Geekway to the LGBT Crew

I’ve already written about my experiences at inclusive conferences in my post about Code4Lib, but Geekway to the West is different. It’s a convention purely for fun and socialization. I’ve been going to Geekway, an amazing board game convention for the midwest, for five years now. It might not be as big and impressive as Gencon, but it’s been my convention of choice since it was introduced to me. This year was the second since I came out a transgender, but the first that I’ve been able to truly be myself. Last year, I’d barely been out as transgender. I was on HRT for a whole two months at the time and I know I didn’t pass.

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Visibility and why it’s important

Today is the Transgender Day of Visibility, and it’s my first one being out as transgender. I really wanted to come out last year on this day, because visibility was, and still is, important to me but unfortunately it wasn’t quite in the cards. If it wasn’t for past days like today, I might still be in the closet, dealing with my gender dysphoria in private, and being miserable in the process.

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Depression, anxiety, mental health, and being transgender

It’s an unfortunate misconception that being transgender is a mental health issue. The fact that it was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM) as “gender identity disorder” until 2013 didn’t help matters. That isn’t to say that there aren’t mental health problems that go hand in hand with being transgender, but instead that being transgender itself isn’t a mental health issue.

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Why can’t you accept the way you are?

Early in my transition I was asked by several people why I can’t just accept the way I am. I find it a really hard question to answer in a way that is satisfactory, and that they can understand. The problem is that they’re looking for an answer that can’t be given. The fact of the matter is that transgender people who come out as transgender are finally accepting who they are. Possibly for the first time in their lives they’re doing exactly what the people asking that question are asking them to do.

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Reclaiming slurs and why it’s okay for transgender people to use the words that oppress them

The internet is a wild place, and just recently it blew up because one of my favorite internet celebrities used a slur. ContraPoints, a transgender woman who makes YouTube videos about social justice, posted the titles of her next three videos. One of which is titled after an alt-right meme, “Are Traps Gay?”

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Gender matters because people treat you differently

Gender matters, because people instinctively react to you differently based on your gender presentation. As much as I wish I could argue that gender doesn’t matter, as I tried to do for so long before I finally came out as transgender, I can’t. It affects every aspect of how people react to you. Transitioning is incredibly eye opening, because you can learn first hand the difference in how people act based on something as simple as your gender presentation.

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The bathroom “issue” and my love/hate relationship with gender neutral bathrooms

No, I did not use quotation marks for emphasis. The “issue” I am talking about in this blog post is entirely fictitious. It is a figment of the imagination that has somehow metastasized into the realm of political discourse, and further into the real world, as in the case of the dumpster fire that is North Carolina. Bathroom bills are an attempt to solve a problem that exists only in the minds of transphobes. The idea that we need bathroom bills to protect innocent people from transgender people is laughable. That is even ignoring the fact that a law to define who can use which bathroom is an entirely laughable subject by itself. Or at least those ideas would be laughable if bills weren’t being proposed all over the place.

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One year later

As I said in my post about deadnames, there isn’t a distinct line that can be drawn that marks the start and end of my transition. The day that I first started questioning my gender is too nebulous. I look back on the day that I first came out to my then girlfriend with sadness and regret. The day I came out to my wife for good is another possible marker, but even that was more a day of fear and trepidation than one to celebrate. How about the first day of therapy? Well, that’s going to be the subject of another post, but it doesn’t feel like a major step in my transition that should be celebrated. The day most transgender people celebrate, myself included, is the day they started hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

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My first tattoo: a one year of HRT gift to myself

I’m coming up on one year of HRT. I wanted to do something to commemorate the event and memorialize the past year of my life, so I got a tattoo.

Pictured is Mercy from Overwatch with feathers the color of the transgender pride flag. I’m so incredibly happy with how it turned out. It’s beautiful, and will always remind myself of this past year.

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