Would this genderqueer marry?

20 Aug

Relationship challenge no. 220 of being genderqueer/non-binary (and in a poly relationship). Somewhere in the last few weeks the discussion about long-term, committed and monogamous relationships have come up in conversation with friends.

Unbeknownst to me some people think that because I am (a) genderqueer/non-binary, and (b) in a poly relationship, that I would not want to marry. I suppose the dilemma might be how do I fit into the current “Mr. & Mrs” title, or that because I am in a relationship with a (technically) married man that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t want to “walk down the aisle”. This lead me to asking myself the question of, if I could get married would I want to? If the answer is yes then I can start to find what term I would use instead of “Mrs”. What I dislike, what triggered me, is the assumption that genderqueer/non-binary equals not wanting to marry. Those closest to me were basically trying to tell me that getting married/weddings look one way, and one way only—completely conformed to traditional gender expectations. It would be a challenge to negotiate issues of gender expectations while navigating the wedding world, and/or trying to plan a wedding that felt authentic and unique to me.

So, this got me questioning that tired old argument that “marriage is between a man and a woman”. Do people who believe that, believe that those who identify as genderqueer/non-binary in any fashion should not be allowed to marry at all? Is that what I am actually dealing with? It feels really hard now to be vulnerable and open myself and my relationship to possible criticism, exclusion, or just confusion, regarding gender role assumptions or heteronormative expectations; let alone when it comes from friends and family. No one should have to feel uncomfortable and outside of a range of ‘normal’ in order to celebrate their (legal!!!) marriage and loving relationship, especially when all someone might need and want is to feel represented and celebrated for their uniqueness and beauty. Keep in mind, these were all good-intentioned friends and family (they just weren’t educated on what it means to be genderqueer/non-binary), who understood my gender and relationship status, but also had some presumptions as to how “weddings work” (and trying to put me/my experience into a box), thanks to the very gendered wedding industry.

Then two days ago I was reminded of these latest conversations while driving home from work and hearing the following lyrics of Missy Higgins’ “The Special Two”:

When you’re young you have this image of your life
That you’ll be scrupulous and one day even make a wife
And you make boundaries you’d never dream to cross
And if you happen to you wake completely lost 

When I was a small child, being raised as a little girl (although tomboyish) I too dreamed of marriage and a wedding. Playing pretend in kindergarten involved white sheets to make up a dress, and creating a circle of teddy bears and dolls to represent the guests. I felt okay marrying my best female friends, boys I had crushes on, and daydreaming about one day being a “Mrs” to my favorite superstar. In adolescence when I accepted my attraction as queer I still fantasied about two wedding dresses / going in drag and wearing a suit, while attending rallies for same-sex marriage. I still have an old notebook full of my collages from magazines, which included pages of wedding images and ideas. The bridal wear section in op shops as an adult was often a must just so I could try on meringue-looking dresses while laughing at the hilarity of it all, sometimes even joking that I would one day walk in the Zombie Shuffle with a blood-spattered dress because “even zombies deserve the right to get married”.

Now with everything that’s been said I am just not sure anymore…

Reandron Part 2

10 Feb

It’s been almost three week’s since I had my shot of Reandron, and what a crazy time it has been, and here is why…

  • the shot was done super fast (I was in and out of the nurse’s office in 10mins) – maybe a bit too fast for my first every Reandron shot
  • may be unrelated but I got my first ever UTI and ended up at ED after I started peeing a lot of blood
  • my blood pressure, which is normally quite regular and “normal”, became high and my heart rate wouldn’t drop easily
  • the latest blood results (done a week after the shot) showed my under-active (hypothyroidism) thyroid is now high (hyperthyroidism)
  • the icing on the cake was another bloody period

Both local GPs to me and ED staff were clueless about testosterone but unfazed. My regular doctor is currently away so I played phone tag with another GP from where I usually get my T-shots. In brief he suggested I perhaps try a half-dose in 6-12 weeks just to see how my body reacts, and in addition to monitor my thyroid as I’ve never been on Reandron before so we don’t know how it affects my levels.

Here are what I got from reaching out via Facebook:

 – “What I can get from your results here is that your GP might be matching your results to a female bodied patient, what I mean by this is that a Testosterone level of 22.6 for a female is quite high, but for a male that is very normal, same as your FreeTesto results; male testosterone levels; 21-35 (good rate)”

– “The T levels are very normal for a male”

– “If symptoms match those expected of natural menopause in a cis woman, you’re absolutely fine. It’s uncomfortable, for sure. I remember hot flushes and weird dizziness”

– “You need to be seeing an endocrinologist who specialises in transmasculine hrt”

– “Two weeks after your first shot is way to early to assess your hormonal levels, your whole system will be in chaos. It is a big change for the body”


26 Jan

It’s been 1.5yrs since I last posted, and a lot has happened in-between that time in relation to my gender, testosterone and the rest of my personal life. But for today I am going to talk about my decision to re-start T after almost a year off Primo and another six-months without Axiron.

Continue reading 

Hypothyroidism Version 2

1 Aug

This is a long-awaited update about my current health issues with fatigue, my thyroid, sleep apnea and being on Testosterone.

Continue reading 

Yoga for a Genderqueer

29 Jun

13495268_10154201271417457_6552833513430772571_nWhen creating or thinking about trans friendly/inclusive yoga, the main thought should be about being welcoming and inclusive, as often these spaces don’t feel so for those that don’t fit the mould. The second thought is about the description, what does it mean when a class states it is a safe space and/or welcoming to ‘transgender and gender non-conforming people’?

Reading Nick Krieger’s “Why Trans and Queer Yoga?” recently when trying to draft an email to one of my local yoga teachers (yes I do go to two different yoga studios). The small, almost all female, classes I attend are run by a group of wonderful and kind women. We are all referred to as ladies, girls and goddesses throughout the class – misgendering and referring to me with female pronouns. Like Nick Krieger I realised that the teacher’s would have no way of knowing the impact of their words, however I also don’t know how to tell them.

The second yoga studio is relatively new and is very inclusive to all body sizes and genders. I feel more ‘me’ there yet I still struggle with the gendered language. There is hope for me in this group as the instructor is queer identified and working hard to create a safe space for trans and queer individuals – YAY!

Other classes that I have found so far advertise ‘queer and trans’, but I am not too sure if they know themselves what the needs are of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Do we need to possibly spend an hour on diversity and inclusion when including the ‘trans’ in event titles? Are they stating that they are providing a space for ‘visibly’ trans people, and if so where do I fit in as genderqueer when I keep getting referred to as ‘she’ or as one of the ‘girls’?

What is all the fuss about? The benefits of creating a safe space for everyone is so each individual can feel that they are amongst like-minded people. You don’t want someone to be self-conscious of their body or stressed about how they identify or present. I would like to walk into a yoga class where the world, and room, isn’t being divided into binary genders, a place where you won’t stand out if you bind or pack to express your gender.

Here are a few things that could make queer/trans yoga different from other yoga classes:
  • small group of other queer/trans people
  • introductions with pronouns and check-ins about feelings (if this is not possible in a group then the teachers/instructor should at least be aware of everyone’s name and/or pronouns)
  • a visibly/vocally queer/trans instructor (as much as I love one of my yoga classes I struggle to connect with a room full of cis women)
  • no gendered language on the part of the instructor
  • less about hardcore exercise, closer to gentle stretches and meditation (this is with keeping in mind that some individuals may also be recovering from surgery)
  • lots of “if you are able” and “if that is accessible to you” to not assume all participants can, say, close their eyes for meditation or reach a deeper version of a pose
*Thanks to Ilan in helping to create this list.
Here are two places that have crossed my radar, however I haven’t been to either of the trans and queer friendly classes:

Queer and Trans Inclusive (QTI) Yoga Melbourne describes itself as “a safe yoga space for the LQBTIQ+ community and their friends. All welcome including absolute beginners.”

Chunky Yoga, who provide classes in a safe place to explore the practice of yoga regardless of your size, gender, age, sexuality or race. There are also plans of starting trans and queer friendly classes in Prahran/St Kilda!

Preferred Name and Pronouns at Work Part 4

1 Dec

Today, after many month (well almost a year), the General Manager of my workplace has posted the following statement on the organisation’s intranet today: Continue reading 

Preferred Name and Pronouns at Work Part 3

21 Nov



gerund or present participle: misgendering
1. refer to (someone, especially a transgender person) using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, that does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify.
So after emailing my work colleagues, and posting, about my preferred name and pronouns at work here and here, some people are still continue to struggle and using ‘she’. It was all a little surreal as during this period of time, a couple of days actually, the training coordinator, and fellow queer, approached me about diversity training and to check how I was doing.
The first occurrence was when a manager referred to me as ‘she’ when chatting to a client (e.g. “I am sure that wasn’t her intention” and “I’m sure she wouldn’t mind at all”). I’ve raised this once in supervision when I had a client ask me if I was a boy or a girl, which I didn’t respond to and continued to focus on their issue and needs (I work mostly over the telephone or via online chat). I admit right here and now that I struggle so much with advocating and standing up for myself in terms of my gender identity and pronoun preference, however that’s another story.
The second occurrence, which happened on the same day, was when an older 70yr old colleague asked “How are you pretty lady?”. I responded that I was doing ok and enjoying my weekend at work, and also clarified that I don’t identify as female. I believe my response challenged him a little, and maybe I could have not said anything, because as soon as I had uttered that he told me about a recent experience:
He’d entered a workshop that he was presenting at and addressed the room with “Good morning guys!”, which wasn’t welcomed as enthusiastically as he’d hoped by the room full of mothers. Following that he tried “ladies”, which again didn’t go down too well, and ended with “Well how would you prefer I address you as?”. Their response was for him to use their name, which he was quick to explain that he didn’t have the time, having just walked into the room, to have asked.
I got his point and frustration, yet he failed to have learned from this experience. To add injury to insult he calls all the men “guys” or “mate”, which clearly highlights that he see’s me as female. I am yet to talk about my Team Leader about this, more because I would like to find another way to communicate to work colleges about this.

Continue reading 

Menstruation vs. Testosterone

30 Jul

After almost four-weeks since my last injection of T, while thinking about ‘quitting’ and wondering how my body was going to react I relented and went to the Dr’s. It was a pain as I had to drive into the city, on my day off , for a 10-15 minute appointment. I’d been having cramps for approximately a week and had stopped taking the Finasteride because it seemed to be causing a rash/outbreak of pimples on my forehead. I saw another doctor at the clinic as mine was not due to be back from leave until 10th August. I managed to have a good talk about the Finasteride, thoughts of stopping T, cramps and the anxiety of having to re-experience monthly periods.

Continue reading 

No one like me

8 Jul

I went to this month’s Genderqueer Australia (GQA) gathering, which was small but cozy. I chatted a while about my physical and mental health, reason for starting T and thoughts about stopping, and ended up with feeling a little lighter for sharing but still unsure about my decisions. The highlight of my day was discovering Janitorqueer’s blog and Tumbler.

I was advised to re-visit Neutrois Nonsense who touches on low-dose testosterone and being hypothyroid. I have to say what an amazing blog/resource it is, I wish I had discovered it 3+ years ago when I was starting on my own hormone journey. I find it a challenging read however as it talks about hysterectomies and top surgery – both things I have thought about but chosen not to do at present. I am find it really difficult to think about stopping T (see previous post for reasons why), and while researching online can be helpful it doesn’t provide me with a forum to talk it out face-to-face with someone [who understands my particular journey]. There are people I could talk to over a nice cup of Chai, but I don’t because a) they are busy, b) there’s a personality clash or c) I don’t know the person well enough to approach them.

I did however have some success over the last few weeks. For starters my Sleep Apnea is slowly being managed and monitored, which will hopefully mean a gradual increase in energy levels and a decrease in fatigue. Secondly, my current GP confirmed that I may in fact had been misdiagnosed with hypothyroidism and to stop my current medication for a month so we can do a comparative blood test. Lastly, I was prescribed a quarter dose of Finasteride per day to see if that helps with the hair loss. Small victories.

Continue reading 

Questioning stopping T

20 Jun

Lately I’ve been thinking about changing to T Gel, reducing my dose or stopping all together. The reasons for this are mostly to do with recent health issues and the anxiety I feel about hair loss/thinning.

Continue reading