Why Are You Still Here?

According to Wordpress.com, I registered this subdomain NINE years ago. This kind of blows my mind. Nine years ago, I was a Sophomore college student majoring in Interactive Multimedia (Professional Writing / Digital Media) at the very beginning of my questioning days and just discovering the world of blogging. Before that, I was a LiveJournal user regurgitating garbage like everyone else. This blog has evolved many times over and people have come and gone. I wanted to take a moment to revisit MMem’s history and say thank you to those who, for some reason, keep coming back.

Meganekko Memoirs first began on Blogspot.com and I remember those early days well of clawing through shitty CSS code. WordPress was up-and-coming & due to the potential of wider visibility and cleaner presentation, I exported all of my entries to this subdomain “meganelove” that, at the time, fed directly into my anime obsession and fetish for kawaii girls with glasses. It wasn’t all weeaboo-driven though; I figured cute anime girls would be a good way to hook people into reading it. I was mostly wrong about that. Funny enough, it didn’t matter anyway.

As my entries became increasingly more explicit – believe me, it’s really dirty in the pre-2010 archives – I fell into a cycle of making specific entries private for my two friends to read, to making the whole blog private, to opening it up again. After many years, graduating, and being a working adult, I had no way of knowing who was or wasn’t reading and, after many years, still hadn’t established any solid goals for the blog itself. So rather than stressing myself out between trying to care and not caring at all about readership or content focus, I stopped caring completely and, after a while, stopped updating indefinitely.

My life started to drastically change in 2013 and little by little I returned, writing here again about gender dysphoria, sexuality, transgender questioning and the like – what all of my past entries had vaguely eluded to. After beginning my transition and gaining ground in my gender identity, I finally found a purpose for MMem to dedicate myself to sharing my story publicly through this blog. My pre-2010 archives are extremely private and revealing, but just as necessary in giving a referential backdrop to the internal machinations of a low-middle class, black, transgender female in America. My fully realized goal would be for researchers to find valuable, telling proof within this blog to further the validation and societal acceptance of transgender people. Maybe even write about me, if I don’t formally publish my own memoir first.

“If you don’t know now you know.” – Notorious BIG

So, to YOU, the Reader, who has been reading for years, decided to start reading recently, or left and then decided to read again once I started writing again…I humbly ask you: Why are you still here? 

Whatever the reason is, I want to sincerely thank you for being a part of what I’m now trying to build. Honestly, I still feel like I’m writing to no one in cyberspace, but I do know there are some of you out there stalking me under the radar. Occasionally validating me with a Like or, bless your heart, a COMMENT!…In all seriousness though, thank you. I need you. And I want to know you’re out there. I’d love to try ideas, make suggestions, and just be a lot more inclusive in what I offer up here. So, let’s give it a try…

I’m considering investing in an official domain name for this blog & moving forward with attempting to reach and educate as many people as I can about what it means to be black and transgender. However, there’s no point in taking any action if I don’t already have a reader base I can count on to join me on the adventure.

This is where you come in; minimal effort needed on your part.

If you’re still here and like what I do, please let me know you’re out there with a LIKE or COMMENT. By doing so, you’re letting me know you exist and that what I’m aiming to do isn’t falling on deaf ears. I don’t expect much, but I’m thankful either way to anyone who has read even one of my entries.

Advertisements

More than just a pretty face

Yesterday, on my break, I overheard an older man flirting with what I perceived to be a fairly pretty woman. If this was just  any man, I wouldn’t be writing about this. Given his voice and choice of words, I quickly realized that he was the same man who had flirted with me just under a month ago in the same establishment just as I was about to leave.

He began his flirtations just as I was receiving my food on her opposite side. I’m not going to go into detail about what he said and did, but he used the same level of persistent charisma as well as his “I work here” line before ordering her a slice and drink. All the while not noticing that the not-so-put-together woman next to her – almost incognito in a way as I was wearing glasses, no noticeable makeup & had my hair up – was the same very put-together woman he tried to give his number to.

Not all cis males are like this and being a transgender woman makes this really easy to accept. However, being a transgender female is exactly the reason why it’s important for me to remain vigilant and aware of my self-worth and intuition. This does not apply to just me, but to other humans like me. Cisgender or not.

With regard to my personal narrative, transitioning later in life as I have seems to come with a lot of baggage. For example, lack of self-love, body dysphoria, low confidence levels on most fronts, self-doubt, etc. We typically want to be “seen” as a form of validity in our fear-mongering society. The best way to achieve that? Grabbing the attention of a person within our sexuality’s alignment. Even if that person isn’t someone we particularly are attracted to, we’re so hungry for that attention and validation that we typically wind up settling for just about anyone who will accept us at the risk of being outed, deemed “damaged goods”, or, in the very worst case, assaulted.

That lack of awareness and self-worth is what “chasers” look for. They settle and never grow in their strength, relying on the honeyed flirtations of the cis population to make them feel like they’re worth something. This is the most dangerous path for anyone, not just transgender people, to end up on.

As the fight for human rights and transgender/queer equality continues to rage on, I wish to remind my transgender siblings to seek not the approval of everyone. That is an exercise in futility. Rather, become the best version of “you” possible through building your own foundation of self-worth, self-love, and self-confidence. The pattern is obvious; selfishness for the sake of your own survival is necessary. When others refuse to hear you or see you, do not allow their actions or words to have power over you. Take control of how you believe others should acknowledge you by consciously making daily decisions to value yourself – how you look, who you are, and what boundaries won’t be overstepped.

The “younger” me, fresh into my transition three years ago, may have fallen into the emotional trap of allowing myself be so easily affirmed by that man to the point of having my self-worth of him “seeing” me as a woman to be stripped away. Thankfully, the only affirmation I received was knowing my intuition to use the “my significant other wouldn’t approve” line when he offered me his number was right on the mark. And the only thing I gained from him was being momentarily irked he didn’t offer to pay for my food like he did with his new flavor of the week.

A small window of opportunity

pixiv-neo-masterpeacer
pixiv @ hamakaze

Being transgender in a world surrounded by others who may or may not be the same position as I has gradually become a non-issue for me. In other words, I now find myself forgetting that I’m anything but a female trying to find her way. There are so many more relevant, pressing matters to deal with as simply a woman forced to take on the challenges of building up my own world. Especially now.

My life has drastically changed yet again. First, with my obedient action of leaving my mother’s roof two weeks ago. Then, the day to day grind of taking on a completely different kind of occupation is extremely taxing on me, physically, mentally, and emotionally. In a matter of days, I was given a chance in a world I believed I had no place in: Sales and Marketing. In the four weeks I’ve taken on this new world, in conjunction with all the challenges of relocating myself to a temporary residence in a mere 24 hours, I’ve become stronger, wiser, and more apt to take action while rapidly expanding my network of influence. I’m scared, yet consciously proactive of the reality before me while desperately ignoring the threat of failing.

I have been given a small window of a chance to reset my unfortunate mess of the past two years. To do this, I have closed off much of my emotions and am gradually adopting a more callous attitude toward the frivolous and irrelevant. I often find myself saying: “My heart has grown much colder. This is a necessary sacrifice.” My work requires me to be indifferent as I am rejected, ignored, and told “no” by hundred of people a week. If you’re looking for a quick way to build a thick skin and/or learn how to handle being romantically unattached, transgender or not, do Sales. Seriously.

Right now, bringing my goals into reality are everything to me. The universe doesn’t care that I’m trans. Neither do the people who hired me and brought me into their world. All that matters is persistence, productivity, and maintaining a positive, proactive attitude no matter what comes my way.

Becoming self-assured is not something everyone is born with, but if you are willing to put in the work, this surely can be learned. My guidance counselor in college said an important quote that has repeatedly ran true: “You must be willing to do the things you don’t want to do in order to achieve the things only a few can.” I have done a shit ton of things I didn’t want to do, but this is the first time my future actually depends on my action.

Will I be able to make my dreams my goals and attain all that I believe I deserve? The answer to that question is completely my responsibility. As a woman, I have many things working for me already, and it will be my own fault if I let anything or anyone get in my way. As a trans woman, not being able to find work for two years – likely having more to do with the economy than with my conflicting legal documents – was probably my most difficult struggle among so many past scars.

Regardless of my struggles still ongoing due to residual obligations to survive, I will be the first to always say how fucking lucky I am compared to others who have transitioned in adulthood. Still, I am proving every day that I am more than my trans identity. I shall not waste the goodwill given to me to earn the lifestyle I’ve always wanted, exploiting every bit of my womanhood to eventually have a relevant voice for the transgender community in society.

Oh, how far I have come…and this is only the beginning.