duck” on it. That would be hilarious. And awful.

And tomorrow is more school, involving an English exam, Zoe, and all average things between. I’m not exactly worried about the exam, because English is one thing I can do – the only part of it that worries me is having to focus on the stupid thing for a long time. I don’t like focusing when I’m not interested in something. I hope that Ms. Nutting chose a decent short story this time around – the last was pretty good, but we’ve done two that just utterly sucked. I was so pissed off at one of them that I didn’t do the work of talking about it very well, and subsequently got a bad mark. But I feel somewhat justified – there’s only so many decent ideas that you can wring out of a bad story and put onto a page.

You know what’s rather weird? I’m actually looking forward to the spring. Usually I am, in a mental way (just because it’s brighter out and actually non-frigid) – but I haven’t felt comfortable about the idea in a physical way for years, ever since I first got girl-chest-things, and hated them, and walked backwards against the wind so they wouldn’t show so much, which was a thing that I did, unfortunately. But this year it doesn’t scare me! I actually want to wear t-shirts and not bother with the whole winter coat/boots/sweater shebang. It would feel inarticulately nice to go outside in just a t-shirt and pants (oh, and socks, and shoes, too) and not be desperately uncomfortable, for once. But of course there’s always the issue of my hair – I feel like that’s about 100% Asperger’s related, and it really has nothing to do with gender dysphoria – and how I never like it. I’m considering getting it chopped to above my eyes so it’s just out of the way and I don’t have to think about it. Although all the boys at school seem to have short hair, like it’s a thing now, and I don’t want to come off like I’m trying too hard to fit in. Whatever. In any case I just want to be able to SEE things, you know? That’d be okay.

I don’t want to stop writing, though. Finally I’ve managed to do a post, after all that time touching the light switch – and I think I’ve been working on this one since about seven thirty, and it’s nine now. I really spend a good chunk of time on these things. But writing takes a while; because each sentence has to sort of fit. Sometimes irrelevancy is fun, but you’ve got to really think about things, most of the time – and that takes more than just a couple of minutes. I have a folder of stories on my computer, and I didn’t know this, but apparently the system is keeping track of the editing time – and on one of those stories, one of the longest, I’ve written for 59 hours. (Or more accurately, I’ve had the document open for 59 hours.) That’s a crapload of thinking. (Plus the thinking I did when I didn’t have the document open.) It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good, it’s just that I’ve worked on it for a long time – and anything worthwhile, in my opinion, must be worked on for a long time, or it’s empty. (Side note: depressingly, I’ve spent 102 hours on Skyrim, which is one of my video games.)

Anyway, so, these bloggy thingies take much time. I think I need to write them, though, to get all the crap out of my head. Heads aren’t meant to store all the crap that floats around in there unchecked.

I wonder what’s going to happen now. Well, I know in the immediate future I’m going to get ready for bed, probably take a disgusting drought of poisonous-looking green Nyquil to sleep (because my nose is stuffed up to the heavens); and then I might be able to read some pages of The Return of the King before the medication knocks me out, and I’ll sleep, have the usual variety of weird dreams, and wake up for school tomorrow, which will probably be as vastly unexciting as usual, complete with English exams and girls that suddenly sit next to me in History class.

In the late future, though, well: I don’t get to see Dr. What’s His Face until the beginning of February, but at least then I’m going to get some tests done to get ready for the Lupron stuff that I’m going to be taking, which won’t change me much, just kind of freeze me here so I don’t get any girlier, and so my girl-hormone levels fall, to get ready for the next phase, which is the terrifying wonderful thing we here at the Cellar Boy call MBDs, or Magic Boy Drugs, or testosterone. So that’s in the late future.

In the middle future, however, which we may call the next month or so (and that feels unreasonably long to me, just thinking about it), I fully expect nothing at all to happen. Life will progress as slowly, painfully, and normally as it always does, and I’ll write blog posts and pet my cat and stare at trees. Or whatever I do.

Really Really Good News (and Minecraft)

Happy New Year, spam bots.

Apparently Head Colds Make Me Feel Existential

Due to the tremendous amount of snot in my head, I stayed home today. Also I woke up completely congested and feeling like somebody had been sitting on my bed stuffing cotton balls up my nose all night and giggling evilly to himself, thinking ‘He he he, when he wakes up he’s going to be so pissed!’  After my mom saw me coughing snot into a kleenex I asked her if I had to go to school, and she looked at me and said, “God no. You can stay home.”

Thank goodness for that. I would’ve lost all my friends if I’d gone to school today. Luckily I think the worst of it is over – my nose is still stuffed up but at least I can taste things just fine, which is all I really care about. My grandma came over earlier today to drop off the blessed Tim Hortons chicken noodle soup and a bagel, and I think that pretty much stopped the cold right in its tracks – not because there’s anything particularly magical about Tim Hortons’ soups and bagels, just that my mind THINKS there is. Mind over matter, you know.

I’m in a good mood, despite my cold, because I got a call from the hospital today saying that I can see Dr. What’s-His-Face on Friday. I really wasn’t expecting them to get back so soon, but they did, and the lady even sounded pretty sorry about it. She told me that he feels really bad for missing my appointment and she even offered that I could show up tomorrow at three, but suggested that Friday would work a lot better. As desperate as I am, I agreed on the Friday option, and so, if all goes well, that’s where I’ll be in a couple of days. I am pissed off, but the doctor doesn’t deserve my hate; I get that annoying things happen sometimes. I don’t get why they always happen to me, but I get that they happen.

Today I almost literally did nothing. I blew my nose a lot, if that counts. I just sat on the couch watching the news and reading Lord of the Rings, while my cat slept across from me for, literally, the entire day. It’s too bad that I missed school, but hey, at least I have a good valid reason besides that I just didn’t feel like going. And anyways, it’s the last week before the holidays, so I doubt we’re going to be doing much, especially in English. The next big thing in English is the summative, which I’m more or less prepared for. The only thing I need to do for that is be confident and try to remember the main parts of my monologue – most of it is just on the fly, so I won’t actually need a script. I find it really hard to act off a script, it’s better when you can improvise, and I think I can improvise pretty well, at least for this. I think Zoe’s still doing her boxes thing for the summative, which should be cool, although she’s so shy that I don’t know how well she’ll be able to explain it to the class. To me she always explains things really well, but I think she gets really nervous in front of other people. Which is odd, to me, because I don’t have that kind of social anxiety – my social anxiety is just one big mess of paranoia, and fear of silence, and fear of the entire class privately thinking something along the lines of ‘Wow, this kid is really weird, and her sweater is full of holes, and she’s such a prissy snob, and what is she, a lesbian?’ I have no idea what people are really thinking, though. Could be it’s ‘Wow! This guy is extremely handsome! I love the holes in his sweater! I’m such a well-adapted and accepting individual that I understand, on sight, that he wishes to be referred to as a he instead of a she! I should ask him out for butter chicken, which I somehow instinctively know is his favorite food.’

I don’t know. Wouldn’t that be great? The thing is you can never possibly know what someone is thinking about you. More often than not I’m pretty sure people just don’t care – and I know for certain nobody’s ever silently praised the holes in my sweater. I think I just need a new sweater.

Ah, but here’s a thing to discuss! Clothes v.s Me. It could be like an old black and white B movie, where my clothes leap out of my dresser and try to strangle me to death while a blaring chorus plays dramatic music in the background. (I can picture that with unnerving clarity.) Meh, I was going to write a thing about this but I’ve lost the will to do it. I’ll just leave you with that image and you can imagine my war with the clothes to great detail if you want.

So, Friday. Good. I’ll show up at Dr. What’s-His-Face’s office in my plaid shirt, hiking boots, and toque, with a glued-on lumberjack beard and a chainsaw over my shoulder (which is my recurring way to make fun of myself) and get him to hand over the Magic Boy Drugs (now they’re capitalized because they’ve become a thing.) I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever worried a lot about the MBDs, even before they got them. I know it does all sorts of crazy stuff to you, but that’s the exact point of the whole thing. Do I want a lumberjack beard? Heck yes. Or at least the ability to grow one, if not an actual lumberjack beard. Also I want that half-millimeter that’ll bring me to 5″6 (but that’s just vanity), and I wouldn’t mind actually liking my body, for once in my life, which isn’t as much vanity as it is just a thing that everybody ought to be able to have. Being miserable about yourself really starts to get awful about sixteen years in – and given the chance to be happy, what idiot wouldn’t take it? Again, I say, give me those Magic Boy Drugs.

But I’ve still got a while to wait, probably. You know what, no, I refuse to meander around ticking off the seconds until Friday – it’ll come, just like it did last time. If my doctor is in Mexico, I’ll just curl up on the floor of his office and refuse to move until somebody tosses me my Boy Drugs, and then I can go home happy. That’s all I really want out of the meeting – that and some info on when I can get the jiggly things on my chest removed. None of this is a question of “if” – it’s going to happen, I’ll hike up Mount Everest and then make a snowsuit out of lamas if that’s what I have to do, but it IS going to get done. I would like my short life on earth to not be painful and aggravating, thank you very much – actually that goes for everyone else on earth. Real nice job you did there, universe, making people’s lives so awful. Why couldn’t you have put us down in a hot spring somewhere with some good books and called it an eternity?

Looks like I won’t be able to help a small spiel on religion, so, I don’t believe in God, I think I’ve said it before; I’m not totally opposed to SOME higher power or whatever, but most of the time I really do think it’s just us and the stars, alone in the universe. Why things felt like they had to exist in the first place is completely beyond me; and how something came from nothing, that especially goes way over my head. One problem I have with evolution is why things even want to evolve. What’s the final goal? Is there none? I feel like the goal of existence and evolution and life itself is just to live, and survive, for a little while until you die. And when you die, that’s it. Splat. Dead. End. If God is real, (which I doubt), then I’m going to go right out and say Screw you, God. Because he or she or it put me in a body that doesn’t match my brain and that’s really one of the shittiest things you can do to someone. If it’s just nature being weird, then I’m even more confused; why the heck would nature think it’s a good idea to put people in the wrong body? What possible evolutionary goal does that achieve? If you’re trying to create new genders, then you’re failing miserably, nature; I know there are some third gender people, but personally I’m very much a guy and you screwed up big time with me. I really don’t understand the whole gender dysphoria thing; if it’s just God being a jerk, then okay, but if it’s nature being schizophrenic, then nope, I won’t have it. Get it right already, put us in the right bodies to begin with. Merci beaucoup.

Well, I feel like I’m out of writey things now. Got my transgender ramble in, check, got my existential ramble in, check; I guess it’s time to say good night, probably. And after I see Dr. What’s-His-Face, finally, I’m going to write the most detailed description that my brain can churn out, complete with pictures, a storyboard, and I don’t know, voice actors. Whatever.

See you later.

Ranting About the Usual Crap

I hurried home today, half-jogging up the hill that leads into our condo and running up the stairs to the door, where I gingerly took my glove off to look through my bag for my keys. It was indescribably cold out – the cold, given even the slightest chance, clings eagerly to any bare skin, and you feel it in an instant, in this sort of weather – I thought I’d be okay with just one layer of pants, but I was wrong. By the time I found myself in front of the door, rummaging with increasing nervousness through my bag, my legs felt like painful wooden blocks attached to my body. I could barely feel anything but pain, although the rest of me was all right. I couldn’t wait to get inside.

Funny, though. I couldn’t, because I didn’t have my keys.

You’d think the world could cut me a break by now. I missed my all-important appointment on Friday, I’ve got a really bad cold, it’s freaking -30 outside, and next I can’t find my keys and can’t get inside the house. Real nice of you, world. Thanks. Let’s do it again sometime.

I called my mom and she called my grandma to come pick me up. I stood, jumping up and down on the step and swearing, watching the driveway down the hill for her car. Eventually she got there and I ran for the car, jumped inside, and was driven off to Warm Land. I stayed at her house for supper and got to see my little cousins; I sneaked bits of cracker to my two-year-old cousin and played a video game with the older two. They were really into Minecraft a little while ago, but now they’ve moved on to Scribblenauts, which I actually like more. My six-year-old cousin kept asking me how to spell words, so I did, but I tried to get him to figure out the first letter for them so he wasn’t just totally mooching off of my older-person English skills. I ate two bowls of Kraft Dinner because my cousin wouldn’t eat his, and then I had two pieces of pizza, and then I weighed myself, just because I was feeling curious. I don’t really worry about how much I weigh usually, but I’ve actually lost about fifteen pounds since the start of school. I’m kind of worried that’s too much, but I feel better, so it’s probably good. My grandma was excited about it, way more than I was, because she’s a super-exercising health nut and that’s her thing.

Now I find myself back at home, safely encased within the well-insulated walls of the apartment building. The weather up here, as evidenced by today, can get pretty ridiculous. Isn’t it weird, that people actually wanted to settle here? I bet they landed here first in the summer and were like “Hey, this isn’t so bad, is it?” and then, come winter, they were sitting curled up in their balls of coldness next to the fire crying into each other’s arms while the Native Americans stood off to the side grinning. Now we’ve got heating and microwaves and so forth, so it’s definitely more bearable than it was, but STILL – I mean, wouldn’t reasonable people flock down to the US? I know some people go to Florida in the winter, but why not permanently? The only reason people live in northeastern Ontario is because some stupid pioneer decided to build some houses here once and we all just got used to it, to a degree, anyway. You can never really get used to -30 weather. Once you get past -10 or so your body gets annoyed at you, that’s my theory.  Just because we CAN live this far north really doesn’t mean we SHOULD, you know.

In English class we did some vaguely annoying activity on Othello, where we had to choose a theme and find quotes to support it. The groups were random, so I got “I Think I’m Good-Looking Boy” and “I’m Stupid and Smart at the Same Time Girl”. It was kind of annoying because I was the only one out of the three of us that actually had my book, and I could tell right away that I was going to be doing most of the work. (Which is a weird change because usually I’m the one that doesn’t do much.) They had a handful of good ideas, because they’re not stupid or anything, but it was me who found the good quotes and  figured out the theme statement. I tried not to act too nerdy, but I had to, to some degree, just to get the work done – and I can tell that I’m the leader of sorts, only because the other two don’t care enough to want to be. “I Think I’m Good-Looking Boy” is annoying because he thinks he’s good-looking. I don’t think he is, although I’m not the best judge – he has that thing that guys do for some reason where they raise their eyebrows and squint, and he sometimes puts a hand through his hair self-consciously. He was also hitting on Zoe, briefly, which I sniffed out in a millisecond since I was sitting right next to her (and I kind of like her, besides), and I can tell that’s a thing he does, he hits on people. Does he think people are in awe of his good looks? Probably. Are they in awe of his good looks? I’m not sure. I’m not, at least. Meanwhile, “I’m Stupid and Smart at the Same Time Girl” is less annoying, but still fairly annoying, since even though she’s definitely smarter than a good chunk of the class she acts like she’s stupid. That bugs me a lot. I got her to look for quotes in the book, and she found one, while CB (short for Conceited Boy, which is short for “I Think I’m Good-Looking Boy”) leaned backwards to stare longingly at a group of his friends that he obviously would’ve preferred to be with. The thing about CB is he’s not stupid either, although I think SSG (Stupid-Smart-Girl) is probably smarter than he is – but he acts kind of dumb, too, while at the same time thinking he’s handsome and desirable. I don’t know who I got along better with – I detect some kind of uppity attitude in SSG which I don’t really like very much, while CB is a little friendlier and we seem to get each other pretty decently. SSG and I get each other too, but she’s slightly more distant than he is and that’s hard when you have to work together.  I don’t really mind them, though. I could’ve gotten a worse group, and at least I can make fun of them secretly on my blog.

There are very few boys in the world that I find good-looking. Count ’em off: Jake Bugg. Well, that’s one. (And he’s an asshole. Why do I like him, even?) Meanwhile, my list of pretty girls is far more involved and extensive. I find Zoe quite pretty. Also occasionally I’ll pass some pretty girl in the hallway and pull my “look down, think of kittens, and don’t make eye-contact” routine – just so I don’t show any outward signs of noticing that she’s pretty. I feel like I should stare for another moment to properly appreciate how pretty the girl is, but that might be weird, and God knows I never do anything weird.

I don’t know how romance stuff happens, not even a little bit. Partly I feel like my Asperger’s should be blamed for this, but it might also be the gender dysphoria. Or it could just be me. For a while I liked girls without questioning it, and then I thought I liked boys, and now I’m just floating around in some mostly girl-oriented place hanging on to the idea that I might not be completely disgusted by boys. I’m not even sure anymore.  I don’t really think it matters, at the end of the day. I like who I like, and that’s that. Although I’m kind of worrying about if I should like Zoe or not – we’ve known each other since we were toddlers, and our relationship has always been more like cousins than friends, and I feel like for her it might be extremely weird to ever like me back, especially since I’m a “girl.” If I had been born a boy then maybe it would make a little more sense to her; although I wish I could just explain to her that I was, in fact, born a boy, I’ve just never looked like one.

Now let’s take a hard turn right out of here, thanks very much. I’ve written embarrassing spiels about this stuff before, but it’s never been graced with the eyes of other people, and I think it’s probably better that I keep it that way, for all our sakes. I don’t want anyone’s eyes to burn from reading what I’ve written about that. I really do think it is that bad.


cellar boy presents


The following is a paid presentation by (Yodeling Since 1954!)  – the only company in the universe that is obscure and confused enough to pay for a section of some teenager’s blog, which does not exist, although 1 out of 4 Swedish people agree that it should. 

Hmm, is it that time of the day where I lose touch with reality again? Well, I’ve been really sick for days, maybe that’s why. So, you’ve reached the Transgender Crap Section of the blog, which actually does have a jingle and everything (if you scroll down a little you’ll find it) and is now paid for by a completely made-up yodeling website. If you read this far, congratulations: you’ve braved the obscurity, or maybe you’re just continuing to read to see how much obscurer it gets. Unfortunately, not much more – here’s where I get normal again. (Or at least where I’ll try.) I like writing about all my various transgender issues, just to get them out of my head and down in a place where they’ll be clearer and make more sense – so here’s today’s effort. It’s extremely frustrating that my doctor was in Mexico during my appointment on Friday, and that I have to wait even longer for any of this crap to even begin to get sorted out. My best way of dealing with my dysphoria stuff right now is just to convince myself, in my head, that I can pass myself off as a boy. In school, especially, the need becomes pretty strong; it’s that or I feel completely suffocated by my self-esteem problems, and have to wallow through feeling awful and uncomfortable. The best time of the day for that is when I sit next to Zoe in English class – for that hour or so I feel incredibly better about myself, and things in general. She’s so nice that I can’t be upset and sad, and suddenly the girl version of myself is shattered and gone, and I get to pull off that fifty-pound weight that constantly sits on my shoulders otherwise. For that hour or so I get to be myself, which is an amazing thing.

Why couldn’t I be myself otherwise? I don’t know. I can’t. I think any other transgender person will understand that. The world holds this image of you and it takes a lot to make them alter it – for instance, I’m constantly called “daughter” and “granddaughter” and “niece” and “sister”, which are strong reminders that the way I see myself is not how everyone else does.

It’s hard, though, to hold on to that boy image, especially when you’re getting smacked in the face with “she” all day long. My mom knows most of the particulars about me and my transgender stuff, but she can’t switch the pronouns until the rest of the family gets the memo, or else there’s going to be some really confused aunts and uncles and cousins around here. (I think it’ll actually be a relief to my eight-year-old-cousin, though, because he’s always been frustrated with me not conforming to a gender that he can figure out. He’s gifted, so he’s really smart, but gender isn’t a thing that kids get – not because they can’t understand, I think they would actually be able to understand better than adults, it’s just because gender gets shoved into your head when you’re little as black and white, blue and pink, and it’s hard to adjust to the fact that it isn’t really like that.) Anyway, I’m worried about not just the immediate family knowing, but the rest of them, too – all those vaguely familiar aunts and uncles there on the never-endingly enormous French side of the family, how will they react? Like, “Tu sais Brynn, la fille de Shanon? Ouais, elle est un garcon maintenant!” That is truly terrifying. A bunch of Catholic Quebecois relations having to come to grips with the transgender child of Shanon – I can’t even imagine it. I think most of them probably won’t care very much, but I’m worried about the kindly, older aunts and uncles who still live up in rural French nowheresville, and never got out of the 1970s. I don’t want to be an outcast, not just because I’m not Francophone like they are, but also because I’ve done such a “weird” thing to myself that not everybody will understand.

And the English side, meanwhile? I’m not as worried, but I still have qualms. My grandma, as flustered as she can get over things like this, will accept it pretty quickly anyways, I’m fairly sure of that; my uncle won’t care because I doubt he really thinks of me as a girl anyway; my great-aunt will definitely be weirded out at first, but she’ll accept it like my grandma – my other uncle and his wife, I don’t know. I think of all of them my other uncle will take it the most smoothly (that’s just a feeling, but I feel right on that); his wife, I think she’ll follow suit. My grandpa is the only one I’m worried about. We get along perfectly and always have, and I can’t imagine he’d react badly, but I think he’ll be upset. He’ll just keep it to himself, like how he keeps every big thing to himself, and never tell me how he feels. My uncle will probably shrug and say something simple like ‘It’s fine’, and proceed to cast the issue out of his incredibly nice and accepting mind forever – but my grandpa won’t. It’ll stress him out. I think, in the long run, he’ll deal with it, but he’s so touchy about things like that, and I’m worried for him. And my dad, it’ll hit him hard, but we have philosophical conversations when we have issues, and have since I was little, so we’ll probably just have another one about being transgender and I’ll make him understand using my best obscure metaphors and he’ll respond with some of his own obscure metaphors and that’ll be it.

It’s (because obviously you haven’t been able to tell by now) something that’s been on my mind SO MUCH lately, all this stuff. How’s my family going to react? How are my friends going to react? One consolation is that I’m probably not going to be burned at the stake like I might’ve back in 15-whatever because some innocent farmer saw me wandering around the field in boys’ clothes. So that’s… good. No, it is; the society in which I have the pleasure to live is a pretty good one, and the people with whom I live are pretty good people.

So, now I’m exhausted and still really sick, and now that I’ve got that nice long ramble out of me, I think it’s time to say goodbye to the spam bots and one or two actual people reading this and try to get to sleep.