So here’s a thing I don’t talk about often…

me-me-me

Somewhere in my teens I was told that if I continued to dress masculine it would make it impossible for me to find a partner. That I couldn’t be loved if I didn’t look like the gender I was assigned at birth. (This was LONG before talk of gender binary or the word “trans” entered my life on a daily basis. The late 90s, amirite?). And because I was told this by someone I loved and trusted, I believed them.

I spent the next 15 years of my life wearing makeup, obsessing about body hair, collecting dresses, and dressing to “flatter my body type” and “accentuate my curves.” Because this was how I could earn love.

Then RA set in; my hands were unable to grasp the tools for the job. I gave up makeup and shaving my legs. This was a struggle as I grappled with the thought that I would no longer be a viable partner to the person I love, because I was no longer as feminine as I was when we met. I was convinced my value and validity would decrease with my inability to perform “my gender.” It was a real, literal, drag.

Anyway, today I dressed as Dustin from Stranger Things for the celebration of Halloween in my office. I dressed like Dustin because when I saw him on the screen, I felt like I was looking at myself. I felt represented in media – regardless of gender.

And after the costume competition ended, and I removed the tooth-black and hair pins, I looked in the mirror and saw myself in the t-shirt and hat. Throughout the day, I repeatedly catch glimpses of myself in the mirror…. and I feel good. I feel like I look good. And my incredibly supportive office mates keep offering me comments like “I don’t know if you look really Dustin, or if Dustin is so you.” And I am practically moved to tears by the acceptance of me looking and feeling like myself in a t-shirt and hat.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t still feel feminine sometimes, today or in general. Heck, it doesn’t mean that this outfit (or any outfit of t-shirt, pants, hat) isn’t feminine.

What it does mean is I can’t let this feeling pass without documenting it.

I feel so incredibly me and so valid and so incredibly lovable.

Goals for 2016

I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions. Aside from secretly resenting New Year’s because it totally overshadows my birthday, I’ve always thought it was silly to pick one time a year to better myself. However, I’m reaching that point (I think it’s called ‘your thirties’) where years don’t seem so long, and checking in with oneself on an annual basis seems like a reasonable time span. Or maybe I just miss having a job with an annual review.

In any case, my first goal of the year was to publish this very post about what I hope to accomplish in 2016. Instead of resolutions, it’s more of a bucket list. Some of these items are tasks, easy to check off the list. Others are things to work on, probably for the rest of my life. Either way, in 2016, I look forward to:

  1. Publishing my goals for the year.
  2. Taking my meds, as directed, all year!
  3. Getting my passport.
  4. Using my passport.
  5. Being mindful about the language I use. And I’m not talking swearing. I’m talking ableist, racist, transmisogynistic, classist and sexist language. I will strike “lame” and “crazy” from my vernacular. I will stop assuming pronouns and ask. I will listen when my friends call me in, or out, as the case may be.
  6. Taking the advice of Laura Hale and asking who is not there.
  7. Learning to call out my friends, gently and lovingly, when they need to check their privilege.
  8. Telling my friends I love them. All the damn time. Deal with it, friends.
  9. Advocating kindness. I’m not sure what this one means quite yet. The term first  came up for me in a conversation in which I was trying to explain how ridiculous it seems to me that the world is full of hate, because I don’t understand why people would chose to use their time finding things to hate when they could be finding things that make them feel good. I think this aligns with items 2-4. I think this happens by working hard to promote love, compassion and kindness and learning how to use it to heal hurt, pain and aggression in peoples hearts. I don’t know how to do this yet, but I’m going to try to figure it out.
  10. Being less bashful about posting my thoughts, opinions and ramblings. I’m gonna treat this shit like LiveJournal.

 

When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello

I first read this a few days ago, and posted it to my FB page, but I find it so moving that I didn’t want to wait for my link round up to share it here.

Let's Queer Things Up!

This article was originally published by Ravishly.

cello.They promised I would “grow into it.”

When I was small and new to this world, my parents placed a radio beside my crib.

“We used to play classical music for you,” they told me. “You loved Bach.” For years, I fell asleep to the sounds of 12 different violin concertos, the music bouncing off the walls and into my tiny ears.

My mother swears that this is why I took up violin.

My parents eagerly exposed me to any and every song with a violin solo. I went from Bach to Riverdance to Dixie Chicks, the music captivating me. By the time I was 12, I told my parents that I wanted to make beautiful music like the people on the CDs.

They made me promise that I wouldn’t quit after just a few weeks. I would’ve promised them the moon…

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December Links

December already, huh!? For the uninitiated, this is my monthly roundup of links from my Gunter and Bean Facebook Page, (and sometimes my personal page) which I use to share the news, links and articles that captivate me. The benefit of checking here is that I’ll have them sorted by topic. The downside is that you miss my commentary. Or maybe that’s a benefit too, I’m not sure.

I’m going to be honest… November was a rough month. There was a lot of terrorism all over the world, and I linked to a bunch of things about the assorted events. Seeing it all collected like this makes me wish I had seen more art. More positivity. I do try to focus on items that push people up instead of bring them down. But sometimes the world makes that hard.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy! I look forward to hearing your comments, questions, and suggestions for other things to read!

Sincerely,

Bean


Art/Fashion:

Activism:

bonnie and neddy

vet

neighbor

talmud

oliver

Humor, Fun Stuff and Miscellaneous Reads:

Personal Projects:

Daily Review Challenge, Days 11-19: TV, Podcasts, Music and More

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review…” I haven’t really stayed on topic, but I have accepted this challenge.


Schmebs, I’ve really fallen behind. I intended to do this every day. Then I thought it was acceptable to do it FOR every day. Now I have over a weeks worth of reviews to write! The good news – I HAVE SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT!

Below the cut you will find reviews of the following: (TV) Gravity Falls, (TV) Steven Universe, (Podcasts) Monster Factory, (Music) Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space, (Misc) Chillin’ with a room full of ladies, (Podcasts) The Try Guys, (TV) America’s Next Top Model, (Music) Foster the People – Torches, and (Podcasts) Jordan Jesse Go!

Continue reading “Daily Review Challenge, Days 11-19: TV, Podcasts, Music and More”

Daily Review Challenge, Day 4: (Misc) Writing Reviews

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review for/rate/share one piece of media you’ve enjoyed. Book, game, comic, etc.” I have accepted this challenge.


Dudes. It’s day four and I’m writing a review on writing reviews. I didn’t think it would be an easy challenge. But it’s still harder than I thought.

The thing is, I compiled a whole list of things to review, but none of them were singing to me today. Nothing seemed right until I decided to write about the process. Why? Because that how I get my way through writers block.

All in all it’s fun and it has me thinking a lot about my favorite things. I’ve also been on a big decluttering kick lately, and this practice really goes hand in hand with that. Plus it’s excellent writing practice! I do feel like I err to the side of writing about things I love, but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want! >_<

How The Creative And Unusual World Of Tim Burton’s ‘Beetlejuice’ Became A Beautiful Reality

An interesting interview with the production design team of Beetlejuice.

UPROXX

beetlejuice

Whenever Tim Burton’s Beetlejuiceis mentioned in a circle of cinephiles, words like “unique,” “original” and even “insane” are tossed around in a game of dodge the adjective. Burton’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was a hit in 1985, and thus he began getting offers and scripts at an alarming rate, none of which piqued his interest — until he received Beetlejuice. The outrageously fresh script called for a ghoulish pimp who is summoned by dead dependents like a sort of evil afterlife genie. Beetlejuice‘s titular role would go to Michael Keaton — who should probably be holding a best actor Oscar right now, but isn’t — and he added the exclamation point on an already entertaining character.

While much of the film’s success — it more than quadrupled its budget at the box office — should be owed to Keaton’s performance and Burton’s direction, a lot of the…

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Oh man, Happy Friday, Guys!

Friday’s don’t mean the same thing to me as they used to, I suppose. Since I quit the “day job” and have gone to full time, uh… hustling? It just hasn’t had the same feel. It helps that the person I work most closely with is in a similar boat. This means we can take Fabric Depot trips on Mondays, at lunch time, because we just woke up.

But for some reason, this Friday… It’s feel’s like a Friday! So lets celebrate!

Stolen from Tumblr

Sincerely,

Bean

Real funny, internet.

I just felt a pain I hadn’t felt since LiveJournal. I spent two hours… yes TWO HOURS carefully honing a post to perfection, and lost it in the preview phase. All that writing, lost to the ether. I’ll admit it, it makes me want to walk away from the computer, but it would kind of defeat the whole purpose of what I wrote. In short, it said,

Hi. I’m Bean. I don’t write here enough, and I figured out why: I’m shy. I’m shy, and sometimes I get depressed. And also, in that time between LiveJournal and now I somehow lost the self esteem that told me that the things I want to share with people are genuinely worth sharing.

If I didn’t re-write the post, I’d be defeating myself. Continue reading “Real funny, internet.”