On Being Trans
I did this questionnaire on Twitter (1 like for 1 answer) and said to my followers that if I received a certain number of likes, I would do a full blog. Here it is, with additional questions answered, and other answers (slightly) expanded.
1. What made you realise you are trans?
Simply realising that I was allowed to be. Repression is subtle; for so much of my life even conceptualising being nonbinary would have required autonomously inventing the very notion, and coming upon it as something outside my familiar reference points made the option seem initially radically strange. I have come to see being nonbinary and transitioning as fundamental to who I am.
2. Are you transitioning?
I desperately want to, but there are quite a few obstacles on my journey still but I’m making my own Aesopian progress.
3. Are you out in your life?
5. What name did you almost choose?
Although traditionally a masculine name, I’ve known far more Rowan gals than Rowan guys. I’ve always liked the name, its origins, and it feels a good enby fit.
6. Scariest thing about being trans?
A coin toss between harassment from strangers and securing medical assistance to transition. (Interestingly, after giving this answer, I saw several others provide exactly the same one.)
7. Celeb that would break you if they were a transphobe.
Winnie-the-Pooh, I'd be gutted.
8. Have you dated a trans person?
I think so, yes.
9. Do you know any other trans people irl?
Yes, but not enough.
10. Best thing about being trans?
So many euphoric aspects to being trans, but foremost for me is living my life as a work of artistic self-creation.
11. A trans person that inspired you?
In the gay community the focus on immutability has led to promoting sexual orientation in a way that is completely removed from gender expression. […] In the trans community, just the opposite is the case. Gender is promoted at the expense of sexual practice. It’s OK for me to say I’m changing my body because of my ‘gender identity.’ But it would considered superficial, even perverse, to say I was doing so because having a more feminine body would turn me on. […] When gay activists began asserting, “We’re just like straights, we just sleep with the same sex,” that “just like” was shorthand for “gender.” It said, “We look and act just like your parents, your friends, or your boss: don’t be uncomfortable with us.” And when feminists began explaining, “We’re not trying to be men,” the phrase “trying to be men” was also shorthand for “gender.” It said, “We’re just like your wives, mothers, daughters: don’t be uncomfortable with us either.” […] It’s fair to say that “transgender” was created by the gay and feminist movements. Its emergence became practically inevitable from the day those movements began moving away from gender.
12. Do you create content or art?
Yes, on this very website.
13. Favourite band atm?
Phoebe Bridgers, maybe. It’s a tough question because music is so much about mood. I love Placebo, early Muse, Don McLean, Johnny Tillotson, Johnny Cash, Lana Del Rey, Skin, Billie Ellish, Asa-Chang & Junray, Bright Eyes, Lorde, SOPHIE, Miles Davis, Daughter, The Mountain Goats, Sparklehorse, Current 93, Lupen Crook, Björk, Queen, The Tiger Lillies, Ada Rock, Wet Leg, &c. &c.
14. Last thing that made you cry?
After coming back from A&E, about the poor treatment of an elderly man. It was harrowing, mixed up with other emotions.
15. What would be your superpower?
Shapeshifting, of course; I’m a basic bitch enby.
16. What is your favourite affirming clothing item?
Pink trousers, which I’m currently wearing.
17. Favourite cartoon?
Texhnolyze, I wish more people would watch it so I could have discussions.
18. What is you dream job?
19. Have you had gender affirming dreams?
So much, and before I even realised that I was trans.
20. Ever been to a protest?
So many. It makes me a little exhausted to think about.
21. Are you religious?
Depends on a given definition. I have spiritual needs answered by various hopes that double as faiths.
22. Political leanings?
23. How tall are you?
24. Sexual orientation?
Pan/Bi. (The distinction is slight and, honestly, I like both.)
25. Ever try polyamory?
26. Strangest fear?
I used to be terrified of the idea of the plastic of dolls rotting, making them look like hideous caricatures. I saw a documentary when I was kid in which this happened to a man who had a museum of expensive dolls, and he described them of all smelling of salt. As a child, thereafter, I was scared of letting salt get anywhere near plastic, and especially near toys.
27. How many people have you dated?
2-3, depending on definitions.
28. Got a favourite nickname?
I’ve only ever really had two that stuck. Mole and Lanky Larry. The latter was inspired by a sweet sold at a home-ed camping festival I regularly attended, and I guess I was lanky. The former was a childhood pet name. I think the former is my favourite.
29. 8-year-old you would react to you how?
I honestly do not know. I didn’t have the same conceptual abilities at eight as I do now. Probably fascinated wonderment. Teenage me would be impressed by how far I’ve come and, I believe, fascinated by the idea of being nonbinary.
If you enjoyed my essay, you can become a Rowan Tree Editing patron for as little as £1.00 per month and receive essays five-days early as well as other benefits.