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tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in flurries @vivsmythe.
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93 Responses

  1. Ally S
    Ally S October 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm |

    So I went to that trans-friendly boutique, and…I ended up just getting foundation and beard shadow cover. I tried on a few wigs, but they didn’t suit me, and I didn’t want to ask the person there if I could try on more wigs due to shyness. And they’re damn expensive, too – $150 for one of the wigs I was interested in. I’ll still consider getting a wig, but part of me just wants to forget about wigs and continue growing my own hair (perhaps in vain?).

    Fortunately, the stuff I got is pretty good; I’m terrible at putting on makeup, but even I was able to hide my mustache shadow to a significant degree. I actually surprised myself. =D

    Also, apparently this store allows deliveries to the store itself. In other words, I can order something online and pick it up at the boutique instead of my doorstep.

    1. Kerandria
      Kerandria October 19, 2013 at 6:09 am |

      Ally — I don’t know if this would be practical for you (given family situ and risk involved in mail-order packages being opened by a family member), but I have to wear wigs to cover my hair at work. I buy mine from lightinthebox.com — they have a range of prices, and while some of the lower-priced ones aren’t the best best quality, they do have a wide selection. I have a couple I snagged for about 60 usd apiece.

      Good luck!

      1. Ally S
        Ally S October 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

        Thank you so much for the link! Their selection looks awesome as far as I can tell. =]

    2. Angie unduplicated
      Angie unduplicated October 19, 2013 at 7:47 am |

      Ally, have you considered one of those laser devices to get rid of hair or at least slow it down? They, too, are damned expensive and require some perseverance but I managed to cut leg hair by half or more with a cheapie. They work best on dark hair so you would have better results.

      1. Ally S
        Ally S October 20, 2013 at 1:17 am |

        I might be able to afford one, but unfortunately at this time I can’t do anything that would actually get rid of hair because certain family members will notice very quickly. The same problem won’t happen with using foundation and beard shadow cover because I can remove them whenever necessary.

    3. EG
      EG October 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

      Sounds like this boutique is a great find! I’m glad to hear it.

    4. Donna L
      Donna L October 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |

      Renting a post-office box — which doesn’t have to be very expensive — can also be a way of having things mailed to you that you can’t receive at home. I did that myself, once upon a time, when I was afraid to have things sent to me at home.

  2. Li
    Li October 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm |

    So, the advocate published this article by Gloria Steinem which is kinda an apology and retraction of her earlier transphobic writing. What are people’s thoughts? Because, to be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L October 19, 2013 at 12:16 am |

      I’m pretty sure that there was a discussion of Steinem’s piece on the Open Thread either last week or the week before — if I can find my comment, I’ll link to it. I agree — it very much downplayed the extent of her history of transphobia, and was very much a classic fauxpology. On the other hand, she’s gone further than any of her former colleagues that I can think of.

      1. Li
        Li October 19, 2013 at 1:14 am |

        Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve gone back to lurking a bit lately but I thought I’d at least kept up with the open threads. I didn’t mean to rehash something that had already been gone over.

      2. TomSims
        TomSims October 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |

        @Donna

        I agree 100%

    2. Chataya
      Chataya October 19, 2013 at 12:38 am |

      I agree with Donna. It comes across as “Oh, I was never wrong, you just didn’t ~understand~.”

    3. Ally S
      Ally S October 19, 2013 at 1:00 am |

      Well, I felt fine reading this article, but what’s with the apologetic stance on her past cissexism?

    4. Donna L
      Donna L October 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |

      I finally found my comment; it wasn’t in an open thread after all:

      http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/10/02/selfless-signal-boosting-wednesday-15/#comment-680493

      I appreciate what she said. Every little bit helps.

      But she seriously, seriously downplays the extent of her past transphobia. In reality, she bought and repeated everything Janice Raymond said. And there is no truth at all to what she says about her “mutilation” comments having been limited to opposing the idea of gay men and lesbians transitioning to escape homophobia — a stereotype that people used to claim applied to all trans people. See, for example:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=KVHmzw43TgkC&pg=PT373&lpg=PT373&dq=Gloria+Steinem+transsexual+empire&source=bl&ots=fCM3ny82Um&sig=ZafAAQUD7jv1tAer7VDm02QBpSk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=r1hMUtjHJ4W68AT-7ICICQ&ved=0CHgQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Gloria%20Steinem%20transsexual%20empire&f=false

      In light of her actual past words, her apology in this piece — saying “I’m sorry and sad if any words floating out there from the past seem to suggest anything other than support, past and present” (emphasis added) — is fundamentally dishonest, and pretty much a classic faux-apology.

      Nonetheless, I hope she’s sincere. What she says is certainly better than the alternative, such as what happened a week or two ago when Zombie Janice Raymond, of all people, crawled out of the grave her ideology should have been buried in decades ago, to repeat pretty much exactly the same things she was saying in 1979, giving 30-year old examples (like the closing of the Johns Hopkins gender identity clinic) as purported evidence supporting her transphobic theories. So, yes, what Steinem said could have been way worse.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L October 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

        The “if” and the “seem to suggest” were supposed to be bolded in the quote from Steinem, to show how thoroughly conditional and inadequate her apology was.

    5. Sharon M
      Sharon M October 19, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

      content note for transphobia

      So what took her so long?
      It’s not a secret that transgendered folks are victims of violence and discrimination.
      Now her next step taking action. How about calling out the TERF movement and its’ leaders?
      Her name has cachet and I imagine the trans phobic leaders would be uncomfortable having Steinman focus her attention on them.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L October 19, 2013 at 11:02 pm |

        She could sign the Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism! (People would love to ask her to, but nobody involved knows a way to get in touch with her.)

  3. Alexandra
    Alexandra October 18, 2013 at 11:20 pm |

    Well, on Wednesday night I argued with my drunk mother, left my parents house, and was chased into the street by my drunk father, who grabbed my arm to try to keep me from leaving. I screamed bloody murder and told him to let me go; when he dropped my arm and I got in the car to drive away, he dove in front of my car as it was moving, and rapped on the car window until I opened it, at which point he grabbed onto the inside of the car and tried to grab me so he could scream in my face some more.

    On Thursday he tried to spin this behavior as concern for my mental health (lol), and when I told him I didn’t believe that and I wanted an apology, he told me he wanted me out of his life for a few months, and not to bother coming by while my brother was in town visiting.

    So, like, I’m grateful to him for this because when people behave in a totally ridiculous way it helps to reframe all the nasty microaggressions as part of a larger pattern of nuttiness and abuse. And now I primarily feel angry at him, rather than depressed and angry at myself, which is a nice change of pace.

    So yeah, FUCK YOU, DAD. I AM A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN AND I DO NOT NEED YOU TO CONTROL MY LIFE FOR ME!!!!

    I am so glad I have an apartment that I pay rent on! I am so glad I am employed in two wonderful jobs! I’m sad that I dropped two classes because of THE CRAZY BIPOLAR, but hey – I’m still employed and paying rent!

    HAHAHAHAHA

    Also I am listening to Journey and The Go-Gos right now, so maybe I’ll start listening to Cyndi Lauper after… after all, girls just want to have fun, amirite?

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra October 18, 2013 at 11:26 pm |

      I am still sort of riding on the adrenaline, and honestly amazed at myself. In the long, awful years I lived with my parents while trying to cope with severe depression, I learned to capitulate instantly during arguments or else face serious emotional abuse and sometimes physical stuff. I’ve never before had the leverage to really have a backbone.

      And yesterday I told my Dad that if he ever touched me without my permission, tried to stop me from leaving, or tried to prevent me from driving off, I’d call the cops on him and press charges. Holy shit, it felt great. I don’t give a damn about protecting his alcoholic ass any longer. I supported him when he started in AA and was sober for a few years; I have no time for his bloody drinking problem now. It’s like – we all have mental health problems in my family, but for some reason I manage not to hit, taunt, or otherwise abuse anyone, something he and my mother have never quite managed!

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 18, 2013 at 11:51 pm |

        Whoa. Alexandra, you are freakin’ awesome!

        1. Angie unduplicated
          Angie unduplicated October 19, 2013 at 7:54 am |

          I grew up in similar circumstances. My bunch disparage mentally healthy habits, undercut and backstab to encourage dependence, and you know the rest of the routine. The day I left attachments at the garbage can and fled the entire bunch was the entry door into the amazing world of logical behaviors and unmedicated calm. Hoping you find that internal door and the sunlight.

      2. moviemaedchen
        moviemaedchen October 19, 2013 at 10:26 am |

        Go Alexandra! I’m rooting for you.

      3. EG
        EG October 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm |

        Congratulations, Alexandra, on standing up for yourself and realizing that you don’t have to stay. I hope the experience was as liberating as it sounds! And I send you strength.

      4. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help October 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm |

        Alexandra, bravo, bravo! ::whistles:: ::cheers::

  4. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune October 18, 2013 at 11:53 pm |

    Gahhhh life is eating my face. Jobs, I love you, but I am so tired.

    That said, I took a two-day break from academic stuff and it seems to have helped reboot my brain somewhat. Now here’s hoping the three(!) tests I have next week, and the two the week after that, go decently.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 18, 2013 at 11:56 pm |

      Also, I got a cupcake for my wedding anniversary ^__^

      1. Andie
        Andie October 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |

        Happy anniversary!

      2. EG
        EG October 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

        Happy Anniversary! You and Val are an awesome couple, and I wish you many, many more.

      3. TomSims
        TomSims October 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

        Happy Anniversary

      4. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 21, 2013 at 11:50 pm |

        Aww, thanks, y’all! ^__^

  5. Chataya
    Chataya October 19, 2013 at 12:07 am |

    I just wanted to thank Ally and Donna L for their help on the last thread! I will keep your suggestions in mind.

  6. Andie
    Andie October 19, 2013 at 9:23 am |

    I got my surgery date for my colectomy. Oct 29th, which means I’ll probably be in the hospital for Halloween. It also means that I can still have my previously planned Halloween party, so yay.

    I met with my surgeon, a woman, which made feminist me go “rah rah!” after all the old dudes I’ve been dealing with.

    I told my older daughter that I have cancer, and she’s kind of freaked out in that quiet “I don’t want to talk about it” way. My younger one still just knows that I have a tumour and have to have surgery for it. After the way her sister reacted, I’m afraid to give more details since she’s generally the more sensitive and worry-prone of the two.

    1. Andie
      Andie October 19, 2013 at 10:01 am |

      Aaaaand… I just got a call from my surgeon, because she found a surgeon that can do the colectomy and the reconstructive pouch in one go, rather than doing the colectomy now and scheduling two more surgeries down the road. Thing is, it will mean moving my surgery by three days, switching hospitals from Barrie to Toronto, and 4-6 weeks recovery time this time. Which means going back to work and changing all the contingencies I put in place for my absence.

      This is too big to deal with before my first coffee.

      1. EG
        EG October 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm |

        Andie, thanks for keeping us posted. It all sounds so overwhelming and distressing, but it also sounds like you really have a handle on what’s happening. I’m wishing you good luck and sending moral support. Surgery is never a good experience, even when it’s necessary, and I hope the people around you give you the care you need and deserve.

    2. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen October 19, 2013 at 10:25 am |

      Yeah, coffee’s definitely important. I hear you – in addition to the actual medical part, the admin stuff you have to go through to deal with the medical side is its own pile of crap too. I hope things go as well as they possibly can for you with all of this, and for your family too. Jedi hugs if wanted.

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

      Holy shit. I send you figurative coffee and best wishes. Here’s hoping you don’t have to undergo multiple surgeries.

    4. Donna L
      Donna L October 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

      Breaking up a prior long comment to try to avoid moderation:

      Andie, my thoughts are with you, and I’m glad that it looks like you can avoid the temporary ileostomy. (Although, as I said before, that’s something one can get used to if one has to, and it’s way better than being sick or dying, that’s for sure.)

      Even though I never had cancer (at least in that part of my body), I think I can relate a little bit to what you’re going through. Because of intractable Crohn’s Disease of the colon, which my doctors were never able to get under control despite 7 years of attempts to do so through medication, I had a sub-total colectomy (everything except the last few inches of the rectum) in 1983, when I was still in my mid-20′s, along with an ileostomy. (I was hospitalized so many times in my 20′s that it’s kind of hard to believe in retrospect — I remember that when I was feeling better each time, I would walk around the floor in the hospital, pushing my IV pole, and more than once I noted that I was the youngest patient on the entire floor, by 40 or 50 years!)

      1. Donna L
        Donna L October 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |

        I lived that way for over a year until they were able to hook things up again with an ileo-rectal anastomosis. (Unfortunately, with Crohn’s Disease, unlike ulcerative colitis or cancer — which are basically limited to the colon by definition — it’s impossible to do a reconstructive pouch, because Crohn’s Disease is never curable and there’s always a good possibility of a recurrence anywhere in the intestines, so the material used for a reconstructive pouch would always be subject to recurring disease.)

        I’ll admit that life hasn’t been ideal for me since then (never mind all my gender issues!) — I’ve never really gotten used to the fact that I haven’t slept more than three or four hours at a stretch, and haven’t gone to the bathroom fewer than 8 or 10 times a day, on a good day, in almost 30 years. But despite a number of recurrences, and plenty of other health issues like recurring near-fatal intestinal obstructions (ironically caused by adhesions building up from the prior surgeries), at least I’ve had a life of sorts, and in many ways I’ve been very lucky, especially that I’ve been able to become, and be, a parent. Perhaps it’s just vanity that I’m happy I didn’t have to keep the ileostomy permanently (although the worst part wasn’t the appearance of the thing, but the accidents when the bag would break open when I was away from home and there’d be sh*t everywhere!), but I’m eternally grateful, despite the difficulties it’s created, that I had the anastomosis done.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L October 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |

          And from everything I’ve read, the kind of reconstructive pouch that you’re going to have works way better than what I had done. So I really, really think — without downplaying in any way the pain and difficulty of this kind of surgery and the recovery process — that ultimately you’ll be very happy with the result, and with feeling well again. I’ve never for a moment taken wellness (when I experience it!) for granted. It’s a wonderful feeling, which I do still experience once in a while, to know that on a given day you don’t feel ill and in pain. I feel such optimism for you, along with great empathy for what you’re going through, and will be sending you all my good thoughts.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L October 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

        It worked. No need now ever to take the long comment out of moderation.

      3. Andie
        Andie October 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

        Hi Donna, thanks for sharing all that. I can relate to the feeling of being the youngest person in the hospital, I’ve been selling with the colitis since I was eighteen and now people can’t stop pointing out how young I am to bed dealing with this.. It’s weird.

  7. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl October 19, 2013 at 11:03 am |

    My Dad passed away three weeks ago Thursday. He had only done one round of chemotherapy, and experienced complications that made him decide to discontinue it and go home with hospice care. He went downhill so quickly and so inexplicably that it’s still terribly difficult to understand and accept. He never, ever, accepted defeat from me as his daughter, that he was willing to just give up on himself? I still don’t really understand.

    My twins spent at least two days a week with my parents until they started school full time a few years ago, so they were very close to my Dad. We’ve been trying to help them work through their grief, but they’re only eight, and negotiating that with them is also terribly hard. One of the twins, who also has behavioral issues/SPD/ADHD is having a difficult time acting out at home, and at school, bursting into tears unpredictably. It breaks my heart to see them hurting so much, and being limited in how I can help them. Because I can’t make it go away, and I can’t bring him back, and I miss him too.

    Oh, and I’m the Administrator of his estate/trust , and the only exposure I’ve ever had to the world of trusts and estates was a semester in Law School and during the Bar review. I have next to no idea what I’m doing. My dad did a good job of being organized and had a good attorney put it together. But it’s morbid business nonetheless.

    Sorry to me mememe all over, but this place seems like a pretty good confessional space. Thanks if you’ve managed to read this far.

    1. Andie
      Andie October 19, 2013 at 11:15 am |

      Hugs if you want them. I can’t imagine what having to deal with the jargon while already being emotionally vulnerable.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm |

      I was wondering how you were doing. Many hugs if you want ‘em, Lola.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L October 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

      I’ve been thinking of you also, Lolagirl. I’m so sorry that you and your kids are going through this. Many hugs if you want them, and my thoughts are with you.

    4. EG
      EG October 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

      Shit, Lola, I’m so sorry. I too have been wondering how you’ve been and am grateful that you came back to tell us. How fortunate your children are to have been able to develop such a close relationship with your father. I’m so sad thinking of your and their loss. You have my very deepest sympathies as you live through this.

    5. Ally S
      Ally S October 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm |

      Hugs if you want them, Lolagirl. :(

    6. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl October 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

      Thanks everyone for the kind words, I really appreciate it. I didn’t want it to look like I stepped away from posting here in a huff or whatever. Because I did need to take a step back for my own well being. And dealing with my Dad’s illness, his death, and all the other stuff that comes with life has been all-consuming anyway.

      It looks like a lot of other posters here are also experiencing bad stuff lately too, you’re all also in my thought these days.

      1. moviemaedchen
        moviemaedchen October 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm |

        Hugs if wanted. Dealing with the loss of a parent can be so overwhelming at times.

  8. Ally S
    Ally S October 20, 2013 at 4:21 am |

    Venting here because I feel that I should do so before I sleep:

    [Content note: physical abuse, abuse apologia, graphic depiction of abuse, emotional abuse]

    This week has been rough for me. I’ve come to the realization that what my father used to call “tough love” was actually highly abusive and contributed to my overall lack of trust in him. He used to grab me, restrain my body with his arms and/or legs, and then bite my arms and legs just before I started to bleed. He would make cannibalistic remarks like “I want some fresh meat” and only let go of me once I started crying and screaming or my mother came to take me away and rub isopropyl alcohol on my bite marks to prevent infection. This happened from ages 4-11. I even remember him telling me things like “Oh, so you’re going to tell your mother about what I did to you?” in a taunting, manipulative way.

    I don’t know why, but even though I recognize it as abuse as a 19-year-old and I’m not okay with victim-blaming at all, I still feel very ashamed and filled with self-blame. His behavior was so degrading, frightening, and humiliating – he made me feel like I was worthless and devoid of any control over my own body. When I have flashbacks of what he did to me, I shudder and feel just as filthy and worthless as I did when he restrained me and bit me at the age of 8. Maybe what I’m describing is hard for others to understand, but that’s how I felt (and still feel). I just felt violated by his behavior.

    And that leads me to this question: does anyone here know a good forum, blog, message board, etc. for survivors of abuse from family members? That would be a huge help for me.

    1. EG
      EG October 20, 2013 at 8:29 am |

      That’s horrifying, Ally, simply horrifying. I’m so sorry your father abused you like that–and continues to abuse you in other ways, in my opinion–and that your mother didn’t protect you. Your father had no right to abuse and hurt you like that, none at all, and my heart breaks for how frightened and helpless you must have been.

      You are not worthless. You are a resilient, kind, and thoughtful woman. You have had to be strong in ways nobody should have to be. I’m so sorry.

      1. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll October 20, 2013 at 11:55 am |

        Jesus. Not only did he not have the right to do that to you, that’s not even what tough love is. I am so sorry you have to deal with him in your life. Wish I lived near you because you’d have a place to stay he’d not get one toe across my threshold. Just know you have people firmly and irrevocably on your side. People who would not only stand by your side, but in front of you if need be.

        1. Ally S
          Ally S October 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm |

          Thanks, you two. I keep saying that to people here and perhaps it’s tiring to hear, but I’m serious – I really do appreciate the support.

      2. Ally S
        Ally S October 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm |

        [Content note: emotional abuse, violence, physical abuse, reproductive coercion]

        Actually, my mom did a lot for me. She often tried to pull me away from him. And there’s a reason he taunted me about going to my mom; I would always go to her for comfort and safety. She couldn’t do much to help me, but that’s only because she was afraid of my father hurting her somehow. At the very least she comforted me, made me feel safe, and attempted to treat my injuries. Most importantly, she understood what I was going through and always told me that she thought my dad’s behavior was unacceptable. I never doubted that she loved and cared about me, and that’s how I feel today as well.

        Please understand that she was abused by him as well – even worse than I was, actually – and so much of the time she was also trying to look out for herself. He has threatened her with violence so graphic and sadistic that I don’t even want to mention his exact words here (hint: it’s even worse than the biting). And she once told me that she was afraid of giving birth to me because she didn’t want another child of hers to be raised by my dad. That makes me suspect that she was forced to give birth to me, a thought I find extremely horrible. And I really don’t want to think about it.

        1. EG
          EG October 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm |

          I’m sorry to have implied an attack on your mother, Ally. I didn’t mean to. I just phrased my feeling clumsily. What I should have said was that I’m sorry that your mother was not able to provide you with the protection you needed and deserved. I don’t fault your mother for your father’s abuse, and I’m so glad you have her love and support.

        2. Ally S
          Ally S October 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

          I understand; don’t worry. I’m just kind of sensitive when people say things that seem critical of my mother’s actions – not because I think she’s a perfect human being but because my father used to demonize her constantly. He hasn’t said much about her in a while, but what he used to say was so overbearing, hateful and hurtful that I no longer feel comfortable even mentioning something tangentially related to her when he’s around.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm |

      Holy shit, your dad’s a fucking monster.

      I didn’t want to say it before, but I really feel like I should say that that sounds pretty sexually abusive, or at least sexually charged abuse, to me. So, you know, if that’s something lurking in the back of your head, here’s a bit of validation from a many-legged squiggle creature on the internet.

      1. Ally S
        Ally S October 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm |

        [Content note: sexual abuse, transmisogyny]

        Thinking about that possibility makes my stomach churn. But at the same time, I really do appreciate you pointing it out – it feels validating in some way. I don’t think it was sexual abuse or sexually-charged abuse, but the thought has crossed my mind before. And I think it’s a plausible thing to conclude, given what I said and some other things about my father’s past that I don’t want to talk about.

        By the way, next time you or someone else here mentions something about me possibly being sexually abused by my father, I would really appreciate a content note for sexual abuse. I’m not a survivor of sexual abuse, but these days I get these anxiety-driven thoughts about my father sexually abusing me in order to punish me, and those thoughts are incredibly frightening and disturbing. I just don’t want those thoughts to keep coming back. Of course, I understand that you were totally well-meaning, so I’m not upset at you, but I would appreciate a little warning next time.

    3. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen October 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

      That’s appalling of him – I’m sorry. Hugs if wanted. Nobody deserves that.

  9. Anna
    Anna October 20, 2013 at 5:38 am |

    OK, I thought this was funny: Someone was telling me about a friend of hers who was prescribed a topical medication for a yeast infection. The pharmacist’s instructions read, “apply one applicator to each vagina.”

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help October 21, 2013 at 11:44 pm |

      First reaction: ʘ_ʘ

      Second reaction: LOL!

  10. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm |

    Does anyone watch American Horror Story? I really want to like Ryan Murphy, but I don’t understand how he’s writing a story about empowering unprivileged people this season by playing into every trope that has ever existed.

    1. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll October 21, 2013 at 1:05 am |

      Yes. I’m too enthralled with Jessica Lange though to care about tropes. This is one show I turn my brain off for. Sleepy Hollow almost lost me with the modern Indian shaman that turned out to be the magical Indian.

  11. EG
    EG October 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

    So, I just need a moment to complain about how horrible chronic pain is. Due to minor scoliosis and a childhood…injury, I guess you’d say, I have had severe, chronic pain in my neck, shoulders, and upper back ever since I was five years old. It was at its worst when I was in my early 20s and simply being upright for an hour made me feel like red-hot nails were driven into my shoulders. A year of physical therapy helped. A special pillow to sleep on helps. Getting a good-enough salary to get a pro massage every month helps.

    But this morning I picked up my godson at the zoo, shifted him on my hip, and pinged something in my right shoulder blade that went into spasm and has been causing me fairly intense pain ever since, and it has spread to my left shoulder blade as well. I’ve had some self-heating adhesive strips from the drugstore stuck on them for three hours now. That’s helped, but there’s a basic knot of spasm in there too deep for them to reach, and it hurts really badly and I hate it so much, and it makes it hard for me to focus on anything or do anything and I’m starting to feel some serious anger at the person who caused the childhood injury creep up. Because this has been going on almost my whole life and it will no doubt continue for the rest of it. And I HATE IT. And I hurt.

    1. EG
      EG October 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm |

      And I just calculated that I spend a significant chunk of money every year trying to ameliorate this pain. And I am fortunate to be able to do that, but I sure as FUCK resent having to.

      1. trees
        trees October 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm |

        I so very much can relate to this. I too have permanent spinal damage from a “childhood injury” that went untreated. I also live with the constant pain and when my mind settles on it, I am also reminded of the incident and person that caused it. I admire your ability to feel anger.

        A few years ago, I got weekly injections to paralyze the nerves in the region, along with 3x[?] a week physical therapy. It really helped while I was doing it, but I just couldn’t afford to continue charging the co-pay.

        I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but it’s comforting to hear that someone else can relate to this sort of experience.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm |

        EG, my illnesses aren’t the cause of “injuries”, thank fuck, but I can empathise with your pain. I’m so sorry. Chronic pain sucks and I don’t think people who don’t have it can ever really understand what a living hell it can make even the most mundane things.

        Sometimes I think “may you feel for yourself the pain of what you have done to me” is the only curse I’d give blanket permission for the entire world to be able to magically perform.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L October 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm |

      I’m so, so sorry. I know how you’ve suffered with this, for so long. Are you going to try to make an appointment with someone who can help you feel better?

      And you have every right to be angry. I wonder if that person knows what pain they’ve caused you.

    3. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen October 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

      I’m sorry you are dealing with such pain, and hope you can find some solution that helps. Although my pain isn’t usually at the level you describe, for years due to various causes both known and unknown I’ve dealt with recurring joint and muscle pain, and it definitely sucks – I hear you there.

  12. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune October 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm |

    I hate anxiety. And bullies can go sit on a spike and spin.

    AKA, mkid is freaking out because people are assholes and I failed two tests this week because being asked to answer questions or remember anything consistently makes me cry hysterically right now.

    1. trees
      trees October 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm |

      So sorry mac. Does the “power posing” before exams help at all?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm |

        It does help, when I can remember to actually do it (the anxiety wreaks hell on my ability to remember anything, so I clean forgot it today). It’s just been a shitty week all around, barring a nice evening yesterday. And I’ve got an essay proposal and a bibliography due in two days. Yay. Or, you know, not. But that one doesn’t need me to remember things, thank fuckity fuck.

        1. trees
          trees October 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm |

          Is it an annotated bibliography to accompany the essay proposal? Those can be fun.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm |

          No, thank fuck. That was this week. -_-

        3. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho October 24, 2013 at 11:51 pm |

          I’ve been putting off doing my homework all week, and class is tonight, but I’m home sick (bronchitis) and I still haven’t started it. I have a severe case of procrastination going.

    2. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen October 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

      Hugs if wanted. Bullies can go F themselves – I wish you and your kid all best in dealing with them, and the anxiety. (Anxiety fucking sucks, oh man.)

  13. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho October 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm |

    Everyone needs love this week. Big ol’ Peggy hugs over here for whoever wants them. And non-dairy ice cream for all!

    @Andie – my dad had colorectal cancer and I now know way too much about that shit (pun intended). I’m sorry you have to go through that.

    @Lolagirl – sorry for your loss. I wish I had something more insightful or helpful to say, but I don’t.

    @EG – That sounds terrible. I hope you feel better soon.

    @macavitykitsune – seriously, screw the bullies. They suck donkey butt.

    @Ally – sweetheart, I’m really sorry you went through all that. I know what that’s like. No one should know what that’s like. I wish there was something I could do.

    Bad stuff should stop happening to the cool people.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 24, 2013 at 11:15 pm |

      Thanks, Peggy! Hugs back ^__^

      I think she’s doing better now. She’s got permission from her grade teacher to go sit in the office and work whenever she’s feeling anxious or being given shit, so that’s something. We might shift her to distance learning next year or in high school. I dunno. But I’ve known too many bright, articulate, lovely people who were bullied right out of school by family or friends, and fuck, I’m not adding one person to that statistic if I can help it. Not one.

  14. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho October 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    1. Willemina
      Willemina October 25, 2013 at 12:54 am |

      So cute!

  15. tmc
    tmc October 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm |

    Thinking good thoughts for all of you who are suffering. I know I don’t post much (and I don’t even lurk much these days), but I do think very highly of quite a few of you, and I’m hoping that everyone posting here who is struggling with something is able to get whatever it is that they need from life right now.

  16. tmc
    tmc October 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

    Looooong post broken up into many comments:

    1. tmc
      tmc October 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

      So it’s been an up-and-down week for me, emotionally. For a while I’ve been having some thoughts and confusion regarding my gender identity (god, that’s so hard to even type out) and I only this week actually started talking about it to others instead of keeping it all in my own head. I’ve been feeling like a fraud, I’ve been thinking that the only reason I’ve been even having these thoughts is because so many of the people in my life and my friends circles are trans* and so I must just be convincing myself of something that probably isn’t true.

      I didn’t even say a word about it to my trans* husband or my trans* boyfriend or anyone else because I felt like a big fake.

      Part of the reason that I feel like a fake is because until quite recently, I wasn’t unhappy. For years I’ve thought things about my body (some of these thoughts go back decades) and I kept them to myself and I was content keeping those thoughts to myself. I recognized that most cis women probably didn’t imagine these things about their own bodies or want these things for their bodies but that didn’t bother me. I figured that my body just already is what it is and I’d likely never be able to change it, and I just didn’t talk about it, and in my own head I saw myself the way that I want to be and I was content with that.

    2. tmc
      tmc October 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm |

      That changed last weekend. My boyfriend and I went to an event that was for people who identify as queer. I have a packer that I bought probably about 6 or 7 years ago that I’ve never worn outside my house (and even then, I usually only did it privately, without my husband around), and I guess since I felt like it would be a safe space, I decided to wear my packer all weekend long around all of these strangers. I was so nervous but I wanted to do it.

      And it was fine. It was better than fine. It was right. It felt good. And we were surrounded by other queer people so no one looked at me twice.

      And when we came back home and got back to normal life, things had changed for me. These thoughts were louder than ever and I couldn’t get them to shut up. I couldn’t keep them bottled up. I told my boyfriend and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, even though he’s trans* and he was entirely supportive and basically said that whatever I want to do as far as pronouns, or packing, or binding, or T, or ANYTHING, he’s 100% behind me. I don’t know why I was so scared to tell him; he’d been suspecting something for as long as he’s known me, and pointing out certain things that I hadn’t realized I’d been doing (like sometimes referring to myself using male pronouns without even realizing it) and he’s not the first or only person who has asked me in the last several years if I’m sure that I’m really cis.

    3. tmc
      tmc October 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm |

      I went to work without my packer yesterday and I felt so strange and incomplete and it was AWFUL. I burst into tears when my boyfriend sent me an email linking to a trans* supply website. It’s never been like this before. I was always able to just have my thoughts, whatever they were, and live happily in my own head in the body that I feel is most right for me. But I got a taste of what life could really be like during that queer event (packing, being asked my preferred pronouns and no one batting an eye when I say “she/her or he/him, whichever”), and now I can’t pretend that I’m okay with just living it inside of my own head.

      Something I’m struggling with (in my own head as well as admitting to others, even all of you here) is the fact that despite the things that I want for my body, I also still identify VERY strongly as a woman. And I love lots of things about my body as it is, it just feels…incomplete. I feel like I should be both. Like I AM both. And maybe that’s why I’d been able to be pretty okay for all this time? Because being perceived as a woman feels good and right to me, but being perceived as a man also feels good and right to me. I’ve been mistaken for a man or boy LOTS of times over the course of my life and it’s always been something that I’m comfortable with and usually am pretty stoked about (and until now I’ve never interrogated the reason why being assumed to be male by others would make me so happy); there have also been plenty of times when I have chosen to present as a man on purpose. I don’t feel like sometimes I’m a man and sometimes I’m a woman; I feel like maybe I am both, all the time, every day, fully a man, fully a woman. Simultaneously.

    4. tmc
      tmc October 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm |

      I don’t even know if any of this is making any sense. I’m still so confused and I’ve only told my boyfriend, husband, and best friend, and now all of you here (and I’m not planning on telling any more IRL peeps any time soon). I’m not claiming any particular identity right now, I’m not changing my pronouns (although I am completely open to being referred to using he/him/his in addition she/her/hers – but that’s nothing new for me). Right now I still refer to myself cis even though I know that I am likely not very cis…I guess I’m just not quite convinced yet. I’m going to start packing regularly and I’m going to start trying to make other changes and just see how I feel about it and see where this takes me. I’m taking my time. I don’t feel any need to rush.

      I’ll be honest, I feel like I might puke, I’m so anxious writing this. And y’all don’t even know me in person and I’m still terrified. Sorry for the novel, I just feel so confused and anxious and like a big phony for even mentioning this shit in a public forum. I do have a wonderful and open-minded support system here, and it’s not like I don’t already know that It’s Okay To Be Different (my daughter’s favorite book, lol), but for whatever reason I am a little freaked out putting this all out there.

    5. Ally S
      Ally S October 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm |

      tmc, I’m a trans* girl, and I can relate to your feelings a lot. In particular, even though I’m sure that I’m female, there are times when I experience small amounts of self-doubt. It used to be way worse before, and I felt alone and, just like you, “fake.”

      I just want to let you know that self-doubt regarding gender identity is very common for trans* people. And please bear in mind that you are never a fake; you’re not trying to deceive anyone. You just feel confused, and that’s normal. If one day you come to the realization that you are trans* or cis, that won’t mean that you were being fake before that realization. For instance, my feelings about me being female are valid even if some day I happen to realize that I was cis male all along (I don’t think that day will ever come because I’m sure about my identity, but I think you understand what I’m getting at).

      I’m very sorry you feel anxious and confused. Hugs if you want them, and if perhaps you want to talk about these things more with me, you can email me at aaliyahsyed94[at]gmail[dot]com.

      1. tmc
        tmc October 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm |

        Thank you so much, Ally. I know we haven’t directly talked much (or even possibly at all?) but you are someone that I have admired here and I think that you’re very brave. I appreciate your contact info and you will almost certainly be hearing from me.

    6. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen October 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm |

      I’m crafting a longer reply to you, but I wanted to say thanks for posting this, and hugs if wanted. A lot of what you write echoes my own struggles with the question of my gender identity – I hear you on the complexity and self-doubt.

      1. tmc
        tmc October 28, 2013 at 11:51 am |

        Thank you. Hugs are definitely appreciated!

    7. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen October 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

      @tmc

      First, hugs. That’s a lot to be dealing with, but there are people here supporting you and rooting for you to find whatever answers work for you – I wish you the best with all of this. I’m glad to hear your boyfriend and all are supporting you too.

      Second: THANK YOU so much for writing this. I hear you on the complexity and difficulty of trying to figure all the gender stuff out, and the self-doubt. Some of what you describe is similar to what I’ve been going through for a while. Ever since I came out to myself as bi/queer a couple years ago I’ve been in this whole process of questioning various things, and my sense of what my gender actually is is still not…stable? Entirely coherent? Not sure how to describe it. I currently identify online as a genderqueer woman, because that’s the closest I can get to describing how I currently feel without turning it into a paragraph. But I’m conflicted over that. I haven’t dared come out about the gender issue in meatspace, even to people who know I’m queer.

      I’ve been feeling like a fraud, I’ve been thinking that the only reason I’ve been even having these thoughts is because so many of the people in my life and my friends circles are trans* and so I must just be convincing myself of something that probably isn’t true.

      Oh, I hear you. I could have written this exact thing – thank you for saying this, because this is something I struggle with. I started questioning/figuring out a lot of things around the same time – the possibility of not being exactly cis, coming out to myself as queer, possibly gray-a, and some other realizations – but it so happened that this coincided with several of my friends coming out about various things – being trans, being genderqueer and ace, etc. Possibly some of my self-questioning was sparked by those things, too. But I go back and forth and back and forth over ‘X saying this about themselves led me to look at myself and see the lies I was telling myself’ and ‘I’m not really genderqueer/gray-a/whatever, I’m just doing it to feel special/fit in/be like X who I really adore.’ I feel like a fraud so often, so it was validating to hear that someone else also struggles with that (even though of course I wish you didn’t have to struggle).

      Also, it’s like, if I felt bad dysphoria or had a clear, stable sense of being, say, a man instead of a woman, maybe I would feel less confused? Because what you say about feeling very strongly that you are ALSO a woman? I feel similarly. It’s not that I don’t feel like a woman, it’s that I feel like a woman AND some other things. None of those maps neatly onto ‘man’ for me, but some of them go in that direction, and there are elements of masculinity that appeal to me. There are also elements of being agender that sometimes appeal. Sometimes there’s mild/moderate dysphoria and I want to bind my breasts; sometimes I love my body. A lot of the time I’m like ‘gender? Um, can I pick ‘other’ or ‘unknown’?’ I know I’d be unhappy if I tried to transition into being a man; I don’t know if I can or should try to live like/convince myself I’m really cis, or if not what actually living as genderqueer would mean for me or be like, or if I should.

      I could write a lot more, and probably take up this whole thread. If you ever want to talk about this stuff, feel free to email me – it’s my handle here at gmail. Again, thank you so much for this. It can be so scary (yeah, feeling a bit afraid myself), but it helps so much to hear it. Hugs.

      1. tmc
        tmc November 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm |

        I have no idea how I missed your response to me, moviemaedchen, but I am just now seeing it for the first time. I will respond to you when I get a chance this weekend. Thank you so much for everything you’ve said here!

  17. tmc
    tmc October 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

    And please bear in mind that you are never a fake; you’re not trying to deceive anyone. You just feel confused, and that’s normal. If one day you come to the realization that you are trans* or cis, that won’t mean that you were being fake before that realization.

    Ally, I currently have another response to you in moderation (for some reason), but I just wanted to add that this in particular was really helpful for me to read. Thank you.

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