Category Archives: Uncategorized

Parenting and Consent

I hope it’s obvious to anyone who’s read this blog that consent is a big deal to me. A really big deal. It only makes sense that this translates into what kind of parent I want to be.

At least at the start, parenting consensually is a bit of a tightrope. You start out holding a slippery, wriggling, unbearably fragile human being who is ultimately a near-stranger to you, and you’re responsible for their well-being. Sure, many kids start showing personality in the womb, but the womb is pretty different. Your child’s needs are generally met immediately. Constant supply of nutrients, constant comfort, constant human contact, huge liquid bubble to protect from harm, etc. Then they’re thrown into a world where they’re reliant on near-strangers to meet those needs.

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To Parents Revisited

“How do you feel when your daddies call you a boy?”

“Sad.”

The world froze for a moment, I stared at my 3 year old. Our 3 year old had been saying they were not a boy and not a girl for a few months now, but I had thought/hoped maybe it was a game, it didn’t really matter, we still had time before gender became A Thing. “Sad.” I was struck by my own hubris, hoping that if we’d raised a child without limits the words wouldn’t matter for at least a few more years. I wondered what the hell gender is that a 3 year old can have dysphoria despite full freedom to wear and act and play. I thank my lucky stars that we still haven’t seen physical dysphoria. So many voices ran through my head, speaking out in pain and fear. Statistics on depression and joblessness and suicide. Parents who got CPS called on them for allowing a transgender child to be themself.

The world started again.

I apologized. I promised we’d stop. My kid went back to playing.

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My Trans Space

Binary Subverter has always been a more personal blog. I’ve started creating support resources for trans folk. Check out the new site.

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Stop Putting Dads Down- Hold Them to Higher Standards

This applies to other areas, but right now it annoys me most when I see this happening in parenting: The expectation that men won’t be good, involved, equal parents.

Some of this is people actively putting men down, insisting that they’re not capable of it. Some of this is attacking stay-at-home dads or making disparaging remarks of dads who are actively involved in their kids’ lives. Some of this is just talking about the current status quo without pointing out it needs to change. Some of this is over-the-top congratulations to men who do the bare minimum of parenting, making it clear that this is seen as an exceptional thing for men to do even though women are expected to do far more. Some of this is referring to men caring for their own kids as “babysitting”. Occasionally, I do see people pointing out that this is just gender stereotypes, that men are perfectly capable of being good, active, even primary parents- but not nearly often enough.

This isn’t some “but what about men” thing. This hurts women.

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Give Dad The Baby and Go Out: The Best Parenting Decision My Partner Ever Made

When we had our first baby, I was terrified to be alone with them.

I did my best to take care of the baby, but avoided being left alone with them like the plague. I couldn’t handle even a few minutes of it.

As a father, this is what a lot of people expect. I imagine many mothers reading this rolling their eyes and pursing their lips at yet another useless dad shoving his responsibility on someone else. Tale as old as time, right?

Here’s the twist: I’m the one who had given birth to that baby.

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On RuPaul and Trans Drag

I’m resurrecting this blog for a moment, to comment on the latest RuPaul Drama.

When I was 16, I asked my dad to buy me a binder.

A few months later, I came out as trans. (because screw order)

A few months after that, I bought my first corset and a skirt and put together a drag costume. The year I came out, I went to a comic convention in full drag.

I bound my breasts so I could feel comfortable wearing falsies. I strapped a fake dick between my legs so I could feel comfortable wearing a skirt. I slathered on makeup to hide my real face so I could feel comfortable wearing lipstick and eyeshadow.

The first time I ever used the men’s room, I was in drag.

At that comic convention, in a corset and skirt and kick-ass boots, I proudly walked into the men’s room with the other freaks and no one batted an eye.

The next fall, I performed. There was a local, charity drag show that my friends told me about and offered to go with me to. I got up and sang the only song I knew I could lip sync to by heart: “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. At the time I didn’t even know that this was a drag anthem. Nearly a decade earlier, when I strutted in my bedroom choreographing dances to RuPaul’s “Supermodel”, I didn’t even realize what drag was. Somehow, drag was in my blood.

I got more tips than anyone that night. (For charity!)

I loved it. I was fantastic at it.

I gave it up out of fear.

I was already in a very vulnerable, raw, and insecure place. Coming out as trans is hard, and there were far fewer resources a decade ago. I was screwed over by the local gender therapist and had to fight just to get access to the life saving resources I desperately needed. It took 3 years for me to finally get top surgery. 3 years of barely being able to leave the house due to crippling dysphoria. 3 years of binding that ended up doing nerve damage.

At that time, the thought of trying to enter the drag community was terrifying. Maybe I would have been accepted, I’d like to think that, I sure as hell could have used a drag mother to teach me self-confidence and how to talk back, but the risk of rejection was too much. It would have killed me. That is not an exaggeration. I didn’t look like a drag queen was supposed to, and I couldn’t bring myself to take that risk.

This all happened before RuPaul’s Drag Race ever aired.

I didn’t find out about Drag Race until season 3 or so (apparently I live under a rock). Watching it was wonderful, it feels like being at home. Some of the wisdom Ru shared with her queens has made a very real, major impact on my life.

I would often fantasize about being on Drag Race. Wonder if I could have gotten on or won if I’d stuck with drag.

It hurts like hell to find out that the answer is “No”.

And not because I lacked the Charisma, or the Uniqueness, or the Nerve, or the Talent. (fun fact: Took me 4 years to realize what the acronym for that was!)

Solely because of my body.

It hurt like hell to hear my idol, a person I deeply respect, who has made a huge impact on me, has validated one of my deepest fears:

I don’t look like a drag queen, so I would never have truly been accepted.

 

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Be Careful of Depo

Depo Provera is somewhat popular in the trans community. It’s most likely to stop periods, which is a life-saver for trans folk who are highly dysphoric during that time. It’s covered by most insurance and is far easier to get than T, as well, so it’s helpful for those who either don’t want T or who can’t get on it yet. (also, although this is aimed at the trans community, it’s certainly useful information for cis women considering depo as well)

There’s a not unheard of side effect, though, that I not a lot of people talk about. Namely: prolonged periods, sometimes lasting months.

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