Monday, 5 December 2011

The lucky one

So last week my article, Being Ben was published in Filament Magazine. The article outlines a bit of my transition, how my family responded, how it has changed my views on gender, advice for friends of trans people, and people who may be thinking of transitioning. The photos and the article turned out great, and I am really excited about it.

I did the article for two reasons. The first is to help others. If I could help one person who was thinking of transitioning make the right decision for them, or if I could help one friend or family member of a trans person understand a bit of what it is all about, I'd feel it was worth it.

The second reason is probably a bit self gratifying. There is a certain freedom in 'coming out' to the world. Having the article out, in an international magazine, that many/most of my peer group read, was a way to get my story out there so everyone could see it, and I didn't have to explain it.

Over the past year, I have been coming out to friends, new and old. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I spent about 6 years being 'stealth'. In the closet. No one but my partners knew. I missed out on a lot, and it took a lot of my energy to keep it up.

I kept it up mostly due to fear and self-loathing. Fear of that people would think of me different if they knew, that they wouldn't want me, or that they would judge me. This fear has been widely unfounded, as my friends are awesome and no one has judged me or been anything other than supportive. Hell, not even supportive, just treated me normally. The self-loathing is a bit harder. Self-loathing in that I wasn't a real man, that I had something to hide, that I was less than, that my partners were settling, and secretly wanting the real thing. I don't feel that way anymore. I know who I am, I know what I have to offer to the world and I like that. I like me. I'm happy, really happy.

I wasn't always though. A friend posted a YouTube video this morning on Facebook that nearly had me in tears. It was like looking at 13 year-old me. The video can be seen here. It's only a few minutes long, so please watch it.

I was that kid. I started getting bullied at about 6 or 7. It didn't stop until I left highschool at 17. It was constant. It was from boys, from girls, even teachers. No one stood up for me, no one protected me, no one stopped it. I was different, which made me an easy victim. As a result, I acted out a lot, almost got sent to a special school for kids with behavioral problems. In my teens, I retreated even further into myself and took drugs and alcohol. A lot. I didn't go to prom, I didn't even go to my graduation, I was so happy to be away from there. I tried sports, I tried the military, I tried art. Nothing made it any better until I finally transitioned and moved away.

But watching this little boy's video, watching the tears and the pain, and remembering shedding those very same tears and the weight of that pain, I kind of wonder; How did I make it? With the media being abuzz with pre-teen suicides, and the It Gets Better campaign growing massive amounts of attention, I know that not all kids do. I wonder what was different about me, how I got through relatively unscathed, how I made it into adulthood largely successful, happy, loved.

I wish I knew what the magic formula was, as I would package it and send it out to every single one of those kids. No one should have to feel the way I did, the way the boy in that video does. Certainly not a child.

I made it, I don't really know how, but I did. I'm one of the lucky ones, and I count my blessings every single day.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Wants and Needs

This past New Years, I made a resolution to be less subtle, and ask for what I want. I have done fairly good at achieving this, and had some wonderful experiences that I would not have had if I had let my shyness prevail.

As I'm suddenly thrust into singledom again, a stark realisation has occurred to me. I've been learning to ask for what I want in the short term but I have been failing miserably at getting what I *need* in the long term. (Let me explain here, that I mean want/need in terms of relationships, sex and dating).

I'm not looking to any time soon, but at some point, I am going to start dating again. I'm a relationship type of person. I like being part of a couple, I like having a partner. I have had some pretty spectacular failings in relationships, but I am determined, that this time, I will have learned from those failings. I am slowly forming a figure in my head of what my perfect mate is, what I truly need from a person and a relationship. I thought I'd write it down, for posterity. (NB. I am using the word want below, but these things together all combine to be what I need in my next partner, also, this post is not to say that my previous partners didn't contain many of the below features).

I want to be chased, not to always be the one doing the chasing. I want to be cared for, even though I find it hard, and I in turn will care for them.

I want someone who has their shit together, to be strong, secure and independent. I don't want to be held accountable for the actions of my predecessors, or the daemons in their head, but accountable for my actions and my words.

I want them to have a life, ambitions, goals and dreams. I want them to be driven by passion and to have crazy things they cannot live without. I want them to take chances, to have life experience behind them and interesting stories to tell.

I want them to enjoy spending time with me, but not need to spend time with me. I want to be free to have fun with my friends, to meet new people and explore new things. I want to be trusted and respected. I want to be able to play with my friends or new people I meet and be open to potential, but to feel secure. I want to know who I go home to, and for them to know I will always go home to them.

I want to be a priority. I want to be the most important thing to someone else. I want to be considered first. I want them to never have to choose, but to know if they did, it would always be me.

I want someone to want to do bad things for me. I want to be good for them. I want them to not be able to keep their hands off me. I want them to wake up in the middle of the night wanting me, and I want them to take me. And, I want to be able to do the same to them.

I want to make them smile. I want them to be excited to see me. I want them to be proud to call me their partner. I want to be shown off to friends and family.

I want to be supportive, and a shoulder to cry on, but not to be constantly firefighting. I want to reassure, but not be a source of validation.

I want to be surprised. I want to be treated. I want the little things, the secrets, the hidden notes, and spontaneity.

I want someone to want me to be better than I am, and I want someone who wants to be better than they are. And I want to enjoy that journey together, but knowing that neither of us can change the other, we can just be the reason for the change.

Most of all, I want stability, comfort and love.

Will I find all these things in one person? Who knows. But I know I won't stop looking for them, because my heart needs what my heart needs.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

How To Make Love To A Trans Person

I came across this through a friend's tumblr, and was overcome with how beautifully written it is. I felt I had to share it with you all. I hope you all read it, and share it with your friends too.


By Gabe Moses

Forget the images you’ve learned to attach
To words like cock and clit,
Chest and breasts.
Break those words open
Like a paramedic cracking ribs
To pump blood through a failing heart.
Push your hands inside.
Get them messy.
Scratch new definitions on the bones.

Get rid of the old words altogether.
Make up new words.
Call it a click or a ditto.
Call it the sound he makes
When you brush your hand against it through his jeans,
When you can hear his heart knocking on the back of his teeth
And every cell in his body is breathing.
Make the arch of her back a language
Name the hollows of each of her vertebrae
When they catch pools of sweat
Like rainwater in a row of paper cups
Align your teeth with this alphabet of her spine
So every word is weighted with the salt of her.

When you peel layers of clothing from his skin
Do not act as though you are changing dressings on a trauma patient
Even though it’s highly likely that you are.
Do not ask if she’s “had the surgery.”
Do not tell him that the needlepoint bruises on his thighs look like they hurt
If you are being offered a body
That has already been laid upon an altar of surgical steel
A sacrifice to whatever gods govern bodies
That come with some assembly required
Whatever you do,
Do not say that the carefully sculpted landscape
Bordered by rocky ridges of scar tissue
Looks almost natural.

If she offers you breastbone
Aching to carve soft fruit from its branches
Though there may be more tissue in the lining of her bra
Than the flesh that rises to meet it, Let her ripen in your hands.
Imagine if she’d lost those swells to cancer,
A car accident instead of an accident of genetics
Would you think of her as less a woman then?
Then think of her as no less one now.

If he offers you a thumb-sized sprout of muscle
Reaching toward you when you kiss him
Like it wants to go deep enough inside you
To scratch his name on the bottom of your heart
Hold it as if it can-
In your hand, in your mouth
Inside the nest of your pelvic bones.
Though his skin may hardly do more than brush yours,
You will feel him deeper than you think.

Realize that bodies are only a fraction of who we are
They’re just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts
And honestly, they can barely contain us
We strain at their seams with every breath we take
We are all pulse and sweat,
Tissue and nerve ending
We are programmed to grope and fumble until we get it right.
Bodies have been learning each other forever.
It’s what bodies do.
They are grab bags of parts
And half the fun is figuring out
All the different ways we can fit them together;
All the different uses for hipbones and hands,
Tongues and teeth;
All the ways to car-crash our bodies beautiful.
But we could never forget how to use our hearts
Even if we tried.
That’s the important part.
Don’t worry about the bodies.
They’ve got this.


Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tears for fears

I thought it fitting that the only post I have left on this blog be about my desire and inability to cry. It allows me to segway easily into this next chapter.

Last night I cried, I cried on Sunday past as well, for very different reasons. Last night I cried in a busy late-night restaurant, in the company of two fantastic friends, and after several cocktails has been imbibed. But, I cried.

The tears were linked to something that is a quite deep and core issue for me, and that is the feeling of not being wanted. It stems for my childhood; from abandonment issues to do with my mother, school-yard bullies and being an 'ugly kid', being awkward and confused as a teen.

These feelings have prevailed into my adult life as well and have manifested themselves quite neatly in my kink life. I'm a switch, a true switch I would say. I couldn't chose between roles, nor do I have a preference. Well, no, that is untrue. I probably prefer to Top, but some of that preference is out of self preservation and convenience.

When I was a teenager (literally, the month I turned 18) I began a D/s relationship with a much older person that was possibly the most satisfying and intense relationship I had ever had. Through my submission to this person, I felt whole and fulfilled. It went on and off for about 6 years (all but 1 year of it being long-distance, and secondary), and eventually ended for reasons to complex to discuss here.

Since then, with the exception of a few scenes and 'mucking about' sprinkled over the years, I have not subbed. At all. For a while I didn't want to, or didn't want to admit I wanted to, but for the last two years, I have not just wanted it, I have craved it to my bone.

The really hard part has been in finding a suitable dominant partner. Well, a dominant partner full-stop. I have had some offers for play here and there, and I know I have some lovely friends who I could have a lot of fun with, but what I am craving is much more than that.

I want to be wanted, to be needed, to be owned and to be used. I don't just want a flogging in a noisy club, I want someone to call me theirs and be proud of me. I want to adore, to serve, to offer myself up, and to be safe. And well... that is pretty darn hard to find, especially as a submissive male.

The tears last night were a bit self-indulgent, and I look back feeling like that response was a bit ungrateful. Ungrateful for the loving and wonderful partners I have, my amazing friends, and the play that I do get. Yet, the tears flowed from a place deep inside where a little boy full of fear and sadness just wonders why no one wants him, why he isn't good enough, why so many people around him get that, and he doesn't.

I know when the time and the circumstances are right, I'll find my Dominant, and they will love and cherish me, control and torment me, and be proud to call me their own. In the meanwhile, I need to focus on making myself as good as I can, and to enjoy the amazing plethora of people and experiences I have in my life.

And probably shed a few tears.