Your Vote for Trump is a Vote Against my Existence

Just going to get this out of the way right now.  Yes, of course I’m a liberal.  Yes, of course i’m not religious.  And yes, of course I could never support a Republican.  Not just because I don’t support their social positions, but because I can’t ethically support any position they run on.

But this post isn’t really about me, it’s about you.

A vote for a Republican in any sense is a vote allowing for the discrimination, persecution, and possible death of me and thousands of others like me.  Do you recall this blog post i wrote about five months ago?  Well, the statistics haven’t changed any.  If anything, they’ve gotten worse.  And now, on top of it all, we’ve got bills and laws popping up in several states, such as North Carolina and my own home state of Indiana, that are bold-facedly discriminating against us under the guise of “protecting children.”  In reality, these laws are just the next generation of bigotry in political form since their fight against gay marriage went against their favor.

Now, you may be saying, “Why does any of this matter?  All of these laws are at the state-level, which Trump can’t touch anyway.  And anyway, Trump came out saying he doesn’t care either way about people being transgender.”  Well, that’s anything but the truth.  The next president may have more say about whether these laws become the norm or unconstitutional than any other future politician.  In the end, it’s the Supreme Court that determines which laws are okay and which are unconstitutional, but the president determines who gets to be on the bench.  And right now, we’ve got one seat already vacant due to Antonin Scalia’s death, and likely another three deaths or retirements within the next four years between Breyer, Kennedy, and Ginsburg, who are all already above the average retirement age for Supreme Court justices.  Given the current unmoving state of Congress, there’s no way that even the current position will be filled before another president comes into the Oval Office.

So now we have the precedent for why this election matters, but why does it matter so much?  Well, the answer is in how the justices tend to side.  Before Scalia’s death, the Supreme court was fairly even on liberals and conservatives, with Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito generally voting conservative, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan generally voting liberal, and Anthony Kennedy voting for whichever side he felt like for the day.  But the next president could end up filling up to four of those positions, two on each side.  That could create a huge swing in how the Supreme Court decides on cases, and that swing could be in place for a long, long time.  We’re likely not to see another replacement for ten more years.  We’re going to have to live with the Supreme Court that this next president creates for up to three more presidents after that, which could be pretty scary if they uphold something detrimental.

I guess I really haven’t yet answered the question of why not Trump yet, so I’ll get to that now.  Although Trump may not always side with his constituents, and although he may not uphold all the social aspects of the right, he’s still a Republican, and at this point, generally holds a conservative view of politics.  Those four positions are likely to be filled by conservative judges if he appoints them.  And that will massively swing the current position of the Supreme Court to two liberal and six conservative, led by a hyper-conservative chief justice.  With that much of an advantage, there’s likely no way that those bathroom laws get struck down, and they’re likely to go on for ten years before they get tested again.

And what’s to stop those states from going further once they’ve won that debate?  It’s illegal for me to step into my own bathroom at that point, why not make it illegal to be transgender at all?  It wouldn’t be that difficult to step from this to not being able to change birth markers, or requiring to disclose private information when applying for jobs, or willfully allowing for discrimination in the workplace or as a renter based on preferred gender.  There’s no way in hell laws forbidding this kind of stuff nationally get through with a Republican president, and it’s likely those like the bathroom laws even get put into place nationwide.

I’m already having difficulty living my life as it is.  Laws like these are only making things worse by requiring me to rule out certain places to live for my own livelihood.  And with many people like me already at a difficult position in life, it isn’t like we can just move.  We’ll be forced to live in state-sanctioned persecution, unable to even have the simplest of personal freedoms, the right to a fucking bathroom.  Being transgender is already hard.  Don’t make it harder under the guise of “making America great again.”  Because is it really great when you’re calling for the active oppression of your own compatriots?

No Point

It’s 1:30 in the morning on a Wednesday here.  I haven’t yet attempted to sleep tonight, and I probably won’t for at least another hour.  But it’s okay because I don’t have to even wake up tomorrow, let alone do anything else.

Three months ago I quit my shitty software job in Indiana to move out to California and live with my boyfriend’s family.  I left the software industry to start on what I see as my true calling in life, cooking.  More than anything, I want to learn how to be a truly great cook, open a restaurant, and actually be happy with what I’m doing with my life.  I was going to get some experience in an actual commercial kitchen environment, save up some money, and maybe go to culinary school.  My boyfriend was going to get a great job somewhere in the area, too, and between the two of us, that restaurant was going to quickly become a reality. I was going to go places, do things, be who I truly wanted to be.

And three months later, I’m no closer than I was when I left Lafayette.  I haven’t been able to get a job despite numerous interviews, and my boyfriend hasn’t even been that lucky.  I got into culinary school, but I can’t pay for it without  either of us having jobs.  My transition has been put on hold more than once because I couldn’t afford the medication.  And every day my bank account gets smaller and smaller while I still attempt to pay for the life I thought I wanted.

Three months with no glimpse of a future is hard.  Every day I wonder whether I actually made the right decision.  Was it actually worth it to leave?  Or should I have just lived with the constant depression and stress pushing me closer to the edge?  At least then I could sometimes afford a way to make myself forget about the problems.

I wonder if maybe my parents are right.  I’m deluding myself into believing there is some happiness that I can attain from pursuing my dreams.  Life just doesn’t work that way.  I should have just stayed with that plan to have my wife and two more kids than necessary in a neighborhood of good, law-abiding, god-fearing bigots going to a job that sucks my soul out bit by bit every day.

But no, I just had to be “happy.”  I had to listen to what my mind was saying about myself.  I had to go and throw away all that I had, my intelligence, my faith, my manhood.  All because of some stupid hopes and dreams that will never actually be reached.

It’s 2:11 AM on Wednesday morning, and I’m still not thinking about going to bed.  There’s no point.  Because tomorrow will be the same regardless of when I wake up.  The same disappointment, self-loathing, anger, emptiness, and lack of direction I’ve felt for the last few months, and really, the last few years.  And I don’t see any end to it, either.

Maybe I just won’t go to bed tonight.  At least then I won’t have to feel that empty hope from the start of a new day.

Signs

Fatigue. Feelings of worthlessness. Pessimism. Insomnia. Irritability. Loss of interest in activities. Overeating. Persistent aches and pains. Persistent feelings of sadness. Thoughts of suicide. These are several of the symptoms of clinical depression.

Sweating. Hypervigilance. Racing thoughts. Fear. Sense of impending doom. Trembling. These are several of the symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

I have been presenting a vast majority of these symptoms since I was in grade school.   And for just as long my immediate family has ignored or berated me for those symptoms instead of constructively dealing with the problem.  Whenever the symptoms overtook me, I was yelled at for being lazy,stubborn, annoying, useless. Never once did they even consider treatment. And the couple times I broke, lashed out, and made a cry for help, they reacted with denial and anger, completely ignoring the problem, responding with violence, or trying to throw me out of their lives.

And that’s the main reason I’m constantly angry at my family.  They had twenty years to help me figure out how to deal with my problems, but instead threw me aside when I got to be too much to handle. And now that I’m out on my own and struggling to figure out all this depression and anxiety and gender stuff by myself, all that pent up anger and frustration that I held in out of fear for my life is coming out.

Anxiety over wearing clothes typically worn by their sex.  Wanting to take part in activities typical of the opposite sex. Preferring to play with the opposite sex. Feelings of severe distress at the physical changes of puberty. Hoping that their genitals will change. Persistent fantasies of being the opposite sex. Isolation and rejection from peers in social interaction. These are several of the symptoms of gender identity disorder.

Symptoms I displayed but mainly hid while I was growing up.   Symptoms I would have shared had my family handled my other issues better.

Sick of it

I don’t write this blog for anyone but myself.  I use this as a medium to vent my own frustrations and detail my own personal struggles.  I only put it out there for others so that you all can see what’s going through my brain.  It’s my way to show you what I’m going through, what I’m dealing with, what I’m thinking about, what I’m struggling over.  Because written word is the only way I can find to effectively communicate it all after years and years of having to suppress my deepest feelings.

And every time I write a post like the one I did yesterday, I get some angry, condescending note from someone else in my family.  They want me to stop writing my feelings out.  They want me to show some respect for them.  They want to guilt trip me either for themselves or on the behalf of others.

I’m sick of it.  I’m sick them seeing it as personal affronts and taking offense to it rather than actually making the changes I want to see out of them.  I’m sick of having to write the same crap over and over about my family because they can’t be assed to actually care about how I feel.  I’m sick of seeing them continue to sit on their high horses, completely ignoring my own emotions.

This blog isn’t something full of sunshine and rainbows meant to make everyone feel better about themselves, and it isn’t ever going to be. Furthermore, the blog is going to continue to be much of the same until I feel safe and comfortable, which I don’t amongst my own blood relations, let alone the rest of the world.  If you want me to stop bitching about my family, then fucking do something about it.  Accept me.  Understand me.  Try to learn.  Stop being self-righteous pricks.  Treat me like the person I am, not the person you want me to be.  A majority of the rest of the world has.  And if you can’t, then grow some skin or get out.

I’m an Ungrateful Person

All my life I’ve been told that I’ve never been grateful for anything I’ve ever gotten.  I only care about my family when it most benefits me.  I’m never satisfied with anything I’m given.  I can’t see the good in anything.  I’m never happy with anything or anyone.

Well, for the most part,  that’s completely true.  I’m pretty ungrateful of most of what I’ve been given.  But really, what do I have to be grateful for?

My education?  Sure, my four years at Rose-Hulman were some of my best.  Almost all of my closest friends come from that time period.  But now that I’m out, those four years hang the heaviest on my head.  Those four years turned into a ton of debt, three years of extra wasted time trying to get into an industry I never should have had people push me into, and an endless supply of anxiety, sleep issues, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies from trying to deal with the pressures of the workload.  All for a little piece of paper that I’m probably never going to have use for again.

My family?  Okay, so they’ve mostly supported me financially for most my life.  But their ideals and pressures are what pushed me into the predicament I’m in now.  They were the source for that constant pressure to be a successful son with his wife and two and a half kids living in Suburbia with my engineering job working 80 hours a week for $100k a year.  And along with that came the feelings of disappointment and contempt any time I strayed even a bit from that pipe dream, even if it was what was actually making me happy.  Oh, and don’t forget the demands for me to be civil and interested in their lives when, aside from a select few, they’ve never really been civil or interested in mine.

My life?  I’ve been contemplating whether that’s actually been any good since its inception.  And although sometimes things seem to be getting better, this fifteen-year battle with depression continues to make me second-guess whether all this has been worth it.

So really, what do I have to be grateful for?  The things I do like about my life I’ve almost entirely gotten on my own.  And what I haven’t has come at such a great cost.  I mean, I guess I’ve at least learned what I don’t want with my life.

A Chance To Start Over

As many of you know by now, I am currently preparing for a major shift in my life.  I’ll be moving to California, where I will be attending classes in culinary arts and hopefully working as a chef.  It’s a huge change from being a software engineer in Indiana, but it’s one I’m ready to make and try to make work.

Some of you may be thinking, “Why?  You’ve got a great degree and a great job in a great field.  Why give up all that?”  Well, honestly, it isn’t all that great to me.  Turns out after four years of college and three years in the industry, it just isn’t something I see myself doing until I retire.  The day-to-day stress of going to work and being productive for eight hours is tearing me apart.  And at the end of the day, I don’t even feel like I’m making any slight bit of difference.  Don’t get me wrong, I like programming, and I like software architecture, but there’s so much more stuck in my mind that I just don’t have time or energy to get out.  Software work is draining my ability to be productive and, essentially, my ability to be alive.

You see, what a lot of you don’t see or choose not to see is that I’m slowly dying working the nine-to-five office job.  The pressure of succeeding in an office environment day after day is stressing me out and making my anxiety much, much worse.  I’m always so afraid of doing something wrong that will end in a complete meltdown of my way of life, which is only making the stress worse.  The stress and anxiety then give me insomnia and kick my depression into high gear, which then lead to more stress and anxiety because I’m even less productive.  Not to mention my sleep cycles getting completely out of whack, leading to me getting up later and later, which only helps to feed the cycle.  And if I continue this way, I will most definitely either commit suicide or cause an accident resulting in the death of myself or others.

My most recent suicide scare over New Years really made me realize that this was where my life was going.  I decided I needed to change something, and I needed that change now.  So, when the opportunity arose to move across the country without being homeless, alone, and poor, I grabbed it.  Plus, I can get away from one of my biggest fears:  being transgender in Indiana.  I won’t have to worry so much about discrimination, transition paperwork, or bathrooms, so all those worries will be off my mind or greatly lessened.

Really, this move is a way for me to turn over a new leaf, to figure out how to live before I figure out how to die.  This isn’t me running away from anything or acting out some childish impulse.  Rather, if anything, I’m running toward my problems.  I’m accepting that what I’ve done so far isn’t working, and I’m going to try to figure out what does work.  I’m going to get out of my comfort zone, meet new people, learn new things, and live like I never have before.  And hopefully when I look back at this time, I’ll know I’ve made the right choice.

XX Male Syndrome

*Warning, this post contains some probably-TMI, NSFW information*

So I stumbled across some stuff on reddit today that got me thinking about possible reasons behind being transgender, exhibiting several autistic symptoms, pre-existing hormal differences, depression, anxiety, etc.  And yes, it turns out hormone levels can directly affect most if not all of those.  While in this research hole, I found one genetic mutation that seemed to have some eerily similar symptoms to some things that where definite or inconclusive even before I began my transition.

XX Male Syndrome, or De La Chapelle Syndrome, is a genetic disorder where the person exhibits sex organs that outwardly appear and function as male ones, but the person actually has two X-chromosomes.  It is an incredibly rare syndrome, occurring in approximately 4-5 individuals in 100,000.  It’s also much harder to detect than it’s counterpart, XY Female or Swyer Syndrome, because the symptoms and complications associated with it are much more severe.  It’s cause is due to a mutation that results in an X chromosome that contains genetic material from a Y chromosome.

People who suffer from XX Male are phenotypically male and often are not diagnosed until fertility tests are conducted, as all XX males are sterile.  Individuals sometimes have feminine characteristics, but not always.  The most common symptoms include undescended and/or small testicles, infertility, reduced libido, small stature, feminine pubic hair distribution, hypospadias, gynecomastia, low testosterone levels, reduced hormone production, high FSH levels, and low LH levels.

Huh.  I had small testicles, reduced libido and low testosterone levels even before I started hormones.  My pubic hair wasn’t distinctly feminine, but it wasn’t distinctly masculine either.  I’m not statistically short, but I am the shortest AMAB in my family, and I actually closer match the women in my family.  I definitely had a little case of the moobs, too, but I’ve also been overweight basically since starting puberty.  And though there’s no real proof either way whether I was sterile before beginning hormones, I can say there were a couple scares in my first relationship (sorry mom, but I’m sure you know what we were doing) and she never tested positive.

Generally, people who suffer from XX Male identify as male, as well.  They live their lives as men and are completely comfortable being men their entire lives, and they only find out they have two X-chromosomes after fertility tests.  However, there are extremely rare cases of individuals with XX Male that do identify as female.  Given the rarity of both transgender and XX Male individuals, there isn’t much of any information readily available about this situation.  At this point, from a cursory Google search, I haven’t found any scientific information, but there are a couple anecdotes that I did find.

But what does this chance really mean for me?  Well, first off, if I do get diagnosed with XX Male, I’ll be considered intersex instead of genetically male.  And although that doesn’t seem like a big difference, it makes all the difference for medical insurance reasons.  My HRT, endo visits, blood tests, and potential surgeries would no longer be considered cosmetic and optional.  Instead, I’d be getting treatment for a genetic disorder and surgeries to correct incorrectly configured body structures.  It’d also make the gender marker changes on things like my birth certificate and with the social security office much, much easier.

But there is a catch with this.  The only way to test if I am XX Male is through genetic testing at this point.  And that test is $200, which is a little out of my budget right now.  Hopefully that will change in the near future, but at this point, i’m just sitting on this information, and it’s kind of driving me crazy right now.  But either way, it’s a really interesting thought, and I’d love to participate in tests if someone needs a thesis to write for med school (hint hint).

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XX_male_syndrome

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XY_gonadal_dysgenesis

http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/d/de_la_chapelle_syndrome/symptoms.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2593770/

 

Insert Blog Post Title Here

I’ve been struggling a lot over the past month or so with all kinds of crap.  I’ll apologize beforehand for the lack of cohesiveness, this post is very much going to be a stream of conscious kind of thing.

Well, here goes nothing.

My immediate family sucks.  I’ve been out to all of them for well over a year.  I’ve presented female with them several times.  I’ve given them plenty of time and opportunities to learn, understand, and accept me.  I’ve told them what I expect in order to feel comfortable around them.  And yet they still misgender me.  My parents have only ever once each properly gendered me, and I don’t recall my oldest sister ever getting it right.  I try to just ignore it, but I can’t.  Proper pronouns are the first step to acceptance, and they can’t even be bothered to try.  They say they’re trying, but I just don’t see it.  All I see is pain and frustration.

My grandmother sucks.  I’m tired of giving people second chances.  She’s shown time and again that she can’t accept me for who I am.  Instead, she just passive-aggressively tries to get me to mold to her way of thinking though shitty Christmas gifts, offhanded comments, and looks of disappointment.  I’m done with it.  From now on, if she’s going to be somewhere, I won’t be.

My job sucks.  I’m sick of doing a thankless job for mediocre compensation.  This job is slowly killing me with the stress and anxiety, and I’m not even getting anywhere in life because of it.  And the worst part is I know I could get over the stress and anxiety with a few days off scot-free, but the constant pushing to get stuff done keeps me from really relaxing.  I can’t take a day off because I’m in constant fear of losing my job for not getting something done.  And even when I do get things done, instead of some level of positive reinforcement, I just get heaped with more shit that needed to be done a week ago and question on why it isn’t already done.

My boyfriend sucks.  He tends to plan major things last minute.  He’s completely clueless about everything involving relationships.  He’s probably the worst communicator I’ve ever dated. He lives all the way across the country and I haven’t seen him for a month and a half.  And he can’t seem to find a job to save his life.  I love him to death, and by no means do I want to lose him, but something needs to change.  Whatever he’s doing now isn’t really cutting it.

My health sucks.  My body is under constant stress, which makes everything hurt and makes me susceptible to illness.  I’m always tired because of issues sleeping and living in a constant state of emotional and mental exhaustion.  I wake up every day with some new sore or pain in my back or digestion issue or ache in my head.  And it seems like the only solutions are to constantly eat or take a bunch of drugs.

My childhood sucked.  Coping with a father who only ever seemed to find fault in me and a social environment that constantly scapegoated and harassed me have made me the anxiety-ridden, criticism-fearing person I am today.  If I do something wrong, I can’t get over it, and I can’t do anything right because I’m too afraid to make a mistake.  And if I’m struggling to get things done at all because I’m in this feedback loop of anxiety, I just get criticized more for being ineffective.

I suck.  I’ve gotten myself to a point where I built up all these coping mechanisms, and now the coping mechanisms are only adding to the pile.  And I can’t get out of it for fear of opening up all the problems I had before.  And really, I got myself into this mess by buying into the idea that I’d be happy with a STEM degree, a desk job, a 3 bed 2 bath cookie cutter home in the suburbs, a wife, and 2 1/2 kids.  I got caught up in an idea that just doesn’t really work for me, and an idea that just isn’t really feasible in this day and age.  And because of that, now I’m stuck doing something I hate just to pay the loans for a degree I don’t want to use, which is just making the hole I’ve dug myself into even deeper.

I’m tired of going through all the struggles I go through every day.  I just want to run away and start over.  Get a clean slate so I can begin repairing my self.  But with all the debt and all these people trying to count on me, that just isn’t a possibility.  I’ll just wind up in jail or a mental hospital, and neither of those will help my position.  So I guess that leaves me with two options.  Keep playing or throw in the towel.  And right now that key in my back pocket is getting heavier than it’s been in a long while.

The Game of Life

Imagine life as a never-ending card game. You’re dealt in when you’re born, and you leave the game when you die.

At the beginning of  the game you’re dealt a hand of cards.  Some, like  your chromosomes, race, skin color, family, medical propensities, and starting location, are dealt to you from a set based upon your biological parents’ cards.  These things can’t be changed, but other cards can obscure, adjust, or change their effects.  These static, genetic traits are the building blocks of you as a statistic.  They’re what everything else in the game is based on from an outside person’s perspective.

Once these cards are dealt, you’re also dealt some more starting cards based upon the genetic ones.  Things like sexual preference, gender identity, deformities, and susceptibility to certain mental and physical diseases.  Scientifically, these are called epigenetic traits.  One card from each type of deck is drawn for these possibilities, and like genetic cards, these cards can only have their effects, obscured adjusted or changed, whether through bluff or action of another card.  These traits are the building blocks of you as a person.  They’re what make you you in the most basic sense – how you perceive the world and the most basic parts of your personality.

As an example, let’s use the sexual preference and gender identity decks.  In the US, an overwhelming majority of players will begin the game with both the heterosexual and cisgender cards.  But for approximately four percent of all players, these cards will be something different.  1.8% will draw a bisexual card and 1.7 percent will draw a homosexual card.  0.3 percent will draw a card that isn’t cisgender from the gender identity deck.  Source

Lucky me, looks like I drew some pretty rare cards.

Like I said before, these cards cannot be changed.  They are the absolute essence of you.  They will stay the same no matter what you or anyone else says or does.  There is no choice in these cards, only a choice of how to handle them.

Now, as you live, you will continue to draw and play other cards, and based on the plays of both you and the other players, the cards and effects that you receive will change.  The possibilities are limitless.  Health, fortune, favor, expressions, knowledge, and even negatives, like illness, loss, pain, misfortune, and even possible loss of some of your basic cards.

The game ends for you when you run out of cards.  This can happen in three ways:  the effect of another player, the effect of a random draw, or choosing to fold.  For the majority of players, the first two  are the end of their game, but about every thirteen minutes, someone folds.  Source

A number of players seem to believe, because of what current and former players of the game have said and the effects of their own cards, that the epigenetic cards are actually able to be chosen.  And of course, because someone important says or has said that that choice is wrong, then they believe it must be wrong.

But in reality, these traits are what make us.  They can’t be changed.  No amount of badgering, abuse, torture, pandering, or threats will be able to change or remove that card.  The only way to remove them is to destroy all your mental cards, whether through mental destruction or death.

And that’s really where the choice is.  Being straight, gay, bi, ace, pan, trans*, queer, what have you is what makes us us.  We can’t change that.  There is no choice beyond deciding whether to live with it or fold.  Some of us just can’t live with the effects that others place upon us for just being who we are.  30% of LGB youth and 41% of trans* people have tried to fold, and a huge number more have been successful.  Source 1 Source 2

For the rest of us, we have to keep living with it.  After going through tough times and seriously considering and nearly attempting to fold myself, I’ve come to accept who I am, and I’m living with it pretty well now.  But from time to time, I still think about folding, especially around times like these where I’m going to have to endure the people who are closest to me trying to tell me it’s all a choice.  But do they really want me to choose the actual other option?

What I Want For Christmas

To my family:

You keep telling me you want me to be around for the rest of your lives, and you feel that I’m trying to distance myself from you.  It brings you all a lot of pain, stress, and worries knowing that there may come a day where you’ll never again see me or hear from me.  You say you want me to actively take part in your lives.  Call on a regular basis.  Visit often.  Attend family gatherings.

Trust me, I feel the same way.  I’ve always been able to trust that my family could help me through my problems if no one else would.  My family has always seemed to accept me, no matter what I’m going through, how I’m presenting, what I’m doing.  In no way do I want to lose that.

But, unfortunately for me, I’ve lost all sense of comfort with the majority of you.  Some of our relationships have been tenuous at best, and my transition has only added to the strain.  The stress over these relationships has become anxiety about my safety and acceptance from not only these family members, but all of my family.  Those with the strongest reservations and ignorance are often the loudest, and everyone else generally seems content to stay silent in their shadows.

So here’s what I want for Christmas.  I don’t want toys or clothes or gift cards.  I want you listen to me and truly hear what I have to say.  I want you to open your minds and hearts  and try to actually accept me and understand me instead of continuing to ignore and avoid me.  I want you to take interest in my life; ask me about more than just work and the weather; ask questions when you don’t understand something; do some reading on your own so I don’t have to bring all the resources by myself; actually call me for once instead of relying on me to call you.  I want you to show that you actually care about the real me, not some idealized version of me that you keep on a pedestal.  I want you to use my preferred name and pronouns instead of continuing to pain me with the invalidation in every use of male pronouns and my dead name.

And I want you to stand up for me when someone doesn’t do these things.  If you don’t, their actions will only continue to be seen as acceptable in their eyes, and that’s what hurts more than anything.

This is all I want and, really, have wanted for many, many years.  And if this is the gift I receive this year, and continue to receive it for the years to come, then I will continue to be there, no matter what else happens.

Love,

Your daughter/granddaughter/sister/niece/cousin,

Sadoni