Wrote this on New Year’s Eve. It’s a combination FAQ/Starting 2017 right. These are questions I tend to get in nearly every new interaction.
Q: Did you and your husband know about each other before you got married?
R: Sort of. He knew about me relatively early into us knowing each other. He started to come out of his shell more once he saw how comfortable I was in being unapologetically myself. We both toyed with the idea of identifying as “gender-fluid,” but the longer we went, we knew we were holding back and lying to ourselves. We were well aware of each other by the time we got married, which is why there were many subtle references toward it for the people in the know in attendance.
Q: How long have you been on HRT?
R: I started hormones in July, and added Spiro in November. Spiro, for those who don’t know, is a T-blocker.
Q: What’s the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity?
R: Sexual orientation is outward, to whom you’re attracted. Gender identity is internal, who you are. Sometimes they play off one another, but they’re not connected.
Q: Why did you wait so long to start transitioning?
R: When I was younger, I didn’t know it was an option. I also didn’t know that it was a thing, so I thought it was just being different. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I was aware of more things than straight, gay, or bi. I suggest looking up the Queer Dictionary if you have any trouble with terms.
Q: What are your preferred pronouns?
R: Female. If calling me Ris makes you more comfortable because it sounds more gender neutral, that’s fine. I also don’t get too mad at mix-ups. I know it’s going to take people a while to adjust. I can tell the difference between an honest mistake and an intention to hurt me.
Q: What is your favorite color?
R: Purple. All the purple.
Q: How are you handling telling your kids?
R: Because of how and where they were raised until this summer, we’ve been slowly adjusting them to the idea before slowly coming out to them. They were in a heavy religious conservative environment, so we’ve been normalizing LGBT issues to them before we go full out. Right now, they just think Daddy wears makeup and paints his nails. Recently, we told them about our friend Asa, who is FTM, and were sure to say “and it’s completely normal.” Baby steps.
Q: Who has had the biggest influence in you becoming who you were always meant to be?
R: The true biggest influence was the Pastor Carl incident. There were so many wonderful people who supported me along the way and didn’t out me, but that was the moment of the epiphany for me. It was a combination of “This guy is a clown, nothing he says can affect me!” and “Fuck what everyone thinks, I’m tired of hiding who I am for the comfort of strangers!” At that moment, I went from being shy and reserved about it to wearing dresses and makeup to school with no apologies for it.
Q: Are you getting the surgery?
R: First of all, there is no “the” surgery. Second, unless you’re sleeping with me, I really don’t owe you an explanation on that. Please don’t ask about my genitalia unless it concerns you, which it likely doesn’t.
Q: Now that you’ve published the PC book, what’s next?
R: Andrew Torrez asked me to write a book of my full story, being a former professional wrestler, going from being homeless to the Ivy League, growing up and not realizing I was a trans teen while simultaneously being bullied for it, and a number of the other crazy adventures I’ve managed to compile into these 31 years. I also have a novel in the works, as patrons will be familiar with the first few chapters. I’m toiling with some other ideas as well. Plus, you know, this. I write a lot for you!
Q: What’s your biggest goal for 2017?
R: Be completely public, get into grad school, become financially self-sufficient on my work (writing, columns, podcast, books, photography, videography, etc.), keep my marriage amazing, fight Trumpeters and Fascists at every opportunity, travel to new places and meet new people, find more of an audience, maybe get some speaking gigs, live in a place that sucks less, not have to commute 100 miles for college finally, and I suppose officially graduate from Penn after all I’ve been through in the last six years. Just off the top of my head.
Q: Why Patreon? Why not advertising or something else?
R: Patreon allows me to have a more direct relationship with my listeners and readers. It also allows you the option to contribute instead of being forced to listen or watch ads. I can’t say I’d turn down advertising, but if I can get the three Patreons up high enough, it won’t be necessary. I’d rather have the latter.
Q: You don’t exactly look that feminine until you put on the makeup. Does that bother you?
R: It used to, but now, I couldn’t care less. My only real source of dysphoria is facial hair. I’m hoping to get the fuck rid of that as soon as possible. Other than that, I’m a tall girl with a strong jaw that’s been softening since I’ve been on hormones. Deal with it.
Q: Are you starting any new projects in 2017 besides what you listed?
R: I’ve been talking with Molly Un-Mormon about doing a new podcast. I seriously can’t wait to give that a shot!
Thank you, my lovelies!