On “Passing” 5

I hate the term “passing.” It stems from a fundamentally transphobic and cissexist viewpoint, and casts trans people as deceptive. So, I greatly prefer the phrase “read as cis” to the term “passing” and I wish the trans community could slough off the feeling of need that drives many of us—including me, at times—to obsess with the idea of being read as cis. However, as much as I wish it wasn’t, “passing” is a thing. The term, like the concept it’s attached to, hangs on due to the fear it taps into—the fear that has kept me, and many others, […]

How am I not myself?

There are a number of times in our lives where we are prompted (or forced) to evaluate where we are at in our lives, determine how we feel about where we are, and decide what to do next. Such prompts can be as small as breaking up with your first love after two tumultuous weeks of dating, and as large as the death of a loved one. Depending on the enormity of the prompt, we might even find ourselves evaluating who we are as individuals, and how we see the world. Over the last two years I’ve had a number […]

Trans Self-Love Is A Revolutionary Act 1

  “Even if your love was unconditional It still wouldn’t be enough to save me” -Laura Jane Grace, “Unconditional Love” Being trans, and loving yourself—not just in spite of the fact you are trans, but in part because you are trans—is a revolutionary act. It is an act of celebration. It is an act of rebellion. It is, in effect, a giant, bold, and defiant middle finger held up to a society that continually paints trans people in a negative light. Ultimately, this sort of self-love is the most powerful response a trans person can have to all the negative […]

My Body Was a Cage

Before transition, there is no point at which I can say that I felt truly at home in my body. Accordingly, it isn’t possible for me to accurately represent my own experience of gender without talking about my body. And yet, I often find myself minimizing or leaving my thoughts and feelings about my body out of my discussions regarding gender—probably because it makes me uncomfortable and insecure. I want to fix this. I’ve said before that I knew—with the naive certainty only available to young children and Donald Trump—that I wanted to be a girl by age four.¹ Even […]

Another Retrospective Perspective – Pt. I 1

When Galen first came out to our friends and family this past summer/fall, I had a lot of people asking, “How has this been for you?” My answer was usually something along the lines of “Good! There have definitely been ups and downs, but we’re happier now than ever before.” In line with Galen’s “Retrospective Perspective Pt. I,” I’d like to attempt to provide a bit more context for that answer in order to capture more detail around what it was like for me in the early months of Galen’s transition. Like “Retrospective Perspective Pt. I,” I’ll cover late December […]

Ecce Femina: How One Becomes What One Is

I recently had the privilege of speaking to a group of middle school students—many of whom had me as a teacher before I left teaching in order to go full-time—about my being trans, and trans issues more generally. The group was comprised of members of my former school’s new Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). They had prepared questions for me ahead of time, and I spent about 45 minutes answering those questions. One question that has stuck with me was, “What was it like when you first became a woman?” This question was entirely innocent, and came from a place of support, […]

Retrospective Perspective Pt. I

Now that this blog is officially a year old, I’d like to revisit what I said I’d do in my first post. In “Taking the Why and Turning It Into Something Substantial” I said I had five goals for this blog: To help me process my own thoughts related to the fact I am trans. To help manage the stress and anxiety of various transition steps. To capture an honest, unfiltered and deeply personal account of gender transition—journal-style. To serve as a resource for people who know me and have questions about my being transgender. To serve as a resource […]

I Know Very Well How I Got My Name

A child in a curious phase A man with sullen ways Oh, I know very well how I got my name —Morrissey, “I Know Very Well How I Got My Name” With the advent of my being “fully out on the internet” (see “Signing On”), I can finally talk about a thing I couldn’t before: my name. My name is Galen. My name has been Galen since I was born, and it will be Galen until the day I die. My transition, while it has changed a number of things (all for the better), hasn’t changed this fact. I suspect […]

Some Terms Are Better Than Others

Let’s chat about the terms ‘MtF’/’FtM’. There are two ways we can go about this—philosophy, personal anecdotes, or a bit of both. I certainly have a philosophical opposition to the terms, and I think my position has a strong base of support, so we could do the philosophy thing. However, much of my disdain for the terms comes from who I am as a person and who I have always been as a person. So I don’t feel like discussing the terms ‘MtF’/’FtM’ in that more “universalized” philosophy context. As a result, I’m going to hit it from a bit […]

Resolutions 1

Given the time of year, it seems appropriate to talk about resolutions. A lot of resolutions, and this is true of mine in the past, amount to nothing more than a bit of wishful thinking. We approach making them not as “I will…”, even if we phrase it that way, but rather as “I would like it if…” The classic example is “I will get in shape.” This sort of resolution is often about wanting, not needing, and so we often find it easy to drop them after a bit. In March we still want to be in shape, but we manage to […]