The time between one’s first questions about their gender and the resolution thereof can be anxious and scary. Transition is a big deal, and contrary to the bigoted idea that it’s something we do on a lark or for fun, most of us agonize over that decision for a long time, for many reasons. Many of us fear how our social environs would react if they knew we harbored such questions, and especially how they’d react to us deciding to transition. Another lot of us figure out what we’d like to do long before we’re comfortable doing it, and must exist in that dysphoric hinterland until our circumstances free us.
For this in-between group I inhabited for years before I recognized where I was heading, there are options. There are many ways to explore one’s gender or assuage dysphoria until one feels safe acting on it in larger, more visible ways, discreetly and at one’s own pace. What follows is specifically from a transfeminine perspective, but will contain occasional nods to transmasculine variants.
Continue reading “Cracking the Closet Door: Covert Transition”
One thing that will never stop surprising me is the degree to which anti-vaccination campaigns have spread their message. Dozens of different versions, each ignoring a different combination of inconvenient facts about how vaccines work and what illnesses they don’t cause, all circulate around the Internet, ensnaring people of every political persuasion. I can understand the mistrust of the medical establishment, whose record is far from clean. I can understand the societal memory loss that has made vaccines seem unnecessary now that smallpox, polio, diphtheria, measles, and mumps epidemics are no longer the stuff of every Westerner’s childhood. I can understand the Hobbesian choices imposed by the lack of universal healthcare access in the United States.
I have a lot more trouble understanding the confusion about the societal role of vaccines in protecting the unvaccinated, because religions use that principle all the time to police their own.
Continue reading “Inquisitions and Herd Immunity”