How My Life Has Changed Loving Someone Who Is Trans

How My Life Has Changed Loving Someone Who Is Trans

A person is more than their gender identity.
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I remember the first day I met Jude. On the first day of Orientation, my eyes searched rapidly for any sign of familiar life. After being thrown into a sea of unfamiliar faces and bewilder looks, my heart flipped and my stomach turned at the thought of meeting my future roommate. Having picked a random roommate off of Facebook, I knew nothing about what he looked like, besides the side angle profile picture I glanced at before I messaged him. Finally, our eyes met, and we awkwardly walked over each other and attempted to side hug, like what you would do with a creepy person you tried to avoid while walking to class. He was tall, with wavy hair and a vibe that screamed skater boy bred with scene sixth-grader. Also, he was a girl.

I didn’t know my roommate was transgender until the week before we moved in. His birth name was Rachel Kaiser, coincidentally my exact name, and had always been referred to as a girl. As he bravely texted me that he was transgender, praying that I understood, I chuckled and thought, “Why would I care”? Who am I to judge? But, no matter what, I always knew that Jude was a boy; I never once thought of him as a girl. This is who is he is.

I will never fully understand what he goes through, let alone any transgender person. I will never experience what it feels like to hate the skin you live in, I will never experience what it feels like to look in the mirror and not love who you are, I will never understand what it is like to have your family reject how you feel inside, and I will never understand what it feel like to want to end your life because you feel that life the way you are isn’t worth it. It is awful to watch someone who is so kind to everyone they meet, so beautiful, someone you really love and care about, feel this way about themselves. It kills me to think that people hate him for one reason. I don’t know what to do…

But I do know what it is like to feel alone and depressed and like the world is against you, and that’s where we, everyone, can help. A person is more than their gender identity. This is not a PSA telling people to agree with transgender issues or gender-neutral bathrooms or hormone therapy; if fact, this is a call to be fucking compassionate, to be aphetic, even if you don’t understand or agree. Transgender people, in fact all people, need support in their lives and in their choices. If we don’t want our friends, our loved ones, our colleagues to be happy, to make the choices that would better their lives, then why are we here? In honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, we should look past our differences and support the people we care about, no matter their decisions. It is easier said than done, but when put in a situation, where someone you love or care about needs you, you stick by him or her. I’m glad Jude taught me this, thank you.

To anyone, transgender, LGBTQA+, or straight, who feels abandoned…

This is for you.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Kiser

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Seeing Pregnancy Announcements Makes Me Feel Guilty I Can't Give That To A Future Girlfriend

How seeing the hundreds of pregnancy announcements makes me feel as a trans man.

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It seems like whenever you log onto any social media platform whatsoever these days, there's always another new pregnancy announcement. I could literally list at least ten people I know right now that are expecting. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely ecstatic for each and every one of them, the joy and excitement that spews out of them makes my heart so happy. As a transman, I know I see pregnancy in a different light than everyone else.

Up until recently, I've always been the poster child for never having kids. Being a parent to anything other than something with fur and 4 paws was totally out of the question. I swore up and down I would never have kids. I didn't even entertain the idea, never gave it a second thought. I always told my mom not to be disappointed, but to never expect to be a grandmother. The only types of babies or kids I liked were the kind I could give back to their parents when they started acting up. I was okay with just being the "fun uncle" to my close friend's children when that time came.

As a transman, having my own children, of course, was completely out of the question. I didn't want to get myself excited over something I knew I could never have myself. I know there are plenty of other ways to have a child and there are way too many children in foster homes that should be adopted, but I felt like it wouldn't be the same; I feared that if I wasn't their biological father then they would never see me as their "real dad." Not to mention, no other dad in the world will have to sit their child down one day when they become of age and explain to them that their dad was actually born a woman. No other dad in the world will have to fear that rejection from their child. God forbid if my child's peers found out their dad was actually transgender and mistreated or bullied them because of that. These are the thoughts that scared me out of the idea of being a parent. These are the reasons why I never entertained the idea of being a father to anything other than a dog.

This all changed when I met my girlfriend, which is ironic because she swore she'd never want children either. Prior to her, I never envisioned myself having my own family until she came around. When I look at her my heart is so overwhelmed with pure and unconditional love to the point where I want more of her in the world. I'm not trying to be cocky, but I think I'm pretty damn great. I also think she is extremely great, phenomenal, out of this world. So, a little person that's half me, half her? Sold, I'm in. You're welcome, world. Raising a child with my best friend would be the most fun adventure that I could ever imagine. There's no doubt in my mind that she'll make the most incredible mother.

However, I'll always feel extremely guilty that I can't give her what literally any other man in the world could so easily; a biological child. Even after I get my bottom surgery, I will never be able to produce sperm, therefore, I will never be able to have my own biological child. That's such a huge sacrifice I'm asking her to make by having to take a nontraditional route to motherhood. That's such a huge obstacle we need to tackle together as a team. If she were with anyone else, she wouldn't have all of these hoops to jump through, it could be so easy and so natural if I wasn't born in this opposing body, this cage I'm trapped in. It eats me alive every single time I think about it.

Then I snap out of all that nonsense, apologetic talk. When I have a child, I'll go through all this extra work to have her because that's how badly I'll want it. Anything worth having certainly won't be easy. Where there's a will, there's a way. No matter how I have a child, I'll still have her and that's all that will matter to me. When the time is right, it'll happen. I never in my wildest dreams would've imagined I'd say it, but I can't wait to be a dad.

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