08 April 2013 @ 10:40 pm
wow so like nobody actually posts here anymore? i went to check my feed (what is up with that anyway) and i can actually go through all the new posts in less than a minute, that's kind of weird.

my dad was filling out fafsa stuff for me and he was like "by the way just letting you know, i had to select 'male' or 'female' so i selected 'female' because legal stuff/selective service/etc., just wanted to tell you, yeah..." which is like okay i guess that's fine and makes sense and whatever and but wait WAIT SINCE WHEN DID YOU START ACTUALLY CONSIDERING THAT THERE MIGHT BE A REASON NOT TO PUT FEMALE AND CHECKING WITH ME ABOUT THAT WAIT WHAT omg i'm pretty excited about this, that's super exciting wow.

a few months ago we were talking about things and he was like "i feel like this whole gender thing is making us more distant" and i was like "wait but no because i'm still talking to you about it like ALL THE TIME and sure maybe half the time we both end up crying about something but i still feel like i can talk to you about it and i still feel close to you and maybe even closer than we were before because we talk a whole lot?" and i think that made him feel a lot better. i guess maybe that's what he was worried about and since then he's been kind of being more open, maybe. i hope. my parents often surprise me, in both good and bad ways.

took a day trip to the city yesterday to go watch upstream color, which premiered over the weekend. i made the special trip because shane carruth was there for a q&a after the screening, and primer is (nominally) my favorite movie so i figured i'd just seen the protomen recently and they're my favorite band and now i can say i've seen my favorite band and also the director of my favorite movie? it was also just kind of a nice break from everything, to have a day in the city to walk around alone and hang out at kino for a bit. anyway upstream color was good and REALLY pretty -- like you can get a sense of it if you watch the trailer except the WHOLE THING is like that, it's awesome. the movie itself is super different from primer, i guess in terms of the way things unfold and also the kind of understanding you have after seeing it. like i feel like there's a bit of a narrative puzzle in both of them which i find enjoyable to work through, but primer feels more like a logic puzzle and upstream color is more like... i don't even know, uhhhh a jigsaw puzzle? like a puzzle of imagery and abstraction, y'know. the thing is that i usually don't care for too much abstraction, so i wonder if i'd give the film as much credit were it not shane carruth. i'll probably watch it a few more times once it's in wider release and see what i think then.

grs (general room selection) happened today, so now i know where i'll be spending my final year at wes (oh wow that is scary to type). i've lived in program housing for the past two years which has its own application process, so i've never participated in grs before and IT'S SO STRESSFUL AUGH. like we had a pretty good number but there was still so much to consider and we ended up getting our fourth choice house (which is still pretty sweet but on a completely different tier than the top three). but at the end, even when we had everything planned out and we knew exactly which houses we wanted and in what order of preference and there was nothing to think about anymore it was stressful just sitting there and i seriously have not stopped thinking about houses for four days, i'm so glad it's over and now i am so stoked for next year it's going to be awesome.
10 August 2012 @ 03:06 am
sitting in front of my computer holding an ice pack to my mouth because i got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday. it's not like EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL or anything, but it's just constantly noticeable and really distracting, kind of like when you need to pee but not all that much but still just enough that you can't stop noticing that you need to pee, except instead of needing to pee it's ACHING PAIN and you CAN'T PEE IT OUT.

anyway, i am back because i dug up my old marble journal a few days ago while trying to inventory my things so that i can figure out how to pack enough stuff for half a year in denmark while still being under the 20 kg luggage limit WHAT THE HELL THAI AIRLINES. and i looked at it and realized i haven't been writing anything here OR there which is really frustrating because i have been having THOUGHTS A LOT???

so i'm currently experimenting with living in taipei for two months as female. (ALSO I HAVE BEEN IN TAIPEI FOR THE PAST MONTH AND A HALF??? i am so terrible at this aaaaaa) this is sort of in response to my two months in japan last summer as male, which MIGHT HAVE MESSED ME UP A BIT (maybe psychologically but also practically as i may or may not explain at some point later or in another post or something) but also helped me see a lot of things more clearly and work out a lot of stuff so i figured it might be worth trying to try living as female again and see how i take it. [*]

[*] by living as male, i mean that i was read as male by my host family and most of my classmates, i used male facilities and pronouns, and in general attempted to present myself as male (binding, speaking in a lower pitch, using masculine forms of speech when speaking in japanese, etc). i did not explicitly call myself male, but all unofficial documents labeled me as such. by living as female, i mean that most people are unaware that i do not identify as female, i use female facilities and pronouns, i go by my relatively feminine chinese name, and while i've still been wearing the same clothes as always i have not been binding. i have not explicitly called myself female, but all official and unofficial documents label me as such.

during the conversation with my parents mentioned in the previous post, my mom expressed concern that i'd been "tricking" those i'd met in japan by allowing myself to be perceived as male. i sort of tried to explain stealth-shaming and how binary-identified trans* people living as their identified gender are not tricking anybody in the same way that cis people living as their identified gender are not tricking anybody. I JUST WANTED THEM TO UNDERSTAND sdkjflhs but while this doesn't quite apply to me, neither can i actually present as my actual gender because most people aren't even aware that it exists. so no matter what i do, i suppose i'm "tricking" people in some way?

and yeah, that DOES make me uncomfortable, actually. but it's not like i can go up to everyone i meet and be like HI I'M JESSIE AND BY THE WAY I'M NOT A BOY OR A GIRL THANKS FOR ASKING NICE TO MEET YOU.

but to her, "pretending" to be female wouldn't be nearly as bad as "pretending" to be male, because y'know, i have a vagina and all that girlstuff. to her, i wouldn't actually be tricking anyone. i mentioned my discomfort with not being completely honest with my host family last summer, and she perceived that as my "understanding" that there is something wrong with "pretending" to be male. but actually, now that i'm "pretending" to be female, i sort of do feel a bit of the same fakeness, but in a less stressful way?? (THERE ARE SO MANY QUOTATION MARKS IN THIS PARAGRAPH.)

a common image of the deceptive transsexual depicts them as taking a perverse pleasure in tricking people. and to be honest, while i wouldn't quite put it in those terms, i'm probably closer to that right now than i would be if i was presenting as male. as male, my reaction to people is more one of nervousness, that they may realize i'm not maab. as female, i can use the women's restroom and do women things and all that and pretty much nobody will ever realize i'm not a woman unless i tell them. so if it IS trickery, it's more successful trickery, i suppose. which allows me to be a bit more relaxed, and possibly even lets me gloat about the fact that i'm "passing" so well. i'm still constantly aware that i'm not female, but i don't actually feel any dysphoria or anything.

so if i'm able to handle living as female so well, why don't i just do that? while i may not be, it's certainly easier on me legally and socially. if i'm able to access cis privilege by pretending to be cis, should i? do i even want to?

in the beginning i think i basically identified as male for quite some time, but now that i've mulled over genderthings for quite a few years now (seriously, i just want to figure this stuff out and be done with it and move on to thinking about more exciting things augh), i think my identity is becoming increasingly fluid and ambiguous and also more politicized. if i wanted to, i could probably get by living as female without significant distress about being perceived as female. i could probably even choose to identify as female. if i wanted to, i could probably start taking testosterone and physically transition and get by living as male without significant distress about being perceived as male. i could probably even choose to identify as male. but i do need this, in some way. i need people to know i exist, the way i am, and that this is a legitimate existence, and so i choose to identify the way i do.

which is WEIRD because i'm not really that into debating gender or explaining gender theory to people and i've always kind of wished i could be androgynous without people noticing or without drawing attention to my androgyny? BASICALLY I JUST WANT TO BE ME WITHOUT HAVING TO POLITICIZE MY IDENTITY, BUT IN ORDER FOR THAT TO HAPPEN I NEED TO POLITICIZE MY IDENTITY.

kjdsghsdg DOES THAT MAKE SENSE i am figuring out most of this as i write and i will probably look back at it later and realize that it was ALL A LIE.
mood: contemplative
location: Taiwan, Taipei
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18 June 2011 @ 10:38 pm
passed the three month mark of not posting (publicly), which is a bit saddening considering how often i used to write. but i'm not dead, not really! i've just been posting a lot of private entries (mostly about a certain person) and writing by hand (mostly about religion) in a marble notebook which is starting to look suspiciously like something that should belong to a serial killer. NOT THAT I'M SUGGESTING ANYTHING /hides knives

ANYWAY, hi. way too much stuff has happened since pax for me to cover it all, but to start with the most recent significant development: i'm currently in japan! living with a host family for two months and taking intensive language classes with the princeton in ishikawa program. a few complications have cropped up regarding the fact that i declined to select a gender on the application (and subsequent administrative forms). that, combined with the fact that my dad has recently been pressing me to confront my increasingly inconvenient and complicated gender issues, has finally brought those issues to the forefront, and there will likely be some significant changes in how i go about my life following the summer.

mentioning these issues, however, led me to realize that i never even wrote about them on my livejournal in the first place. i don't think any of you (besides a few who know me offline, and maybe one or two others -- but even then, only vaguely) have the slightest idea of what i'm talking about when i say "my gender issues" -- not to mention the other things (most notably previously mentioned religion/certain person, plus a few other things) that have been occupying my mind lately. i guess i never was able to think of my livejournal as the first place to come to with my more abstract/serious thoughts, which in a way probably contributed to my recent disappearance. went and skimmed through some old entries and realized just how many things i had made private, for no reason other than that they addressed something relatively more serious/introspective than my usual drivel.

may or may not go into further detail on any number of these things, depending on interest or a later urge to ramble, but just wanted to post SOMETHING, since i'd hate to disappear without a word.

THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST SERIOUS-SOUNDING POST I'VE MADE IN A RIDICULOUSLY LONG TIME so here is a picture of a turtle skateboarding to balance it all out.

in more mundane news, my friend tori convinced me to buy a kindle, and i have since been working my way through isaac asimov's entire bibliography. hnnnnnngh isaac asimovvvv ♥
mood: contemplative
location: kanazawa, japan
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