Saturday, December 31, 2011

Retro Post: Crappy Study Tells Us...Nothing

In case you missed it, "researchers" Dr. Stanton Jones and Dr. Mark Yarhouse recently completed a study that examined individuals in Reorientation Therapy and concluded that it is possible for homosexuals to change their orientation.  Granted, only the synopsis of the study has been released, but the problems, oh the problems with this study...

Retro Post: The Big BDSM Rundown

Note: I did a fairly good job going through the various aspects of BDSM on my other blog.  Here it is:

Disclaimer:  Pictures are fun, therefore this entry is going to contain lots of them.  If you are offended by bound people, or nude or graphic images of bondage and sexual acts, you should go elsewhere.  There will be breasts and vaginas and penises.  Get over it.



Retro Post: Transgenderism and Gender Fluidity

Note: I've done a lot of relevant posts on my other blog before the creation of Rainbow Masochism, so from time to time I'm going to repost those entries.



I'd like to think I can say I haven't struggled with this topic because I have a pretty good sense of self, but that wouldn't be true, though I think I get more hung up on the terminology more than anything. Gender-fluid, gender-queer...both of these things fit me...and then they don't. I always had an inkling that a part of me was supposed to be female, but at my core I am probably just a male with some female sensibilities. What does that make me? I don't know. And I think that as we move forwards, my transgender identity is going to shrink because these things that I identify with are going to be applied to a specific gender less and less. So I'm left with something that not only doesn't fit, but also may not be long for this world.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The NHL and It Gets Better - Where We Stand

Just to do a quick recap of how my correspondences with various NHL teams regarding putting together an It Gets Better Video have gone.

Buffalo - The Sabres are currently working on an anti-bullying PSA inspired by gay Buffalo teen Jamey Rodemeyer's suicide and overlapping with many of the goals of the It Gets Better Project. They have refused to produce an It Gets Better Video because in their eyes it is exclusionary to victims of non-LGBT themed bullying. I have not received word on why they think it's okay to partner with the Salvation Army, who is exclusionary towards LGBT individuals.

Toronto - The Maple Leafs have essentially told me "great idea, we'll look into it," in the simplest of form e-mails possible. Since the organization has already lent itself to a pro-LGBT film, this apparent reluctance is curious.

Minnesota - I have not received a reply from the Wild.

New York Rangers - I have not received a reply from the Rangers.

Boston - I have not received a reply from the Bruins. I think Boston is the best shot at getting an NHL team to make an It Gets Better Video because they seem hell bent on spiting me in being better than the Sabres in every way possible.

In the coming days I will be contacting Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York (I), New Jersey, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg, Detroit, Chicago, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, San Jose, and Los Angeles.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

LGBT – The Forgotten Half

Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Gay Pride. There is a half of the LGBT acronym that more people are familiar with. It’s not necessarily intentional, the word ‘gay’ is so easy to say and fits so well with a variety of modifiers that it’s not surprising that it’s the most used of the four.

But there is truth in the assertion that we Transgendered and Bisexuals are largely forgotten. There are different reasons for that, I think. Transgenderism is so hard for many to understand because it is so lacking in a clear definition. We can pinpoint things such as Gender Identity Syndrome, Cross dressing, and transsexualism, but even these make up only a portion of the transgendered community. Not to mention the fact that being born with the physical characteristics of one gender, and the mental and emotional characteristics of another is something you can really only fully understand if you’re currently experiencing it. And there are people that don’t identify with either gender. It is confusing in its infinince.

Bisexuality is another matter entirely. I feel that a lot of people don’t take it seriously, mostly because it goes against our desire to categorize things. We as a society like to think in polar absolutes. You can be this, this, and this, but not that, that, and that, and certainly not some sort of thisthat blend...which is exactly what bisexuals are.

Like I said, I don’t think there is any intentional slight, I would just urge all members of the LGBT community and their allies to remember…we’re in this together.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In Which The Salvation Army Asks for Experiences with Red Kettles and Bell Ringers

I went to Tops this Holiday season and noticed a Salvation Army bell ringer out front. He looked rather cold outside of a relatively low traffic grocery store and people were just passing him by. I thought about helping him, perhaps buying him a cup of coffee from the nearby Dunkin Donuts, or dropping some change into his kettle.

But then I remembered, it's a good bet that if our roles were reversed, if I were sitting in front of some storefront, cold and worn out, the Salvation Army probably wouldn't help me. You see, I'm a bisexual and transgendered male, two things the Salvation Army kind of frowns upon. It wasn't that long ago when the Salvation Army threatened to shut down its soup kitchens in New York City if anti-discrimination legislation forced them to help gay people.  And stories of them refusing to help Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered individuals range far and wide.

You see, the Salvation Army would rather help no one, than help someone like me. So I ignored the bell ringer and donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York City, an organization dedicated to helping the city's 3,800 homeless youth, a whopping 40% of which are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered. It's a small gesture, but I hope it helps organizations that don't discriminate rise above ones that do, like the Salvation Army.

Letter to the Buffalo Sabres: Part II

I realize I'm a few months late to the party with this, but I'm wondering why the Sabres have chosen to have any affiliation whatsoever with the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is a discriminatory organization that has not only REFUSED aide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered individuals, but has also refused to give domestic partnership benefits to their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered employees.

The Salvation Army even went so far as to threaten to shut down their NYC soup kitchens if anti-discrimination legislation forced them to stop turning away Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered individuals. The Salvation army would rather HELP NO ONE than help Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered individuals.

And this is the type of organization that the Sabres have lumped themselves in with. There are plenty of organizations that help the needy without discriminating, like Goodwill and The Rescue Mission. I would urge the Sabres to end it's affiliation with the Salvation Army and pursue partnerships that benefit ALL human beings.

Our Gender Insecurities

One of my biggest pet peeves in shopping for clothes, and really this goes both ways, is that in the men's department, if anything is even a slightly female shade, the designer felt they had to "manly it up" in some fashion.  I can't tell you how difficult it is to find a pink, purple, or yellow shirt tailored for men without it...
  • actually being salmon, or some variant
  • having pinstripes
  • being a really dark "manly" shade of pink
  • being mixed with another, "manlier" color
Walking through clothing stores is an exercise in futility.  Red, gray, navy blue, red, red, black, brown.  Where the hell is my royal blue, purple, pink, or yellow?

I'm not alone, women get it too.  Try shopping for sports team apparel for women without sifting through pink glitterfied jersey upon pink glitterfied hoodie.  It's as if designers think these superficial things will make people forget who or what we are.  I like sports, but I'm still girly, see, pink!  I like nontraditional colors, but I'm still manly, see, pinstripes!

I can't understand why we think we need an excuse to like some of the things we like, or at the very least, something mainstream within them that we can attach ourselves to.  Is there something wrong with guys going to see romantic comedies, and girls going to see action movies?  Because that's not what guys and girls do.  Because...uh...

You see the problem I, and many other people who consider themselves anything from atypical males and females to transgendered have.  Our society has "rules" that can seem so rigid at times, and yet are based on absolutely nothing at all.  And not everyone has the confidence to say fuck off to those that might look down on them and judge them for it.  Frustrating.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Buffalo Sabres, It Gets Better, and the LGBT Community

This is kind of crossing the streams so to speak on my varied interests, but relevant.  With the recent suicide of Buffalo teen Jamey Rodemeyer precipitated by sexual orientation inspired bullying, and the spread of the It Gets Better Campaign aimed at promoting acceptance for LGBT youth, I've been on the Buffalo Sabres (hockey) to produce an It Gets Better video following the path of eight Major League Baseball teams (Baltimore, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago (Cubs), Seattle, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia) and one NFL team (Seattle). 

There are a lot of really good reasons for the Sabres to get involved with the It Gets Better Campaign.  The city has a thriving gay culture, enough to be named as one of the most up and coming gay cities of 2011 in a contest sponsored by American Airlines.  The NHL was the last major American professional sports league to break the color barrier and is currently in line to be the third league to speak out in favor of LGBT acceptance.  The new ownership wants to create something unique and special in Buffalo, and being a trailblazer in the NHL and speaking out to an oft forgotten (and oft denigrated) group of sports fans is one great way to do that.  The timing is even better when you consider that New York State just legalized gay marriage (with Buffalo Senator Mark Grisanti being one of the key voices of support), and that Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke has already done a lot to support the LGBT community.  It would seem that what you're going to turn off in terms of conservative fans, you're more than going to make up for in enticing young fans and in fostering positive publicity for an issue that is only growing in size and scope.

The response by the Buffalo Sabres has been...underwhelming at best.  Earlier this week I sent an e-mail to the Sabres asking if they had any plans to produce an It Gets Better video.  The response:



Hi Alexander,
 
Thank you for your email and your interest in the Buffalo Sabres.  We are currently developing an anti-bullying video with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.  The video should be available to schools and the general public by the end of January.
 
Stay tuned for more information.

Um...okay then.  That does very little to answer my question because it doesn't address LGBT anything and doesn't go into detail about what the NCMEC does.  My response (sent today) outlines this a little more:

Rich,
Do you have any more information on the video?  I do recall reading about it a few weeks previous.  The plan then was (I believe) to involve Derek Roy and the Mayor of Buffalo and was somewhat motivated by the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer.  Will Jamey be mentioned in the video, and will bullying based on sexual orientation be at least mentioned in the video?  Or will it be watered down and very generic, (and in that case fairly insulting to Jamey and the other teens that have died)?  The Denver Broncos have come under similar fire for their quarterback advertising with a hate group affiliated organization, Focus on the Family, and their refusal to answer to critics for their implied anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) sentiments. 

I'm not very familiar with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or any connection to pro-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered, or anti-LGBT groups.  I do know that NCMEC founder John Walsh has worked with the Fox Network on America's Most Wanted, and also gone on record to rebut anti-gay remarks made in reference to the Mark Foley Case.  Bit of a mixed bag there.

I feel like Buffalo is in a unique position to reach out to an oft forgotten (and oft denigrated) group of sports fans.  Buffalo not only has a thriving gay culture, but has been recently nominated by American Airlines as one of the top up and coming gay cities in the world.  With nearby Toronto and the extensive support that Brian Burke has given the gay community on behalf of his late son, and the state of New York's recent legalization of gay marriage (with Buffalo Senator Mark Grisanti being one of the key votes), there is a lot to be gained by the Sabres by not only joining the It Gets Better Campaign, but in reaching out to LGBT hockey fans within the city. 

I feel that the new ownership wants to foster a unique atmosphere in Buffalo and being trailblazers in the NHL in terms of LGBT acceptance is certainly one way to go.  Major League Baseball (8 teams) and the NFL (Seattle) have already beaten Buffalo and the NHL to the punch (just like they did in breaking the color barrier).  And it's clear that one day, someone in the NHL will come out in favor of LGBT acceptance.  Why not Buffalo?

-Alexander

Mini Pack Holder

In this day and age the few days of lagtime that accompany e-mail correspondences seems unnecessary so I took my questions to the Sabres Twitter account with a condensed version of the same letter.  Their response is as follows:
The problem is not specific to LGTB bullying, it affects all students. Therefore our messaging will be directed at everyone involved. 

If you're up on LGBT and sports related news, this is very similar to the Denver Broncos' response.  Of course the Sabres have the benefit of not having had one of their players advertise with a hate group affiliated organization, but I digress.

Let me be clear in saying that the Buffalo Sabres organization isn't wrong with that response, but it's startling desire to sidestep and mention of LGBT individuals at all is deeply troubling.  More troubling is the new ownership's references to "family," a word that has so often been used as a euphemism by supposed Christian organizations for LGBT intolerance and bigotry.  That the organization doesn't even want to answer questions directly would seem to be an indicator that it's more than willing to stand by while this kind of intolerance continues to be a blight on society.

I'm taking quite a few leaps there, but with so little to go on (at this point), I'm forced to try and fill in the many, many holes on my own.  Please don't disappoint me Sabres.

UPDATE - I have received a response from the Sabres.

Hi Alexander,
 
The death of Jamey Rodemeyer was the impetus behind our decision to develop anti-bullying messaging.  It is why we began discussions with NCMEC earlier this season when we learned they were working with area schools to help deal with the anti-bullying problem.  NCMEC provides multiple resources for the schools, administration, students and parents.  They are a national organization (with local chapters) that has done a significant amount of research and work on the program.  Through their experiences, they are helping us shape the message that we want to convey through our video, which we anticipate will be completed before the end of January. 
 
Your concerns about LGBT bullying are well-taken.  The messaging in our video will focus on prevention, understanding and acceptance of people’s differences and where to get help if you are a victim of bullying.  Therefore, LGBT bullying, as well as, Jamey’s story will be part of the discussion when finalizing the treatment for our video. Although, as I’m sure you know, bullying is not exclusive to LGBT.  It can impact any child of any background.
 
Again, we are still in the middle of this process and will release more information as soon as it becomes available.
 
Thank you for your input and concern.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Rich Jureller
Buffalo Sabres
Director of Community Relations

My response to that, which is where the conversation may die:

Rich,
Thank you for your response.  It's good to see the Sabres take a positive step in advancing a cause that I think most of us can get behind, curbing the bullying that plagues our youth.  From what I've read on the NCMEC, they do a lot of good work, and John Walsh's reputation speaks for itself.  I look forward to seeing the completed video.

I'm happy with your answer; it would appear that the goals of the It Gets Better Project and the Sabres upcoming PSA overlap so much that distinguishing between the two is moot.  Even though the It Gets Better Project was started with LGBT bullying in mind it has grown to encompass all orientations and all forms of bullying which I think is only fair.

Speaking as a bisexual and transgendered Sabres fan, it would be nice to see the Sabres reach out to Buffalo's (significant) LGBT community, even partnering with Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs to do so.  I understand that the Sabres are worried about alienating their (ever shrinking minority of a) conservative fanbase with a topic that some deem to be controversial and irrelevant to sports, but it seems the growth and good publicity that would come out of more overt LGBT support would more than make up for it.  It sounds like exactly the kind of thing this new ownership would be able to get behind.

In any event, I thank you for your responses.

-Alexander S. Bauer
 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Family

I'll admit, I'm kind of delighted with this as an outlet to write about how awful our families are.  It doesn't make sense really in any way (mostly financially) to confront them now, but it's nice to be able to hold them accountable for their words and actions in some fashion.

While Adam can go on at length about his family and their southern-bred stereotypicality, I don't really have a whole lot.  Both of my grandmothers have ties to the south whose origin I'm unsure of, but have spent enough time living in Buffalo, New York to both vote democrat.  Still, my grandmother on my mother's side refers to African -Americans as niggers and when my female cousin was dating her tatted up girlfriend, Grandma only referred to her as "that thing."  How my cousin can speak to her, I do not know.  As my mom puts it, "Grandma is just a bigot," like that somehow makes her awfulness cute.  And I'll admit, there are parts of my grandma that I love very dearly...but yeesh, step into this century, would you?

I'm just going to post LGBT pictures at random throughout entries.

Dad's mom is also fond of the n-word, but "the blacks" makes more appearances.  After all, you never know who might overhear.  I'm not sure where this grandmother stands.  She was a bit taken aback when I explained what the first half of my LGBTerrific shirt stands for, but otherwise said nothing.  She votes democrat and watches ACC basketball so she can't really hate the blacks and the gays that much.

Of course, I never really see either of them very often as they've moved to North Carolina, but that gives you a bit of an idea of the environments that my parents grew up in, and thus a bit of an idea about the environment that I grew up in.

My dad never seems to react much to anything, unless he can yell.  Thus I have no idea what his opinion of LGBT people are.  He's coached softball for years so you know he's run into approximately 8,000 lesbians in his lifetime, and doesn't seem to have much of an opinion.  Mostly I feel he's afraid of anything different, but is content to leave LGBT people well enough alone if they leave him well enough alone.  He probably stereotypifies the "if you don't like gay marriage don't get one," mantra.



Mom...likes Jesus.  I never really noticed it much as a kid, but it's become more and more apparent as the years have passed.  Still she's gone from being against gay marriage to being in favor of it (or so she says).  A lot of this is probably due to the fact that most of her friends within her profession are, in fact, gay men.  How she reconciles this with her growing love of Christianity, I do not know and really have no desire to.

I'm not sure what the reaction would be if they found out they had a bisexual (pansexual?) transgendered (in some sense) son.  I don't think there would be any outward reaction, but I do think that they would feel that they failed as parents in some sense.  Conversation might break down, which might not necessarily be a bad thing.  My mom seems aware of and at least has not objected to my femininity, so who knows?

What I do know is where my siblings stand, in full support of me.  I guess regardless of who your parents are as you grow up, you can at least unite against them as brethren when the time calls for it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in the Closet

This is my first holiday season being out to myself, my friends and my brother. My parents, my sister and the rest of my family is seemingly oblivious to the fact I'm trans, despite me presenting all the time and constantly challenging them when they say something blatantly ignorant and bigoted especially related to trans people. I would think that they would start to wonder why I know so much about the transition process and trans issues in general, but they seem to ignore those little tells. Anyway, tonight we had our Christmas Eve dinner and the topic got turned to transgender people by my dad. In the resulting discussion, I learned that my family believes the following:
  • Being transgender is "just a phase"
  • Transgender people shouldn't be protected by law
  • Transgender people (and other LGBT people) recruit impressionable children to "follow them down their path"
  • No transgender person stays transitioned, they all eventually revert to their birth sex
  • Being transgender didn't exist before the 1980's
  • Transgender people, after having many surgeries, look like "monsters"
  • Boys wearing girl clothes is wrong, girls wearing boy clothes is wrong
  • Boys should play with boy toys, girls should play with girl toys
  • People transition just to get attention
I challenged them. I explained to them why everything they were saying was wrong. I tried to educate them. But the bullshit just kept coming. I wanted to scream in their face that I was trans and that they should close their fucking mouths and open their eyes. I wanted to flip the dinner table over, and punch them in the face until their hatred stopped. And then, I just wanted to cry. I wanted to cry because I can't believe I am related to people that are so ignorant and bigoted. I wanted to cry because they don't know I'm trans and because I feel like I can never tell them because of all the things they said tonight. I wanted to cry because of all the other closeted LGBT folks that are probably eating family dinner at home right now dealing with the same kind of thing.  

I want to come out to them more than ever now. Rip the bandaid off, get it over with. Sit back and watch the fallout. Start over. I think they will come around (they will have to, if they want to continue to have any kind of relationship with me). For now, all I can do is keep trying to prep them as much as possible by educating them about trans issues and hope they can look past their hate. It will get better.

Duality and Androgyny

As I've said before, probably in virtually every post, what we find more and more is that we have these categories for sexuality in which almost no one fits.  The Kinsey Scale does a bit better in giving people some room in which to play, but it too is inadequate.

I'm a perfect example, even at twenty-five years of age, I can't really give any clear cut definition of what I am.  I'm bisexual, this I know having been with men and women sexually, but to what degree I'm unsure.  Sometimes it seems utterly impossible for me to carry on a romantic relationship with a male, and sometimes it doesn't seem so far fetched.  And the transgendered aspect I think I've covered in previous entries.

I think what attracts me most is androgyny.  Being born male and having female sensibilities, I like people who can celebrate both sides of themselves.  I found it interesting that bisexual Tila Tequila on her dating show A Shot at Love eventually whittled her crop of hopefuls down to the girliest guy, and the manliest girl.  Perhaps not the best part of pop culture to reference, but I think that's about where I'm at.  I tend to be attracted to either tomboyish girls, or feminine (physically) guys.


I've always been a blend of opposites, nerd and jock, artist and engineer, so I think that mix of male and female really appeals to me because there is so much of myself in it.  They say opposite attract, and while I don't agree in the strictest sense, I'm definitely drawn to my sexual opposite, a girl with male sensibilities.  It's a part of what makes my current relationship work and I don't think it's all that unique.  There are many sides to all of us.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

I'm extremely active in gathering information on how the LGBT fight for equality is going.  As such I spend a lot of my time sifting through article after article of bleakness and disappointment.  (A private school in Tennessee banned homosexuality (somehow)...awesome.)  It can be surprising sometimes how different the real world is, especially in New York (as compared to the less progressive states where many of these stories take place).

I can't help but feel different now that I've come out in a far more overt manner, as though the judgmental eyes of every passerby are on me the second I turn my back.  It can be nerve-wracking sometimes shopping in the women's section of a department store, or ferreting through things that aren't stereotypically male, especially when I'm out shopping by myself.

It was nice at Kohls today when neither the meandering employee, nor the cashier seemed to have an issue with the fact that I was buying women's clothes.  (Though to be fair, argyle socks and a collared shirt hardly scream femininity.)  The cashier even went so far as to give me washing tips so that my newly purchased pink shirt wouldn't shrink.

And these were two middle aged women, not exactly the demographic for allies.  Perhaps they were naive enough not to be clued into what was going on, but I like to think they saw me for who I am, a friendly customer, and not who or what I love.

An Introduction: The Other Side

It's pretty clear the direction we're taking this in early, the rainbow half of Rainbow Masochism, which is perfectly fine as far as I'm concerned.  Gay rights need to be brought to the forefront, LGBT individuals need to be understood in a way that those in the BDSM lifestyle cannot approach.

Retro Post: Tim Tebow, American Dickbag

NOTE: Since a lot of the posts I've done for my personal blog fit here, you'll probably see me bring a fair amount of them over.

Look...from all accounts, Tim Tebow is the nicest human being on the planet. I have no idea what his actual position is on LGBT rights or same sex marriage. What I do know is that Tebow put his face and star power to an organization called Focus on the Family, advertising during last year's Super Bowl.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two Worlds

As I start to come out and transition, I find my social experiences to be split into two (mostly) separate groups. Most people (my family, co-workers and some of my friends) know me by my birth name, and use female pronouns when they refer to me. A select, different group of people know me as Adam and always use male pronouns when they refer to me. This group is very small, and right now pretty much confined to other LGBT folk but I am gradually expanding it. Crammed in between the two groups lies CV and my closest friend. CV mostly uses my birth name and female or neutral pronouns and my friend avoids using either name or pronouns for the most part.

I am not sure exactly how I feel about this. Some trans people are really offended if you refer to them by their birth name instead of their chosen name or use the wrong pronouns. Some don't care as much. Because I am so early in my transition, I don't really expect much from anyone as far as getting my pronouns right. I think when I am further along, like when I start T or get my name and gender marker legally changed, I'll be stricter about it but I don't correct people now. Most people in public get it right (at least as far as I know), and I'm more happy and surprised when they get it right than annoyed or upset when they get it wrong. I don't feel like I pass very well, because I haven't come up with any really good binding or packing solutions and alot of my clothes are still somewhat girl-cut though I tend to wear everything big.

It's probably weird, but I cringe inside whenever my parents refer to me as their "daughter" or use female pronouns even though they have absolutely no idea I'm trans. I think it's because I know that soon I will have to come out to them and that's going to be really hard on them. When CV calls me my birth name or uses female pronouns, I'm not really a fan, but I know it's new to him too and I don't really blame him. It doesn't upset me, and I don't find it disrespectful to my identity. He and my friend have known me for a while, and met me before I knew I was trans and I know there's going to be a transitional period for them as well. I'm just getting used to people knowing who I really am, as I hid it for such a long time, and it still feels awkward for m insist on male pronouns and Adam, even though that's what is most comfortable to me. I don't know if me being a submissive has anything to do with it, but I find it really hard to demand anything of anyone else.

I hope it gets easier as I transition and I expect it will especially once I have officially changed my name and gender marker. But for now, I'll just have to be content to live with two identities. Like some kind of inverse Hannah Montana.

Pro-LGBT is not Anti-Christianity

Inevitably one of the arguments that will be made against our community is that we're hell bent on bringing down the Christian institution.  Oh...if only...

I'm not anti-religion at all.  I do think that certain religious institutions have grown far too large whether it be in their institutional power itself or in their manipulation of the masses, but I am fine with various belief systems existing.  I myself am not an atheist either (an apathetic Wiccan/Pagan if you must ask), but I can sympathize with that side as well.

It's relatively easy, I think, to reconcile Christianity with LGBT rights.  You know all those bible passages that you already ignore, like the stupid ones in Leviticus about not being able to wear bowl cuts or synthetic fabrics?  (Or that relatively important one etched in a rock about lying.)  Yeah...add all the anti-gay ones to the list.  Boom.  Done. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Introduction: Adam

I'm going to be upfront: I've never contributed to a blog or had much practice writing like this. This will probably become more and more obvious the more I write, so bear with me.

My name is Adam. I'm a 21-year-old pre-everything (for now) trans boy going to school in western NY. I'm majoring in a computing field and I am a freelance web developer. I love animals, and I'm currently raising my puppy to participate in several different dog sports and to be a therapy dog.

Only recently, and with the support and feeling of safety and comfort I get from my partner, have I come out both to myself and a small group of friends. I haven't told my family, nor do I plan to for quite a while or until I make more concrete plans for transitioning. I participate in my college's trans support group and am starting counseling soon to discuss transitioning, among other things.

I'm excited to contribute to this blog both because I've never done it and because this is something I want to educate people about. I'll likely be posting a lot of personal experience entries from my childhood as well as from my possible impending transition. So I hope you enjoy, and feel free to ask me any questions.

When I Knew I Was Different

These stories begin, as they almost always do, at a very early age.  I think I was probably six or seven years old playing some sort of typical boy game with a friend of the family's son who was a year or two younger than me.  I don't much remember the specifics, other than that it was summer and we were shirtless, but I remember getting hard.  At least I think I remember that.

Introductions Are In Order

I'm really better off hitting the ground running with content than I am at introducing myself, but I will try.

My name is Alex, I'm 25 years old and I live in upstate New York.  I'm bisexual in orientation and land somewhere between male, transgendered, gender queer, and gender fluid.  I'm not sure yet and every label I see seems inadequate.  I'm also an active participant in Bondage, Domination, Sadism, and Masochism, but more on that later.

As my partner (more on her later as well) and I become more active in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered communities, we realized that we're no longer comfortable simply talking about the things that annoy us and the ways that certain groups in this country hold us and our friends back.  That's why we're here, to do something beyond that sitting around.

While the primary focus here is on LGBT issues and the LGBT community, the topics will no doubt delve into BDSM and sexuality in general, as well as into our personal lives.  I look forward not only to posting with her, but to being able to focus what is probably the single most important aspect to each of our lives.