Names and Pronouns

Pronouns. Depending who I come out to, after the whole “so you’re gender fluid-” “no” bit, one of the first questions I get is “what pronouns do you use?” And for a very long time- almost five years since I started thinking seriously about gender, in fact- I’ve asked people to just call me “she” until I tell them otherwise. 

Now, as with coming to terms with my asexuality, I’ve come to terms with terms. I get mistaken for a guy more often than, say, my mother does, even when I’m not binding. When I introduce myself on the Internet, I tend to just not mention gender unless someone specifically asks, so they can pick their own terms for me. I plan to keep doing this. 

However, I also really like “he” pronouns. I like the way I feel when people call me sir. I like when people don’t realize their “mistake” and don’t apologize. So while I will accept most pronouns, including “she” and “they,” I prefer “he” pronouns. 

And then there’s names. I’ve been signing my posts Terrance for over a year, even while telling myself that I can’t name myself that, that I need a better name. I’m still not sure about it. But I know that I like Terrance, the way it tastes, the colors of it, the shape of it. For now, it fits. 

If I’m called Terrance, I can also be called both Teri and Terry. Masculine and feminine. Plausible deniability for my parents, for my mother’s family. I can, maybe, keep my family, if I don’t do hormones, if I stay in the closet and don’t get surgery. I can have this. 

I’m scared of losing my family. Of my mother dismissing me, of my dad being confused and uncomfortable. And I don’t want to hear about how other people’s comfort doesn’t matter in the face of mine- that’s not who I am. I care about other people’s conort around me. I want them to be comfortable. 

Only time will tell, I suppose. But for now I remain, 

Very truly yours,

Terrance

Christmas break

I hate this bed
My bed, repurposed.

Dense flat pillows,

 
plastic mattress cover creaking.

A person I don’t know well

Turns above me and sighs
My back can only be turned to the door

My bed too far from the wall

A mattress with sheets,

One woven blanket

Naked of the nest of

Stuffed things

Pillows

Blankets

Which I’ve dreamed about for months

I don’t know where they are.

I’m visible from the doorway

Unable to hide

Unable to burrow

Or even sit up straight
And I can’t stop thinking

How I hate this bed,

Hate where it lives

Hate how much

I hate it

Feeling

I’m not feeling much. I have finals in a day. I should feel… Something. Scared. Stressed. Motivated. Something. 

Instead I’m feeling blank, a bit nauseous, a bit tired. I’ve gotten enough sleep. I’ve eaten too much. I’m aimless and I really need to study for my finals but more than that I need to feel something. And I’m not. 

I hate being trans

I hate being trans. I hate feeling like I don’t fit, I hate how my gender confusion twists in with my bodily dysphoria till I can’t tell one from another. I hate living with cis girls who think of me completely as a girl, I hate being afraid to come out, I hate it. 

And I can’t come out. I’m going to school, I don’t trust anyone enough to keep my secret and talk about it in real life, I’m far from the people who would listen or care. I’m sick of only being around cis people, because talking about how my body feels only makes them uncomfortable and I spend too much time trying to make people comfortable around me. 

I can’t even say whether coming out would help. I know I want top surgery, but I don’t want the conversations, the explaining, the saving and waiting. I don’t want to have to deal with this, with having a body and a gender and a presentation and I want to be a doctor I can’t transition when I have my MD but I won’t be able to afford it before them. 

And oh, I want to be a doctor. That’s the only thing I’ve never doubted, though I tried so hard to convince myself I didn’t want it. It’s going to be hard, so hard, to go to science classe, to learn chemistry and biology and then go to medical school. But it would be even harder to do all of that and be called “Dr.” and then be called by a woman’s name, be called a woman. 

I can’t be a woman. I’m not. I’ve known about trans people since I was very young, but I’ve no idea how I’m going to address this and keep my family. I can drop my friends, the irl ones who make fun of me for every piece of myself I give them, who tease me about how one day I’ll have a crush, how I’m a nerd. 

I’m so sick of being stuck here. I want to leave this school and take science classes till I can’t see straight and try to forget how wrong my body feels. I don’t even wish I’d been born male- I just wish I didn’t have a perceived gender to deal with. 

I’m procrastinating writing a paper right now, I should get back to that. 

Yours as always,

Terrance

When are you an adult?

The thing is, I can’t tell. Are you an adult when you hit puberty? When you get your period? What about when you have your first breakup? Sex? How about when you turn eighteen?

What about when you do your own laundry? Yeah, I know, a lot of us fold our own laundry, or put it away, or something. But a lot of us rely on our parents to help us out. And why not? We grow up with people, and those people also do laundry. And since they’re older, they teach us how to do it, or do it for us. But some of us grow up early, by necessity or just because, and are responsible for our own laundry. It seems to mean something, doesn’t it? To be responsible for the neverending chore that is clean clothes?

What I’m trying to say is, I’m in a laundry room right now. I’m paying by the load, and I’m responsible for buying detergent, folding, everything. And I’m doing okay. I feel like an adult every time I come down here, and sit in the rumble of the machines and think. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. 

Does that make me an adult? Or am I still a child? When do I know? Does adulthood come with a bang, or with a whimper?

Tell me about your own thoughts on laundry, rites of passage, and adulthood in the comments. And until next time, I remain, forever yours, 

Terrance

Scratching the Itch

Sometimes the words dry up. Like a puddle after a rainstorm, like affection, like the green of the leaves and the summer wanes and closes, taking with it the memories of crispness and clean. Snow lies heavy on wilted leaves, colors long forgotten in their damp prison. Sometimes, the words tickle to life, pressing beneath my tongue, demanding to be written. But there is nowhere to go. Where the words want to come, want to be spoken and used and spun like fine sugar, ideas stop. What character? What story? Should I borrow someone else’s?

And then I hesitate, wanting to return to my trusty home in fanfiction, but that home has grown too small. There’s only so many times you can kill the same character, only so many times you can write your own insecurities and joys onto someone else’s template. And now they feel stretched too thin, and it’s been too long since I touched them, stretched their limits, manhandled their edges until they fit my words.
“Write about the politics of language,” my teacher says. Write about the ramifications of these misspellings, these grammatical droughts, these dialect-laden fruits of poems? But why? The language is a tool, and these poems are like using catsup for paint to make people focus on the clumpy brown muck that looks a lot like the sandwich they had for lunch. It’s messy, it’s unappealing, and it’s slightly nauseating. I take pride in the letters placed side by side, in order, the way they should be. I take joy in that organization. Why ruin it?
Stop throwing your letters on the floor like old socks. Stop ripping them apart, till nothing remains but the echo of the Roman alphabet. Pick up your scraps, glue them together, make some words that mean something. The scars, the seams of your emotions are starting to show on the fabric of your art, and it’s disctracting. It demands like Frankenstein’s monster to be seen, refuses to blend. Can’t you see your electric shocks aren’t bringing any life at all?
And here the words are. They complain, but it feels so good to put them out. It’s like vomitting water, emptying something that does no good. But now it’s gone, maybe just a little, and the itch is sated a little bit. But the urge to type, to tap and fix and put words on a page continues, tugging at me, twisting my mind, nagging me because I should write more, because I have a paper due Friday, because I want so much to have the words I see. I want to be able to hold my words out to someone else and say look, can’t you see, this is my soul? I want my words to sparkle and shine, to be blue as sparks and cold as ice. I want to capture a language fragile as gossamer, as a spider’s web, but all I have are these words that feel more like canvas and sandpaper than the fabric and light I want to produce.
Can’t you hear my cry? People talk about a muse, they talk about writer’s block, but that’s not what this is. Maybe I’m not a writer. Maybe I’m not meant to write, to publish, to share my thoughts. What good am I without my thoughts! I want to share, to bleed my knowledge, my opinions, my memories. I want them to flow out, till no one can mistake me for anything or anyone other than who I am, till everyone understands. Why is their understanding so important? Why is their understanding something I yearn for? Why can’t I ever be quiet, just listen, just absorb. I can be quiet, or I can be loud, but I can’t pay attention. What’s inside is too much for me to stopper it, for me to want to. And it’s not even special. So why is it here?

Stop telling me I just need to meet someone

One of the things that kills me about people arguing about my asexuality is that. I spent so long trying not to be. I spent so long looking for a “cute boy,” so long trying to force myself to develop a crush. Ten years or so, and still nothing. I spent so long thinking I was broken. I spent so long looking forward to a surely-dysfunctional marriage because I thought I had to have one. I spent so long hurting, so long afraid.

Then one day, I accepted I was asexual, but went about trying to convince myself that I was at least romantic in some way. I must be, right? But I wasn’t. I wasn’t, and I felt so broken inside, because one of the basic facts of humanity was something I’m doomed to never see. It hurt so much to see that, to think that. 

Even now, I’m trying to figure out how my life is going to go. I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want a roommate, I want intimate physical touch and comfort, but not sex. I want what everyone wants, but every time I struggle with my friends, I remember that I don’t want to be alone, and I wonder how much of my foot I’ll have to cut off to stuff it in the glass slipper. Because uncut, I’ll never fit. 

My heart aches. My body yearns to be loved, to be hugged and touched. I miss my dad’s hugs. I miss being touched, being loved. I miss it. 

Moving Forward

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated. Perhaps the perfect time, then, for a new blog post.

I graduated high school! Excitement! And now I’m a college freshmen, somewhere in the USA (I’ve never left), and hoping to one day achieve a degree. I’ll talk about that later. Right now, I kind of want to rant about a few frustrations of mine, and talk about a few joys that came with this transition.
First of all, why are so many teachers of core classes so blatantly dismissive? So many of my teachers act as if no one wants to be present, and they have to convince us of how important their class is. I’ve spent my whole life in classes I had no choice not to be in, but this is the first time teachers have tried so hard to convince their students that they need this class. What the fuck is that about? Is it because we can withdraw from this school, these classes, at will?
I’ve found a group of friends, which pleases me to no end. I’ve got two roommates and three other girls who live on campus as well, and the six of us tend to get along pretty well. We’re still dealing with growing pains, feeling out sore spots, adjusting- but it’s coming along. The people in my classes, for the most part, are really sweet, and we chat between classes and commiserate about professors who are just not getting their points across. Having a net of acquaintences is great. I recommend it.
On a not so fun note, one of my roommates refuses to believe that I like neither boys nor girls. She continues to insist that I’ll meet someone someday, and it makes my skin itch. I don’t want a partner. I don’t want children. And people seem to think that’s a crime, an anomoly, and in her case, something to be rectified. She teases often that I clearly like a guy we met, and it’s getting harder to keep my frustration tucked away.
At some point, I’ll go into some detail about various things, about how my life is going, etc. But for now, I’m mainly writing this post to avoid studying, so I think I’ll get back to that now.
Thanks for reading,
Terrance

Topography

Due to personal reasons, I’ve not been posting these on this blog over the past several months. That time has passed, and now I’m transferring these from my tumblr to my blog. This post originally dated 8-18-15.

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I miss my mountains

I miss my valleys, my muse

I miss the fervor of creation, the cool clutch of sadness

I miss feeling deeply, and with all of me

I miss what I came to understand, to control

I miss being alive

atheist

Due to personal reasons, I’ve not been posting these on this blog over the past several months. That time has passed, and now I’m transferring these from my tumblr to my blog. This post originally dated 3-12-15.

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The biggest issue I have is with arguments of “but if God loves us why does He let bad things happen” when it’s like no guys… He’s not “letting” things happen we are doing things ourselves and he is allowing us the freedom to make mistakes and turn away from Him

God give me strength I hate arguments for atheism where people argue that God can’t exist because humanity is just too fucked up. A big part of understanding this is accepting that yes, you absolutely are responsible for the things you’ve done wrong and so is humanity as a whole and all He’s doing is coming alone behind us and cleaning up and trying to help us avoid making a bigger mess.

He’s not even failing- it just takes more than your life time to clean up a mess as big as ours.