3 Year Manniversary: Perseverance.

Today, on this day, I leaped onto an unfamiliar path.

On this day, three years ago, I walked into a “hospital for special surgery” in Florida. I had what felt like the weight of the world on my chest. I knowingly trusted a stranger with the task of eradicating it. Before this day was over, this weight, this burden had been lifted.

Many of us trans-masculine folx walk into our surgeries expecting a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. For many of us, including me, this does partially ring true. Yet we fail to realize the bigger picture that lies before us.

Unknowingly, I had stepped into a realm I was unacquainted with, a realm with many consequences. I lived in a world of black, and envisaged transitioning into a world of white. I never anticipated existing in a domain of constant grey. I hadn’t taken the time to grasp onto the fact that social changes would come about as a result of having surgery and deviating away from the gender I was born at birth.  I didn’t comprehend what social implications were attached to identifying as a person of trans* experience. I had yet to unpack the innumerable nuances experienced by trans* people in general or and tackle them head on. I expected to undergo surgery, and to live free of any more burdens.

The universe must have laughed at my naivety.

(Carmen Alexis Photography)

It’s only been 3 years, but during these very few years I have grown into a more informed person. My chest and appearance have granted me many privileges, although being an out trans* person presenting as androgynous has subjected me to a great deal of transphobia. I am learning how to navigate in a new body while also informing others about the extra strides trans* folx must take to be regarded as human. (Note my lack of the word “normal.”) I can now view the world from various perspectives, and am especially aware of the view from the bottom. My experiences are richer than ever and my interactions are full of color. There is never a dull moment. If the universe laughed at me before, I think now it may be applauding me and any other trans* people for our resilience to overcome various hindrances. Trans* folx are by far the strongest people I know. We stare death and walk without fear. 

I am thankful for both positive and negative experiences bound to me on this wild ride called transition. Without them, how could I have learned to persevere? What doesn’t kill me…. does indeed make me stronger.


#SAYHERNAME: Janet Mock remembers all 17 trans women killed this year
The number of trans women killed this year already exceeds the total amount of women killed in 2014. Learn more about their stories.

Just me and janetmock, y’all! She’s incredible … And she recognized me when I gave my name. Then someone else recognized me from YouTube. Then someone else randomly told me I’m gorgeous.

That’s it. Today’s over. It can only go down from here!

Also, big congratulations to smartassjen for putting together a fantastic event on short notice and with limited resources.

These spaces, even though they’re supposed to be welcoming, safe spaces, they still are infected by the ills that all other spaces are - racism and misogyny and elitism and classism, academia jargon and all of this stuff. These spaces aren’t immune. If you come into these spaces knowing that and your job is to come in and make it a better space.
—  janetmock on finding community as a trans person, especially when not all LGBTQ spaces are inclusive to trans people. Listen at wearecitizenradio.com or on tumblr here.

Everyone knows I’m the biggest fan of #OITNB but this needed to be said. So many #GirlsLikeUs are being tortured and raped in MALE prisons like #AshleyDiamond and #Justice4Jane. Thank you @JanetMock for using this moment to show millions of people the reality many of us face! #JanetMock #RedefiningRealness #SoPopular #SayHerName #SandraBland #Nerdland #BlackLivesMatter

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I actually think Janet Mock is this super cool liberal who is totally trying really hard to come to terms with the fact that her own experience with other trams women and people is forcing her to go radical. I think watching that process is cool.
Also, she said something that will stay with me forever:

“When we think of trans women, we always think about the cece’s the Tina’s the ones in jail or already dead. We never think about how trans women and especially trans women of color that are still here. Still alive. What are you doing for them? Have you ever met one? Talked to one? Offered her your home? Your time? It’s funny because every one of you in this room has given a lot of time in thought and maybe organizing to dead trans women of color. Now do the same to the ones of us still here”

I don’t want any more of my sisters in holes in the ground.


Hey katblaque,

This is a kitten hugging a potato. This kitten is here because it sounds like you’re having a blah day today. I’m certain you already know this, but between your usual commenting, reading, youtubing, blogging, and overall butt-kicking online activity, it’s important to also check out cute cat images (or whatever self-care looks like for you).

After attending an inspiring janetmock talk last week, I’m reminded of her words about the importance of setting boundaries with ones work. She mentioned that none of us will ever be able to do all of the work. Burnout can happen unexpectedly if we forget to check in, especially for those who care deeply about the world around us. In my personal experience, I seem to easily forget this.

Anyways I’m sure you already know all this, or you wouldn’t be so wonderfully resilient in the face of haters, so I just want to say keep up the great work! I think you’re an inspiration, even to white male cissies like myself. I can only imagine how much more inspiring you are to girls and women with lived experiences similar to yours. Anyways, if life has left you feeling like a potato today, please remember to give yourself a hug, just like this kitten would, and/or reach out to those you can trust.