October 1, 2022 at 10:17 am #407834
Thank you for your healing and positive thoughts (for the transmale preteen we discussed, let’s refer to them as T) and Happy October to you too! What an informative post. I read it thoroughly and I also read from the links you included. I will definitely suggest the idea of parental support groups to T’s father. I just looked at gender spectrum. org: it lists “Groups for… Pre -Teens (ages 10-12)“- which fits T’s age. It reads: “Join our online pre-teen group for transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive pre-teens. This is a safe space for pre-teens who would like to meet other gender expansive kids. All groups are facilitated by trained volunteers“, and it lists “Groups for Adults“: “The National Parent Support Group is a live online/call-in peer group where parents can support each other and find helpful information on their journey of raising transgender, non-binary or otherwise gender-expansive children and teens. It is facilitated by Gender Spectrum, and you can join occasionally or regularly. You can participate by phone, chat or online video“. I will definitely pass this information to T’s father.
Your information and thorough explanations over time and particularly in your most recent post will help me in my interactions with transgender individuals and with their parents, in real-life and in these forums, so thank you for helping more people than you know.
Like I said, I read all that you shared thoroughly and I hope that other members read it too. You are very good at explaining things, you are very thorough and you make things easy to understand. Because of your explanations and recent communication with you, I really like departing from the binary view of gender: it makes me feel better about myself!
“Sometimes I still have memories that I repressed come back that haven’t healed and I find myself doubting myself again“- I don’t think that healing can ever be complete and expecting complete or perfect healing sets unrealistic expectations and leads to disappointments. I know that I am much healthier than I was, mentally… and that’s good enough for me!
“But I take a breath and enjoy nature..“- continue to enjoy what you’ve always enjoyed: nature, herbal plants, water… things you shared about since you started this thread.
“I am starting to not beat myself up for things that I couldn’t control or didn’t do well… I do have some regrets about things but I realized that I didn’t really make the best decisions at the time because I was so lost and didn’t know myself“- I read recently about how important it is for us, in order to be resilient, to be okay with the mistakes we’ve made, big and small, and to practice self-compassion, which includes, of course, not beating ourselves up for mistakes made or for any other reason.
“I’m starting to rebuild and work on learning ways to speak up for myself even though it’s still hard and sometimes I still feel like I am not the best at setting healthy boundaries“- it will get easier the more practice you get, so take advantage of any and every opportunity that avails itself to you today and every day , opportunities big and small, to speak up for yourself and set healthy boundaries with people!
“I was chasing after things without really taking a step back to fully reflect on me and now I’m starting to enjoy nature, studying things along the way and rebuilding myself and healing“- good idea: to not chase after things, instead: slow down, step back, observe, reflect and proceed.
Good reading from you. Thank you for your thoroughness and help.
anitaOctober 18, 2022 at 8:58 pm #408682
Sending hugs to T, on their gender identity. I feel like for many trans people who are questioning their identity it’s helpful for them to use gender-neutral pronouns as they work on building themselves up. Most trans people are okay with people using they/them pronouns for them as they explore their gender identity. They/them refers to a person who doesn’t fit into the binary gender spectrum and the transgender community consists of those gender-nonconforming individuals. Over time as T, starts to explore support groups they might decide they want to use he/him pronouns. Sometimes it’s hard for trans people to express themselves from the start because society tends to have different expectations of gender and it takes time for people to explore themselves. There may be some initial confusion at first and that’s okay. Support groups are very helpful since they allow people to connect with others who are feeling the same way. Oftentimes children growing up born as a biological sex male or female learn certain gender expectations for society or their parents. But gender is a spectrum and there’s different genders outside the binary. When children feel a “disconnect ” with their gender identity from their biological sex then they may be experiencing gender dissonance since their gender identity doesn’t match their biological sex. Support groups like local lgbtq groups in the community can be helpful for the child questioning their gender identity because they will be among other individuals where they can learn more about things and be free to express themselves more. A website, I enjoyed was allymoms made by the mother of a trans son. She made the website for trans people to talk with people online that helped them connect with resources in their location. A trans person could talk with a mom that understood their feelings and feel validated. Since support groups for trans people are now becoming more common, it’s significantly helped with trans people’s mental health. Some libraries have trans books that are very helpful. There is no set age that a person can know that they are trans. Since children often learn about gender when they are five years old, they will likely start forming a grasp of their gender then. Gender dysphoria is often very common during the teens because people as they hit puberty will feel insecure about their bodies. Gender dysphoria is the intense feeling that the body that the person is developing doesn’t match how they feel and this can provide lots of anxiety for people. For trans people gender dysphoria might be early before teens but in teens it tends to become more noticeable. Not all trans people have intense gender dysphoria and some have less gender dysphoria. Having supportive environment can help T work through their feelings. Many trans people who have a supportive environment will have lower depression and anxiety. Maybe they can talk with a gender therapist and start wearing gender neutral clothes. Usually, when socially transitioning and wearing gender neutral or male clothes a person identifying as a transmale feels happy. Exploring what makes you happy is what’s a good plan.
Hugs anita, thanks for all your insightsOctober 18, 2022 at 9:03 pm #408683
Blessings to you and T. Hope they (or if he feels happy with he then he is a good pronoun too)
I agree that sometimes memories still are triggered and there’s never really full healing. But people become stronger, and they don’t cry when telling their stories to others. I feel like I still have memories that make me cry when I tell them to people and some that I’ve buried quite deep. It takes time but I’m building more self-loveOctober 18, 2022 at 9:19 pm #408684
I still get anxiety over things and it’s hard for me to speak up sometimes. I need lots of practice and hiking nature trails is calming. I’ve been thinking of working with nature park conservation or helping with sustainable management. Sustainable management provides equity such as food justice for impoverished families, environmental friendly services, ways to conserve resources so our future generations can enjoy them, making sure that people get fair wages. Sustainable management covers economic growth as it works on environmental health because with a better environment and more equitable management of resources people will be happier and increase productivity. I find that the UN has the sustainable development goals and they are very fascinating. They want to limit environmental health hazards like pollutants from smog, improve access to people getting jobs, end poverty. I have always been fascinated at sustainable agriculture and how people can feed a growing population without degrading the environment. Currently the issue is water in the pine barrens in new jersey. Many of the freshwater ground water pools are drying up due to development. People are cutting down trees so that the soils don’t hold as much water anymore and agriculture uses 30% of world’s water. So the concept of sustainable agriculture and sustainable nature conservation is very fascinating because I wonder how we can protect the environment that we’re losing. There used to be lots of tall pine trees but they were mostly cut down to make charcoal for furnaces or medical use and the last charcoal furnace was in the 1990s. My pine barrens class and the UN class I took last semester are fascinating, been learning lots.
I’ve been planning out things not to overwhelm myself or berate myself, working on being kind to myself. I still slip from time to time but I’m working on reminding myself of my worth when my inner critic tells me I’m not worth it
Grateful for youOctober 19, 2022 at 7:45 am #408691
Thank you for your support of T, and I am grateful for you too!
“Many trans people who have a supportive environment will have lower depression and anxiety“- it is true for any and every individual: a supportive social environment will lower depression and anxiety. This is why it is so important to treat people kindly, to avoid/ limit expressing disapproval and to express approval and support whenever possible. In most cases, when behaviors are wrong- the behaviors should be disapproved of, not the individual.
“There’s never really full healing. But people become stronger“- and you are one of these people: a much stronger person than you were before!
I hope that sustainable management of agriculture and natural resources can still have a significant impact in a world where the degradation of natural resources seems to be escalating every day. Are you and the people who teach sustainable management optimistic?
anitaOctober 19, 2022 at 10:26 pm #408717
I love that question you wrote “Are you and the people who teach sustainable management optimistic?”
I feel that most people are optimistic about sustainability because people want to protect the earth they live on and conserve resources for future generations. Sustainable farmers tend to be optimistic about sustainability because they have experienced the Dust Bowl times. In my plants and agroecology class last fall, I learned that industrial agriculture is bad for the environment since it uses lots of synthetic fertilizers, tilling the soil which reduces organic matter, and decreases the health and biodiversity of the soil. During the Dust Bowl, the soils were farmed extensively without adding compost to repair the depleted top soil layer so when the wind blew it caused the soil without cover to blow away and cover homes making people lose lots of their products. Industrial agriculture tilled the soil so much with plows and tractors that the top soil didn’t have very much time to grow (an inch of top soil takes about 500-1000 years to make from the physical weathering with the breakdown of rocks to make soil minerals) so the top soil is being depleted faster than it is replaced and without the soil layer erosion from wind and water can cause soil to move around. Sustainable farmers are optimistic about developing more sustainable farm practices such as cover cropping and reduced tilling. In cover cropping, the farm plot is covered with a crop (buckwheat, chives, spinach, clover have been used) to prevent weed growth and keep the soil loose so they don’t have to till as much with the plow or tractor. The cover crop can be composted returning the carbon to the soil for plants to grow. Furthermore, if farmers grow a food cover crop like spinach or buckwheat they can harvest it to sell on the farmers market along with their other produce. The cover crop does another important thing which is that it covers the soil and prevents it from erosion. Sustainable farmers use natural methods to control pests and bugs like spraying with baking soda and citric acid (found in lemon juice) to clean off bugs and powdery mildew. Since industrial agriculture uses lots of expenses of pesticides and fertilizers (usually after they deplete their top soil so they need to apply fertilizer), it can be expensive for them. Whereas sustainable farmers will use intercropping which is planting crops together that grow well such as planting corn, beans and squash. The squash grows low on the ground and the beans are higher. Beans are legumes so they fix nitrogen and it is an organic way for plants to get nitrogen from the atmosphere for plants. The beans can climb along with the corn rows which grow tall but leave some space for the squash to get just the right amount of sunlight. Another form of intercropping is planting crops to prevent pests from eating plants like planting peppers near the potatoes to reduce potato beetles without use of pesticides. Many farmers use old harvests and plants as compost to return organic matter to the soil and replenish soil nutrients. most synthetic fertilizers contain npk (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). Oftentimes industrial farmers spray too much fertilizer on their plants and then the nitrogen and phosphorus is leached into the ground where when it rains it leads to algal blooms in water bodies known as eutrophication. Eutrophication from fertilizer runoff kills the fish in the oceans since they cannot get adequate oxygen due to the algal blooms. Also, the algal blooms in the oceans result in the red tide people see and that red algae contains a neurotoxin that is harmful for organisms which is why it’s advised not to go swimming in algal blooms polluted waters. Sustainable farmers can get more just as much crop yield as industrial farmers and they do it without degrading the environment.
However, sustainable development on a world scale is very difficult and people aren’t very optimistic about it. Africa still has high infant mortality rates and people living in poverty (sciencedirect). The sustainable development goals of the United Nations is to end poverty, provide economic justice for all like fair wages for women, social justice where no one is marginalized for their race or ethnicity and provide environmental health.
People are interested in electric cars because they are supposedly sustainable but the batteries for the car charging contain lithium which has to be mined and mining often destroys the landscape. Electric cars like the tesla model 3 produce more emissions if a person drives it for less than 20,000 miles because the lithium battery voltage tends to decrease efficiency with more charging. However, above 20,000 miles the tesla model 3 produces less emissions than the gas powered cars (reddit) So there might be reduced carbon emissions and less global warming effects but the lithium battery only lasts four years and then it needs to be recycled. The international panel of climate change in 2014 stated that cars produce 72% global emissions and planes 10%. Electric cars store energy in their batteries (made from rare earths like lithium and nickel) which are mined deep below the earth so they have negative environmental consequences. Unless people can maybe use solar energy or maybe wind energy to power electric cars than maybe with these renewable sources it would be more sustainable. In the EU in 2011, only 5% of the lithium was collected and incinerated than the rest was just thrown into landfills which contributes to more environmental effects.
The population is estimated to grow to nine billion by 2050 and earth’s carrying capacity is about 10 billion so there would need to be more wiser ways to manage resources. Although the rare earths like lithium for cars appear to be adequate supply for the upcoming futures, we might not have enough as the growing population increases.
That’s why sustainable agriculture is important to help provide food for a growing population but if earth exceeds it’s carrying capacity there isn’t a lot of land space for all of us.
Therefore sustainability covers the political, social, environmental and economic aspects of the world. For political, it would be country borders and electing leaders fairly because a nation with strong leaders who protect people’s rights can help with economic growth. Economic growth cannot occur without social progress either, if many people are living in poverty then they don’t have adequate resources to build roads to participate in the trade markets. The UN Peacecorps has been helping with political issues like country borders and helping distribute necessary supplies like clean water and sanitation supplies for people in Ghana to improve their social and political welfare. And the environment is often forgotten when seeking profits but sustainability’s biggest part is the environment we live in. If we don’t have a world then the political, economic and social things wouldn’t work.
So although sustainability is difficult, it is important and provides optimistic value to improve our living on earth.October 19, 2022 at 10:53 pm #408719
I have seen people who thrive under supportive parents. Instead of demanding parents that issue harsh reprimands and tend to be authoritative, supportive parents listen to their child and tell them gently and firmly that the behavior isn’t accepted and they work on teaching the child the right behavior over the wrong one. Treating people kindly is important because people never know how much hurt a person is carrying inside.
I feel like sustainability applies to developing healthy coping mechanisms too. I had been trying to look masculine, I got so caught up in the physical appearance that I lost myself in an eating disorder. Over time, I began to realize with supportive friends and seeking out support online groups I began developing healthier coping mechanisms like deep breathing, yoga, listening to music when i’m stressed. As I learned and began to have places to express myself and enjoying nature along the way I began to loosen my views and began to not hold myself so tightly. I remember a passage that I read paraphrase here “you go out in nature’s forest and you see the trees. the trees come in all shapes and sizes. some are tall, some are short, some skinny and some broad. some have broken branches and some are whole. some are wavy growing while others are tall and straight. there’s many different shapes and sizes of trees you see and you accept and acknowledge each one for its beauty. you don’t judge them because you realize that perhaps the tall ones grew that way due to proper nutrients and the short ones grew that way maybe due to lesser nutrients; and the different trees might have different heights due to amounts of sunlight. you acknowledge them as they are without judging or trying to change them, you let them be in their beauty. then you walk out of the forest and began judging yourself- you’re too fat, you’re too thin, you’re too short, your hair isn’t right. ask yourself why you can’t love yourself more like and acknowledge your flaws like when you were observing those trees in the forest?” I felt this passage was very powerful and inspiring. I feel like I’ve been a lot less self-critical and been working on letting go of expectations allowing myself to be and appreciate the moment. Not depleting my energy with unhealthy coping mechanisms, being more sustainable with myself so I can continue on and breathe in the elegance of the in universe.October 20, 2022 at 7:16 am #408718
Some interesting resourcesOctober 20, 2022 at 11:41 am #408728
Before I respond to your recent posts, I wanted to tell you that last evening I talked again with T’s father and told him about the online support source you wrote about, the one offered by the mother of a trans son. We talked about gender identity being a spectrum and he agreed. I told him about my own gender nonconforming identity history. I think that he appreciates the talk and that he will feel comfortable talking with me about the topic in the future.
Thank you for the extensive information on sustainability, you are thorough in your explanations and I appreciate it. I feel optimistic about sustainability being the sensible right thing to do. It’s just that I don’t feel optimistic that enough of it will be done to change the current trajectory of our planet: the escalating deterioration into extensive, massive droughts, frequent floodings, storms and wildfires… and the criminal war in Ukraine (and politics otherwise) making it so much worse.
I very much like your self-sustainability work: “I feel like sustainability applies to developing healthy coping mechanisms too. I had been trying to look masculine, I got so caught up in the physical appearance that I lost myself in an eating disorder. Over time… I began developing healthier coping mechanisms like deep breathing, yoga, listening to music when I’m stressed…Not depleting my energy with unhealthy coping mechanisms, being more sustainable with myself so I can continue on and breathe in the elegance of the in universe“- beautifully said and inspiring!
“Treating people kindly is important because people never know how much hurt a person is carrying inside“- beautifully said as well!
I loved the walking-in-the-forest imagery that you paraphrased so well: “you go out in nature’s forest and you see the trees. the trees come in all shapes and sizes. some are tall, some are short, some skinny and some broad. some have broken branches and some are whole. some are wavy growing while others are tall and straight… you don’t judge them because you realize that perhaps the tall ones grew that way due to proper nutrients and the short ones grew that way maybe due to lesser nutrients…“- inspiring!!!
anitaNovember 7, 2022 at 3:53 pm #409757
I’m glad that T and T’s father have you as a supportive person to talk to. Supporting a child who is transgender or questioning their gender identity can be difficult and it won’t be without mistakes. But it’s important that children know they are loved and safe being who they are. Parents listening to their children, and telling them that they love them will help their children feel less alone as they explore their gender identity. The child might not have all the answers yet and parents and children will be learning along the way. It’s important that parents check with their child’s feelings, sometimes when children identify as transgender or question their gender identity they might experience feelings of anxiety. Letting children know that you are there for them can help children feel more comfortable talking with their parents. I found dara hoffman-fox videos “asking a gender therapist ” videos on youtube very helpful. For a child questioning their gender identity, it can help them feel better about themselves if they have opportunities to explore how they’re feeling. I think dara hoffman-fox says that if a person feels happy and confident being the opposite gender they were born as then they are transgender. There’s no right or wrong way to be transgender. If a person identifying as a transmale feels happy dressing with suit, ties, sweatshirts, sweatpants, darker more masculine colors they’re valid. The important thing is for parents to reach out to support groups in their area. Pflag and glaad are lgbtq resources that provide trans resources for transgender people and their families.
Callhimhunter is a resource for transgender people to talk to trans ally moms about their feelings. It was created by a mother whose son came about as transgender and wanted to be called hunter with he/him pronouns. The site has ally moms that are available in different u.s. states for trans children to talk to.
I really liked the book trans bodies, trans selves. There are often resources at local libraries. If the person ever feels like they are alone and struggling with mental health, trans lifeline is a national network that is available to talk via text or phone call and trans lifeline can help trans people get access to resources.
Another book I loved was the gender workbook by Kate bornstein where trans people can explore their gender identity and have fun with it. I will try to share the pdf file.November 7, 2022 at 4:10 pm #409759
I feel like people should be stewards protecting their environment and being sustainable. It can be hard at first, but taking small steps like using less plastics and bringing reusable bottles, reducing littering, maybe doing nature education programs to clean up a park these little things can help people be more aware of their impact on the environment.
Treating people and the environment kindly is a core aspect of sustainability. I think that the environment we live in and the people who live in it all deserve equity and opportunities to build their path. Learning to be kind to nature and ourselves helps us feel more interconnected in the world we live in.November 7, 2022 at 4:19 pm #409758
point of pride has binder requests that transmales can apply for binders to help with their dysphoria. binder requests are up to two years.
gc2b often has raffles for giftcards for binders.
binders can help transmales feel less gender dysphoria and anxiety.
Kate bornstein bookNovember 7, 2022 at 5:03 pm #409764
Thank you for the info and resources! I will reply further in the morning.
anitaNovember 8, 2022 at 12:13 pm #409789
The resources you suggested are: (1) Dara Hoffman-fox videos “asking a gender therapist” on YouTube, (2) Call him hunter, a website, (3) Trans bodies, Trans selves, a book (by Laura Erikson-Scroth), (4) My New Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein.
*I checked, a very organized website and Hunter, in the photo (if this is Hunter) resembles T! I will definitely tell T’s father about this website as well as the other resources and let you know of his response.
“Treating people and the environment kindly is a core aspect of sustainability“-I hope that this core aspect of sustainability will be taken seriously by people in positions of political power!
Back to gender identity, a bit of a travel back in time: you started your thread on Dec 30 2015 while you were in high school, using your birth name (a female name). For 2 years and 58 pages, you expressed body dysmorphia but not gender dysmorphia, nor feelings and thoughts regarding your gender identity (not that I recall). It was on page 59, on January 12, 2018 (you were in your first year of college at the time), that you mentioned the LGBTQ community.
On March 31, 2018 (page 59), you wrote: “The LGBT community at my college plays a big role in my life and I feel like I’ve found acceptance there… Lately, I have been able to formulate words to describe who I am as a person.. and have gone to a therapist who has helped me understand my gender identity… I realize I am a nonbinary transmale and I experience gender dysphoria because my birth sex doesn’t match my gender identity“.
The day after, April 1, 2018 (still page 59), I addressed you as “Earth Angel” for the first time, and never again by your female name. On September 19, 2018 (page 62), at 19 and in your second year of college, you introduced your new name (“many of my teachers know about my gender identity and they have changed their attendance roster and refer to me by my preferred name: Janus“), and ever since, I used Janus when addressing you.
I was wondering (and been wondering for a while, but never asked you about it): how is it that before your first year in college (for 58 pages, two years), you never mentioned- as far as I can recall- any thoughts in regard to gender dysmorphia or gender identity (with or without these particular terms)?
anitaNovember 8, 2022 at 2:38 pm #409763