What it means to me
High school would be proud of that essay title…
It’s been a while since I’ve written a personal post, but I feel like now’s a good time for that.
Let me start off by saying that this is an awesome event. Scrolling through the tag on Twitter is an amazing display of the changes people have made and how far they’ve grown into their own skin.
There was a time when I was honestly jealous of people who were capable of transitioning. I’m trapped in a position where that may never be possible and I always felt so conflicted when I saw others who either had the strength and/or support to go through with it. On the one hand, I was so happy. Like tears in my eyes happy because someone was finally able to live their life how they needed and wanted to. But it was always met with a searing sense of “Why can’t I do that, too?”
Alas, life deals us all very different hands. After a series of total breakdowns of real-life crumbling on top of the aching dysphoria that had been wracking my brain for years, I had to do something. I couldn’t ever settle for who I am, but I knew I could never be who I wanted to be. As a result, I decided to hop off the spectrum entirely.
Most people remember their day of coming out. It is a momentous occasion that marks a turning point in the course of their lives for better or worse, but if I’m being honest? I came out out of necessity for salvaging my dwindling sanity. Everything was falling apart so I finally just vocalized that I was going non-binary. The response? Less discouraging than when I said I thought I was trans and was looking to pursue it.
When I came out as trans 2 years ago, I was told I was too old and if I lost weight and looked prettier, I wouldn’t have that problem.
Coming out as NB was met with a “You’ll grow out of it”. I’m 32. I’m not growing out of anything at this point. Hell, it took a lot of growing to come to this point.
Perhaps I’m misusing the idea of Non-Binary. That could truly be the case, because at some point in my life, though I might be much older, I really do want to look into my dysphoria. I want to find out if I’m valid in my thoughts and/or if they’re symptoms of something greater and I want to do what’s best for me, but right now, and for a while longer, I have to put it all on hold.
Becoming NB was a defense mechanism that I’ve wholeheartedly embraced. I love not feeling bound or burdened to look a certain way to fill gender expectations. I love the idea of just floating around being myself without any guides or standards. Yes, I take care of myself, yes I’m working towards bettering myself, but now it’s less “I. Must. Pass.” and more “Who cares? I’ll do whatever I want.” And at this point, that’s what I need.
Some people still call me he/him. Some people have turned to they/them. Most still call me she/her. And you know what? That’s awesome. I love it. I’m different things to different people and it tells me how much they care about me by what pronouns they use. I’m not going to police anyone on it, because as someone just drifting around in life, they can perceive me however they want.
More people are using my chosen name, too. It’s made up AF, but I love it and it means so much to me. It’s the name I made for myself and I think it kinda embodies NB chaos in a beautiful way.
Is Tavorie a boy or girl? A man or woman? You tell me because I don’t care.
Life has gone to shit in so many ways over the past six months and I’ve been reeling with despair. This small action of self-declaration has made an immeasurable difference in my mental well being. Gender is fluid AF and I’m starting to appreciate that.
So Happy Trans Day of Visibility my trans brothers, sisters, and fellow chaos engines/enbies! We are all valid and I really do love and appreciate each and every one of you ♥ Get out there and be seen!
Also, language evolves. Singular they/them existed in the past, exists now and, because language is always changing, it can exist in the future. Humans and language do whatever the hell they want and no one can’t stand in their way.
How I’m fostering visibility in fiction or How this ties into my life’s work
Transgender Day of Visibility is also important to me for another reason. As with everything in my life these days, it all comes back to the series.
The Q’taxians was born out of a need for self-fulfillment. It was actually born out of a lot of things, but that was one of them. I needed an outlet and universe where I could express myself freely.
I was talking to a friend about how no matter what happens with the world, I will always dedicate myself to telling my story and he brought up something called a hyper sigil. I had to look it up, but the idea behind it was that if you’re struggling with life and you want to self-actualize meaningful change, use your creative outlet to manipulate a self-insert character. Create this impression of yourself and then challenge them within the realms of whatever narrative you create. The character will grow accordingly and, as a result, so will you. This. Is. The. Truth. The more you invest yourself in a character and the more you put them through, the more they experience and the more you, yourself, can begin to grow and change. No, this is not a defense of Mary Sues because they defeat the purpose. If you create an infallible character who cannot fail, you are not helping yourself grow. You are creating unrealistic standards and probably causing more harm than good. Poke some holes in your perfect character. Challenge them. Make them struggle. Not only will they be more relatable, but they’ll help you, their creator, in turn.
Feeling helpless and turning to your own creations for some kind of control over life is sometimes necessary. Sometimes we want to create those perfect worlds to escape to. Where people love us for who we are, our pronouns are accepted, people in our lives accept us, we aren’t ridiculed or belittled. That special place where we’re accepted for who we are. That place where we can be happy. Create that place. Create those characters. But then, challenge them. Challenge yourself. Challenge everything and watch what your characters do, because as extensions of yourself, they will feed back into your own perception of reality. It’s an amazing self-actualizing loop that is constantly going back and forth between you and your creations.
So why am I going on about this kind of thing? Because this is exactly how the series began. This is how Sylus, the main character, was created. Whether I knew it or not, every wall I threw him against, every disaster I put him through, how he came out, was a reflection of myself. I knew from the beginning he was a self-insert to an extent. I made him out of desperation for feeling valid. The story followed.
Sylus is trans. Sometimes I think that’s overshadowed by the fact that he’s also an eldritch abomination. So how does one make a trans elder god and why? Well… That’s not how it happened.
Sylus is human. He’s trans because he’s trans. He struggled a lot through life because of it. Horrific things were done to him in his vulnerable state. At his weakest point, he met a dying old god. The god wanted to be free of his physical prison, Sylus wanted to be free own mental prison. They join up. The old god offers him to create a body. Sylus does so, but there comes the discussion of genitals and what they mean to a person. The old god explains he can create a phallus, but it wouldn’t be a real one. More the image of one with potentially zero physical feelings as the creature can only work with the genetic data it has. It offers to create a stationary tendril in that location to serve as a sexual and excretion outlet, but Sylus isn’t too keen on that. He’s human and he wants to stay mostly human, at least on the outside. Sylus, who has long struggled with the dichotomy of physicality and mental expectations decides it’s not worth it. He goes through with building his ideal body, but leaves his genitals alone. In the end, he’s comfortable with the outcome. What’s in his pants doesn’t matter to anyone but himself and his lover. Everyone else can go F themselves.
Of course, he learns not everything is perfect. He still has a lifetime of trauma to overcome and just because he can actually see himself in the mirror for the first time in his life, that doesn’t mean all of that pain has just gone away and he can’t sweep it under the rug anymore either! The struggle continues, but this time, he at least has something under his control. Sylus is finally the man he always needed to be and that’s a very good start. Even if it did involve becoming a writhing ball of tendrils on the inside. ♥