An undramatic evasion of silencing.

It has been years since I went to the NHS, ready to kill myself if it didn’t stop soon.

The doctor who referred me called me “he” a total of four times, being told not to each time. Not once did she pronoun me correctly. Near the end, she saw fit to share her opinion that if her child wanted this, she’d make them wait until they were 16, when puberty had done almost everything it could, perhaps carving pieces of their body into things they’d forever hate.

The man from the NHS told me, with his curly hair and cissexism, that they didn’t prescribe hormone blockers for trans people under 16. That this was no story, where months of determination and bravery and pain were rewarded. This was ageism and cisnormativity and other words I didn’t have, a tipping of the world prior to a nightmare plunge that I had struggled into expecting the great, shining point where Things Got Better.

And I can’t even talk about what happened next, because it’s illegal to have the bodily autonomy that you need to survive for another few years if you’re a trans teenager. It’s illegal to stop something worse than when you were a miserable, abused little 6 year old who hated everything and felt broken inside, and it’s illegal to get anything close to what cissexual people are born to.

All I can say is that if I’d relied on the NHS, I would have died. That one day I was so depressed that I sat on my bed doing nothing for the entire day, not even bothering to take Fade To Black off repeat. That I stopped taking baths so I didn’t have to look at myself. That I tried not to think about how I was being mutiliated in a way that would never heal every single second of every single day

It has been years, and in an alternate universe where someone I can’t talk about is more law-abiding, last week would have been the day I’d have failed to survive to where the testosterone stopped. It has been years, and I can’t articulate how long that is, how unacceptable it is, how impossible it is that I would have ever survived without the things I can’t talk about.

Those things are just one more mark of how the NHS has failed and continues to fail trans* people, among hundreds.

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From a brittle 16.

“Sylvester and Daffy Duck had speech impediments, why is there no hysteria over them?”

Because the speech impediment isn’t integral to their concept as an ableist stereotype. Because they had a purpose and an idea other than “lol suspiciously disabled looking useless person”. Because they were not Derpy Hooves, in short. They were not pieces of the nightmares of most people with a life like mine splattered with tasteless cartoon paint and splattered on a wall to a roar of silent canned laughter.

So they were not edited after an uproar by disabled groups. But you wouldn’t think of that, would you? With the recycled spew of privileged ignorance that passes for your thoughts on this, you would never think of that, would you, internet whiner? It would never occur to you that perhaps people who live with something day in and day out, study it, survive under ceaseless assault by it, might know more about it than you.

They “don’t know what the internet is”. They’re certainly not among your “fellow bronies”. They certainly didn’t watch the entire first season in one sitting on YouTube, and being “soccer moms”, they’re evidently not me. That’s the real crux of this, isn’t it? They’re not me, and they’re not anyone like me. They don’t spend days with clumsy bodies and confused minds, aren’t quietly haunted by words like “retard”.

I’d say it’s interesting that you baselessly jump to that conclusion, with a careless, droll tone, if I were more calm and sophisticated. As it is, I just want to scream at you for being so smug and filled with businesslike, angry faux-reason in your ability to fire miles wide of the mark and proclaim a bullseye. To, in more academic terms, come up with a strawman fallacy.

To vindicate me, because your view of people like me doesn’t include the ability to have an opinion about or an argument against an aspect of the thing we all have in common. It’s soccer moms and non-bronies and anyone, anyone but us.

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Online

He is the tenth to hundredth random online man, here to unoriginally harrass, and he asks if I am a he or a she. I am an it, a cie and a they, and if he asked about my genitals this would cease to be a penis as he attached his sickening cis concepts to the word as it exited his typing hands and I’d tell the truth about that but leave things out, like I always do.

I don’t lie anymore, I just translate. We’re expressing elements of our worlds, and theirs is made of buckshot-blasts of unrelated and often meaningless concepts packed in with gaudy emotional fireworks, always just a careless trigger-pull away and never examined with the warranted detail.

He tells me he loves me, trying to confuse and bewilder. We met 5 minutes ago in an online lobby, and he has only 4 lines of profile info to go on. He is the sixth random online man to do this in a row, over the year, and I want to shock him into examining his own utter lack of individuality like it’s a corpse in autopsy, shake him with how all these repressed giggles into microphones and cheap, failed tricks have remained unchanged through years of pink Spartans, gamertags with “girl” in them and avatar pictures that have dresses.

How he’s a jeering, generic patchwork of Random Online Man, like an enemy type from one of the many video games I’ve caught the attention of his kind on, always there and always the same, target practice for newly-unlocked gear like the act of stately dignity as he ambles across the next-gen battlefield and takes ineffective cover with his helmet poking up over it.

I wonder if his mind is the same kind of muddy, black-and-white mess that mine was when I was like him, the kind of mind that I imagine the Cerberus Assault Troopers who eagerly advanced into shotgun range last game as having. I wonder how you can fix such a mind, if it isn’t as willing as mine was, and I drive him away with terse replies just like every single other random online man I’ve met.

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Houses/Parent

“This is MY house.”

I didn’t ask to be born.

Someone chose to have me born, not knowing me but knowing that as long as I was alive, I would need shelter and all the things that keep bodies going. Neither did I choose that. Indeed, I had the living creature’s state of constant death-threat imposed on me entirely not by my choice. That’s not a complaint, but it’s a point.

It’s a point that formed the millionth time one of my parents tried to use my living in their house at an age where I was too young to survive on my own as a high-and-mighty compeller of all-purpose obedience and unquestioned assumption of the right to inflict sensory pain. I let you live in my house, they implied, and so you have no right to impede anything I might wish to do in this house. After years of heavy-feeling, painful ageism and thoughts forced softly through thick barriers, I respond.

I didn’t ask to need this house’s shelter, so why does making me need you with birth make me indebted to you for providing what you made me need, when you chose to have me need it? Is the person who poisons you and makes you need their antidote entitled to the right to hurt you for their convenience and have you like them for it, merely because they serve their self-imposed sentence of keeping you alive?

Why would they be? Power does not determine rightness in any other situation, but if that’s the level you fall to, then plunge down to it with all haste, but don’t pretend you’re earning the mantle of a saint in doing so and thus deserve my love, affection or at least lack of anger or dislike.

But I wouldn’t dislike you merely for hurting me for your convenience, to some degree. You could negotiate some right to hurt me for your convenience any time you wished, for I am aware that an individual with my sensory issues is not hard to hurt. I would even forgive you for it. But you do not, because you wish to spend my hours without pain or anxiety with the gleeful abandon of some child given a fortune.

You spend them to gratify your ego, you spend them for the most petty of reasons. You even spend them as punishment, in a manner no different to that of a tough, brawny bully slamming a stereotypical nerd up against a wall, only you are armoured in layers of senses that become painful less easily and you lash out with loud music and unjustified, arbitary demands that I pointlessly change arrangements of my room that you rarely see and worse things.

Even that, I might despise less, if you acknowledged your attempted invocation of the cold realities of power and vulnerability that I struggle to process. But, like every parent I’ve heard of who does this, you dress up doing this as your perfectly reasonable and fair right, because you give me what you knowingly made me need. You pull folded layers of choking ageism and arrogance into an illogical justification for the unjustifiable, and you fucked me up.

You fucked me up, and you’re probably the reason that my brain refuses to process the idea of people having power over each other enough that it feels more than half-there. That’s the behind-the-scenes on your ideas of parental rights, for you and the hope-crushing multitudes who mirror them, so take a good look. This is a self-narrating freakshow, so gawk.

This is your fucking education.
So take notes.

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Geek Love

The back of the book, where most have generic praise, contains the happily disgusted squeals of the privileged. “Sick!”, they cry in agonised glee, “raw!”, “shocking!”. I’m not sure what I expected, the book is after all about someone who douses herself in drugs and radiation each pregnancy to produce disabled (“deformed”, whispers the back) children as a money spinning scheme. Until page 19, it seemed like typical fiction that promotes and feeds off disgust towards bodies that aren’t normative. On page 20, that was confirmed, with the admittedly good writing describing a “pre-transsexual” who “reveals a shriveled penis and scrotum” (shock! Horror! Hear the cis shriek!) and will “return as a real girl”. 

I very nearly gave it up then. But I kept on. A hunchbacked albino little person is forcibly and non-consentually stripped, paraded on stage, and it felt like some dull, heated claw was being ripped softly from my ribcage as I remember being forcibly stripped myself, once. Amid the transphobia and ableism, the probable appropriating of painful realities by an author who has no photo or biography for me to know if they are indeed appropriating, (oh, who am I kidding, only a cis person could write this kind of transphobia-) there are moments that will stay with me. 

A striptease on stage that ends with the giver revealing a tail, with a smile and the imagined but unvisited outrage of the privileged and oppressive being tricked into attraction to a body that’s unlike mine in every way but those vital, invisible inches of external hatred, making me think that that aura is a part of me as much as my dancing visual distortion or the hard bones that I like to press on from behind the thin covering of my 98 pound weight.

That it’s seeped into my personality, by some strange alchemy letting me appreciate the beauty of that single, fictional moment. Then the smoking, red-hot phoenix-foot shape of emotion branded into me is instantly cracked into tumbling gray slabs by the hard and abrupt strike of a trans woman’s mispronouning, and I’m reminded that this isn’t written by someone like me. 

I struggle with complicated feelings, and I don’t know if I should like it for the prose, hate it for the oppressive content or love it for those singular moments of pride in being battered, scarred and discoloured. Reading this book is emotional masochism, but two hundred and fifty or more pages later, it’s still bypassing the lack of emotional affectedness that characterizes nearly all of my experiences with anything beyond the true, the immediate and the often horrific, suddenly suprising me with those ugly chunks of bigotry but otherwise an eloquent diary of fictional dysfunction.

Even though it’s not written by someone like me, and it’s only written about people like me in the broadest sense, it gives me words and feelings and coherency for things that I struggle to contemplate, a unified aesthetic for the split pieces of my chimerical reality. Without the oppressiveness of it, this book would be something truly astounding, but I’m held back from loving it. 

I’m still unravelling the skein of nasty, covert statements and sure, unthinking ignorance, the utter lack of mentally disabled people in an entire book about physically disabled people and that fundamental question of how much the author meant us to think beyond the most obvious & ableist of ideas.

There’s no broad rating or judgement that I can make on Geek Love. I have no mental scales with which to weigh so many intangible, personal and throroughly subjective things against each other, and I don’t know how new it might be to you, or if you consider a surprise punch in the face a worthwhile experience the first time just to see how you’d react. I do, but then I wouldn’t go looking for it, or pay a cis, abled person who appropriates what they don’t understand money for it. 

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On Monsters – an edited repost from elsewhere.

(Trigger warning: Emotional abuse, animal abuse, physical abuse, and being a monster in the worst of ways)

So, I don’t talk about it much, but I was abused. Not “a child named it” kind of abuse. Not the kind of abuse that gives you twisted collarbones, or a burned mess where a part of you used to be, or even the kind of abuse that gives you facial scars that are visible to most people. It’s not really appropriate abuse for a stereotype of a Radical Trans Whateverthefuck, all in all. I honestly don’t even remember much. I remember my brother shouting. I heard it a lot, you see.

I heard it while shaking in my bed, I heard it shaking in a corner trying to comfort a shaking dog. From the kitchen, from the living room, sometimes accompanied by a percussion of walls being hit or things being smashed. On one memorable occasion, I heard it while being held up by the skin of my chest on a high balcony after I accidentally got orange juice in my brother’s eyes.

I could write a cynical comment about how a bit more of that premium grade-A shittiness would let him claim the dubious honour of being a Twue Abuser, but I can still remember how I screamed. Oh, how I screamed.

Most of it wasn’t screaming though. There was just the occasional “you’re a waste of space” when I hugged myself behind a chair, a blurted “you can’t do anything right” from my mother. Then she apologised. She just had to apologise. She had to be so nice that I couldn’t just hate her and be done with it, I had to hate myself, because Nice Reasonable People simply can’t be abusive, like your nice, reasonable brother who plays video games with you sometimes. They don’t make you scream, at least not often. And why, when they do, perhaps it’s just you.

You hate everything, after all. Perhaps because this house and this body is your everything. You were expelled from school because you used to vent some of that searing hatred on kids who tried to bully you, and you refused to be near a teacher who lied to you. You don’t go out because you hate the outside even more than the inside.

The only role models you have, experiences you get, lessons you learn, are from these nice, reasonable people who only sometimes make you scream. Sometimes, after mom has been at work all night and you’ve been with your brother, you get up nice and early. Your brother hits the dog, you see, and he is who you learn from. You hate him, but then you hate everyone. On those mornings, you feel so full of that hate that there is nothing else, and you perform that trick your brother has.

It’s the one where you turn into a monster in a split second without looking any different. You sound different though. He shouts. You don’t. You are not angry, you hate. You’ll remember how you sound as a monster forever, how you switched from sickening sweetness to a scraping, icy whisper and back again. It will always be more terrifying than the pale imitations of fictional monsters.

And all that hate darkens and soaks in until it’s a confused, constant hatred of yourself, that doesn’t make you into a monster. You still feel like one though. You will feel like a monster for years, and years, and years, long after you’ve stopped. After that dog rips your hand open, you think that this is a dream, it must be a dream, because monsters aren’t killed while they go about their business, they’re killed while they do evil.

Suprisingly, “I wonder if anyone else is watching Chris Tarrant like this” is not your last slow, dreamy thought while you fall backwards in adrenaline fueled slow motion with a dog ripping at you and someone screaming in the background. You know that common line in books, “someone is screaming, and I realise it is me”?

It’s true. You don’t realise it’s you for a while. “Eternal moment” is right on the dot too. But anyway, you survive. You survive, the dog is put down, and you hate yourself some more. Like your scream, it’s decidedly one-note. Until one day, you’re 14, and you do the utterly unthinkable. You tell someone. And they don’t hate you. Now, were this a cliched shlock movie, you’d forgive yourself and all that shit. You don’t. You just learn to hate yourself less. You tell more and more people, and you hate yourself less.

But you still half-expect every new person to hate you, and you wouldn’t blame them if they did, couldn’t even think of defending yourself. You were a monster, and no matter what you become, you will always have been a monster. You may always be a monster again, if you don’t watch yourself carefully enough. There’s no rational justification for the idea, but horror doesn’t need a justification. It works better without one.

– ChassisBird, on November 11th 2011 and February 5 2012.

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I address memes, #1.

This a facebook meme I stumbled across. It’s also the kind of reading that gives me contempt for humanity.

****

“Here’s to all the real men and women out there”

Oh, No True Scotsman fallacy, how I haven’t missed you.

“Boys and girls play house. Men and women build homes!!!”

One wonders how this is defining “build homes”. It’s probably not physically building a house (or other dwelling) from materials, as most reposters probably couldn’t do such a thing, not being builders. It could simply refer to having a home, but a home is typically seen as simply a dwelling you own and in which you are comfortable, which doesn’t need to be built by you. I’m honestly perplexed as to what this means, but it’s pretty fucked up, given the existence of homeless people. 

“Boys and girls make babies.”

This was when I realized that the whole thing was pulling ageist bullshit. The logic of this seems to be: Children can be irresponsible and so on. Therefore, irresponsible people are children. 

It’s invalid. 

Allow me to demonstrate: Religious people who speak in tongues are impossible for me to understand. Therefore, people impossible for me to understand are religious people who speak in tongues. Autistic people often like routine. Therefore, anyone who sticks to a routine is autistic. I could go on, but you probably get the idea. You can equate any group with any other group based on this.

“Men and women raise children!!!”

This assumes that everyone who impregnates someone or is pregnant and for whatever reason doesn’t get an abortion has the capability and the inclination to raise children. That’s frankly untrue. I can’t even take care of a cactus, and I’m not even required to give that cactus an emotion I don’t have, touching that isn’t natural to me or time outside of the quiet, safe, routine-ruled places that don’t put great strain on my ability to resist meltdowns.

“A boy or girl won’t raise their own children. A man or woman will raise their children and someone else’s.”

So, not only are rape survivors who couldn’t/wouldn’t get abortions and didn’t want to raise a child who reminded them of being raped every damn’ day demoted to the level of children by this ageist bullshit, but one is required to pass the standards of Kyriarchial adoption agencies to qualify as an adult? 

“Boys and girls invent excuses for failure. Men and women produce strategies for success!!!”

And people who do neither vanish in a puff of smoke, apparently. 
More importantly, what are we even supposed to be being successful at? I’m successful at damaging my body on a regular basis. My brother was successful at fucking me up when I was a child. Are we just supposed to be successful at something the reposter approves of? Anything? Everything? What if we’re successful without a strategy, like if we just made it up up as we went along or were talented?

“Boys and girls look for somebody to take care of them. Men and women take care of themselves”

Again, presumably people who can’t care for themselves, are shamed out of looking for a way to survive by bullshit like this and proceed to fail to care for themselves and end up dead or worse simply vanish in a puff of smoke. If only I’d stayed one of those people, I could see what it’s like. Sadly, I’m just a regular old mundane kind of persyn who can’t care for hirself, so instead I get the exact same thing only with external disgust promoted by shit like this replacing internal shame and no magic puff of smoke.

“Boys and girls seek popularity. Men and women command respect and know how to give it!”

Yeah, that’s definately a death-knell of my chances to qualify according to this, as if we didn’t have enough already. You ever tried being respected as someone a mite less… Privileged? 

No, I didn’t think so. 

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