~$ My gender paradigm shift.
This post was originally released in October 2022, but due to a number of additional happenings I have simply elected to re-release it with the new content.
So... You may have noticed some changes on this blog, such as the URL, the handle, the favicon, and the socials.
This is not so much a rebranding or a reskinning as it is the evolution of my identity, which has been in flux for a while.
New me? Kind of... (From: Oct. 2022)
How to explain this... Putting this kind of stuff in words is not my strong suit, but here goes.
For the last few year(s?) I have been struggling with how I perceive and present myself, and have gradually been finding that I did not in any way associate with my assigned gender at birth (AGAB).
This realization was two-fold, with the first part being internalized (and compartmentalized / ignored) for a pretty long while, where I basically classified it as a form of mal-être and pulled through regardless, reinforcing certain physiological aspects in order to convince myself. This of course, did not help.
The second part was where I slowly, around February or April 2022, started publicly identifying as non-binary, which was in part due to me putting to rest my binary perception of gender, and disassociating it from my perception of sexuality (as those are two separate things - read more about that).
What broke the camel's back (so to speak), was when I got my first real whiff of trans joy ( read more about that) during the hacker camp known as May Contain Hackers (MCH2022), which I attended back in July ( related blogpost). I did not experience it for myself back then, but rather saw it in many people who I interacted with, and this led me to question myself more gradually over time.
Flash forward to my attendance of DEFCON in August ( related blogpost), where I was often mixing with the people attending the QueerCon meetups, as well as experiencing the freedom inherent to queerness.
Over the next few months I started externalizing this a bit more, and came upon the realization that some of my struggles were tied to my gender identity, which I then started to delve a bit more into.
This led me to finally realize that I may have been experiencing what is known as Gender Dysphoria ( read more about that), wherein I slowly inched from being non-binary masc to being non-binary fem, hence also transgender, as that is more in tune with how I feel about myself.
One of the more stressful aspects of being transgender and propagating one's "new" identity is coming out.
It is a gruelling process that is full of insecurities and fears, as a bad reaction can have consequences on numerous relationships and also job and housing security.
As such I first came out to my Dad and to the "family chat" (a close group of friends), as they were already on board with the non-binary side of the discussion, but were also the ones that could not have any negative effect on my current disposition. That went well, with everyone pretty much accepting it from the get-go.
I then came out to various friends and the communities I interact in (which often was little more than changing my username).
The next step was coming out to my mother, which... uhhhh... was (and still is) less than ideal.
Finally I went through the Swiss process for sorting out my various documents (including but not limited to a trip to the psychiatrist), and subsequently had my new name doxxed to my grandparents due to the efficiency of the Swiss Post (not fun).
Besides that I have changed most of my documents and am now living full-time as Maya, with my they/them pronouns (occasionally supplanted by she/her).
Social consequences and Discourse
Asking of people to change how they talk to and about you is something which needs some delicacy, but not too much.
Getting them to consistently refer to you as your new name and pronouns (as opposed to your deadname, which can be a trigger for gender dysphoria), is a bit of a hassle, as people default to how they knew you as, and may not put in the amount of effort required.
I get it, but also every time someone deadnames me, even unintentionally I do not feel very good about it.
Beside that, as it turns out, not everyone is cool with people living their lives how they damn well please.
In the industry, there are a few people that have been consistently exclusionary of trans people, blocking them on social media but also going so far as to slander them and gatekeep their access to spaces and events.
Content Warning (Start)
Outside the industry... well... let us say that there is a current cycle of discourse in politics and in the media which aims to vilify and demonize trans people, and people on various instances of social media calling for either legislating us out of existence or just straight up calling for our murder, either government sponsored or not.
Yes, it really is that bad.
To drive that point, this entire discourse has most likely been the cause of the murder of Brianna Ghey, a 16 year-old girl in the UK, among many other trans children, teenagers and adults over the years.
Content Warning (END)
So yeah, all I can ask is you be humanly decent when dealing with transgender or gender non-conforming people, whether it be me or not.
You can also be our friends, we are normal and usually friendly people after all, with interests, passions, emotions, wants and desires.
It is not terribly hard, and it does us a world of good and relief if we do not have to fear being metaphorically or literally stabbed in the back.