joshua trees at dusk

9

Week 90

For those of you who don’t know me, I put a lot of faith in energy and vibrations. This is my kind of spirituality that goes alongside many philosophical inklings. If you follow numerology, you’ll know that the number 90 is sacred. 90 marks an ending so that other things can begin. And here we are: my last transition update post.

When I started this blog, I intended to record my thoughts and feelings around transitioning for one year in order to triangulate my PhD research with autoethnography. In more common speak, I wanted to see how my process of talking about being trans was influenced (or not) by the conversations occurring in popular culture around the topic. At the 52 week mark, I felt that I had much more to say.

Over the course of 90 weeks, I’ve published essays, co-produced and hosted a VICE documentary about trans healthcare, won a major Canadian scholarship, taught two university classes, launched a queer comedy web series, and spoke before dozens of audiences.

During the past 90 weeks, I’ve also hiked through Joshua Tree National Park and walked the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk. I’ve formed relationships with radical queer and trans activists and academics. I received heartfelt emails from trans people and their parents across the globe.

Some weeks were splattered with tears. Like the time when internet trolls feasted on me in the CBC comment section. Or when I realized the weight of institutional red tape when trying to access documentation, hormones, and surgery. Sadness also seeped in from the greater well. Trans women of colour were murdered at the highest rate on record this year. Orlando rattled a fear in me. The reality of these situations yet again urged me to confront my whiteness. To sit with it. To educate myself and other white folks on the damages of ignorance and short-sightedness. Orlando reminded us that hatred is ahistorical. So did the American election.

Just a few months into my transition, I met someone who inspired the greatest love I’ve ever known in me. Since then, she and her beautiful, loving, and gifted son, have taught me the expansive quality of care. During this time, I’ve grown closer to my immediate family. They trusted their desire to protect and love me more than their fear of not knowing anything about transgender people. We work at staying open and they see that I am happy.

In loving myself, I find that I produce more energy. As a community, trans and queer activists in my hometown kicked the government’s ass during these past 90 weeks. We pressed until they passed legislation to grant us the healthcare we require. We fought hard for the right to have our gender markers changed (shout out to Gloria and Billie who worked overtime in this area).

Thank you to the people who read my words regularly. Your safety net allowed me to explore the deluge of questions brought on during my earlier days of transition. With confidence, I can say that I will have many more questions about gender and my relationship to it in the future. These thoughts will likely find form in academic articles, or flicker through creative essays and stories.

I intend to leave this blog up in its present form until I finish my PhD in 2018. In doing so, I hope it helps those who stumble upon it. Let my words serve as supporting evidence that there are multiple, wonderful trans narratives in circulation. May my experiences offer additional proof that nonbinary people do exist. Indeed, we always have. The internet has been a place of homecoming for many people in the trans and nonbinary community. It’s a place where we can announce ourselves and find each other, no longer hidden under hegemony. As I follow the journeys of other trans people on social media, who identify between and beyond the binary, I feel fuller and trust that I have so much left to learn.

xo

AJ

Check out my 90 week transformation video.

P.S. If you want to stay connected, Instagram and Twitter are the best places to find me.