Sunday, May 19, 2013

Humanizing Genderqueer 2: Valérie

Humanizing Genderqueer: Lived experiences of non-binary people.

Gender Wins: Recall a happy memory of when you felt most comfortable in your gender or most accepted as your gender by those around you.

When I was at the hospital getting approval for beginning hormone therapy. I wasn't aware it would be so invasive and I was still presenting as male (still am unfortunately) but I was wearing a bra with silicone breast forms. I was so embarrassed when he was checking my lungs under my shirt, and more so when he had me remove my pants and underwear to examine my genitals. It freaked me out so much, I almost ran away. Then he had a nurse come in to give me an ECG ... with my shirt off (still in bra and forms). While I was having a mini panic attack, she was just chatting away like nothing was out of the ordinary as she lifted my 'breasts' out of the way to place a couple of the electrodes. I count it as my only win because she never showed any negative judgement or anything like that. I started crying a little bit because I wanted to thank her SO much but was too afraid to bring it up. She even complimented me on my nail polish while she worked.

Gender Struggles: Tell about a time when circumstances would not allow, or you had to make sacrifices, to remain true to your gender.

My entire life up to now to be honest. Any time I expressed my true gender as a child at home or at school I was teased, bullied, punished. Even now I am in a situation where I am living with my parents and I keep getting looks from them for even the littlest things, like shaping my eyebrows, or painting my nails. The looks make me feel so incredibly uncomfortable I don't dare do more. I can't even talk to them about it, they shut down. I have no friends I could go to for comfort or a safe place to be "me". I'm not even sure anymore if I would know how to be "me" if I wanted to.

Humanist Involvement: Suggest something the humanist community could do to make a positive impact on your personal quality of life.

I, admittedly, don't know much of anything about the humanist community, but if I could make a wish, it would be for someone to help me set up a fund to raise money for things like getting my mouth repaired, voice therapy, FFS (facial feminization  surgery), top surgery, and possibly bottom surgery. I know it sounds like that show extreme make-over and it kind of is... just without it being broadcast on television. But I don't have much hope of anything like that happening for me. I don't have the luck.

I guess the most I could realistically hope for is raised awareness for the transgender community. So there would be less of a stigma attached to being trans*.

How You Identify (optional): Name, age, gender, location, ethnicity, anything you deem relevant.

I identify as female. My chosen name is Valérie Annette Lovelle. I am 34 years old. I live in south-eastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee). I am caucasion.

Survey results shared with permission.

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