I just read the most fucked up thread in a trans guy group. It was one of the most sexist things I’ve ever read in my life. It’s so bad that I don’t even want to write what was said. I quit the group and un-friended the guy who started the thread. I wanted so badly to say something but I knew that the guy who started the post would try and rip me apart and I’m just not in the mood right now. Anyway, it’s really important NOT to shame everyone else’s body… Don’t assume that everyone feels the same way you do. Oh, so we are all trans? That’s probably all we have in common. That’s doesn’t mean we have the same brain or feelings…Don’t assume other people’s feelings. Stop dictating other people’s transitions. And really…stop putting down women.
I’m sick of this “treat your body male” bullshit. Treat your body right. You can’t treat your body a certain gender. And please don’t diss female genitalia or cis-females who are comfortable being “masculine.”
All this shit is stereotypes. Stop feeding in to it. Just be you. And LET OTHERS BE too.
- try your hardest to focus on the positive
- journal about your feelings/struggles
- exercise (exercising relieves a lot of stress)
- have a friend that you can call up when you need to talk
- talk to a gender therapist as often as you need to
- if gender therapy is not an option for you, call the Trevor Project Lifeline
- if you can be, be open with your parents about your feelings
- if you can, book a surgery date even if it’s years in advance (it’s good to have something to look forward to)
- go to concerts (music can get your mind off of negative things)
- wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable
- hang out with your friends
- watch positive movies
- do things that have nothing to do with being trans
- talk to other trans people about how you are feeling
- join trans groups on facebook (if you need links let me know)
- sing, dance, make music, create, draw, sketch, be artistic
- stay away from drugs, self-harm, self-abuse
This list will be added to! If anyone has some more suggestions please let me know!!
Anonymous asked: What’s your sexual orientation? I know you have a girlfriend, so are you straight?
I don’t identify my sexuality simply because I’m not looking. I believe that sexuality is another way to say “I’m looking for girls…” and/or/none “I’m looking for boys…”. Since, I’m not looking because I’m already partnered in a monogamous relationship, I don’t identify my sexuality. I feel that it’s rude to my girlfriend to say what genders I’m interested in if I’m not looking.
However, if I absolutely had to identify my sexuality, I would just say I am queer because that can essentially mean anything.
Also, as I get older and older I just realize that human beings can fall in love with anyone. Sexual attraction is only one type of attraction. There are so many different types of attraction: romantic, emotional, physical, etc… It’s kind of strange that as human beings we just focus on sexual preference and not emotional preference.
Sorry I wrote a book here. haha. I like talking about these sort of things. They challenge my brain a bit.
(Be sure to check out the comments on the site, my mom left one!)
I wish that someone would have told me these things when I was 14 years old and just coming out:
It’s impossible for your parents to switch names and pronouns overnight. It’s not because they don’t love you or they don’t accept your transition (although sometimes they might not accept your transition). It’s because they have been calling you a certain name and pronouns for years and years and years and it takes some getting used to. I found out later that the only reason my parents weren’t on board with my transition from the very start was because they were afraid for my life. They knew that I would be a victim of bullying and possibly a victim of hate crimes. I finally understand why my Mom never let me ride the train alone and why my Dad didn’t want me transitioning until I was 18 and out of high school – they were just plain afraid! Give your parents time to readjust. Also when you come out as something other than what your parents expect you to be, you smash their “visions.” When you are born your parents already have this set “plan” for you – their dreams and hopes for you. These dreams are based on stereotypes. When you turn out to be someone out of the “norm” your parents must alter their dreams. Keep in mind that they have been dreaming these dreams for a years. It’s definitely going to take them a lot of time to readjust. Give them that time. Let them form new dreams for you.
As a teenager you will and should go through many phases. You don’t have to deny this. It’s normal to go through phases as experiencing different things is an essential part of life. Going through different phases does not make you a “poser.” All of the phases are necessary so you could find who you really are. When you come out as LGBT as a teenager, your parents may think that it’s just another phase that you are going to grow out of. Stay true to yourself. (Side note: Sometimes it’s impossible to stand your ground if your parents kick you out for being LGBT. If they kick you out please contact the local gay center and have the gay center help you find a new place to live. If you feel that you really have to live with your parents or that there isn’t a local gay center or a safe place to go then you might have to “closet” yourself to your parents for survival. Do what you have to do to be safe. 18 is not far away – even though it may seem it.) The stronger you appear to your parents in your decisions the more they will believe you.
You don’t have to follow an exact “route” when you transition. There is no right or wrong way to transition. Don’t let yourself be persuaded into something because some trans guy that doesn’t even know you tells you that the way he is transitioning is the way you are supposed to transition too. There is no “set path.” You must create your own path based on your personal wants and needs. You do not have to go on hormones before you get top surgery. Yeah, a lot of transgender males follow that path but there’s also a lot that do not. You can get top surgery without being on hormones. You can take hormones after you have gotten top surgery. Hell, you don’t even need to get top surgery unless you want to. It’s all based on your personal path. Form it yourself. Think deeply. Do you really want to be on hormones? Do you really want to have top surgery? Do you really want to have bottom surgery? Do you want to medically transition at all? It’s okay if you want none of the above, It’s okay if you want some of the above and it’s okay if you want all of the above. It’s really all up to you.
In some cases, otherwise loving family members (our grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles) seem disgusted by our gender identity/expression. In most cases, this does not mean they hate you. Sometimes, parents and grandparents have similar reactions to their children/grandchildren coming out. Sometimes grandparents take it harder. Try not to automatically jump to conclusions. Often, family members need time to readjust.
I am the epitome of an outsider. It’s rare that I am surrounded by people alike me. I don’t mind being an outsider at all. In fact, I have sort of accepted the fact that I am dissimilar to most of the people I interact with on a daily basis. The thing I have not accepted, that I will never accept, is the way other people mislabel me and mistreat me and the others in my community, especially the media.
It all started with Tyra Banks. Tyra Banks is the archetype of overly dramatized media. I thought that going on her show, getting to share my story with the entire nation, and bringing awareness to the transgender (gender variant) community would be a great experience. However, it was not. Tyra Banks dehumanized me.
This is how that day went:
My mother and I are picked up in a Limousine from our home in Brightwaters, NY and dropped off to the Tyra Banks studio in busy and beautiful, Manhattan.
We go into the building and we are asked to go through a metal detector. They take away our cell-phones, our cameras, and all other devices that we might possibly illegally record the show with. (This is a standard television procedure).
We are then escorted to the tiniest green room, which we are sharing with at least seven other people that will be taping on the show that day as well. The Tyra Banks staff only gives us one sandwich, not one sandwich each, one sandwich for all eight of us, to share. Craziness! Madness! We sit in the green room for seven hours and there is barely any food. Still, I don’t think anything of it. I am excited to go on the show.
Every thirty minutes, producers take me to another room to “prep” me. They ask me all of the questions that I would be asked on the air. All of the questions are very well thought-out and they aren’t rude at all. My answers to these questions would provide insight as to what it is like to be a transgender teen. Finally, it’s show time!
I walk on stage and I know that I must look extremely respectable. I am dressed like the average dressed-up teenager, expensive-looking button down shirt, sweater vest over it, and my hair done nicely by the dressing room staff. I look neat, to say the least.
I greet Tyra Banks. She shakes my hand, no hug? Alright, that’s unwelcoming. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … ACTION!
The “professional” Tyra Banks reads from her notecards, asking me the most impersonal, most offensive questions I have ever been asked. Plus, they were all planned out on the notecards. Nothing that I was prepped for over and over again in the green room was asked! At that point I realized why Tyra Banks had the nickname ‘TYRANT Banks.’
The worst question that Tyra Banks asked me was “What size bra are you?” It was like she had completely forgotten that the only reason I was sitting on her couch was because I identified as a transgender male. TRANS…GENDER…MALE. I sat there and panicked, how would I know what size bra I am or was? How would I know what size my chest is? Why would I care to measure one of the major parts of my body that betrayed me and disgusted me? Why would I wear a girls undergarment when my brain so obviously told me I was male? I wouldn’t.
Tyra Banks didn’t even have the decency to do her research about transgender men before she had me on the show. If she had done her research she would have realized that the majority of transgender men wear some form of a chest binder, not a bra. Yes, she did also eventually ask me about my chest binder on the show but she still should have known that because I was wearing a chest binder, I clearly hated my body enough to not want to think of the part of my body that I was hiding, let alone to measure it. I shrugged my shoulders in embarrassment in front of the live audience.
The main problem with the show was that it seemed like Tyra Banks wanted to portray me as a freak because of my gender expression and transgender identity. She was flat out rude to me. She kept asking humiliating questions, like the bra size question, and I kept shrugging my shoulders unable to answer most of them.
A few months later the show aired. I taped for at least 10 minutes with Tyra Banks. Only 1 minute and 30 seconds of the show aired on National Television. I knew exactly why most of the segment was cutout. It was because Tyra Banks asked very offensive questions and her staff recognized that and edited those questions out. Even though the segment was cut short, I was still portrayed as leading some “crazy” lifestyle on the show. You could tell by the way I dressed and spoke on the show, that I just an average teenager who happened to be trans. My lifestyle was a little different, at the time, but in a good way. I was 15 years old. I had perfect grades in school, I was on the principals list, and on my way to graduate a year early. I was just starting to play music festivals. I was doing speeches around the New York area, educating about the trans community, in a very positive way. I was a volunteer with the Long Island Gay Centers’ Safe Schools team where I was able to educate even more people. I was doing a lot of good, especially for a 15 year old. I wasn’t a freak and I definitely wasn’t living some outlandish lifestyle. I was an advocate from an early age and was living a mostly positive life.
After the Tyra Banks episode aired I took another media opportunity with Closer Magazine, hoping that it would be a more positive experience for myself and for my community. The experience was also humiliating. The reporter, Mel Fallowfield, addressed me using the wrong pronouns for most of the article. What’s even worse was that she quoted my mom using the wrong pronouns, something my Mom did not do. The page was labeled “Teen Sex Swap.” I hear it over, and over again. “Sex swap,” “sex change.” – These are not words and phrases I like to use or hear for myself. I’d never say “I’m having a sex change.” The media likes to make things seem bigger than they are. What these people don’t understand is that not all transgender people get these surgeries or even want them.
Many times throughout my life, I have been asked “Did you fully complete the transition yet?” or “Did you get all of the surgeries yet?” Most people, including a very small amount of transgender people, believe that in order to “transition” from one gender to another, one must have every single sex reassignment surgery available and be on hormone replacement therapy. Most transgender people do not get every single surgery offered and some do not even have hormone replacement therapy. I was finally able to express these thoughts in a positive way and also in my own words at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. I was appointed to be one of the keynote speakers for the conference. I got to share my thoughts with the community and our allies. Below is an excerpt from my speech at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference.
I just helped an old man who couldn’t walk and had no helpers with him into the bathroom. He kept thanking me. Im glad I helped.
I’m currently in the process of moving from Long Island, NY to San Francisco, CA. About a week ago, my girlfriend and I packed most of our belongings and embarked on a road trip across the country. We have road tripped across upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota (stopped for 4 days), South Dakota, and now we are stopped in Wyoming.
I knew going into this road trip that Wyoming would be my most feared state to drive through. I’ve learned a lot about the killing of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, WY and of course who hasn’t seen Brokeback Mountain, also taking place in WY? Also, there are no laws protecting LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer) people against discrimination in this state. Driving through the state you can really understand why.
We passed through a town called Lost Springs, WY. This town has the population of 4. My guess is that there are probably a couple farmers or maybe just one family and the rest of the houses in the town are just part of the ghost town.
Most of Wyoming is just dried out grass. There are way more cows than people.
Then finally, 9 hours later, my girlfriend and I decided that we needed to stop for the night. We couldn’t make it out of Wyoming. We went to the local applebee’s. I have never felt so anxious in my life. Driving through the state you could understand why people are so closed minded here. Being in the car was no big deal, but then, we had to stop at one of the only open restaurants we could find, and we were surrounded by all of the town people. After understanding why these people are so closed minded and hearing about the anti-discrimination laws not passing and all of the hate crimes I was petrified. I have never been so scared in my life to use a public restroom. I have never been so scared in my life just to eat a quick meal. Compared to all of the people with big beards, dressed in camouflage, cowboy hats, mid-western accents, my girlfriend and I stuck out like a soar thumb.
Even though the tiny village I lived in on Long Island was so conservative, made up of mostly republicans, it does not compare to how conservative Wyoming is.
After riding through the state of Wyoming and understanding the mindset and feeling the anxiety of not being safe, I can completely understand how hard it is for LGBTQ people just to be out in other places (to themselves, their families or their friends), and how hard it must be to live in a place as conservative and behind-the-times as Wyoming.
I truly am privileged and grateful to have grown up in a town/village that was not as conservative as Wyoming and I’m even more lucky to be moving to San Francisco, CA where I don’t have to worry about being attacked, or discriminated against as much as I have in the past.
Traveling really opens your mind in ways that you wouldn’t believe.
Now just maybe if some of the Wyoming towns people would leave Wyoming for a couple days and make a trip to San Francisco or New York they’d catch up a little bit.
Sometimes the only way to learn is to experience.
Anonymous asked: in a sentence or a few could you briefly try to explain the main message behind each of your songs? the lyrics for all of them are beautiful but sometimes theyre very poetic and i have trouble figuring out what theyre really about
I’ll explain some of the main ones. Let me know if you want any specific songs explained.
Artemendous Knows All - The Theme of Humankind (TTOH)
I put an explanation of this song on youtube. You can watch that here.
Soda Cans - The Rhythm
Soda Cans is about my long distance relationship with my girlfriend, Alexis.
Sleeping Through - Distraction
Here’s a live performance where I explain the struggle with my Dad.
The song is about me being afraid to loose my Dad due to him not accepting my transition from female to male but realizing I might have to. I’m telling him to catch up in the song and that I will leave if I have to.
Going West - TTOH
Going West is about the journey of transitioning. How it’s hard sometimes but I will survive regardless. It goes through the want for surgery, hormones, etc. It also goes through how relationships can suffer when coming out as transgender to your partner.
The Rhythm - The Rhythm
The Rhythm is about being on tour and perhaps about being away from home for too long and getting homesick.
Any others that you would like to see me explain?
You can click the links to buy or stream my records on itunes!
Thanks for being interested in my music. It means a lot to me. =]
The problem is that many pride festivals are simply called “Gay Pride.”
Example: News 12 Video of Long Island Pride
This leaves out bisexual, lesbian, and trans* pride goers an also their allies.
Pride either needs to just be called “Pride” or “LGBTQ Pride” or something similar. It can’t just be “Gay Pride” because it’s not just gay people there.
I remember being 14 years old asking why the youth center is called “Long Island Gay & Lesbian Youth” and why it leaves out bisexual and transgender people.
One of the workers answered “Well, the term gay is an umbrella term for LGBT and everything else.”
I believed that for years and now I know that it’s complete bullshit.
In other news concerning the center of Long Island: The LITE (Long Island Trans Experience) group used to meet 4 times a month and now will only meet twice a month. Members of the group are meeting with the center to stand against the new change.
I’m happy to be moving from Long Island to San Francisco where there is TransThrive and TGSF. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.
If you haven’t yet please read my “awful experience at pride.” Also published on Wild Gender.
Yesterday, I played Long Island Pride Fest. It was really excellent for me to take the stage at the Pride closest to my hometown. All of my local friends got to see me rock a huge festival. My performance went great. I got encored which was an amazing feeling. I was announced as a “Transgender singer-songwriter.”
Now, I’m totally fine being known as a transgender singer-songwriter. I’m even more comfortable with it at pride. Everyone at pride is cool with trans people right? WRONG.
About thirty minutes after my performance I walked (alone) to the parking lot to move my guitar from backstage to my car.
I was approached by three cis-men. They seemed to be about 20 or 21. They didn’t seem drunk. They were wearing pride pins and rainbows. Two of them were touching a bit. They were definitely there celebrating pride, no doubt.
As they came closer they started to chuckle in an immature way.
”Look, it’s the girlboy!” They continued to laugh pointing their fingers at me. I felt like a circus freak show exhibit.
I felt a fire rage up inside of me.
How could this happen to me at a pride festival? How could other queer people be so uneducated about the trans* community that they make a comment so ridiculous and offensive?
The three boys walked past me.
I turned around and let that fire take hold of my actions. I screamed out “Are you in this community or are you a fucking asshole?”
Then I realized. I see all other queer people and also non-queer allies as a part of my community, but these three gay men, they DO NOT see me in their community. They do not welcome trans people in their community. They spit at the very thought of us.
Isn’t it crazy how so much ignorance can exist within the queer community?
I went home from pride feeling like there was no safe place for transgender people. I always saw Pride as a safe place, a place where I could truly be myself and not have to worry about being attacked, ridiculed or bullied.
Unfortunately, I will now carry fear with me to pride. Myself and other trans* people are not welcomed by some members of the gay community. I now have to worry about being attacked by other members in the queer community. It’s really a shame.
I blame it all on ignorance.
For one, the Long Island gay center does not focus at all on transgender issues or the trans* community. They predominately cater to white gay cis-men. My Long Island friends and I often discuss the center. We all realized all of this growing up. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to let this awful truth me known. It’s time to let the gay center know how we feel. I will soon be voicing my pride experience and my feelings to them. They need to start educating the rest of the queer community about the trans* community.
No, I’m not blaming this all on the gay center but they do have the upper hand and they can do a lot to fix this problem. We need to start somewhere.
I can name many other times where I have been excluded or made fun of by gay men. Sometimes it’s not they are trying to be rude. It’s because they are uneducated about trans people.
TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD.
- You have no right to ask a trans person what they have in their pants.
- It’s rude to say to a trans-guy “Oh, Well, You kind of look like a girl.”
- It’s rude to say to a transwoman “Oh, well you kind of look like a man.”
Read this article: “TEN THINGS NOT TO SAY TO A TRANS PERSON”
Note* - Being queer does not give you the right to look over the things mentioned on the list.
Are we the LGBT community or is it segregated to an LGB community and a T community?
Before we ask society to accept us we must first learn to accept every member in the queer community.
“Can we join together and be one human race?”
Thank you for reading. It’s time to pass this message along and start educating.
Ryan O. Cassata
There really hasn’t been any changes that you could see. My scars look the same. I hear that they don’t start fading until at least 6 months post-op. I guess I’ll make an update video around then.
The only changes that I noticed are that I’m starting to get some of my feeling back which feels really great. I still can’t feel my nipples and I’m sure as to if I ever will. Not a big deal for me though.
Things are looking pretty great and I’m really thankful to have had my surgery at 18 and by Dr. Brownstein. (Rumor has it that Dr. B is retiring.)
Anyway, I’ll make an update video at half a year post-op.
A couple days ago I was in a session at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. Now the story I am about to tell has absolutely no relation to the workshop so I will not mention the workshop. Anyway, in the middle of the workshop, during a question & answer session, this young white, gay-identified, cis-male stands up. He explains that he is a college grad. Then he starts saying that we shouldn’t have LGBT. It should just be one term. Then he goes on to say something along the lines of “All LGBT people have the same amount of struggle and oppression.” Everyone was shaking their heads. The room was 80% trans* people. Finally someone decided to say something. The person who stood up was someone I knew so I knew how she identified. She is black, transgender woman, transtioned in the 70’s. She explained that the amount of oppression that she faces/faced adds up to much more than what the white gay male faces/faced. Of course she is right.
The white gay male is 1. white. 2. cis-male. 3. came out in the 2000’s.
The black trans woman is 1. black 2. transgender. 3. a woman. 4. came out in the 70’s.
Due to oppression and stereotypes over a long amount of time clearly the latter is more oppressed.
I understand completely that the gay man did not mean any harm when he said this.
I guess this may be part of the problem when putting the LGBT together though, right? Sometimes LGB people try to identify with T people but sometimes that’s hard to do because there are not many similiarties if any. Gender and sexuality are two completely different things.
The world is moving along a lot quicker for gay rights. The HRC predominately focues on gay rights and excludes trans rights because they believe that gay rights should come first. (correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard this countless of times).
An even bigger problem would be seperating the LGB from the T though. We are already way too segregated.
I think we should have a new acronym that stands for all LGBTQQI people plus Allies. Hopefully one day everyone in our society and world will be or become an ally. It’s so important to not only be part of a smaller community but also be apart of the community of the world.
Maybe we should have a new community called “Humans” because that’s something every single person could relate too.
Can everyone just love each other, please?
I’m getting more and more comfortable with using my head voice (for singing) and singing in a less agressive way. It’s that gender dysphoria battling me sometimes. I guess I’m becoming more comfortable with myself lately. I’m proud of myself for finally starting to use my headvoice publically. I like how it sounds. I was just always afraid to sing with it because it’s not the stereotypical “masculine” sounding voice or way to sing. Anyway, keep up with my youtube and shows, I’m going to start using it. =]
I guess you have to do what make sense to you instead of worrying about the rest of the world and what they think of you, how they will interpret you. I’ve been realizing more and more that “passing” is a made up thing based on stereotypes and opression towards women.
I’m lucky that I have the choice of deciding wether to go on testosterone or not because I did have the privilege of deciding since I have supportive parents and (used to) have good insurance that would cover hormones if I wanted them. I’m lucky that I had the choice to decide. Some trans guys don’t even get that choice and even if they want to go on T so badly they can’t because of medical reasons or finanical reasons, etc… I’m happy that I had the choice. It’s definitely a privilege to decide.
I’m also trying to be less offended when someone accidently calls me a girl, lady, or “miss”. I’m trying to make a promise to myself to only allow myself to get offended if they do it knowingly or in a negative way or make a joke after I correct them or continue to do so after I correct them. (Something that happened today.)
I shouldn’t be offended if someone calls me the wrong gender, if they say “lady” or something, because there’s nothing wrong with being a woman and they weren’t trying to offend me or trying to be mean. Yeah, it hurts because it fucks with my gender dysphoria because I am a man but still I want to work on this more. I think it will help me see things a littler more clearly and be a little bit happier. Life will definitely be more peaceful.
I’m really grateful to be where I am and I know that I still have a lot to learn about being a good humanbeing and good citizen of the world. I guess this is growing up… ;)
Peace & Love,