Why it isn’t that easy to define non binary folks in binary terms

Reach down your pants and see what you have, that is all it takes to decide if you are a boy or a girl.

How many times have you heard a similar line thrown your way? If you are trans gender, bi sexual, pan sexual or gender queer chances are you have heard someone in your life make a similar statement.

Last night I was watching an episode of That 70s Show. It was season 1, Eric’s Buddy. This was always one of my favorite episodes as it helped illustrate how confusing it can be to have non-standard non-binary feelings.

In the episode the main character, Eric Foreman, befriends a rich kid named Buddy who is is lab partner for a science class. During the course of the episode it is revealed Buddy is actually gay and interested in Eric romantically. Following a moment involving a kiss Eric clearly rejected, the two friends have a slightly awkward conversation about why he chose Eric and it quickly moves back into comedy territory. The moment was brief and the episode certainly wasn’t ground breaking by any stretch. It presented being gay as somewhat normal behavior but in the context of the decade it was taking place there was an obvious treatment of it being abnormal. Later in the episode the character Steven Hyde even uses the phrase “love that dare not speak its name” when referring to homosexual tendencies. It was one of those episodes when I was younger I thought oh cool they normalized this is a way I can relate but also stayed true to the time period.

Looking back on it I think episodes like this had a positive impact on my experiences where as someone who was more out in the open during that time might not have seen it the same as I had. I remained firmly in the closet until less than a year ago. It opened up slightly to some extent to a very small group of people over the years but it wasn’t until attending a pride event I decide to tackle my own issues head on. Up to that point I had shrugged it off as something inside of me I could never act upon.

The more I am confronted with figuring out what my trued self is the more I wish I could just tell people I don’t know and I don’t want to figure it out. Maybe part of that falls on me. It could be that I struggle to find where I fit in the binary world while accepting I am not quite fully binary in nature. I know from a Christian perspective this is difficult to consider. However, I found that what works best for me is saying I consider myself gender fluid these days. Some days I wake up more feminine feeling than others. Some days I wake up fully masculine. Other days I want to be some where in the middle.

This has come up as I began to develop the Retro Witch character. A part of me wants to present her as female. A small part of me wants to present her as more of a shemale, the old stereotypical transvestite. In other words, male presenting as female but not fully female. I think trans women face the same cultural pressures as cis women to be sexually appealing to society. Because women have to place so much of their identity on their outward sexuality it makes it hard for a tranny to say I want to wear panties and dresses but not shave my beard.

I want to be a woman internally but I don’t need to do so in a way that satisfies your sexual fantasies about me. The first time a guy commented on a YouTube video of mine, presenting as female, about my sexual desireability I felt very akward. I didn’t put on a dress, wig and makeup for men to find me attractive. I do it because it feels right. It makes me feel right. That is, when the mood strikes. There are times when jeans and a t-shirt feels right. I would rather not be defined by the clothes I wear, the way I do my hair or even the music I listen to. I would rather be defined by my personality and my value as a person.

I think this is a big part of why I have such a hard time making friends. I have so little self esteem because I see myself as invaluable to the human condition. I am no binary which means I am also not a breeder. I don’t express my sexuality in a way conducive to procreation, something quite contrary to my Catholic faith.

I cling to the word transgender, internally calling myself tranny for short or queer girl in my mind. I do this not in a self loathing or deprecating way but as a way to define myself in the context of the societal norm. I read a story about how this new super hero movie celebrates its bisexual character and the comments are all negatively attacking the so-called Hollywood agenda to push the gays onto the world. I get sick of being told we are pushing outselves onto the world when it is quite literally the other way around. All I want, I don’t speak for all non binary queer folks, but all *I* want is to live my life and not be told I am doing it wrong. Let me decide what works for me and you do what works for you. I get there are people who hate change. There are people who hate for the sake of hating. There are those who use their religion to justify hating. As for me, I just wish those people would leave me alone and let me figure it out for myself. What is it hurting YOU if I decide to be gay, bi or whatever else?

The seedy, juicy confession you all want~

It’s time for Stephanie to come clean. This is the inner woman that the rat has to face every single day. Today I am here to share the deeply personal exploration of my ever evolving understanding of human sexuality. This all comes from the perspective of a Christian who has struggled to find their place in life. A person, a human being that is male on the outside, sometimes female on the inside and completely void of human touch completely throughout. Here is the article you all been waiting for, especially those with dirty intentions.

First the background.

Yes, I am a virgin. No not because I am a “nerd” or whatever. I chose a life of abstinence. I remain celibate as long as I remain unmarried. That is to say, I have been engaged and I have been in situations where sex was most certainly on the table. I was the one to turn it down. But, not because I wasn’t interested or even driven. Of course my parents propose a different theory, a lack of sexual attraction either altogether or of the hetero nature.

As someone who has been confused by  gender and sexuality the first thought that comes to mind is sexual abuse. I can absolutely say with confidence I have never been abused. I have had one unannounced sexual advance that resulted in some pretty heavy petting, but it was a friend whom I was interested in, she was expressing her interest in me and, well my dad was in the hospital so I was kind of vulnerable so it began with her saying “hi” and after my initial shock of wait a second, I responded in kind by returning the favor.

This was my only explicit sexual experience with a member of the opposite sex, or to be more accurate, any human being entirely. In fact, aside from the two other girls I did some exploratory petting in my early puberty years, that’s about the extent of my sexual exploration. The truth is, I find myself aroused by the idea of women and I certainly would enjoy getting intimate with the right woman, should that opportunity arise, as in we’ve exchanged vows before God and it is our honey moon. Before that, I will remain steadfast in my resolve.

Does that mean I never, explore things on my own. Right, a virgin sure, a prude, fuck no. Now I don’t intend to dig into my personal preferences as that would be odd, even for a tranny in training, so to speak. But, let’s be frank here, I have done my share of exploring, experimenting and discovering. That includes imaginations and fantasies.

This brings me to sexual attraction.

I was too young to remember the first time in my head I used she to refer to my inner voice. I remember playing with my sisters dolls often over my own action figures quite regularly. My parents pushed me into these are boys toys those are girls toys but they also forced me to share my toys so I forced them to make my sisters share theirs and not wanting to be hypocrites, they complied. So if I had to let my sister play with Optimus Prime, she had to share her Rainbow Brite. It was that simple.

I knew inside I wanted to be female. Dress female. Do make up. Go shopping at the mall and gossip with the girls. I did my best to do as much of this as Midwestern society in the late 80s would allow a young “boy” to do so. I was often mistaken for a girl for my longer hair and hanging with so many other girls, which used to offend me publicly but secretly I would go home and smile at the prospect of being mistaken as it meant I could pass for a girl and that tickled me.

The truth is I had the same interests and desires as my sisters, female cousins and their respective girl friends. I liked most of the same things. Oh sure I also liked some stereotypical boy things but I still felt more drawn to feminine stuff and once I began cross dressing regularly, at age 11, I internalized myself as a lesbian because I was a girl, who was attracted to girls.

This goes deeper than that though. You know the girl I said I shared a mutual hand job with earlier? Well she and I actually dated for a while. A brief while but we did. The thing is, she was dating me at the same time she was dating one of my sisters. I won’t share their personal stuff but I know they all introduced me to bi sexual friends over the years. I can say there was some level of curiosity. Not to the point of, throwing caution to the wind and going further than visualizing things, well until the internet feed me a different outlet.

This is where it gets tricky. My first time seeking photographic material on the internet to assist in the stimulation process led me to a site that showed a particular fetish, “chicks with dicks” as it was branded or more specifically trannys. I was wearing women’s underwear during the ordeal so needless to say I wanted to see if there were other “shemales” that were guys like me who were secretly trying to be female. Sure, I discovered actual pornographic material that included the whole spectrum of dirty things a Christian virgin is supposed to avoid.

This is where I get honest. I dug deep into porn for a brief period, no longer than a couple of years before I shook it off. It was not easy. I purposefully chose to stave off an addiction before it started so I took measures to prevent myself from being tempted. That is, I took up a number of hobbies that kept me off the internet.

Do I maintain self control to this day? Actually, and honestly, yes for the most part. I dabble on rare occasions. How rare? I googled pussy one time last year in a moment of weakness. Before that it had been two or more years. I would say total I’ve viewed no more than 3 hours consecutive of pornographic material in my entire life. That’s not to say I didn’t do the things porn is used to do, it just means I trained myself to get by without it. I reduced the need. I practiced self control.

I failed.

I don’t view the graphic material but that doesn’t stop me from visualizing things on my own accord nor does it stop me from acting things out in my privacy when I find the time. Sometimes it’s him, the rat, doing what guys do. Most of the time its Stephanie being more eloquent as a woman would. Yes that means taking the time to explore and enjoy things with music and the like. It takes a tremendous amount of time to get there but like cis gender or biological women for a scientific approach, Stephanie likes to take her time.

But does she, her, or me, us? Do we think about men? Or specifically sexually is there an attraction to the male species?

 

You want the truth. Yes and no. I mean Stephanie is a lesbian but she is also a woman. She has sexual desires that does, stemming from curiosity, involve exploring the male physic as an option. Again without getting into the details, there is a sexual attraction felt on occasions when we, I, am in full girl mode. In fact it’s not our preference but it is, well there. In other words, yes I can picture a scenario where a sexual encounter with a genetic male, trans gender female, or any combination of the different expressions, would be appealing.

Sexual attraction to cis females, absolutely. Trans women, yes. Cis, and that means gay or bi males, not so much.

So yes, as Stephanie the idea is I could be in a sexual relationship with a cis male, cis lesbian female, or a bi sexual cis male but only in Stephanie mode, as in full female, HRT, etc. This is where it gets complicated. You see, even if I could explore these feelings, that Christian thing about being celibate applies to non hetero expressions as well. In other words, even if I could see myself enjoying an encounter with all of the above, I refuse to break that promise of celibacy. I would open the door, and other things, wide to a sexual partner once the marriage ceremony is final and the honey moon commences.

However, as the Catholic church does not allow for gay, bi, or transgender marriages, that leaves me with the reality of seeking a Catholic sexual partner that is okay with the fact I have been or had female desires in the past but knows where I stand going forward. In other words, as long as I remain Christian, which will be for all eternity as I will never denounce my faith, it doesn’t matter, at all, who I may, or may not, fantasize about rubbing genitals with, as it is basically a moot point.

Am I gay. Depends. Stephanie is bisexual for sure. But, I am not always Stephanie. I am not, do not have multiple personalities that I know of, but I do know I, we, are not one person. We are two natures that live, in constant conflict, in the same body.

The mere fact I am self aware of Stephanie and THERAT existing kind of supports my theory we’re not totally on solid ground mentally speaking. That being said. If the Church proclaimed sex was no longer constrained to marriage and or opened the door to exploring other possibilities, I’d be hitting the gym tomorrow and the sports bar right afterwards to find a suitable partner first chance I could. Suitable is still negotiable.

Oh no I deleted my videos! Read on to find out why~

I’ve made it no secret that internally I feel like a transgender person. Specifically, woman. Female. She. Her. But, my life is far more complicated than that. I am a Christian. A Catholic. I am looking into, considering possibly going into the ministry or doing more to serve God in the church. No matter what I end up doing, as I grow in the church, in my faith, unfortunately I will have fewer opportunities to express my feminine side. I am not giving up my femininity. I will keep cross dressing and doing make up as needed. I will continue to grow my Barbie collection and as with my Transformers I will continue to play with my dolls. Yes I said dolls.

But what is going to change, for the time being, is my public discussions of trans gender related issues. I have things I struggle with that I have to settle for myself. Does this mean the Retro Witch is done? NO! Not even close. In fact what it really means is I expect to rebrand my show to be more inline with how I really feel. Retro Witch was a character I played. Obviously the real me, the woman inside is not the retro witch, she is Stephanie and that will never change. Nothing is going to remove her from me. Ever.

However, as I move towards a public life of service to the church I will have to align my outward appearance with that which is more edifying to the church. I have been told as I heal spiritually, as my heart heals, then Stephanie will go away and I will become more man, masculine or comfortable with my outward maleness. I am not so sure. I did that. I lived that life. Stephanie is not a part of me, she is me. No, she isn’t me. I am Stephanie. Period. There is no RAT. There is no, him. Only me. That is who I ~AM~ and nothing is going to change that. How far I want to take it is another story.

Every time I try to cover her up, deny the truth and hide, in shame, I feel bad for a while until the overwhelming, no over powering desire to be my authentic self bubbles up and I sink back into a slump. Dresses, makeup, dancing, etc., that is when I am the most happy. But, I still have to fight the urge to give into sin. Male or female, queer or straight, trans or cis, I am still celibate and as long as I remain single, unmarried, that will continue to be my state of being.

This is not easy. I wish I could get HRT, change my name, come fully out of the closet and eventually pursue GRS. Those are things I desire above all else in life. With one exception. To serve the Lord Jesus. How do I reconcile being a Godly man with being, internally at least, a transgender woman? OR gender queer? At the very least extremely effeminate person with strong desires to just be left alone? Maybe, at the end of the day, I need to be comfortable living alone. Living by myself. As me, the real me.

I was told if you feed one nature it will grow. The more I give into femininity the more feminine I become. I don’t feel myself feeding the masculine and becoming more masculine, I find myself becoming more, depressed with the prospect of having to be force into a box I do not wish to be in. This mask I wear, sometimes it kills me inside. Sometimes I long for the day I can, in a red dress and red leather boots walk confidently out in public and shop for makeup without feeling guilt, shame or worse.

Last year I made big strides in freeing myself from the burden of my bondage. This year, this new year has begun to tie my hands, push me back into the cage and proceeds to beat me back into submission. I suffocate. The woman wants to roar. But she wants to be accepted by her female peers, trans or otherwise. She wants to be feminine. She wants to be feminist. But she also wants to be a devout Christian living life pleasing to the Lord and obedient to the stewards of his Church. For the first time in my life as Stephanie I think I might make a plea to the Holy Mother of God, Mary, whom the Catholic church has taught me to admire and adore. In the meantime I deleted all my Stephanie videos and will let the fear that keeps me enslaved continue to keep me from living my life, my way.

~Stephanie Bri.

Is Britney Spears still relevant?

The first time I heard Baby…One More Time I knew I had to have that crazy popular new Britney Spears CD. From that very first moment I put my newly purchased copy into my, now dated, CD player I was mesmerized. I fell instantly in love with Britney and her style. I have always been kind of a fan of pop music to some extent but she really solidified my interest in dancing in my bedroom to her music.

Over the years Spears’s popularity has wavered some but my adoration for her has not tapered off in the slightest. When I first learned of her mental breakdown a few years ago I was genuinely distraught. Not because a celebrity I never knew was hurting but as a person who grew up with her on my TV and radio I wanted her to continue to be there to provide me familiarity and comfort. As an empathetic individual who does try to care about people I realized her pain was real for her and she was in need of help. Fortunately she received the help she needed and continued to produce music.

Last summer I learned about the #FreeBritney movement and although I am a fan of her works, I don’t pry into her personal life. For that reason I wasn’t too thrilled to have people saying if you are a true fan you have to spread the word. I will define my level of fandom thank you very much. I never cared for that word “true fan” of anything, it’s disgusting and often arrogant and always dismissive of alternative points of view. As an outside in so many ways I can assure you I hold to many alternative perspectives.

It got me to thinking recently though with the rise of new acts like Lady Gaga or even Katy Perry rise to prominence it makes me wonder if Britney Spears still holds any weight in the music industry? I have no doubts if Madonna dropped a new album tomorrow it would make some noise and garner attention. Maybe not in the way she once did but I believe Madonna still impacts the music industry and continues to influence artists to this day. I am not so sure if this is the case any more with Britney Spears. It seems like of course I am fairly out of touch with the young people. Yet I know my 14-year-old niece is at least aware of Madonna and can sing some of her songs, at least the chorus, but she said Britney Who when I asked her if Britney Spears was still popular. This kind of worried me ever so slightly. Especially considering my sister, the child’s mother, had also been a fan growing up. It told me either Britney has lost some of her star power with the younger generation, or her the same with her mother who failed to pass on that admiration to her child. I can’t begin to identify the artists my niece listens to, she never talks to me about anything personal to her not even music.

Obviously I can’t use a single anecdotal account as any sort of evidence. Thus I continue to ponder. I know internet searches would be skewed. If I type in how popular is Britney Spears website results will obviously contain references to her name. As such I doubt that would provide an organic reflection of her continued influence. A simple Google search asking top 20 pop artists of all time does bring the name Britney Spears up so I suppose there is that.

One thing I wonder is in such a fragmented world of internet memes, social media, YouTube, Spotify, etc., who does a pop mega star today cut through the noise and find their way into the lives of the youth? I mean in the 90s and before we had radio feeding us our top music hits. Beginning in the 80s and into the early 2000s we had MTV pushing music videos and music related content into our lives. It was easy for a single act to be in front of our eyes and ears constantly. I do wonder how an artist today can achieve that same uniformity? I wonder because I see big names like Jay Z and Beyonce remaining popular and they both found their success before the internet. Do children today even listen to pop stations on the radio or do they go to pop radio stations on Spotify? I suppose it would be easier to find new acts this way but I imagine it would be harder for a single act to saturate our culture yet somehow they manage to do so.

This makes me wonder if Britney Spears herself would even be popular if she came out today. Based on the prominence of Lada Gaga I could imagine a young Madonna finding success in the current pop culture. I am not so sure of a Britney. Part of her appeal was she balanced conservative ideals with modernism and a hip, sexy attitude. She flaunted her sexuality but she also held onto her mostly kid-friendly image. Of course this led to controversies over the years but that is not new in the entertainment industry.

I will never forget the first time I danced with my classmates like fools to Oops…I did it again. The music she has provided for my own enjoyment over the years has been most appreciated. I only wonder if her popularity will be like Cher was to me growing up, this old woman holding onto relevance when the young kids weren’t having it. To that I am most curious which song from her catalog will be the one kids growing up now or in the near future will recognize from Britney Spears or will attach to her identity? For me, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves is the only Cher song I know by name without looking it up. Will Baby One More Time, Toxic, If U Seek Amy or some other song will be the one future generations remember most? I don’t have a single song that I think of instantly when I think Britney Spears, she has so many I enjoy. This makes it harder. When I asked my niece if she knew Madonna she said yes. When I asked her what songs she liked she said I don’t any just her name. I wonder if Britney Spears will live on even as just a name in the cultural lexicon? Only time will tell. If Doctor Who is to  be believed she should be alright.

Point of No Return~ Stephanie Bri explains the Retro Witch and why she is here to stay

What’s up bitches. I thought today would be a good time for me to dispel some myths that may be floating around the interwebs about my new show. I wanted to explain a few things to clear up any confusion out there.

As complicated as this might sound, The Retro Witch is not THERAT in a dress. It is Stephanie Bri doing her own thing. In other words this is the real Stephanie showing her true colors. THE RAT is the mask she wears to go out in public and live her day to day life.

What about the Goth stuff? Isn’t that like posing or something?

No. I am not entirely Goth. It’s complicated like I said. Retro Witch is a character I play as a way to express myself. THE RAT is also a character I play. I’ve been doing both my entire life but only one publicly until recently. Stephanie is the real me. The woman, trans woman if you will, living inside a man who has never fully defined his identity. That’s not important. He isn’t the one putting on a dress, wig and makeup as the Retro Witch, I am, Stephanie Bri, me. The woman inside, him.

Great that’s all fine but I thought Stephanie was a gamer chick or a girly girl. Retro Witch is goth right?

Retro Witch is a character I play. Stephanie is the real me. The person I would be, would have always been if life had worked out that way. It didn’t. THE RAT had to get us a job. I can’t speak entirely for him but I can say fear played a role in our decision to keep Stephanie hidden. That is no longer the case entirely. Think of it this way. Stephanie has to hide inside a man’s world dressed as a man pretending to like man things. She also enjoys playing dress up and pretending to be other people. In a way it does look like a man in a dress. That is not the case. It is a woman trapped in a mans body portraying a fictional character that shares her inner feelings, to an extent. Stephanie is not goth. Retro Witch is.

Okay got it. Stephanie is not goth. Are there other characters then?

Yes and no. I mean technically THERAT is a character, specifically a mask I wear. It sucks but that’s the life I chose I guess. I dress up as The Retro Witch because it’s fun. I’ve always been a fan of Marilyn Manson. I wanted to be like him. Dress feminine publicly and also somewhat Gothic. I never wanted to be goth just wanted to play a goth character. I tell people this, I will be THE RAT, when I have to be, and Stephanie when I get to be. In the past I was always Stephanie but only visibly on rare occasions. As in, when I was alone, isolated and in the privacy of my own home away from prying eyes. I created the Retro Witch character as a compromise. A way for me to go out in public as a woman without giving up the mask.

How girly or feminine is Stephanie?

As feminine as you! Really ask any feminist and they will tell you femininity is not about the clothes or living up to stereotypes. If anything I want to be free from stereotypes. I would prefer to be allowed the right to enjoy my Barbie and Transformers toys equally without raising suspicions.  Or rather without being looked down on or judged for doing so. I prefer dresses over pants. I like wearing make up. I like dancing to pop music. I enjoy fantasizing I am a woman doing things only women can do. If science would allow me to become a woman, complete with all the right reproductive powers, then I would surely consider it. I don’t want to be female superficially. That has no appeal to me. I want to be able to say this is how I feel and express myself as such. I don’t want to be trapped in a box. I don’t want to live up to any one’s expectations but my own.

When will you begin presenting properly? When will you begin HRT? Is surgery in your future?

The answers to these questions are a resounding none of your damn business! I will wear whatever the hell I want. I will do what I decide to do with my body at my own pace and nothing is going to deter me from living my life my way.

I have a sister that is a straight tom boy I never ask her when is she going to transition to male or when is she going to dress like a real woman. I can wear pants, t shirts and a ball cap and still feel like a woman on the inside. Being trans, or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t mean I have to strive to fit YOUR image of what a woman is. That is all.

Introducing: The Retro Witch!

What’s up Bitches! My name is the Retro Witch and I have joined The Spiders Lair! I hope you enjoy my show, the Retro Witch Show, right now it’s a podcast with a YouTube video companion series.

I am super excited to be contributing content for this wonderful website. My goal is to share all the dark and twisted things that reside inside my mind. As a life long friend of THE RAT it gives me great pleasure to help make his little website a little bit more enjoyable to all.

I am also going to be doing a review series and maybe even some let’s plays!

I am fascinated by all the scarier things in life. I don’t expect I’ll provide much deep or thoughtful insight, my goal really is just to entertain. I promise I will do my best to be as entertaining as I am capable.

I don’t have much else to say at this time so check out my content and thanks for welcoming me into your world.