1 Week Non-Verbal, So Far

My disability has progressed to the point that I can no longer talk *gasp*. Specialists say its not permanent so I am trying to keep hopes up and to keep trying to get my voice back. But I thought I would share what I have learnt so far after a whole week being nonverbal:

  • You definitely can’t communicate as much in your body language without speech in conjunction. I may be getting better at charades but I still can’t tell someone urgently to stay in the room.
  • Speech-based conversations are usually moving too fast to contribute to as a nonverbal person.
  • You can’t set personal boundaries in conversations like you would if you were verbal.

  • You communicate a fraction of a fraction of what you could when your verbal, you spend the attention span on others wisely with few questions.
    • But still need to remember to crack a joke once in a while.
  • Sharing how your feeling becomes a moot point when you need someones attention to get the dog to stop chewing something he shouldn’t.
  • When you communicate with the world differently suddenly, your outlook and interpretation sure changes too.
  • Going from being verbal to nonverbal is like being made to live in the loneliest hailstorm in a teacup. You can only daydream so much until you are stuck with forced self-contemplation. No matter the revelations about yourself and others, no one’s gonna hear you scream internally.
  • Journaling becomes so much easier when literally everything you have said is already written down.
  • Other people by default speak quieter around nonverbal people for no reason at all other than social assumptions.
  • Text-to-speech apps are essential to make sure car rides are not in weird silence.
    • There definitely isn’t enough options for these kind of accessibility apps than you’d expect.
  • Every “friend” who doesn’t like text-based messaging will disappear from your life.

Hauraki, My Tokotoko; A Story

Despite my cPTSD crisis this year, getting access to CBD oil medicinally during it has helped my mobility a LOT!

I started from an ability to walk slow and painfully only with crutches and multiple braces for maybe 100 meters (110 yd) a day and my mobility.

Within the space of a month, I achieved to improve my mobility (maybe 250 meters / 273 yd a day in total, covid lockdown meant I wasn’t leaving home 99% of the time anyway) before I was in hospital for my mental health again (they still don’t allow prescribed CBD oil in hospital settings here in Australia), it got to the point that I started small shopping trips without the wheelchair so long the walking was short with pauses for my fatigue as well. I do still have to use the wheelchair most of the time when leaving the house and for the “bad days” when symptoms flare up.

Everything we do, wear and use can be a tool of self expression.
Not our opinions.

This made crutches, bulky and not necessarily needed every time im upright. When suggested, I was originally very anti-walking stick. You know the usual social stigma around them and how people with them are approached; I know ableism very well with 4 years so far using the wheelchair.

When something can end up becoming part of my identity, just like how people used to describe me as “that guy in the wheelchair with the mohawk” I know I want it to express my identity while being something for me above all, everything we do, wear and use can be a tool of self expression and that includes a walking stick and my friends know much i enjoy diversity and everyone to have the right to express themselves.

A tokotoko is a traditional walking stick in New Zealand. This one was carved by a hobbyist named Ted Hatchwell from the Waikato region, the same region I was born and spent my first eight years as a country kid.

The tekoteko (the person carved on the stick) is a human-like figure most commonly placed on the gable of a house or gateway, and is there to ward away evil spirits. I named this guardian Hauraki after the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland for a very special childhood memory.

When I was 10, I was sent by the school’s health nurse for a whole school term to “Health Camp” in Eastern Auckland area, which I later found out in adulthood was for vulnerable at-risk youth; as I was under heavy depression issues from home life and unable to make friends at school. The Maori cultural teacher became my go-to therapist with the rapport we built while I was there.

To watch the Taniwha under the cloud shadows cross the Hauraki Gulf, feeling them work their way around the island Motukorea to find their way back to land to find whatever person or place they feel need guarding.

I used to sit on top of the playing field every chance the weather allowed and watched the clouds roll over the Hauraki Gulf and over the land. She enjoyed how I would make up stories, merging maori mythology with my own creative ideas, and to this day her words of “if you were here before Europeans, you would be considered a great story teller.” After this experience, this is when I started journal keeping, took a leap and got into creative writing. I don’t remember her name but she was the first person ever to help me believe in my own abilities of telling stories and encouraging my passion in Maori culture.

Academic Paper Approved!

This won’t mean much to many here but a LANDMARK for transgender representation in the academic research about the BDSM community.

The lesson here: there’s endless ways to fight the good fight for rights and recognition.

I have been volunteering in many things in the fetish community for years, mainly the puppy play roleplay scene.

In 2016 (4 years before leaving the trans closet) I hated how ppl gossiped “trans people, especially transwomen don’t do puppy play, it’s just gay guys” (this was also reflected in the only 2 scientific papers written at the time) So instead of fighting and complaining, I got to work. REALLY HARD work because I’ve never graduated at University beyond 2 years of elite sport performance study and a few unrelated topics.

I have been learning how to do academic research (including teaching myself ethics committee approval systems) into sex research and with the help of University of Sunderland in the UK and the “Archives of Sexual Behaviour” they have completed peer review and confirmed my first academic paper disproving this social gossip and WILL include information of the gender identity and it’s diversity in this niche BDSM fetish.

One year ago, after 20 years in the closet, at age 34, I came out as a transwoman, while still working on this. This week is my 1 year anniversary of being on HRT and i get confirmed that I’m now considered the leading sex researcher on this field of work in Australia at least. What have I got myself into! 🤣🤣

And I’m still working on continuing the projects data collection into at least 2023. And the research book about the fetish, it’s community and history still a few years away from publication too.

I will make this paper free to access and download once it’s out. (We have over 12 more planned including a dedicated paper on gender diversity and expression on the ’16 and ’18 data, let alone comparing evolution of diversity pre vs post pandemic)

Coming Out Day

Happy Coming Out Day!
A Paraphrased Queer Journey.

At age 10, I knew something was different to me than the other boys. By 14 I had some vocabulary to say at least, that I knew my gender did not match my body. I told my mother and my therapist… Guess how that turned out in the mid 1990’s…

At 17 I decided to come out as Gay, seemed logical, people perceived me as male, even if I don’t, but I enjoy guys more so I’ll come out as gay then (I had such a sheltered mormon upbringing that I still didn’t know what ‘Bi’ or ‘Pan’ was). Luckily my biological family had already ostracized me for questioning their faith and I had already been moved out of home, so I had minimal contact with them.

At 26 when I moved to Australia, I decided to start defending my identity more and came out as Bi, much to my friends multitude of ill jokes.

At 27 a relationship ended with me refusing to share my “secret” with my partner at the time (me being trans), was accused of many vicious things and I ended up homeless under a bridge. To this day, despite the traumas, I still think I made the right call to let myself choose when to come out. It wasn’t the first time and wasn’t the last time I was pressured to come out unwillingly.

At 28 I wanted to start exploring my gender identity more and “testing the waters” by changing my name to a gender neutral one, Taylor. With much disgust and dislike from my biological family even though my new legal name had more family connection in it.

At 29, I started volunteering in the fetish community, not only to learn more about my own body, but also to help foster safe spaces I could maybe come out of the trans closet some day.

At 31, I started my academic research work into sex & diversity. Primarily in the fetish of the Puppy Play Community. Which I still do to this day.

At 33 I said enough is enough to my biological family extreme religious bigotry and never saw or spoke to them again after a hurtful final Christmas dinner.

At 34 in 2020, during our pandemic lockdowns it reached a dysphoria boiling point and had to trust that things will work out. I came out of the Transgender closet and started HRT.

I am still learning what comes next, there is no master plan. But sometimes the story doesn’t end, there’s just another chapter.
Happy Coming Out Day!

Loki Heard My Name

Loki heard my name, but fears to look me in the eye.
To bluff those surrounded with their own demons leaves only truths to stare back at him

Loki Heard my name, but fears to play with me
To play with those who have been played leaves only truths to stare back at him

Loki heard my name, but fears to flyt with me
To flyt with those who breathes with the fabric of their own soul will return with bare truths

Loki heard my name but dares not turn his back.
To turn away from those stabbed countless times, know what’s needed to do the same.

Loki heard my name, but knew not to tease,
To tease the battle-wounded gives wrath from the valkyrie.

Loki may go to his daughter Hel for a box of my last breath,
Only to find out she keeps it safe from my own incursions to her domain for the same thing.

Hel fears me while holding bandages ready for my coming.
Odin warmly prepares the table
Valkyries ready their steeds,

Loki knows my name but I’m not the one afraid.

Temple of Valhalla’s Ships

Let Odin walk beside me on every road I go. For one eye can guide more than two.

Let Thor protect me from the storms you need help with, to weather the worst.      

Let Tyr give me courage when I have to fight and a shield when I need to defend.

Let Freyja guard and safely keep my soul while I heal from burnt wingtips.


Let Freyr grant me pleasure in my loving and my loving of others

Let Bragi give me eloquence in the words I say and share the spark amongst others.

Let Aedgir keep the oceans calm when I sail uncharted waters 

Let Skadi guide me to see my compass through life when I need direction.


Let Vor reveal everything of worth so I have the knowledge to choose worth over face.

Let Idun remind me to bathe and hydrate, to give me the tools to be strong.

Let Heimdall watch, For every step I take is my own and together with those around me

Let Frigga weave a spell keeping me from harm and learn to live without it.


And finally:
Never let Loki know my name.


(Based and inspired on a poem by John Anthony Fingleton)

35

Today I turn 35, so here’s a present for you all. Photos and comparing a year ago to now. No need for gifts, just extra hugs next time you see me post-lockdown.

Last March at the start of covid mayhem, I started a few creative projects to fill up my time, including snapping a selfie at the same angle once a day and someday compile them into an animation. Little did I know it’ll document me coming out and being in hrt.

A lots happened since this time last year to say the least 🤣 at this time last year I was in an unhealthy environment including living in an asbestos filled backyard shed and now I’m living somewhere else where I can express my hobbies and more about who I am.

While great things like coming out of the closet, beginning my transitioning and publishing a book have happened too. No year is without ups and downs.

Also unexpected things like the 4 admissions of hospitalisation in 2021 so far, which I’m still trying to recover from, and that storm isn’t over yet. I want to take the chance to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in my crisis. I would not be alive today without you all.

Archenar’s Illumination

a poem by myself

There are many days I feel all alone,
no matter how large the hug or forest I am in.

There are many days I don’t know if I’ll see the next,
no matter the help I get with my monsters.

There are many days I believe more in the potential
of others than in my own,
no matter how deep I am grounded within myself..

No matter how bad I get or how lost I feel,
I wish I could promise to hold onto hope.

I want to be greater than what I suffer,
because in the darkness,
there can be… discovery,
there can be… possibility,
there can be… freedom,
once somebody illuminates it.

I still share my darkness and my illuminations through my life,
because that act can unconsciously give others the strength and
inspiration to do the same for those who crave to overcome
their own monsters.

Notes:
– Poem named after the only star I could see through the window during my first of 5 clinical admissions during this PTSD crisis.
– After reading, if you’d like, listen the song “Dona Nobis Pacem 2” by Max Richter. As I feel it has a strong emotional connection to the spirit of the poem.
– Artwork made by myself, vector art based off photo references of a misty path through a forest in Ireland.

6 Months on HRT

Reached 6 months into #hrt feeling more me despite the major medical situation this year. Has been a major point of grounding myself during this crisis.

I do miss that radiant me I had back in February but more time in hospital and care is needed before I get to that point again.

#transgender #transisbeautiful