Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: Frequently asked questions

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Frequently asked questions

 I rarely care to talk about my personal life in my mostly music blog. But since my 'coming out' of being transgender recently has sparked a lot of questions from friends. Most of the questions I get are totally understandable ones, but I also get more than enough stupid questions. You wont believe some of the things people have assumed or wondered. I'm not going to be shy, I'm going to put it on the table. I'd rather have a conversation about something and actually address it than deny it and pretend like it doesn't exist.

 One of the things I actually do like about my generation is these days it is much easier to discuss things like sexuality, instead of denying what is. I call it "The Talk Show Generation." No matter how you feel about Oprah and the rest, they did open up the world to a discussion. This is for the clarification of all, and for me to continue to be honest about who I am, not to mention proud.

How I feel about gender, or more importantly, my own:

 To be perfectly honest, I always felt like an alien. That I never fully identified with either only female or only male tenancies. David Bowie classified himself as "the Third sex" and that definition is the closest thing I have seen to what I feel personally. I always wanted certain things, like top surgery, aka a mastectomy. I never wanted to reproduce, and never cared to keep my reproductive organs. Meaning I'd like to have my ovaries removed. My plan always was and always will be to embrace both sides of me. At the same time I feel like something else, an alien isn't a bad analogy.

Frequently asked questions?
Q: "So, uh what should I call you?" (most people say it just like that)
A: Quick answer, Becca. Long answer, I look at myself kinda like Alice Cooper, a guy with a girl's name.   I am going to say it like this: I want to define gender my own way. I want to keep my name, but work on my gender identity. Which refers to what I mentioned above, top surgery, tubes tied, and testosterone.

...He or she?
It boils down to this, I am not offended to be called a man or a woman because I don't think it's shameful to be either. Most trans folks prefer specific pro nouns. But I'd like to reiterate that I am more gender fluid. Gender Fluid being "I like what I like". Urban Dictionary describes "Gender fluid" as "A gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is Gender Fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more boy some days, and more girl other days. Being Gender Fluid has nothing to do with which set of genitalia one has, nor their sexual orientation." Aka, I don't care.

Q: "Are you into women now?"
A: No. As a biological woman, I was into men. As a transitioning person, I will still be into men. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. If I were a Lesbian prior, I would have just been out and honest and open about that. This may surprise you, but coming out as Trans is a lot harder than coming out as Gay. I'm not sure why people assume that I'f I'm turning more male I must be suddenly into women. Because only men date women? (LOL). It's like they forget gay men exist. Plus, I just cannot imagine a world where I do not have a crush on Joey Ramone and all the rest. I also realize that most FtMs or trans men are ex- lesbians. That would not be me because again, I am different. My orientation isn't changing. Gender and sexual orientation aren't the same thing.

Q: "Do you hate men/women?"
NO. If you think that is why a person comes out about their gender identity you are way off.

Q: "Will you be 'roid raging' aka will you be on steroids?"
No! Testosterone and steroids are not the same thing.

Q: "So is your sex life going to change?"
A: Quite frankly I think this question is inappropriate. I'm not sure why the status quo is so interested in the sex lives of queer people in particular. I'm going to do things the way I always did. Next question.

Q: "Are you into gay men now?"
A: This is another one of those technicality things. If I'm a man and date men, I am gay. And that would make the man I date gay. So the question I get a lot is now will I date gay men. Well, I plan to like the same kind of men I already liked, still have the same kind of sex life I had, so I will probably most likely continue to date gender queer, bisexual and open-minded straight guys.

Q: "Are you going to 'get a penis'?"
A: Straight up, no. But I honestly think this is a stupid question, and many men have asked me this. Plus I think, why is it ever appropriate to ask someone about their gentiles? If I asked you about yours what would you think?
8 Myths About Transgender Men's Genital Reconstructions


Now, the difference between "gay" and "queer":  On the internet it says that "queer" is a derogatory term to describe someone as gay. Well here where I live I haven't seen anyone use it that way. Queer has been described to me from the mouths of LGBT people as "'Queer' can be a sexuality identity but it can also be other things. It can be a gender identity or a lifestyle choice. Identifying as “queer” doesn’t necessarily mean the person is gay. You –can- be straight and queer. “Queer” means you like what you like. So, it means different things to different people." I think I am a really good example of someone who is queer. Technically, I have female parts, and am attracted to men. I feel more male leaning, but gender fluid if we're going to be technical. If I am planning to get surgery and use testosterone and be more like a man, and am attracted to men, that would technically make me gay? So I'd be a gay man. It really is quite confusing when you break it down. The very idea of breaking it down makes me wonder why we do? Do we feel the need as human beings to classify and understand everything? If there's any main lesson I have learned in my life, it's that there is no black and white. Religious doesn't equal moral, for example.

 I like to remind my friends and people with questions, that I am a person. I am the same person I always was.  My personal interests, ethics and morals will not change. I am currently under a doctor's care and have had all my lab work done to see if I'm healthy. I am also seeing a therapist. Not only did my lab work come back all clean, I found out that I have high testosterone levels naturally on my own. In fact the doctor asked if I was already taking testosterone. I wasn't. This result made my happy because it proved a point. My biology is a little different, and lends itself to the fact that I already am a little bit more male. 


A few things I'd like YOU to know:

1) I define my sexuality and my gender on my own. No one else can do that for me, and just because you know another trans person who does things one way doesn't mean that is the only way.
2) I may be the only transgender person you know, but that doesn't make me the spokesperson for transgendered people. Just like music, I am interested to be kept aware about issues that matter to me (equal rights, reproductive right, animal rights) but ever since coming out about my transition everyone has been coming to me with transgender news, hoping to hear what I have to say. I find it very strange. While I appreciate the enthusiasm, I encourage everyone to go on about their usual business. Hey, there are no rules, you can be whoever you want. And even if there were "rules" why would that matter? Be yourself.
3) I am bigger than my gender. So are you, so are all of us. Who we ARE transcends male and female.
4) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are not the same thing.


Just treat me how you were treating me before.

2 comments :

Sam Wood said...

Nice FAQ! I think people can be afraid to ask just because it IS such a varied topic, and you don't know who invites questions and who doesn't. Like you said: one person will want things one way, another person won't. It's an area that doesn't have an established etiquette, because it kind of flies in the face of the NOTION of 'proper' etiquette.

And I so agree about the sex life question: inappropriate!
I don't ask hetero friends what they do in the bedroom-- well, unless they are really good friends and we already have those sorts of conversations. ;)

EvadneToki said...

Beautifully said :)