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I have been thinking a lot about pregnancy lately, and it's really ripping my emotions a new one. The other night I listened to the song "I Would Die For That" and bawled immediately afterwards. The lyrics really hit me where it hurts; I can relate to them completely. As a trans woman, I am obviously infertile. Even though I have accepted this fact, it doesn't alleviate pregnancy envy....not in the slightest, unfortunately. I fantasize constantly about what it would be like to be going through contractions in the hospital, anxiously waiting for that last push that will bring my son or daughter into the world. Although I'm crying, there is a huge grin on my face. There it is....my baby. When the fantasy ends, I am still sobbing into my pillow. I have thought about adoption before, but the fact that I will never be able to carry my own children will forever be an upsetting one. Just to prove my point once and for all: If I had a magic wand, I would use its powers to impregnate myself. I just want to hold my baby in my arms. I will never get a baby belly. I will never feel them kicking. I'm getting teary-eyed just writing this- it's insane.

Can anyone else relate to how I'm feeling? I wish I could find a trans group that I could talk about this with....

Until next time,

~Brooke

Part Of My World

Today was one of my many "nostalgia" days, wherein I seek out various media from my childhood. I allow myself to be enveloped in the magic of the 1990s until I feel satisfied. Somehow, the late 80's Disney classic The Little Mermaid managed to sneak it's way into the viewing experience. Although I never saw the film in theaters, I have vivid memories of my Mother blaring it's all-too-familliar soundtrack throughout our household on a weekly basis. Even though I may not have been able to put two and two together back then, I can plainly see the reason she's drawn to the movie: As a former competitive swimmer, she loves the water. Upon reaching the signature climatic scene in which Ariel sings "Part Of Your World", I begin to cry. A mere minute or so later, my emotions have gotten the best of me and I pause the flick for an opportunity to calm myself down. I give my beloved stuffed animal a much needed hug and take a deep breath ( or two ). After the film ends, I lay down in my bed and begin to ponder random ideas mindlessly out of boredom. Eventually The Little Mermaid pops into my head, and I begin to consider that crying jag I had only an hour or so ago. Why would a simple children's film make me react that way? I'm a grown woman, aren't I? I'll be twenty-two years old in less than two months! Crying at such an innocent animated movie made before I was born simply made no sense.....that is, until I connected the dots. Think about Ariel for a second. No, not her as a character, but her story. The Little Mermaid's plot is based around her ( obviously ). She lives in a world where humans are perceived to be akin to Lucifer himself, at least according to everybody in their universe. She wants nothing more than to experience life on "the other side"; collecting miscellaneous human trinkets that somehow end up in the ocean and stashing them in a secret cavern ( God Forbid her father finds out ). Her desire to live like/as a human is insatiable- even going as far as sacrificing her angelic voice; trading it for a pair of human legs.

If you haven't guessed where I'm going with this, then I'll spell it out for you. As a trans woman, Ariel's situation really hits home in a unique way that I can connect with on a level most others can't. The themes within Mermaid, particularly Ariel's eternal desire to live as a human ( and the things that come with that- I'll get there in a second ), are eerily similar to the emotions felt as a person who feels trapped in the wrong body. The majority of the inhabitants in the undersea world ( Sea world....Seaworld? I crack myself up sometimes! ) view humans as untrustworthy, malicious creatures that need to be avoided at all costs. Ariel's courage shines through when she questions her father ( King Triton ) as well as the aforementioned perception in general. This is not unlike the life of a trans person, who, while unfortunately being shunned by the general population for simply being "different", lives life like anyone else would while simultaneously making attempts to educate those around them in order to assist in the difficult task of assimilating to the role of a "normal" ( read: cisgendered ) individual. Another main event in the story is when Ariel signs a contract with evil sea monster Ursula so that she can finally have her wish granted. While the price she pays is her voice, the price many of my fellow trans men and women pay is unfortunately much worse. Teenagers are homeless and left to their own devices at the behest of their parents or guardians. Many enter the underground sex slave industry in order to pay for medical treatment that is essential for their psychological and physical well-being ( HRT, SRS, etc ). Others get sucked into hard drug use and become addicts. The same people that should have been there to protect them throw them to the wolves without hesitation. That boy you kicked out? He could have been a teacher. That girl you disowned and cut ties with? She could have been a doctor or lawyer, but what do you care? They're just abominations and freaks to you....aren't they?

At the end of the movie, all is well with the world and Ariel lives ( as the human woman she was destined to be ) with the man of her dreams, Prince Eric.

Sadly, not all of us have a happy ending like they did, and we struggle our entire lives dealing with one thing or another. That being said, we should all aim for happiness and fulfillment in our lives, and try our best to reach our goals. Cliche, I know, but true nonetheless.

I love all of you, and I hope you follow your dreams like Ariel did. Take things one step at a time, and never ever give up!

Best,

~Brooke

"Will it ever get better?"

That's a question I've been asking myself a lot recently. For the past seven months or so, I've been battling depression, and the fight has never been an easy one. I feel trapped. I feel unloved and useless. I have yet to contribute anything of value to society. Last fall, I enrolled in a local community college and I started the Spring semester a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I still don't have the drive or willingness to attend classes; something I have been bad at since the beginning of my first college experience in 2009. I honestly don't know what to do with myself anymore. Have I really given up so easily? The thought is sometimes too much to bear. I wish I had the motivation to finish college and get my associates ( at least ), but it just isn't in me...it hasn't been for quite some time. I don't want to fall back into a deep depression again. That would be horrific. Is there anything out there for me? What will my future look like? Will it look like the future I've been dreaming of? The way things are going right now, I don't think so. I am an optimistic person by default, so thinking like this is very foreign and discouraging. I want to be a mother. I want to be a teacher. Will these things ever happen for me? I feel utterly terrible right now. It's as if I've already given up on all of my dreams. Who will be there to hold me and wipe my tears when I cry? Who will I raise my child with? Can I even be a single Mom? I doubt it. I'm cursed. My life is terrible right now. I'm so unhappy, and don't know how to get better. Maybe I should just go back to lying in my bed for another six months? That's obviously the only thing I'm good for. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go crawl in my bed to cry some more...

The Valentine's Day Blues...

I cried on the train ride home after speaking in front of my class tonight. I feel horrible about it. Why can't I be happy? Why must I mess everything up? It was just social anxiety- it's not like I don't know I have it. I'm not sure how bright my future's looking right now; I guess time will tell. I mean, I'm just sick of it all, y'know? Tired of feeling like an outcast. I spend way too much time comparing myself to others who have "more" than I do ( i.e. a mother with her baby or couples holding hands/kissing ). It's so unfair. Will I ever be good enough to make the most of my life? I really don't know the answer to that one, to tell you the truth....As time goes on, the deeper my depression gets. Believe me, I'm trying to get out of the hole I was in for about six months, I really am. The problem is that I lack the self-confidence needed to pull myself out of the rut I'm stuck in. I never do anything right. The more I push myself to get out in the world, the more that idea backfires and I go home a mental and emotional mess. I'm tired of crying. Tired of constantly running into walls instead of reaching my goals. I just wish I could be happy for an entire day. That's it: one day. One day where nothing goes wrong. The perfect day in the whole wide world. A day that consists of more than several accomplishments ( major or minor ) and compliments from others. If I could wish on a star, I'd wish that these horrible feelings would go away forever and never come back. It's very difficult to be optimistic right now. I know that I'm going to be disappointed every time I leave my room to face the day....I just wish there was something i could do about it. Is this all some sort of sick joke that a higher power is playing on me? Is that it? I'm not supposed to be happy or successful? I thought I could pull myself out of the hole I was in, but apparently doing that is easier said than done. I feel like I'm destined to be a miserable, depressed reject. I just wish it didn't have to be that way. I feel like I'm somehow a burden to those around me. They're so beautiful and perfect. They have jobs, children, husbands and wives. What do I have, besides a hopeless existence? My entire life currently feels like hell on Earth. Where's a guardian angel when you need one? Please, somebody, give me your hand and guide me to where I need to be. It's becoming more and more apparent that I can't keep doing this alone. Please, I beg of you.

Go away, nobody's home!

I feel like I'm cursed. The push and pull between happiness and depression has been increasing recently. Walking around the city, I take a mental note on the fact that I have become almost obsessively analytical of my surroundings ( places and people ). I wish it could stop. This isn't even fair. Why can't I succeed? A part of me recognizes that the only thing stopping me is myself...so where does the problem lie? I'm afraid right now...afraid that I'll never find someone that will love me. Afraid that any friends I make will stab me in the back or openly insult me just for laughs. I never realized how difficult it is to make it on your own. I dropped out of college twice, and I honestly don't even feel like trying to better myself anymore- it seems like it's becoming more and more pointless the more I fail. I've gotten this far, but now I'm stuck in a rut I can't get out of no matter what I do. I tell myself on a daily basis that things will look up, but I still don't believe that they will. I am a person just like any other. A person with hopes and dreams. A person who cries when she's only, laughs when she's happy. I know I do well when I put effort forth and apply myself, but for the past six months or so, there just hasn't really been any fight in me. I don't feel like going back to school next week- the first impression I made was horrible, I just know it. My social anxiety prevents me from making friends, and the fact that I'm trans doesn't help, either. There are nights when I just want to lie in bed and cry for hours on end ( this often happens regardless ). Where's my strength now? Where's the shining light at the end of the tunnel? Should I even keep looking for it? I am convinced that I am not supposed to live the happy life that I envisioned for myself. I'm isolated, depressed and full of sadness and self-doubt. Why can't things just be better for once?

Outcast

I went home tonight and cried. I mean, cried. I felt so isolated in class this afternoon. I can't tell if my peers like me or not. I don't know if I'm seen as a typical young woman, or an oddity of sorts. Trust me, it's very irritating and upsetting to feel this way. As I progressed further into transition, I realized that there would be bumps in the road, but I did not expect such isolation. Tonight I feel like never showing my face in public ever again. I honestly can't tell if I'm a respected student or a butt of some joke that is flying under my radar. It's horrific. I didn't feel normal tonight. I certainly wasn't confident when introducing myself to others. Everything said either came out wrong or was literally a whisper. I'm so ashamed of myself. Why couldn't I have talked louder? Why do I have to feel so awkward surrounded by people? It's unfair. This wasn't how I pictured my first week. Not. At. ALL. I hope I can make friends and fit in, but right now I'm unsure of that ( among other things ). Will I ever be a mother? Will somebody ever fall in love with me? Will I ever get married? These are questions I've been asking myself a lot more recently. Right now it seems pointless. All I truly want is for somebody, anybody, to hold me and tell me that everything will be okay. For somebody to be my friend. Nights like these simply make me want to give up on putting myself out there in society. I know I can't do that, though. I just can't. I need to be strong, but I don't know how. I can't even hold a normal conversation anymore...am I really that out of touch with society? Oh my God...honestly, I just want to feel better than how I'm feeling right now. This is hell. I know I'm better than this. I know I can't give up, it's just that tonight I don't have any fight in me. Somebody pinch me- this dream is slowly becoming a nightmare.

Music=My Life

I remember my mother telling me that I could sing before I could talk. I have seen home videos of myself in which I play piano. I have fond memories of when I first started working with computer software to manipulate sound waves. I honestly don't know where I'd be today if it weren't for music ( well, all art to be exact ). I consider myself a very artistic person. Not only have I invested time in various projects that cross genre boundaries, but I have an insatiable appetite for art of any form. I respect my fellow artist, even if I may critique their work at times. I listen to everything from hiphop to funk to grindcore. To me, good music is good music, regardless of style. "Genre Elitists" make no sense to me, and are an enigma. I can't fathom how somebody could dislike/hate any form of music and limit themselves to only one artist or genre. It's so restricting! They are missing out on lots of good talent. Oh well, their loss. I look forward to everything that I have yet to experience and discover in this world. I feel blessed to be on this amazing plane of ours and to have the life that I do. Always remember to appreciate every day you have here. We only have one life to live, so let's make the best of our time here!

~B

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If only my dreams could come true...

I stare in the mirror and smile, running my hands through my long red hair. I'm still in my pajamas, but I could care less. I let out a small giggle, trying not to be too loud so as not to wake anyone else. Yawning, I make a desperate attempt to fall back asleep, but to no avail. Instead, I begin to pick up where I left off in one of my favorite princess-themed novels. After a while, I'm completely immersed in the fictional world presented throughout the pages. Time in the real world seems to have stopped for now, and I can't help but think to myself, "Oh God, I'm totally hooked!" An hour or so later, my pest of a little brother comes storming into my bedroom, knocking over DVD cases and other miscellanea. Playing with the light switch on my vanity mirror was the last straw. "That's it! I've had enough of you, you little twerp! GET OUT OF MY ROOM!" He just laughs at me and leaves, like the pesky brat he is. As soon as he slams my door shut (totally unnecessary, by the way ), I bury my face in my pillow and start to sob. Sobbing turns to crying, crying into all-out bawling. Why does he have to torment me like this? I mean, what's his deal? I just wish I had a normal family. All I want is one day that isn't ruined! Is that too much to ask for? I hear a light tape on my door, but choose to ignore it. A few seconds later, I hear my mother. "Brooke, honey, is everything alright? I can hear you from outside...can I come in?" Don't get me wrong, I adore my Mom, but right now's not the time. I just want to be left alone, for God's sake! "Leave me alone!", I yell. "Are you sure?", she asks. "I just want to see if everything's alright. You can talk to me about anything, honey. You know that." I let out a heavy sigh and decided to bite the bullet. "Come in" She slowly walks up to me, each step taken very carefully, as if my carpet were a minefield. "Honey, what happened?", she asked. We looked into each other's eyes and after a few seconds of silence, I allow myself to let everything out. At this point, I'm so flustered that all I manage to do is wail. A desperate attempt at actual verbal communication with my mother goes nowhere as I blab incoherent nonsense. I lean into her shoulder and whisper, "I love you" She holds me close and says that she loves me, too. She suggests we go out for some girl time in a few hours, and I smile. What an awesome Mom! We do as planned and enjoy lunch and some sappy chick-flick that we laughed at afterwards. When we got back home, we both went down the hall to my room. "Thanks, Mom. I mean it." She simply smiles and blows me a kiss. I "catch" it and she closes the door. Today was not too shabby, I think to myself. I lie down on my bed and return to my novel.


So far, that has been the most bittersweet dream I've ever had since I started transition. What I would give to have been born in the right body. To have lived my childhood and adolescent years as a young cisgendered woman. These thoughts break my heart every day. EVRY. SINGLE. DAY.

Ignorance and Malice

Ignorance is defined as "a lack of knowledge or information". To me, a brief glimpse of that definition will automatically lead to a very simplistic conclusion. It's only when I choose to delve further into the word itself that I start to realize a clear potential for varying applications in real life situations. Somebody's ignorance is mostly demonstrated in either a neutral or negative context. There is the example of a simple mistake ( burning oneself on a stove if one doesn't know how to use one properly ) that, for the most part, involves behavior that is engaged in with no negative intention whatsoever. On the other hand, there is also the type of ignorance with clear negative intent. For example, I believe that the majority of hate crimes could easily classify as the latter. Somebody who assaults or murders an LGBT individual is clearly a person with malicious intent in that instance, but that act is also an example of the individual's ignorant attitude towards the idea of tolerance. I can only speculate, but I imagine that this person's ideology was formed from their association with others with the same mindset. Those "other" individuals could be anybody- family, colleagues, friends. Additionally, I think the majority of these people are far too "deep in the rabbit hole" to willingly change their minds. It's a depressingly real truth. I'll be honest: the idea of World Peace, as nice a thought as it is, will never be reality. I believe that to be true due to the fact that violence is a cycle. We can try to educate our children and ourselves the best we can, but we must keep in mind that there will always be malice in our country and the world. I have reached that conclusion simply based on the spectrum of human behavior ranging from negative to positive actions we all engage in each and every day. The diversity of opinion, identity and expression among humans is truly what makes our species an incredibly beautiful one, but it also opens up potential for malice and wrongdoing within our society. The best we can do is teach our kids the difference between right and wrong, and hope that they will remember what we taught them. Learn to love yourself and those around you and you will greatly benefit from your time spent on this Earth. Lend a helping hand any way you can, and pray for those who may not be as fortunate. Thank God for every day, as every day is a blessing. Take every opportunity you are given. Never say no to an offer, because any experience you have is one that will better your outlook on life in one way or another, I promise you.

~Brooke