What came before

The way I process large life changes and difficulties is by looking back. As you’ve seen I’ve been processing what happened in the days around my most recent transition. I’ve found myself wanting to understand more though, understand not how it ended, but how it all happened. How I found myself drawn into being apart of this family. How I found myself isolated from everyone I knew, rarely interacting with any adult including Clarity. As I read through my journal entries for 2015 and 2016 it becomes clear. I was struggling with both who I was and who I was friends with. I had a series of short, close friendships that fell apart and I had outgrown most of my older friendships. I was trying both to run away from myself and figure out who I was. All the while being terrified of anyone shattering my fragile little trans ego.

The first major thing I did in 2015 was starting hormones after being out as a transwoman for 5 months. I didn’t work for the first few months of 2015 I was struggling with depression and how to get much of anything done. The free time did help me process what had happened and make sense of who I was and how to move forward. Through the help of a therapist I delved into this much deeper. I worked through some feelings I had around self-hatred and internalized transphobia that made/makes me loathe my body and want to change things about it. I was so anxious to have the hormones feminize my body and consequently frustrated by how slow they take to affect your body and when I found out that there is only so much effect that have taking them post-puberty.

In March I got a job working for SEIU for some time and then a city council campaign before returning to SEIU. When I was working at the city council campaign I had a dream that made me realize I was molested and proceeded to struggle a lot around that realization. It haunted potential and actual physical relationships and I realized it had been haunting and affecting my past relationships, even causing a traumatic sexual encounter I had years before. I began meditating and eventually started to go to the Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Center a place I have recently returned to. I made some new friends there and happily found myself in their friend circle.

This was the first friend circle (Spaced, Chem and Hair) I had been in while being a lady and I felt like I was living a high school fantasy. I became completely intertwined and dependent on them as soon as they let me. They became my world, my reality and I became emotionally dependent upon them. I would try to hang out with them every moment I was free, spending time with them whether I enjoyed what activity we were doing or not. I just wanted to leave the reality of my constant thoughts, I wanted to be away from glitter gardens, the house I never fit into and had recently outgrown. I told them everything, I trusted them completely, even when I didn’t. I tried to heal them, and they tried to support my healing, we became intertwined and codependent.

Myself in the back and from the left Spaced, K, Chem and T ice skating downtown.

Myself in the back and from the left Spaced, K, Chem and T ice skating downtown.

On the good days Spaced would be happy and suck me up into her reality where I was an amazing person to her. We would frolic along, maybe Hair would join, maybe Chem. On the bad days I was full of jealousy and Spaced would ignore me, be rude to me and give me “bad love,” as she called it. It all unraveled in early 2016 when my coworker and new friend, Heart, started dating Chem’s ex and Chem and Spaced turned on me. This wasn’t the first time I had been hurt or hurt people in this relationship, but it was the last one I felt like taking part in. Those 8 months were hardly blissful, though I did enjoy many moments of them. In the end I felt lonely but overall more content without them.

I now had the time once again to focus on me, fixing myself, understanding myself, loving myself. I had grown a bit from being friends with them and I had conquered some things things I was struggling with but I was having a hard time. I’d have anxiety attacks at work, on bike rides and at home. I was terrified about what others thought about me, I was terrified of being judged and stared at. I was the tall translady, I stuck out like a sore thumb. And while I knew everyone was stared at and judged I couldn’t handle the degree I was and that I was being stared at for being myself. This wasn’t something I was dealing with because I lost my friends, I just was doing it alone now. I had tried desperately to control most social situations with Spaced and Chem ensuring there weren’t any people that were transphobic or even ignorant of trans people. I was worried about every transgression that could happen. Being without friends and feeling this paranoia was was very isolating. I would go on long bike rides, longboard rides, and long walks. No matter how long I was out the feeling always caught up to me I’d run out of energy and I’d cry. Lamenting the running I had just done. I wish I had the courage to just face myself, but I was running from something I had been running from for 25 years, myself and the trauma I’d experienced over the last 25 years because of living as a boy and because of being molested. I didn’t know how to face it, I knew how to keep running from it.

Despite all of this hurt and pain I wrote in a blog post at the end of 2015, “I am reminded that 2015 was the best year I’ve lived, and 2016 is looking like it’s going to be so liberating.” And 2016 ended up being a even better year than 2015, despite how horrible it was. At the beginning of 2016 I really started to look into my pattens of running, patterns of codependency and patterns of finding refuge by losing myself in others. The same patterns that I’ve just been talking about. I finally saw them and I started working to change those patterns. With the extra space from having very few good friends I resumed working on myself and taking classes through the Shambhala Center. I worked to notice my habits and to break them. It was exhausting and rewarding work. I still remember leaving the Shambhala Center following a weekend long meditation retreat (Shambhala level one training). I went to the cool, dark Allegheny Cemetery near my house and I was just present. I took in what there was with a giddiness I don’t know if I’ve ever felt before. It’s what is known in Shambhala as “basic goodness” or the experience of reality.

My months of self work came to an end again when I met Half Elegant (previously known as Elegant Butch). She was a friend that could distract me from my constant anxiety, someone I could walk with for hours. And I did. It was nice to have a friend like that, it’d been a while. It only lasted for a day before she started making out with me. She was into me and it caught me off guard because I was sure she was straight. We dated for a week before I told her how I was struggling with my feelings about her. She had swept me off me feet and filled up all my time. She liked me, she thought I was hot, and being around someone that thought that way about me made me feel truly amazing. I had to tell her though that I didn’t like like her and that crushed her, but she didn’t give up home.

Picture of Elegant Butch

Elegant Butch

We proceeded to danced that dance between friends and lovers for 4 to 5 months. We became totally enveloped in each other, spending most moments of the day with each other. We had amazing sex, went on great adventures. She protected me like no one ever has by glaring at anyone who looked at me for too long and making sure no one gendered me wrong. Her protectiveness made me let down my guard and be free and live like the playful child I am. Our relationship was not good though, it was filled with chaos, confusion, fighting, jealousy, and hurt. She was so into me and I was not into her at all. She worked tirelessly to make me into her and I racked my brain for hours each day trying to understand why I didn’t like her like that, trying to force myself into having feelings I didn’t. As quickly as it started it ended, over and over again until I saw her through Jamie’s eyes. I saw her drunk, belligerent, careless and self-absorbed. I had only spent time with her alone and seeing her with someone else there made it clear, it wasn’t me that was problematic, it was her. I cut off all communication shortly after that and was once again alone.

About a month later I met Clarity. I liked spending time with her immediately. She was real and she would really listen and see things and people for how they were, or as she called it, she was a “knower.” I befriended her at work and only really saw her there at first. She made me look forward to going to work and the possibility of a brief interaction with her. She knew who Against Me! was and got jealous when I told her I went to see Against Me! in concert. I followed Against Me! to Philly and hung out with my friends there only to realize I had outgrown them as well. While they talked about what wine they like and their fancy jobs I felt alone and like an outcast among people I had called best friends. I came back from the trip and had dinner with coworkers and friends that I’ve had for years, an old lead organizer, Heart, Red Beard and handful of others. But there I was yet again, alone, a freak, an outcast.

I have felt like an outcast for most of my life with the exception of a few people who make me feel like I belong. I snuck out from the dinner with my coworkers and went over to Clarity’s house. I wrote of that night in my journal as, “I need to talk to Clarity right now because I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. I can’t handle feeling this anxiety anymore, feeling like an outcast anymore. I just want to feel at home.” When I got there I did feel at home. I felt like it was all better, she’s a freak and an outcast too. She’s a dyke who dated transmen in a time that this got her exiled from the queer community. She fought for her kids to wear dresses whether they were a boy or a girl, or both. She fought to protect them and to live how they wanted to. That night she told me I was a knower too, and that being able to see through people’s lies and bullshit threatens people. Living your truth threatens people too.

I loved feeling at home, and when Clarity got let go from our work I was furious and stopped going there. Instead I started to work for Clarity as her nanny to care for the kids. I was good at this job and Clarity made me feel like I was home. She had the same protective attributes of Elegant Butch that I loved and saw me for who I really was. It didn’t take long before I fell in love, with both that feeling and her.

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April 27th (How I got here Part 1)

On the night of April 26th I was feeling distraught in a very particular way, I felt the same energy that is present in my poem, “Today’s the day.” To shake myself of this feeling I utilized a powerful but rarely used coping mechanism that I have, writing a suicide note. This time the note felt stronger than normal, there was a clear reason I felt suicidal but it felt harder to argue with. Normally these notes highlight fears, this one felt like it highlighted two large difficult struggles I would have to embark on. This note I wrote felt like it prescribed the answer that is denoted by the name of such a note, suicide.

At the time I was overwhelmed with stress from the family and a lack of control. These stressors continued to grow and I began to fantasize more about my back up plan. My backup plan was to leave the family and resume some “semblance of coherence to a former self,” (Against Me!’s song Problems) But as I looked more and more into this fantasy I began to find a large wall of stressors there too. These sterssorts were, dypshoria. I have been long well aware of having dysphoria that I had not dealt with and was running way from those feelings by joining this family. They helped me mask and not deal with many things troubling me.

Then came along Against Me!’s song Searching for Former Clarity. I found it while embarking on my quest to listen to all of their old albums and then reread Laura’s book, “Tranny.” This song perfectly described feelings I have had and feelings I had at the time. It was describing gender dysphoria, 7 years before Laura transitioned. That song sung directly to those feelings and had me writhing around on the ground, kicking and screaming as I was overcome with hurt. The song is about Laura thinking she’s dying and the doctors telling her otherwise. This is exactly what gender dysphoria feels like, dying with no death in sight, just dying.

I began to realize my back up plan was as fraught with problems as my current plan, meaning, I had no backup plan, and my stressors were increasing by the day. Penning that note solidified my options for me, death. By the time I was done with the note I had expended enough energy that sleep was close upon me. I made a note to call my therapist in the morning and turned out the night.

After I dropped the kids off at school I drove to a nearby hill and figured I’d longboard for a little bit to brighten my day. But I got caught up with feelings and thoughts, some of which I tried to write down. I ended up laying on the ground and a picnic table before returning the longboard to the car and searching the car for some rope in vain. Today was the day, I told myself. A good day a happy day. A day where I say that was full life. A day where I say that was a good life. A day where one tear escapes my left eye and runs all the way down my cheek until it reaches my chin and then it hops off to land on and be absorbed into my shirt. A day where that tear has to run past a smile before I knock over my stump.

I put in my headphone and put the song Searching for Former Clarity on and began to walk with purpose and meaning. I walked the paths of Schenley park searching everywhere tirelessly for some rope. There was no tears, or hurt, there was no anger or fear, there was only drive. I continued to solidify in my understanding that today was the day. With Searching for Former Clarity on repeat playing in my ears I smiled and one tear escaped my left eye and had to run past a smile before it reached my chin and hopped off to land and be absorbed into my shirt. “Not yet Jenny,” I said to myself. I needed to be assured that today was the day and like the poem, my version of perfect would be no tears until I was atop a stump before knocking it over. .

I searched meticulously over the hills and in the valleys, all around the creeks until finally I reached a medium sized white tent set up for an event near a coffee shop. “That!” I realized excitedly. As I got closer I decided which ratchet strap to take of this 3” wide “rope” that I had found. I decided the back corner would be the best spot and that although this wasn’t the ideal rope I think one or two of them would be enough to get the job done and at this point after walking for 2 hours I just wanted the job do be done.

Right then my therapist called. I was clearly frustrated and told her so, that “she had called at the worst time I had finally found a rope,” I continued to be openly irritated with her as she talked to me. I explained that while I thought this was supposed to be an irrational act I was the most rational state I’ve felt in a long time. She talked with me for 45 minutes before tiring me out and convincing me to drive to her office for an appointment.

By the time I got there I was giggly and goofy, nearly all of my suicidal energy had been drained and I just felt the prosperousness of the moment. I wondered if anyone at her office knew that I was here for a special “emergency appointment” because I was trying to kill myself and I laughed at that prospect. I also thought it was hilarious that this is what happens when a therapist cancel for an “emergency.” I felt like I was mocking all of reality and in my conversation with her I promised that I would not kill myself before my next therapist appointment.

I proceeded to make deals with myself in the following weeks where I would not kill myself for blank days if I could… This often revolved around suicidal tendencies things like buying rope to hang myself with, or keeping rope to hang myself with in the car. The Rope was too expensive and I couldn’t find climbing rope that I was sure was in the house and would be my ideal rope to hang myself with. I started even getting fussy about it and wanted to make sure I died being hung by a nice cotton and polyester blend rope around my neck not some shitty big box store’s plastic rope that would be rough on my neck.

Face Skirt

Face, Skirt
in the neighborhood grocery store
Face, Skirt
in the nearby drugstore
Face, Skirt
in the kids ballet studio

I maintain prolonged eye contact with them
my face clearly irritated as I wait for them to notice the person they are staring at
sometimes they turn away, sometimes they turn away and then turn back again

I keep staring trying to hurt them with my eyes
instead of baring my teeth
instead of balling up my fist and readying to swing

This is where I live
my partner tells me I should shop in the east end
saying I’m there most days anyway

Face, Skirt
at the gas station
Face, Skirt
at the hockey arena
face, skirt
at the craft store

I need somewhere to shave
I was too rushed in the morning
I didn’t have time to shave, I didn’t have time to shit

Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt

They keep staring at me, I’m just trying to find a bathroom
single occupancy with some hot water
shaving cream is already smeared over my purse getting impatient while waiting to get used

Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt

I leave the sink I found running for 3 minutes while I shit
it’s still cold
I splash the water on my face – really cold

Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt

I find another single occupancy bathroom, the sink is motion activated
I struggle trying to get it running
The water is just as cold and I struggle even to keep it on

Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt
Face, Skirt

So I drive back to the east end, I have to be there in an hour anyway
My friend told me there is one place that’s reliable
one place that I am welcome, invited to do it.

I park the car two blocks away
the parking’s free over here and I haven’t got but 2 quarters on me
I was gonna skate and listen to Laura, but I left my board at home

As I walk to the library there is two dykes in front of me
one butch, one femme
I go into the library

I sigh a breathe of relief
thank fucking god, thank fucking god!
there are other weird people here

Face, Face
Face, Skirt
Face, Face

Thank fucking god!

Face, smiling Face

I smile back
I pull out a book and turn the page to Queer Heartbreak
I hand it to her and say, “you should read this.”

I go into the bathroom, turn on the water
*sound of sink running*
It’s hot, it’s fucking hot!

5 minutes later
clean face
new woman

Smiling Face, Smiling Face

Dear Clarity

Dear Clarity,

I love you and the kids with all my heart. Nearly all of my energy over the past 20 months feels like it has been dedicated to healing you and the kids. It’s been rewarding and satisfying to watch your growth. It hasn’t been sustainable or healthy for me. As it continues it also doesn’t seem healthy of helpful for any of us.

I got to watch the littlest child come out of her shell, watch middle child emerge from the boy she was, watch the oldest begin to verbalize his emotions in a way that few adults can. And, of course, watch you grow immensely as you shed years of trauma and break through old patterns as you begin to remember the real you. You all are hardly the people I met, it makes me cry tears of overwhelming joy and hurt to think about it. I think I can confidently say there isn’t much I would trade for that.

All the while I have pushed and pushed myself to do my best, better than my best to show up for all of y’alls healing. This has caused me to deteriorate. Suicidal thoughts and self harm was nearly gone from my life but has now reemerged and is stronger now than it ever has been. I spend hours some days unable to move as I collapse on the ground, feeling like there is someone standing on my chest. Irritable, depressed and apathetic, I’m starting to see the kids trying to avoid me, trying to get away from my angst. I am starting to see this not only as unhealthy for me, but unhealthy for everyone involved. As I snap at you, as I distance myself from you, as I am unable to show any love towards the 4 people I love so much. Instead I feel myself growing increasingly irritated with you, and increasingly view y’all as burdens.

As I take a step back I realize just how overwhelmed and stressed I am. I step back and realize how unhealthy this is and how I have immersed myself in your family’s world to the point I feel like I have almost ceased to exist. This isn’t a new struggle, it’s an old one that’s tied in with being trans. It’s a clinging I did and still do to other people and getting lost in them and their problems.

I can’t do it anymore, I can’t do this anymore. I wanted to be everything you needed to help you grow and get better, I wanted to want to be a caregiver, a parent, to have 3 kids and a dog. I wanted to want all of these things I was given and all of this security. But I don’t, I just want me, I want my life back and I want you to be in it, but not be it.

It’s not about holding out for the next time we move, or the next routine we develop, or that break through in therapy or that new job. It’s about me needing to be Jenny, a person that has only existed in name for 4 years. I am not ready to be a parent. I’m not ready to have 3 kids a wife and a dog. I have so many dreams of my future and what it looks like. This life feels suffocating and I don’t want to have people I love so dearly feel like they are just burdens suffocating me. I want them to bring joy and desire to see them, I want to have glee playing with and seeing y’all. This is something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Now, I’m sure you want to talk logistics now that I got my feels out, you want to understand what I’m even asking for. I don’t have a solid grasp on a healthy and thoughtful way to make this transition work for everyone but I know what my soul needs and I need a break before I can plot out long term logistics, otherwise I’d be planning based on my current desires to be around y’all. My end goal is to be an auntie and a nanny at times. I love you all so much I can’t imagine being happy not seeing y’all.

I know I’m going to be needing days instead of hours. I know I desperately need to heal to feel like a person to have time to connect with my people. I don’t want to disappear. I want to step back and become less involved. I think that would be the healthiest thing for all of us. I don’t have a timeline, but I do know I want to live elsewhere within this year.

I hope you understand how much this has torn me apart thinking about how I do and don’t want to do this. But I know in my heart that this is what is the best for me and what i have to do. I think this will also be great for y’all though it’ll definitely be hard at first but it’ll allow for a lot of much needed growth.

I want to talk more about this and can whenever you’d like. I was hoping to share this info last Monday at our group therapy since that didn’t happen I had to write it out. I will always love you in a way in a way I have never felt before.

Love, with all of my heart,

Jenny

Dreaming of a future

When I was young we acted poor but we weren’t
We always had enough in the bank account but we would hardly spend it
Nice House
Tree house and garden
Summer vacation in the woods for two weeks

Straight cis married families surrounded us on all sides
I knew folks who got free lunch, there weren’t a lot, I knew of the broken families, there weren’t a lot
Good school district
Kids down the street
Quaint neighborhood

When you come from that background you just believe you are gonna always be there
Like it’s always gonna work out, you’re always gonna
Get married
have a good job
have money

Then I transitioned from handsome young man to gangly transwoman
The tomboy in me refuses to let me pass
refuses to soften my voice
refuese to wear makeup
refueses to wear any bright colors

Suddenly I don’t see a future that looks like any semblance of what I had
I look around at my community and all I see is a hot mess
Divorce,
shitty exes
messy complicated relationships

Haven’t had a real partner since before I transitioned, I’ve only dated straight ladies
Haven’t had a girlfriend to dream about for a long time, so I don’t
empty dreams
unsure future
hopeless life

Now I have a partner and three kids, we aren’t intimate, we hardly even talk these days
The kids live in a reality I’ve never lived in, a reality separate from ours
hockey, ballet
designer clothes
private lessons

They think they’re rich while we scrounge for for gas my putting 10 dollars in the tank at a time
Pulling from friends and food banks to make sure there is toilet paper and food in the house
EBT
NSF fees
maxed out credit cards

Spending away our future makes it hard to dream about anything
Living in a sea of straight people with mangled families makes it hard to see another way
sex with my ex
Books by queers
trips to the east end

Are what keep me alive, dreaming of a future where I still exist
Dreaming of another world that isn’t straight cis and bland, A world I’m allowed to exist.

How We Fuck

When we walk the streets together
my long blond hair
my lengthy stride
my short skit
We walk with our heads held high
We walk with pride in each step

When we walk the streets together
her flowing black dress
her elegant makeup
her piercing eyes
we walk hand it hand
we walk together a tranny and a dyke

When we walk the streets together
you always turn
you always watch
you always stare
Your stares are all around us
Your stares are suffocating

When we walk the streets together
your eyes pierce
your eyes scrutinize
your eyes struggle to comprehend
Your stares they comes with a question
Your question is so obvious: How do they fuck?

When we fuck there is no gender
no sexual orientation
no male
no female
we fuck like we’re dykes
we fuck like we’re faggots

When we fuck the room is covered
in dirty sex toys
in used condoms
in empty bottles of lube
we fuck and scream and cry
we moan with no regard

When we fuck we don’t think about you
your genders
your sexualities
your norms
we do things you’d never think of
we have orgasms you couldn’t imagine

When we fuck the whole world disappears
all that’s left is me and her
all that’s left are our sex toys
all that’s left is this bed that is our only respite from you
we don’t think of your stares
we don’t think of you at all

When we fuck we are liberated
we are accepted
we are unfettered
we are free
we’re free to be dykes and trannies
we’re free to be us

Summer Love Playlist 2016.8

Here is my most recent playlist. While most of them focus upon a time in my life this one more seems to focus around a person in my life, Half Elegant (previously known as R). We were involved for 3 months, most of this time I wasn’t really into it. I was trying to find a balance between friends and lovers, we clearly weren’t friends and I didn’t feel like she was a lover. The balance was never reached. This is why the cd is being release now, it’s the end of an time period, the time period I call “Summer Love.” I can’t say this title isn’t ironically named, but I will confirm that “love” is a complicated thing with our without quotes around it.

1. Totally Confused – Beck

This is what I listened to at the end of Half Elegant and my relationship. Melancholy, raw, disorienting (other songs on the album highlight this). This is how I felt.

2. Skinny Love – Bon Iver

I first heard this in the Wire Tap episode Never Say I Love You. The episode has a segment about people in love, without their lover anymore. People holding on, struggling, feeling sad, and still feeling love. It is followed up by this song. I started to cry when I was biking home, I started to feel. Half Elegant made it hard for me to feel she just wanted too much. Now that we are apart I am able to feel what I wanted without holding back, finally. And I biked home listening to this on repeat while getting teary eyed and feeling love.

3. Betty’s Bomb Shell – Group Love

Earlier in the day (months ago) I felt awful, I tried to cut myself with my work keys, they weren’t sharp enough. I went back to work and when I finally left work I felt the same way. I looked incessantly at the ground looking for a piece of broken glass. When I finally found one I found out just how dull glass from the side of the road is, so I kept biking. I stopped in Arsenal Park and sat on the ground. I thought about what I should cut myself with while listening to this song. I played it over and over again and finally I found a pepsi can. First using the tab, then using a small piece of the side of the can I repeatedly cut small cuts horizontally on my arm. This is the biggest cut on my arm and it happened whilst listening to this song.

4. Signs of Love – Moby

I can’t remember when I listened to this song, but it is one of my favorites. It reminds me of staring at the sky and smiling while listening to another Moby song, it reminds me of biking along the river in Philly and crying to Moby. It’s happy, it’s sad, it’s melancholy, it’s real.

“I fly so high,Then fall so low”

5. It’s Only (feat. Zyra) – Odesza

I am long boarding on Ellsworth near Oakland. I am singing this song so loud. I’m singing this song to Trish, to Kelly. I’m singing this song loud and proud and I feel good, I feel sad.

I’m again on my longboard, it’s 2am and I’m back at it again, I’m in Oakland singing and carving.

6. Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) – Crystal Castles

Half Elegant gave me this song. She listened to it after we broke up the first time after “dating” for a few days. We listened to it under 40th st Bridge and Half Elegant banged her head all around. She jammed to it when she was drunk and I came over. We were in the hallway of her house where there is a built in shelf that holds records and the music player. The lights were mostly out and she danced like a maniac. This is our song.

7. Sorry – Beyoncé

There are countless memories around singing this song. The one that is most recently and strong in my memory is with Half Elegant. It was the day we hung out with Jesse and tried to go to the pool. She was an ass. We were driving her home to drop her off and this song. I felt this song. I felt pissed at Half Elegant. As I drove my arms were out stretched leaning on the steering wheel with my middle fingers up.

“Middle fingers up, put them hands high, Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye”

8. No Role Modelz – J. Cole

“Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.”

This is the lyric I heard when I felt Half Elegant trying to save me. This is why I started listening to this song. That isn’t exactly what Half Elegant was trying to say, but I’m still singing I don’t wanna be saved.

9. For Free (feat. Drake) -DJ Khaled

The beat caught me on this song, while driving around Fight for Fifteen workers to go to their conference. The song also constantly reminds me of Half Elegant. I must admit sex with her was the best sex I’ve ever had by a long shot. So good I thought I should pay her, especially cause she had no income for a while.

10. Panda – Desiigner

The beats of this song are great, the fact that he keeps saying Panda is hilarious. I first listened to this song because a Pittsburgh activist and USASer posted this on a Penn State USASer’s wall with the description, “I broke my bed while listening to this song.” That’s what I think of every time.

11. FUCKMYLIFE666 – Against Me!

I was getting gas on the Northside and I looked hot. Grey tank top, maroon tube skirt, brown knee high boots with grey leg warmers sticking out. This guy walked about 20 feet from me looked over at me and turned around. It puzzled me, but it made sense when he and his friends walked by and yelled, “that’s a dude.” I was mortified and eventually just put on my middle finger and stewed over it. The person next to me muttered, “She doesn’t have a choice.” which felt nice to hear.

I got in the car pissed and I put on Against Me! and started screaming along to them. As I was about to turn them off and then this song came on from their live album. The beginning of the song just caught me and I couldn’t stop listening.

The song also reminded me of an important fact, I had been trying my damnedest to “pass” as a woman for about 2 years. I’ve been slowly realizing I am a woman. But Against Me! reminds that I am a gender warrior. I am a woman and a man. I am here to fuck with your concept of gender. I am a trans-tomboy. As the shirt that Laura Jane Grace wears states, “Gender is over (if you want it)”

12. The Writings On The Wall – OK Go

Half Elegant gave me this song. I feel this song, this song often feels like our relationship.

“It seems like forever since we’ve had a good day, the writings on the wall
But I just wanna get you high tonight, I just wanna see some see some pleasure in your eyes”

I would listen to it most when I was sad. Because OK Go was staying to me, that it’s horrible, yes it is, but “I just wanna get you high tonight.”

My most recent memory and the one besides watching drunk Half Elegant dancing to this song is as follows. Half Elegant biked off in an agitated hurry to go no where and I stopped. I couldn’t handle the frustration she was expressing towards me so I stopped biking. Instead I listened to this song. I felt sad I was having a hard day and I just wanted to get high tonight, to feel some pleasure. Half Elegant came back and said in a accusatory tone, “Why are you listening to that song? Are you trying to say something? You know that’s a break up song.” The next day we broke up for the second time.

13. I Hate Hate – Reagan Youth

This song is amazing to sing along to. I song along to this endlessly along the bike path. I remember biking up past Millvale on the bike path, I remember biking down to the northside on the bike path, all the while I would sing this song for the haters. Because I hate HAAAAATE!

“I as in M, E, Fucking Me, Hate as in H, A, T, E, Hate… HAAAAAATE!