Trying to move this site but it’s not moving yet

I am trying to migrate this site to tjcuthand.com but it’s gonna be a bit.

So I thought I could talk about my shots!

I got my first T shot last Monday from the nurse at my clinic. And he showed me how to do it, and it didn’t seem too bad. So I did it by myself today and it was fine. I had been so sure I would do intramuscular shots, but for now I am doing subQ. It’s going ok!

Some things I noticed is that my anxiety went down a lot. Not entirely gone, but not bothering me like before. A couple days later I went to the Dua Lipa concert and it was in Scotiabank Arena so there were tons of people, and I just was so unconcerned. Normally I HATE crowds, and they make me anxious. Also I’ve been SO FUCKING HUNGRY!!!! I want to eat all the things. After I’m done lunch or dinner it’s not long before I want a snack. And I can’t skip lunch or dinner anymore, I HAVE to eat. So I’m hoping that gives me a better relationship to food, because my ADHD made me have a really unhealthy relationship to it. And what else? I am more horny than I was before but it’s nothing super special yet, it’s just average. But I’d felt very unsexy for a month before my shot, so I’m glad it got kickstarted again. I also smell slightly different. And the things I smell smell stronger than before. Like food and stuff. It’s pretty cool.

I’m really excited for when I get to take a higher dose. Right now I’m on a low dose for starting out. But in a couple of weeks or so I can go get my levels checked and see if they will let me take more. I haven’t had any aggression though, which SOME people said I would have. I feel pretty calm actually.

It’s funny because before T I walked around feeling SO MUCH AGGRESSION and it’s not like I yelled at people on the street but it just built up in my body in a way that felt crappy. And now when I would normally start feeling aggressive, I feel more like “Well that’s disappointing.” I’m more patient. I don’t know if it’s the hormones or my outlook on life changing things, who knows.

My therapist comes back next month!!! I’m so excited to see her again! And FINALLY I get to see my temp therapist this week, which will be the first session since all this shit went down. So I’m stoked about that even if she’s not my regular therapist. Just to tell a therapist all these things and how upset it made me and get validated would be helpful. I feel so gaslit about what happened and I don’t know what to do with that.

I realized I have a crush on this one singer cause she kinda looks like my therapist. And I also realized my last ex had similarities to my therapist. It’s kind of hilarious. Do I have a type again?

SPEAKING OF! I am still being patient to see what my sexuality is going to do now that I’m on testosterone. So far, inconclusive. It hasn’t been long enough to see. I do notice guys more, but I think that’s cause it’s easier to like queer guys than straight guys. And I am still in love with a Femme I was in love with before. I haven’t been totally sure that I’m still into Femmes. I think I probably am (and straight women) but I don’t know how it will feel dating people as a guy now. And I’m not entirely sure what people are open to dating me. I downloaded Grindr and got a bunch of messages and immediately closed it again. I also kind of just want to do me right now and not worry about managing someone else’s expectations around my transition.

Nurse time

I don’t know how to talk about my life right now. I had some really transphobic incidents with my family when I went to visit them. Including my black out drunk cousin grabbing his dick through his pants and telling me he had a penis and I didn’t. Which I mean for one thing, was totally transphobic, and for another thing was sexual harassment from a FAMILY MEMBER so double fucking gross behaviour. And then my Mom defended him and didn’t comfort me and the next day told me she didn’t want to talk to me while I was transitioning because I would get angry and yell at her. So transitioning takes years, I guess she must know that since she knows so much about transitioning. 🙄 I left Mom’s house and stayed with friends for the rest of my trip.

Anyway, my family was a huge traumatic disappointment who I’m not in contact with right now. Which sucks but also maybe the distance is what I need while I’m building my self esteem as a trans man. Because they definitely aren’t going to be helpful in that regard.

ANYWAY I mean there was exciting stuff too though, because after I came back I finally got to see the nurse who specializes in trans health care and talk about testosterone. And it was exciting! She asked what effects I wanted and the first thing I said was “I want a fuzzy tummy!” Ha ha ha. But also she gave me this list of effects and asked which ones I wanted and I was like “I want a deepened voice, I want clitoral enlargement… this is like I am ordering off a menu!” I know there’s only so much control over what effects I get though. Although the medication that slows hair loss sounds super helpful.

She took this whole long gender history from me, which is LONG. Like, my whole life really. And I said I had been a butch for a long time, and she said something like “Oh I hate when people say “Our butches are disappearing” because it’s really brave to make the decision to transition.” Which is true I do hate that. I’m finally feeling like I don’t have to live a specific gender for other people anymore, and it’s really nice. I told her about being non-binary for a long time, and the time I tried to transition but didn’t get very far because transitioning was more difficult in 2007.

I think she wanted me to be more excited though, and I was still kind of bummed from getting rejected by my family. So I wasn’t like, I dunno, jumping up and down. But I DID feel happier after. And she sent me away with a requisition form for bloodwork. So I did that the next morning and she called to tell me I was approved for my hormones to get covered, and that they were going to try and get me on T as soon as possible after the next appointment. So I suppose the next appointment we talk about what kinds I can get, and then I get my prescription, and then a nurse shows me how to inject. I was all into doing intramuscular shots. But I’ve also been reading a lot of guys talking about getting scar tissue from doing that. And the nurse says the subcutaneous shots are actually higher in T than intramuscular. SO it’s a lot to think about. I’m also doing an ultrasound to check my endometrium for something. I forget what. I received a lot of information ha ha.

We also have to do a whole appointment to talk about surgery, so it’s going to be a while before all these things are sorted out. But I really appreciated how she said it was my decision to take testosterone and she would support me even if my identity changed, or if I wanted to go by she/her pronouns and still be on T. It felt really nice, like, there’s still a lot of open avenues to explore if I wanted. And she also said I could stop any time I wanted to of course.

I think I avoided doing this for so long because I wasn’t sure how hard it would make my life to be more clearly trans. Although I know I was gender non-conforming for so long. But this feels different. At the same time, except for the other people, it’s totally an exciting time in my life, to really be who I am. I’m curious to see what I’m gonna look like. And my boobs got their time in the sun, they can get retired. I’m looking forward to seeing how I change.

I don’t know how to come out to my neighbours. I just assume they’re going to notice in the spring that the bachelorette in unit [redacted] is now a bachelor. It’s a fairly queer co-op though so I’m not super worried anyone will be a dick to me.

But then I didn’t expect my family to treat me the way they did so maybe it’s time to stop being naive.

At the same time, this is finally the time I’ve wanted to transition where it felt like I was being permitted to do what I need. Like, when I first talked to my doctor about my gender and got my diagnosis for NIHB covered gender gear… and then I was like wait I could get on hormones! But only a little! And then it changed again to “OH MY GOD I can finally just be a man and not have to lie anymore.” And now this nurse is making sure I’m like, as healthy as I can be on T and told me things I have to watch out for and stuff. It feels nice having my gender be something that is being cared for. Cause it’s so hard in so many other places to be who I am. I mean, I recognize I have privilege from living in the largest city in Canada and having a huge network of trans friends. I’m in a way different place than the last time I tried to transition, and a different time too. But I still get treated badly when I go home to visit my family, so obviously there’s unsafe places for me now.

Anyway. I am super disappointed in my family. I don’t know how to deal with that. It’s also complicated by the fact that my mom was listening in on my therapy appointment I had while I was home, so now she thinks she should be allowed into my therapy appointments. Which I mean come on, I pay for these things just for me, it’s not fucking family therapy time just because Mom didn’t like whatever she heard.

Just Awkward Sometimes

I’m trying to write here a bit more often, instead of writing long tweets or long facebook posts. Mostly because I like being here cause it seems like no one reads it sometimes. Or like, that is what I imagine to make this all feel safer.

My dog went to her sitter today, so that was sad, she was so happy to see her sitter and didn’t even care that I was still standing there and I felt like omg my dog doesn’t need me! 😭 She does need me though. But yeah, I guess that’s better than her looking distressed!

I’m going back to Saskatchewan for a couple of weeks. There’s my family to visit and some friends and things like that. And also I just feel more grounded when I’m on the land there. I am torn about what to bring, if I should bring a bunch of prime lenses or just try to cruise by on one or two lenses. I don’t want to bring all my gear cause I just don’t see myself making something that requires all of that. And then my audio gear, I should bring something right? I like recording Saskatchewan ambience for whatever purposes. Like thunderstorms and bird calls specific to that area. I probably can’t bring the blimp and deadcat because that’s just too big. I should have got it a pelican case. I was like “NOOOO I don’t need a big pelican case for my blimp! It can stay in this flimsy cardboard box!” A fool!

Anyway. For sure I am bringing my camera and a lens. Because I found out where my Great Grandpa’s buffalo horn chair is being kept, and we got a time when we can go see it! We have to drive there. It might be moved to a different day because of an emergency, but we’ll find out soon! If not, we see it on Thursday! And I am gonna try and get some photos and footage of it. I doubt we can touch it. But to see it will be nice. It would be amazing to get to sit in it but I’m not gonna be torn up about it if we can’t. This chair was one of the things he made to sell to settlers to provide for his family.

I’m starting to realize in regards to my life and career that if I work my ass off for the next while, like the rest of the year, I could make a lot of money. I mean probably next year too. And the year after that. And… But seriously, I feel like I’m operating at 30% and if I can get it to at least 90% I could accomplish a lot of things. I have these amazing opportunities for various projects and I really need to see them through. It’s an energy issue, I get so fatigued so easily. But I think it’s because I don’t feed myself properly. If I had more proteins for breakfast and lunch that would help. I mean it’s really silly having a human body like “food makes body move yay” it’s so basic. Give myself food and water and sleep those are not unreasonable requests. But I forget to have breakfast, or try to pretend coffee is a breakfast food. And I’m bad about water, I forget to hydrate all the time. And sleep!? Pfft. I CAN sleep really well but also I have sleepless nights where I think of all the ways I was wronged, WHICH IS NOT HEALTHY. Or all the terrible things I did. Or getting into mega trouble with the law or something, I dunno, being put in the stocks in front of the art world or something. And not in a fun way!

I’ve been consistently testing negative for COVID 19 in every single COVID test I have done this entire pandemic. It’s kinda weird. I was in a situation not too long ago where I was in a room with a lot of unmasked people (and I was unmasked because I was eating) and I was thinking “OH SHIT if I get COVID it’s gonna be here! I just know it!”

Nope. Still not COVID, no symptoms, nothing.

I don’t get it. So many people I know have gotten it. I know some people say I could have gotten it and been asymptomatic so I didn’t test. I don’t know. I just know I haven’t even had a cold this entire time. Not since the bad cold I had when I got back from Berlin when the pandemic was hitting. It could have been COVID I guess. But haven’t been sick since then. I’ve been on airplanes with unmasked people. I’ve been in busy restaurants. I’ve been in movie theatres. I’ve been at concerts. I don’t think my experience is universal though, I’m aware it’s kind of an anomaly. There are others who never got it. But yeah, I really just wish there was a test I could do that could tell me I’m really truly vaccinated enough to not worry about it anymore. I’ve had four shots. I’ve been on top of getting my shots as soon as possible. I mask when I’m not eating. I don’t know. I’ve been directly exposed to COVID (unmasked to boot!) because people have contacted me to tell me they tested positive the day after seeing me or things like that, and yet still I’ve never gotten it.

So honestly my comfort with COVID risks is higher than most people, but I think it’s because I haven’t gotten it yet. YET. It could still happen. I still bring masks with me places and all that tho, like the mask mandates here are gone but I still wear them into stores and stuff. I don’t know. I did not foresee the pandemic lasting this long.

I’ve been doing a solitary post mortem on my last relationship (and a few other relationships really) and I’m regretting how much of myself I held back from partners or potential partners. I mean maybe people think I just overshare with everyone, but I don’t really put my vulnerabilities out there with partners. I mean even the fact that weeks/months will go by with me knowing perfectly well that I’m in genuine love with someone, I find it very hard to actually say the words until it’s over.

I had this really hard therapy session a year ago or something where I talked about all the trauma I had from my hospitalization in Montreal, and I was like, crying a lot about it and trying to explain how terrifying it is to be in four point restraints, and I think it was the first time I’d really been able to process it with someone. And then she said “You need to be talking about this, this is what is going to bring in your future partner.” But then when I tell that story to someone I’m dating, I chop out all the emotions from it and usually just say something like “I can’t do bondage yet because I was in a hospital in four point restraints.” But that’s kind of a bloodless explanation of what happened. I don’t know, I seem like a vulnerable person to outsiders, but in relationships I’m always guarding my history.

Because I don’t want people judging me for how poor I grew up, or because of what intergenerational trauma does to families, and probably also because I date a lot of settlers and I just… ugh. Dating settlers is hard. I don’t hate them or anything, it’s just awkward sometimes.

It’s lost to the sands of time

I got a binder so I wore it a few times during a week and really liked it and then my boob hurt, and so I stopped wearing it. But my boob got infected, and then I had to go to the breast centre to get it aspirated. It turns out inverted nipples are more likely to get bacterial infections. What a fucking drag. I always knew those nipples were sus!

Anyway, I’m on antibiotics now. I was on different ones before and now new ones and I have to see the boob doctor again on Thursday.

I really liked having a flat chest tho, and I mean obviously it has to heal but I’m not even sure if I should bind with these nipples of mine. Not if this will be a recurring issue. Cause mastitis fucking SUCKS.

It really confirms that I should get top surgery though, because I don’t really want to walk around with boobs forever. I mean I never had issues with them before, they always seemed like such friendly easy going guys. BUT NO turns out not so. Plus it would just be safer for me to not have them so I don’t get clocked so easy by passing strangers. Obviously I am open about being trans and probably can’t go stealth anyway cause I’m more high profile. But like, yeah, when I’m in a store I don’t want someone I’ve never met to know about me that easily. It’s gonna be a while tho.

In other news… I am very tired of having a broken heart. Like, SO TIRED. I know healing is just a process and blah blah but fuck. I’m dating people again and like, trying to put myself out there. But honestly I’d just prefer to lay on my couch and cry. And I’m trying to get all my crying in this month before I go on T because I hear it’s harder to cry. And being a super emotional person, crying is honestly like, relieving for me. Like I can’t do it in front of anyone but my therapist. But even alone I cry frequently even before I got this broken heart. So anyway, if crying is what is gonna get me over this broken heart, then I want to get as much in as possible before it’s harder.

I’m otherwise fine. Work is busy but when isn’t it busy? I need to catch up on some things. I really want to travel again. I know I went on a trip literally only two months ago BUT I MISS IT! I mean I wouldn’t go to New Orleans again this year. But like, New York would be nice. For like a real visit not just an overnight. And that’s pretty close.

I’m also starting to see my calendar fill up with work trips including my residency in Vienna at the end of the year and it’s A LOT!

I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air, like I’m just fucking up with keeping on top of my practice. I know if I had someone helping me with admin I would have, like, almost twice as much time to actually create again. And THAT would be so nice.

There were some people talking to me about helping me substantially upgrade my art career. Ever since I talked to them I’ve been trying to think of things that would actually help me. Admin for sure. Maybe an agent. Some representation by a gallery or something. I have video distributors but that only goes so far.

And then also just cash flow problems suck. Like people who promise thousands of dollars and then it doesn’t come FOR AGES!

I was supposed to get paid by a university I did work with, but they sent me like six forms to fill out and I got overwhelmed and closed the email and then I forgot which university it was with. All I know is it was an American university and I mean how many fucking American universities are there? The answer: A LOT! And I work with a lot of different ones so like I don’t know where it is in my email anymore. It’s lost to the sands of time. All I can hope is at the end of the fiscal year an accountant asks why they still have these hundreds of dollars.

And there’s other confidential issues in my career and fuck it’s just annoying. Like I can’t bitch about it or no one will want to work with me anymore.

Also I am having anxiety about how my career is going to weather me coming out as a trans man. I mean I’ve been working on a script for years about violence against Indigenous women and even tho I have an extensive lived history with misogyny against Indigenous women I’m worried someone will tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about or I don’t have a right to tell this story because now I’m a man. And then just worrying about all the times I’ve been slotted in the women’s programs and like maybe there’s no space for me in the mainstream programs, or maybe suddenly I will only get my work seen in the trans programs. And what if I don’t want to make work about being trans all the time what if I want to explore other things too? OR what if I do want to make work about being trans all the time and people just find it unrelatable and don’t show me as much?

I had a conversation recently with someone close to me and it was SO CRINGEY the way she was talking about trans issues and also probably she was a bit drunk when she called and ugh.

I mean I think I’m gonna start asking cis people what their genitals look like more often, since they seem very interested in what gender is in my pants when I think it’s actually in my soul. Maybe not. Maybe only when I am annoyed. It’s just been very clunky experiences talking to the cis people in my life these days. I saw this meme a long time ago with like two philosophers talking and it’s like “When trans people talk about gender” and then this photo of a little kid with different shapes and a teacher helping them and it’s like “When cis people talk about gender.” AND OMG IT’S TRUE! Like ok lady I don’t have time to give you a reading list of all the things I’ve learned about being trans since I was eighteen, and probably you don’t care either you’re just being an asshole and think this is funny.

Anyway. UGH.

And leaving the lesbian club behind is weird. I love lesbians. But yeah I guess I’m not one. And I don’t really feel like, fully embraced by the gay mens community either yet. It’s just a fucking weird transitional time in my life.

AND my heart is broken! And it doesn’t have anything to do with my gender but like, major heartbreak AND a major life change are two very big things to deal with.

So that’s probably why I feel like I’m not using my time wisely, I’m just processing all of this AND my therapist is on leave. I see my temporary therapist tomorrow and I don’t even know where to start with her. Do I start with falling in love with an emotionally unavailable person? Or do I start with this shift in my gender? I don’t know. I got a tangled ball of thoughts to unpack.

Doctor Appointment

So I saw the doctor on Friday to talk about going on hormones and various related things (birth control and PrEP) and it was such a good appointment. She’s sending me to a Nurse Practitioner who has experience with trans health care and who works for the same family health team, so I just gotta wait until I can see her. I’m hoping they will call tomorrow to give me an appointment. I’m excited! Basically as soon as I see the nurse I can start hormones, like there won’t be a huge wait after that.

It’s so much easier transitioning this time than LAST time. Last time they still wanted people to live as their intended gender for a year and then get hormones. And it’s just a very long time to wait and people kind of pressured/bullied me not to. But this time, I feel good about it, and I feel good that my doctor trusts that I know what I want, and I feel more like I can do what I want to do with myself.

I did have a weird phone call with a relative. And cis people are also super good at putting their feet in their mouths and not noticing that they are being problematic, so there’s some of that with cis het friends. But a lot of my friends are also trans men and non binary people, so I’m not feeling alone. I do still look like a girl I guess ha ha only because I still like having my nails painted. But I’m hoping when my face masculinizes some of that will go away, I mean I hope I still like painting my nails but I hope looking and sounding more like a dude will help.

I went to boxing class in the park today and it was SO FUN! I got my ass kicked though, it’s a two hour class and has cardio and ab exercises before you do boxing exercises AND THEN on the way home I had to walk (it’s very close by!) but to get home you have to walk up this LONG HILL that has THE LONGEST STAIRS. And they are a bit older so a little steep. By the time I got home my knees hurt and my legs were wobbly. BUT it was still such a good class. And Savoy, the coach, said I felt solid when she touched my shoulders to move me to show me how to throw a punch. So that was really nice!

I think I might get into weights again. I haven’t used my dumbbells barely at all this year.

It will also probably be more impressive when I can actually build serious muscle after getting on T.

I was going to go to the beach today but fuck that class wiped me out!

Tomorrow I go to the lab to get an STI panel done, which I haven’t done in a while. I don’t think I’ve had sex since my last one tho. But now that I am going on PrEP I have to do these every few months. I hope I start having more sex ha ha ha ha!

I’m in a weird place about dating. Like I WANT to be dating and meeting people and kissing folks. But also I am anxious about the way my body will change in the next year and feeling like someone’s attraction to me is going to wane as I get more obviously like a man. And I just don’t want to be with people who aren’t enthusiastic about me and my body and the person I am becoming. BUT ALSO I am gonna get a t-cock and I definitely want to find someone who wants to play with me and my changing body. It’s complicated. Also I just don’t want to fall in love with one more person who doesn’t have the capacity to love me back. Cause I’ve been doing that a lot. Like I want to have sexy fun but I also don’t want my heart to get crushed.

But also my sexuality is way more open now. I am finding a greater variety of people to be sexy and thinking I’d like to kiss them. Which is why I’m going on PrEP. Not straight guys tho ha ha but like everybody else is pretty sexy. So I dunno.

I’m going to try and write here a bit more frequently to talk about my feelings around this.

I did have a lot of memories of the last time when I wanted to transition but was also manic. Maybe I was afraid it would be the same this time. But I can tell I’m not manic. I’m so calm. And I’m not talking rapidly, and I can sleep well. My mind’s not even racing. It’s good. This feels like a healthy stable place to transition from. Plus financially I am way more stable, and I don’t have to deal with an employer for my money.

It has been kinda awkward announcing it all at once. But also I’m a bit more of a public figure and I just wanted to get it over with. And I DID!

Testosterone!

I think this is something that’s slowly been developing in my life over the last whatever many years, so it’s not a surprise to me at all. But I have decided to start taking testosterone and to ID as a trans man. I’m just honestly so tired of feeling like a liar every time I get gendered as female and let it go. I’m not a cis woman at all, probably not a Butch anymore either (although I still feel very connected to Butch communities since that’s where I spent my adult life so far). I think I just got tired of not being real about myself. And when I was in New Orleans my friend Tanya used he/him pronouns for me and I was like fuck yes, finally this fits.

I think most people knew I was some flavour of trans for a long time tho. Like I’ve identified as non-binary for a LONG time. I’ve been packing a dick sometimes for a long time too, like well over a decade. I was really particular about getting masculine clothing when I did my wardrobe glow up a few years ago. And so for me it’s not such a huge leap anymore to just be like “OK Honestly I’m a guy.” I think it’s always been there though. Like yeah I tried all kinds of different genders on, but even when I look at pics of myself when I was three years old I’m like yeah that’s a boy.

OMFG actually the irony is I think way way way back in this blog was the last time I tried to transition to male.

The last time was disadvantaged in a lot of ways. For one thing, the last time I came out as a man I also had a manic episode, so people back then were more weird about the idea of people being trans and mentally ill. Like they don’t go together. But I mean a huge cross section of any population is mentally ill so really it’s just that it was bad timing for my debut as a man. ALSO it was in Saskatoon, and I wasn’t as confident to be my actual self instead of following a more strict masculinity. Like, I dutifully bought clothes in the mens section, but ugh the colours suck. SUCK. Beige and burgundy and grey and navy blue and black. SO BORING. This time I am allowing myself to be a colourful man. Because I was bummed out in those more gender conforming colours. And also I think I just didn’t know who I could date or who would want to date me as a trans man. And I still don’t know who to date or who will want to date me, but at least now I know way more trans men who are having fun sex and love lives, so it doesn’t feel like, as depressing as before. Also I have more of a support network of other trans masculine people who are taking testosterone and it’s not so lonely.

Like, I got to ask my friend a ton of questions about hormones and transitioning and find out all kinds of things I could never find out in my googling. So that was really nice.

Also tbh I’ve been watching and reading about medical transition for like, maybe as long as I have been using the internet.

So on Monday I got a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria from my GP and I didn’t want hormones at that moment. But then I realized nothing was really stopping me anymore either. Like, I’ve given up on my exes coming back, so it’s not like I’m worried about turning into someone my lover isn’t attracted to. And my grandparents are all dead, so no one can tell me my grandparents won’t understand. And really I thought about the last time I tried to transition when I changed my mind, because I kind of did it since someone I liked told me they liked butch women and not trans men. And I was remembering that even after she told me that and I DIDN’T transition, she still didn’t date me so I mean what even was the point of telling me that? So I’m kind of like, ugh, I just want to live my life and if someone is attracted to me then great but I don’t want to constantly be trying to meet someone else’s expectations of queer masculinity.

So yeah that’s the scoop. I was ambivalent about the name Thirza Jean, cause in some ways I like it. I didn’t want to go by Sarain again which is what my name would have been if I was born a boy. But I don’t totally feel comfortable with Thirza either. So right now I am going by TJ. Which people called me even when I was a little kid so it has historical consistency. My pronouns are just he/him/his now. I tried a triple pronoun combo for a while but yeah I know what I want now.

Anyway. I also have no idea what my sexuality is going to be when I’m on testosterone, because it can change. And I’ve heard a lot of anecdotes about T making guys think about cock all the time. So I’m prepared to be surprised. It’s better than a gender reveal, it’s a sexuality reveal! SURPRISE! You’re gay AGAIN but for boys! I don’t know honestly, I still love Femmes a lot. But also I wasn’t treated super well by Femmes when I was dating them as a Butch. I mean yeah there was sweetness but also some sad hard feelings. I think people forget masculine people have hearts that break.

OH MAN And also I don’t know what I’m gonna do about all this crying. I am like, crying so frequently on the current level of hormones I live with. It could also be menopause going on for me, so I don’t know how menopause and puberty is gonna be like at the same time. I’m hoping the T helps with my emotions though cause they are HUGE like the ocean and overwhelming.

It’s kind of a shitty time in the world to be trans, but also I feel like I’m prepared finally. I feel like, LET’S DO THIS!!! JAB IT IN MY THIGH! I’m just finally ready.

When I get sad it’s cause I think of how long I kept myself from making this decision, and how much of it was because of pressure from different people. I can’t live like that anymore, living for other people’s comfort.

Also I think internalized misandry fucked me up. Like, men can be awful, and I know this. And so after being aligned with women so much of my life, it’s weird to be one of Them, one of those Men people. But then I think of my life and like, when I was a kid I played with boys, when I grew up my friends were often trans masculine people, like it’s not like I haven’t been moving in masculine circles. So yeah, I’m trying to just accept myself as I am.

When I originally decided to take testosterone, I was gonna do microdosing and go super slow and all that. But as the days have gone by since making this decision, I’ve grown way more comfortable with the idea of things testosterone changes.

I also remember those face app gender switch filters I used to try, and how they would secretly give me a thrill when I would see myself with facial hair and a squared jaw, cause I looked like a super hot guy! I want to allow that guy to exist finally. I think the world could use one more sexy trans man.

Allygators

I just got back from New Orleans last night. It was my first vacation in a REALLY long time. Like, I literally just did whatever I wanted and saw tons of things and was a tourist for nine days. Or eight? I don’t remember. And I met up with someone down there who showed me all kinds of things. Including a swamp tour where we saw alligators!

An alligator sunning itself
This alligator was on the swamp tour!

To lure alligators to the tour boats, they toss marshmallows in the water. It was honestly so cute. The alligators eat them because they just look like big white blobs, and alligators can only see in black and white. I never knew that was how they engaged with alligators in the wild. Most of the ones we saw were about 4 to 6 years old so not HUGE but still like, I wouldn’t stick my hand in there. But the tour guides do! They try to lift up alligator heads, but mostly the alligators are kinda like “Fuck off! Where are the marshmallows?!” and pull away.

I also wanted to try eating alligator so I had it a couple times, once fried alligator tail bites, and the other was an alligator sausage that was cut up and put on a stick and deep fried. They were great! They taste like chicken. So that means dinosaurs tasted like chicken. It’s fascinating!

New Orleans was a pretty magical city. And like, such deep complex traumatic history. I tried to be really respectful of spirits who live there. I did go on a ghost and vampire tour. There’s real vampires there that drink blood and “donors” who help by giving blood! It’s just like my video game!!! I was just like shit I fuckin’ knew it! The ghosts sounded interesting too but not like anything I would feel comfortable experiencing.

I was staying in an Airbnb and I was worried about ghosts but it wasn’t ghosts that were in there, there were two of the fucking hugest cockroaches I’d ever seen instead. And like, the size of my thumb!!! My thumb is small, but still that’s not a size of bug I’m comfortable with. My friend kept calling them palmetto bugs tho ha ha.

I also went on a whirlwind 24 hours to New York City JUST to see Cate Blanchett get the Chaplin Award. She was amazing. I was in awe. And it was almost my birthday, so that night I went to sleep happy and woke up 44 years old. I didn’t get to see Todd Haynes tho because he got COVID the morning of the event, and Bradley Cooper wasn’t there either. But Christine Vachon presented the award and I’m a fan of her too!

I got approached by a curator at a major gallery that I’ve wanted to show in for ages. I’m not sure what will happen but it’s exciting, I hope it develops into an awesome opportunity.

WHAT ELSE?

I tried to be as careful as I could on my trip. It wasn’t so hard. I wore KN95’s almost every time I was inside everywhere. I took it off to eat. If there was a good open draft or breeze I let my guard down. I did eat pretzels on the planes, and Americans were just like, no-masking it everywhere. I was honestly shocked at their recklessness. I didn’t take a lot of selfies because I look less cute with a mask. BUT it was honestly not too bad doing harm reduction by masking as much as possible. I was concerned I might have gotten it anyway. But no symptoms, and today I tested again for the first time since I got back and the test was negative. I’m gonna do another test in a few days. But I feel fine.

If I was able to have an amazing adventure AND not get COVID, I am going to keep taking carefully mitigated risks, because this was so fun and also I don’t want to live on my couch alone forever. But yeah! ADVENTURE!

Weed Roulette

So therapy is going well. Sometimes I feel like I’m just flailing around in my own mess of a life and she’s watching me and being supportive, but sometimes I have great insights and she reframes something that helps me think of things differently.

Anyway, I was telling her about smoking weed, because that is happening again, and she got concerned because that’s a different level of sobriety than I was doing before. And I think I tried to justify it or something but later on she was telling me how I don’t have to do that. I can do something and not have a reason for it besides liking it. So I’m trying to be like ok yeah I was sober from weed before and now I’m not because I like smoking weed and it makes me feel better.

It’s funny cause I really do have to mostly stick to Mango Haze which has a lot of CBD in it but also THC but even then it’s not a super disabling type of weed cause it’s a sativa. Anyway I guess what I am saying is I’m still trying to be responsible and not turn into a slacker or something because I’m using weed again. Like get my work done and you know for the most part I HAVE been getting my work done. And the times I can tell my brain is mushy has less to do with me being buzzed and more to do with me having forgotten my Vyvanse that morning. Which unfortunately happens and makes me a rambly talker on panels and what have you, so I try to remember when I can.

ANYWAY yeah therapy is great, cause she also said you know I don’t have to justify other things either, like taking a vacation and that kind of thing. I can just stand in my integrity and be like “yeah that’s what I did because I made that decision.” I don’t need to give anyone a reason for anything really.

I made what I thought was a bad decision to write about my feelings to an ex. But now I’m thinking it wasn’t a bad decision so much as a bad but not entirely unexpected outcome.

I’m kind of not sure how I feel about dating right now just cause I felt really burned by my last romance or whatever. And not that they are a bad person it was just messy and painful for me. But I don’t know how much space I have in my heart right now for anyone. Which sucks because it’s spring time and people are horny and I’m definitely getting flirted with by other people. But like, yeah, I just don’t know if I can trust someone right now. I don’t even know if I can trust myself because I saw my last romance SO DIFFERENTLY than the other person involved saw it. I mean there’s an entire summer still to come also, lots could happen.

HA HA Oh right so the weed roulette thing was because I mostly smoke Mango Haze cause I know what to expect from it (and it stops my knees from hurting) but I’m also super into joints so sometimes I’ll roll up like, three joints so I don’t have to roll again for a while. And sometimes one joint will fall into a mess of things or whatever and when I clean up I find it again. BUT sometimes I’m not smoking Mango Haze, I’m smoking something stronger. So now when I find these lost joints, I don’t know what’s in them. And I have to decide if I can risk it or if I should roll more Mango Haze to be safe.

I came to write here because I am behind on a writing project due today. So this is my warm up writing really. I like writing here because it’s so low pressure, no one pays me to say anything here. I can talk about masturbating for an entire entry if I want. Not today tho!

For the rest of your life

I’ve pretty much adjusted to being a full time artist over the last four or five years I’ve really been able to do it. I sometimes think I should hire an assistant tho, but then I get nervous if I can afford to pay them. It would probably just be one day a week. Or one hour five days a week. I wonder if that is even allowed? But like, someone I could send to answer like, these specific emails. I would really love to reduce my admin.

Aside from that I guess this is what I am doing for the rest of my life? It’s not terrible since it pays decently. Like, more than decently. I am not living near the poverty level. Like it pays well enough that I don’t worry about money usually.

I’m working on this piece that I’m already in love with and it’s spinning all these ideas around in my head. I want to do a tribute to 70s film and video art aesthetics COMBINED and talk about 2 Spirit lives at the time. It’s been cool, I’ve been looking in these sexuality and gender archives and finding all kinds of things. Like a lesbian chain letter from the 50s, and a discussion topic list for a lesbian s/m support group in 1980 or 81, and some list of gay bars from the 60s called “Resorts for Sex Perverts!” Ha ha omg. I also found out more information about the lesbian bar that was in the same building as Filmores. Fascinating stuff! I love archives. Anyway, it’s been interesting to see how intersectional 2 Spirit people were in the 70s, like being in solidarity with so many people and causes. And they didn’t use the words 2 Spirit, they used Gay American Indians. Even the Lesbians!

Anyway, I am also learning nêhiyawewin again, in class setting. It’s one hour a week. It’s conflicting with a leather group I go to sometimes so that kinda sucks, but I am learning a lot. This class teaches syllabics, so we are learning what sound for what syllabic. And also greetings, like how elders greet a room. She’s a great instructor. And I mean we also learn lots of other things. I’ve started playing nêhiyawewin Wordle which is fun, I have won twice! I found my Cree-English dictionary which helps a bit.

I really want to be fluent in my language. I feel like it opens a whole side of me I don’t know a lot about. Like in terms of the way using that language informs your thinking on the world.

What else?

I am growing as a person I think. I recently felt distress in a friendship because of someone being very distant and when I communicated my distress she was really sweet and explained what was going on for her. And also I told her what part of the distress I knew was my own triggers and things. Anyway, my therapist thinks I am improving. Because I’ve been trying really hard to be a better communicator in important friendships and relationships and sometimes I feel I’m not getting anywhere with it.

I think the other surprising thing about this was that I realized how much of my own issues I was using to fill in the information I didn’t have about that situation. Like “Oh she hates me” or “I’m annoying!” or any of that. Like I felt so deeply dark and sad about it and then when I found out it had nothing to do with me I was like what? I’ve been holding onto this ball of sadness for no reason? WHAT?!

Berlinale is coming up and I wish I was gonna be there but I still know I made the right decision to sit this one out. I’m still trying to enjoy how exciting it is to be in the Berlinale.

My career was really taking off before this pandemic. I was in the Whitney Biennial, then I was in Berlinale, and then there was a pandemic that made people stay home for months. Like real fun ruiner. So many things changed. I mean my career is still going it’s fine. But would it have been different if there was no pandemic? Seems jerky to complain about a career during a pandemic but things changed so much.

Dating during the pandemic has also been really hard. I have met people, like this pandemic isn’t stopping that. But it’s not as easy. And kissing is really hard I still haven’t kissed someone.

Going on Year 3

bear cub
A bear cub on a branch

I’ve been in a weird mood. I feel like I’m definitely in the middle of a pretty wibbly part of the pandemic. I’m not sure what my feelings are from one moment to the next. Some days are really hard, and then the next day is fine, and then some other day I am doing work and feel better, or just weird things. If I think about my emotional/love life too hard I get sad, but then my career will cheer me up. Which probably sounds backwards to most people but genuinely most of the time my career is the thing making me happy.

Anyway, I got nominated for a Teddy Award in the Exhibition category. That’s exciting! It’s my second time being nommed for a Teddy and I would really like one. I also know the project that’s nominated isn’t super queer except that I made it. Which was the same with the other project I was nominated for a Teddy. So I dunno sometimes I wish I was doing really overtly queer stuff in these moments. Except I am but those show other places.

What else? I mean I think we are all in a pretty wibbly state right now. A lot of death around us and sickness and it’s just hard. I don’t even know what to tell people when they tell me they have it. I feel like it’s so cruel how far we are from each other.

I got invited to a festival on a continent I would love to visit for the first time, but I’m too worried about bringing covid with me and infecting them so I probably won’t physically be able to go. I don’t know, my rules are constantly changing. Apparently COVID cases in the US are going down if you look at wastewater covid data. I don’t know about Canada.

Mostly I’m angry that so many world governments just abysmally failed their people. Even Canada. Canada’s too busy attacking Indigenous land defenders in favour of climate change to actually put in some kind of COVID strategy. We didn’t even have widespread access to tests until now. It fucking sucks here. And yet I’m staying here cause it’s my fucking homeland. Or close to it anyway cause I’m not in my territory. I mean the USA is also my homeland tho, the border crossed us!

Things are good and bad and all kinds of things. I don’t even know how to write my blog posts anymore when so much of my career is happening in secret. I recently got asked for a screener from a company that’s ridiculously huge and mainstream and it was so weird. Like me? Pervy lil dyke punk kid me???

I still think of myself like I’m a teenager actually. Like just thinking of myself still being at heart a little punk dyke whose inevitably at odds with the system. I don’t know.

I’ve got to do laundry today, I’m out of socks, out of so many things. I should go do that.

I don’t know why I wrote this post. I feel like I didn’t update you on anything at all. Here’s me going on year 3 of a pandemic in my apartment. Gonna go heat up pizza then do laundry for the thousandth time. WOOOOOO