Why does “Cis”  matter?

Recently,  there was a ‘debate’ on social media regarding the use of the term cis,  or cis gender. The crux of the argument was that they found the term to be harmful and don’t like it,  don’t wish to be called cis, and proceeded with the attendant “fuck political correctness”  argument when  it wasn’t explained to their satisfaction. 

This post isn’t for them. They’ve made their decision,  and no amount of discussion is likely to change their mind. This post is for those on the fence,  the ones who are curious about language and about social issues. 

When I came out,  and was first discovering my transness,  the general way to describe everything was in two categories,  trans and ‘normal’. The conversation was immediately placing me and other trans folks in the category other,  different,  and wrong. 

There is nothing wrong with being trans. And there is nothing wrong with being different.  But in setting up a language as us vs. them, we’ve created a dichotomy and created social borders that highlights one group as the correct group and all other groups as outsiders and therefore incorrect. 

Somewhere in the 90’s someone used the term cis to describe those folks whose gender is the same as assigned at birth. It comes from Latin and means “on this side”  or ” on the same side”. Before being used to describe gender it was mainly used in chemistry to describe bonds. 

But the English language is constantly evolving and the prefix is a nice one. It easily and very quickly denotes gender without prescribing or ascribing meaning. Cis gender literally means your gender is on the same side. 

This classification is necessary to the trans discussion, because it removes the stigma from transness. There is no inherent opposition when speaking of cis and trans gender, because there’s no longer this assumption of normal vs abnormal. 

Common does not equal normal.

And all metrics used to identify gender minorities have largely been self reporting, invasive or noninclusive. Therefore, the numbers do not reflect the actual numbers of those who identify on the gender spectrum. 

While trans equality is still in question, while trans individuals can still be denied service, be fired from their jobs,  lose their homes,  lose their lives as a result of their gender, it is vital that we replace the us vs them discussion model,  remove the stigma,  and normalize the gender spectrum. 

Until trans gender can be given the same respect and understanding  and rights that cis gender receives, the term cisgender needs to stay. 

This is how language works. 

I’m not allowed to say “I’m a guy, ”  someone will always be there to add the trans part back in. As long there has to be a qualifier on my gender, cis is necessary. 

There is no negativity attached to it. It doesn’t change your gender.  It is there to remove the assumption of normality. 

I am trans,  I am normal. And I will not let anyone tell me otherwise. 

Progress report?

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Fitbit stuff
Walk to Mordor Progress:
 243.57 km or 152.2 miles
Weekly Steps for June 12-18th: 82,935 (up 14,567 from last week
Hills/Floors: 166

Writing: 

Where the Road then Takes me (Hobbit fanfic): Chapter 9 is ready to be posted, Rough draft of chapter 10 is ready and needs stupid amounts of editing. Don’t even get me started on chapters 11-13
Edge of Life (original, working title): Outlined and started
WRTM Word count:  131,895/230k for part one
EoL Word Count: 1295/100k

 

Both writing and fitness are slow battles. They require motivation, but more importantly they require discipline. I don’t always have either. Somedays I scratch out my step count and scribble 100 words and it’s all I can manage. Other times I have days where I can get 17,000 steps and do yoga and have to chase the muses while they scatter words and ideas in their wake. It’s hard and it’s not always fun, but it’s rewarding and it’s worth it. Between writing, walking, and my transition I’m revamping a lot of my life. I’m not aiming for overnight success, I’m doing this for a lasting change.

I don’t want to stop. I want this to be the norm. I want these changes to keep happening and I want to show that with concerted effort even small changes day to day add to the broader picture. So I will keep writing fanfiction and I will keep writing my original works, and I will keep walking and doing yoga and taking care of all of me.

 

Fitbit and A Walk to Mordor

 

That which can be measured can be managed. I wish I knew who said that, but it has been often quoted by my father. And sadly he’s not wrong. Two and a half weeks ago I decided to spend the money and got a fitbit. It has, in the last three weeks given me the opportunity to see how my activity sets up in the run of a day and I’m more motivated to increase not only my steps but my distance.

This brings me to geekdom and the above picture. There is a challenge here called the walk to rivendell and Beyond challenge. It’s basically the distances travelled by Frodo and the fellowship to Mordor and beyond. There is even a hobbit challenge.

I’m doing this. I’m going to walk to Mordor and Back. I don’t know how long it will take me. I don’t know if it will take a year or more or if I can do it faster, the point right now is I have goals that I can set. I’m taking my start date as the day I purchased the fitbit, May 13 2016.

Current Distance: 116.53 km 72.8 miles
Location within Middle Earth: Crickhollow
Plan for tomorrow: Match today’s 9 km and aim for 10.16 km (15000 steps)

The location of that is a little fiddly, if I follow the hobbit one that means I’ll be in Bree. That’s if I push it and go to 85 miles. That would require 12.2 miles or 19.63 km completed tomorrow. almost double my longest distance. We shall see what the day brings. If I can’t do it and I don’t get to the full 12.2 miles I’ll be somewhere in the Barrow-Downs. Crap.

You’ll be getting reports from this with each blog post. Some kind of accountability.

 

S’all for now,

Finn

The Future, Or how I learned to handle my shit again.

The thing about being trans and not knowing it is that I constantly felt to some degree or another like I was in a play. I felt like an actor, trying on a part or wearing a costume and that one wrong move or one wrong line and everyone is going to see through the act. And no matter what I did to try and fix this feeling it persisted.

This has been my experience for decades.

Even when someone told me what trans was, I wasn’t sure. It fit It fit too well. How could something this simple be right there in front of me. It was too easy. So I rejected it the first time I heard it. I chalked it up to trying to be part of a crowd, looking too hard for something. I kept looking for reasons that this wasn’t what was happening. I hunted down research articles about PCOS (poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome) thinking perhaps that I had been pickled by too much testosterone while going through puberty. (Note this isn’t the case, there is a correlation between PCOS and Trans men, but not a causation, so yes there is a number but not all and there is no way literature on why. the stats are roughly 25-35%).

So in an effort not think about what was happening I really tried to up my acting. I went deeper into the costume closet. Grew my hair out, started wearing really feminine things and really tried to extol the glories of the binary. I started hating any signs of masculinity within myself and I kept trying to force this idea of femininity.

This is what happens when we’re stuck within a binary.  I couldn’t see a way out. I couldn’t find a way to adjust my world view to incorporate anything beyond the binary.

 

Continue reading

Blog of the Reanimator

*hrrrggh harrrgh*

From the depths of the internet I’ve decided to resurrect this blog.  I’ve dragged it from the abyss of faded memory and half assed posting to once again attempt some semblance journaling. I’m in tumblr pretty much completely now,  but as a blogging platform it’s lacking.  One thing,  I can type faster on WordPress and it doesn’t lag all to shit like tumblr when you open  a text post.

That platform is not designed for discourse, despite attempts by its users to change that.

I’ve no idea the mission statement for this blog.  Other than the title.  I’m aiming to bring some positivity into my life and try and enjoy the journey. So this might end up being a mishmash of all kinds of stuff.  We’ll see.

Till then,  take care.

It’s gonna be okay.

Picture Day Two. And a story

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Not my picture for today, though the one requires a bit of a story. This was taken January 2, 2011. It was damn cold outside, but the sun was gorgeous and I wanted to take advantage of it so I could get a few clear shots of my yarn. My father was “yardman” the last two days. Basically he puts on a pair of shorts. Yes you read that right, shorts, in minus 8 degree weather with the wind chill, a sweatshirt, and his gardening gloves and plays in his garden. This is what he came up with. It’s pretty and aesthetically pleasing on it’s own, but the meaning behind it is something else.

Since 2008 my father has lost both his brothers to cancer. Both lived away during their illness, and I can only imagine the helplessness my father felt during the last two years. Each statue represents a brother, a memory never to be forgotten. I was lucky with the sun. I didn’t plan the composition at all. Dad just asked if I would take a picture so he could send it to his sister.

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A week later this is what our backyard looks like. It’s it buried under ten centimetres of snow. I didn’t even brave the cold today except to get painkillers this morning. I seem to be saddled with an infected tooth. It is driving me nutty. I need to go to my dentist tomorrow morning or if I can’t sleep the ER tonight sometime and get some relief. I think I can make it to the morning. Right now, I think I’m going to make another pot of tea, settle down on the couch and watch some TV, and knit. Cross-posted, because I’m like that.

It’s that time again

That time of year when I attempt to resurrect this blog in the hope of actually writing exclusively about knitting. Each year I’m a little more experienced, a little wiser. Each year I have such amazing expectations I’m seriously doomed to fail. Last year I was unhappy with blogspot in general, so I tried wordpress. That failed miserably, though at the time, I think all my blogs suffered. I found a life hiding in the real world and started focusing on that. I haven’t really lost that life, I just have a bit of spare time now and I’m actually focusing on my knitting.

A lot of things have changed since I started this blog a few years ago. One, I don’t really hate scarves anymore. I figured out the reason why I originally hated them. It’s like making a dishcloth, that never fricking ends. So I figured out I like scarves that are interesting, knit on the diagonal, or knit from end to end with 200 plus sts on the needles. It’s exciting and sometimes freakishly boring, but each stitch is progress, and it looks like progress.

I apologize for the craptacular photos, I can’t seem to find my camera, anywhere so I’m stuck with my phone until I can get a new one.

Below is Punk Ruffles, knit in Cascade 220 in Black and Purple Heathers. It took about a week to knit, and was wonderful. I love it.

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This hat, was knit in Hand Maiden Casbah sock yarn in Marble Mountain. The pattern is Snowdrop Hat, knit in the large pattern. It doesn’t fit my head right, so this is to be a gift.

I do have a few things on the needles. I’m working on Podster Gloves for a cousin of mine. I’m also working on test knitting a pair of fingerless mitts for Test knitters on Ravelry.

In other news I’ve been on a raverly binge lately. I’m working on getting things set up for the new year to start a new batch of projects. I have a plan (ha!) to start knitting gifts early. And get in the habit of knitting as often as possible. I’m creating a bit of a gift box, and keeping all projects small with a few big ones interspersed to keep things interesting. I’ve got a few things from this year to either frog or finish. Once I find them all I’ll post them. I really need to find my camera, I can’t seem to find it anywhere I’ve been looking all over for it. I suppose it’s time to do a major clean up and really find it.

Okay, now I have to start getting ready. I’m working four hours tonight, and I need to clean the kitchen and get things squared away before I go. Also I want to finish that first mitt for the test pattern. Almost finished. Smile

Happy holidays everyone, I hope to have another post up before Christmas, but this is a busy week and I can’t promise anything.