Tag Archives: Canada

Adventures in French Nowheresville (ooh la la)

We drove out to French Nowheresville today for the yearly family corn roast thing. It was a nice day, warm but not unpleasantly so, and the clouds were fantastic, big and puffy and dramatic. We turned a corner on the lonely country highway and were faced with a gigantic one that looked exactly like a penis. Now usually I seem to miss sexual innuendos, but that one was just too obvious, I couldn’t help feeling affected. I kept my eyes on the road and hoped my mom wasn’t looking up. When we passed the little Papanack Zoo, I yelped, “Hey look! Llamas!”

Fucking modern culture got to me, I guess.

Anyway, we turned some more remote corners and got to my uncle’s place, a cottage out in the tamed, farm-covered lands slightly east of the city, and voila! The corn roast faces me down, armed with its various ranks of half-known uncles and aunts. All of them are French, and not just a little French, very French. And the language of Quebec is different, full of slang and weird pronunciations – that on top of the fact that French in general is tough to speak with competence when it’s your second language. So I end up sitting there, understanding most of what’s being said but also terrified to try to speak it myself. My usual strategy is just to say “Bon, merci” when the relatives ask how I’ve been and hope that satisfies them. Rarely does anyone try to engage me in conversation, outside of the small circle of people I like, and who like me back, I imagine – but when they do I get along with short answers and lots of smiling and nodding. I thought that was only a thing in bad TV shows but you know, it isn’t; you can smile and nod your way through lots of real-life things.

The corn roast was long and fraught with mosquitoes, but otherwise it was nice. Everyone was friendly. I’m not sure to what extent the family knows of my LUBR (Large Uncomfortable Boy Revelation) and I’m also not sure how the future will go, as I duke it out with backwoods Quebec. Honestly it unnerves me, to imagine how they’ll face the fact that I’m going to grow up and become a man, not a woman. I’m not exactly front and center in the family, I imagine my place is off to the side somewhere, a floating speck of no particular importance, nice and quiet and inoffensive – so I guess they could all just ignore it and let it be. Everyone has always seemed basically nice, and have never been rude to me; the opposite, they’ve always been friendly and I hope I’m a positive figure in their minds. But they’re also conservative and traditional, excepting a few of the younger aunts, uncles, and cousins, and excepting my grandma. And it’s hard for anyone to accept the thing I have, even people like my English grandparents, who have always been kind and intelligent and progressive. I’m worried about when the hormones I’m taking really kick in and nobody can imagine away the fact that I have a thing and it’s actually going to affect them, in whatever small way. For instance I literally can’t even begin to imagine a certain great-aunt I have ever doing the pronoun switch, not even when I have sideburns and a deep voice. And that is going to be extremely difficult, when it happens, because I’m so sure she won’t switch. I just don’t want to be alienated. I like these people, even if I only see them once in a blue moon; I really do like some of them, and I’m happy that I can go to the corn roasts and be accepted and everything. I never want that to end, I appreciate it and I appreciate them.

But that, as well as many other things, I’m learning, is out of my control. I can send everybody LGBT leaflets – every obscure aunt and uncle from here to the northern end of Ontario – but in the end how they react is up to them. I guess all I can do in the meantime is worry about myself and my immediate friends and family, and hope it works out without me.

You know I think I’ve talked about this before, but I want to go over it again – the thing about sexuality, how it’s not related to gender, but how everyone thinks it is. First everyone thought I was a lesbian because of how I dressed. Then, coming out as transgender, people slowly began to assume that I really did like girls after all, being a boy. Now I have to explain to them that I don’t, in fact, explicitly like girls, but in fact just sort of like who I like, with no real preference. I bring it up because of a thing that has happened recently: it’s that one of my friends (take note, he was the one who told me he had a crush on me in grade five) sent me a cat emoticon with a heart over its head in a Facebook message after we had a conversation about me being transgender. (He asked me slyly about it after I sent him a story I’d written.) Now, before you shake your head (I see you beginning to think about shaking it, or perhaps you already have), let me tell you that no, I don’t put much store in cat emoticons. I think they’re pretty cute, but that’s not relevant, is it. It’s just that of ALL the cat emoticons, why the one with the heart over its head? Sure, you could say it’s an expression of support, of caring (by the way I had a small heart attack of relief after he said he was utterly fine with my big revelation), but could you not also come to the conclusion that it is an expression of liking? Well? You know, I hope it is. I’ve had an on-off liking of him for years. And I’m tired of Zuko being my pretend boyfriend, a real one would be great. A real girlfriend would be great, too. I kind of maybe have briefly entertained fantasies about the ridiculously cool girl at the video game store downtown who looks like she jumped right out of Scott Pilgrim v.s the World. If she doesn’t seem like she’s maybe twenty or so, and if I was less Asperger’s, I would ask her out in a jiffy. Then we would play Zelda Twilight Princess and watch artsy movies together all day. That would be great.

And also, wouldn’t you know, school approaches. Oh yes, indeed, she does, upon her chariot of death, eyes aflame, wielding the scythe of misery in one cruel hand! Cower before this demon – all ye children hide yourselves, ‘fore she sweeps upon you and steals you away, to suck the lifeblood from your lovely veins and deposit your creaking bones ‘pon the bed of heartless society. That was a bit over the top. I think school is more like a wolf, and we are sheep, running blindly from its snapping heels and losing ourselves in the wilderness of vapid education. Although last year’s English class wasn’t so bad – I happened upon a pretty great teacher, not one of those badly-constructed androids that seem so common. Anyway yes indeed, I’m headed back to school in nine days, although my brain won’t process that reality quite yet, and I’ll be trying for my last English credit and my first arts credit. Should be anxiety-ridden and horrible as always, but at least I’ll see my friends.

Anything else? I’m pretty tired now, it’s almost midnight and the corn roast sucked most of the life out of me. I wrote all this on my last 10% or so. I apologize for not doing any posts for the last couple of months – sometimes life is very hard to fit into a 1000-some blog post that a handful of people may or may not read, and besides that I get lazy and overwhelmed. I’ll try to write more often again, but no promises – in fact when I make promises like that, more often than not they just make doing it harder. I do write stories, as ever, although most of them I end up abandoning for one reason or another – and I’ve also been doing some stuff on my music blog, darksideoftheroom, if you happen to be interested in that, and if you’ve been reading this far. Oh and also, I made an album on my Bandcamp, you can buy it if you want, or you can ask me if I can send you the link to it for free so you don’t have to pay, which I’ll do. Is that it? That’s it. Do come again, and thanks as always for taking the time to read this large mess of words.


(Psst: I don’t always wear sunglasses, but when I do, they’re rainbowy sunglasses.)

– Brynn


Scam Phone Call Conversations, Basketball, etc.

On Saturday I’m going to a Yu-gi-oh tournament, and I’m sorry to have to admit that’s the second most exciting thing I’m looking forward to at this moment. It’s a rainy, grey afternoon, and the air tastes a little bit humid; it’s ten degrees out, going up to fourteen it looks like, and while that might sound pathetic to those who live in warm climates, up here in the domain of the ice dragons it’s actually pretty nice. I was thinking about going up to the basketball court to play sadly by myself for a while, but I don’t want it to rain on me. And I continue to lack a good sweater. The one I have on right now has been worn steadily since the ninth grade, that’s almost four years now, and before that it was my dad’s – and it’s probably going to disintegrate next time a strong wind blows. When I visited my friends yesterday Josh said that each time he sees me there’s less of my sweater, and he’s right. I don’t know where all the fabric that used to be over my arm went, but it’s certainly not there anymore.

It’s the twenty-second of April already, and I think it’s the twenty eighth where I go to the hospital to get my last Lupron shot, and then a blood test right afterwards so that they can check how well it’s been working or whatever. Then I hope I’ll get to talk to the endocrinology gender clinic blah blah doctor, the one I saw once before, and ask her to finally get me my MBDs, before I go crazy. Now that I know what testosterone can do, and now that my conscience allows me to envision how awesome I’ll feel when it starts to work, I’m almost sick with impatience. I’m very used to waiting at this point – most of my life in fact seems to have been spent waiting – but the thing about that is it never gets any easier. It’s always completely maddening and frustrating to the extreme. When I saw my friends yesterday and we were playing Yu-gi-oh and video games and the RPG board game that I made, I was just thinking about how unfair and ridiculous it is that in order to be what they already are I have to stick a needle in myself once every two weeks for the rest of my life. They don’t know how lucky they are, to actually be all right with their bodies, and to feel good in them. They don’t know. And they don’t need needles and medication and anxiety pills because they can’t deal with how it feels. Everyone who feels comfortable as the gender they are takes that comfort for granted; I wish I was like them. It makes me so upset I can barely express myself. So April twenty eighth had better get here soon, and I’d better get those MBDs pretty fucking fast.

So the Yu-gi-oh tournament, as sad as it sounds (yeah, it’s just as sad as it sounds), is the second best thing in my immediate future. The best thing is of course getting those hormones. I don’t really like Yu-gi-oh all that much anymore, I’m sure I’ve said this before, and I only go along with it because I can see my friends more that way. The tournaments are held in this little toy store out in the suburbs, I’ve been there a few times before; what happens is about twenty boys between the ages of let’s say eight and twenty stuff themselves in to the nerdy confines of that place and play for prizes. I pretty much do badly every time, but I’m not hopeless – I’m just not as desperately into the game as some other people are. If I cared more I’d probably do better, at least I hope. But I don’t care. Because Yu-gi-oh is actually stupid, although my friends would argue otherwise.

I like collecting things, and I think that’s what got me into Yu-gi-oh in the first place. It was grade one, a long time ago in the fuzzy far reaches of my early childhood, and I saw some boys showing off their cards at recess. I think I asked one of them if I could have a card, or maybe I was just lingering next to him staring and he wanted to make me stop – so he shuffled through his cards, found one that wasn’t all that good, and said, “You can have this one. It’s a girl.”

I still remember which one it was. Rogue Doll, 1600 attack points – somewhat useless card, given to my six year old self because I was a girl and so was the card. By grade four, at my new school, me and Josh were playing Yu-gi-oh at recess, sitting on the gravelly pavement beneath the looming brick walls of the building, sometimes attracting small groups of like-minded recess-goers. I wish I could go back to those recesses sometimes; they were great.


The other day another one of those scam artists from India called our house, and called me ma’am. That’s the second time that’s happened. That time, it must’ve pissed me off quite a bit – the conversation went a bit like this:

“Hello,” said a man’s voice, from a noisy-sounding place.


“How are you today?”


A pause here, because he was waiting for me to ask him the same thing, and I never did. Because I didn’t actually care. He said, “Ma’am, we’re offering a cleaning service now for a short time good price mumble mumble something something, how many bedrooms do you have in your house?”

“Thank you,” I began, “but I’m not interested. Also I’m not a ma’am, I’m a boy. Have a nice day.”

Then I felt bad, but sort of proud of myself. I’m really tired of those scam guys calling me ma’am, assuming I’m some kind of housewife. They have no way of knowing, of course, but Jesus, it makes me crazy. I can’t wait for the Magic Boy Drugs so when the scammers call me, I can go “Hi again, India – I dare you to call me ma’am again.”

At least the last scam call wasn’t as bad as the first call, when the guy was talking about some computer virus thing, and he called me “honey.” Hanging up on him mid-sentence felt nice.

Right now it’s raining, but the sky is bright – I like when that happens. Maybe it’ll clear up soon, I really wouldn’t mind going up to play basketball. Part of me is hoping somebody will want to play with me if I go, and I’ll make a friend – it happened once before, some guy on roller skates drifted up and we had a brief conversation, but then he had to go and I never saw him again. I remember feeling desperately self-conscious, because that was before I wore my boa constrictor, and I was all sweaty, and my voice was too high, and there I was just wanting to talk to a guy who was interested in playing with me but it was made more complicated by not exactly knowing what he thought I was, or if he could even tell in the dimness. Now at least one of those problems is fixed – I’ve got my boa constrictor, and that is so much fucking better, even though I get anxious sometimes wearing it while I’m exercising and worrying I’ll pass out. I hear that’s a danger with boa constrictors (otherwise known as binders.) But what am I supposed to do? Not wear it when I exercise? No way. I really need it then, too. It’s just another thing to be anxious about. Just throw it onto the pile, I guess.

I wanted to play sports this year, but that’s also complicated at this point. I don’t want to ever play hockey on the downtown team again, because I know all those guys and they all know I’m supposed to be a girl. I don’t want explanations and I don’t want more awkwardness and anxiety. Also there is no possible way I’m ever playing girls’ softball again, like I did last summer. I kind of didn’t like that very much, anyway. People were nice, but I didn’t fit in there, and felt that usual outsider thing whenever I’m with a group of girls. But I don’t think I would want to play boys’ softball or baseball, not right now anyway, not before the MBDs. I wish I could’ve done that this year, but I guess I’ll have to wait for next year.

Do you get bored, always reading about my transgender stuff? Sorry if you do. It’s just, needless to say, the biggest thing in my life these days (always has been, sort of). It probably always will be. I need to get this stuff out of my mind so it doesn’t drive me insane by staying in there.  But what’s tomorrow? Tomorrow is Wednesday or something. At the moment I still have six days before my next injection, and I don’t know exactly how long before the first testosterone one. I’ll write about that when it happens, of course. And the stupid Yu-gi-oh tournament.

See you later; thanks for getting through all them words.


Weird Mood Swing Inspires Pointless Blog Post

Sounds like a newspaper headline.

So, one o’clock in the morning is around when my brain begins to plead for mercy because it wants to sleep. One o’clock in the morning is around when I ignore my brain and continue to be awake.

Traditionally I’ve always had mood swings, but I’m wondering if I’m having worse mood swings right now thanks to the Lupron floating around in my body. Earlier today I was really anxious about changing my gender on Facebook – and right now I give so little fucks that it’s like we’ve gone into antimatter fucks here. Any fucks that collide with my antifucks are going to instantaneously cease to exist. I’m sure, though, that this feeling will wear off by tomorrow, and I’ll be sitting around anxious and extremely stressed out again. So I guess I might’ve not done it in the first place – but I think not doing it would’ve bothered me more, in the long run. And by the way, many a high five to Facebook for even having the option of changing that – they didn’t used to. Now you can even customize your gender; I tried to do “I am a fish” but they gave you a list to choose from, so.

This blog post is crap. I’m sorry. It’s the Lupron talking, I bet – it’s sitting up in my brain with a megaphone making me type stuff. (Now say I am your leader!)

Is it really doing anything, though, or am I just insane? The other day I half-convinced myself my voice was changing. Then I remembered testosterone does that. Then I tried to figure out if I was getting less curvy but I sincerely doubt that too, since it’s been about a week. The one thing I think it has done is stop the MGT (“Monthly Girl Thing”), but I’m not sure if it’s too early to know for sure. I was having cramps but nothing came of them – so perhaps my body was really trying, but Lupron just kept kicking it in the face until it gave up. Anyway, if that’s the case, and it really is never going to happen again, then thank fucking God, and Jesus, and all the non-existent holy people up in fake heaven. It’s one thing I can stop having to be dysphoric about. And besides being a boy kicking around in a girl’s body, who actually enjoys the Monthly Girl Thing? Isn’t it uncomfortable and embarrassing? I understand that children are made from it, but otherwise, what are the pros? I see many cons, very little pros. But then again I am kicking around in a girl’s body, so don’t take my word for it, I suppose.

I got my new health card, and my picture actually looks normal on it. Usually, on official documents, people look like unfortunate raving lunatics, for whatever reason – I think probably a mixture of bad lighting and not being able to smile – but this time, something went right, and it looks good. I look tremendously non-girl-like. But then there’s that little “F” stuck on, and it’s fucking stupid. You really think that person is an F, government of Ontario? Really?

Look at how normal it looks!

photo (21)

Maybe this doesn’t mean much to you, but to me it’s a tiny victory in a world of always being identified constantly and never-endingly and incessantly as female. If it weren’t for the “F”, you’d never know, I hope. Because I strive constantly to be “normal”, if nothing more, and I’m fucking normal up there. Fucking normal, man. I said it. I said it, I did. I’m normal.

Except when you start to look inside my brain. Then it’s existential nonsense and paranoia and Arcade Fire lyrics all the way to next Sunday.

I’m swearing a lot. I’m sorry about that – I think it’s too much Youtube combined with not enough sleep combined with the weirdest mood swing I’ve had in a really long time. It would have to be weird, for me to take a picture of my health card, of all things, and then brag about how normal it is. I hear teenagers post a lot of selfies with their shirts off, or something.

I hate that selfie stuff. It’s fine if you’ve got something you specifically want to show off, I guess – like a new hair cut or a new t-shirt or something, but when it’s just you standing next to the mirror with your phone – well, why? What great need inspires people to do that? I’ve taken selfies in my time, certainly, but I never put them anywhere other people can see, unless there’s some valid purpose. For instance my Jake Bugg selfie, seen below. I recommend you check that out, I’m proud of it. But other kids, they post these endless pictures of themselves in various so-called attractive positions, with dozens of embarrassing hashtags that range from straight “#selfie” all the way to “#beautiful” and “#gorgeous”. Why do they do that? And especially when the person in question is very much not beautiful or gorgeous, and they use the hashtag anyway. Yuck. It screams out for attention, and it’s the wrong way to get it, if people want you for your looks. For instance, I type off posts about gender issues and health cards expecting not very many readers at all to find their way here, and I’m happy enough. The world’s constant struggle for acceptance and popularity drives me completely insane.

That’s why, when I grow up, you’ll find me sitting on a hilltop drinking iced tea in only a pair of socks, finding shapes in the clouds and listening to Arcade Fire through my headphones. You can’t come unless you’re bringing more iced tea. And this has absolutely no relevance to anything.

Will I publish this post? Mm, I’m kind of worried about what I’ll think of it in the morning.

Now I’ll begin the process of getting to bed. My brain starts to threaten me with child abuse lawsuits around this time of night – child abuse lawsuits against itself, of course.

It Actually Ends Up Being Sensical.

I’m getting that desperate restless feeling again, and I absolutely hate it. I can’t do anything when I feel like this. I want to hit something or run my fist through a wall – I want to try and describe it, but it’s a weird thing. It’s as if my mind is going in loops, only touching on ideas and thoughts briefly before spinning around again, and it creates this unsettled feeling in me that’s like being on a constant roller-coaster ride. I think I can fix this by either going to sleep or jumping around some to get the energy out, although my mom might hear me if I started doing that and I’m fairly sure, her being exhausted and recovering from being at the hospital, she might actually disown me. I can’t do that to her right now. Maybe I could dance to my ridiculous screamo music (with headphones, of course, of course) and just do some quiet jumping up and down and moving around, until I’m too tired to be so anxious and restless.

I might do that. For now I’ll try to wring out this post, but we’ll see how sensical it ends up being. I find it interesting that I’ve never actually gone nonsensical – I guess I always have enough presence of mind to keep one foot in reality and not run off on wild philosophical tangents about existence and death, which are the two things that I seem to instinctively gravitate to when I’m anxious and overtired. It’s what I have panic attacks about; death, or what happens after death. If I hit that level of awareness where I convince myself I’m absolutely right about the oblivion after life, then I’m screwed, my heart leaps into my throat and I have to move before I lose my mind. Once when I was having a panic attack, randomly in the middle of the night, I was in my mom’s room before I realized I’d moved. I used to run around the block when I lived at my dad’s house, even if it was the depths of the night. I once ran right down the middle of the street, in the most dead and silent hour you could ever imagine, as fast as I could and trying to not stick to the sidewalk because it didn’t matter. It was so quiet. Like you could’ve sneezed and the stars would’ve started spinning. Right now I can talk about all this without feeling too anxious, but it’s different when it’s right in the thick of the night and I’m alone with my thoughts, not with a bright computer screen and music in my ears to distract me.

I’m listening to early mewithoutYou, and I love it. They’re amazing. People I think would instinctively hate them because they’re heavy rock/experimental (or at least their early albums are), but if you have the time, try to get past the screaming and take note of the instrumentals and the poetry, and the atmosphere. I don’t know how many people can, not as if I’m special – but if you’re depressed and need some feeling shocked back into you, then they’re a good band for the job. It’s hard not to feel anything when Aaron Weiss screams in Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, after a long gentle buildup. A very dark and difficult beauty, this stuff.

Why I feel so down, though, is difficult to assess. It might just be because my mom was in the hospital for a while, although now she’s fine and I don’t think it was ever completely life-threatening. It’s so nice to have her back; I wish she wasn’t exhausted, though. At least we were laughing earlier; same as when I visited her in the hospital. She was in pain but she was still laughing with me. A sign that she’s at least okay.

Right, and I’ve been missing school. I just can’t do it, math and science, two subjects I don’t like, with no friends and nobody that even looks very friend-worthy. And I’m so behind right now that it would be pointless to go back now, so far along. I do miss my friends, though, but I guess I’ll see them next year.


A little star just so the post has some order in it. Plus I need some asymmetry – like there’s been a lot of mostly equally-sized paragraphs going on the past little while, and I hate that. So I needed to do a double space to break that up.

Moving past the craziness now, am I ever tired. Life is a big tiring hamster wheel that goes around and around and never does anything for you, despite making you tired and frustrated. Although there’s one bright spot around here: that of going over to Zoe’s house the other day. Her dad Martin and my mom haven’t been getting along for the past couple of years, I’m not completely sure why, and I feel torn because I really like him, a lot. He’s never been anything but nice to me, and is the first person to start using boy pronouns of their own volition. (The school doesn’t count, we forced them.) And I just went to my e-mail to send a reply to my failed co-op teacher (I couldn’t handle her class, it was too much in the morning) because she complimented me on my writing, and now I’m sure I’m going to be agonizing about if my reply was all right for the next several weeks. I just said thanks a lot and that I appreciate her being so nice, but naturally my mind is going to twist it around until I convince myself I wrote the equivalent of “You’re a stupid teacher and I hate you so much, I hope you die in a hole somewhere”. I always second-guess every single thing I say to other people, and I hate the feeling of never being able to accept that what I said was fine. Whatever. I can’t get away from the anxiety, ever.

My dad came over briefly today, but he couldn’t stay long because whatever. I didn’t care. My mom said “Only an hour?” and I feel like that’s a little bit out of line, because at least we’re seeing each other, we could not be seeing each other at all – but I think she’s still mad because he didn’t bring me to my appointment last Monday. Which he was supposed to, and which he said he would be able to bring me to. And he didn’t, and he didn’t have a good reason for not doing it – and I was mad too, but I’ve let it go by this point, it’s over and far away, and he said he’ll bring me to the next one, anyway. I got a bit angry at him and I think he understood my feelings – but I can’t be that angry at him, because he’s so anxious all the time, like me. I feel like some slack should be given to him, not all the time, but right now at least.

And my appointment went well. I set it up myself – the clinic called and asked when was a good day, and I said as soon as possible, so they set it up for the next day. I returned to the endocrinology place and the nice nurse sprayed some stuff on my leg and stuck a needle in there for about three seconds – I looked away, ready for some incredible anxiety-heightened agony, and then it was over. I looked back at her, unbelieving, and had to admit that it hadn’t been nearly as bad as I’d thought it would be. It was a Lupron injection, so now the Lupron’s floating around in me slowly doing its stuff, whatever exactly its stuff is. I searched it online to refresh my memory, and maybe get some more details, but it turns out no one fucking mentions that it’s used on transgender kids, so nobody explained what it does in that respect. Under ‘side-effects’ on one website there was loss of your period and possible increase in body hair – under ‘side-effects.’ Side effects? Nice, that doesn’t make me feel awful about myself or anything.

But I know the basics. It stops the estrogen in my body and, it seems, will turn me into an eleven year old boy again. Because that was a fun time in my life. There may be something with fat distribution involved – and as far as I understand it, that means I won’t have the curviness of a girl anymore. I cannot wait to wear my beloved skinny jeans comfortably, which I wear a lot anyway, which I wish didn’t show those useless curvy things. Don’t need that shit. I wonder how long before Lupron actually starts working? It’s supposed to make me asexual, too, which is going to be weird. And I already have trouble figuring out the whole sexuality thing without suddenly being asexual, in the midst of trying to get a handle on this stuff – it’ll set me back a little while, I think. At least it’s only three months of it before, against all hopes, they’ll finally throw some Magic Boy Drugs at me. I’m not so scared of needles anymore – still get uncomfortable, but I figure that’s a good feeling to have, since sticking sharp objects in your own skin would logically not be a wise thing to do.

I just want it to start working. I’m not convinced about this body hair stuff; because it’s not like testosterone is being added. Estrogen is just being taken away. That leaves me… with funny Lupron stuff floating around in me? I have no idea about that. What did I have in me before puberty? Nothing? Well, I certainly didn’t have extra body hair. I probably would have noticed.


When I was at Zoe’s house, we played Monopoly for a long time with her little sister Nikka. She wiped the floor with us. And I was actually trying. Nikka’s only eight or so, but she’s a frightening little package of smarts and intuition and trickery – she kept trying to cheat, until the whole thing had dissolved into a depressing melting pot of dishonesty, which was pretty amusing at the same time. Even without cheating, though, she completely creamed us. Then we put on Louis Armstrong 45s and Nikka made us do lame Buzzfeed quizzes. I kept ending up being the troll character. One question demanded you pick your favorite Disney prince – I was debating about whether to go ahead and pick Aladdin, the least offensive of them all, when I noticed the “No” option. I picked that, relieved. Zoe reacted as if it was predetermined that I like girls, and therefore would have no interest in Disney princes – and I wonder if that’s just because she recently found out I’m transgender, or if she’s just known me so long that she knows that sort of question would horrify me. I think maybe a bit of both. Again we touch upon sexuality, and how clueless I am about it when it comes to my preference – because honestly, none of those princes are anything close to desirable or cute or lovable to me – while the same could very truly be said about the Disney princesses. Maybe this is just because it’s Disney.

That day we also went to the record store, because Martin needed a new band for his record player, and we briefly went to the anime store because I wanted to, where I scored the last volume of Fullmetal Alchemist from the quirky-looking cashier girl. Zoe and Martin and everyone were so nice to me that I had paranoid feelings that it was only some kind of ruse. They were trying really hard with the pronouns thing, and poor Nikka was doing her best, switching erratically and unintentionally between “he” and “she” as I sat there trying not to feel awkward and avoiding Zoe’s eye. Zoe even used “he” a few times, and I almost had to leave the room because I was getting too emotional. Even her step mom, traditionally a somewhat frightening Russian woman, was very nice to me, in a way that’s unusual for her since she’s usually so opinionated and tough. Although she’s always seemed to be a bit extra nice with me, for some reason – maybe that’s on Martin’s orders. Either way nothing was forced and everyone was genuine, and we ate spanicapeda (how do you spell that?) and fries and it was all good.

Nonetheless I still feel unsettled, and maybe not as happy as I should logically be. Ah, but, when it comes to feeling things, logic is an unknown concept.  I think you always just feel how you feel, regardless of why.

I don’t know what happens next. I’m thinking vaguely of a long summer, a stressful return to school in the fall, and whatever daily issues come in between. I think at the moment I’ve satisfied my restless feeling to just do something, and I should probably get to sleep now, before I wander off into the deep hours of the night again, writing and watching stupid videos and avoiding getting to tomorrow.

– Brynn, or Cellarboy, or “Arymm”


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.)

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.

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 Oh-de-lay-HEE-hoo.ca (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.