Spilling the T: T meaning Terminology

Y’all ready to kiki and spill some tea, okurrrr?

No. I’m kidding. As much as I would love to explain the origins of AAVE, especially in relation to the queer black community, that’s for another post.

This post is going to be an introduction to the words that help define the existence of trans people. This will be helpful for anyone that’s just starting to transition and doesn’t yet have the words to describe how they feel, who they are, what they need, etc. It’s also aimed at educating cis-people who may not know some of these terms and want to gain some further understanding.

I’m going to try and keep it from being as dry as Aunt Brenda’s turkey dinner, but no goddamn promises. Read it anyway, learn you a thing. ❤

Let’s start with the absolute basics! What does TRANSGENDER mean?

This is the definition that is the first thing that pops up when you google it:

Trans·gen·der

/transˈjendər,tranzˈjendər/

adjective

  1. denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

Hm. Okay. That’s sort of it, but not perfect. Gonna need you to update, Googs.

Transgender is an umbrella term for anyone that does not identify as cisgender. This includes people who who are transmen, transwomen (like yours truly), and people who are non-binary/genderqueer/agender, and numerous others. It IS an adjective, which means that when Chad on Tinder tells you “I’VE NEVER BEEN WITH A TRANSGENDER BEFORE”, be sure to fucking correct the jackass. Likewise, calling someone “a trans” is equally incorrect.

So, I threw a bunch of other terms in there that you may not know–cisgender, transman, transwoman, non-binary, and genderqueer, but don’t worry, I’m here to clarify. These terms are just a selection of the ways that people under the umbrella of trans experience may identify, save for cisgender. Let’s start there.

Cisgender (or cis for short) is an adjective that just means “not trans”. Seriously, that’s it.

Becky w/Bad Hair: “BuT wHY dO wE NeeD a WeRD fOR NoRMal?”

Oh, fuck. It looks like she followed us from the safari. Ugh–I thought I wore enough bug spray, christ.

Well, Becky, since you’re delightfully here, let me tell you why–because calling someone who is cisgender “normal” or “real” delegitimizes trans people as “abnormal” or “fake”. While transpeople may not be what the media shows you every day, and you may believe that you’ve never encountered a transperson in your life, let me assure you–we are neither abnormal or uncommon. We’re just not cis. Thus why the word “cisgender” exists.

There are a lot of people who believe that the word “cis” or “cisgender” is an insult because it denotes a label on people who should be the standard. There is another word for these people other than cisgender too!

Transphobes. So instead of wasting time on them, let’s move on, shall we?

A Transman, or a transwoman, are words refer someone who identifies with a binary gender other than the one they were assigned at birth. Both are nouns.  Binary here refers to the two genders most of the world think as “standard” (aka, boring) of male or female. Generally, people who identify this way will use binary pronouns, such as she/her or he/his. Adjective versions of these would be transmale or transfemale.

Non-binary is an adjective which describes someone who identifies outside the “standard” (again, boring) gender binary. They might use any pronouns, depending on who they are as people, but common ones include they and ze/zir (pronounced zee and zir, respectively). People who are non-binary may also refer to themselves as Agenderor without gender. Some people use these terms interchangebly, but some do not.

Someone who is Genderqueer can use it to mean a number of things, ranging from how they express themselves (style), to whether they’re trans, so on and so forth. They may or may not identify as trans depending on how they feel or express themselves, but several of them do. Someone who is genderqueer may also be non-binary, or they may alternate pronouns depending on internal feeling.

There are many, many other ways of identifying beyond these, but for now, those are a pretty good basis to start.

Becky w/ Bad Hair: “BUT StEpHaNIe, thEre’S OnLY tWo GEndErS.”

One, Becklizabeth, no there isn’t. And two, my name isn’t fucking Stephanie. It’s Persephone. Get it right or you won’t be able to pronounce any names again, feel me? Don’t you have a manager to harass? Food to assault? A yoga class to attend?

*ahem* Anyway.

A common tactic you will encounter from transphobes is the argument that there are only two genders. These people generally don’t care about receiving any education in what it means to actually be trans, and aren’t usually worth explaining anything to. They’re also devoted to the concept that gender is only bindary instead of a unique experience for everyone. Therefore, they are boring.

Like, Becky here. As her main obsession in life is telling transwomen that they’re monstrous men out to rape women, she simply can’t devote her time to anything that would make her interesting as a person. Like a hobby. Like knitting those terrible pink pussy hats she’s so fond of wearing, or finding some of her own business to mind.

Becky w/bad hair: “Ur A FuKiN MaN, StEphAniE.”

…what did I tell you before, bitch?

Becky w/bad hair: “oH, i’M SoRRy, not StEpHaNie. uR ReAl name is P–”

*BANG*

So sorry about that, had to take out the trash before we can move forward. Please, do ignore the smoke coming off my shotgun–anti-TERF shells do produce some kickback.

Ignoring people like Becky–there is no wrong way to identify. Scientists, psychiatrists, and numerous other people with fancy degrees can all tell you that. It just seems to be people with no qualifications to talk about it that really like to complain. Simply put, if you don’t want to be an asshole, respect what someone tells you they identify as, and use the pronouns that they ask you to use. It costs zero dollars not to be a dick.

Beyond ways of identifying, there are a few other terms that you as a transperson might use, or that cis-people may hear your transfriends use.

HRT–Hormone Replacement Therapy. While not every transperson does hormone replacement, a lot of us do, and not just binary transpeople. This is the process by which trans people reduce the presence of their naturally produced hormones, and replace them with other ones, often the ones traditionally associated with their true gender. To simplify, for binary trans people, that means reducing Testosterone for transwomen, and replacing it with Estrogen. For transmen, it means reducing Estrogen, and replacing it with Testosterone. People who are non-binary may also choose to take hormones, but the choice is largely a personal one for every transperson.

There are a number of ways which HRT can be done, ranging from pills, to injections, to patches, etc. It’s basically a reeeeeallly really slow anime transformation.

Okay, not really, but I fucking wish it were.

T—no, not the kind you spill when talking about Aunt Brenda the Raisin Kween, but Testosterone. Many people who take testosterone will shorten it to “T” for the sake of ease. It also makes it a bit easier to talk about HRT when you may be in mixed company. Though some people who take Estrogen do shorten that to “E” as well, it is far less common, I’ve found.

Passing— this term comes with a deep, deep dramatic sigh from me, because it is such a goddamn problematic term, but it must be mentioned. “Passing” is when someone who is trans is indistinguishable from someone who is cis. Basically, that they don’t look trans to cis people, even though there is no way a transperson is meant to look.

This is one of my least favorite terms, because it comes with a number of problems. In the past, especially among those who are binary trans, the ultimate goal was to “pass” unseen, or being able to go “Stealth” among cispeople. In the last ten years or so, there has been a lot of pushback against this sort of thing, because trans people shouldn’t have to pass to have the right to exist. The subject deserves far more detail than it is getting here, and I will have a post on it sometime in the future.

Full-time: This term refers to transpeople that have fully come out of the closet in most, if not all, aspects of their life. While some may not be able to do so for personal or professional reasons, going full-time is often the goal of many transpeople, because it means living 100% of your life as your most authentic self.

AMAB/AFAB: These terms are acroynms. AMAB is short for “Assigned Male at Birth”, and AFAB is “Assigned Female at Birth”. These are used by transpeople to define the conditions of their birth and what their doctor marked on their birth certificate based on sex markers. You should use these terms instead of things like “when you were a boy” or “their real gender”, both of which delegitimize trans experience.

Binding/Tucking: These terms refer to techniques by which transpeople reduce the presence of certain sex markers–namely breasts and AMAB genitalia, respectively. Binding flattens and smoothes the appearance of breasts, and is often done by transmen and non-binary AFAB people. To do it safely, a proper binder should be used, never tape or bandages. Tucking, on the other hand, reduces the appearance of AMAB genitalia through a number of techniques. Cispeople should not really point out or ask about either. Ever.

That covers the basics! Obviously there are other terms that come up when it comes to trans terminology, but this is a good base to start from. In the future, I will definitely be posting more about the language trans people use to define ourselves and our world.

As a quick logistics note–the blog will be on hiatus until January 7th for the holidays. It was originally going to be until the 2nd, but I need the extra time to build up a buffer of posts, so all of you don’t go without your necessary weekly quota of yours truly. I promise, updates will begin again on that date, as I still have a lot of things to say here.

Until then–have a wonderful holiday season and I’ll see you in the New Year!

Becky w/bad hair: i’M sTilL…aLiVe.

*bang*

*bang bang*

Always double tap, my friends.


Special thanks to our newest Patreon Supporter–Larisa E.! If you’d like to support the blog, you can do so through http://www.patreon.com/thebrokeasstranswoman

Transphobe Safari!

Well, g’day mates! Welcome to another fun-filled episode of “Hunting Transphobes”. I’m your host, Safari Director Valentine, who will guide you through the terrors of the wasteland known as “The Internet”.

Please make sure to buckle your seatbelts and to keep all extremities within the vehicle at all times. Transphobes have been known to bite, and also known to kill indiscriminately when they become scared, aroused, or otherwise agitated. They are, after all, the reason why I and many other black transwomen have a life expectancy of 35! Please also make sure to sign your waivers–you can find them beneath your seats!

We’ve got a few stops to make, so make sure you’ve gone to the bathroom–I will not be cleaning up your mess when you get scared.

  1. The TERF

Ahhh, first we find ourselves deep in cyber-suburbia, where white picket fences form lines like the Mason-Dixie, and property laws exclude anyone with a skin tone darker than tea. Where perfectly manicured lawns form artificial pathways, and no cars were purchased prior to 2016!

It is here that we seek our first quarry–the TERF.

Becky w/Bad hair: “ThEre’S OnLY tWo GEndErS!!!!”

Ah! I believe we’ve found one–listen to her cry, how it grates on the ears! A prime specimen.

The common TERF, or Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist can be identified in a number of ways. Whether it’s the pink pussy hat crowning a head of greasy straw-colored hair, or by repeating outdated feminist rhetoric from the 1960s, they will usually make themselves known as soon as they open their mouths.

This one is the most common form–the Becky. A late 20s-to-mid 40s white woman with nothing better to do with her time than be concerned about what’s in the pants of the people around them. She’ll attend women’s marches, will campaign for equal pay for equal work, and likely voted for Hillary in the last primary–but as soon as you mention a transwoman, her jaws will unhinge and her eyes will go white with rage.

These are the same women that you will see posting on facebook about trying to peek into bathroom stalls when they suspect a transwoman is using the same bathroom as them. They’re the ones that cry that transwomen are all men just trying to get into their pants, and that we will attack them at the drop of a hat.

Becky w/Bad Hair: “I DoN’T WAnT MeN in my ToiLEt.”

Oh, believe me, Becky, I suspect actual men want nothing to do with your toilet, which I assume is what you call your mouth with all the shit coming out of it.

Creatures like Becky are very invested in excluding transwomen from any feminist rhetoric, though often they argue in favor of transmen because they still see them as women. Which…the leaps of logic here are both appalling and fascinating to study.

These creatures are dangerous because their backwards ways of thinking contribute to the stigma against transwomen and transpeople in general, and make us out to be liars. Because while Becky thinks she’s protecting herself and her fellow “real” women from a bunch of men in skirts, what they’re really doing is using misogyny to define what is and isn’t a woman, entirely based on what’s between our legs.

Becky w/Bad Hair: “UR a FUCKinG MAN.”

How delightful! As much as I would love us to stay here and watch as she starts to foam at the mouth, let’s move on.

2. The Common Troll

And now, my friends, we delve away from cyber-suburbia and into the general public known as “The Comments”. This is a common area that many of you may have visited, but not quite in the way you might on the latest youtube slime video.

You see, posts, videos, and articles that focus on trans experience draw a lot of attention, both positive and negative, and if the comment sections are to be believed, mostly negative. That’s because it’s here that we find one of the loudest groups of transphobes–The Common Troll.

Unlike their mythological counterparts, Internet Trolls, by-and-large, look like every day people, though many of them may be in serious need of a shower. For the most part, this group is made up of men, many of whom like to comment on articles about Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner with “She’s a man” and “Can’t fool me”, as if either of them had any interest in any part of their existence.

Ah, I do believe I see one now! A reminder–please keep all of your extremities within the vehicle at all times. Most trolls are toothless, impotent fucks, but they do occasionally bite!

MuscleDick69: “HURRR, UR A TRANNY FUCK. BROFIST.”

Charming, isn’t he? Note the greasy hair and general patina of filth that covers his pasty, skeletal manflesh. This one is deep into his path–underneath the odor, I’m sure you’ll note the undertones of ongoing virginity.

MuscleDick69: “I’ll fuck all you hoes–none of you want to date me because I’m too much alpha male.”

Yes, I’m sure that’s it, MuscleDick69. No doubt it could not be that you need a shower, professional help in the grooming department, and that you post misogynistic bullshit all over the internet.

Make no mistake–the Common Troll aren’t just a transphobic, but also just plain misogynist! While all transphobia has a basis in misogyny, these creatures tend to double or even triple down on gobbling up all that thick, delicious sexism like the semen off of Chuck Norris’s dick.

MuscleDick69: “ALL FUCKING TRANNIES NEED TO BE SHOT.”

Oooh, threats. I’m sure they’re as effective as your pick-up lines, you adorable, unwashed creature. Bless. Sadly, we cannot spend more time with our friend, as we have one more stop to make on this first journey.

3. Alpha Bros

Welcome to the section of the internet that is home to CrossFit, pre-workout, and far too much tanning lotion! Here we find the distant cousin of the Common Troll–the Alpha Bro.

Don’t let the overwhelming aura of homoeroticism fool you, this much-larger subspecies is almost entirely homophobic and lacking in self-awareness. They’re also, you guessed it, transphobes too! Almost as if there’s a running theme to this journey.

You see, where the Common Troll often barks out that he is an alpha male unappreciated by society, Alpha Bros actually try to embody that. Through steroids, weight-lifting and an impressive level of vanity, they hope to entice any semi-attractive women to their beds by using their bodies to cover up their complete lack of a personality!

Chad: “Can you spot me, bro?”

Ahhh, we found one. Look at his plumage–typically, creatures of this species wear brightly covered tanktops that largely fail to cover their nipples, if they wear a shirt at all!

Chad: “Woah, what a babe. You come here often?”

Wait, is he talking to me?

Chad: “You know it, sweet cheeks. You get a load of these guns?”

…he…he’s kissing his muscles now. Oh, dear. Well! This presents a prime opportunity! Allow me to show you the true depths of transphobia that runs through this group–you sir, if you would hold my hat? Thank you. Please remain seated, this could go badly.

“Chad, was it?”

Chad: “How’d you know, babe?”

“It’s on your trucker hat. Listen, you think I’m hot?”

Chad: “Fuck yeah.”

“Well, I’m trans.”

Oh my, that is an interesting shade of red. Oh dear, is that vein in his forehead going to explode?

AND WE’RE GETTING BACK IN THE VEHICLE AND GOING PEOPLE. FLOOR IT, LILY, I’M TOO PRETTY TO GET A BLACK EYE.

…are we away? Phew.

You see, Alpha Bros pride themselves on what they believe is a purity of masculinity. That they, essentially, are the gods that men are meant to be, without any question. This sort of toxic ideal leads to an internal crisis at anything that causes them to question themselves– Could I be gay? Am I attracted to a transwoman?”.

This can lead to reactions much like you saw in Chad, he of many muscles and so much rage. My, he was angry, wasn’t he?

Like the Common Troll, these men will often state, usually without prompting, how unattractive they find trans people. Actually, they bring it up so often, I can only assume that their obsession shows in their internet history, where they beat it to trans porn and have an impending crisis of self.

In situations where they’re suddenly confronted with a transperson they do, in fact, find attractive, they will at best stutter and deny it, and at worse, attempt to strangle us in their meaty paws, and not in the fun way.  For this reason they are often the most dangerous of the three I’ve shown you here, and I strongly recommend that you approach with caution–unless of course you have a magical get-away car.

And that brings us to the end of our first foray into the transphobes of the internet! It has been a pleasure being your host and risking life and limb alongside you. Remember darlings, you don’t owe a transphobe anything–your time, an explanation, hell, you don’t even owe them a glance.

Until next time, this has been “Hunting Transphobes”. Toodles!

 

Special shout out to our newest Patreon supporters, Monica M., Peter H., Sean, Shaye R, and Stephanie M! Thank you for all your support.

If you wish to support the blog, please check out our Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/thebrokeasstranswoman

Good Enough to Ghost

CW: This post is NSFW, and has graphic description of sexual acts and feelings of worthlessness. Read at your own discretion.

 

Adam always took me on the couch. I’d never seen his room, never stepped further in than the one room of his apartment that made up the kitchen and living room. I’d only ever gotten a glimpse of it when the door was cracked–a small look at white walls and mussed blue bedsheets.

I wasn’t allowed in there. The bedroom was a sanctuary, only for women who could spend the night and wake up in those sheets. It was for women were worthy of more, who could spend more time in his life than a few seedy hours. It was a place for anyone but me, all brown-skinned and hard angles, my breasts, at the time, barely more than a whisper of what could eventually come.

He leaned me against the cushions. Adam wasn’t tall–he was shorter than me by an inch–but he was strong. His arms were all muscle, a combination of weight training and the legacy of his time in Iraq. There was only one photo in his apartment, and it was of him in his Marine uniform, standing next to other soldiers, almost all indistinguishable, with short cropped hair and clean-shaved skin. He had a pale-colored beard now, and much shaggier hair–a rejection of what the military stifled.

I wondered if I was part of that rejection too. I wondered, too, what the other men in that photo would think of him–of Adam fucking a transwoman. Not someone who could hide it, either–the layers of carefully applied makeup couldn’t cover the width of my nose, the weighty shadow cast by my overhanging brow. Even a full mouth couldn’t fully simulate cis-femininity, no matter how I carefully painted it.

Anyone could look at me, and know who I am, what I was, in an instant. To look at me was to know my transness, was to know I was something other. 

Adam knew it too. Adam with his blonde hair and square jaw–Adam, who looked how Hollywood wanted America to look. Adam, who served in war; who killed people in far off countries because he was ordered to.

Adam, who would pull down my leggings, my panties, and look at me with the kind of grin that people get when they’re doing something naughty, something they’re not supposed to. That’s what I was to him–a novelty of strange desires and stranger body parts, something to secretly lust after and to never, ever tell a single person about.

He took off my top, and pulled me in by my waist–his hands fit around the sides of my ribcage. I was thrilled by his strength, the way he yanked me up against his body, and pulled me to his mouth, kissing me with desperation, as if my mouth was a blessing, a relief.

In reality, it was just because he knew he’d never speak to me again after this.

I pulled his shirt from his shoulders–he was broad, and I ran my fingers across his neck and back, tracing the lines of muscle. He pushed me back into the couch and ground himself against my thighs–the length of him was stiff underneath his jeans. I was proud, so proud–that I could make him feel, make him want me. At least for the moment.

I’d been with men like Adam before–honestly, it sometimes seems that I’ve been with more former military men than anyone else. I should have known what I was getting myself into, what kind of mistake I was making. Yet as always, my sense of reality is blurred when it comes to the potential for love, for the chance to dive in and hope that I’ll float.

I didn’t love Adam, but could I fool myself into seeing potential there? Could I fool myself as I unbottoned his jeans and put my hand inside his boxer-briefs that he might feel something more for me? Could I fool myself as I touched him, and he shuddered against me, and believe that hardness, that lust, could lead to love?

With all the pure, brilliant, and absolute abandon that my delusion could grant me. I was weightless in the air as I dove, unaware that the water beneath me was too deep. That like so many other times, I would drown underneath waves of my own creation. After all, like any good author, I excel in creating things that aren’t really there.

I kissed him, as I pulled him free, curling his boxer briefs underneath his length. I moved from his lips, and dragged my mouth down his neck, tasting the warmth and saltiness of his skin with my tongue. His hands tightened on my back. Lower and lower I went, sampling the smoothness of his chest, the bumps of muscle in his stomach, until I was hovering over his hardness, the tip blooming and wet.

I lapped at it with my tongue, slow. He sucked in his breath when I took him into my mouth, burying my nose into the base, pressed against tight curls of coarse, blonde hair.

“Fuuuuck,” the word was more air than substance, and his head went back, straight blonde hair pushed back from his forehead. I smiled around him, and began to move, curling my tongue over the head when I reached the top, and then pulling down all the way to the base again.

His hands threaded through my hair–he didn’t push, not yet, not until he was sure I could handle it. But he wanted to, I could feel it in the tension of his thighs, shaking where my hands held him. I gave his leg a squeeze of encouragement, and that was he needed.

His hand tightened in my hair, and he thrust into my mouth. My eyes watered when he slammed me nose first into his pelvis. I tried to open my mouth, my throat as wide as possible–less to keep myself from choking, more to give him what he wanted.

“Good girl. Fuck. You’re such a good girl, aren’t you?” And I wanted to be–I wanted to be his good girl, give him what he wanted, no matter how much my throat burned, no matter how hard it was to breathe. No matter how much mascara dripped down the edges of my eyes.

When he finally let go of my head, I gasped for air. My head ached where he had pulled my hair too hard.

“Come on, turn around–I’m gonna fuck you.” He reached for his dick and gave it a pump. I nodded and turned, but it wasn’t fast enough and he flipped me around, pushing me onto all fours on the couch. He then gave my ass a hard smack.

“Do you have a condom?” I asked. There was a pause behind me.

“Uh. Yeah. If we need one?”

I looked over my shoulder. I could see in his face the hope there, but silly as I was, stupid as I was, there was no way. “Condoms and lube.”

He shrugged, and hopped off the couch, kicking off the bottom of his jeans and walking into his bedroom. When he came back he slid on the condom, and slipped some lube into his palm, slicking himself.

“Turn around again.”

I did, and braced myself. I prayed he would loosen me first–prayed, because I was too afraid to ask. Too afraid that he wouldn’t want to fuck me if he knew I needed preparation. That had happened before–guy in such a rush to fuck me that they tried to stick it in, and when I told them it would hurt me if they didn’t work at it first, they lost interest. Because putting your dick in your partner’s ass is fine, but god forbid you need to use your fingers first to keep from hurting them.

We hadn’t done anal before theb, only blow jobs and hand jobs, but when I felt his hand slide behind me I relaxed, that tiny bit of fear at the coming pain loosened.

He spread me open, first with one finger, then two. even with lube-slick fingers, it burned up and down my legs, and I bit the couch cushion to keep quiet, to keep from showing any pain, and discomfort. Because who would want me if I wasn’t perfect, if I showed any weakness? If I dared to make him feel like he was anything less than a god for wanting to put it inside me.

“Enough?” It wasn’t a question, more like a statement. Adam’s fingers slipped away, and along with it the burn. It wasn’t enough, but it was more than I expected.

He eased into me with a hiss, and I grabbed at the pillow cushions, shutting my eyes as hard as I could at the invasion of it, the pain of it. My entrance was set aflame, my spine only so many layers of kindling. Adam went slow, inch by agonizing inch, until he was all the way inside me.

Then he started to move.

The first few minutes are always the worst–especially without enough prep. Each thrust is a hot spike in your guts unless you can stay perfectly relaxed. I wasn’t relaxed, I was a ball of tension, trying not to scream.

“Baby, you’re so tight, fuck.”

I gasped for breath, which he took for encouragement, and went faster, and faster and faster. I tried to loosen, tried to relax the iron-grip of steel my bones had locked into. I tried to enjoy the strong body above me, the way his hands grabbed at me ass and chest, feeling for tissue that was only barely there.

Just as I was starting to ease, just as I was starting to feel my muscles unlock, just as it was starting to feel good when he hit me at just the right angle, it was over. He fell against me, panting, sweat-slick chest against my back. He pulled out and I winced. Even if it was out, the ache remained.

Adam laughed, and laid a kiss against my neck before rising off of me. I shook, trying to move my limbs that were screaming at me from the tension, from being locked into place.

He laughed as he pulled off the condom. “Hope it was as good for you, as me.”

No, it wasn’t. It had hurt. There was no pleasure–and never once had he touched me down below, or shown any care for my own pleasure or completion. But I was a good girl; a good, lonely, pathetic girl.

I smiled. “You know it was.”

I went home that night, because I wasn’t allowed to stay, wasn’t allowed to cuddle even though my body craved attention as much as it ached after sex. Still, somehow I’d convinced myself I was happy, that it didn’t matter that he had no care for my own feelings, my own desires in sex. He wanted me–shouldn’t that be enough?

In the days that passed, I agonized over whether I should text him immediately or wait–what if I seemed desperate? We’d had sex more than once now, but still–what if I scared him away?

I made it three days without contact, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t respond. Not that day, not that week–not for months.

It’s a common enough thing–ghosting. It’s happened to a lot of people, men and women included, but it is super common for transpeople. Why? Because we’re not often seen as dating material. We’re the fuck dolls, the fetish bait. We’re what you watch porn of late at night on an incognito tab so no one knows you want us.

When we get ghosted, more often than not it’s because we’re no longer wanted. We were the completion of a fantasy, something to do once and then never again–an itch that once scratched never returns again.

I hate it. I hate that transpeople, especially transwomen, are seen as walking blow-up dolls. That even when men dare to date us, they act as if they’re doing us a favor because they could be with a “real woman” instead. And we’re supposed to fall all over ourselves to hop on their dicks because of it.

Women are always told to settle. That mediocrity should be rewarded with our hearts, our labor, our bodies. As transwomen, it’s even worse, because we’re taught to believe that we’re unworthy of love, unworthy of the men that would dare to be with us.
Men hand us turds and tell us they’re gold, and our own loneliness and self-hate makes us believe it. We delude ourselves because we are taught we have no worth, because society sees us as monsters, not people. Men tell us that they’re lowering themselves to date us, that we’re lucky that they would even consider sleeping with us. That we should be content as their dirty little secret.

We deserve better. We have to demand better–to see in ourselves the value that the world tries to hide. We have to see the beauty and power in who we are, to see that we’re worthy of respect and of love. That we aren’t lucky because our partners deign to sleep with us, but because they were lucky to find us. To find love in a person the world wants to put down, whose entire existence is resistance. To find a precious jewel that transphobes want you to believe is dirt.

I refuse to be invisible. I refuse to accept that my body, my sex, my love aren’t precious gifts anyone should be honored to receive. I refuse to see myself as anything but something to be treasured.

You should too.

Six months later, Adam contacted me. He told me he’d been talking to a girl, a cis-woman, while we were together, that he’d decided to date her. He said that that was over now, that he’d love it if I could come over.

I told him to screw.

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“Undahtones, darling. Undahtones”: Guide to Selecting Foundation

Foundation. The base. Throughout my life I have known that with a strong foundation, you can always build your way to the top. That you can rise over any struggle, any obstacle, to achieve greatness.

…PSHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

Who the fuck am I kidding? Strong foundation where? Build your way up who? I am so deep into my own bullshit I have no idea where the actual bottom is, but my makeup looks good. There’s that at least! Right?

…Right? Console me, damn it, I have no time for crying today.

Anyway, foundation–while I did cover my recommendations for foundation in the beard article, there is a lot more that goes into selecting a foundation than I went into there. In fact, matching foundation to your undertone is one of the hardest things to do with makeup. It took me a long time before I could really even match myself, nevermind other people.

Don’t suffer like me. Read this carefully. I know it isn’t all shiny like eyeshadow or lipstick, but it is important if you want to avoid looking like Donald Trump. Which, hopefully after this post and my later articles on choosing wigs, you never will.

Let’s get started.

  1. Undertone

The first step to figuring out what foundation you need is determining your undertone. Your skin’s undertone is the predominant color that helps determine your overall skintone. While skin is always made up of more than one tone, there is generally one that works as a base–and since foundation works to make the base more uniform, we work from there.

There are, generally speaking, three main types of undertones:

-Pink, or cool-toned: This is skin that is predominately pink. In darker skin, this tends towards a rich purple or sometimes maroon undertone.


-Yellow, or warm-toned: Skin that is predominately yellow. In darker skins, this tends more towards gold or bronze.

-Neutral: Skin that is neither entirely warm or cool. This can sometimes come across as a greenish undertone, but not always.

Contrary to popular belief, you can be of ANY DEPTH OF SKIN COLOR and have any one of these undertones. There are dark-skinned people that are cool-toned, there are pale people that are warm toned, and everything in between. I, personally, am medium-tan with neutral undertones.

So how do we determine undertones? Easily. Sort of. There’s a few different methods:

  1. Vein coloring: Yeah, you heard me. Veins. It isn’t as creepy as it sounds though.

To determine your undertone by this method, look at one of your arms–it could be either, it doesn’t much matter, and look at the veins in your skin. If they look bluish, you’re most likely cool-toned. If they look slightly greenish, you’re warm-toned. If you’re not really sure and it could kinda go either way (that’s me, yo), then you’re likely neutral

This method can be a little bit tricky in general, and sometimes it’s easiest to get a friend’s opinion, particularly if you experience any type of colorblindness. This method is also a lot more difficult if you don’t have visible surface veins, and may not be the easiest to do if you’re on the dark to deep-dark side of skintone But there are other methods, like–

Using Jewelry: No, I don’t mean that you whisper to a magic locket and it tells you the secrets of your skintone (though that’d be cool), I mean using the tones of jewelry to determine your undertone, particularly gold and silver jewelry.

This doesn’t have to be done with real gold or real silver at all–if you think I can afford that, Imma point you to the blog title and leave it at that. Any cheap gold or silver COLORED necklace will do, though I find it easier to do this with pieces that are larger.

Try on both the silver and gold jewelry and look in the mirror. Or take a selfie. Make sure to do this without any makeup on as it will drastically affect the outcome.

If the gold jewelry looks great on your skin–you’re warm-toned.

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#FASHION HAND Also yes my camera is terrible just pretend it’s the early 2000s k? K.

If the silver jewelry looks great–you’re cool-toned.

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Ain’t no one ever gonna think this shit is real, that’s for damn sure

If both look fine–you’re neutral, girl.

Clothing: This one I find to be accurate, but somewhat difficult to do if you don’t know color theory. A lot of websites and fashion guides will tell you, essentially, to wear something blue and something yellow–and whichever looks better on you will tell you your undertone.

It isn’t that simple, though–blues and yellows can both be either warm or cool. A cool yellow tends to look more like a lemon, and a warmer yellow looks more golden, like sunlight. Warmer yellows are closer to orange on the color spectrum, where cooler yellows are closer to green. The same is true of blue. A warm blue leans more towards green, and a cool blue is closer to purple.

That might be a lot to take in, but I can simplify it. If you want to use this method, be sure that whatever yellow or blue garment you’re wearing falls into the right category.

To test for a warm undertone, you’re going to want to use a warm yellow article of clothing.

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Hello, it’s me, being cute and shit. 2004 me is shaking in her little goth boots.

To test for a cool undertone, you’ll want a cool-toned blue.

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Can I get through a photo without touching my face? No. No I can’t. Thank yew for noticing~

Tanning and Sunburning: This one is a bit more subjective and can only really be determined in warmer seasons, but it is still legitimate!

How you tan can show you what undertone you have–If, as you get darker you get more bronze, generally you’re warm toned. If you get more golden, you’re cool toned.

However, more indicative than the tan itself is whether you burn or not. People who have cool-toned skin, even people who are deep dark, are more likely to get a sunburn when exposed to sunlight. Alternatively, though people who are warm-toned can also burn, they are far more likely to get a tan without ever burning.

A few more notes on undertones:

  1. People with neutural undertones can tend to be olivemeaning there’s a slight greenish hue to their skin. Not like the Grinch, but green is still present. Typically, people who are olive-toned are medium to dark in skintone, and depending on the lighting, sometimes their skin can appear duller or grayer than people with warm skin tones. I’m olive-toned, believe me I know.
  2. Undertones are what’s behind the whole ‘Season’ system you may have seen floating around. Are you a Spring? An Autumn? A Winter? Most of that system isn’t BS, but it is pretty limiting, so I tend not to use it.
  3. Undertones will also play a role in what other shades of makeup may look good on you, but it’s more complex than that. Though someone may be cool-toned, they may be able to wear a warm-toned red lipstick. It will just look brighter against an opposing skintone because of the contrast. I’ll cover this more in the section on lip-products.
  4. Some people may have warm-toned skin, but have a lot of redness due to rosacea or other skin conditions like acne. Redness does not always mean you’re pink-toned, which can become apparent after neutralizing the redness with a color corrector or properly matched foundation shade.
  5. MAC, the brand that is sort of the industry standard for makeup, marks the undertones of their products the opposite way from every other brand in the world. Their cool (NC) is for yellow or warm toned skintones, and their warm (NW), is for pink. Idk why–if I could get that answer I’d probably earn a lot more money.

All of this is trial and error, but hopefully you’ll be able to figure out a general idea of what your undertone is. Once you do, it’s then time to go looking for a foundation.

  1. Selecting Foundation

I did cover this in “Fucking Beards and How to Hide Them”, but it bears repeating. Getting a match at a higher-end store can give you a guideline when searching for cheaper makeup online or in the drugstore. This is especially true of MAC–as the industry standard brand, their skin classifications (NC15, NW20, NC30, so on) can help you find other, matching shades. I covered my cheaper foundation recommends in the beard post as well.

However, I will say again here that if you can, foundation is the one thing you should shell out for. It’s the base for everything, and covering a beard can be difficult. MAC makes several options that can cover a beard–I used their Studio Fix Fluid for years, and their Full-Coverage foundation online is commonly used for covering beards. However, I realize not everyone can afford this, even if it’s the only thing they’d want to shell out for.

So get matched to a foundation at a MAC counter or at a Sephora, and ask for a sample. They should provide one to you, and then you can go looking for a foundation. They’ll also be able to help if you’re having any difficulties with your undertone.

After this, it’s time to search for a matching, cheaper shade.

Option 1: Using findation.com

This is a free website that will match whatever color you’ve received in one foundation to a BUNCH of other foundations. You can also control what price point you’re matched at. It’s an extremely useful tool–I highly recommend it. It is especially accurate if you know your MAC shade, but it can match based on a number of foundation brands.

Option 2: Trial and error

Unfortunately, cheaper foundations don’t always come from places that allow you to swatch them before trying them out. This is true both for online purchases and purchases from the drugstore. Luckily, if you’re in the US, you can always return them. Getting a baseline from a high-end store will give you a general idea for selecting shades, and if the ones you get work out, great! If they don’t, get you your coins back and try another shade. Remember, the color in a bottle can be slightly off from what it actually is when applied.

A few other notes:

  1. Foundations oxidize–this is true of almost any foundation, but foundations do tend to do this more the darker they are, or the more SPF they contain. For this reason, a foundation may match you as soon as you put it on, but then you’ll look in a mirror two hours later and look like bozo the clown. If this happens, the best thing is to try the same foundation in the next shade up for your undertone. If that doesn’t work, look into another brand
  2. The more foundation you put on, the darker it can be–and most of us ladies need to put a lot on the beard area. Not something that is ALWAYS a problem, but something to keep in mind. Please be as light as you can with your application.
  3. Even if a foundation matches you perfectly, it may not work with your skin-type, and may break up around the nose, settle into fine lines, or have any number of other issues. It sucks, but keep trying–I’ve gone through a lot of foundations before I could find ones that truly worked for me.

 

And that’s basically it! The next makeup post will be about concealers, which, even if they aren’t thick enough to hide my credit score, can certainly help hide the dark circles I get under my eyes when I think about it at night.

…they try, anyway.

Fyi, this was the real face I was making while wearing that yellow top:

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This top doesn’t fit over my boobs. Like, at all. It’s basically a titty strangler. 

Before you go, I just want to announce that the blog now has a Patreon! You can reach it by clicking the following link: http://www.patreon.com/thebrokeasstranswoman

I’m also happy to give a shout out to people who have already started to donate to the blog! Thanks so much to Dominick N, Becca N.,  and Erik F. for your contributions!

Men, Transwomen, and Soul-Sucking Succubi from Hell

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Image: Clarissa Kent–Succubus

Guest Writer: Clarissa Kent, Succubus 

A lot of men seem really worried that being attracted to a transwomen will cause them to be gay, or that it’ll somehow make them less of a man. They also seem terribly concerned that all transwomen are out to ride their dicks and suck their souls out their mouths.

I assure you, most transwomen just want to live their lives peacefully without being killed. Except me–I’m a soul-sucking succubus from hell that will take your dick, and your soul.

While most transwomen are more concerned about how to go grocery shopping without getting harassed by complete strangers in the aisles, I spend every waking moment thinking how I can fill the black void placed inside me by Lucifer himself, that only the freshly sucked out spirts  of men can satisfy. While most transwomen carefully put on makeup so that they can hide as much of their transness as possible, I paint my lips red with the blood of every man unfortunate enough to cross my path, and my bed.

You see, while a number of transwomen, despite themselves, are unfortunately attracted to men, few enough of them want to try to seduce the ones that think of them as dudes. Which is understandable, even to me, a vengeful spirit birthed from hellfire. In all honesty, most transwomen are too afraid that you’ll slaughter them to ever think to consider trying anything with you assholes, which is why you should be less concerned about the majority of us,  and more specifically concerned about how you’ll survive me when my demon pussy pulls your life force out through your genitals faster than you can say “Negaverse”.

While it is true, my current flesh prison is a transwoman, I have found that if anything, it is less a deterrent to scumbags than something that appeals to them–a dirty little secret that consumes them with more desire than their feeble little minds can understand. In fact, in the many millenia since I was expunged from Lillith’s womb, I have never been so satisfied in my career! Truly, I feel the closest to full that I have ever felt; which is surprising, considering how so many of the men that satisfy me are unable to satisfy any woman, trans or otherwise.

In short, maybe you should all be less concerned about what’s in the pants of transwomen, and let them live their lives. Treat them like you should treat all women, as people worthy of respect and not potential fuck-mates for you to continuously disappoint. Otherwise, you may cross paths with me, and I’m sure you don’t want that.

Just remember, every time you glare at a transwoman because your dick got a little rise, I’ll be waiting in the shadows, licking my luscious red lips. Every time you beat off to trans porn and then harass a transwoman in the streets, I’ll be there, batting my eyelashes at you. Every time you say “Laverne Cox is still a man” on the internet, I’ll be there, ready, willing, and waiting to separate you from this mortal coil.

Remember boys, you never know whether you’re talking to a woman, or whether you’re talking to your imminent demise. ❤ Kiss, kiss.

Clarissa Kent

Succubus

Befriending Trans People

People are obsessed with dating trans people.

I don’t mean that they’re necessarily INTERESTED in us–I mean that they’re very focused on the idea of dating us, or sleeping with us. What can having sex with a transwoman mean for a man’s sexuality? Is a woman still straight if they sleep with a transman? Am I disgusting for even thinking about this?

A lot of these thoughts, at best, make dating hard for trans people. At worst, they can result in ending our lives–fear of us is a major factor that causes us to be murdered, even if we’re just trying to live our lives.

Because of this, there are a lot of articles on the internet about dating us–what to do, what not to say, so on and so forth. While I think that’s great, and that there should be more of that, so few of them focus on the other relationships you can have with trans people. Like friendship.

Yes. You can befriend trans people. You can have a relationship with them that is entirely non-sexual.

Did I just blow your mind? Be honest. I’ll wait.

Really, though–there is so little information on the internet about how to befriend someone who is trans. Sure, talking about dating us does a lot to address some our hardships, but I don’t believe it necessarily helps cis people see us as people, and not walking fetish bait or fucking sexual predators (which–really? Jesus fucking Christ). It doesn’t necessarily make us human to people who may not hate trans people, but are just ignorant to our existence. As Sailor Moon as it sounds, friendship is the first step towards people seeing us as human beings–not by dating or fucking us, but being our friends.

On the surface, that may sound easy. You might have loads of friends and people you care about. What’s wrong with adding one more? However, a lot of you may have some trepidations about forming any kind of bond with a transperson–you may be afraid of what you don’t know.

That fear you feel is a natural reaction to the unknown, to what you don’t yet understand or haven’t yet tried to. That fear, though possibly irrational, is not terrible in and of itself–it’s what you do with it that is important. To learn, and truly befriend us, you have to be willing to put that to the side, or at the very least, willing to try.

Once you do that, there are a few things you should know about us, to truly get to know us.

  1. We’re people, not just our transition

It somehow gets lost in the scuffle of arguing about bathroom usage and civil rights, but trans people are PEOPLE, just like you. We have thoughts and interests, desires and feelings just like the rest of humanity. While Tanya may be a transwoman, she’s also a complete geek who wears Steven Universe shirts and just can’t stop eating chicken wings. Bruce might be a transman, but he spends his nights playing video games and playing soccer on the weekends. Leda is non-binary, but they’re an expert gardener, and they and their partner keep their house brightly lit and full of fresh-cut lilies.

We are people, beyond our transition. While our transitions are a guiding force in our lives, it is not the end all be all. Yes, I have friends I speak to often about the different aspects of my transition, both cis and trans. But I have even more friends that will binge She-Ra and the Princesses of Power with me covered in blankets with an unnecessarily large bowl of popcorn. I have friends I’ll spend entire weekends in the woods with, pretending to be an elf or faerie, or some other shit (it’s not weird it’s LARPing look it up). I have friends that I share writing and poetry with, who will talk to me in the earliest hours of the morning about the deepest parts of their souls.

…or will just send me cat memes at 2 a.m. Not the point, though. Everyone is something different to every person they befriend, and not every friend needs to be one that knows every detail about our transitions.

     2. We are not our surgeries

On some level, I get it. People are innately curious about what they don’t know. However, when it comes at the cost of someone’s privacy, it can be really invasive and unwanted.

So while you may want to know if Tanya has had surgery, is it something that you really need to know? Is it something that you feel is necessary to binge chicken wings with her while watching Netflix?

As an example, I don’t tend to ask my cis friends how their genitals are doing today, or whether their breasts are real, and that’s because it isn’t really my place to ask. If they feel like telling me, that’s one thing, but it isn’t knowledge that is necessary for me to be their friend.

Trans people are owed that same modicum of privacy, even with their friends.

 

3. If you’re a cis-dude, it can be hard.

Years ago, I had a (now former) male friend that I was going to the mall with in a group of friends. I noticed that he was standing about five feet from me whenever the group stopped, and wouldn’t sit next to me when we ate together at the food court.

When I asked him why, he told me, blatantly, that “he didn’t want anyone to assume anything”.

That hurt, and was a pretty shit thing to say, but let’s look at it beyond that. Yes, men have to worry about a loss of privilege when they have trans friends, more so if the people that see them assume they’re dating. If you’re self-conscious, it can be strange for you–trans people tend to garner attention no matter where they go, some positive, a lot negative. And you may not want that attention turned on you. And as a dude, you’re likely more concerned about people’s opinions of your masculinity, which is not something that cis-girl Linda has to worry about when her and Tracey go shopping at Hot Topic.

However, when it comes down to it–what do the opinions of a bunch of strangers matter? Why should their opinions matter more to you than your friend Leda, who wants to invite you and your girlfriend to their place for tea Saturday afternoon? Or Bruce, who is on your soccer team? Should what strangers have to say or who they stare affect you at all?

Being our friend can be hard, and doing so can require some courage, and your own rejection of what society tells you is normal, albeit on a smaller scale. I promise though, it’s worth it.

So, what am I saying here? Essentially, that befriending and respecting a trans person is like anyone else. Anything that you wouldn’t necessarily ask a cis friend, you probably shouldn’t ask a trans one. In short–treat us like you would anyone else. Befriend us like you would anyone else.

I know it can be intimidating–after all, we’re gorgeous creatures that fly in the eye of society’s moralistic judgments on gender like the badasses we are–but when it comes right down to it, all you need is to treat us like anyone else, and give it a shot.

And if somewhere down the line you decide, “hey–I’d like to date this trans friend of mine”, well…that’s another article for another time.

Fuck You, Aunt Brenda: Surviving the Holidays as a Transperson

The holiday season. A time for peace, love, and good will to all on this wide, diverse earth. A time where men embrace their brothers, and women embrace their sisters, and a white blanket of snow covers the trials and tribulations of the past year.

Yeah, fuck no. Holidays are hell–and people are never worse than at this time of year. It’s cold, it gets dark early, and as pretty as snow is, just like everything else on the planet, in a few hours it becomes murky, gross slush. Hard pass.

This time of year sucks for almost everyone, but it is particularly hard for trans people. There are many among us that may not have family to celebrate with at all. Those of us who do have family may have to deal with endless microagressions from family members who deadname us constantly (looking at you, Aunt Brenda), and refuse to see us for our true selves. Hell, even if we aren’t out, it can be hard to listen to Uncle Jack, red-faced drunk off his ass ranting about how Caitlyn Jenner is still a man while watching the Boston Pops on TV.

Which is why I’m going to provide my tips on surviving the gauntlet of holiday cheer as a transperson.

1. Do not come out at Christmas

Or Hannukah. Or Kwanzaa. Or any goddamn celebration at all.

It might seem like a good idea. The holidays are where most families gather together, even the weird people you’re not entirely sure you’re related to, but you somehow call cousins anyway. It’s convenient! They’re all there.

No. It isn’t convenient. It’s a Grade A Certified Bad Idea, and let me tell you why.

The holidays are fucking stressful for everyone. Yeah, your Aunt Brenda who you only see three times a year might be there, but she’s been up to 3 A.M. for the last few days baking cookies and that abomination of a potato salad she makes every year (who puts f***ing raisins in a potato salad???) Your sisters have been scrubbing the good china until their fingers are numb and pruny. Your mother has likely been hunched over a hot stove like Quasimodo over Notre Dame, and the vein in her forehead is getting worryingly large.

Hell, the only people who don’t have it hard at the holidays are the cis-dudes who sit on their ass, letting the women do all their work while they watch football or whatever. At least, that’s if they’re terrible–there are many who do help out, in which case they’re going to be just as hair-rippingly stressed as the rest of us. Plus, most everyone has been drinking–and I can’t blame them. Looking back on my childhood I have no idea how I survived the holidays without drinking myself into a coma.

It is the worst possible time to come out—tensions are high, and they’re all looking for someone–anyone–to blame and criticize. So, as sad as it is, because coming out should be a celebration, please don’t come out while you pick out the raisins from Aunt Brenda’s potato salad. You’ll be better for it.

2. Deadnaming and Incorrect Pronouns

If the cat has already been let out of the bag, then your family should know what they’re getting into. Should being the key word. But, despite Uncle Jack having a full year to adjust to the fact that you’re a card-carrying girl now, he still manages to drunkenly slur your dead name at you over what must be his eighth beer. At this point, his stomach is probably mostly yeast.

So what do you do? What do you do when someone just won’t listen or believe you? What do you do when Cousin Cheryl sneers down her thin, bespectacled nose and calls you a “he”, despite the METICULOUSLY picked skirt and heels you’re wearing?

You take a deep breath, and calmly remind them who you are.

“My name is Persephone, Uncle Jack.”

“I use female pronouns, Cheryl.”

While it can be easy to give in to rage and frustration here, that is the thing they will use to attack you. Even if it is deserved, they’ll see it as YOU being wrong because you got pissed at them, and it’s all down hill from there. Saying it calmly is the best thing you can do, even if you would like to shove an entire box of raisins down Aunt Brenda’s throat when she deadnames you while passing the gravy.

The reaction to this will vary–some people will blush and apologize, some may scoff, and some may still become belligerant no matter what you say. Which is why, once you’ve stated your piece, you do what they did to you.

Ignore them.

When Drunkle Jack starts bellowing that he knows what’s in your pants because he changed your diaper once, you walk away. You don’t say anything, you don’t so much as acknowledge him. When Cousin Cheryl sniffs at you, and tells you “you don’t look like a woman”, you look her in the eyes and raise a single eyebrow. When Aunt Brenda tells you that you’ll always be a man, you look her dead in the face and tell her “And you’ll always be alone. How is the divorce going?”

Kidding. That last part was a joke. You ignore them. Not acknowledging them or giving legitimacy to their anger will give them pause eventually, and leaves them nothing to legitimately attack you with. It isn’t ideal, of course, but remember, we’re talking survival here. We don’t want to end up being the reason that the Christmas Party goes down in flames–that’ll happen ALL on its own regardless.

3. Have a support network

I won’t lie to you–being around family when you’re starting to transition can put you in an awful place, and start to break down any internal confidence you may be building as your true self. When people you care about are adamant about denying who you are, it can do so much more damage than any internet troll or loud fucker on a street.

So, if you have friends you are close to that know, tell them that you’re going to be around family. Tell them that you may need to call them for emotional support, or to message them to survive the ordeal. You don’t necessarily need to detail all the abuse if it is too painful–give them a play-by-play of Cousin Bruce putting a grape up his nose, or tell them about how dry and overcooked the ham was.

Your found family can be precious when you’re around family that has yet to accept you, or may not ever.

4. Worst Case Scenario: Escape Plan

Shit has hit the fan. Either you lost patience and told Uncle Jack that just because your dick is bigger than his, it doesn’t make you a man, or you told Brenda her makeup made her look like a foot when she insulted your skirt (it fits perfectly Brenda, I’ll fucking fight you). That, or maybe you blurted out “I’m trans” at the top of your lungs when Uncle Billy was passing the cranberries to his third wife (she can’t be more than two years older than you, Jesus Christ).

But you came prepared. It is time to unleash the ultimate weapon of holiday parties–leaving. Getting your ass the fuck out of dodge and hightailing it to safer ground.

How you do this depends on what’s available to you. If you have a car, definitely drive yourself to the party. Make an excuse about having another place to go to, or say that you just aren’t feeling well. If you managed to stomach a bite of the potato salad, it shouldn’t be too hard to feign nausea. If you don’t drive, try to get an uber, or try to make sure you attend with a supportive friend or family member who can get you out of there.

If you’re too young to leave, this step is going to be incredibly difficult for you, and I’m sorry. Try to find a friend or friend’s parent who wouldn’t mind picking you up, especially if the situation becomes unsafe for you. I know it may make your own parents angry, but at least you’ll survive the night.

5. Redirection

So,  if you can’t leave, you can’t get away from the misgendering, and your family is circling you like vultures over a gazelle carcass, what the fuck do you do?

Find another target.

Yes, it may sound cowardly, but given that trans people are at a higher risk of death and given the amount of access your family has to sharp knives in the kitchen, a little deflection might be good. It doesn’t have to be something negative–as much as it may piss you off that Cousin Chad is a successful lawyer with three houses while you can barely afford the rent on your 9×9 closet of a studio apartment, bringing that up might take the heat off you long enough that you can at least get some relief.

Bringing up Aunt Cheryl’s ex-husband’s affair with the hot schoolteacher may also work, but it will probably do more harm than good. The goal is to be less of a target, not to paint one on our foreheads.

6. When in doubt, eat.

When most people get upset, there are certain comforts we seek out. A warm blanket, a good book, a blu-ray of our favorite movie. We seek out those things that can take the edge off.

Which is why, when Aunt Brenda has started in on how you’re doing nothing with your degree and how could anyone hire you when you’re that way, it’s time to fill the growing void within ourselves with as much food as possible.

Shovel in that ham. Take double servings of potatoes. Binge on that stuffing. Anything to keep the yawning expanse inside you caused by your family’s ire from consuming you. As a bonus, it will keep your mouth busy, so you don’t accidentally comment on how much weight Brenda has gained since the divorce. Body shaming isn’t kind, but neither is she, and believe me, you don’t want to say it.

Using food as a comfort in the long term can have a number of problematic health issues, but jesting aside, find something to distract you. It doesn’t need to be foodplay a game on your phone, bring a 3DS if you’re lucky enough to have one–something that can keep your mind off your family and keep you from going medieval on their asses with a carving knife.

They may rib you for being quiet, but that’s better than the all-consuming fire that will happen if you dare to speak in your own defense.

A lot of the suggestions I have made here run antithetical to what I normally preach–be loud, be proud, be the you you’re meant to be. Stomp on assholes in fucking stilettos. Be the bad ass rejector of gender-norms that you were born to be!

But the holidays are hard, and family is harder. While it can feel like cowardice to take a step back, to avoid addressing the you-shaped-elephant in the room, sometimes it is safer and better to do it. You family will adjust, or they won’t–only time will truly tell what will happen with them–but for now, all you can do is survive it.

And if all else fails, and you just can’t stomach the thought of being around your family for the holidays (or just can’t handle the thought of being forced to eat Brenda’s potato salad again), it might be a good idea to tell them you’re sick and curl up in your own bed, doing as much self-care as you can. You’re supposed to be giving at the holidays–and sometimes, the greatest kindness you can give is to yourself.

Happy Holidays, y’all. 

C-C-CHANGES: Update Schedule

Hello, beautiful readers! Just wanted to note a logistical update to the blog. We’re going on an update schedule!

While I wish I were able to continue to post three articles every weekday, most days I love myself too much to do that. So we’re going to a three-times-a-week update schedule! Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you can look forward to hot, steamy content from yours truly.

…did I just make this blog sound like a porn? I think I made this blog sound like a porn. IGNORING THAT, you’ll see new posts all three of those days, all relating to a different subject. Currently, I’m not necessarily sticking to particular topics on particular days, but I’m going to have at least one trans logistics (makeup, getting hormones, survival) post a week, one post for cisgender education on trans people (terminology, how to interact with us, etc.), and one post about my personal experiences being a mixed-black queer transwoman.

This is also NOT today’s update–later today there will be a post about holiday survival tips for transpeople. It was going to be the foundation article, but I really need to take photographs before I can post that (and photos to add to the brush and beard covering posts), so that will be up Wednesday or Friday depending on how much I drag my heels.

(Let’s be real, I’m totally going to procrastinate).

Thank you as always for reading the blog, and I hope that it continues to help you, regardless of what your background is!

For the Loved Ones of Trans People

If you’re reading this, someone you know has decided to give you a gift—the gift of knowledge about themselves. They have put themselves in a place where you can see them, and have spoken the words “this is who I am”.

You may feel guilt. You may feel anxiety. You may feel fear. I am here to tell you that all these feelings you’re having, all the worries that may be dancing around your head, are legitimate, but so too are the fears of the person in front of you.

You may not understand them, and that is okay. We are taught that understanding should be something instantaneous, something we should absorb immediately when presented with new knowledge. That we should read something on a page and know it as fact—but that is never the case, especially not with human beings. You may not understand them, but there is one thing you can do—and that is accept them for who they are.

Acceptance is the seed from which understanding can blossom. Once you have accepted that this is who this person is, that their experience is real and true, you become open to learning and growth. All you need to get there is patience, and a willingness to be kind.

There are few chances in this world to be truly kind to someone in a way that has meaning, and few of those opportunities are easy. It is also a rare gift to see someone, to look at someone and see them for who they really are. You can know someone for decades and never once see them at their core, the places that they hide beneath their face and bones.

This person is someone who, despite all the cruelties of this world, despite the hate, despite the chance that they could be harmed, has chosen to be vulnerable with you. The emotions you feel—anxiety, fear, confusion—about who they are are all feelings they have felt tenfold in themselves. Admitting to being trans, admitting to themselves that this is who they are is a terrifying process, and telling people even more so. Despite that, they are looking at you, seeing you, and placing themselves before you, neck bared, knowing that the chances you could hurt them or love them are both uncertain.

You have a opportunity to finally meet the person that you have smiled with, that you have cried with. That you care about. You have a chance to accept, and open yourself to the path of understanding and love.

Please take it.

Primed and Ready to Cry

If only because this section bores me to tears. Eventually we’ll get to the fun stuff. Like eyeshadow. And contouring. Love making me some cheekbones that can cut glass.

But let’s talk primer. Now, you will hear varying accounts on whether primer is really necessary. I get that, and I am fully in the mindset that foundations should work without one. However, the amount of product we have to apply  (in general–I’m looking at you people with no beards and I still hate’cha) to our faces to cover our beards means that we want to do everything in our power to create longevity for the makeup. The more layers you put on of foundation, the more likely it is to shift or fade throughout the day.

What primer or primers you choose depends on what your skin needs are. Is your skin oily? Is it dry? Is it combination? Do you have large visible pores? A lot of redness? So on and so forth.

I have combination skin, which changes from mostly dry to mostly oily depending on the weather, humidity, the movements of the planets and stars, exposure to healing crystals, and whether or not I’ve seen the news. Donald Trump may not have boosted the economy, but he definitely upped my skin’s oil content.

I’m kidding. I think. I hope. Regardless, I’m in a good position to make recommendations for most skin types.

For this section, I’m going to name a few affordable brands and what I’ve tried from them/think works well.

–Nyx Cosmetics: Nyx has exploded within the past couple of years, and is generally pretty affordable overall (though on the higher side of my recommendations). Their primers are some of the best I’ve used, and they make a -lot- of them for all skin types.  Most will run you between $10-15.

Personal recommendations are as follows:

Angel Veil Primer: $15–a really, really good primer all around. It really helps with balancing oil production, but also is non-drying. It is silicone based, which means you’ll get an even surface for makeup, as silicone fills in pores and smoothes unwanted texture. Overuse might cause breakouts if you aren’t regular with cleansing, though, or are acne prone.

Color Correcting Primers–$14–these are really good for correcting overall darkness or redness in the skin. However, the orange is not dense enough to do any beard correction–it is mostly if you have light discoloration, likely around the mouth or eye area. The green one in particular is really good at reducing redness–I’ve personally recommended it to my much-pinker-toned sister.

Shine Killer Primer–$4-14–comes in a mini size for trials too! This stuff is great for people that get shiny through the day. I can attest to this–I tend to get shiny across my t-zone no matter what I do, and this stuff really helps. If you have oily skin, give this one a shot.

Studio Perfect Primers–$10-12–these are actually a dupe (similar product) to the famed Smashbox primers. They’re good for smoothing, pore filling, and color-correcting. I’d recommend these for both dry and textured skins for smoothing, but they won’t necessarily reduce oil content.

Link:  https://www.nyxcosmetics.com/primer?sz=12&start=10 Can also be found at Ulta and CVS in the states!

Maybelline: Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser–$4-6–this stuff will make sure your pores don’t make an appearance under makeup, promise. This stuff can keep me from looking like my nose is made of cottage cheese, and I highly recommend it.

Link: https://tinylink.net/mJZ8m Can also be found at most major drugstores in the States

E.L.F Cosmetics: Hydrating Face Primer–$6–This is a light, hydrating primer. IF you have dry skin, this is worth checking out for the price point. However, though it is hydrating, it is not a moisturizer–you should not rely on this for moisture alone.

For now, those are the affordable ones I can recommend–I will be sure to update you all as I find other ones in a future entry!

However, there are some other things you should know before using primer:

  1. Acne Prone Skin: Silicone based primers can be great for slightly smoothing out the appearance of bumps on the skin, buuuuuuuut they can also get into pores and cause a lot of problems if you’re prone to skin issues, even with regular cleansing. If you have acne prone skin, you can use them, but do so sparingly. Products with silicone in them will have ingredients in their list ending in -siloxane, -conol, or -cone, generally.
  2. Moderation: I can’t stress this enough–you do not need to use a lot of primer for it to work, at least with a decent one. Less than a pea-sized amount should do your entire face.
  3. Texture: Though primers can help smooth skin texture under foundations, it won’t actually hide any major bumps. This includes from shaved hair growing out.

Next up is…Foundation.

Jesus Christ on a Pancake, I wanna write the fun stuff already goddamn it. BUT I’LL SUFFER THROUGH IT FOR YOU <3~

Too much? Probably too much. ;-;