I’m Not Okay, But I Will Be.

This is stressful. I don’t like admitting things are wrong. But this semester has been a struggle. Things are closing down. Things are coming to an end. I have all the feelings. I feel really sad right now. My heart pounding and my breath is catching. I am scared and nervous.

I messed up this semester, but I think I have a shot of fixing it. There is so much to do and so little time. I am thankful for these past four years, but I am so glad that it is over. I have found myself, but I have created more questions that need to be answered. Now I must deal with these. I wish I could have done better. I failed, a lot, in college. This is something I didn’t do earlier in my life. I don’t like to deal with things.

I am sitting here listening to classic Fall Out Boy. I started with the first song of the first album. Let us see how far we go. I feel nostalgia, fear, anxiety, and sadness. My life has come to a halt. I have spent four years being busy and relatively feeling the littlest bit important. None of this really matters, but internally I know it does to me. I have spent the past years being used for things that I have thought mattered.

CAUTION: Long ramblings ahead. I felt like writing and it took on how I’ve been shaped by the past 8 years. These include both activities I have been a part of and my relationships.

Freshman year of high school I went to rallys, protests, and pride. This was my first pride. I went to our GSA and was the first time I openly questioned my gender. I found myself and my group. I also was in Japan Club. I also happened to be in French club and philosophy club, part of our orchestra, and in a lot of honors classes. Two languages that year sounds tougher than it was, but I had such a burning passion to study language and culture. This year I dedicated myself to a guy. I fell in love and it was so not worth it. We made plans that no one else would have thought of. In the end he was abusive and was the only one who could be right when discussing absolutely anything.  Thankfully I had the fall back of Indiana Youth Group to help me discover who I was. That was a family whom never judged me no matter what happened. I still love them to this day.

Sophomore year I dated my first bisexual. I don’t know why this seemed interesting, but it was. I am still friends with him, but this was how I realized that sometimes people who aren’t in the “standard” sexuality can be the most understanding. No, his sexuality didn’t matter, but in analyzing where past relationships had been he is the only one I am still friends with. He showed me that relationships don’t always end because the people don’t care, or because they hate each other. He had things happening in his life that he only told me years later when we were friends. We would proceed to date a second time. This was also my first major girlfriend. She was funny and smart. However, this relationship taught me that hiding is detrimental to your mental health. I created a second facebook so I could show my relationship with her, but I know I broke her heart several times. If she ever reads this, I am sorry. I did love you, I just wasn’t prepared for myself. This year I was going to IYG religiously. It helped me find myself. I was still in GSA, Japan club, and philosophy club. I dropped the second language, but I still had the burning passion to argue the reason we think we are alive. I finally felt like I had friends. I dropped the amount of smart people classes I was taking. I also met my other Ex. We will call him shithead (pronounced shi-thead). Here shithead enters and is stereotypical nice guy. Yes, one of those I am so nice, I pay for everything, what is wrong with you, I hate you. I went to prom with him, it was fine. His mom hated me because she thought I was a lesbian. He also was so scared of his own sexuality he said that if I was a trans male he would have to break up with me because he isn’t into guys. This is also the year that I went to the stress center for suicidal ideation. Boy that was fun. Exactly a week after I got out I broke up with him cuz I had feelings for another girl.

Junior year I still went on to all my clubs. I stopped going to philosophy club though because my X1 was there and he ran it with his girlfriend at the time. She had never met me and the hatred rolled in waves whenever I was around. I did join the National Forensics League (speech team) though. This was an amazing experience. I love speech so much. I took a film course in place of my English class and I haven’t enjoyed anything as much since. It was beautiful. I was in PE with a bunch of freshman and I befriended a couple of them. This is how I came to acquire Liam, the Bear. My friend gave him to me and she LOVED ONE DIRECTION. OMG. I went to prom by myself and danced with my best friend. This was also the first year, really, that I had considered my best friend my best friend. Looking back I wouldn’t change anything. It is just funny that neither one of us could have imagined this. She has since saved me so many ties. I also helped run our Gay-straight Alliance. I was made honorary co-president because the others were so busy and graduating. I was also Secretary for Japan club. This was the first year I came out to people that I was gender queer. I made it known.

Senior year of high school was amazing. My amazing friends and I celebrated my 18th birthday at school ( I brought cupcakes and someone else brought pizza).  I had an official birthday party where people actually came. I always felt so alone that this was a huge deal. I got accepted into college. I made it through the hardest of my classes at that time. I got to take a brand new creative writing class which taught me so much. I then got to help him during my study hall. I still did speech. I was also co-president of GSA and President of Japan club. I was so proud of the people I surrounded myself with.

Freshman year of COLLEGE::::::::::::

  • Hung out with shithead a lot. Like I lived with him and his roommate. This was a mistake. He dated my cousin. This was a terrible mistake. What the hell did I do? This is the current thing that fucks me up to this day. I have trauma from this relationship that I never knew I did until I got into my current relationship
  • Joined Feminists for Action. Got into therapy. Made some magical friendships. Actually talked to professors about mental health issues. It was great.

Sophomore year:::::::::::::::

  • Met the love of my life; like seriously she has helped me through so much.
  • Took over a now nonexistent group
  • Still in FA; met guerrilla girl Frida Kahlo (in homage to the famous artist)
  • Had the best school year, but not really cuz I went on academic probation (whoops)
  • Went to Colorado and cried because I knew where my home was
  • Got engaged

Junior year::::::::::::::::::

  • Summer: Saw both Fall Out Boy and Kelly Clarkson
  • Moved into my first apartment
  • Got fired for the first time
  • Joined Gamma Rho Lambda (best decision of my entire life) Thank you so much bbs for letting me into the pack. I love it so much.
  • Found out I identified as a trans male and started coming out.
  • Vice President of FA
  • Secretary of Progressive Student Alliance
  • Alumni coordinator and national delegate for GRL (winter -> fall of senior year)
  • Started doing drag
  • Went to ST. Louis, MO for Convention. Amazing

Senior year:::::::::::::

  • New Member Educator for GRL
  • Diversity Delegate for GRL
  • Lots of road trips in the middle of the night to Ohio
  • Tried Tim Hortons for the first time and it was life changing. OMG please
  • Signed a lease for an adult townhome.
  • Is adulting
  • Started thinking about changing name
  • Got to see Sabrina Carpenter
  • Cried so much that I rival the rain
  • Started writing again
  • Oh, yeah. That thing on my arm? Got my first TATTOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Graduated

I am so thankful for everything I have gotten the honor of doing. I am so lucky for all the people in my life. I am sorry this is a long rambling mess, but if you actually read this wow. Let me say: thank you. I am struggling right now and sometimes I just need to tell people irrelevant bits of my life.

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Who am I?

The question is, who do we think we are? Do we get to determine how someone else presents, identifies, etc. We are told no, but then society shouts the opposite. YES!!! Everyone is made to live their life the exact way I want them to. They must present the way and do the thing. Please do the thing because if you don’t it makes me uncomfortable. How dare you do the thing that isn’t what I told you to do?

It makes me doubt myself when I am trying to understand who the hell I am supposed to be when you tell me that this is how I look so I must be this. Why would I want to fit your societal norms when I have never felt normal? Why wouldn’t I want to celebrate who I am and being able to become who I am?

Identities change throughout our lives. Why should we stick ourselves in boxes? I enjoy labels in discussion because it allows us to try and present ourselves to others. However, society teaches us some labels are more important than others. Why is this? Do we hate ourselves this much? Are we really that desperate to make everyone the same? If there is someone you see as threatening to your identity then you need to look at yourself, not blame them.

I’m not changing who I am. I have always been me, but I am changing who the world sees.

Introducing me

This year I realized how much I was lying to myself.  I haven’t felt happy in a long time. There has been a lot that I didn’t want to admit to myself.

The first thing I should probably say is Hi! My name is Arin Alexander and my pronouns are he/him. I have always been, I just lied.

I haven’t had the dedication to write or acknowledge what has been going on. I love the people in my life I have just been so afraid of coming out. I don’t know why. I know they would be supportive and I know that most of them would love me the same, but coming out to myself has been a challenge. It hurts some days and then the other days it’s too easy to pretend. I think I will start this new writing challenge with something that seems so simple, but is in all actuality very difficult. I shall start with a letter to myself.

Dear self,

I’m sorry I act as though I’ve never liked you. It isn’t you, it’s me, we. I think our problem started when we tried to trick everyone else. We went too far the opposite of what we were trying to accomplish that we forgot along the way how we act. We praise and promote equality and make it so that everyone has access to the same content, but we are so hard on ourselves. You are so mean to yourself that you hurt rather than face facts. I want to be happy, but you won’t let us. Instead we are constantly fumbling making excuses, trying to explain away all this feeling of guilt and shame. Why should we be shameful? I am throwing caution to the wind. I am saying that I am trans. I am the person that I always knew I was. We would tell others that we would trade anything to be a boy (1st grade), exclaim how deep our voice was and how much it made us sound like a boy (2nd grade), how I would always be the prince in all our scenarios (all the grades), and of course I had that awkward phase where everything had to be pink, I had to wear dresses, etc. I did all the things. I never felt comfortable and I never questioned why.

You can be you. We will fight through all the obstacles. We can make sure that we fight hard. This will be hard, but it will be worth it in the end. I can’t wait to see all the things you do. You deserve this.

Be happy, your past self,

Arin ❤

 

Running into the next year.

As the time dwindles down my understanding of the minuscule amount I have written on my blog bogs me into the swamps. I am not here to tell you that with the new year I am going to somehow change who I am or what I do, but instead I am going to make promises to myself. I am going to work on things that I never could have imagined. My plans I have come up with for myself are to better myself not just to ensure I can keep my heart moving in the rhythm I was assigned at birth. No, next year I am going to work on being me and appreciating whatever it I am able to accomplish.

I am counting down the hours, minutes, seconds with the person who means the most to me. I am not worried about what the new year will bring. To be honest I have just fought through the most difficult time in my life. This has been the hardest and most rewarding semester in college because I found a new group to fall in love with, I have made more memories with people who have pushed me through the storm, and I have cried. A LOT. Now, please get on my level when I say this has been the hardest semester ever I mean because it is probably the first semester I have actually tried since coming to college. I have never been prouder because I fought and made myself care. I am disappointed that things didn’t go as well as I originally wanted them to I forget that I started this year (2015) on academic probation and am ending with multiple As on my transcript.

Best of all this year I have learned to believe in myself.I have learned to if not love myself at least appreciate myself. I believe I can do things and this is the first time I have believed that in a really long time. I know that just because I believe it doesn’t mean it will be easy, in fact it will be hard as shit because I will actually hold myself accountable, but with this book closing in a 21 book series I realize that with every new chapter the story gets better. There is so much I need to work on, but I have a partner who is staying by my side and not leaving. I have made it through 100% of my worst days and I believe you can too. I am so proud of the people I have befriended and surrounded myself with. My heart has grown exponentially by being surrounded by people who really care.

Thanks you. Here is to a year of saying less I’m sorry’s and replacing it with more thank you’s. Thank you so much for being my friend. Thank you for not making me feel like the worst person in the world. Thank you for being you and not letting the world put out your flame because you shine too bright for those choosing to live in the dark. There are some people who I am leaving in 2015- they take up too much space that I needed to remove them so that i can move into my space. There are some people who shone too much for the world so they had to join the energy of the galaxy away from this earth. I miss them, I miss so many people, but I hope they understand no matter where I am I love them with everything inside of me. Thank you, wherever you are, by reading this you have in some way shaped me as a person. Thank you for being strong- you may not know it, but I see it in your eyes. When you fall on your knees, the air refusing to allow the exchange between lungs and environment, eyes welling like a burnt out candle- you are strong. goddammit you are the strongest and the best you I have ever seen. You are a beautiful creature and we are so lucky to know you. Thank you for being a reason for me to live.

I have stopped living in the past and started working towards the present and my future. As I say this I have to think of the wonderful things I have gone through this year.

January- I trudged through and half cared about school. I felt deflated. I also went to New Orleans.

February- I spent much needed time with Alyssa and other friends. I kind of just went through this month without much care.

March- I began to plan for the future. I started thinking about living in an apartment. I was also making plans for bigger things in my relationship.

April- Big things happened. I proposed, watched Vagina Monologues, Slut Walk #2, found out where I would be living, started new medication for my depression. I got my first A on a test since I came to college. I went to my first drag show in college and also participated in GRL’s Pie a President.

May- Went to Colorado. This was the first time I had considered living somewhere besides Washington. It was beautiful and I fell in love with it. I also passed all my classes.

June- This wasn’t the best month, but it was something. There were so many changes, but I am glad they happened.  I got to celebrate the mile marker of Marriage Equality. Was on the front of our local newspaper.

July- I said goodbye to a friend who was toxic for me. I also got fired from my job, but that was something I didn’t know I needed until I took time to think about it. I also made Dean’s List for the second time in College. I also saw Fall Out Boy, Kelly Clarkson, Pentatonix, and Rolling Stones.

August- I felt more confident in myself. I moved into my apartment officially. I set up bills and made sure everything was in proper order to live. I was dragged to recruitment events for Gamma Rho Lambda. I cried. Turned 21 and went to Build-a-Bear.

September- Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. Late nights to prepare for all the things I had to do. Also the start of Progressive Student Alliance, a new club at BSU to help students become more politically aware. Then the Slut Walk. Volunteered for YWCA.

October- Rocky, rocky and lots more Rocky!!!!!! (I love my Rocky Horror family). Spent a lot of time with my sorority. Learned a lot about myself. Also presented with a chance to go to Spain in the summer. Also, celebrated a year with my lovely partner. The littlest member of our family was born. He is precious (and spoiled). Also, performed in my very first Drag Show. I was very lucky to do this and so blessed that people loved it.

November- Studied, planned for the future. I got secretary for the second time for Rocky Horror and also PSA was made official.  I laughed and cried, also I had heart to hearts with a lot of people. I also officially joined Gamma Rho Lambed. This was also the first time I set up a google hangout which became a success.

December- Passed all my classes. I was voted into officer positions for GRL. I stopped having panic attacks daily. I bought myself coloring books. Did secret Santa for Muncie Outreach and also within our sorority.

I am leaving out so much, but these are some of the biggest things that I can look back and appreciate. I know this year was difficult, but that makes it so much better. I already know that whatever 2016 brings me I will be able to deal with it. This was the first year I worked towards not only my mental health, but gender wise with other people. I am more open about myself with other people than I have and I am lucky to have people patient with me as I explore who I am.

See you all next year. ❤

 

 

National coming Out Day

This is it.

I cannot believe I am making this. I admit, I was inspired, but it has been bothering me. I have thought about where to put this and someone else posted so I guess… I hope they don’t get mad at me. If you are reading this, and I hope you are, and you know who you are please don’t hate me. You inspired me.

Anyway, I had to post this. Everyone sees me and I am confident: I am confident in who I am and what I claim to be, but what they do not know is that it is hard. I do not fully understand who I am or what I am doing with this, but I am me.

More and more I have started identifying as queer. This is not me erasing who I am or trying to make other people feel better or even me worrying what the hell other people feel. No, I do it because it saves time. I do it because it is easier for me and therefore less stressful.

Last week in class I was speaking up about something and I claimed queer because half of the class would have been spent in me explaining everything, but then later my professor (a cisgender, white male) told me that for him the word queer was in an equivalent to the N word. I found this 1. a terrible equivalency, and 2. almost personally attacked. That took a huge amount of courage to say that in my class- I had never in that class- and also was the single person who claimed I was in that class. Therefore him saying this almost felt like erasure.

For those of you who know me, or maybe want to know I identify as pansexual and genderqueer. I am more like a panromantic and demisexual, but to say all of this in that short of a span would be too terribly long. I fight with my pronouns because I am not into labels and nothing ever feels right on me. I also have this issue where people use my full name and not only do they not say it right, after being corrected a million and one times, but they also use my full name to introduce me to everyone in their circle. That is a lot of people who know my birth name. My friends who truly know me know my shortened name and respect it. They call me by it and if they hear someone else use it incorrectly they will do what they can to correct others. I have never had this issue before, but lately it has been bothering me. I did not understand what was wrong or why I felt like I couldn’t breathe, but finally I understand I feel as though I am being pushed down and told no.

As many people as there are in the world I still have the feeling I am alone. So many people don’t understand as much as they would like. Today I heard how truly difficult it is to explain a feeling or way of life you have never experienced.

Some people will never know what it is like being told you don’t exist. I act as though this doesn’t bother me and most of the time it doesn’t, but it is in times when I am going out of my way to try and explain something or connect something that it really bugs me that they just don’t.

Also, for those of you not in the community in any way you have no right to tell us what we are allowed to be offended by. You must acknowledge your privilege which I have seen mocked many a time today. Coming out is something that is so hard for us and if you do it in a mocking manner you are telling us that we don’t get a right to celebrate the difficulty that we go through to be able to show who we are to others. when you tell us that we are taking things too seriously and you don’t know what it is like to have to beg yourself to stay alive because maybe someday everything will be alright, that maybe someday you can change so that someone will like you for who you. If you have never had to figure out who the fuck you are or who you like and then had to deal with others telling you you are stupid and that you are wrong for who you are then you need to step down. If you claim ally, but cannot stand for those you stand by to celebrate and demonstrate that they know who they are, in much the same way you were born knowing, then you cannot claim ally. That is a falsehood that needs to be stopped.

Not only for us, but any group. Do not claim to know what “should” make a group upset or angry and then mock and push them off saying they get offended too easily. Do not every tell someone that they use the —-card too often, because they may feel like they have to because they have only ever been attacked for that label. Never underestimate how lucky you are never to have to go through that.

Now if you are in the group of LGBTQIAA* people then always feel free to celebrate. Never be afraid of who you are. Also, never feel you have to be out, always make sure you only do things when you are comfortable/ safe to do so. If you ever need anyone feel free to talk to me. I am always here.

Much love to all,

A.