Artivism Project's: Ask a Trans Woman

A blog for anyone to ask questions to an LGBT activist/former EMT/someone who's been studying the trans* movement and the science behind gender, transitioning and trans women. Anonymous questions are ok - just be mature and sincere.

This is one of the most common questions I receive, and I have to give kind of a non-answer in order to answer it because trans people’s lives and bodies are so vastly different that it’s hard to answer.

Transphobia and sexual attraction, and where they intersect in the real world.

Anonymous asked: Hi I am a transwoman who has been in HRT for a year and have recently developed a definite menstrual cycle with two to three days of mood swings and bitchiness. But I also seem to have bad gas and upper cramps that shift to lower cramps the next day, then lower abdomen cramps, sour stomache the next day after that then just sour stomache the last day with alot of peeing. For a total of five or six days then I'm back to normal. Is this normal or wierd? Seems different than what I've heard.

Some of that is (probably) psychosomatic, essentially your brain being tricked into thinking your abdomen is cramping because you believe that you should be cramping. Or it’s something completely non-related, potentially go see a doctor just in case.

I’ve learned that there is something of a cycle for trans women, much in the same way that menopausal women continue to have a cycle. Mood swings during your “cycle” bottoming out are to be expected. It just has to do with the way the human body processes estrogen. But the bad gas and the abdominal cramps and the sour stomach are (probably) all in your head, and almost definitely not related to your cycle.

There’s always the chance that you have another condition and that I’m completely wrong. Remember, I’m not a nurse, I can’t give medical advice beyond that of the EMS-b level, which has more to do with emergency medicine. There are a few, rare conditions that can cause the actual, physical cramping on a monthly basis - being of mixed DNA, for example, is physically possible in humans, and happens when two fetuses are essentially not growing properly but can be combined to create one human being. It’s fascinating stuff. But it’s also INCREDIBLY rare.

TW: Derogatory language

See, there are a lot of words that some people have “taken back” or reclaimed after they have become painful to others, and while I can appreciate that it’s being taken back, it’s still going to hurt people. I think as trans women we have to be better then that. We can’t go around hurting other trans women to make ourselves feel better. Trap, tranny, shemale - these have all been leveled as insults and really need to be used carefully around a population that has dealt with so much shit.

Anonymous asked: Hi! I am a part of a women's organization on campus and I want our flyers to clarify we are not going to question anyone's gender identity. How would you suggest we word it?

"We are not going to question anyone’s gender identity" sounds like a fairly decent description. Often, just saying "anyone who identifies as a woman is welcome to attend" is enough, as it tells the reader that you know that a wide variety of people with a wide variety of bodies identify as women and you welcome all of them.

If you need something short and punchy, “trans friendly” is the best way to succinctly say you won’t question anyone’s identity.

We’re back! Ask A Trans Woman is back and we’ll be coming out with more video content this time around.


Stepping away from Ask A Trans Woman for a week. Might be permanent. Not sure. Back!

Anonymous asked: I really hope this doesn't come out wrong, but aren't male and female about like the genitals? While man and woman and non-binary are what you identify as? Because I thought you could only be considered male or female post operation am I wrong?

No, see, male and female are descriptors in the english language used for different sexes, that is true, but they are colloquially used to describe different genders. When people say “male genitalia,” for example, they are misgendering a lot of trans women, and vice versa.