What a year.
2009 was a year of rapid change, battles fought, won and lost, abandonment, harsh lessons and pain, growth, empowerment and self love. One wouldn’t think so much could fit into one single year. “Life’s been busy” is an understatement.
December of 2008 was when I started testosterone blockers, but 2009 was the year I started estrogen (February). A year of change even on the biological level, 2009 was the beginnings of my second puberty, the journey experienced by so many women in the early teens. It was the year I turned 25 and began serious work on my thesis, as well as other major projects over the summer (that I can’t go into in case those projects are visible enough to out me and they very well may be)
09 was the year I started blogging. Specifically in May of ’09 on Dreamwidth. The url is still active, even if my public blogging isn’t there. It’s mostly used for private things that my DW people can read now. It was the year I refused to hide within the cis world any longer, but to raise my voice in some way. I’m still hidden in many ways. My identity and name are not public knowledge. This may change at some point, as I become secure. I first started blogging when I met RMJ of Deeply Problematic and she inspired and encouraged me to speak out, so I made a tiny little blog on DW. She’s one of the few people who know my name and one of the few cis folk I trust with that information.
2009 was a time of realizations and empowerment. A time that I realized that I can be strong and that having been raped and abused (trigger warning) may have left scars but has done nothing to diminish that strength. If anything I believe I’m stronger now because I survived. I realized that I’m PWD and cut through the denial I had regarding my disabilities. From there I became a fighter against ableism and joined a community I had long been avoiding due to my denial. This year was also a year that I realized how beautiful we are, that ugly is a word that is absolutely never applicable to any woman, ever, no exceptions and the power of self affirmation for me and my sisters. I also learned how to fight the deadly power of self directed hate and shaming that we are struck with every day, beyond even what cis women face. I also came to realizations about the cissexism and binarism of sexuality terms and evolved my own identity to purely queer as a result. This year saw my first forays into the systems that I am privileged in as well (like white privilege and racism), attempting to deconstruct them, see past them and the denial they forge, while quantifying their effects using the knowledge I have of the motivations created from being within them.
But this year had hardness and pain in it as well. I was cut down by depression and the loss of my family and finally spoke out about the harshness of my worsening disabilities coupled with my partner’s own progressing disabilities as well. I faced the continuing pain of my past trauma from abuse and rape as small reminders came to bear at the worst possible times. (trigger warning)
And 2009 was filled with strife and battle. Entering into the blog realm meant dealing with a much wider array of people than in meatspace. Which meant that trans hate (something that is quite common even in meatspace for me) became a sea I was swimming in. From “ally” betrayal and fauxpologies to the hateful vitriol spewed from the mouths of Internet RadFem™ trolls I was at war for much of 2009. Not all of my opponents are still such. Even though 2009 saw the time wherein our own betrayed us and attempted to strip from us the words that protected trans folk from othering it also saw the time that all of the same opponents involved in that line of fiascos learned, grew and abandoned the cause of stripping away the word “cis”. One can hope that even the most recent battles, like the continuing failure, fauxpology and trans hate mongering of places like Failerico, will have a happy ending to them for trans folk as well.
One can hope, although not much. >.<
Not all of the battles were forged by cis, abled, classist or sexist aggression against me. Other battles I started on my own, jumping into the fray against those who seek to police and destroy, like the HBSer separatists and WBT TG haters. And not all of the battles saw me on the right side either. I’ve made my own past mistakes this year, said some truly stupid shit, done some truly foolish and awful things. I have, hopefully, managed to own and make amends for where I’ve failed this year as many have done for me (and many more have failed to do, from all zones and walks of life).
But it isn’t just blogging or experiences I’ve felt I could share effectively through blogging. This year truly was a self discovery, change and growth year in so many ways. Not all of the discoveries were pleasant. Much of the growth I experienced was painful, sometimes even horrible. And there was love and wonder this year as well. People took me under their wing and aided me, even as others fought to stomp me down. Even though I was betrayed many times, even by my own kin (blood kin, made kin and trans siblings alike), others fought by my side through thick and thin, even those I would not have expected to. I reconnected to old friends and came out to many. I was also revealed to some against my will and lost friends this year. I dealt with the good feeling of having a good paying (if temporary) job doing something I love, to the pain of (hopefully temporary) unemployment and increasing poorness. While my blog grew from a tiny DW journal into a semi well known wordpress trans blog, my life also changed, shifted and grew.
I discovered myself for the second time this year. Previously I had just struggled with my dissonance and my womanhood. Not knowing what I was, why I was hurting. Even when I finally identified as a mtf transsexual person, I didn’t identify as a woman so much as a male to female genderqueer and really wasn’t sure where I was going in the end. The abuse of my ex was also a big stumbling block to my self discovery as that ex tried to force me into a box of femininity that didn’t fit, in order to turn me into the trans girlfriend that ex wanted (or even possibly just making assumptions about what I wanted or was afraid of based on experiences with other trans women, I’ll never really know as I never intend on speaking to that ex ever again). But now, with my loving and supportive partner, who just supported me no matter what direction I grew in, I blossomed into a beautiful woman and discovered my own self expression.
A sometimes indie chick look, often grunge tomboy look, I stepped away from makeup and preppy chick styles. I re-embraced girl masculinity and my grunge/metalhead roots and found a mixture of styles and expression that truly fit me. 2009 was the year that I fully realized it and finally found my way in terms of how I wanted to look and live life.
Amid this, 2009 was also the year that decimated my support structures and left me flailing. As friends graduated and moved away, and my trans support group was scaled down and presided over by cisgays who thought nothing was problematic about running a support group for trans youth, I found myself lacking in what I needed to get through the problems I faced here. 2009 didn’t see a resolution to this problem. I’m still isolated and alone in a lot of respects, depending more and more on my partner and the few friends I have left here. One can hope that 2010 will see a solution to this problem.
And with that, enough looking backward. 2009 will be done and past in only a short bit of time and 2010 will be upon us. It’s time to continue to grow and discover. It’s time to love and fight, heal and live.
Goodbye 2009. Hello 2010. Thank you to all who helped me get here. Be radical, stay alive.
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