Quixotic
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    • Quixotic

      I actually like the concept of the “sleeves” on the Belle and Jasmine bikinis. They’re impractical but if you’re okay with that, it can be a nice look. But the execution looks cheap. They’re basically just strips of fabric sewn to the sides of the tops. The top on the plus-size Snow White looks a little small on her, so out of curiosity, I went to the website to look at their sizing guide. Their largest size is listed as fitting bra sizes 34DD/36D/36DD/38D. So the sizing range is pretty limited. 38D isn’t huge.

    • Quixotic

      Most clothing is made with the average sizes and shapes of cisgender male and female bodies in mind, so if you have unusually large feet for a woman or are significantly shorter than the average man, it can be really difficult to find clothing in those departments that fit you. This is a problem for some cisgender people, too, but it’s a problem for most trans people. Most shirts from the men’s department that fit around my chest and stomach are comically large in the shoulders and arms, for example. I can’t just wear what I want. I have to shop around and alter stuff.

    • Quixotic

      Gender dysphoria is a lot deeper than whether or not you conform to gender stereotypes. As others have said, there are feminine trans men and masculine trans women. But consider how gender and sex interact in day-to-day life. When people look at someone, they determine the person’s gender based on a combination of physical characteristics (does the person have breasts? Do they have a masculine-looking face? Are they taller than the average woman?) and how they dress/groom themselves. A cis woman who wears men’s clothes will often still be read as female because people see that she has a female body. That isn’t to say that there isn’t prejudice attached to being gender-nonconforming, because their definitely is, and a lot of times it’s the same prejudice that’s directed at trans people. But for a lot of people, if they see a male-looking person in a dress or a female-looking person who’s very butch, their initial thought is “feminine man” or “masculine woman.” So if you’re a woman who dresses in a more androgynous manner or who likes stereotypically masculine things, it’s not necessarily a big people if people can see that you’re a woman. In fact, you might want them to respect that you’re a woman since being “masculine” doesn’t undermine that identity. When you’re trans and have dysphoria, however, it’s different. I have no problem with the idea of being a “masculine woman.” But I’m just not one. It’s not about how I dress. It’s about my body and how it’s interpreted. The day I first got a masculine haircut was so sad for me, because I realized afterward that it hadn’t been “just a haircut” for me—I was secretly hoping that getting my hair cut would make me look like a guy and that people would start seeing a man—or at least a very androgynous person—when they looked at me. My style is actually quite feminine. One of the reasons I’m jealous of my cis male friends is that some of them can get by with wearing women’s clothes without people misgendering them. I’d love to be able to do that.

    • Quixotic

      Biologically, hermaphroditism is when an animal has two sets of functioning sex organs. For a human, this would mean having a penis, vagina, ovaries, and testicles, and being able to both get pregnant and impregnate others. This isn’t possible in humans. Intersex conditions typically involve ambiguous/missing genitalia or chromosomal/hormonal disorders that affect sexual development. For example, individuals with androgen insensitivity syndrome are genetically male but do not respond the same way to testosterone, meaning they appear female as they grow up.

    • Quixotic

      But why would I be proud of being white? I’m not ashamed of being white, but my whiteness doesn’t connect me to a courageous history of overcoming oppression, and I’m not subjected to prejudiced messages about my whiteness making me unattractive. Being white is already seen as the default in a lot of Western countries. Also, being proud of your specific culture/heritage is different than just being proud of your race. A white person can be proud of having Irish heritage, for example, without being “proud of being white.” A lot of these black pride items are also connected to specific cultural traditions, not just blackness in general (though there’s nothing wrong with general black pride, for the reasons addressed above).

    • Quixotic

      As a non-binary person, I’m uncomfortable with the idea that identifying as queer (either in terms of gender or sexuality) is more radical, inclusive, or open-minded. I’m not non-binary because I’ve somehow transcended the limits of gender. I’m non-binary because I have gender dysphoria, which actually kind of sucks. Sometimes I miss feeling like a part of the lesbian community. Being transphobic and not being attracted to trans people are two separate things that only sometimes overlap. Being attracted to one gender or sex isn’t transphobic. For some people, genitalia plays a big role in attraction. For others, it doesn’t. What’s transphobic is denying that trans women are women or making broad assumptions about whether trans people as a group are attractive based only on the fact that they’re trans.

    • Quixotic

      Whether or not you’ll have to empty it in public really depends. It’s generally considered safe to leave cups in for up to 12 hours, so if your flow isn’t super heavy and you’re not out of the house for more than that, it’s often feasible to wait until you’re home. For me, not having to mess with period products when I’m at work/in public is actually one of the benefits of using a cup. But if you have a heavy flow, you may need to empty the cup before going home.

    • Quixotic

      That goes both ways, honestly. There are people who depend on the print book industry, but there are also people whose careers have been helped by the increased popularity and ease of ebooks. A lot of small presses make a lot of their money from ebooks, and authors who write novellas have an easier time selling their work now because it’s often not profitable to sell shorter works in print format. The romance genre also enjoyed a boost after the Kindle became big. So either way, you’re supporting the publishing industry. I think people should read what they want in the format that they most prefer.

    • Quixotic

      Eh, there’s some racism/race-based stereotyping involved in how people judge names, but calling this appropriation implies that 1. these particular names are being taken from the black community (not really. None of these names have any particular significance or popularity in the African American community that I’m aware of) and 2. “hipster” is seen as a good thing. Black people who give their kids unusual names are often stereotyped as being “ghetto.” White people who give their kids “hipster” names are often stereotyped as being the type of obnoxious helicopter parents who expect the world to revolve around their kids, think their kids are more unique and gifted than everyone else’s kids, and who brag about never feeding their kids sugar or gluten. Both of these are class-based stereotypes to a large degree (“Ghetto” names make people think of poorer communities and “hipster” parents are often assumed to be somewhat affluent), but both stereotypes are negative and giving your kid a name that’s spelled strangely is in no way appropriation.

    • Quixotic

      One thing that’s really important to understand is that non-binary people can experience body dysphoria just like binary-identified trans people do. It can just be a little different. Me being non-binary has nothing to do with whether or not I feel masculine or feminine. I have no problem with the idea of being a woman who goes against gender norms. I think that’s really cool, actually! But I have physical dysphoria. When a stranger looks at me and calls me “ma’am,” it feels weird. Imagine if all of a sudden, people started mistaking you for Madonna even though you didn’t really think you looked like Madonna. Maybe you have no problem with the idea of looking like Madonna, but it’s kind of frustrating that everyone else is seeing something that you can’t see. That’s what dysphoria can be like. I “see” my body as being much more masculine than it is, so it creates an incongruity when I’m reminded that it’s not. But medically transitioning to male would mean changing my body in ways that also feel foreign. I can’t imagine having a body like a cisgender man’s, and being perceived as a man doesn’t feel 100% right, either. Identifying as non-binary allows me to acknowledge my dysphoria and correct it in a way that feels more comfortable to me. I’ve tried ignoring my dysphoria and I’ve tried identifying as FTM and pursuing a “full” transition to living as male, and neither option has been comfortable or sustainable to me. I always end up buckling under the weight of it after a while.

    • Quixotic

      Just use common sense. Seriously. Use the same consideration you would hopefully use with anyone else. If you don’t know someone well, would you immediately ask them deeply personal questions about their family relationships, sex life, or medical history? Let’s say you meet a woman you don’t know very well, but you find out offhand that she’s a breast cancer survivor. Would you immediately ask her if her breasts were “real” or if she’d had a mastectomy and reconstruction? No, hopefully you wouldn’t. Would you ask a random black coworker of yours to teach you about racism? Again, hopefully not. But these topics might be appropriate if the person is a friend or they’ve brought the topic up. The problem trans people face is that a lot of people seem to think that by nature of being trans, a person should be willing to answer deeply personal questions about their medical history, their love life, and their genitals. There’s no reason you need to ask a trans acquaintance what genitals they have in order to better learn about trans people. You also don’t need a specific trans person to educate you if they’re not volunteering information. If the context is appropriate, then you should be able to have an honest exchange. But part of that means accepting and respecting it if your friend tells you they’re uncomfortable with the question, and picking up on their cues. If they don’t talk about being trans much, maybe they don’t want to discuss these things.

    • Quixotic

      Bear in mind that coming out is a very personal decision. It’s normal to have some fears about your child facing prejudice, but be careful about how you express these fears to your child. If you say something like, “Don’t tell anyone else in the family right now” or “Wait until you’re older to come out,” you might just be trying to keep them safe. But your child might get the message that you want them to stay hidden because you’re ashamed of them, or that you don’t understand why coming out matters to them. Make sure to really listen to, and respect, your child’s point of view. You might have some valid points, but your child is more likely to consider that if they feel like you respect what they want and if they know that you’re not ashamed of them.

    • Quixotic

      A lot of people have things that make them feel very self-conscious. Feeling the need to bind when going out isn’t inherently worse than, say, wearing makeup to cover up acne or wearing a wig because you suffer from hair loss. A lot of this depends on the person. I used to wear makeup to hide my acne, and for me, it wasn’t healthy. I had horrible self-esteem and I hated makeup, so wearing it every day felt like this horrible punishment I had to endure to avoid shame. That doesn’t mean that everyone who wears makeup to cover their acne is doing it for unhealthy reasons, though. Conversely, I’m really chill about binding. I like it because I like how I look/feel when I have a flat chest. But I’m really careful to take care of myself. I have no intention of actually harming myself, and if I can’t bind because it’s too hot or I don’t feel up to it, I’m okay with that. Also, binding is an intermediate step for a lot of people. The guys who feel really, really strongly about binding all the time often want to get top surgery as soon as possible. Binding is a necessary middle step for them until they can do that. A lot of trans people know that binding every day long-term isn’t really sustainable.

    • Quixotic

      It definitely can be uncomfortable. There’s a reason advice about binding safely exists. But while my binder is less comfortable than my really comfortable bras, I wouldn’t say it’s really less comfortable than, say, my high-impact sports bras or some of my underwire bras. One thing I like better about binders is that the straps can be more comfortable for me and it’s nice not having so much of the pressure isolated to a single band (I’ve always had trouble getting band sizes that fit me).

    • Quixotic

      Most religions don’t blackmail people, extort millions of dollars from them, and hold them prisoner if they go against the church. It’s not just Scientology’s belief system that makes them crazy—it’s their practices. By contrast, even if you don’t agree with the beliefs, there’s clearly a difference between mainstream Christianity and something like the Westboro Baptist Church. Also, I don’t think that all religious beliefs have to be judged equally. There’s a difference between a belief that can’t really be disproven, like the vague existence of a higher power, and something that can be demonstrated to be false, like believing that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Scientology is based on the “teachings” of a known con artist and tax evader. It has zero credibility.

    • Quixotic

      Try not to compare yourself to others. Binding might never get you 100% flat. That’s normal and it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. A lot of trans men don’t get 100% flat. Some people will talk about doing things like wearing their binders all day every day, working out in them, sleeping in them, etc. This is their choice, but it has risks. Don’t feel obligated to do the same thing. It doesn’t make you less trans if there are days when your boobs are more noticeable because you didn’t feel up to binding. It doesn’t make you less trans if your ribs are sensitive and you can’t bind for as long as some people do. Your identity is still valid either way, and there’s no shame in not being able to bind as much as some people do, or not being able to achieve the same results when you do.

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