5 Things that make being trans difficult

Each week I get on social media and I connect with lovely trans people from all over the world. We all tend to have a lot in common but the one thing we share the most is how incredibly difficult it is for us to live our lives the way we wish to.

I am working on writing an article interviewing a number of trans women hoping to share their stories. In the meantime I thought I would share five things that makes being trans more difficult than you might think.

 

1. Periods

Okay no transwomen do not technically get a physical menstrual cycle like cis gender biological females do. But it’s not to say we don’t long to share the experience that defines our cis sisters. In fact despite all the negative that comes with it i.e. mood swing, cramps, bleeding, etc., the fact women have the amazing power to create life is something many trans women, myself included, long for. It is the one thing we can’t do. It’s not that I want to experience having a period for the sake of it. It’s more like I just truly want to be a whole woman as much as anyone else and the idea of being able to create a baby is something I totally wish I could do.

2. Makeup

Every woman has to worry about her looks. Transwomen have to worry even more so because we’re not just under the same pressure as cis women to be pretty. We’re also under additional pressure from ourselves, men and other women to pass. Meaning one of our goals is to be accepted as a woman. That means when someone sees you they automatically assume you are a woman and address you appropriately. This means we have to work extra hard at doing makeup. Also, for many of us it’s something we had to learn on our own in secret. It is painful for your trans girlfriends to ask you for makeup advice but if you have the capacity to be kind and help them please do so. She isn’t trying to take something away from you she just wants to share in something you learned as a child.

3. Dating

If you think dating is hard for even binary homosexuals, even more so than straight people, it’s extra difficult for trans people. Our options are extremely limited. There are cis gendered lesbians who do not want a girl with boy parts. There are cis gendered hetero males that don’t want a girl with boy parts. Then there are homo sexual males that don’t mind the boy parts but want a less feminine person. Finding someone who is compatible spiritually, physically and sexually is a big challenge. For most of us we navigate life utterly alone while some compromise who they are just to settle for anyone they can get. I don’t want to have to settle. I want someone that will accept me for me and be attracted to me as I am not someone that will say okay I can live with X Y and Z but you need to scale back on the Z and maybe emphasize the Y more. No. I am who I am deal with it.

4. Sex

If dating is hard imagine how much harder it is to find a compatible sexual partner. I mean you have to be compatible on all the other levels before you even get to sex. But it’s a trick. You have to consider what you are attracted to but also what the other person’s needs are. Then there is the reality. Trans women don’t always have the stuff they want to do the deeds the way they want. Some are okay with having male junk. Others not so much. But either way even if you want the surgery necessary to under natures mistake, it’s not easy it isn’t cheap and above all it requires years of invasive therapy and other crap that frankly nobody should have to put up with.

5. Shopping for clothes

I saved this for last because it’s actually the hardest thing. Dating can be done online. Periods we can live without until science catches up. Sex, well we have alternative options if we are so inclined and makeup we have YouTube stars like Stef Sanjati to show us how it’s done. But shopping for clothes as a trans woman is a nightmare. Many times we end up chickening out and buying stuff online that frankly never fits. We can’t always find a female to accompany us to the store to do it properly. Not to mention the utter dread of trying things on in a public dressing room! Oh the horror. Sure I can when needed muster the courage to push my shopping cart into the woman’s aisle and grab the first dress or blouse I see that looks pretty and might fit, rush to the checkout and head out the door. But it’s often a very anxiety filled experience that leaves me panting all the way to the car. It would be so much easier if we could talk our cis gender allies into taking us clothes shopping even once in a while. Some trans ladies have this, others do not. Myself, unfortunately I am pretty much stuck doing what I can with my limited options.

These are just a few things trans women have to deal with. I know trans men also have their own issues, those pesky periods are a little more troublesome I imagine to them. Yet society seems to have an acceptable place for them, the word is tomboy. For some reason women of all shapes and sizes can shop for men’s clothes no questions asked. If they don’t like makeup they can get away with little to none. But a trans woman has a number of issues not to mention the same overly sexually aggressive perverts all women have to put up with. Only ours can be a little more physically aggressive if they discover things aren’t want they seem.

I imagine trans men have their own issues and I would love to visit with more of them to get their perspective. I had a friend once that was but we fell apart. Let me know if you have experienced any of these anxieties. Or if you are an ally what do you do to help your trans sisters out?

I’m back and better than ever~

When I first started recording YouTube videos I had this plan in the back of my mind. To use the platform to slowly start being the real me. I dabbled in cosplay. I did some Halloween stuff. But I finally decide Stephanie is free and here to stay. So what does that mean?

First and foremost it means THE RAT is no longer hosting the channel. The Retro Witch has taken over all of the main shows. What that means is from now on the only content you will see on a regular basis will be the real me, Stephanie is out and she is not going to hide anymore. The haters can get over it. Everyone else, Hi!

Here is what you can expect. I am bringing back the format of doing 5 videos a week. There will be a different video every single day. As before the format will be very similar to what it was a year ago. Monday and Tuesday I will do Five for Five as the Retro Witch. On Mondays the fist video will be the five things I like in whatever topic it happens to be. Then on Tuesdays you can expect the five things I dislike in the same topic. This week I did fast food restaurants.

Then on Wednesdays I will bring back This or That. It is a simple show where I will pick to things that are similar and compare them to decide which one I think is better.

Thursdays will see the return of What’s Streaming. As before I will pick a single YouTube video, channel, show or some other streaming content that I find interesting at the time.

On Friday’s Stephanie will have her voice heard as she hosts the weekly vlog. These will be short 5-15 minute videos recapping the biggest stories of the week. These will be things I feel are worth bringing attention to.

On Weekends I will let THE RAT do his little podcast. We’re discussing the possibility of doing a Retro Witch Show that will bring back some of the previous ideas from the old Dark Web TV but with the Stephanie hosting instead of THE RAT.

For the time being I think THE RAT will still share toy and video game pickups but I can’t promise Stephanie as the Retro Witch won’t get to start doing her take on these at some point down the road.

For now I just want to say I am happy to finally be free to be me.

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.