“You have to love yourself before you can love others”

Longtime Couple Found That Clothes Didn’t Make The Man

This is one of the cutest stories ever. This man has been in the news before, which only goes to show how rare it is that someone cross-dresses so freely, even in today’s accepting world. Though this isn’t about gender identity perse (and in fact, it’s perhaps his cis-gendered identity that makes him a topic of conversation), this is still about someone overcoming a lot of external pressure to conform, with the support of his wife who stuck by his side.

If you don’t love the crap out of both of them after this, then I don’t know… do you not have a soul maybe? Get that checked.

Choice of life partner is important. Wait but why?, an awesome blog on a whole variety of subjects, discusses this here and here. But if you can’t love yourself first, you’ll never love at all.

Gender roundup of awesome TED talks

Recently I’ve watched some really inspiring and thoughtful TED talks about gender, because I like thinking about it and hearing narratives from people all over the gender spectrum. These TED speakers run the gamut. I especially love that cispeople question this stuff also in connection to their (or their children’s) gender variance.

“Why am I so gay?” by Thomas Lloyd. Discusses how we lose a significant part of ourselves by suppressing our self-expression, and why it’s important to him to be visible. Suppressing his “gay” mannerisms takes too much “creative energy”, which probably most people reading this blog can relate to (if not “gay” mannerisms, then whatever gender-variance you may exhibit).

“Hey Doc, some boys are born girls.” by Decker Moss. Touches upon mourning a lost boyhood by being coerced into girlhood, as well as losing a part of his identity as a fraternal twin. Also about internalizing his feelings and hiding them from the world, when his twin could pick up on it. His connection to his sister is incredibly sweet.

“Gender Fluidity” by Gabrielle Burton. A straight cisgendered mother describes coming into awareness that she herself sometimes enforces gender norms on her children, and goes on to open her mind and heart in the sweetest way. PARENTS TAKE NOTE THIS LADY IS SUPER.

“Beyond the Gender Binary” by Yee Won Chong. All the practical reasons that trans* individuals face: voter ID laws, navigating restrooms, social justice in the eyes of a non-white trans* individual. Also seeking political asylum for LGBTQ protection, and their relationship with their mother.

“Understanding the complexities of gender” by Sam Killermann. Cis-male white upper-middle class straight people are at the top of the totem pole, right? Even this comedian/spoken-word artist, who falls under those categories (more-or-less), speaks out against how restrictive society is in policing gender. He’s funny and well-spoken and really smart.

“How You Know You’re in Love: Epigenetics, Stress & Gender Identity” by Karissa Sanbonmatsu. She is a scientist slash transwoman who knows her genetics. She does a really good job explaining epigenetics to non-scientists, so don’t be intimidated. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember your basic biology, it’ll be interesting and entertaining trust me. At one point she speaks Klingon.

Trans* individuals reveal sexism in the work place

This article about people who transitioned after years in the workplace, tackles a really important issue: sexism in the workplace that is subtle enough that, even if you’re read as female, you won’t notice it unless something drastic happens… such as transitioning and experiencing being read as male.

Some quotes from the article (emphasis mine):

I have had the thought a million times: I am taken more seriously.

 

When I was a woman, no matter how many facts I had, people were like, ‘Are you sure about that?’ It’s so strange not to have to defend your positions.

 

I used to be considered aggressive… Now I’m considered ‘take charge.’ People say, ‘I love your take-charge attitude.’

 

And from an MTF trans* person:

Men are assumed to be competent until proven otherwise, whereas a woman is assumed to be incompetent until she proves otherwise.

The article considers the increase in confidence a person experiences when going from presenting at the gender assigned at birth to their true gender, and offers a reason as to why this might not be why transmen are treated better after transition:

Indeed, some suggest that transmen might experience these workplace benefits partly because, post-transition, they are happier and more comfortable, and that this confidence leads to greater workplace success. But if that’s the case, one would expect that transwomen, armed with this same newfound confidence, would see benefits. The opposite seems to be true.

 

Aha! We got you, sexism!

The article does note that if an FTM individual is black, being read as a black male is not always a positive change. Racism: the only card that trumps sexism.

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Read the article in its entirety to read about why one transwoman chooses not to speak up, and why these researchers believe this is the last chance to do this kind of research on gender with individuals who transition later in life.