Trans From A Pagan Perspective

Growing up as a southern kid raised with Appalachian roots, the line that seemed to divide binary gender was somewhat blurred for those raised as girls. Both boys and girls were expected to be tough, to play outside in the dirt, to be what society called tomboys. Of course, girls were still expected to wear dresses from time to time; which boys were never allowed to do. I felt a strange confusion of feelings when my mom always insisted on a dress for Picture Days. Why couldn’t I wear pants like the other kids? It felt pretty, but also awkward and uncomfortable. As I grew older, the line that society drew between masculine and feminine genders grew stronger. Applachian women were still expected to be tough and unafraid of doing “a man’s work”, but there was also more pressure to lean into the traditional feminine roles. Nonbinary genders weren’t heard of, and any deviation from binary gendered expectations would often lead to bullying for many. I suppose this is all why it took me so long to begin questioning my gender as a teenager, and even longer to realize that I am trans-masc nonbinary, or a nonbinary trans guy. I realized that I was nonbinary in my 20’s, but didn’t make that step into accepting my trans-masculinity until a couple of years ago as I reached my 30’s.

When I first started questioning whether I might be trans, I was a teenage baby Pagan who was still going through that exploration phase from Christo-Paganism to eclectic soft polytheist Paganism. That break away from the version of Christianity that my parents raised me with started to give me room to view all sorts of things differently. I had become aware that transgender people exist, but wasn’t at the point yet where the idea of nonbinary gender was anywhere on my radar. (I was in southern West Virginia by that point in the early 2000’s, which is only now starting to become more progressive in the 2020’s.) I only knew that my gender isn’t what I was assigned at birth.

All of that said, my focus here will be on my trans experience and how my path as a polytheist Pagan has aided me so far in my journey. Other trans Pagans will, of course, have different perspectives and varying experiences.

By the time I found out more about gender diversity and began exploring my nonbinary gender, my spiritual path was firmly set into a polytheist worldview. I had heeded the call of The Morrígan and Loki had also started calling me. In my experience, these gods don’t play around when they want somebody’s attention. I suppose that is just the way gods in general tend to be. I hadn’t considered early on how my working with these deities could affect how I view myself. My gender and my relationships with the gods have been completely separate. Looking back, though, I realize that some of the lessons They taught me – whether directly or through learning their stories and getting to know Them – helped me to better know myself.

One of the common themes that those who work with The Morrígan often talk about is concerning personal sovereignity. This is the ability to make one’s own decisions, to shape oneself as one feels fit, and to stand one’s ground. Well, that’s my simplified explanation, at least. Though this isn’t directly related to gender issues; it ties in to the ideas of knowing oneself, gaining self confidence, making own’s own decisions, and having the courage to simply exist. All of these are things that I, along with many other trans people, have had to work on. (And in truth, I am still working on these.) The Morrígan has helped me to face the darkest parts of my Self. She has beat it in to my head that the feelings of low self esteem, worthlessness, and shame are feelings that I need to acknowledge in order to fight. Burying them down doesn’t make them go away. Getting to know them, finding their weaknesses (ie- where they come from), at the very least makes it easier to overcome them. In regards to accepting my gender, I had to learn self acceptance; in addition to acceptance of the fact that I am allowed to make my own decisions concerning who I am. Though The Morrígan may not have set out to specifically assist me with my gender issues, the lessons that She taught me have nonetheless been valuable in addressing them.

Loki has a much more straightforward connection to gender diversity. Due to His shapeshifting nature, taking on both traditionally male and female forms at times, some who work with this god view Him as transgender or nonbinary. I am of this same mind, although I recognize that the modern view of gender is surely not the same as it was when people first started telling the stories of the gods. It can’t be denied that Loki’s gender roles have been malleable in the myths and stories that He plays part in, after all. In my exploration of my own gender, I have found comfort in seeing how this god whom I feel so strongly for has embodied both masculine and feminine. It has given me strength in knowing that gender diversity is divine. Loki has helped me on my journey toward self-acceptance, self-compassion, and knowing that my choices are my own. These lessons from my beloved Gift-Bringer¹ and The Morrígan have helped shape me in beginning to connect to my most authentic self.

Paganism, in general, is largely a trans-friendly set of religions. There are some traditions that hold transphobic views, but many recognize that transgender and nonbinary people are a completely natural piece of the human condition. Some Pagans view transgender and nonbinary folks as sacred, either because all people are sacred or because gender diversity in itself is. Our mythologies and folklore that shapes our religions include gods whose genders aren’t only male or female. Some are intersex, some change their genders from male to female/ female to male, some don’t have a gender, some are fluid in their genders, so on and so forth. The gods are a reflection of humankind’s diversity, or perhaps it goes the other way. Maybe the fact that transgender and nonbinary people like me exist is a reflection of the gender diversity of the gods.

¹ Gift-Bringer – A reference to Loki’s role in attaining the Dwarven-made gifts for the Aesir (including mjolnir), as well as Loki’s gift of Her child Sleipnir to Odin. This also has personal meaning to me, as I feel that Loki’s prescence in my life has been a gift.

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Hey, It’s Me: They/ He

While I was never a consistent writer, I must acknowledge that I have really slacked off. For that, readers, I must apologize. There were a couple of blog articles that I had begun and simply could not bring myself to finish as of yet. I suppose the time wasn’t right for them to come to fruition. All of that said, I do feel a calling to write an update of sorts. I have been dealing with, among the usual ebbs and flows of life, some inner work that needed done regarding my identity. One aspect of that is still too raw for me to discuss here, but another wants to be said.

In the past, I have discussed my gender on this blog. I believe that the last thing I mentioned regarding who I am in terms of gender is that I’m non-binary. But, that may have been before I became sure that I wanted to drop she/her pronouns. I’m they/them, leaning toward he/him. Feminine pronouns and language directed toward me has become increasingly uncomfortable for me. Truthfully, it’s not an entirely new revelation. It’s more that the recent development is my acknowledgement of my feelings.

Ever since I was a child, being called a “girl” and “she/her” felt wrong. I pushed it under the rug, largely because I didn’t have the language or support to understand why I felt that way. I was a bit of a tomboy who didn’t quite understand why it was that I couldn’t be more like boys. As a teenager, I had found some of that language and questioned whether I might be a trans boy. Yet, I was still missing some of the language and any of the support I needed in order to further explore who I was.

Enter my twenties: This was in the 2010’s, when more information regarding nonbinary genders was become easier to happen across online. Something about that clicked with me. And yet, and yet… It took until I was about to turn thirty before I was able to allow myself to fully accept that I really am not a cisgender woman.

Pretending to be a woman was easier than facing the task of coming out as nonbinary. It hurt, but that pain of pushing who I am down was easier than telling people who I feared may reject me. Or so, I thought it was easier. Eventually, I had to stop playing the ill-fitting role that I was assigned.

At first, I only told those who were close to me, who I trusted. As is the case for most in the LGBTQIA+ community. Then, I slowly started updating my pronouns on social media and even started openly discussing it here and there online. I was becoming more confident in accepting and exploring who I am. I tried on the label of genderfluid, which fit like a comfy sweater. But there was a hole in that sweater. Something was missing and, any time I tried to express femininity in my appearance, I felt wrong all over again.

Just over a month ago, after many months of deliberation, I started T. I cannot express how freeing taking this step has already been. I now feel ready to say that I am transmasc nonbinary. (To be clear, medical transition of any sort is not required to be transmasc. Testosterone has only given me the push I needed.) I finally came out at work. I think the genderfluid label might still fit me, but I do definitely lean more toward the transmasc side of things. Perhaps, once I can pass as a guy more easily, I will become comfortable with presenting with femininity again. If so, I suspect it would be because then, I will not always be automatically seen as a woman by outsiders. I will be more free to express myself as a genderqueer person.

I am finally becoming more comfortable with myself. And, though I know I still have a long way to go, I am beginning to understand what it means to love oneself.

Reflections on Homeschool

When I previously wrote about starting on a homeschool journey, I never intended for this to become a home school blog, nor did I plan to entirely forgo the subject in my posts. It makes sense that, as the traditional school year has come to an end and our assessment has been done, that I finally write on my experience. We officially started homeschooling in February of this year. Those few months were up and down. I toggled between feeling as if we barely accomplished anything at all and realizing that we’re moving along at a good pace. My child struggled with keeping interest and sometimes got to the point wherein they shut down rather than do school. They’re a preteen, so one could expect it to be a difficult age. On top of that, this past year has been one full of change due to the pandemic and other life situations. That has not made my child’s emotional state any better, nor has it allowed us much of a chance for the in-person socialization that children need.

Regardless of my fears of inadequacy, I am pleased to say that our assessment went well. A certified teacher (as required) looked over the portfolio that I had put together and saw progress in all required subjects, with no subjects needing improvement. It was a relief, as well as an encouragement. My child has been learning. As it turns out, I was unfairly judging myself, as well as the kiddo, because we hadn’t crammed a year’s worth of learning into a few months. How ridiculous of me, right? The main objective of school should be to learn, not to simply move from one thing to the next. Had we managed to cram too much in for my child to learn, then I would have failed in my goal of providing my child an education.

Those first few months were a learning experience for both of us. We had to learn what methods of teaching work best for us, how to pace ourselves, and how to communicate more effectively with each other. While teaching is an integral part of parenting, doing so in the context of homeschool can be a whole other experience. I hadn’t studied or otherwise consciously (if at all) used some of the information we covered since I was first taught it. Many of the topics were a refresher for me, and many weren’t exactly taught as accurately (if at all) when I was in school. It helps my experience with teaching my child that I enjoy learning, whether it is something I have forgotten or something completely new to me. There is no shame in not knowing everything, only in pretending that there is not always more to learn. There are teachers, even in the public school system, who cling to outdated information that is not correct or unbiased. It has been my goal to avoid being one of those teachers for my child.

Because I am not an expert in any given subject, I have taken care to choose reliable sources to assist me in teaching. I learned quickly that online websites that provide specific curriculums didn’t seem to work well for us. Some are even inaccurate sources in regards to certain topics. Thus, I purchased a few books to help build a basic framework for our home school; and incorporated educational videos from trusted sources, games, written work, discussions, and real life learning experiences. It worked pretty well. My only real issue at that point was learning not to rush through each subject. There were a few times wherein we had to revisit a topic we’d previously covered. Sometimes doing so is more important than moving on to the next thing.

Despite the frustrations that came with the learning curve of being new to homeschooling, I enjoyed it. My child wants to continue their education at home. I am less nervous now and all the more excited to continue homeschooling after our summer break.

Musings on Being Appalachian

I mentioned almost a year ago in West Virginia, Take Me Home about growing up in Florida until the year I turned 13, but always thinking of West Virginia as home. My parents moved to Florida for work before I was born, but they still kept that connection to home. They, like many generations before them, were West Virginian born and bred. Like many others from the state, they left home looking for opportunities. My grandparents did the same, heading out to California for some time when my mom was young, before returning home. I’ve heard it said that West Virginians always come back home, or they at least want to. It’s seemed to be true for much of my family who’ve left.

Though I sometimes feel nostalgic remembering the ocean and the river we lived on, I can’t remember ever really thinking of myself as Floridian. I can’t imagine going back outside of maybe a vacation. The idea of Florida being a place that I used to live almost feels like a distant dream – one of the strange ones that leave you wondering, “what in the world was that about?”. I simply had no connection there. When I remember my childhood, some of my fondest memories were those spent visiting my Papaw’s house in Lincoln County, WV and running amuck with the other kids up and down the hollow and into the mountains surrounding his property. Not sorry, Sunshine State, you don’t hold a candle to these hills.

I feel a deep connection to these mountains. To me, they are sacred. I grew up hearing stories from my family that I now realize are a testament to our Appalachian heritage. It was like a whole other world to me. It’s no wonder I didn’t connect with that other state. Yet, partly because I did grow up hundreds of miles away from home, I sometimes feel like I’m not Appalachian enough. This despite my living here for almost 2 decades now. Imposter syndrome is a nasty little monster that will gnaw at anything you hold dear when it finds a way in. Sometimes I also just find myself comparing who I am to some stereotype of what an Appalachian is “supposed” to be.

Religion and it’s influence is a big part of what I think of. Like most Appalachians, my family is traditionally Christian. I recall visiting the Baptist church my mom grew up in. We didn’t go back because it must have been too painful for her to be there after having lost her own parents years ago. My Mamaw, though a self-identified witch, also grew up Baptist and still held Christian-oriented beliefs alongside her craft. The culture around Appalachia as a whole often centers around Christianity. As for me? If you’re reading this blog, you’ll already know that I’m a polytheist Pagan. Sure, I now have a church aside from nature; but it accepts people of all faiths. I love that it’s so inclusive.

It’s important to remind myself that the religious influence on the culture here is based on a history of colonization that used religion as a weapon. Christianity was the dominating religion across Europe, and thus across the colonized America’s, for so long. Of course the people of West Virginia were just as influenced by that as everyone else. As people in this past century have been finding their own religious and spiritual paths, Appalachia now has a growing and diverse Pagan community. Leaving behind the religion of our more recent ancestors doesn’t make any of us any less Appalachian.

This brings me to Appalachian folk traditions/ magic/ witchcraft, also now commonly called Granny magic. Because of the history of our people, it is true that these traditions have a heavy Christian influence. Does that mean that an Appalachian Pagan can’t practice our own family’s traditions, or reclaim what we’ve lost? I’ve seen some make that claim. It doesn’t make those people right. It just makes them gatekeeping, bigoted assholes. Yeah, I said it. It seems that most have the sense not to share those harmful views, though. My family’s stories and beliefs, despite the Christian influences, are part of me. They’re part of what led me toward Paganism, to my gods and my identity as a witch. Nobody can take that from me. And, besides, a lot of the beliefs and traditions aren’t even specifically religious, anyhow. They work no matter what else you believe in. The women (and gender diverse people) in my family still have dreams and feelings that show us the future or other things we have no logical way to know. Owls are still a symbol of death and deaths often come in three. Blowing smoke in an ear can still cure an earache. Spirits are still real. So on and so forth. For me, these things are part of my Appalachian heritage.

A lot of the old traditions are disappearing among families. There are people publicly sharing their family’s traditions to preserve them, but different families have different ways. I recently spoke to my mom about our family’s old traditions. Aside from what I remember learning from her, she didn’t remember much else. Most of the older folks in my family who would have known more of the old ways are gone, or else their memories are fading. People like me, who ache for our Appalachian folk ways, are left to put the pieces back together in whatever way we can because we either waited too long or were born too late. It is for this reason I am thankful for those who are sharing the Appalachian folk magic from their own family traditions.

What it means to be Appalachian is going to vary among individuals. We’re a diverse bunch with our own backgrounds, but we’ve all got common ground. We share similar histories as a people and a love for these mountains. I am proud to be Appalachian, proud to be West Virginian.

Being Enough

There are many times wherein I feel that I am not enough. I find that I am not as well [formally] educated as some of my friends and acquaintances. I don’t have a job that’s as distinguished or well respected as some of them. I didn’t grow into adulthood with the same amount of financial privilege as some. There are too many “should” and “should not” expectations that I put on myself. These are expectations that this society reinforces via it’s broken values, media, and structural/ systemic factors. These are expectations that, up until adulthood, were completely out of my control. Even as an adult, because some of these expectations were not previously met, I was not in the same starting place as those who had more privileges at the get-go. Why then, do I still feel the need to compare myself to them? Just as I don’t have their experiences, they don’t have mine.

My therapist once told me that “should” doesn’t matter. It’s a lesson that I am still working on internalizing. These expectations set by “should” or “should not” result in guilt and loss of self worth. They aren’t useful to us. They are often a hindrance to our happiness and our desired paths in life. If one is held down by feelings of unworthiness, they may not feel as if they deserve to reach for the things they want for themselves. It then becomes a cycle that can be difficult to escape from. What I find more useful is acknowledging what has been, what is, and what can be. This does not mean making judgments on our past or present, but only seeing how it has and currently is affecting our lives.

If someone was not given shoes, they can not be expected to walk across a street covered in broken glass. If someone was given material to make shoes to walk across, they can not be expected to know how to make them without either trial and error or being taught. Whether one makes it without injury, with a few scratches, with deep wounds, or they are unable to cross at all; the circumstances that led to where they end up aren’t a reflection of their worth. Likewise, the past and present are naught but a reflection of one’s circumstances.

Just as I am still learning to accept that “should” is arbitrary, I am still learning to accept that I am enough as I am. The first principle of Unitarian Universalism is as follows: “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.” The worth and dignity of every person. No matter our background, no matter where we currently are in life, each of us is worthy and deserves dignity. If only all people treated others, as well as ourselves, with this principle in mind.

Despite my feelings of not being enough, compared to what was and what could have been, I actually am somewhat proud of myself. It helps to look at how far I’ve come, rather than how far I wish to be. It helps further to remember that circumstances aren’t linear. We don’t simply move from point A to B to C. We may also move from -3 to A to B to 1 to A again to green to something parallel to C. It’s messy and can get confusing. In all reality, it makes no sense to place strict expectations of “should” on individual human achievements. It makes no sense to judge someone’s worth based on unreasonable ideals.

Somewhere In Between

There’s this song by Poppy that I feel down to my bones when I hear it. It’s called Am I A Girl?

“Am I a girl? What does that even mean? I’m somewhere in between”.

Poppy, Am I A Girl

The lyrics discuss both binary gender expectations and gender fluidity in a way that’s not often seen in music. It feels good to listen to because it’s so relatable for someone like me.

Sometimes I’m feminine. Sometimes I’m masculine. Don’t evaluate me as woman or man

Poppy, Am I A Girl

There is so much truth for me in the lines of this song. As a genderfluid person, my gender is… well, fluid. Sometimes I’m a woman, sometimes I’m somewhere in between, sometimes I’m a guy. I am always nonbinary.

Being nonbinary in a society that typically only recognizes binary genders feels so weird. In a previous post, I mentioned how it feels almost alien to be grey-ace in this society. Yeah, that feeling is the same in terms of my gender, too.

The nonbinary label covers many different gender labels and can be considered part of the transgender umbrella. Not all nonbinary people identify as trans, for various reasons. Because of this, a new term has also been coined to cover nonbinary people: metagender. I do acknowledge that I am technically transgender, but I also feel like the label doesn’t quite fit me. There’s still a lot of binary expectations with being transgender and I don’t see that experience as my own. At the same time, I wholly believe that nonbinary people should be accepted by the transgender community. Even binary trans people will have different experiences, after all, and we are all different genders than what we were assigned at birth (in simpler words – not cisgender).

Each nonbinary person’s experience is going to be different. There are just so many ways to exist, not only as nonbinary, but as a human in general.

I’m AFAB. I still use she/her (as well as they/them and sometimes he/him). I still present sometimes as femme – makeup, leggings, a dress on more rare occasions. As a parent who gave birth, I still go by “momma” and am very attached to “motherhood” as a label. I also prefer more gender neutral, androgynous, or sometimes masculine presentation. I feel euphoric when people can’t figure out if I’m “a boy or a girl” or when they code me as a guy after seeing me. (Unfortunately, they usually “correct” themselves after hearing my voice.) At the same time, as a feminist and someone who is AFAB, it pisses me off when people use their outdated preconceptions about binary gender roles to assume that my job (or any, really) is being done by a man. Likewise, I get frustrated when people code me as a man because of my gender neutral birth name (I love my name – just can’t stand people who insist it’s a boy name). In these cases, I would prefer to be assumed a woman rather than a man. Fuck the patriarchy and all that, heh.

Some nonbinary people choose to medically transition, to various degrees, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it for myself. I hate how high my speaking voice is, I love that I can hit some higher notes when singing. I love my feminine curves and breasts sometimes, I prefer to wear a binder and baggy shirt when I feel dysphoric about my body. Making a choice to alter my body, even with a low doses of hormones, is an enormous decision that I’m not yet ready to make.

I’m out as nonbinary, but not OUT out. I don’t mention it to those in my life who I know wouldn’t accept it. I don’t push it or correct the language anyone uses for me. Being coded as a woman (mostly) doesn’t bother me much. Still, I feel a shift in me that’s growing more and more frustrated with the binary thinking of this society that I live in. Masculine? Feminine? What does that even mean? I’m somewhere in between.

Being Ace In a Society of Sex

S*X! SEX! S*X! It’s everywhere in American culture. It’s both glorified and viewed as something to be hidden. The gender of the person indulging in sex acts makes a difference in how it’s viewed, as does the sexual orientation and other preferences. A straight cisgender man who loves sex has the privilege of being viewed more favorably than a ciswoman or anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community who enjoys sex (or who doesn’t want it). These issues are relatively common discussion topics when sex is brought up in social justice circles. One topic that’s been gaining traction is asexuality.

I can only speak from my own experience as a gray-ace pansexual. American culture’s obsession with sex can feel awkward, at it’s best, for someone like me. Sometimes it’s downright uncomfortable. I can’t seem to understand why people feel such a seemingly constant desire for doing the dirty. At the same time, I am grey-asexual. I can enjoy it, if the mood is right. Sometimes I even desire it – like how I sometimes want a big slice of cake. I have my kinks and other preferences. It’s just not something that I feel is needed.

Some might say that my gray-asexuality is a symptom of an underlying psychological issue. As someone who was socialized female in a Christian home, there has been quite a lot of shame surrounding sex ingrained in me. That is an issue. So, too, are past bad experiences. Does that mean that there is inherently something wrong with me because of these things? Pssh. Not at all. I view these things as separate from my sexual identity. Sure, they have influenced me. It would be a lie to claim that they don’t. However, correlation does not equal causation.

When two people with different sex drives are together, this difference can make their relationship difficult to navigate. The popular idea that sex is owed to one’s partner is harmful. This is regardless of whether someone is on the asexual spectrum or allosexual (anyone who does not identify as asexual). For asexual people, this idea fuels the misconception that something is wrong with them. Not only that, but it can lead to unhealthy relationships wherein the asexual partner feels like they need to pretend to have an interest in sex in. Learning to communicate, particularly in relation to sex, is crucial to any relationship. For allosexual people, learning to communicate with an asexual partner can be difficult. Neither can fully understand the other’s needs. Therefore, it is all the more important to communicate clearly and make sure that consent is always clearly given. This is good practice for anyone.

Being gray-ace in a society that raises sex up on a pedestal comes with some challenges, sure. It feels almost like being an alien that can’t quite adjust to the culture of the planet they landed on, or can’t understand the human need for various foods over a single nutritional pill. For many allosexuals, sex is considered a need and deprivation of it can negatively affect their mental health. For asexual people, it’s typically something we may view as unnecessary, but sometimes still enjoyable to partake in.

Yearning For More

I have repeatedly expressed a sense of dissatisfaction of some type or another with my jobs. The job I have now (thankfully, still have in these trying times) is certainly one that I am more happy with than my previous ones. I enjoy driving and having more limited interactions with people. And yet, I cannot deny this feeling that I am meant to do more. I also cannot deny feeling like I am meant to surround myself with different people in my professional life.
As most in my personal life know, I went to college for salon management for a year. It was a poorly thought out plan – wrong time in my life and not enough preparation to ensure success. I had made Dean’s list for the fall semester, so the classes were certainly not a problem. Lack of self sufficient transportation (I was relying on my spouse to drive me), lack of appropriate funds, and negative impacts on my mental health were the real issues for me.
This experience has made me wary about going to college, or even taking online classes, again. That’s assuming that I can even decide for sure what I want to do in my life. There are so many things that I feel called toward. Spiritual work, herbalism, and art rank the highest on my list. How could I pick one with a sense of certainty? Especially when what I want most seems so uncertain in terms of income. I occasionally think that I could try beauty school again, but I don’t feel as if I’d feel settled enough with it. I don’t want to go to school for something just because the job I’ll be able to get afterward is in high demand and pays well. Also, I really can’t stand working with the public on such a constant basis (mainly due to mental health). The idea of that makes my heart ache. I do want to know that I can make a decent living, however.
There is this idea that goes around, saying something along the lines of, “You shouldn’t do something you enjoy for the money. You should do it because you enjoy it.” While true, this idea is highly dismissive of the fact that so much of our time and energy gets sucked away at jobs we need to do for money. It is dismissive toward those who have to use up most of their spoons just to survive. Why should we not prefer to make the money we need doing something we feel some sense of passion in?
During this pandemic, I cannot help but recognize that many people are out of work. Had I successfully gotten into the beauty field, I would have now been among those applying for unemployment. I am glad to still have an income. I only wish that I could know that I will be able to make up my mind, create a plan for success, and reach for something more after this has passed.

My Truth Is Grey II

If you’re following my page over on Facebook, you may have already seen this post:

For years off and on, I’ve questioned my gender identity. At some point, it must have been recent, I’ve begun thinking of myself more and more as genderfluid/ nonbinary instead of questioning it. I still mostly consider myself a woman, but I now feel like I’m ready to accept that sometimes I am also a guy and sometimes I’m both/ neither. I will still be using she/her pronouns.
Obviously, this changes nothing about who I am. This is simply a fun fact like, “I just found out that I really like cake”.

If not, you just did. Before I made that little announcement, I had set my gender as “genderfluid” when I was setting up my PaganSpace account. I hadn’t even thought about it or registered fully that I was officially accepting this gender identity until afterward. If you read The Conundrum of Gender from a while back, it’s possible that you saw this coming from a mile way.

Gender identity is a complicated topic. You always have the “penis = man, vagina = woman” people who probably aren’t going to be convinced that it’s more complicated than their brains can handle. Then, there’s still difficulty even in parts of the LGBTQA+ community to accept genderfluid and nonbinary identities. Apparently, people like us “give ‘real’ transgender people” a bad name. Huh. Because apparently struggling with one’s gender and then finally finding self acceptance can be a bad thing. [/endsarcasm]

Despite feeling comfortable admitting to myself that I am genderfluid, I feel that this is still a strange period. What do I do with this realization? I’m not a transman, despite feeling more like a guy sometimes, so a route based on that won’t work for me. Not that I’m necessarily complaining. I understand that hormonal transitioning FtM can be a complicated stage filled with many mixed emotions.
I am still choosing to use female pronouns. It’s just easier for me. It’s not like I’m going out and telling everyone I know that I’m genderfluid, anyway. There’s a benefit to being assigned female at birth presenting masculine, in that modern society typically often views that as tomboy-ish. I am privileged to be able to hide in plain sight like that.
Another worry I have is wondering if this could affect my marriage down the road somehow. But, my spouse is already aware that I’ve questioned my gender and has often half jokingly pointed out that I am more man than woman sometimes. Maybe I have nothing to worry about in that regard.

The only thing that I know for sure regarding this is that I feel what I feel. Sometimes I am a woman. Sometimes I am a man. Sometimes I am neither or both. I guess saying, “My Truth Is Grey” is true in more ways than I realized. This changes nothing beyond my acceptance for these parts of me.

[Update: 4/2/2022

Since writing this, my pronouns have changed to they/them.]

What I Want

This is going to get personal as I channel my inner emo kid.

I never knew what I wanted out of my life, career wise. The idea of being a stay at home mom was always an assumed dream. After working out of necessity, I’d decided that I would at least like to work from home regardless of need. Create things, sell makeup, whatever. The idea of being a creative business owner became appealing. It seems, however, that I’m no good at it. I sold handmade jewelry for a bit and sold Avon. That was before I’d taken a business class and learned a bit more about how to run a business. Neither of those worked out.
Trying to sell my art whether by offering commissions or using platforms such as Teespring/ Redbubble has thus far been a failure. Either I’m really shit at marketing or people just don’t like my art as much as they’ve said. I’m still trying when I can, but it’s discouraging.
I’ve recently started into a new venture with direct sales. A friend of mine is successful at it. Why couldn’t I be? Yet, so far, I’m feeling lost. So far, I’m already feeling cursed.

I’m still working a “regular” job, with a schedule set by a boss that’s not myself. This one’s better than the previous, at least.. Between that and sharing our only car with the spouse who also works, I can’t just go wherever whenever. I also can’t afford to invest a lot of money, either for materials (such as for creating jewelry again), ads, or classes. On top of that, I’m depressed and anxious. It comes and goes, but that bitch is always there sapping away whatever energy and motivation I have left.

I often want to give up. Maybe a part of me already has. Yet, I can’t allow myself to give up completely. I have to have some hope that something will come along and I’ll recognize it as an opening… and that I won’t be afraid to take it.

I have sometimes wondered if I really am somehow cursed. It feels like the things I reach for slip away so easily, either causing more harm than expected or simply not working out. I wonder if I can ever really be happy, or have something close enough to it. “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” sounds like some fantasy bullshit to me. If it exists, I fear whatever it is must be out of reach somewhere that I won’t find it.