Non-Binary Hormones

This past September marked my six-year mark on hormones, which have gone through various iterations since their beginning.  When I first started taking testosterone I was on a full dose; here in the United States, that’s 100mg/ML every week.  I was also taking some sort of estrogen blocker, which was prescribed by my doctor at the time to prevent any effects should my testosterone suddenly start converting into estrogen.  I eventually went off of this blocker, since I didn’t see the point in taking one more pill for something that was only a remote possibility.

About three years into taking hormones I started fiddling with my dose, dropping it from 100mg/mL to 200mg/mL twice per month, and eventually down to a half dose of 100mg/mL twice per month.  However, I experienced various mental health concerns, and have since gone back to self-injecting testosterone intramuscularly every week.  That

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I miss this bottle. It could last me around a year if I was lucky. Alas, testosterone is considered a “controlled substance” as it is a steroid, and now I’ve got these piddly little 200mg/ML bottles as big as the last phalanx on my pinky finger. Sigh.

being said, my dose is currently at 25mg/mL per week–or for those of you who are good at math, a one-fourth dose for the “average” AFAB (assigned female at birth) trans person.  At one point I was taking 50mg/ML every week due to my syringes and hormone concentration changing without my knowledge, but I’ve since corrected it back down to 25mg/ML.

I never felt comfortable being on the “standard” dose for trans men, mostly because I never identified as such.  If I’d been thinking I probably would have started at a half or quarter dose of testosterone, and then just gone off of hormones when I’d achieved my desired effects.  Now, over six years later, I’m saddled with more body hair than I know what to do with, and I seriously question the point of continuing with hormones for the sole purpose of ceasing menstruation.  It’s similar, in my mine, to ceasing a prescription of psychotropic drugs: sometimes you get used to how you feel on the drug, and so one stops taking them because they think they’re “cured”, but in reality the reason you might feel better is because of the medication.  (Which is, of course, not always the case for folks taking medications, but I digress.)

The reality is that more than anything, I never anticipated being on hormones for over three years, much less six,; as I turn into what seems a vertiable fur suit of sweaty, oily, and overall undesired masculinity I long for the day when I can stop putting off my hormone shot as long as I can every week.  I wish my options for ceasing menstruation did not rest on methods which would have me take hormones indefinitely, whether through testosterone alone or some other combination due to a lack of ovaries.  I’ve said it before in other posts, I’d rather have an even mix of masculinizing and feminizing hormones–whatever that might look like in a healthy body.  I just hope in another six years I’ll have seen these dreams realized.

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Halloween and Samhain

A very informed, quick read on Samhain/Halloween.

Dowsing for Divinity

The season of Halloween is fast approaching, and with it, the opening of several different silly seasons. It’s the season for racists to dress as caricatures of other ethnic groups. It’s the season for journalists to find the gothiest witches they can, and write dramatic articles about them. And it’s the season for spooky films on TV, and (gods help us all) pumpkin spice latte.

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Magical Maladies and Injuries: Cultural Appropriation in J. K. Rowling’s Ilvermorny

Still sussing out how to feel about my problematic fave. In the meantime, here’s an article (with citations!) regarding J.K. Rowling’s cultural appropriation of Native symbols, mythology, and culture.

The Geek Anthropologist

Although the final book in the Harry Potter saga, The Deathly Hallows, was published almost a decade ago, J. K. Rowling has been quietly building the Harry Potter universe through Pottermore and other creative projects like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and a stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The world of Harry Potter has made steps towards diversification with the announcement of Albus Dumbledore’s homosexuality and Rowling’s public support of a black Hermione Granger, but the latest installment, Ilvermorny—the North American magical institution modeled after Hogwarts—has gained notoriety not for expanding witchcraft and wizardry across the pond, but for its problematic appropriation of Native American culture.

Ilvermorny, Wizards and WhatnotIlvermorny, Wizards and Whatnot

Rowling’s world has long been premised upon European folklore and mythology, from the bad luck of the black dog to Oedipus’s riddling sphinx. The creatures and legends that infuse Hogwarts with its magical…

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Why Inclusive Wicca?

All of these practices can be modified or expanded to be more inclusive with a bit of thought and consideration. And you don’t have to change everything all at once. My practice evolved over several years; I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to change everything. Many of the things I do in circle are to be more respectful of the deities and spirits, as well as respecting diversity. My practice is still evolving – that’s what a living tradition does.

Wise words by which to live, via Yewtree’s Why inclusive Wicca?

The Definition of MOGAI

An exciting alternative to LGBTQIA+, or GOLBAT.

Rachel Sharp

TOP DEFINITION

MOGAI

Marginalized Orientations, Gender identities, And Intersex. it’s meant to be an all inclusive umbrella term for asexuals, homosexuals, multisexuals, trans people, and intersex people. Alternative to LGBTQIAP+

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The Issue

As long as we live in this society—one born from a mix of cultures and genders all trying to improve a country theoretically founded on Puritan ideals—we’re going to need words for the “other.” Anyone deviating from a straight, white, cisgender, reasonably affluent male is considered “other.” This single-viewpoint standard is (obviously) ridiculous, but we’re immersed in it. Some might say drowning.

Still, these “others” defying it by existing, creating, pushing, asserting their rights, and making us all talk about them. And as long as that’s the case, we need words.

Words for varying races, genders, sexual orientations, and other “deviations” change over time. Words commonly used as slurs get replaced as society evolves. Words that…

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When transgender celebrities misgender other transgender people

A very well-written response to a problematic (at best) podcast.

Accidently Gay

I knew my husband was upset when he IM’d me at work, and asked if I had listened to the latest Savage Love podcast #577 with Buck Angel. I knew someone, either Dan or Buck had probably said something shitty again, and my husband’s incredibly protective nature over myself, and other people in the transgender umbrella was on guard.

I listened to it. I’d like to say I was surprised, but I was not.

Buck Angel was the first transgender man I had ever seen. He had my attention immediately, because as an undisclosed transgender man, seeing someone that might be like me was really cool. I looked up to his acceptance of his body, and confidence in himself.

However, Buck doesn’t come without problems. There are folks that have discussed this in more detail.  Below are just a few articles. There are a lot more archived snapshots of Buck’s…

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Auto Shop Gender Talk

It was one of those moments when you realize that the reality of a situation is almost stranger than fiction.  Id est, I could not have made this scenario up even if I’d tried.

I had arrived at an auto repair shop, and while waiting for them to find my keys I was eyeing up the various magazines they had to offer: Handyman or Women’s Health.  Being neither of the two, I instead chose to read about the looming “nuclear option” method of electing a conservative US Supreme Court nominee.  It didn’t make me feel any better.

They could not find my keys.  The owner’s wife, who has many times chauffeured my partner to and from work when the car’s been in for repairs, offered to drive me home to pick up the spare set of keys while they continued the search for the set we’d left there this morning.  En route I mentioned I wasn’t in any hurry, just so long as I could vote in the local elections today.  So the owner’s wife stopped at the polling place so I could vote, and I got back in her car feeling like, in my own vindictive way, I had done my civic duty to chip away at the conservative choke-hold seizing the country.  We drove a few blocks down to my place, I grabbed my keys, and we took off for the auto repair store once more.

In true Midwestern fashion, we started chatting about the weather.  I mentioned the weather down in Colorado, as my private contracting employer had recently had a snow day.  So then talk turned to my private contracting job, which is to essentially catalog correspondences to her mental health practice, all of which deal with gender questions, transitioning, finding transgender resources, or else an upcoming gender identity workbook.

The auto shop owner’s wife went off on the subject, pontificating on what wonderful and necessary work it must be, to be a mental health professional in the business of helping transgender folk fully express themselves, “to make that difficult transition and become happy,” as she put it.  I gauged the situation, then mentioned how, since I’ve been through that process myself, I knew how needed such services were, which is why I’d offered to do contract work for this therapist.

I’m not sure she believed me at first.  After many no way! or seriously? sorts of remarks, she clarified that I must have been born female but transitioned to male.  I stopped, breathed, and mentioned that this was sort of correct, but I didn’t identify that way.  She stopped, then said that she obviously was no expert on me, but since I was, could I explain how I did identify?  So I did.  I explained what it means to identify as non-binary, in a very general sense.  She seemed to understand, because when I started talking about the current requirements for transition in the US she didn’t ask for any further information.  We spent the rest of the ride talking about one of her former colleague’s daughters, who also happened to be transgender, and that having proper support was the real reason I wanted to go into providing therapy for transgender clients myself; in short, so I could provide trans folk with at least one means of support as they transition, even if they have no one else supporting them.

After I’d claimed my car I sped off, and felt a sense of unease about the whole conversation.  Not because of how it went per se, but specifically because of how it ended: the shop owner’s wife, upon my departure, said “You work so well with other people, I know you’ll make a great therapist someday.”  I don’t doubt I’ll make a decent therapist, but to say I “work well” with people seemed like a stretch to me.  No I don’t, I thought as I stopped at a red light, I’m terrible with people, I focus too much on what to say, or what not to say, and whether I expressed myself correctly, and whether or not I’m stimming too much or acting “neurotypical” enough for people….

And then, just before the light turned green, I had the most incredible epiphany.  For at least ten years, I’d thought of myself as socially inept.  Those were the words I’d used to describe not having many friends, or being desperately introverted, or not wishing to engage in small talk, or being told after the fact that I said something “rude,” or not knowing when it was socially acceptable to touch or embrace someone…or any number of other social issues I’d experienced since kindergarten onward, but had only become a real problem in the past nine years or so.  No, I wasn’t socially inept, I thought, I’m just autistic — which I’d only been diagnosed with on April 10, 2016 (for those of you counting, one year in six days).  I wasn’t socially inept, just autistic but undiagnosed.  Not socially inept, just neurodivergent, and therefore with a different way of communicating with people.

And really, it was more than that.  I’m autistic, communicating with a neurodiverse — but probably predominantly neurotypical — audience.  I’m transgender, communicating with a mostly cisgender audience; I’m more specifically gender neutral and non-binary, communicating with a binary, cisgender society.  And I’m asexual, communicating with a sex-saturated, non-asexual audience.  On a daily basis, I am forced to interact with a society that, on so many levels, is unprepared to understand the differences I bring to the proverbial table.  And on a daily basis others must interact with me, and I’m so far gone down the intersectional rabbit hole that I can barely comprehend others’ unique way of being and socializing.

And even though it was a daunting thought, I finished the rest of my drive home feeling so much more at peace with the world.  Because, for the first time in nearly ten years, I understood why I struggled so much socially.  It’s not because I’m socially inept — it’s just because I’m adrift in a society that, at least for the moment, has not taken the necessary steps to meet me halfway.  So I’ll keep making my steps forward, and I can only hope that maybe someday, society will meet me in the middle ground.