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Things I Hate Hearing as Someone Who’s Transgender

As someone who’s transgender, I can tell you that there’s a lot of things I’m tired of hearing from people about being trans. There are a lot of things that people say to me that I just can’t stand but these are some of the ones that I hate the most. These are the things I hate hearing as someone who’s transgender:

I’ve always wanted a trans friend!

Glad I could fill that stereotype for you, buddy. No, but seriously. This just isn’t something that’s appropriate to say and can be quite hurtful at times. I don’t want to be your friend just because I’m transgender. I wanna be your friend because you have a friendly interest in me. I’m quite interesting, and I’m way more than just someone who’s Transgender.

What’s your old name?

This is a question you should never ask someones who’s Transgender. Unless it’s for safety reasons, there isn’t a real reason you should need to know a person’s deadname. This is an especially uncomfortable question for me because I don’t like talking about myself pre-transition.

You are so brave!

Some people like hearing this, but it’s something that is weird for me. I don’t like it when I tell someone that I’m Transgender and their immediate first response is “You’re so brave!”. It’s just the fact that it’s a really backhanded compliment. 

Why did you choose/decide to be Transgender?

I didn’t choose or decide to be Transgender. I didn’t wake up one day and just decide that I’m gonna be a boy. It took years of therapy and realization for me to realize that I’m Transgender. And it also took a lot of time for me to actually come out and say to everyone that I’m Transgender.

Did you have any surgery yet / have you started hormones?

Some people might be okay with answering this, but it’s not something that I would personally want to talk about. You don’t need to know if I have had surgery, or if I have started hormones. If I decide to share it with you, then that is fine. But I only share personal things like that on my own accord, not when you wanna know. 

Can I see a picture of you before?

I have likely deleted all photos of me pre-transition, but nobody owes it to you to show a picture of them before they transition. You should be happy with how your friend looks, no matter what. Not to mention the fact that asking for something as absurd as that is a breach of privacy. So refrain from asking this question.

Which bathroom do you use?

This is another case of a breach of privacy. This is an extremely private question for people, and I just don’t see why someone needs to know this. 

Are you sure this is what you want?

Yes, I am 100% sure. I have had several months of thinking, and therapy. I am very much sure that this is what I want. In fact, I know that the only way to make me feel better is to transition, which I have, and I am feeling much much happier in my new skin.

Check out Planned Parenthood’s article about transphobia here!

You can also read my post The First Time I Got Misgendered right here on TurningPointCT!

The First Time I Got Misgendered

On September 29th, 2020, I came out as transgender. Of course, I knew that coming out would come with it’s troubles, but I didn’t expect it to come so fast. And one of those troubles is being misgendered. I never knew that it would hurt so much to be misgendered. I wish I knew, cause then I would’ve been able to prepare myself. Now I know that it’s inevitable.

A comic depicting how it feels to be misgendered in public

The first time I had someone misgender me was a tough time. Until this day, I still have trouble with misgendering. But I’ve become better at correcting people. Some people don’t catch on, but others do. It’s tough, being trans with people who just assume all the time. It sometimes makes me worried to go out in public. I even skipped 3 weeks of school because it brought me too much anxiety. 

But the first time I got misgendered will be a day I always remember. I remember the feelings I had, and how much it really affected me. I walked into the store with my mom and sister, I finally bought my first binder, and I was feeling amazing. The sun was shining on me and I really felt at my happiest. That soon would change drastically.

We walked throughout the store for a while, and everything was still going great. We got to the check out and nobody had misgendered me. Yet. When we were leaving the store, the cashier said something that turned my whole entire world upside-down.

“Have a good day ladies.”

I never knew how much 5 words could hurt. It felt like I had just been stabbed through the heart and punched in my gut 50 times. I felt sick to my stomach. Not because it disgusted me, no, but because I thought I looked like a male. Those few words sent my whole world crumbling. I looked to my mom and my sister to help me out, yet they unfortunately did not. I don’t know if they heard it or not. It’d hurt if they did hear and just decided to not say anything. 

The rest of the day was painful. That situation stuck in my head forever. After that, I pretended to be okay. I was in the car, acting like everything was fine, yet the dark depression grew inside of me. Once we got home, I got in my bed and laid there for a while. So many thoughts and questions raced through my mind. Why did she say ladies? Don’t I look like a boy? Should I have corrected her? What would anyone else do? Am I a chicken for not saying anything

Where did I go wrong?

I thought I looked like a boy, so where did I go wrong? This is when I started to be extremely dysphoric about my chest. I would constantly look down and see what it looks like, fix my hoodie, and cross my arms over my chest. But this still didn’t stop the misgendering. It continued, and the hurt continued as well.

Sometimes people will reassure me that I look like a boy, but my problem is that I worry too much about what other people see. They didn’t see a boy, how come everyone close to me did? This led me to believe that people started lying to me just to get me to shut up about it. I felt trapped at this point. Like nobody wanted to tell me the truth. 

At this time, I became distant from people. I tried not to speak to anyone and I tried not to draw any kind of attention to myself. It was a fairly dark time for me. I had just gotten out of the mental hospital a while ago, and I was feeling better. But after that incident, I felt like absolute crap. Nothing made me feel better.

A little while after that incident, I did start to feel better. Because I told my sister and she reassured me that she actually didn’t hear, but the next time, she will help me. She also reminded me that I have to sometimes advocate for myself when she doesn’t hear. That’s when things started to take a turn for the better. I started to speak up for myself and correct people.

So, to my sister, I love you. I love you for loving me as who I am, and for motivating me when I can’t. I’m truly grateful, and I couldn’t have asked for a better sister.

You can read Healthline‘s article Misgendering: What Is It and Why It Harmful? here!

Also please check out some of Turning Point CT’s resources for LGBTQIA+ youth under our Support by Topic 🙂

#TurningPointMoment Ella Cleans Her Room

Join Ella, the Turning Point CT Project Coordinator, on her mission to make choices that benefit her mental health! Follow along and share your own story on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube by using the hashtag #TurningPointMoment

If you want to find out more about her mission, visit her blog HERE !

Click HERE to talk about it in the forum !

Podcast: Gratitude

Hey guys! We’re back with another podcast… this time we talk about gratitude. We will be talking about what we are grateful for, and what we are thankful for overcoming. Also, we discuss what we are appreciative to have on our horizons and how gratitude affects our mental health. Here you can read studies on how giving thanks can actually help your mental health. It can create an optimistic outlook and positive change.

Also, during our holiday party we ran off to the side to record a quick podcast together and reflect on the things we are grateful for.
Joining us today are Cindy, our other Cindy, Dri, Nahjeera, Jonathan, and me- Eliza!
Check it out and let us know what you’re grateful for!

Click here to check out an older discussion on gratitude I started two years ago!

Want to practice appreciation yourself? Gratitude has real benefits towards your mental health- but sometimes its hard to practice when the world seems dark or overwhelming. Looking for something in life to feel grateful for having (or for not having) can help change your world, and self view for the better. Check out this article on gratitude journals and tips for starting one here.

Podcast: How Culture Shapes You

This weeks podcast is with Adrianna , Cindy, Emma, and Nahjeera . We had a special guest Woodeline, who is Adrianna’s aunt. Woodline is a 23 year old student at  CUNY Medgar Evers College. She came into talk about her experiences in life and gave her views on the topic of how does your culture shapes you as a person.

Everyone had different ethnicity and different views on current topic questions.

Emma is half Brazilian and Colombian. Adrianna, Woodeline , and Cindy are Haitian American . Nahjeera is African American.

Everyone gave their input about how if you act differently because you need to change your identity or show less of your culture to the world, everyone gave their honest opinion about how they show  themselves to the world.

We hope you enjoy this podcast click here to watch

What is your culture? How do you define your culture? How has it shaped you as a person?

To check out our Summer Interns other podcasts, click here

Summer Check In Video

Hey guys! We are here with the TurningPointCT interns: Adrianna and Nahjeera along with Eliza and Adrianna’s aunt Woodeline!

We left the office for a little while to go across the street to The Norwalk Green and enjoy the sunlight and Summer air.

At the start of every SMART Recovery meeting we all check in with highs and lows- now we are at the Norwalk Green to hang out and check in about our Summer!

How is your Summer going? What is your low and your high of the season and break? Check in with us on this post!

 

To see more of our interns check out our YouTube page here

and listen to their other videos and podcasts in our media room here

New Story: Nahjeera’s Journey with Self-Harm, Depression and Anxiety

Hey guys! We have a really great new story about depression, anxiety and self-harm.

Nahjeera is a senior in high school and this Summer she is interning with us at TurningPointCT.org

Her journey will mean something to anyone who has ever felt alone- she talks about her struggles with depression and anxiety, and how she used self-harm to cope with things.

Nahjeera also talks about her hope and recovery– how she no longer self-harms and instead helps other people at her school who might be struggling, too.

If you have ever felt alone, know that you are not. Check out our stories page to read about other young people just like you.

Click here to read Nahjeera’s story

And, click here to talk to Nahjeera and welcome her to TurningPointCT.org. Join TurningPoint to reach out to peers like Nahjeera.

Furthermore, if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, or self-harm, visit this website. Here you can find information and resources to make the most out of your treatment.

2019 Annual Run in the Pub Fundraiser to benefit TurningPointCT.org!

Hi guys! I have something exciting to share with you guys!
On July 20th (a week from Saturday!!) from 11-4 there will be a fundraiser at O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Norwalk, CT. That fundraiser will benefit us!

Jimmy Booth (a very active and caring Norwalk local) has held this fundraiser for 8 years. This year he will support TurningPointCT.org!! Amazing, right?!
We are so excited.

Jimmy will be at the pub with some supporters running a marathon on a treadmill. This is all to raise awareness for young people’s mental health! There’s also going to be a raffle and 15% of the proceeds from all food and drinks bought that day will go towards our fundraising!!
That means if you are near Norwalk and want to support us, there are many ways to do it (even it just means buying some food).
I hope some of you can come and help us spread the word!!

Check out the event on eventbrite or facebook!

Growing Up: The Coming of Age Podcast

growing of age podcast

In this podcast we talk about coming of age as teenagers and growing up. Also we explain our experiences and stories of coming of age.

Check out TurningPointCT’s newest podcast- our Summer Interns are here! And they are introducing themselves and taking about Coming of Age. What does that mean? What defined coming of age for you? How do you navigate growing up and becoming a teenager or a young adult? Click this link to watch their podcast, or if you would prefer to watch it as a video, check out this link!
Please welcome Adrianna, Cindy, and Nahjeera to the TurningPointCT team and check out their very first podcast and video!

 

If you want to say hi to us go to our forum here

New Story: Marco’s story

We have a new story on our stories page!

“I became aware of my possible depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder in high school…Once I allowed myself to be vulnerable with the universe, and more specifically my therapist, I noticed gradual changes in my psyche…”

Click this link to read more of Marco’s story

We need your help! Donate today to TurningPointCT.org

We are asking for your help! 

Donate to TurningPointCT.org today or on Giving Day (Thursday, February 28)!

 

TurningPointCT.org is Connecticut’s peer support community by and for teens and young adults. We’ve got your back!

 

Our website offers a safe space online to share your story, talk about your problems, get information, and connect with resources. Our staff runs SMART Recovery support groups for teens in Norwalk and Fairfield… with more to come! We connect with other young people at schools and colleges across the state through speaking events, workshops, and resource fairs.  Whatever you’re struggling with–mental illness, addiction, homelessness, bullying, family problems–we’ve been there too.

Help us raise $10,000 to support our small part-time staff of young adults in recovery to be able to keep reaching out to schools, making connections with young people, improving our online support, and running support groups! We want every young person to know that they are not alone.

Donate to TurningPointCT.org today or on February 28th–Fairfield County’s Giving Day.

 

Click this link to Donate today, and share this page with your friends and family so we can reach our goal.

 

Giving Day runs from 12:00am to 11:59pm on Thursday, February 28th. Help us to reach our goal of raising $10,000. 

Your donation may even help us get a bonus grant if you’re one of our first or one of our last donors on Giving Day! If we get at least 25 donations of $25 right after midnight when Giving Day starts, we can win an extra $1000. So think of us Wednesday night before you go to bed and just stay up a few minutes past midnight! If you miss that chance, then please donate Thursday night between 9pm and 11:59pm. If we get enough donations during that time period, we may even win a $2,500 bonus!

Whether you can give as much as possible, or you know people who care about mental health who can donate, we need your help. Click the link to give what you can, share this page, and ask your friends to give what they can.

Together we will raise $10,000 to support young people struggling with their mental wellness! 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

Click the picture to donate!

 

(If you want to learn more about Fairfield County’s Giving Day overall, click here.)

 

Recovery: From All Wrapped Up Christmas Show by Step’n Out Dance Studio

Step’n Out Dance Studios, owned by Susan Tomaselli in Norwalk, CT hosted a Christmas Show called All Wrapped Up. The second act included a dance called “Recovery”, choreographed by Shelby Greger. Recovery dancers are from Step’n Out’s Girls Advanced Hip Hop 2 class, and include: Olivia D’Elia, Julia Lihv, Nahjeera Miller, Kate Riordan, and Marissa Roc. Watch this incredibly moving dance, which was opened by the announcer saying, “To all those who are suffering, you are not alone”. To those of us who fight every day to be O.K., this is for you! Enjoy, and happy holidays from TurningPointCT.org

“Who Am I?”

There are a lot of people who will ask, in most any plethora of scenarios:

“Tell me a list of traits you’re proud of.”

“What are some positives?”

“Give me a reason why you’re a good person.”

We always sit there listening to nothing but that off-beat clock on the wall, avoiding awkward looks that seem to give the gist of, ‘well I tried I’ll see you next week I guess’, as we attempt rather poorly to come up with just one pitiful answer.

One.

You know how disgusting it is? To not look yourself in the mirror? To see not glass, but broken shards? The past? The scars and fears? The demons lurking over your shoulders in every corner of those four walls?

All it ever took, was that one answer to get going. To get anyone going.

So who am I? Not by definition of one fucked up stigmata so screwed into my core, blaring like a goddamn police siren every time someone asks, “What’s wrong?”

My answer? What else but, “Fine.”

It’s not fine. But I can tell you what is.

Who am I but talented. You know that one professor you have that kicks your ass with work? Makes you think outside of the realm of reason? I had one. She made me think, made me understand things… And even then I was presented with a new word to my arsenal: ‘Polymath’. In layman’s terms it means having the ability to be good a great many tasks but still being shit to yourself. I was always my worst critic, and still continue to be to this day.

Who am I but selfless. I have always emphasized that the ability to make someone smile would be greater than anything. So I cultivated that. I grew with that in my heart, and with that came another greater term: empathy. The ability to know and understand, to learn and guide… Where someone falls, you should know I will have my hand right there for you to help you back to your feet. Compassion, in its more pure form and reality, comes from the most deplorable of lifelines.

Who am I but resilient. Know where you come from, but why let it drown out who you are now? It’s useless to continue to lick those wounds, pick at scabs that continue to bleed and blind you day in and out. It took me years to realize it, yes, but once you let go and live. You’re actually alive. Abuse, night terrors, addictions, starvation tactics, self-harm and mutilation… The list worsens from there, but it takes a real strong mind, body, and soul, one that is steadfast and vigil, to overcome, oversee, and make peace with it all.

Who am I?

I am someone who deserves not the toil and tremor of depression, the affliction and pitfalls of trauma, the snares and fears of anxiety. I can learn and expand beyond even those.

I am someone who does not need this wall that blockades me from the world; sheltering me from everyone and everything, surrounding me in my fear and degradation. By one foul brick and mortar at a time, I am greater than this and the masks I’ve put up to keep everyone at bay.

I am someone who knows she is limitless with potential, yet nowhere near some gross definition of perfection.

I am worthy. I am good. I am —

Fine!

 

-Submitted by: Faljak

Talk with the creator of this expression and join the conversation here

Bravery.

There comes a point in time when you have to step back. When you have to remember that the disease, the traits it comes with, is not you. It does not and never will be capable of defining you. And admittedly, it took me years to realize this, to make this breakthrough without breaking a few other things in the process.

Your presence will never lie; you do not lie. No matter how hard you try, you can’t escape who you’ve become, but you can rewrite who you once were.

I used to tell myself:
“She was right about me all this time. They were right about me.”
“For fucks’ sake what have I done to myself? To everyone?”
“What do I have to show for all these years?”

And worse still,
“This world would never miss some piece of shit like me.”

And you know, I made the attempts, I came up with my plans as unorthodox as they were and they failed. One right after the next they were thwarted. There was a reason, they told me. It took me a very long time to understand what they meant. And I spent my days to weeks to a near month imprisoned in the walls of some hive-mind Institutional facility of nothing but smiles and medical snares —

You’d maybe think that was the epiphany for me. It wasn’t.

People often tell you, “You can’t help someone who doesn’t want the help,” Or even, “You can’t get the help if you don’t want it for yourself.” And they’re right. I’ve hurt people. I hurt myself. And to this very day I still hear things that try to convince me to do those very same things.

… Cleaved wounds tilled into my skin in hopes I had staved away some essence of those demons who constantly haunted me, numerous sleepless and unending days spent as some insomniac… Paranoid that I would fall into the void if I closed my eyes once. And when I did I was plagued with terrors beyond rebuke, flashes of unending things I dare not repeat lest they tease my waking hours.

I had no help. No despondent course of action until finally… I made one more plea. And that was all it took.

Should I be some brave form of myself, I would perhaps be able to look myself in the mirror for more than a split second. I would be able to smile at the reflection rather than cringe or nearly cry. I would not have to judge the bastard falsely beaming back at me, pointing a finger, scowling… In some deeper part of my being I know that smile is turning into something less masqueraded and truer to course.

If I knew how to be brave I would cast aside the fear of pulling down this baseless construct of a wall surrounding myself from others, of letting someone close enough to me… To love me. To hear me. To hold me. Hopeless as it may seem now, it is a goal, which I strive for with every pitiless strum of my heart, one that is chased by baseless threads of terror and trauma —

When I learn how to be braver, I will no longer fear to antagonize the ultimate enemy: Myself. I will have every skill to combat my own war, my own corruptibility, to brace back my storms and know when I need anything more and anyone else to pull me from my tombs. I am the greatest thing standing in the way of my goals, and I always have been, I always was the scariest and most traitorous thing to date. But maybe… Just maybe… There is hope yet shining through.

Bravery, I believe, should not be misconstrued with the term conquest; to have the ability stand in the face of your demons is enough, but to blatantly dismantle them is another. You cannot do everything. Not all at once. And certainly not on your own. That’s another thing I’ve learned the hard way.

But to know bravery perhaps, to know and understand where you stand while facing your more destitute selves… That is, placing yourself toe-to-toe with them, flipping them the bird and righteously yelling of your freedom… Perhaps you should be mindful that they had a hand in sculpting who we are now, who you will become. If only just a bit.

 

Submitted by: Faljak

Podcast: Why is it important for young people to vote?

vote

Eliza and Ally sat down to answer the question: why is it important for young people to vote?

We talked about how we break the stigma around voting, why we personally are voting, and why we think our vote matters.

Tell us your answers and join in on the conversation here!

Listen here:

Eliza’s Recovery Video

September is Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Month.

Eliza is talking about why she fights for recovery, what her life was like, and how it has changed.

Share your recovery story with us, too and tell us why you fight.

Submit your video here

Watch the video on Vimeo, Youtube, and TurningPointCT.org

FAB Vlog from Brien McMahon High School

Watch vloggers Fatima, Ashley, and Bryanna (FAB), who are students at Brien McMahon High School. Fatima and Bryanna are at The Chill Out Lounge, TurningPointCT.org’s activity room at Norwalk High School’s Week of Wellness. We had stations of different sensory items and activities to “chill out”! Enjoy!

And, thank you Fatima and Bryanna for sharing your vlog with us! Welcome to TurningPointCT.org!

If you want to talk to them, leave feedback, or start a conversation here is their forum post! 

Life Skills: Communication

Watch as young adults from YasBiz discuss communication. Check out our videos here and submit your own.

Life Skills: Housing

Watch as young adults from YasBiz discuss their perspective on housing situations. Check out our videos here and submit your own.

Help us end youth homelessness!!!

Hi everybody! The 2018 Youth Count started today! The Youth Count is a statewide effort to count all of the homeless and unstably housed young adults aged 13-25 in CT.

The Youth Count is conducted by volunteers throughout the state who go to hot-spots (places with high concentrations of young people- such as bus stops, train stations, corner stores, etc.) and other locations, community organizations, and a “come and be counted”.

The survey is quick, easy, and VERY important to help people understand the needs of young adults and homeless youth in our state. Our goal is to end youth homelessness by 2020, but we can’t do that without knowing the need! This information is used to propel our state towards that goal, get funding and to provide resources to those in need.

So from the 24th-30th volunteers will be out there looking for people to survey!!
If you would like to help, let me know, it’s not too late to volunteer and we NEED your help!!

Also, spread the word about the come and be counted event!! It is happening on the 30th statewide. Below are the flyers for the Fairfield County Come and Be Counted Events. If you would like the information about the ones in other parts of the state, let me know and I will find the information!
There will be pizza, goody bags, and resource guides to help you if you are in need of help!
Help spread the word!!!

homeless 

 

learn more here

To help: Contact Eliza at emcnamara@healthymindsct.org

2018 Awareness Calendar

Hi everybody! To celebrate the new year, Turningpointct.org has made a calendar showcasing mental wellness awareness days to share with you!

Below is the entire calendar

Share with your friends, or enjoy it yourself! Some of the days may be familiar and some may be new!
We hope you all enjoy it!

Happy New Year!

Are our youth over-medicated?

We’re back and this time we are talking our experience with medication and asking the question, are our youth being overmedicated?

Listen to Ally, Olivia, Eliza, and Michael

overmedicated

share their experiences with medication for behavioral health issues as teens and young adults. In this podcast episode, we talk about both our struggles and successes with medication and how we are influenced by it today.

Join in on the convo right here and share your thoughts — are we overmedicating our youth? What has your experience been like? https://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/topic/podcast-medication/

 

Today

Today

No day is as lovely as today

No red carpets but youthful giggles spread the way

My heart whimpers for more of today

It is a lovely day beside the blue waters of the bay

Dark clouds come and go

And preparing for a hectic day is the sun’s glow

My soul can hardly believe it

And my mind tarries in guilt

Thinking t’s unreal, when real it is

The sky opens wide

In its dress azure and mild

Symbolizing, the epitome of authenticity

I don’t understand the perfection of today

It must be a miracle

For nothing seems to chuckle

TurningPointCT.org PSA

What is TurningPointCT.org? Watch this PSA to find out: