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About Michellelianna

I began this blog as a means to express the random thoughts that came to mind as I experience transition. I was writing these thoughts to some of the newsgroups I belong to, but these are closed environments and I rarely got any feedback. It’s not that I’m staved for attention, but I like the idea of having my thoughts discoverable, whatever that brings.

At the moment this is a one woman show, but I have years of material half started here and there, in my head, or yet to be born. If anyone wishes to add or has thoughts beyond the comments forum, please contact me and happy to have you on board!

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12 responses »

  1. I read comments from you regarding misgendering and how to react . More accurately YOUR cultural appropriation of a very complex and intersectional Transwomen issue from a privileged position speaks volumes about your insensitivity to the full range of gender expressions or various stages of transition. It was rather offensive and also indicates what I know to be true as a.Transwomen and gender studies major: the TRANS community consists of haves and have-nots in terms of transitional achievement that turns not ONLY a blind eye to those struggling as you did but you feel it’s their obligation terms of REALITY. Essentially telling them to get over it when they appear to not have any gender passabilty issues is the height of hubris. Smug TRANNY.

    Reply
    • Jill, I could be wrong, but you sound very aggrieved?

      All of us whether we are binary or non-binary go through some sort of transition to where we become comfortable. While we have some similarities, we also have some differences…

      …*Everyone* has *some* degree of privilege – sadly it’s part of life as a human; from what I have learned in my interactions with hundreds of trans folk all around the “umbrella” is that you do the best with what you’ve got and you deal with your limitations as gracefully as possible.

      Getting caught in resentment and turning labels and ideas/ideals into boundaries-that-need-policing is counterproductive and simply ugly.

      Life as a *real* trans person is oh-so-much-more nuanced (and urgent) than can be taught in any gender studies class. I have noticed many such students (even trans students) who think the trans community should adopt their (often militant) ideology, and we who have been in the trenches longer sadly shake our heads.

      Reply
  2. Dear Michelle, I enjoyed your 101 lecture at the UB school of social work. I appreciated the info-packed format you created. It is your incredible first-hand experience plus some really good and interesting basics, many of which I was not aware of. For instance, who knew how much work hair removal hurts, or that facial feminization surgery cost so much? What struck me most was the range of expression of trans individuals. When you said, “when people ask me for advice on making these changes, I tell them if you don’t have to, then don’t” (sorry about any errors in the quote)…I was surprised, but I understand what you are saying. Overall, I just think you opened my mind up about sexual and gender expression, and how culture has so much influence over how we feel about ourselves. I feel like a freer person having listened to your talk. I also feel like I wish there was a program that just had trans people talking about what It has been like to make the transition to the other side. In that, I know trans people are already on the ‘other side’ but how rich are some of the perspectives trans or two-spirit people have, having bridged those two worlds? We live in such a gender binary society, and it is such shit for women in so many ways. It is like you were spying on the enemy:) What are they REALLY like? Maybe your next conquest should be to make a YouTube channel called the TransView? Again, thank you, and best wishes to you and your family.-L

    Reply
    • Hi Lynnsey!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the class on Tuesday! I’m overwhelmed by your response, and I can’t say thank you enough. Receiving a message like this makes the whole effort so worthwhile. Thank you! I loved your class and was thrilled by both the responsiveness and the questions. I’ve already passed on to Sue and Elaine how lucky I think they are to have you all. 

      It’s funny, but there actually is a trans blog called ‘A Spy in the Enemy Camp’, although she spends more time on her personal experiences than delving so much into MTF insight into male dominated culture or the loss of privilege. The whole experience was very eye opening for me to be perfectly honest. I understood on an esoteric level what advantages I had, particularly as an educated white man, but it wasn’t until I transitioned that clarity on the matter was achieved and the deep societal need to address inequity in respect to gender and race. While I may have walked many miles in his moccasins, it wasn’t until I tried to stumble around in pumps for a day that I truly understood.

      As for what men are really like… it’s interesting. I have been there for oh, so many “all-male” conversations, still posing as male of course, that I found absolutely disgusting. What troubled me was knowing that not one of the men present would ever, in a million years, say any of this with a female present. At the same time, I was also present for many of these conversations where the men present exhibited a truly noble spirit arguing passionately for the very things I believe. In short, the worst of stereotypes are out there, but I don’t think most men fit them. The difficulty is reconciling instances where a guy presents himself as a “true mensch; a white hatted good guy” but in the locker room devolves into a loathsome, brutish creep. Fortunately, this does not describe the majority. I have found that rubber testicles dangling from the back of their pickup is a pretty good indicator. 

      Hmm… a YouTube channel called TransView… I can’t say I hate the idea! If I do this, you get full credit. My only worry is that someone would play an episode in my presence, forcing me to see and hear what I actually look and sound like. While I do try to remain self-aware, I am keenly self-aware of the fact that I’m often fooling myself to make it through the day.

      Thank you so much again! You made my day! All my very best to and yours Lynnsey!

      Michelle

      Reply
  3. Thank you Michelle, your web site and blogs are very good and to the point.
    Most people have no idea of how much we loose before we begin to gain.
    It’s heartbreaking at times and I have compassion for those of us struggling with size and height, I guess I’m part of the lucky few.
    After studying, practising, reading every detail of womanhood and struggling for 58 yrs, I finally made my move in 2011, I never looked back and have become the successful, confident woman of my dreams.

    Good luck to everyone and less tears,

    Kimberly

    Reply
  4. Hi girl! Enjoy your blog and added it to my “Do you wanna hook up?” Blog roll on my blog:
    http://cyrstiscondo-cyrsti.blogspot.com/
    Thanks and keep it up!

    Reply
  5. Hey Michelliana – I added you to my blogroll under ‘allies’.
    SDW

    Reply
    • Hey SDW – I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to add you as well. I could not be more moved that you did this by the way; it truly touches me. We both come from these tribes of misunderstood, often maligned, and more often yet broken people skimming under the radar of “normal” society. You took the time and patience to engage me when I had a mistaken impression and it meant a great deal to me that you were able to discuss in a brilliant and understanding way. I think we found ourselves on the same page rather quickly and I love it when that happens! Very glad to know you sister, and more glad we are on each others sides.

      Reply
  6. Thanks Marcie! Hope to see you and Julie soon!

    Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Michelle, Wishing you the best in your transition !!

    Reply

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