Neil and I

During one of my weekend trips with my baton teacher to a competition in Ohio, my parents sent me with a Rush cassette for my Walkman. It was Permanent Waves, and I rewound “The Spirit of the Radio” so much the tape was ruined by the time I crossed back into Maryland the next evening. I want to say that Rush – specifically, Neil Peart – is the reason I became a drummer, mediocre or not. But honestly, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to play the drums. I’m a second generation band geek, the child of […]

A Boy, Interrupted

Pre-puberty me wasn’t much different from the rest of the little boys I identified with. I played baseball, loved Nintendo, and had dirty, scraped knees and holed-up jeans. Even at ballet or baton twirling, two extremely effeminate things, it was okay, because my brother also participated in them. Baton twirling is something I don’t talk about as an adult. It’s the most clock-able thing about me. I also don’t have a lot of good memories involving it. The combination of trans and not being the pretty little blonde girl who loved pink meant that competitive baton twirling did not want […]

The Force is with Me

Star Wars is my favourite thing. Obviously, I love my wife, pets, and family / friends more than Star Wars, but as for physical items, Star Wars wins, and has for a vast majority of my life. I was six or seven when in an attempt to enjoy child-free silence and get some work done, my father, flipping through the channels, stopped at the beginning of the trash compactor scene. When I used that moment to remark that I like space and science, I opened Pandora’s box with a sledgehammer. I have had a Star Wars cake every single year […]

A Holiday Plea

As I write this, I want to start by saying that today is November 30th and I was over this year’s holiday season by 3:15 pm on Thanksgiving. Which, considering my shift that day did not start until 3, is a pretty quick turnaround from me walking in just minutes prior with a bellyful of turkey, excited to see the decorations outside of the hotel in all of their winter glory. I had yesterday off, and while spending the day with my wife, my dog, and in my quiet, peaceful house helped rekindle that magic, coming back to work today […]

Guilt and Empty Places

Thanksgiving is a weird holiday. We stopped getting together as an extended family before I was eight. Then until I was almost finished with high school, my parents, siblings, and occasionally my grandmother would go to Shoney’s for the buffet. My mother worked at Wal-Mart, and she obviously didn’t want to cook for a demanding family of varied tastes before being screamed at by customers who couldn’t find the TV or toy they “needed.” When I was home for Thanksgiving break from college, we went to Cracker Barrel as a family, and now as an adult, both my wife and […]

Haircuts, Masculinity, and Me

I’ve been thinking about growing my hair out. Since 14, I’ve been slowly cutting it back, with the exception of senior year of high school, when I donned an afro that left people sitting behind me in class frustrated. These days, it’s shaved on the sides, with a fade at the top that I sometimes allow to grow to a length such that one ringlet of a curl can be seen. My journey with hair has been, well, arduous. As a child, it was my telltale giveaway that I was assigned female at birth. My grass-stained jeans and backwards cap […]

A Vote Against Vote Courting

I loathe election season. The former-wanting-to-be-president child within me would scream if they heard adult me utter those words, but here we are. We have a dozen candidates for president, the cycle of pandering ads with dramatic effects is just starting, and I am completely over it. Former teenage anarchist cobwebs aside, I am here to remind those seeking to be elected into office of something that has increasingly become imperative to me. I am not seeking to be courted. While I get to spend the next year of my life listening to people who have never met me – […]

America’s Pastime and Me

I remember getting my first baseball glove. I was five, and it was from Kay-Bee Toys. Growing up there was a vacant lot between my house and our neighbor’s to the right, so every spring and summer I would drag cinder blocks across the grass and make a diamond. Sometimes I would get the other kids in the neighborhood to play a full pick-up game with me, but usually it was just my brother, father, and myself. When I was ten, I begged my parents to buy me a tee-ball set, but only because it had a genuine rubber home […]

An Open Letter to Parents of Queer Teens

When I came out (three times!) my parents were immediately supportive. Support is easy, love is easy. Unconditional love of a child and understanding that child are profoundly different. Teenagers today have a vast wealth of information and resources available with one click. When I was first trying to figure out myself, I spent hours on an extinct chat-advice site with other people just as confused as myself. Dial-up connection, way too much Mountain Dew, and my teenage angst, furiously scrolling in the hopes of making sense of everything within my brain. The information scope of today is beyond what […]

On Yearbooks, Memories, and Trans-Disconnect

The early 2000s. A mixed bag of gender identity / sexual orientation / hobbies left teenage me scrambling to find more than a couple people who understood me in anything more than simplistic terms. I was able to cultivate a handful of friendships that withstood the volatile mess that most of my 20s were, and while grateful to have those people still in my life, the more removed I am from my teenage years, the more I feel a physical wall between my present and my past My reality is one where the person who lives in my old yearbooks […]