IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Dartti!

It started with The Go-Go’s. I was ten and their debut album “Beauty and the Beat” came out and hit the radio. I LOVED “Our Lips are Sealed” and the few others on the airwaves. I loved their music but, I never really got into the albums. I’m not much of a music lister and I never really got into buying albums. Funny thing was, every time I heard one of their songs I knew, I would get this little voice in my head saying things like “you’re a bigger fan than this” and “they deserve better from you”. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. This never happened with anyone else I listened to.

So, I would answer back, “what the hell does that even mean?” and “where is this coming from?” Did I listen? No. For decades I put up with this guilt trip I played on myself. To be honest, I don’t come to new music easily. Whenever I’m listening to music, I’m drawing (im a cartoonist) or I’m driving and all I want is familiarity. But, one day I decided to finally give The Go-Go’s their due respect. So, I put on Beauty and the Beat. It started strong with Our Lips are Sealed and How Much Moore. Great! But then I got into unfamiliar territory with Tonight, Lust to Love, and This Town.

If you’re not familiar with The Go-Go’s, these songs have a DARK tone. I wasn’t ready to hear this from a group I had always perceived as just cotton candy. I turned it off. I didn’t like what I heard. And that BOTHERED me. But why? Had I let them down? This hung on for a week, all the while I asked why this is bothered me. Shortly after, I saw on YouTube a trailer for their new documentary. I still admired the hell out of them so I watched it. It’s in this Jane Weidlin says how at their heart, their music is punk. PUNK! I needed to hear this. So I go back and start over.

From that moment, it was like hearing them for the first time and I LOVED it!. I couldn’t get enough. How do you listen to something so wrong? I was elated and felt fulfilled in becoming the fan that little voice told me I was. At this time I’m deep-diving into all their music and I’m learning all the lyrics. I love to sing but I’m too shy to do it in front of anyone so, I sing in the car alone. I’m embarrassed to admit that when I do, I pretend to be on stage singing. So, doing this to The Go-Go’s was no different. I was having a blast. But something happened. Organically. At some point, I realized that in my little singing fantasy, I’m a woman. This never happened. Ever. So, I paused and said, “what the hell is going on?” I couldn’t think of an answer so I put it out of my head.

It happen again later. And again, I asked myself the same question. Now I feel I should mention I was never raised in an environment that taught me being “gay” was bad. Because of this, it was easy for me to push it out of my mind, guilt-free. No questions asked. No asking “what’s wrong with me?” I would later realize this was something I did all my life and got very good at. I decided to go with it. It was fun. It made me feel good. It was harmless. It was really nice to escape into this fantasy. But it didn’t take long for it to become a detriment. It started to HURT to turn off the music. That’s when I said “OK! WHAT’S GOING ON?! Why does seeing myself like this make me so… HAPPY?” So happy. And it was around here I had what I call The Dream.

In it I was in a boutique. My wife, her friend, and (to keep the go-go’s theme strong) Jane Wiedlin were bringing me shoes to try on. And if it’s not clear, women’s shoes. I couldn’t get over how these made me feel. How beautiful. How… right. None of the women spoke but, there was a sense of inclusion, belonging… sisterhood. That it was ok to feel this way. And I knew, inherently that it wasn’t a cross-dressing thing. (something i have never done) It wasn’t a feeling of “it’s ok for a man to wear women’s shoes and clothes”. No. It was “it’s ok to BE a woman. To finally be YOU.” I woke from this with the most beautiful, warm feeling I have EVER felt. It was so real, it was palpable. And all I had to do was close my eyes and just FEEL it and live in that moment. But the worst part was to lay there for a period of about an hour and have that feeling just fade away into memory. It was painful. And again, “what the hell was THAT all about?”

The next days I had this internal dialogue about whether or not I should tell my wife. About a DREAM! I felt like I did something wrong and I had to come clean. I actually had a tug-of-war with myself on this. Eventually, I did. Out of the blue, I said, “hey, haha, want to hear a funny dream I had?” She said that seemed sweet and was happy I had such a nice dream. I felt like a great weight had been lifted. But it didn’t stop the thoughts. At this time I’m also starting to experience a few disconnections. Things that were heading to the same point I didn’t see at the time. First was my connection to the only two things I contributed to my masculine identity. My mustache and my pipe smoking. These things made me feel masculine. The only things. And, I wanted them. I really did. But the things that centered me were now growing distant.

I started to hate the way my mustache felt, looked, acted. I started to have thoughts of shaving it. Something I NEVER thought of before. Hell, my wife had never even seen me without it. How could I even consider it? And my pipe? It was a source of Zen-like meditation. I LOVED to sit on my porch and enjoy a bowl. Now, I couldn’t even bring myself to do it. And when I did, it didn’t feel right. The time between smoking went from days to months. All the while I asked myself why is this happening and why I was feeling this way about something I loved for over twenty years. Something that DEFINED me.

The other weird thing was one day I was sitting on a bench, people-watching. It became obvious to me that I was only watching men and that I had this expression on my face. One of disgust. It shocked me when I realized it but thought, “I see NOTHING of myself in these people. At all.” I have never been the manliest of men but I always felt I was a member of the club, if, for nothing else, by association. Not any more. And now I’m starting to panic. Why am I feeling this way? What does this mean? Am I trans? No, I’m not trans… how could I be? I’ve never had a trans thought in my life… That’s when I said “Oooooo-kay… past things all of a sudden make a hell of a lot more sense now…” I realized that all my life, I would play this game where if I saw a girl that had something I wanted, something feminine, I would say “gee, I would wear my hair like that… if I were a girl.” Or “I would wear makeup like that… if I were a girl.

But I’m not” and push it away. Then I said “SHIT! I’m still doing that NOW!” When growing up (70’s, 80’s), I NEVER saw anyone like me. And the biggest factor was, I LIKED GIRLS! If I ever saw any kind of trans representation it was always a flamboyant gay man transvestite. (always gay) If someone just told me I could be a cat-glasses and mom-jean-wearing woman that LIKES WOMEN… This began self-analyzation as I have never done before. Remember what I said about how I felt about keeping that dream from my wife? I was now having that same tug-of-war about telling my wife about THIS. And it’s WAR! A war between my heart and my brain.

My heart is saying “TELL HER!’ and my brain, “DON’T TELL HER!” Do I say something? How can I? How can I not? It all came to a bursting point on Father’s Day (and yes, im a father) of 2021. It’ was a little after midnight and I and my older son are still up. I say “I’m… I’m feeling restless. I think I’m going for a drive.” I NEVER do this. So, I got into my car, got out on the freeway, blasted my Go’Go’s playlist, and SANG! For over three hours, back and forth on the freeway. I have NEVER felt my heart breaking like that. I had resigned to burying this deep and I was dying for the woman I realized I was but could never be.

I was singing my swan song. I limped home, throat raw, and unable to keep my eyes open. I climbed into bed but I didn’t sleep. At all. It was about 7 am and I couldn’t take the war inside of me and the stomach knots. I got up and sat in the quiet. My wife got up about an hour later and immediately knew something’s wrong. She sat and asked if everything was ok. I squeaked out the most pathetic “yeah” I have ever said. Now she REALLY knows something is wrong. “What’s wrong?” she asked. Again, I squeaked “nothing.” If ever there was a time to tell a convincing lie, this was it. Then, after what HAD to be 30 of the most awkward seconds of silence, I had THE MOST out-of-body experience in my life.

I started to feel words come up my throat and they’re not the words I wanted. Again, my heart was saying “TELL HER!’ and my brain, “DON’T TELL HER! YOU’LL RUIN EVERYTHING!” I literally watched myself, totally on autopilot, say “I want to be a woman…” I looked over at her and her response was, “really?” I just spilled everything. And for an hour she listened. There is more nuance to this but, that’s when I, when Dartti began. And it all started with The Go-Go’s. Those five women allowed me to see me as MYSELF when it seems all other avenues from my sub-conscience to my conscience were blocked. It saw its “in” and took it.

They mean EVERYTHING to me. They’re like oxygen. I often wonder what I would say to them but, what does a captive say to their liberators? For nearly twenty years, I was slowly dying inside and couldn’t figure out why. I pushed people away and isolated myself. My emotions died as well. Except for anger, of course. I mastered being an island in a sea of people. I never fit. I never spent a single day comfortable in my clothes, my skin. Until now. Now, I’m Dartti. And I have never been happier.

My advice to you is don’t ignore the little voice in your head. And stop gas-lighting yourself. This is you we’re talking about. You really do know who you are.

✨ If you’d like to become one of the next spotlight’s please send us a message and we’ll send you a form for you to fill out x

📜 < Tags: #lgbtq🌈 #lgbt #lgbtqia #pride#transvengers #trans #transgender #transvisibility#transition #transisbeautiful #gendereuphoria#transwomen #transgirl #transfem #girlslikeus#wontbeerased

IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Valerie!

I realized I was trans just a few years ago when I was 37; before then, I had no idea that that was the cause of my life long depression and restlessness. It was only through viewing some of the stories of other trans and non-binary people that realized what they were later in life that it all finally clicked into place and this is a major reason I try to share as much as I can.

I’m a big proponent of all of us sharing our unique stories, even if that doesn’t play into the neat narrative that we sometimes get boxed into. The more we all share, the more of a full picture gets painted of the entire community.

For me as a teen, I was heavily involved in the local music scenes, which was great in letting me play with androgynous presentation, but also led me to think that that’s all it was – a presentation. Challenging perception of my gender was never really considered in my youth. As such, a lot of my habits around that were kind of played off as me being ‘quirky’ vs actually being something deeper.

The concept of being non-binary (the label androgyne specifically resonates with me) was also incredibly freeing and an important step in my journey. I feel completely able to be open about who I am and what I like and that I do not fit neatly into a binary gender.

In just a few short years, I’ve been able to start HRT, complete a legal name change, complete one gender affirming surgery and I have FFS scheduled for next month. I also have become far more connected with the local, national and worldwide trans communities and been able to meet amazing people.

My advice is to listen to yourself over all others. Other community members can be a fantastic resource, but at the end of the day, only you truly know you. Also, you can realize that you’re trans and come out at any age; it’s never too late!

🏳️‍⚧️ Use our hashtag #IncrediblyTrans today! it really helps us out. Let’s celebrate each other TOGETHER! ✨ If you’d like to become one of the next spotlight’s please send us a message and we’ll send you a form for you to fill out!

IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Christine!

I’d like to introduce the absolutely amazing Christine (She/Her) from The United States!

I was 39 when my youngest son passed away at age 8. It was the most horrific event of my life. As time moved on I kept thinking “Anyone can die at anytime in an instant”. Which is what set me on my path to becoming the real me. By the time I was 44 I finally found the strength inside to tell my family I was transgender. And so I did, first my wife, then my mother in law and finally my two oldest children. After a lot of heart ache and pain, 4 years later I’m the happiest, smiliest girl that I know and loaded with self confidence and pride. I love myself so much. I’m so happy about the woman I’ve become. Mentally healthy, stable and full of self worth.

Christines advice: Always be your true self. Be brave and let your inner self fly.

Use our hashtag #IncrediblyTrans today! it really helps us out. Let’s celebrate each other TOGETHER!
✨ If you’d like to become one of the next spotlight’s please send us a message and we’ll send you a form for you to fill out!

IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Brendon!

Our newest spotlight from the southern United States the very handsome Brendon! (He/him/His)

Currently I am 19 years old, but when I was 15 years old I came out trans man! When I turned 16 I started taking testosterone, and just recently had my top surgery 3 months ago!! I love to play the ukulele and have an obsession with Disney World! In fact as I’m typing this right now I’m at Disney. I’m also a photography major in college!

My advice to anyone starting their transition is give things time. Don’t expect your life to become perfect as soon as you come out. It will get better, so as hard as it is, try to be patient. Especially if you are medically transitioning, make sure to be extra kind to your body.

IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Nina!

Id like to introduce this gorgeous spotlight Nina (She/Her) from the United States!

When i was little, about 4 to 6 years old, I believed that I was actually a girl! More than anything I wanted to be treated as one. I would came out of the shower using a towel on my head and another to cover my chess. At times I would wear my grandma’s powder “to do” or simulate my make up, trimmed my eyebrows and I was always singing songs of female singers. Growing up I always wanted to play with dolls. I remember always thinking, why I couldn’t wear the clothes, accessories, etc, or do what other girls would. I didn’t understand it!!!

Then I realized that those thoughts and behaviour started to bring me problems with the people that were supposed to love me the most and I quitted. Somehow I was able to hide it, or at least tried, for most of my life. I went through a lot of struggle during my childhood and adolescence. Just the though of me being like that was a hard thing to deal with. But I couldn’t help it! It was my nature, my essence, my very deep true self. I felt guilty most of my life until I started making peace with myself.

Having unchained my mind from others thought’s and expectations I decided to accept me and love myself first. I reset my brain and started to put my pieces together like a puzzle. Today, Im happier than ever because for the first time in my life I can proudly say: THIS IS ME!!!!

✨ If you’d like to become one of the next spotlight’s please send us a message on Instagram and we’ll send you an online form for you to fill out!

Aegis shield logo

Introducing Aegis

Aegis provides security for LGBTQIA+ safe spaces on Discord as well as content creators on Twitch seeking to protect their community. Servers and creators within Aegis help stop the flood of anti-LGBT trolls, bad actors, and hate raids. As a member of Aegis, you regularly receive (and report) the accounts banned from LGBTQIA+ spaces and can choose which to action in your space.

In addition to security, Aegis provides a central place for streamers and Discord teams to meet, collaborate, plan events, exchange ideas, look for experienced mods, train new mods, and so much more.

Aegis is a FREE service provided by The Transverse to help keep LGBTQIA+ spaces safe.

Get more information about Aegis here.

APPLY NOW!

The Transgender Show is now a podcast

Great news, we can finally check one of our big priorities off of the to-do list. The Transgender show is now available as a podcast! Episode one of the show with MainlyMaddison went live 4/11/22. New episodes of the show are available every Monday at noon Eastern.

Subscribe and start downloading episodes now wherever you get your podcast fix.

The Transgender Show on Google Podcasts

 

I Know What You Did Last Summer

This episode of the Nothing to Fear podcast contains spoilers for the movie we are discussing.

Take a trip back to those heady days right before the New Millennium as we visit the small fishing village of North Shore South Carolina. Or was it South Shore North Carolina? Who knows. Certainly not us. What we do know is that we watched I Know What You Did Last Summer and we had a great fun time talking about the stars, the plot and the fashion of those late 90s days. Join along, why don’t you.

Time Codes (as close as I can get them)
00:00:27 Introduction
00:09:15 Trailer
00:10:23 Post movie discussion
00:54:34 & 01:12:00 Small TWs for Suicide. Not too long
01:18:45 Scariest Part
01:20:28 Ratings
01:24:22 Something to Cheer
01:30:02 Credits

Next week we are watching “Us

Thanks for listening and downloading. Rating and reviews are appreciated and if you wanna check out our merch stores (TeePublic, Society6) it would be extremely rad of you.

Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/nothingtofear/message

Reading In a Season of Change

With so much that has happened within my identity, and coming to terms with someone I hadn’t known, I have been reading. A lot. I had to do my thing and read the work done on transgender people and the intersection of Christian spirituality.

For decades, I have been mentally and soulfully trying to find the place of peace in sexuality and spirituality. Gender and sexuality are separate aspects of our human lives. Our culture, especially in American Christianity, has forced the two together like peanut butter and transmission fluid on two pieces of tree bark to make a sandwich. In order to grasp my identity and hold my faith together, I read.

This is the list of media and a synopsis and/or reflection on each. Maybe some of you need to find something to grasp and hold identity and faith together. Maybe some of you are shaken by what I have discovered and claimed for myself and just need to know “How” or “Why”. Maybe some of you just want to expand your understanding. May these books serve you in the way that best brings you peace.

I need to begin with what really launched my biggest change. “Let It Go” settled into my heart. It began a string of Disney-originated songs from critical animated movies for my psyche. To hear Idina Menzel the first time sing this and to watch Elsa come out of her isolation and claim herself – I had tears in my eyes. That song stayed on repeat for a while in my mind and heart. Returning to it today, I realize much of that song has come to pass for me. Now if I could just wear that dress like she does.

The next was Moana. The entire movie was a huge messenger for me. It spoke to me about the place of calling, the role of the Holy Spirit, and the face of most of our churches today. But the song “How Far I’ll Go”, the anthem of claiming her vision for the future, reminded me that my calling is not shaped by the fears and limitations of the places I am appointed to serve. My calling is just that: it is a calling to something that is beyond the reef, in the open sea. I’m still wondering how far it will take me.

And then The Greatest Showman was released. I walked out a changed person. I have always considered myself an outsider, a weirdo, a freak. I always claimed it was because I was a nerd and geek. In reality, I knew deep down it was because I was a crossdresser. It was the fear of being discovered, the shame I held for something that truly was defining me.

I watched the overly positive portrayal of P.T. Barnum’s acceptance of his “freaks”. I watched them find a family, acceptance with one another. I knew that there would always be the mobs that wanted to destroy what I felt was good about me. I knew that I would continue to face rejection and fear or misunderstanding. But I had to look at myself differently. And I had to look for others who looked at ourselves differently.

Of course, no mention of The Greatest Showman is complete without the showcase musical piece in that movie. Keala Settle brought that song to the hearts and lives of millions of “freaks” and gave all of us a reason to proclaim “This Is Me” even in the pain of our scars, the faces of our enemies and the roadblocks.

That song was so transformational, I wrote about the intersection of the words of that song and chapter 5 of the Book of Romans in the New Testament.  

Okay, on to books. There have been many books over the years that I have always built my life on and around. I started with reading about homosexuality and faith and the Bible. There are tons of books out there. Some are good. Some are bad. My opinion is that if you can’t get to loving and accepting gays by reading the Bible directly, then start with these two books: Homosexuality: A Conversion: How a Conservative Pastor Outgrew the Idea that Homosexuality Is a Sin by Rev. John Tyson and UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of The Bible on Homosexuality by Colby Martin. Both give very earnest efforts to deal with the battleground verses. I call them battleground verses because they are the same territory in the Bible that both sides have laid claim to in clarifying the issue. In the process, the only thing that has been clarified is how much one side hates the other. And I use the word “hate” on purpose. There is no love in most arguments over who has the best transterpretation.

For a more down to earth and relatable approach to the subject of language, I MUST include my friend Stant Litore’s Lives of Unforgetting: What We Lose in Translation When We Read the Bible, and A Way of Reading the Bible as a Call to Adventure. Stant addresses the way that some stories and words and verses have been mistranslated and how they have created the exact opposite climate of how God intended the world to be.

One of my friends from one of my online support groups suggested I read Cheryl B. Evans book, What Does God Think: Transgender People and the Bible. I got it and consumed it very quickly. This is as much an attempt to share relatable approaches to the subject of gender and transgender issues as it is a mother trying to navigate the world-shaking reality that her child is transgender.

That book unlocked a door that led me down a rabbit hole of discovery. The Bible and the Transgender Experience: How Scripture Supports Gender Variance by Rev. Linda Tatro Herzer burst open my eyes to new ways of looking at familiar Bible characters and stories.

Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture is perhaps the most scholarly book I read in this area of discovery. Dr. Mark A. Yarhouse brings the mind of psychology to bear on the subject and presents some of the scientific foundations for transgender experience. He also brings the faith of a more conservative Christian perspective into the dialogue. While it is more scholarly and at times challenging, I believe Dr. Yarhouse is attempting to be fair in developing a path forward in bridging difficult waters of conservative Christian perspectives with transgender persons.

Before anyone accuses me of attempting to pad my nest with affirmative writings, I also read counter-argument writings. Two that stood out were God and the Transgender Debate by Andrew T. Walker and Homosexuality and the Church by Howard A. Snyder. I will not criticize these works because they come from well-meant places of faith and understanding and scholarship. What I found, in reading them from the perspective I now read all things, is I now am standing on one mountain and they are speaking from another mountain. I have visited that mountain. I had a cabin on that mountain. But I have moved. My cabin is now on another peak. I hear them telling me about their view from their perspective. I just can’t see that point of view anymore.

There are two other books that have been extremely helpful. Unashamed: a Coming-Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians by Amber Cantorna is a practical guide for how someone who wants to or is in the process of coming out can navigate the challenges. It also offers helpful guides for family or allies who may be trying to navigate the challenges with their LGBTQ loved ones. It tries to make a connection to the very real needs of those who are struggling to find a place for themselves in a world that seems to turn upside down around them.

The last is Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. In her work, the beauty of sex is the creation of God. She also brings to the forefront that the Church may be the place to start new conversations about sex. As someone who believes that sex has been demonized and made shameful by the same people who respect a God who created sex, I believe it is necessary to reclaim the conversation.

I am still finding reading material. There are a lot of emerging thoughts about transgender people. Until there is space for all of us at the table, I continue to read.

Originally posted to: