Tag Archives: Exploring Trans

I Hate Clothes Shopping

Originally posted at EXPLORING TRANS – TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010, 5:47 PM

I hate clothes shopping. Actually, that’s not really true. I enjoy finding new clothes. The problems come from not being able to find clothes that fit and being steered toward clothes that don’t fit with my sense of gender. In particular, I hate shopping for clothes at huge bargain stores. I guess it’s partly my fault because I should know better than to shop at such places–there’s never anything that fits. Still, I happened to be in the city today, and so I stopped by a store. Fail. Continue reading

Not Your Usual Trans Childhood Narrative

EXPLORING TRANS – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010, 5:40 PM

When I was little, my grandmother made me a pink princess costume for Halloween: a little petal pink shift, a darker pink cape that tied with a white grosgrain ribbon and was trimmed with sequins, and a pale pink satin tiara, also trimmed with sequins. I loved it. After Halloween, that costume ended up in my dress up box (a purple box with white hearts), and I played with it all the time. Continue reading

I Feel Like I’m Losing Myself

EXPLORING TRANS – SATURDAY, JULY 10, 2010, 8:11 PM

I feel like I’m being pulled in so many different directions. I don’t know how — I’ve never know how — to deal with multiple identities in a way that didn’t cause one of them to be neglected and ignored. I’m a Korean adoptee, but I’m also queer and trans, and I haven’t yet been able to figure out a way to unite those identities, instead of simply pushing one to the foreground and the other to the back. Continue reading

Please Don’t Call My Drink “Girly”

EXPLORING TRANS – TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2010, 1:33 AM

Today was the boat cruise. Every year, after all papers and exams are done, the seniors at my college have a tradition on going on a dinner cruise on the river with some of the favorite faculty and staff. This was it, and overall, it was awesome.

Parts of it were less awesome. My friend looked at our drinks (she had a Sex On The Beach; another friend and I both had Cosmopolitans) and said, “We’re so girly!” Awesome. Great. Thanks. So not what I want to hear. The next drink I ordered was a vodka tonic. Continue reading

Don’t Call Me Woman: The Ups and Downs of Privilege

EXPLORING TRANS – TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010, 11:31 PM

Although I self-identify as trans, people very rarely read me as anything other than a woman. I suppose I can’t really blame them: I’m barely over five feet tall; I have child-sized hands; my shoe size is that of the average 8-12-year-old (according to Converse.com); and I’ve never had what anyone would call a boyish figure. I look distinctly female, no matter how much I’d like to pretend otherwise. Continue reading

Saving Grace

EXPLORING TRANS – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2010, 4:19 AM

No, I’m not referring to the TV show. I’m actually talking about a group I recently joined here, Genderqueer Chicago. I’ve only been to two meetings, but it is changing my life. I know that sounds incredibly hyperbolic and melodramatic, but I’m actually serious. Continue reading

Feeling Dapper

EXPLORING TRANS — SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010, 10:18 PM

I’ve needed to dress up five times this past weekend and week for graduation and senior week, and I’d been absolutely dreading it. I’m not good with dressing up — it’s a combination of not knowing what to wear (given that all of the messages I’ve received about how to look nice involve dresses and heels and such) and not having clothes to wear (given that menswear is expensive and generally is ill-fitting on me). Additionally, I get really self-conscious because I know that for dress-up events, most of the people around me will be wearing dresses, skirts, and other girly clothes (at the very least, really fitted pants and blazer), and that makes me stick out. Continue reading

Recording Studios + Solos = Gender Issues

EXPLORING TRANS — TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010, 7:00 PM

I sing with an a cappella group, which I love. It’s one of my favorite parts of my life at college. Today, we went to the recording studio to begin recording my senior solo. Recording is usually a lot of fun, but today it was really stressful.

To start with, I’m not a really confident singer, and my sense of rhythm is surprising lacking for a singer. So, I’m recording the scratch track (the track the others listen to as they record, so that we can all be together), and it fails. I’m continually off the proper rhythm. It doesn’t help that they keep using feminine pronouns for me, which only magnifies the discomfort I’m feeling regarding my voice and gets me feeling even more frustrated.  Continue reading

Listening to the Right Voice

EXPLORING TRANS – THURSDAY, JULY 1, 2010, 12:38 AM

It sometimes seems as though there’s this societal insistence that gender can only be either personal or social. It’s either directly due to people as individuals, or it’s solely the result of socialization. Furthermore, I, at least, have felt a message that it needs to be individual, in order to be “real” or “authentic” or “legitimate.”

There’s this idea that how I feel about my gender, or how I present myself, isn’t real if it’s influenced by society. It’s only considered legitimate if I do something because it’s what I want for myself, not because I want others to view me in a certain way. And while I understand and respect the importance of staying true to oneself and not being too bothered by the rest of the world, it’s an undeniable fact that we’re influenced by society. Continue reading

Pronoun Trouble –- Just Read What I’ve Written

EXPLORING TRANS — WEDNESDAY, MAY5, 2010, 7:55 PM

I presented my thesis today at a gathering that the Gender Studies program put on. In the short biography I wrote to precede my presentation, I specifically switched between “ze” and “they” as my pronouns. Everything in my bio was about gender, including the title of my thesis and that I founded the trans support group at my college. Nevertheless, the woman who planned the event still managed to introduce me using feminine pronouns, even as she read my bio. She was reading from the paper in front of her — a paper on which I was referred to with gender-neutral pronouns — and she still called me “she” and referred to my thesis as “her thesis.” Continue reading