1. Today’s new books: Mommy, Mama, and Me, Jacob’s New Dress, Growing Vegetable Soup, and The Paper Bag Princess.

    Special thanks to crazylovewords for the recommendation of Jacob’s New Dress, this one looks great!  I will be sure to get a more detailed review up.

     


  2. Follower Follow-Up

    Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my question - marinaofthetrees, somamasays, moonboyandsungirl, ehbeesea3, togetbackhomeward, whispermewordsoflove, gracelizabeth09, themamalogues, kaybattle, ifjanetranit, thelionmommy, blackheartsandbliss, betsumei, lovemarriagebabycarriage, missbillythekidblog, raisingatimelord (I hope I got you all).  Will be trying out Xkit for a while and see how that helps things out in addition to just keeping a manageable following list (right now I am around 250).

    And in case anyone is curious, the average number you guys seem to be following is just shy of 300. 

     


  3. Tumblr Following Question

    I really like Tumblr most of the time, but I am trying to figure out how best to manage the number of people I am following and dash content.  I generally skim through/skip most reblogged content unless it really catches my eye, but I actually like to read through/respond to/at the very least “like” original content from people I follow.  But at some point I am positive that it might become somewhat unmanageable if I follow a large number of people.

    So I am curious, how many people do you follow on Tumblr? How do you manage your dash?  How much stuff/what kind of stuff do you actually engage with?  Do you follow everyone who follows you?  Just curious in general.

    In some ways I really wish you could set up some sort of tiers of followers, so that you would have a top tier of people that would always appear on your dash but then maybe a 2nd/3rd tier that you could check-in on more occasionally.  Anyone else feel this way?

     


  4. moonboyandsungirl asked: Hi I love your blog. I'm just starting out on my journey as a transman and due to certain obstacles it looks like I won't be able to get the things I need to start transitioning all the way and I've been really depressed about it. Do you have any advice on how to deal with being "in between" transitioning and not? What are your thoughts on natural transition for ftm's?

    Thanks!

    Since I am trans-feminine I will try to speak more generally about being “in between” rather than trying to speak for a trans-masculine perspective.

    Not everyone who is gender variant/non-comforming is trans, not everyone who identifies as trans transitions, and not everyone who transitions does it the same way or to the same extent.  No matter what keep reminding yourself that your path is completely valid, period.  There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that if you have not done x,y,z that you are not “really” a “man” or a “woman” and there are even plenty of trans people out there who feel like if you have not done x,y,z then you are not “really” trans.  If you identify as a man, you are a man.  If you identify as a woman, you are a woman.  If you identify as neither, both, or something else entirely - great!  Your identity is yours to own, as is your path in exploring that identity.

    But back more specifically to your question.  Being in between can be depressing.  There are challenges of navigating different spaces, figuring out where/how/when you can be out in certain ways, and just feeling incomplete at times.  That is rough.  On the other hand being in between can be empowering if you own your identity and can surround yourself with affirming/supportive people.  Transition should always be an available option, but it is not the holy grail of the trans experience.  I personally have contemplated transition seriously a number of times, but each time I come back to the realization that it is just what I need to be happy, for many reasons.

    You ask for my thoughts on a “natural” transition for an FtM.  But I would argue that transition is not about what is most natural, but rather what is most necessary to get you to a place of balance.  For me that has meant a lot of things - being more out and open, spending more time presenting as female (and being treated as such) in a wide variety of spaces, “bleeding” more femininity into my day-to-day self (essentially fuzzying up my public gender presentation more), using neutral titles as a parent (ie. baba), and little things like taking the time to shave my legs, paint my nails, and generally feel beautiful as myself.  While there are other things I might consider doing, like laser hair removal on my facial hair, something like gender confirmation surgery (aka. sexual reassignment surgery) feels wholly unnatural to my needs and desires.

    What I am trying to say, is that while you can look to others and more standard narratives for some common paths to take, your path is the right one to take no matter where it takes you.  If you can find a place of happiness without medical transition pieces then stay right there and live your life with pride!  If you find that is not what you need then it is just time to push forward and find the resources and the support to make the changes you need.  Neither path is the right or wrong one, the natural or unnatural one.

     


  5. poet-ofthe-deed asked: Hey there, I have a wee question for you. In your experience, when you came out, was there anything those you around did or could have done to make you feel more supported? My twin sister recently came out as trans to my family but gets uncomfortable if we mention it in any way. I love her and want to support her and would like to find a way to show it without pushing her beyond her comfort zone. Thanks!!

    This is an excellent question!

    My coming out process is/was a slow and gradual one, so by nature it is somewhat unique.  Coming out family and friends, especially early on in the process, I think I made the (in hindsight) mistake of not advocating as much for the things that would have been helpful to me.  In a lot of ways, because I was not/am not in the process of a classic transition exactly, I tried to make my coming out have the smallest possible impact on people in the hope that it would make the whole process easier/more palatable.  Given that virtually everyone I have come out to has been somewhere from tolerant to outright excited I probably had no need to do that.  So since my initial coming out, I have slowly started to advocate better for my own needs and feelings, and have generally still had a really positive response.  Being vocal about asking people to refer to me as “baba” rather than “dad” around Minky, spending more time with friends/family with a fully feminine presentation, and just actively talking more about trans things are some of the ways that I have been more “out” and authentic more recently.

    Your twin sister might be like me, hoping to keep things a little quieter and not ruffle any feathers.  And if that is what she really wants that is great, it is her decision ultimately.  But I would just make it clear to her that you really want her to be happy and whole, and that you are there to support her.  Listen to her and follow her cues.  But really the people who were most actively enthusiastic and supportive of me were the people I first really opened up to and was willing to be my authentic self (no matter what my presentation was gender-wise) with.  You do not need to push her but always reminding her that you are 100% behind her, and asking her if there are things that would help, is a big deal and will help her to feel like you are creating a safe-space for her to get what she needs.  It can be hard negotiating the coming out process, and just having that reassurance that it is all okay is a big deal.

     


  6. Anonymous asked: Hi! I've see a lot of post here on tumblr that refer to transgender people to "trans*", but someone told me that using the * isn't very good. Why is that?

    From my understanding trans* is derived from internet search functions.  Adding the asterisk to the end of a phrase opens it up for a wider search, so an internet search on trans* would return searches on transgender, transsexual (and also translate, transportation, etc.).  Essentially its a way of showing that transgender or trans are umbrella terms that include a lot of people whose gender expression does not fit with the gender assigned to them at birth.

    I have heard that some people dislike trans with an asterisk, but I am not aware of it being a widely problematic term.  I think the main concern some people might have is including people who are not trans identified (ie. androgynous or genderqueer) individuals under a trans* umbrella in contexts where that might not make as much sense.  At some point I will do a post on trans issues and language, but my general feeling is that trans (no asterisk) is probably the safest most universal term to use.  I generally only use trans* as a tag on posts.