Tag Archives: ftm

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.

moiatcornroast

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

– Brynn


Some Thoughts on Equality, Hatred, Cruelty, etc.

Why are people assholes, especially online? Huh? The incredible Cellar Boy gives his rainy, depressing Wednesday thoughts about it. Also he apparently switches to third person for no reason.  Right here.


My dad has a new apartment, and he’s going to move in this Saturday, and I can stay there whenever I want. It’s in the basement of an extremely old building, weathered red brick with some new additions on the front and a picture of the handsome Prince Rupert on the lobby wall. It’s two stories tall, in the middle of the city’s rich downtown neighborhood, about a five minute walk from the canal. The basement smells like death. It’s kind of one of the shittiest places I’ve ever seen. There are two rooms, plus a bathroom; one is the kitchen and dining room, it’s all white with a window looking out at street level, with a latch that’s about a centimeter too far for me to reach, even standing on the foot stool that you need to stand on, no matter how tall you are. I’m five foot six. I should really be able to reach the freaking window latch on a foot stool. The bedroom-living room is nicer, with a wooden floor and a little closet, and another window that I can’t reach, looking out on the street. We have a fridge and an oven already there, and yesterday my grandma and my dad and I went to Ikea (the monstrously huge, three-story Ikea that looms like a blue and yellow space station out in the west end) and we bought a shelf thing to put boxes in to hold our clothes and two chairs for the kitchen table, which is a fold-in slab of wood attached to the wall. My grandma and grandpa will bring their old futon and we’ll get another mattress. I’m thinking about bringing either my record player or my stereo; my dad wants me to bring my Van Gogh print to put up on the wall. He’s been really into Van Gogh lately, ever since I showed him some paintings online – we’re going to be doing a painting class together starting this Thursday, and I’m looking forward to it. I want to spend more time with my dad and besides the thing itself actually does sound kind of fun.

So the apartment is pretty bad, really small, and with its high ceilings it kind of feels like a prison – but I don’t care all that much, and I’m actually looking forward to staying there, because it means I can get away from my mom’s house and be closer to my friends, who all live in my dad’s neighborhood. It’s not as if I don’t like being at my mom’s – of all the people in my family, it’s her I get along best with, even if we argue half of the time and sometimes it feels like she’s got me in a vice grip of parental over-attention. – That’s the reason I want to have some days away, how I feel like she’s always hovering over me. She probably isn’t. It just feels like she is. All of her hovering is well-meaning, but holy shit does it get under my skin sometimes. And I love spending time with her (we’ve watched four seasons of Lost in the past two months or so, and it’s been great), but I NEED TIME BY MYSELF. Holy shit, do I ever need time by myself.

Today I went to that Yu-gi-oh tournament with my friends. It was kind of nice, surprisingly. I haven’t spent much time with them since I left school again in March, and it’s great to know we still get along and everything (like we wouldn’t, for some reason?) I still haven’t told them about the transgender thing. I have to do that. It feels so bizarre to hear them refer to me with girl pronouns, since everyone else in my life is switching, and I myself have long since switched. It also makes me uncomfortable and frustrated, but I can’t possibly fault them. Because… I haven’t fucking told them yet. I need to. I just have no idea how – as always. At the Yu-gi-oh tournament most people seemed to accept my boyness but one guy called me “her”, but he sort of looked familiar so he might have seen me some other time at another tournament when I looked like an X. I felt pretty good at the tournament, in terms of self-esteem; a little shaky, it’s true, when I had to talk, but mostly all right. I lost four times and won once. Another time it was pretty close, though. Although I dare not suggest I’m actually very good at Yu-gi-oh – which is sad because I’ve been playing it since I was six or seven. I think part of it is that everyone else is so good – these tournament guys are pretty serious, and more often than not they really study the strategies, to the point that you literally can’t get a move in before they win the match. So it might not be that I suck, really. I’ll tell myself it isn’t, anyway.

I told my friends about my dad’s new apartment and then Devin asked to come over and play music sometime. (We used to have a band. Nope, I will not disclose the link to our Youtube thing, I personally quarantined it forever.) I was happy to see he still has enthusiasm about the band, and that he wants to hang out with me. I’m a bit embarrassed about the apartment, but it’s not like it’s my dad’s fault, really – he just doesn’t have the money, and besides this was the closest one to the house where my sister lives with my step-mother. I think I’ll try to stay at the apartment at least half the week, and especially when school starts up again because it’s so incredibly close by – just a twenty minute walk, or a five minute bike ride. (As opposed to going to school from my mom’s house, which is across the city.) When I mentioned to my mom that I want to stay there sometimes, she said “Maybe every Friday you can give it a try”, and I think that spells danger. Probably she just wants me to be comfortable, but another part could be that she doesn’t want me at my dad’s house because she doesn’t think he’ll take care of me as well. My dad loves me and I love him, and he would never not take care of me, but it’s true that he would let me stay up, sleep in, and drink pop later than five o’clock (all things my mom doesn’t let me do. I don’t always listen; if I always listened I’d have to kick myself.) My mom and my dad have different styles, drastically different; my mom is the one who gets things done, she’s set up all my hospital appointments that have to do with my transitioning stuff, and she deals just about 100% with the school and everything – and my dad doesn’t do that stuff. He would try, and he would if I asked him to, but he could never be as ruthless and amazingly persistent as my mom is. So I can see why my mom doesn’t want me to stay with him for half the week like I used to. Maybe she also understands the completely fucked-up situation that my dad is in right now, and wants me to be away from that. I want to be away from that, too – but I’ve been talking with my dad about it a bit, and so I’m kind of in the loop already. He told me that my step mom cheated on him. He probably shouldn’t have told me that, it was probably selfish of him to put all that on my shoulders, but I don’t really care, and I want to help him. My mom would say that it’s selfish of him, I am positive about that. And I wasn’t surprised that my step mom cheated on him. She kept going away at night and didn’t want him to come, and also she’s a troubled sort of person, to put it extremely mildly. She psychologically and verbally abused me for about seven years; she’s been abusive to my dad, too. I’ve seen it – I’ve heard it at least a few times. He finally left, I guess her cheating on him was the last straw, and now I hope he stays away. I have no control, obviously, it’s not my life or my problem – but I would encourage him to stay away, if he asked me. For everybody’s sake, his and mine, and my sister’s too, so their problems don’t get in the way of her life, like they did to mine.

The whole situation is fucked, and it’s not fair that we all have to deal with it. But we have to, and at least it’s moving in the right direction, finally. Now I can spend time with my dad on a regular basis, and see my sister more, too. I’ll be back in my old neighborhood, near my friends, and I can get to school way more easily in the morning, and play music with Devin. He already set a date, which is funny – he said Next Wednesday? And I said no, the one after that, because my dad isn’t moving in until this Saturday. It’s awesome how eager Devin is. So if all goes right we’ll be playing music in my dad’s high-ceilinged, nice-acoustics apartment by the Wednesday after next.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday I’m getting my (hopefully last) Lupron injection. But I don’t think I see the endocrinology doctor til the 12th, as I may have said before. And I don’t know how fast I can get my MBDs, for that matter. I want at least two months on the MBDs before September, when I’m thrown back into the world of other people and social situations – enough time for changes to actually happen. I will never again enter a Yu-gi-oh tournament being embarrassed about my voice.

So, time marches past, and life continues. In other news, it’s spring. For real this time.

photo (30)

 


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.

“Hello…”

“How are you today?”

“Fine.”

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.

 


What Lupron Does

About three weeks ago I sat in a small room at the hospital and a  lady stuck a needle in my leg filled with Magical Degirlifying Potion (that’s the technical name) – and I was ready to roll on the floor with agony or cry out helplessly to the sky, but I didn’t even feel it. Some mild sensation like a pinch, and then she’d taken it out and I was staring at her stupidly. Then they set me free and I limped home. The pain wasn’t bad, it was just stiff for a bit; and I made sure to run around a little bit because they recommend activity after shots that go directly into your muscle. Two days later I felt no pain or stiffness, and there was no sort of bruise.

Then followed about a week of walking around in agitated circuits of my bedroom, stuck inside because of missing school and my mom being in the hospital (she’s much better now, recovering, laughing, eating, getting mad at me, all the normal things) and waiting desperately for something to happen. I’ve been told that Lupron will degirlify me – meaning, as far as I understand it, my MGT (Monthly Girl Thing) will cease, my body fat will redistribute itself (I imagine it like a lot of little people inside me trudging to other places of my body with suitcases and bags over their shoulders) and I may or may not get more hair in more places. For the first week, nothing happened besides a lot of anxiety – then I started to go through a form of menopause, because that’s what all boys yearn for, and it’s still somewhat ongoing, meaning bizarre hot flashes at inopportune times and some fiddly stuff going on with the MGT that I’ll try my hardest to explain for the reader’s sake. I’m assuming you’re interested, in the effects of Lupron, or in transitioning from “female” to male. What happens is, Lupron decreases your estrogen if you’re “female”, and that’s what it’s doing to me – it means my MGT will go away, supposedly, even though it was just fairly bad, accompanied by hot flashes and mood swings and a desire to punch things that has thankfully gone away. This MGT that I just had should supposedly be the last, ever, meaning it won’t happen next month. But there was some extra MGT stuff that happened after the usual 4-5 days, which I don’t know how to explain; I asked my mom and she says it wasn’t anything to worry about.

The main things I’m feeling right now as I sit here writing anxiously in the twilight of a warmish March evening is a desire for this stuff to happen quicker, and make me feel better. Lupron’s effects so far have been bad, and there’s none of the good effects that I’m waiting for. I’m waiting for the MGT to go away for good and for that fat redistribution thing to run its course. (I have lost weight, I should mention, and I can’t quite tell but it might already be happening, the redistribution. I say this hesitantly, and only because my favorite jeans that I outgrew fit me again.)

Meanwhile, either my deodorant is expiring or I smell more. I think I just smell more. I noticed it at the Arcade Fire concert I went to (read about the awesomeness right here on the music thing that I write sometimes), where I was dancing a lot. I remember being smelly in the days where I refused to wear deodorant because it was a grown-up thing – but then I started playing hockey and the pure necessity of it drove me over the edge, so I succumbed to societal pressure and have used it since. To the best of my knowledge, it works very well; I haven’t smelled much at all for years. Now I smell again. That’s great.

Another thing which I feel must be a side effect of Lupron and decreasing hormones are my mood swings. The other day like I said I was so angry I almost felt like I’d throw up – and my mom saved me from myself by dropping me off on the curb and telling me to walk the rest of the way home. (She’s smart, it worked.) Part of that anger was, I’m positive, because of how frustrating and horrible this whole thing is, and how desperately I want to get through it, to the other side – but there’s no excuse for just how angry I felt. I’ve rarely felt that heated, and I’m worried this is going to be a trend with my messed up hormones.

A third, and admittedly dubious aspect of Lupron is hairiness. Staring at my non-existent blond mustache today (see older blog post) I noticed most assuredly existent blackish hairs where the blondish hairs had always been, alone and sad. These blackish hairs were just visible where I’m 90% sure no black hair has ever been seen before. Now, you have to put some faith in me here, because I take great pride in my non-existent blond mustache and I know all its ins and outs – so try to believe that I’d notice when more hairs came to be. I do believe, therefore, that those blackish hairs are new.

So saying, we can assume Lupron actually does make one hairier. Which is interesting to me, because it’s not a hormone – it’s literally an anti-hormone, and is driving out bits of the estrogen in me. But whatever. I’ve got a non-existent REAL mustache now. That’s an oxymoron, heh.

My next injection is on the 28th (just ten days), and then I’ll have two more injections before, in an ideal world, I can force the medical people to throw me my MBD (Magic Boy Drugs) and begin the “actual” transition. Meanwhile in the social part of the issue, I’m feeling a lot of stress, but a lot of support, too. Zoe’s dad has been super nice to me, as well as Zoe herself, and her family. My mom has been uncertain about pronouns, and it bothered me so much the other day when she was purposefully not saying one that I blew up a bit (probably Lupron instigated? Or not) and now she said she’ll try to do “he”. I felt bad for getting mad. But it is incredibly weird to have your friends and family switching constantly from “he” to “she”, being awkward when they say “he” and being equally awkward when they say “she” and trying to catch themselves. (It’s also really nice of them. But really uncomfortable for all of us.) On a walk the other day with the dog my grandpa referred to me as a young lady, even though he knows about the issue now. It may have slipped out – he may be in denial – or he may have no actual idea what to do. Probably all of those. My mom referred to me and Zoe as “the girls” a few days ago, and then caught herself and said “Zoe and Brynn.” I don’t mind what people call me right now, because everyone’s having to come to grips with it. But if it goes on a lot longer I’m going to go insane. I feel schizophrenic, listening to my competing identities fight each other for supremacy.

me and zoe

 

Old Brynn with old Zoe, in Montreal, 2011. I was 13.

jake bugg

 

New Br – oops, that’s Jake Bugg. Hold on a second.

photo (24)

New Brynn, 16. This is my Arcade Fire concert selfie to show off my goggles.

Funny how it comes full circle, huh? In 2011 I went with Zoe to see Arcade Fire; now a couple of days ago in 2014 I went to see them again with her. As cliched as it may be, so much really has changed in the three years since then. I’m not a new person – I’m just me understanding what’s going on with myself. Lupron of course is making me feel pretty weird right now, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. I will post if I grow another head.

– Brynn/Cellar Boy

 


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”