Up to this point, I’ve focused pretty intently only on talking directly with transgender people in safe spaces and educational settings. Â But what happens when you’re out in “the real world” and ha…
As someone who considers themselves an educator, it seems counter-intuitive to tell people they can’t ask certain questions. Educators are supposed to encourage learning and respectful challenges …
What is Qs About the T?
Qs About the T began as a workshop in 2008, as a means of introducing terminology and subjects related to trans* and gender-variant identities to queer and trans* allies. It has been presented at conferences and colleges as a means of exposing LGBT and queer allies to various issues affecting the trans* community. It has been well received at conferences such as the Long Island GLBT Services Network Conference, Civil Liberties and Public Policy conference, and has reached audiences from New Jersey to Massachusetts.
In an effort to reach a wider audience, I have decided to expand upon the initial workshop and create an internet-based space for discussing the social implications, challenges, and experiences of being transgender or gender-variant in the United States. As it develops, this blog will grow to include resources for allies, as well as a space for answering questions many people have concerning the lives and experiences of trans*-identified individuals. Though I cannot speak for the community as a whole, I am willing to provide answers based on my personal experiences and the knowledge I have accumulated over the years as a community educator.
I am by no means an expert. I simply have a substantial interest in deconstructing stereotypes, unveiling truths, and shedding light on the often misrepresented trans* community. I have dedicated a significant amount of time to issues affecting queerness and gender variance, both academically and socially. Having served as a youth leader, student org leader, and activist in myriad capacities, providing accurate and reliable information is something I value greatly. And as our world dives deeper into the age of the Internet, it’s important for me, for many reasons, to continue working toward normalizing and demystifying the transgender and gender variant community.
For more information on the work I have done in the past, or for information on how I can help you educate others, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q:I'm a Female-to-Male pre-op transsexual from Florida and no matter how much I research, I can't find information I need. I've got a friend going through hormone replacement therapy in GA right now who says the state no longer requires psychiatric testing beforehand. I'm desperate to know if FL is the same. I'm living in London until the Summer, so I can't go ask around myself. I've been this way since I was 12. I'm 26 now. It hurts to keep being forced to wait. I have to know.
You’re talking about the standards of care, which no longer require individuals to seek counseling and therapy before pursuing medical transition. But that doesn’t mean doctors aren’t continuing to ask their patients to do it. Really it can be hit or miss, it all depends on the doctor.
If you visit LGBTcenters.org, you can search for an LGBT community center or wellness center that should be able to offer safe/reliable resources available in your area. It looks like there are 10 organizations spread out across Florida, so you should be able to find a group that can help you out.
Best of luck, and enjoy the rest of your time in London!
Q:Can you please explain to me what 'queer' means? I've seen it and just haven't quite figured it out. Thank you!
Queer can be many things. Queer can be a gender identity, or it can be a sexual orientation. The word itself means strange, odd, or different. People use queer as an alternative to more definitive labels, or as a way of describing an identity that doesn’t fit neatly into other groups.
Q:I'm confused about where I fit with labels. I don't often use them, but for this I have to in order for people to understand. I was born female and sometimes love it. I like to look extra pretty and stuff. There are other days or weeks or months where I want to be a guy. I want to look like one and pack (I pump, too) and find a way of binding that doesn't trigger a panic attack. Sometimes I feel like a gay guy crushing on a girl. Others like a gay girl crushing on a girl. What do I call this?
I find that, when in doubt, queer works pretty well. If you don’t feel like any other labels fit, or you’re not really sure what label you identify with, queer is a decent alternative. It sure beats explaining yourself to every person who asks your gender/sexuality. It also happens to be how I describe myself, as opposed to FAAB masculine person who dates women. When you say “queer,” it can mean anything other than cisgender and/or heterosexual.
Q:So I'm MtF and my girlfriend and I have been going out for ten months now. The problem is she's so in love with the man she thinks I am that me even talking about transitioning upsets her. She doesn't hate trans people, she just isn't attracted to women and doesn't think she could handle my transitioning. I have no idea what to do.
You are not alone. Many people find that they lose partners during transition, because their partners can’t handle the change in the trans* person’s identity or their own sexual identity or both. However, sometimes it does just take people some time to come around to the idea and realize that their love is much greater than labels or an assumed identity.
I think that the most important thing you can do is make sure that you guys focus on truly communicating through this process. As well, be completely honest about what you expect from your transition.
I would just educate her, if at all possible. Help her to understand that the essence of who you are is not changing. If that ends up not being enough for her, you have to figure out what’s best for you.
Also, ask about her specific concerns with the transition. Is it that she doesn’t think she can handle being seen as a lesbian couple? Is it that she’s afraid about certain aspects of your relationship changing? It’ll help you navigate better to find out the root of her concern and discouragement.
Some people decide their relationships are more important than transitioning and that they would rather stay with the person they are with. My personal opinion is that that decision brings in the issue of you never truly reaching your full potential because you have this ongoing issue that you are dying to do something about.
If you’re not completely whole as a person (which many people feel they are not if they don’t explore transition) then how can you really have as fulfilling of a relationship as most people desire.
Lastly, most of us struggle with feeling like we will never find someone who truly loves us for who we really are. It’s kind of a given with the territory. However, that’s not true. I’ve found that most of transition is about learning to love yourself and when you get to that point, other people can’t help but do the same.
I wish you the best of luck with this tough situation.
Q:I am 15 years old and recently was able with the support of my boy friend to come out to my parents about being trans. My sex is male but inside I feel like a girl. The only problem is that when I came out to them they seemed genuinely suppised (question section 1)
(excuse my spelling plz) and said i had shown no signs of it in my child hood. The thing with that is I always have been someone who spoke up about any thing but this so it has them a little confused. Questions came up like ” how come you never dressed like a girl?” And ” you never played with dall’s” but the truth is that when ever I was asked to play a girl in a play I would and I would love the dress and wish i could wear it every day. And although we had dall’s I still love to be creative more, so dall’s Were not on my mind much. Is this normal?
Very. What your parents described is called the dominant narrative—a fairly common story that has received the most attention, and what most people assume must be true for every transgender person. It’s not true for everyone, and it doesn’t make you any less trans* if your life doesn’t follow it.
Also, just a reminder: there’s no such thing as normal. ”Normal” is a concept used to suppress difference and individuality.
Q:on top of being trans, i also have a slew of mental illnesses. i've been to around 20 therapists and my most recent ones have decided they can't treat me anymore (i'm completely unresponsive to any medications; i've taken so many since i was 8). but because these therapists won't see me, the only GI doctor in my state refuses to see me because my dysphoria and depression (specifically) has gotten so bad, i'm a "risk." so no transition. & no one around me bothers with pronouns. i give up. done.
That’s really bizarre. Have any of your counselors considered that part of your difficulties with mental health might be related to your dysphoria and depression? As in, depression caused by dysphoria? That all seems like a crock. Also, did they explain what they meant by “risk” ? Because if they think you’re going to take on transition and then change your mind, they really need to read up on the statistical probability of that happening.
Keep on people about pronouns. Don’t give up. You have a right to be treated like a human being, and that means being gendered properly.
If I were you, I would just start calling everyone by the wrong pronouns. And when they ask you why, tell them if they don’t have to respect you, you don’t have to respect them. That might instigate an argument or two, but it might make some people actually think about how they gender you, and inspire them to change.