Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

We didn’t ask to be assigned male or female at birth…

Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

In another life, I was a cis lesbian. It was a hard-fought identity label for me. I spent the majority of my life dating guys and I was pretty feminine for quite some time before longing to demonstrate my queerness more visibly. Other queer women dismissed me and questioned if I was even attracted to women. During this time, I read blogs and articles that centered queer women, and I inevitably came across the concept of trans women and transfeminine people.

And I was mad.

It was hard for me to fathom having some internal knowledge of one’s gender identity…

Being told that one cannot tell if you’re a girl/woman or a boy/man is certainly not a universal experience. For those of us who do endure it more than once, or even regularly, it can bring up reactions and emotions including but not limited to:

  • neutrality
  • frustration
  • disgust
  • amusement
  • shame
  • confusion
  • exasperation
  • excitement

If you couldn’t tell, this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are countless ways to react when someone makes this ignorant statement, all depending on one’s gender identity, expression, the way they want to be perceived, and more.
It also depends on context — in certain situations and…

I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I just need a break from cis people.

Most of my best, closest, dearest, sweetest friends are cisgender.

But that doesn’t stop me from feeling pain from their well-intentioned words harpooning me in the gut.

One of my close friends who lives in the same city as me feels very passionate about social justice concerns in our community. She is a white gay woman who, in the past, often spent her times at town halls, NAACP meetings, counter protests at white supremacist rallies, and volunteering to teach other women self defense. …

Photo by Verne Ho on Unsplash

Content warning: mental illness, suicidal ideation, and discrimination about disabilities.

There is a reality within the disability community that can create a chasm and difficulty knowing if one belongs. This issue? Visible versus invisible disabilities. Visible disabilities are more evident to passersby — some examples that come to mind are people who use wheelchairs, those with prosthetic limbs or hands, blind people, and people who have Tourette’s, tremors, or an artificial larynx. This is not to say that people with visible disabilities spend time trying to alienate those with invisible disabilities from shared community. …

Queer film review

Still from “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” Lilies Films, fair use

I’m not one for typical love stories.

The insipid platitudes, the over-the-top drama, and the inevitable end where everything works out perfectly all feel like a boring waste of time. Certainly, part of it is my own bitterness. My love and my relationships will never be celebrated or respected in the same way as these love stories, because dominant narratives don’t have room for me. I’m not going to have hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars thrown at me for getting married, due to me being estranged from nearly my entire family because I’m queer and trans.

It shouldn’t come…

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

The controversy about the validity of self diagnosis in mental health seems to be burning brighter than ever as of late, undoubtedly connected to the current cultural moment (COVID-19, white people responding to the amplification of racism and police brutality, the U.S. election, and staggering social and economic crises, to name a few). I would like to make a few caveats before we jump into this dialogue.

When I use the term “self diagnosis,” I do not mean people who did some research, went to a doctor or mental health clinician with the information, and had suspicions confirmed, or refuted…

Photo by Jonas Allert on Unsplash

Therapists are meant to provide a space for you to process feelings, voice things that you may feel vulnerable or sad about, get an outside perspective, and have unconditional positive regard. Sometimes, that doesn’t go according to plan, and you can be left with pain and frustration. How do you move forward? And when do you call it quits to start over with a new therapist?

Address the rupture

TalkSpace and other online platforms advertise their services to be positive in part due to “users” beings able to switch therapists at the drop of a hat. With a few clicks, TalkSpace users can…

“Superb fairy wrens mark” by user benjamint444 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

“This is actually the purpose of language — to give meaning to concepts as they evolve.” — Alok Vaid-Menon

For some people, using pronouns that are familiar to everyone they meet (he/him and she/her) feels best. Others use the third personal singular “they,” which still isn’t necessarily accepted by dominant society, but it is catching on as a gender neutral alternative. Neopronouns are the least understood and most opposed by others, including fellow queer and/or trans people, with options like ze/zir, ve/ver, xe/xyr, ey/eir and more.

For me, nothing feels quite right. Like many, my gender identity and expression are…

“Walking Away” by Matt Henry photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This story was inspired by a post written under the name Pixie Soliloquy; check hers out, too.

I met my best friend when we were eight years old. We spent the next twenty years writing notes back and forth in class, procrastinating on homework, giving each other shoulder massages, ditching class to hang out and eat fries at McDonald’s, spending hours on the phone, crying to one another, and supporting each other as we launched into young adulthood. This friend took me to my driver’s license test — multiple times after I failed due to my tremendous anxiety (I was…

The Transgender Therapist

Queer, trans, white therapist living in the Pacific Northwest. I write about relationships, poetry, philosophy, mental health, queer stuff and more.

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