Names.

So Maryana Noel Reese is not the name that I was given when I was born.  It was a name that I had to discover on my own.  It really helped to find that name.  I love Noely.  I love being called Noely.  I really, really feel like Noely sometimes.  The name thing was really strange in a way that is hard for someone who hasn’t gone through it to understand.  The first two names?  No problem.  Easy as pie.  The nickname?  Simple.  Found it.  Saw it.  Loved it.  Completely identified with it from the start.  The last name.  That was the hard one.  Reese is not my families last name.  I decided not to use my family’s last name because well, that last name denotes history.  Their history.  My history?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  I am kind of waiting until I tell them about my second life and seeing how they feel about it before I put their last name with my others.  Maybe they won’t accept me.  Maybe they won’t want me to be their kid anymore.  I hope not, but it is possible.  So if that happens I will have my own name.  But that was a really hard thing to comes to terms with.  In my mind I see it as me asking permission to use that name.  In a way what I will be asking is: is it okay for this part of me to become part of your history?  That’s a strange bit that a lot of folks don’t have to think about. 

Well, I hope you are smiling out there, across the electric sky. 

Love always,

Noely

 

Oh, yeah.

I’m at home and my dad keeps flitting around behind me and I have to keep switching to another page that isn’t about queer stuff.  I just want to be like: “Hey, I’m doing queer stuff right now!”  Of course if I could say that then it wouldn’t be a problem at all.  So that’s a weird conundrum. 

I decided how I am going to tell my folks….

Next big holiday that comes up that involves cards and presents I think I will just write: “From your loving daughter”  That will probably raise some eyebrows. 

Just kidding. 

I don’t know how to tell them, but I think I will know when the time is right. 

I just hope I have the courage when the time comes. 

What do you think? 

Love always,

Noely

 

Yay!

So in my whole journey I have started reconnecting with stuff from my past that I liked before I just started repressing who I really am.  I feel this is somehow important and helpful to me in my current journey.  Recently I found my Teddy Bear from when I was growing up.  I love that bear.  And it’s great because I have filled that bear up with so much of my love.  That is why hugging a stuffed animal is better than hugging a person, you know, because they are only filled up with the emotions that you put inside.  Humans come with their own emotions. 

So I had my bear.  His name is Radar. 

But I couldn’t find his best friend.  And everybody should have a best friend.  I went a couple of years without having one.  And that was a long, lonely, sad time.  Now I have two best friends!  But I couldn’t find Radar’s best friend.  His best friend was a lion that I called Tail-Less because it didn’t have a tail.  I do not know why it didn’t have a tail.  Maybe it just never had one.  Or maybe it got pulled off at some point.  At any rate that was always his name.  Or maybe her name.  She always had kind of a feminine energy.  I’m not sure. 

Well, anyway, today I found Tail-Less!  And I’m pretty happy about that.  I have my two favorite stuffed animals back!  That’s pretty cool right? 

I hope you think its cool. 

Love always,

Noely

People really do say stupid things.

You ever listen to somebody using the wrong pronouns continually?  I’m sure for people without gender identity issues (some people call them CIS (Comfortable In Skin) people, but I don’t like that term really, I prefer GIGAS (Gender Identity Gender Aligned [with] Sex) don’t really think much about pronouns.  I’ve started thinking very carefully about language since I began my journey.  Language is a tough nut to crack.  And simple pronouns can be harmful to people.  I used to call all the customers I helped guys.  Like I’d say: “How are you guys doing?”  That sort of thing, even if I was talking to a couple of women.  And in doing research and reading and just thinking about it, this is wrong.  It just perpetuates the idea of male superiority. 

The idea of male superiority really makes what I am trying to do quite hard as far as society views things.  Currently we are living in a society that is male centric and patriarchal.  Somewhere in our long history somebody made a line and they said that all the people on this side are men.  All the people on the other side are women.  And this idea came forth that since there were two genders (if you believe that sort of thing) then one had to be “good” or “better” than the other.  I don’t know why people think this way, but believe me mister, they do.  (that was a reference to a Sublime song by the way).  In our society it is deemed that males are the “superior” sex.  So therefore they are also the “better” gender.  This is why it is generally acceptable for girls to wear boy clothes, but why it is not acceptable for a boy to wear girl clothes. 

If a girl wears boy clothes or expresses dominance or expresses physical prowess or any other aspect that is associated with masculinity then society deems it a positive thing because girl is becoming more masculine which is a step up, because men are better.  However if a boy wants to wear girl clothes or express submissiveness or act like a lady, then it is viewed as a step down.  A lot of people (usually men) cannot understand why a person who was born a man want to be a woman.  For me it is not an issue of what I want, but what feels comfortable.  What feels right.  There is always a sense of anxiety when I am getting ready to go somewhere because I have to think of my clothes very carefully.  Usually I have to choose between what I want to wear and what is appropriate to wear.  Right now appropriate usually wins out. 

Someone said this yesterday: “I was complaining about my sunburn and my boys said I needed to turn in my man card.”  I was enjoying the story up until this point and nobody happened to notice that I got quiet at this point.  But it’s such fucking bullshit.  What does that even mean?!  Seriously, somebody explain that.  It was so offensive.  And it made me feel like such an outsider.  I wonder what would’ve happened if I would have just gone and written Man on an index card and went and given it to him.  And I just would’ve been like: “Here’s my man card.  I don’t really want it.  So am I a girl now?”  But that’s not how it works is it?  And they wouldn’t even be able to accept why I wanted to turn my man card in.  To them it would be unfathomable.  I just don’t get it.  Words can hurt.  I’ve tried to modify my language and how I think about things.  Because really when you think about it all this shit hurts both sexes and all genders.  We tell our little girls that being a girl is wrong.  We tell them to put on their “big girl” panties.  We tell them to man up.  We tell our little boys to man up.  When we should be telling them to be who they really are. 

That’s the world I want to live in. 

Love always,

Noely

      

Stupid shit people say.

People say a lot of dumb shit.  And some of it is hurtful.  And they don’t even know they are being hurtful, because it is so ingrained in them that the way that they live their life is normal.  But there is no normal.  Because we are not all the same.  We are all individuals.  We each have out own unique skills and we each have our quirks and our proclivities too.  These are not things that should fill us with shame, but rather these things should fill us with pride.  These aren’t the things that make us ugly, but rather the things that make us beautiful.  Like why is it okay for somebody to question your sexuality just because you are looking at cutesy things on the internet?  Does this really have anything to do with my sexuality or my sexual identity?  Does it really even have anything to do with my gender or how I identify my gender?  And even if there is some connection what business is it of yours?  Why do you feel that you should make me feel bad about it?  Is it just because I’m not what you consider “normal” to be?  Is it because I am not like you?  Are you frightened that I have figured out something that you might like?  If only you weren’t afraid to try? 

 
I lived for a good long part of my life repressing my true self and hating any part of me that didn’t fall into what society believes is normal.  I wouldn’t even allow myself to feel emotions, other than ones that I deemed to be masculine emotions such as hatred and anger.  I would allow myself to feel love but only in a romantic sense toward women or towards family or really close friends, but even my love I did not project outwardly.  I kept it inside.  Along with my hatred and my rage.  And I hated myself.  And I tried many, many times and many, many ways to destroy myself.  I was raging against myself.  I was raging on the inside.  But I would showcase my anger and my rage, because these were seemingly manly qualities.  I drifted through life in a constant state of depression for twenty years.  Sometimes the depression would become so intense that I would contemplate killing myself just to end it all.  Just to not have to feel anymore.  Just to not have to be angry anymore.  Just to be free of hate.  I just wanted to be free and I felt that my body was the prison.  But it wasn’t.  My mind was the prison.  I just needed to open up myself and accept myself.  Then I was free.  I am still trying to learn how to be free, completely, but I am getting there.  I accept myself and I am reaching out to people.  I am yearning for acceptance and understanding, from others, but I also know that I have it from myself. 

So the best I can say is that this life is a struggle.  I am glad that I didn’t give in.  I am glad I have persevered.  I wish I would’ve accepted myself long ago, because it would have saved me a lot of pain and heartache.  The best I can tell you is that it does get better.  Even if no one else understands you, I do.  And you are a special, unique, beautiful person, no matter what anyone tells you.  So be yourself.  Because your the only one that can be you.  And you aren’t you, then the world is deprived of something wondrous and pretty.  And we need more pretty things. 

IT DOES GET BETTER!  

And I don’t want to live in a world without you! 

I hope you feel the same. 

Love always,
Noely

Super!

I have always really enjoyed superheroes ever since I was a kid.  There was always something about superheroes that always really appealed to me.  As I got older and I started cross dressing, I guess somewhere deep inside I always thought it was cool that they could be totally ordinary people and then all of sudden they could change into these really flamboyant, colorful costumes and nobody laughed or made fun of them, but they actually cheered when they came around.  And for the heroes themselves, well, they got to be their real selves.  I have only felt like that a few times in my life, like I was really, my real self.  And that is an amazing feeling.  It is just simply a beautiful feeling.  It is one that I am trying to get the courage to feel more often, but it can be scary in the world when you feel so small and weak and helpless sometimes.  But I know that brave people do things even when they are scared.  They do it despite the fear because that is what’s right.  And I want to be like that. 

I think this was one of the reasons that I always really liked the X-men, because they were always fighting for humanity even though humanity hated them just for being the way they were.  Humanity hated them not because they chose to be superheroes, but because of the very fact that they were born mutants.  I think a lot of people can relate to this.  When Stan Lee first created the X-men he wanted to mirror aspects of the Civil Rights movement.  Charles Xavier is set up as a Martin Luther King Jr. figure, even their dreams our similar.  While Magneto was very much a reference to Malcolm X with his “by any means necessary” view of gaining rights for African Americans.  I think this is part of what makes the X-men so perfect.  They can be something that anybody can relate to.  They can be a stand in for homosexuals, queers, people of any given race, the disenfranchised, the marginalized.  The X-men are really universal as far as superheroes go. 

I mean, Superman came from a distant planet, Spider-man was bitten by a radioactive spider, and Batman… well you gotta have a certain criteria to become Batman, but a mutant, just by some genetic quark you could be born a mutant.  And there is some savage bent appeal to the fact that in a physical sense you are more powerful than your oppressors, but there is also a sadness that even with all your power you are still hated and feared by the majority of the population.  I think a lot of us can understand what that feels like. 

I really wish, that I could be me all the time.  I really wish I didn’t ever have to hide.  I wish that I didn’t have to be scared.  But I am hopeful for the future.  I don’t believe the world can change, but I believe that people can change.  And the best weapon their is to combat ignorance is wisdom.  Maybe if we can teach people why we are the way we are, then they won’t need to be afraid of it.  They won’t need to hate us.  I want to be brave.  I want other people to be brave too.  It takes a brave  person to let go of their hate.  It takes a brave person to embrace what they don’t understand.  Can’t we all just agree to stop being afraid and start being brave?  Wouldn’t the world be so much better?  Wouldn’t it be so much more interesting? 

I am holding out for that world. 

I hope you are too. 

Love always,
Noely

Hey

Sorry I haven’t been around much this week.  This week has been crazy.  I’m still trying to figure out how to manage everything properly.  I hope you have been doing well. 

Love always

Noely

Sunsets.

I got to the lake last night just in time to stare out into the distance where the setting sun let loose a furiously beautiful cascade of reds, oranges and every synthesis of those majestic colors.  It was only about a minute, but I watched the sun sink behind purple hues of violet mountside.  It was a beautiful moment.  Where I felt not afraid.  I felt accepted.  I felt at peace. 

I hope you to are experiencing moments of such beauty, because sometimes we need nature to show us the beauty that dwells within us. 

Love,

Noely

 

Hometown II

I don’t know what happened to the original Hometown post.  It was supposed to be about twice as long as that.  Maybe there is a word count limit?  I don’t know.  It’s possible I messed something up.  I am super new here!  If anybody has any helpful advice I’d love to hear it.  I’m just kind of flying all outta control here.   

I will try and remember what the rest of the post was about. 

I feel the people here are very oppressive.  There is a lot of pressure to be like everyone else here.  There is a lot of pressure to be Christian.  There is a lot of pressure to be “normal”.  What ever normal is.  I don’t think any of us are really “normal”.  Well, I take that back.  I think we are all “normal” or we are all fucked up.  Either way everything is okay as long as you aren’t hurting somebody else. 

I don’t feel comfortable enough in my life yet to go about dressed in a way that suits my gender identity, but I feel that if I were to do it in the city it would be safer than down here.  Even though I live in a pretty rough part of the city I still think people there care less about what other people are doing than they do down here.  Here there is a lot of judgment that has violent undertones to it.  There is a certain feeling of : you will be like me, or you will not be.  That’s kind of scary. 

Me and my dad drove around town for a bit and he showed me everything that’s changed.  Whenever this happens I always hear a snippet of a Beatles song in my head: “I took a walk down by the old school… nothing has changed!  It’s still the same,” and that’s how I feel coming here.  It always seems like nothing has changed even though it is completely different here now.  But the people are still the same.  It’s just the buildings that have changed.  Well, I guess I’ve changed too.  But there is still the pervasive feeling that my lifestyle would seem wrong here.  That’s why its taken me so long to be true to myself, because I always so scared of what people here would think or do. 

I guess it is like that old saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  I’m not sure exactly what that means.  It seems seductive in its simplicity, but it is really a complex concept.  I’m not sure I understand it, but I believe in it. 

The simplest words and concepts can give you the most trouble.  Freedom, happiness, masculine, feminine, male, female, gender, gender identity, and even home.  I used to think this was home.  I used to think home was a place.  It was a physical thing that I could return to.  I don’t feel that way anymore.  I knew home once, but not anymore.  I only get moments of home.  These will be times when I am with people I really love.  When we are connecting or laughing or loving or simply being.  That is home to me now.  I have to enjoy these moments when they come because moments are fleeting.  Every moment we are always different.  This is a great and wonderful thing because at any moment the future can be brighter.  At any moment we can be better. 

At least that’s what I want to believe. 

I hope you do too. 

Love, 

Noely

     

 

Hometown

So I came back to visit my hometown because it is Father’s Day this weekend.  My hometown is this really small town and I haven’t really felt exactly comfortable here for quite a few years.  There are some aspects of coming home that I really like.  I like getting to see old friends.  I like to hang out with the family.  I like to breath the clean air.  I like to see the stars.  I like to visit the trees that I have known in our shared lifetimes upon this lush green land. 

There is always a sense of longing when I come home.  I lost somebody very special and close to my heart here several years ago.  Coming here always stirs up some of those same emotions.  I can recall a million places and things I did with this person, but while some of them are happy moments and great memories, they always fill me with a deep longing.  I wish they were here with me still, I wish they were here with me now. 

The other part of coming back home that fills me with anxiety is my whole recent revelation that I am a genderqueer person and that I am a trans person.  I am still trying to figure out all the ins and outs of that.  I am still trying to understand what I need to do to be happy with these aspects of myself.  That is hard on its own.  I’ve got people that support me and that appreciate the changes I am going through, but I am not quite ready to tell my parents yet.  I am worried about what they will think or what they will say.  Ideally I would like them to welcome me with open arms and I think that perhaps they will.  But, I am sure there will be the awkward moment where they say the wrong thing and my feelings get a little hurt or I have to try and explain myself to them.  I am trying to prepare myself for moments like that.  I think it will happen, but I need to figure out where I am at as much as possible for I tell them what is going on.  That is a rough one, because sometimes it feels like just by not telling them exactly what is going on that I am lying to them or that I am hiding something.  I’m not lying to them, but I am hiding something.  So there is some guilt there, perhaps rightfully so.   

I grew up in a small town, but currently I live in a big city.  Coming back home always has its anxieties. 

I live alone.  So for me being around other people constantly is always stressful.  It’s usually enjoyable as long as it is only for a few days, but then I always have to go back home and learn how to be alone again without feeling lonely.  There is a trick to that, that I haven’t quite mastered yet.  It usually takes me a while to get back in the swing of things when I get home.  There is also, not a lot to do down here.  I am basically just kickin’ it around the house.  In the city there is always something going on.  Also nighttime out here is a strange and terrible phenomenon.  I don’t sleep well out here.  It gets entirely too dark at night.  And there is virtually no noise.  I have been living in the city for far too long.  If I don’t hear gunshots and sirens in the distance, I just don’t feel safe.  Yeah, I know: irony!