Navigating the South as a genderqueer Christian androgyne. Trans* and neurodiverse. Educator & Spanish speaker.

For those of you who have been following what’s been going on with my family (in the last five posts), you know my relationship with my family is pretty rocky and getting worse as they learn more about my identity and relationships.

I’m currently uncertain as to whether I will ultimately pursue an ongoing relationship with my parents. Right now, we’re back on somewhat-steady footing, and I’m not going to tell them anything new for now. I’m going to concentrate on healing up from this last mess with them, and trying to keep myself at an emotionally healthy distance.

I anticipate that when I tell my parents I am nonmonogamous and in two relationships, that may well be the last straw for them. Given that their treatment of me-as-nonconforming has been pretty awful so far, I think I will need to set some boundaries between us. I’m just not sure what, or how. You can call me when you can treat me, my partners, and my choices/autonomy with respect? We can stay in touch but not talk about anything gender/sexuality/relationship-related until you can do so respectfully? I don’t want to hear from you again?

I know I have several lovely Twitterfriends who have gone through similar with their parents. What boundaries did you set? How did you do it? How has it gone? Can you all help me?

Home free

[Trigger warning: ableist slurs, abuse, abusive relationships, addiction, cissexism, death, degendering, depression, dysfunctional relationships, mental illness, suicide / suicidal ideation, surgery]

What came before (with similar warnings):

The night before our flight out, I was opening the drawers of the bathroom I used to share with my brother, looking for some minutia that I’d forgotten to pack into my toiletries. Nail clippers, probably. I rummaged around without much thought. I opened the bottom drawer, the one that belonged to me when I lived there.

On top of the forgotten makeup and nail polish and body wash was my favorite chest binder.

I froze and stared. How long ago had it been there? I hadn’t even realized it was missing.

Read the rest of this entry »

I never planned to make my blog a diary-type-thing–I usually only do polished, organized posts–but I’ve been blogging about this as it happens, and it seems people are reading and/or wanting to keep up with what’s going on.

It doesn’t help me process to write–unfortunately my brain processes on its own, constantly, very slowly, and I can’t make it stop, ever. The writing is just the result of the processing. I don’t need to do this to process. But the feedback–”you are being abused, you are not alone, you are OK”–keeps me sane. And, should I get gaslit in the future about what happened today, this will be here for posterity, fresh from memory, no chance for much corruption.

So here goes.

Under the cut (if I can get it to work): trigger warning for abuse, abusive relationships, aggressive degendering, binarism, biphobia, cissexism, and my fucked-up dysfunctional family.

What came before [with the same trigger warnings]:

I felt much calmer after I talked with my brother, but I knew the next night I’d be alone with my parents before we flew out in the morning. I anticipated it might not go well, but was planning to head off conflict and smooth things over.

So much for that. Read the rest of this entry »

What came before [Trigger warning: abuse, abusive relationships, aggressive degendering, binarism, biphobia, cissexism]:

[Trigger warning: abusive relationships, cissexism]

After my conversation with my mother, I texted my brother and let him know what was up.

Me: Hey I know you’re at work so I’m not expecting a reply now. I’m wearing swim trunks and a rash guard to the beach, and I’m not shaving my legs. This is apparently so horrific for Mom that she’s refusing to see me in it, and seems to think you will be similarly horrified. Still wanna go swimming with me? Read the rest of this entry »

The last hurrah

[Trigger warning: cissexism, abuse]

What came before:

(Snippets of) What my mother says:

“It seems like you’ve decided we’re these evil Neanderthal people who ruined you and… it’s ‘get on board or be labeled a Neanderthal, because I’ve decided this, and you’ve gotta get on board.’”

Read the rest of this entry »

You were my girl child

[Trigger warning: abusive relationship, cissexism, binarism]

[6/26/2013] Samson: c-can I say a thing about my mom?

[6/26/2013] Holly: Yeah

[6/26/2013] Samson: I got my watershoes in the mail! so I’m taking a picture of my hairy legs with them on, and I’m gonna text it to her

[6/26/2013] Samson: I’m gonna see if I can get the scary anger over with now before vacation

[6/26/2013] Samson: text back, no mention of legs >.>

[6/26/2013] Holly: !

[6/26/2013] Samson: she’s coming for lunch on Friday; I’ll make sure she sees ‘em again then

Shoe department, corner display

Mom turned to me as we were walking away from a pair of shoes that didn’t fit–here it comes, I thought.

“You have got to shave your legs,” she said, lips pursed in a tight smile. Read the rest of this entry »

A girl voice

My first class of 4/5-year-olds walked in a little late this morning. As I was pushing myself up from my desk to meet them for circle time, something on my computer monitor caught the attention of a child. He wandered over, exclaiming, “A Power Ranger!” A few more heads went up, and soon I had a small crowd of boys around my desk, with the rest of the class drifting over slowly. I shooed them gently back towards the circle and came to join them.

As I made my way over, a girl looked up at me wonderingly and said, “Maybe you’re a boy.”

I asked my next class to sit boy-girl. (I always cringe to differentiate like that, but in some groups it cuts down on distractions and conflicts, as they’re already socialized to interact more with their own gender.) I watched while they puzzled out the arrangement themselves. Eventually, having settled things, they looked towards me, trying to figure out where in this pattern I fit.

One child–the only one who ever calls me “Mr.” while the other children have no question about addressing me as “Ms.”– looked over at me and asked, “Are you a boy or a girl?”

Usually my students ask this question about storybook characters, or stuffed animals. In return I tend to ask, “Why does it matter?” But I don’t think I’ve ever heard one of my own students ask, right to my face, that question of me.

I can make teachable moments out of storybook characters and stuffed animals, but I can’t be frank about myself. Not here. It’s not safe.

So I grinned at him. “I’m a teacher! I don’t count.” I took my regular place in the circle.

He smiled back briefly, then looked down, pondering. Then he countered, “Are you a boy teacher or a girl teacher?”

Well. Can’t dodge that one.

I suddenly became aware of their teacher, recently departed and possibly still waiting outside, as she does, listening to see if her students need help settling in.

I grinned again, and laughed a little as I asked, “What do YOU think?”

To an adult’s ears, I hoped it sounded charmingly amused that anyone would ask me such a question. To him, I think it sounded like a playful challenge. As it was meant to.

He caught my grin. He repeated, “Are you a boy or a girl?” I repeated my question back to him.

Smile wide, he replied, “–a girl because you talk with a girl voice!”

I laughed softly again, and he settled back into his place as I called the rest of the class, thankfully self-absorbed during these moments, to attention.

My voice, I thought. Not my clothes or my face or the fact that everyone else says “Ms.” and “she” and “her.” A girl voice.

Well, but I like my voice, I thought.

I stopped short. I like my voice? The voice I sometimes can’t stand to hear in recordings because it sounds so much like my abusive mother’s?

Huh. I like my voice. I do.

And I am content with not having given the questioning child an answer.

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