Humans be human
I had an Idea, quite possibly a small meager Idea with big ambitions. I want to be a voice to LGBTQ community, to let people, trans, gay, lesbian alike have their voice heard without altering, no glossy editorial, catch phrases, politics, ulterior motives, etc… Just pure unadulterated stories, the raw and real stories of people in their day to day lives, the realities of the LGBTQ community. Pride month is a time to celebrate and to make a stand, and for some it is awesome, but still for so many it is hell, daily, every second for simply being who they are.
This is my very first story with Rain,
a trans man, who graciously agreed to chat with me, giving his story. Adding to what needs to be said, to be supportive towards those still in the closet, supportive to to one another out of the closet, strength in numbers. You have my support Rain, and you the reader, Heterosexual, LGBTQ, non binary, lets educate and eradicate the existing prejudices left in the world.
Chris Allen: ok, so lets start by telling me a bit about your childhood, growing up, and such.
Rain Alistair De Medeiros: I actually had a pretty rough childhood. My dad drank to much and had no idea what he was doing and my mom is a druggy who’s all around a very manipulative and awful person. My Late Uncle Henry and my younger brother Michael were basically the only family that wasn’t abusive in some way shape or from
CA: Damn, that really sucks. Do have contact with any of them?
Rain: i still speak to my dad and unfortunately I NEED to talk to my mother soon so I can finish my name change forms. My uncle died a few years ago, I got a tattoo in his memory and my brother lives with me now and he’s been amazing along with my other friends/new family.
CA: When did you first come out to your family?
Rain: That’s sort of all over the place because my contact with them is all very limited other then my brother. My Uncle passed before I could, My grandpa passed before I could, My grandma doesn’t speak English, no one else cares, my brother only learned recently because we were estranged for a full 7 years thanks to our mom. My mom I’ve told several times over the course of the last 4 years but she seems to keep “””””forgetting””””” and I told my dad first a few years ago, and he yelled at me about his transphobic views and only a few months ago did I call him, yell at him for the first time in my life and got him to start to see things the right way.
CA: I can’t imagine the stress during some of these times and understand why some people don’t come out to their families.
Rain: My coming out wasn’t really the hard part for me if that make’s any sense though. Everyone trans person has different difficulties with their transition than others and coming out is USUALLY the worst/hardest part but there are exceptions at lest among the groups I’ve spoken too and from my own experience.
CA: A couple years back, there was a “It gets better campaign” Is life “better” as it were, for you?
Rain: Yeah it really is but it took a lot of work, self reflection and patience to get here
CA: Good, I am really happy for you, that you are doing well.
Can you tell me about when you first realized that you weren’t your true gender?
Rain: I remember being like, no older then 5 or 6 and thinking “Where is my doodle? (what I called dicks when I was little) Is it just going to grow in later?” And to this day I still have episodes of Phantom Limb syndrome with it. which is something I very rarely see anyone talk about but is apparently something many trans guys experience as i’m now learning.
Also I know what u meant but a better way to word this would be “When did you realize your true gender?” Because the way u worded it here Implies my biological sex IS my true gender which doesn’t make sense because gender and biological sex differ. Gender is a social construction, sex is your biological make up.
http://pennbrainstorm.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-curious-case-of-phantom-penis.html *author added link*
CA: It seems to me that that is a valid point that needs more attention brought to it, Phantom Limb syndrome.
Rain: Traditionally Phantom Limb syndrome is this thing where when someone has lost a limb they feel a sort of ghost limb there some times. A phantom limb if you will. Many trans men, non-binary people and trans masculine people (including myself) that I’ve spoken to experience this but with a phallus. It’s been sort of nick named, “””Phantom dick””” which sounds strange as hell out of context.
CA: Here’s a learning point for me, so please pardon my lack of any tact and PC speaking [which is partly why I am doing this, speaking with as many in the LGBTQ community as possible] What actions, daily routines, does a trans man have? I mean, I am assuming you need to make adjustments to your body and life to be whom you wish to be, and not whom you presently are.
Rain: well it really depends on the person and the stage of their transition and weather or not their out yet. It’s actually kind of silly to think of a trans man’s daily routine as different from any other mans honestly. I do all the same things you do except for putting on a binder in the morning, correcting people about my pronouns constantly when I’m at work and every night at around the same time I take my hormones.
CA: People are people, regardless of “plumbing” personally, I don’t look at a penis or vagina, breasts, as meaning anything, I let that person tell me who they are. would that be a fair statement?
Rain: Oh hell yeah
CA: Is there anything you would like to include, or expand on, pet peeves, myths you want to bust, rants, anything at all you want to add?
Rain: That’s hard there’s a lot of myths out there and there’s almost to much to tackle. I think my main final things are misgendering, Like please, PLEASE use the right pronounce once you know what they are. It’s not that hard! I do it for others!! When people as you what your dead name is. Like no that’s not my name anymore why do you wanna know it stop. when people suddenly try to show horn Caitlyn Jenner into the conversation like “Oh! your trans! This famous person is trans I know of them aren’t I cool!?” No stop it, you look ridiculous. It’s like when a white guy says “oh hey i know this one black guy do you know him?” No of course they wouldn’t.when people ask about trans people’s private parts. like why, why do you NEED to know what my junk is like?? i don’t ask YOU that! stop its weird.and finally when people talk about transitioning like “becoming a woman/man.” That’s such an old way of thinking. I am a man the moment I id as one, everything else is so I’m more comfortable in my body AS a man.
CA: Awesome, I am happy that you agreed to chat with me, I learned a few things, or at the very least this is becoming less and less unknown to me.
Editors Note: Christopher Allen
is lead photographer of C6ixPhotography and growing supporter of the LGBT community. I am husband, a father of two children, sometimes opinionated asshole ;)