This post is a hard one. It’s going to sit behind a content warning: #Transphobia #Hatred #RightWingExtremism. You can skip this and go to the section below if you want… But I’d love you to read this if you’re feeling strong. I think it will explain some stuff.
CLICK SHOW MORE if you want to read the currently hidden stuff and acknowledge the content warning.
It’s been a few weeks since I posted, and there are some good reasons for that. I’d love to say that they were simply related to cool, amazing things. But they weren’t.
In fact, the exact opposite.
Sure, TE is doing great, and we just filed our Taxes for the year (which was incredibly good because we really need the rebate we’re due thanks to some unexpectedly high winter fuel bills and a few things breaking) – but honestly, the past few weeks have felt… crap.
A Million Tiny Pricks
Why has it felt so bad? It’s down to lots of tiny little pricks. I’ve been worrying about lots of things, often in parallel, and it’s frankly exhausting. It’s isolating too – because when I worry about multiple things, I tend to hyper fixate, and then I miss things – and people – around me that ACTUALLY need my attention.
What have I been worrying about? Everything from money and health through to work. One of my colleagues has been struggling with car trouble and has a car that could cost a significant amount of money to fix. I’ve been worried about them. My wife has been going through some tough projects at work. I’ve worried about her a lot. We had a well pump fail, and that cost several thousand to fix. I worried about that, too.
I’ve been getting slower and slower at work. More distracted in my writing and in my filming. And when I get that way, I feel stupid or incompetent. And my Imposter Syndrome kicks in big time. I’ve struggled to get to sleep and, if I wake up in the night, I’ve struggled to get back to sleep.
Moreover, when I go out, I’ve been keeping my head down more. Avoiding areas I don’t know. I try not to pee in public. Heck, I try not to do ANYTHING in public. I go to places I know and trust, but beyond that? No. My Huge Bag of Worries has been growing. And while I do have good days, I’ve been having some bad ones too. And I can feel myself becoming more and more withdrawn from the world.
I’ve been here before. I mean, I’ve been here Mentally. The reason I get into a little spiral of worry and anxiety is usually because I am trying not to deal with something larger. In the past, that’s been the death of my Father. Nearly losing my Mother. Losing my sister. Trying to deal with life as an adoptive parent of two very traumatized, abused children.
It’s a path that is worn in my brain. I follow well-trodden stress paths when something big comes along that I either can’t, or don’t know how to deal with…
…or when I have a problem I can’t find a solution to. And in this instance, I know exactly what the problem is. I know exactly what is causing me to feel like the world is caving in, like there is no hope.
LIKE I AM TRAPPED...
With a Target On Our Backs.
… Trapped with a target on our backs. Trapped with no way out. Or at least, that’s what it feels like on a practical level.
It is soul-destroying. It is becoming harder to put one foot in front of the other.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the ongoing attempts by seemingly everyone to paint Trans People as the demon. To eradicate us. To make us the scape-goat. The people to be blamed.
I’ve been following the excellent journalistic work of Erin Reed as she has chronicled the systemic eradication of trans rights at every level, from the school libraries and hospitals through to the High Street.
Ban after ban.
Lie after lie.
White cishet Christian terrorist after White cishet Christian terrorist.
It’s depressing. I mean, just look at this map. Anything that’s blue is, for the most part, safe in major cities. Anywhere not blue? Well, we can just forget going anywhere there.
There are now states where I not only feel unsafe going to – but there are states I should not go. States where I may face difficulties getting medical care in the event of an emergency. States where I don’t even want to get out and pee on a road trip.
And that’s before the former President announced in a round about kind of way that he’d rather trans people didn’t exist.
My birth country is no better. In case you hadn’t heard, the UK has become something of a shit show too, with the Conservative government trying hard to stop on Trans rights at every level, even threatening a constitutional crisis with both Scotland and Wales. All because of “Children and Women”.
Oh, and we have Neo-nazis too… Joy.
Where does this leave me?
When we moved to the U.S., we never thought the U.S. would pick Trump. We never thought the UK would go as far as it has toward the right. It’s No-longer safe in either the UK or the U.S. to be trans.
If we are visible, we have the target.
As a YouTuber who is out. As someone who is in the public eye, I have been open about who I am, and where I came from. I find that if you are honest about yourself, it’s harder for people to find scruples. As a journalist, honesty and integrity matter a lot to me.
I am not someone who is going to hide.
At the same time though, this uphill struggle with a target on our backs is affecting Every Single Trans and Non-Binary Person I Know.
Basic things are becoming hard, not because I have suddenly lost the ability to do stuff, but because I have to deal with the mental trauma every day… the fear of what will happen next. How far will the world’s governments (and it is the world’s governments) take this scape-coating? Will we be rounded up and shot? Will we suddenly find ourselves Forcibly Detransitioned?
At the end of the day, I could, maybe move to Canada. I do have the ability to do that in a *sort of kind of way* because my mother is Canadian, although I really do not want to move, and Oregon, for now, is one of those magical blue states that, I hope, will fight tooth and nail to keep my rights. Additionally, we’ve invested so much time and money into this house that… moving isn’t an option unless… well, unless we have to run for it.
I used to be very optimistic. I used to believe we humans could help make the world a better place.
I no-longer believe that.I just want to be left the fuck alone. So I can be with my wife, my dogs, and my chickens. I want to have the same kind of worries that everyone else has. Y’know… things like “Is there enough milk in the fridge for me to make that coffee this morning?” not “Will I be hunted down and beaten to death?”
I know, like us Trans People have some really FUCKING BIZARRE AGENDAS, RIGHT?!
Meanwhile, Outside Of Hell..
The stress and trauma of just venting all that over, let’s have a look at what else has been going on elsewhere in my world.
In the gaps where I’ve been able to sneak some time to myself, I’ve been continuing my workouts. As you may (or may not) know, I have a bit of a love for cycling and by association Peloton. But historically, I’ve focused on the cycling (which I’m good at), and not at the overall health. A few weeks back, that changed, with me enrolling in two distinct programs, a beginner strength class, and a core workout program.
The beginner strength class is, to be honest, a tad simple for my needs. But the good thing here is that I’m learning some stuff I didn’t really know properly, and that’s exactly why I took the class. It’s letting me fill in the blanks safely, without risk of hurting myself. The same is true of the Core workouts, although I’ll admit they have been handing me my butt most days.
The results? Weight loss is pretty much halted for now, but it feels like stuff is still coming off.
I jumped on the scales earlier and they showed 220.3 lbs, so I’m going to say I’m still going in the right direction, even if it is a lot slower than it used to be.
The garden is still, technically sleeping for the year, but daffodils are coming up, and when the weather warms up a bit? I’ll be able to head out and start getting ready for spring. And given how much food has gone up? I’ll be very excited to do that.
Finally? My Mac collection is enjoying the PiSCSI that arrived a few weeks ago. I’ve got it working with both my Powerbook 5300 (and installed OS 8.6 on it). Earlier today, while I did have to work a little, I broke out the Macintosh SE and got the PiSCSI working with that, too.
Now I know it works, I’m going to put 4MB of RAM in it, and get it on set at some point soon. Watch this space.
Anyway – I’ll try and write more.. There’s lots in this head. But not enough time to write it down because… Well, I just covered that..