I’m not Proud of who I am

Originally posted on Instagram
Happy US Pride month from your local pan tran. 🏳️‍🌈
That said, Pride has always been an interesting time for me. It really makes me think about my true feelings on my gender and who I am. I’ve accepted the pan/bi aspect of my life and am happy to be prideful about that, but when I consider my gender, well… For me, being trans* has always been about “correcting a mistake”. I’ve met some incredible transfolk who accept their body as it is and are happy to live as they are. For me, the dysphoria is too much. It brings too much pain and transitioning is the only way to curb that for me. So should I be proud of that? Proud of having to correct a mistake at birth? Are people proud of wearing glasses, as that’s how I compare it: having to correct the body’s mistake. Yet people show pride in disabilities.

I’ve certainly become more and more happy the longer I’ve been on hormones, but I know the worst is yet to come. I’m going to have to deal with bullying and hate, even from people I call friends and family, just to feel okay about myself. There’s no Pride in that. Choosing to transition was a big decision for me. I always knew I needed the right body, but feared the social reprecussions. The breaking point was when I knew I’d die of my depression if I didn’t do something, so here I am. I’m carefully heading into the next few months. Planning on when I will socially transition. The time may come sooner than I like though, as my body is changing very quickly. So as I head into these uncharted territories, I remember something a close friend said to me. “You have all these big roles at our University, roles that put you in front of thousands of faces. I know you fear their judgement, but I think you should see this as an opportunity to show others that you don’t care what they will think. You can be a role model for closeted transfolk. Show them that their lives don’t have to be hindered by their gender identity.” So, maybe there is pride in that. Pride in being successful against all odds. I’m not sure. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the comments. Thank you for reading such a long post, but this has been on my mind and I thought I’d share.

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Reborn

Even though I was born 21 years ago, I’ve never felt so alive until today. Today was the day I was given a prescription for both estradiol and spironolactone and the day I can finally push away the body I dread so much.

Continue reading “Reborn”

Vote.

Not American? Click here.

Vote like your life depends on it, because for some of us, it really does. For those who aren’t aware, the Trump Administration has proposed revoking the changes made by President Obama on the grounds of gender. This would remove current protections of equality for over 1.4 million trans* people in America in the workplace and in society. Worse of all, this would remove protection of nondiscrimination under the Affordable Care Act for trans* people. Denying those in the hardest of positions access to medicine and medical services.

When you go to the polls, you are not just voting for yourselves, but for every one in our country (and to a greater extent, our world). So, when you start filling out that ballot, think of your friends, family, and co-workers who may soon be discriminated against.

I won’t tell you who to vote for. Nor will I continue writing (stop wasting time and vote!). At this day and age, most people have their mind made up. But, if you’re an independent like myself, or are looking for a change, check out the links below. Remember, some ballots may have local and state proposals that are separate to the candidates!

– Athena 🦉 🇺🇸


Further Reading

Candidate Information:  

Vote 411: In depth information on candidates

CNN: Voter Information, Where, When, etc. 

Isidewith: Unsure your ideology? Get matched with candidates and issues. 

FiveThirtyEight: Statistics on the Elections

More:

Transequality.org: Discrimination Administration

NYTimes on Trump’s plan

Losing My Religion

cw: homophobia, transphobia


Growing up, I was raised Greek Orthodox. To be honest, a lot of that was purely in name, not practice. Sure, I was baptised, given a Christian name (which is the same as my given name), and my parents hung their wedding crowns above their beds. I wore a cross from time and had a image of my namesake saint on my bookcase. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, with both sides of the family, but rarely went to mass. It wasn’t until high school that I really began to practice the faith. It was in that time that I was truly my worse self.

Continue reading “Losing My Religion”

Do Labels Hurt the LGBTQ+ Community?

I am a pansexual transfemale who is homoromatic. The labels define who I am and how I fit into the overall LGBT+ community. Right away, someone who is knowledgeable in such identities will understand how I express myself, who I sleep with, and who I have relationships with and will understand that each part of that undergoes some sort of oppression from society. But, does that person truly understand me? Can they explain my unique human experience?

Continue reading “Do Labels Hurt the LGBTQ+ Community?”

On Names and a Childhood Friend

I had a friend growing up. They were a lot like me. Liked the things I liked. Went everywhere I did. They even looked a bit like me. Green eyes, blonde (theirs was longer), same age, laugh, the sort. The only difference was that they were a girl. Oh, and imaginary.

As I look back on my thoughts around Elizabeth, the name I had given her, I begin to connect the pieces on how she came to be. As I’ve gone into lengths before on this blog, I have had issues with subduing my trans feelings, mainly due to the perception in society and my religious upbringing. Yet, somehow these sub-conscious feelings surfaced and manifested themselves into this form. I was only a kid at the time, couldn’t tell you the specific age, probably around 9, 10, or 11. I didn’t really know I was trans until I was about 11, but yet it still was a part of me. Just waiting to escape.

It’s an interesting case to analyse and I certainly don’t have all the tools to do so. That said, it makes me wonder if being trans is always a part of us. Something that influences our every decision growing up. A lot of transfolk don’t usually transition or accept themselves until after puberty.  Many people may just not have the vocabulary to describe what they feel. I don’t think it’s fair though to assume that all cases are the same. We’ve yet to fully understand the trans* experience and to generalise does it an injustice.

Now, I’ve told this story a few times to my friends, and they ask why I never took the name Elizabeth. To me, as much as I love the name, I think I’ve had too many girlfriends and lovers named Elizabeth to fully identify with it. I also wanted my name to be something that I could truly love. I also wanted justification in it’s origin. I didn’t want it to come out of the blue. I had a very unique name before and wished to keep that originality. My original name was a derivative of one of the Greek Gods. Although I was never a believer of such myths (as the name was also that of a Christian Saint), I still liked to think about and feel apart of them. That said, the goddess (yes, goddess) which my given name is derived from was never my favourite. On the other hand, Athena was a bad-ass. Strong and smart. There’s no real names that are derivatives of Athena, such as my given name, so I took it on in its pure form.

My imaginary friend was certainly a building block to who I am today. It helped me focus my thoughts and identity. It helped me better understand who I am on the inside. I always had an active imagination, which I am now thankful for, as it made me who I am today.

– Athena 🦉


Additional Reading

Stonewall – The Truth about Trans

Trans stories on how they chose their name