this will change in a few months when i have multiple papers due within the same week

“With a beard or without, with breasts or without, in flannel or in skirts, I am female and I will never let anything or anyone try and take that away from me again.”

Submission by @questiontransition

28 years old, Maine

When I was little, I did all the gender expected things that little girls are “supposed” to do like wear dresses and try on my mom’s make up, but I was also really active and climbed trees, played with my brothers in the mud, and played soccer. I was always wanting to pretend to be the boy when I would play with my friends, and I eventually fell out of my love of feminine things to instead embrace everything more masculine. I liked how the girls around me would accept it when I was pretending to be a boy and I felt like that made me feel more real.

When I was in middle school, I realized I was attracted to my female friends the way my male friends were attracted to them, and I started to feel really out of place. I hit puberty and I hated the way my body changed, I despised my period as any sane girl would. I had cut my waist length hair up to my ears and it didn’t take very long to start getting homophobic slurs thrown my way and people avoiding being my friend. While I found a girlfriend in high school who loved me for who I was, she was only just starting to settle into her sexuality and so she was shy about public affection or really being proud of telling people we were together.

I felt very isolated and I had started to really experience what I would later know was dysphoria, especially the larger my breasts grew and the more men started to give me attention. I was 15 when I had to do a research paper for my AP Psychology class based on any topic I wanted. I had wanted to do something related to the LGBT community and it was then that I decided to do research on the T part of that acronym and really try and figure out what it was about. As I looked up information on Gender Identity Disorder, as it was then called, and read personal stories, I started to see myself in more of them. Maybe not the knowledge of from birth, but certainly the desire to be a man, the discomfort in my gender role, the hatred of my female body. I was certain this was who I was.

I’ve been in therapy since I was a kid due to childhood abuse from my father and a traumatic divorce between my parents, so I started to discuss these thoughts with my therapist. Even over a decade ago, she was ready to tell me that I absolutely was trans from everything that I was telling her, and that the childhood wishes didn't really have to be a part of it - my current clear body dysphoria coupled with my constant desires to be a man were solid enough for her. As I was just a kid and I did not want to come out about it to my parents, I didn’t pursue any adolescent transition. My girlfriend and close friends were the only ones I came out to and I started to use he/him pronouns to see how it felt.

I was 19 when I moved away from my home in the mid atlantic to New England. Being so far away from home, I started to change my pronouns with people I introduced myself with, and started to introduce myself by a masculine name. I hadn’t taken hormones, but trans awareness was starting to slowly come into the public, so people were understanding. I ordered a binder and a packer. I tried to deepen my voice. I watched YouTube videos and read advice blogs telling me to study other guys, to talk with a deeper voice, to walk like a guy, to take up more space, to change the inflection of my words, to be more aggressive, to play more sports and stop doing all the “girly shit” I was more fond of like sewing and baking. I came out to my family - my mother didn’t care, my father was expectedly an asshole, but my aunt said something that would always stick with me; “Oh, I knew you had to be trans - you never liked make up or gossip or any of the stuff normal girls like. I knew you had to be a boy.”

By the time I reached my early 20s, I had decided I wanted to pursue transition. Through help from the Tumblr trans community, I found a doctor who only needed inform consent rather than multiple letters from therapists because I thought easier meant they were more accepting, that there was less “gatekeeping.” I got on hormones within a month of my 25th birthday. Two years later, I was able to get chest surgery. I changed my name. I changed my gender marker. I had thousands of followers watching my transition, pushing me along the way, congratulating every “brave” step I took, telling me how incredible I was, how handsome I was, how perfect I was. Sure I got the occasional hatred from bigoted jerks looking to get a rise out of me, but I was seen as a hero to so many more.

My girlfriend from high school ended up becoming my wife, we decided to start a family. It was around that time that I had started to really question what it meant to be a man or a woman. I couldn’t get her pregnant because I didn’t have the right reproductive organs - if I was a man, that should have been something I could do. My dysphoria worsened and I started to feel depressed. I had no one in the lesbian community to talk about our pregnancy journey with, no same sex couples to really connect to, and opposite sex couples wouldn’t have understood my needs. I started to realize that my sense of self was not actually that of a man, that I would never be a straight man, and my brain couldn’t wrap around it because of years of exposure to the constant rhetoric that trans men are men, men don’t all have penises, men are men if they feel it. 

The idea of trans without dysphoria had led me to the “truscum” community, which eventually led me to the radfem and gender critical communities. I had been taught to despise these people by the trans community on and off Tumblr, but I had started to see how many opinions we had that overlapped, and the concerns of gender I’d had since my wife got pregnant actually addressed. These ideas were so much more real, so much more factually backed, and not relying on feelings or senses of self. I started to realize my desire to be a man may have been my fear of being a butch lesbian, that internalized misogyny and homophobia could have been the cause for all of the feelings I’d had.

It’s only been a few months in which I’ve finally really accepted the idea of detransitioning. I stopped taking T about 3 weeks ago, my wife and I have had long talks about the idea of my socially detransitioning as well as medically. What it might mean, how it might effect us, what her parents will say, what my parents will say, how our friends will react. My mother knows and is fully supportive. I haven’t told most of my friends, too afraid of how they might react right now. I’m easing my way in, wetting my feet, trying to slowly remind myself what being a woman really means and trying not to regret the steps I took to survive in a time when I didn’t know any better. 

With a beard or without, with breasts or without, in flannel or in skirts, I am female and I will never let anything or anyone try and take that away from me again.

requested by anon and youchanged-me // my bullet journal layout

note: my way of using the bullet journal is pretty minimal, in the sense that I really don’t have much else in my journal apart from the “essentials” (ie. my tasks/ideas, etc.) i personally cannot just whip out v cute drawings/doodles, and i find that trying to do so often leads me to spend more time on my bullet journal instead of actually doing the things i wrote down! so it’s pretty bare in that sense - but if you can be v cute and creative then kudos to you and your talents that i am envious of. also, i’m sorry it took so long for me to get this up guys! these past few days have not been kind to me, but i hope this can help you guys at least a little bit ^-^ 


INDEX

  • Although I never created a true “index” for myself when I first began (ie. writing it down at the front of my journal), I kind of just found a system that works for me along the way. But for the purpose of this post, I wrote it down for you guys on a post-it note to show what I use for entries etc.

MONTHLY OVERVIEW

  • Instead of drawing a monthly calendar for myself, I decided early on that I would rather print out a calendar online. Partially because I just like the look of some online printable better, and also because I would waste way too much time trying to sketch the calendar perfectly.
  • Having the paper calendar taped inside of my bullet journal is also a really nice, quick way for me to see how many pages I used each month!
  • Apart from this calendar, I also like to make a list of monthly goals I want to complete! (I forgot to take a picture of this sorry guys! but you can see a glimpse of what it looks like here) More details on how I structure my to-do list will be further down in the post~

WEEKLY TO-DO LISTS

  • After creating a monthly overview, I like to make a list of goals that I want to complete within that one week. I make sure that my goals correspond to the tasks I set out for myself for the month!

DAILY ENTRIES

  • Okay so for daily entries, I’ve had multiple multiple layouts over the past three month - all of which are documented here on my tumblr heh. But recently, I’ve found a system that I think works the best for me when I crave structure and I think it could work during the school year as well!
  • Here is an example of what a daily entry would look like. This is the one I made for today! As you may or may not be able to tell, this one in particular begins at 11:30AM because I went running this morning.
  • The first thing I do is title each page.
  • Then I create a daily to-do list of the tasks that I want to get done today. I actually section off my tasks by subject/topic, and I list subtasks underneath each one. It helps my mind stay clear as well haha.
  • After that, I write out a schedule using specific times for when I want to start each project. This works the best for me when I feel like I need more structure in my day.
  • For this week, I’ve actually been using a colorful gel pen to write the date, headings, and time stamps. However, I have used just my basic blue & black ballpoint pens for the same layout in the past, and it works just as fine. I just wanted to switch things up a bit and introduce a little more color again!
  • Here is an example of an entry with only the schedule and no to-do list. This was from when I first started wanting that structure, and I just kind of wrote down whatever tasks I knew I really wanted to get done that day!
  • I actually wrote a little reflection/journaled a bit beneath the schedule because I had some space left over and it’s nice writing down things you’re grateful for! ^-^
  • And depending on whether or not I leave enough space on the left margin, sometimes I’ll make a check mark next to the time to indicate whether or not I worked on that task. Then at the end of the day, I’ll go back to the top of the page and fill in/cross-off/migrate the original list!

Annnnnd that’s pretty much it! These are the basics as to how I’ve been (recently) using my bullet journal during the summertime. I anticipate that the format will change slightly once school begins, due to the nature of having structured classes, but I’ll just adjust when I need to~ It really just takes a lot of experimentation to find a system that works best for you! GOOD LUCK FRIENDS (◡‿◡✿)

anonymous asked:

I leave for school soon. Any tips you've got?

GO TO CLASS. You cannot learn if you aren’t there. Fun anecdote: When I was in law school, we all have this big paper thing called a brief due at the same time. It’s worth like a third of your final grade so the week before it was due, no one slept. It was turned in the first class of the day so a lot of people went home. Well our afternoon professor walked in to approximately twelve people in a classroom made (and usually full) for fifty. So, she made a note of everyone that was there. The next class, she relentlessly called on people who didn’t show up and since I showed up, I didn’t get called on for the rest of the year. Undergrad professors do things like that too. They’ll also give answers to tests on days when few people show up and once I got my FINAL grade bumped up three points because I was one of two people that showed up to class the day after a test. Seriously, go to class.

CARRY FOOD AROUND WITH YOU EVERYWHERE. Get a cliff bar or whatever kind of granola/nutrition bar you like and keep a few in your backpack. You never know what is going to make you late to class or have to skip lunch. There might be some cool thing that you heard of right before lunch that you want to go check out. Class is a bitch when you’re hungry and you won’t retain as much.

EXPLORE YOUR CAMPUS. I’m a naturally curious person so I had my campus mapped out by sight within the first month. However some people aren’t. I understand that, but you’d be surprised the cool things you can find if you just wander around. I have been able to point people to empty computer labs, nice study locations, shortcuts, and a pool no one really knew about. If you have time to do it before classes start, that’s great. To all your classes before the first day if you can. It eases a little just starting school panic. That way you know exactly where they are and how long it takes you to get there. 

JOIN CLUBS. I am not a social person by any means. I’m not a people person, but I am a person who does occasionally need social interaction. I guarantee that there is a club for you. There’s gaming clubs, athletic clubs, poker clubs, pre-professional clubs, social clubs, and there is probably a quidditch team. Join the clubs that you like. It’s the easiest way to find people that like the same things you do.

FIND A GOOD STUDY SPOT. Finding a good study spot takes some time. Some people study best in the library. Some people study best in the coffee shop on campus. Some people study best in the park. It all depends on what you like. 

STUDY. For the love of god study.

TALK TO YOUR PROFESSOR. They also make note of who talks to them outside of class and after class. When your grade is a 89.47 at the end of the semester and they remember that you participated in class or even just approached them outside of class, that 89.47 will very likely become a 90. Also you never know when you need a letter of recommendation from a professor. Make sure at least one of them knows you. 

DO NOT EAT TACO BELL FOR SEVEN DAYS IN A ROW. If you don’t know how to cook, now is a good time to start. These days the freshmen fifteen is more like the freshmen twenty. Eating better will help you concentrate more and you’ll have more energy. Watch the cooking channel and try new things. There are hundreds of websites about cooking on a budget, even a college budget. And try new kinds of food. Try new restaurants. That is what college is about expand your mind.

READ AT LEAST TWO BOOKS THAT ARE NOT REQUIRED A SEMESTER. Read Slaughterhouse-Five. Reread Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Read Atlas Shrugged. Read Carrot Top’s Autobiography. I don’t care what it is. Just read something. When things are stressful, I cannot even begin to tell you how comforting your favorite book (new or old) can be. 

KEEP A LIST OF IMPORTANT DATES. I did not. I got an incomplete in Freshmen Comp II because I mixed up my work and final schedule because I refused to write things down. DO NOT BE ME.

KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR. You’re going to have roommates you don’t get along with. You’re going to have mean professors. Remember that it’s all temporary and this is a part of your life that you’ll never get back. Make the best of it. Smile at people. Skateboard to class. Whatever makes you happy. 

REMEMBER THAT IT’S OKAY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND AND THERE ARE PEOPLE TO HELP YOU. If you’re starting to feel like Accounting isn’t going to be what you thought, go talk to a counselor. That’s what they’re there for. They can give your your options and maybe you’ll find out that changing to Fiance is just as doable and you won’t have wasted any of your credits by changing majors. Talk to your professors who have actual work experience in that field if you’re having doubts. Make informed decisions. 

GET HELP. If you’re just not getting the hang of studying, most universities offer some kind of free tutoring. Go to that. If you’re feeling mentally unwell, most universities have counselors for that too. There are support groups for multiple things. Everyone needs help sometimes. Don’t be afraid to ask.