Black is Always the New Black

Butterfly WomanHey all, sorry I missed last week’s post. Orange is the New Black season 3 came out on Friday, and I’ve spent the last week marathoning through it as best I can to write about it today. There will be spoilers, obviously, so if you haven’t finished it, go do that and then come back. However, before I get to season 3, I wanted to address Orange is the New Black isn’t accurate little article that came through my feed earlier this week. For those who haven’t read it, it’s basically a list of four ways in which OitNB misrepresents women’s prisons in this country. Well, some of these criticisms are accurate, but some are based on information we simply don’t know. So let’s address those before addressing stuff from the new season. Continue reading

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Special Tuesday Edition!

Angry Gamer GirlOk, so I missed last week, and I didn’t go into too much depth the week before because of the issues I was facing, so this week, I’ll be doing two posts, one today, the other on my normal Friday slot. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m also using this blog as my journal for my activism class this semester, so I’ve been trying to stick more to my topic of legal issues trans people face than going off on some of my other, more colorful (and fun) discussions about gaming and the like. However, I think I can tie in some examples of gaming to my topic for today. Buckle yourselves in, because it is NOT going to be a happy one today. Lots of difficult stuff to discuss. Also, spoilers for any games I bring up today. You have been warned. Continue reading

Taking a Breather

Butterfly WomanJust in the last week, we’ve had two more trans women murdered here in the States. Last Friday night, Bri Golec was stabbed to death by her father, who left her body out on the porch and made a false 911 call saying that they were attacked by members of a cult that his “son” supposedly belonged to. And just a couple days ago, Christina Grant Infiniti in Miami was murdered by her boyfriend. This one has barely been acknowledged, even by media sources that would normally cover these murders, such as the Advocate. Couple this with the fact that on Wednesday, I had a hostile (but thankfully not violent) encounter in the ladies room on campus, and I need a few days for myself. I’ve even skipped my LGBT studies and activism classes for this week because of this, and my professors were told why before either class. As such, I’m not going to really write much today. Instead, I leave you with a couple of essays I wrote about a year or so ago for a human sexuality class, discussing the media influences that existed while I was growing up, and what I would like to see changed. Think of these in light of the recent murders that sometimes, more knowledge of a topic, or more visibility, is not always a good thing. I risk my life every day just by being open and honest. As Laverne Cox said during her speech, there isn’t a moment when I leave my home that I don’t wonder if I’ll be coming home at the end of the day alive.

I’ll be back next week. Stay safe out there. Continue reading

A Sad Day

Candlelight VigilDear readers, today I am quite sad. Normally, this would be a good thing, as I struggle with emotions in general thanks to the abuse I dealt with growing up. However, today it’s not a good thing, because of the cause of this sadness. We’ve had far too many murders of trans women of color already this year. Now, I say this every year at TDoR that one murder is too many, but we’ve already had five (some would say six) in the first five weeks of the year. And that’s just trans women of color, it doesn’t include trans men or white trans women. That’s also just here in the States, not including all murders internationally. Even worse, as we’re in the height of movements such as Black Lives Matter, these murders have largely gone unreported, glossed over by major media in favor of more sensational news. Sadly, this shows that even those who support the Black Lives Matter movement don’t always care about ALL black lives. So who are/were these five/six people that the major media outlets have largely ignored? Continue reading

Back to Writing, and a Reader Question

Miss AmericaIt’s been nearly a year since I last wrote here. It’s been a BUSY year. I had two jobs for a time, took a nasty fall off a ladder and got a concussion, adopted three cats, had two busy semesters of school, got into a major car accident, and moved to Georgia to avoid homelessness in Texas. I actually just arrived down here yesterday and am still getting settled in. I’ve also been working on putting a podcast together where I discuss all kinds of topics about sexuality, gender, and kink. It has its own blog, which will include stories as well as scripts for the episodes, and can be found over here.

However, the reason I’m back so soon after moving, and posting on a Sunday no less, is that I got a reader question. Cyrsti writes:

Hi Caitlin, just caught up with your blog and linked it to mine. I too am a trans vet and under VA care. Have you seen the survey the VA is sending around? Thanks Cyrsti 🙂

I have not seen this survey, but it wouldn’t surprise me that one is going around. I’ve seen a number of such surveys in the past, and in fact helped Laura Kiewicz try and improve transgender health care at the Dallas VA a while back via a meeting with many heads of the various hospital departments. I didn’t think it went that well at the time, but apparently, Laura got some kind of department going there, or at least a team to work on it. Is it the VA as a whole, or just your local one? Having just moved, I’m about halfway between two of them (one in Atlanta and one in Marietta), so I have to decide which to go with and so on. That’s on my list along with finding a job, transferring schools, and more. So hopefully, when I do get settled, I can get some decent care.

Speaking of, another thing that’s been happening over the past couple months is an effective hold on my physical transition, courtesy of the VA. This is because it turns out that there is a rare genetic disorder that runs in my family which leads to increased risk of early onset breast cancer. Until there is confirmation that I did not inherit this disorder, I’ve been taken off of estrogen and progesterone, lest they increase the risk. That was about 7-8 weeks ago, and though I’ve since had the blood work drawn for the test (about a month ago), the lab has still not even begun to test the blood due to a conflict of not having received payment confirmation from the VA. Needless to say, the VA is aware that I’m not too happy with them or their level of care. So, no survey for me.

Military Service and Trying to Be a Man

A reader asks, “why did you go into the military? Did you want to make a man of yourself? If so, why?”

This is a two part question (three parts really), so I’ll address all three in turn.  First, the reason I joined the military is nothing so interesting, nor so noble as to fight for the American Dream.  That’s not to say that I’m not patriotic, I’m just not the female Captain America.  When I was in basic training, one of our first nights when they got all of the new flights together for orientation, they ended it with a video of various military weapons systems (helicopters, missile sites, tanks, destroyers, etc) doing a show of force (i.e. firing off all their weapons, chaff, etc at one time) with the song “God Bless the U.S.A.”playing, and I cried patriotic tears watching that.  I got made fun of by all the guys in my flight for a week because of those tears, but I was still proud of them.  That said, no, I’m not so patriotic that I joined for that reason, nor was it an attempt to be a man.  I was out and taking part in activism back in high school, starting with my junior year.

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Who I Am, Why I’m Here, and What This is All About

For those who don’t know me, I’m a 28 year old trans woman by the name of Caitlin. I served 7 years on active duty in the military, and am still serving in the reserves for a couple more months. I begin classes again in the fall with a major in psychology, with a likely minor in gender (women’s) studies once we get things situated there. I am a walking enigma, capable of incredible snark and incredible seriousness, and sometimes difficult to discern which I am being. But that’s human nature, isn’t it.

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