Question: The strength to abide

L asks…

Where do you get your strength from? The strength to just be you whoever that is day after day in spite of others’ attitudes, assumptions or attacks.

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on October 9th, 2011 at 04:00 pm

Category: questions 33 comments »

33 Responses to “Question: The strength to abide”

  1. gk

    Something that helps me is reading other trans/genderqueer people’s blogs or looking at their videos/pictures. Whenever the world makes me feel ridiculous, I go to those sources to remind myself that no, we are not ridiculous. We are beautiful and we are strong just to be here.


    Alex replied:

    Same here – the strength of those people almost rubs off on me, to get me through the most difficult times. There are so many brilliant and wonderful trans* people out there, and to be able to glimpse the wonder of their lives gives me faith in humanity and keeps me going.


  2. Cirrus

    The knowledge that other people in the community, no matter how far away, no matter how little they know me (indeed, I mostly mean people who /don’t/ know me) would be proud of me, would accept me, and would treat me well.

    If there’s one person in the world who would treat me well and respect me, then even if I never find that person, it gives me the strength not to give up.


  3. Damien

    I get my strength through my trans friends, and by following others blogs. I also get strength from my stubbornness, because I know people may not see me as male, but one day they WILL, and I’ll prove every one of them wrong.


    Anonymous replied:

    this (:


    Alex replied:

    Brilliantly put :)


  4. Kai

    The knowledge that my seven year old brother doesn’t see anything wrong with two girls or two boys kissing.

    Friends who are willing to talk to me for three hours at a time because I’m feeling especially dysphoric since moving home and having my identity stripped.

    Seeing others survive.


  5. Laurel

    I have 2 things:
    First, I am a very religious person. My religion teaches that God created every human in God’s image and likeness and called us “…very good…” To be anything less than the person God created me as is against the Scripture. There is no Law demanding me to fall into some gender expectation. But there is a Law demanding that I do not lie; to be anything else but me is a lie.
    The second thing that gives me strength everyday is my partner. Little things she does, that she doesn’t even realize half the time, remind me that she loves me just the way I am. For instance, we were getting dressed to go to a friend’s wedding. I was wearing my suit for the first time and she looked at me as if me being in that suit made her happy because it made me happy to wear. After giving me a kiss on the check, she adjusted my tie. To her, it was nothing, just making sure my tie looked proper; to me, it was a total affirmation of my gender queerness.


    karigane replied:

    That’s romantic


    Anonymous replied:

    My lover sometimes does this…He’ll just compliment me on little tidbits of my gender that mostly I feel are unattractive…and it really surprises me! But then I remember that maybe those things are attractive; I’ve just been getting down on myself unnecessarily. I later try and not judge myself so harshly.


  6. Anonymous

    Meditation – insight, Shambhala, movement (dance yoga). Every day. And getting up early.

    Giving my attention to what makes me happy and enjoying the company of and supporting supportive people.

    Living with the wish that all beings and things be happy – including myself.

    Also eating well – whole grains, vegetables, beans, fermented foods, quality non-GMO and local dairy and eggs. No sugar, processed foods.

    This blog, genderqueer tumblr, Autostraddle, great books, upbeat music (Bach!).

    Everything else is easier to handle and negative situations become opportunities to create what you do want.


  7. Daniel

    For me, I just had to get to the point where the fear of living another day fake outweighed the fear of being true to myself. It didn’t have much to do with being strong or brave or any of that.


  8. Brett Blatchley

    It’s God who gives me strength, and very often He does that through interactions with other people. There’s no formula or magic to it, it’s simply that I have a relationship with God, because He (for some reason) wants one with me; it’s a relationship of mutual love. I do know that without His constant grace, His undeserved favor, I would very likely have destroyed myself long ago. I am able to endure my present body because of Him, and I await the fulfilling of His promise to make me beautiful, graceful and congruent in His timing. It’s not because I’m anyone special or “holy” or even “good;” it’s entirely Him, and I abandon myself to it, to Him: God is my treasure…


  9. Regen

    My wonderfully supportive friends who listen to my stupid questions like, “Is it okay for me to still ask people to use male pronouns for me when I’m wearing lace?” and who tell me that they see me as what I am, even sometimes when I know they’re lying. Having people who care about what I want and need has made all the difference.

    Before I found this AMAZING community, I was relying mostly on prayer and stuff that I saw on places like this. Also I’ve found that writing helps. If you can put the feelings of confusion and alienation down on a piece of paper, it helps to cope with them.


  10. Kor

    Knowing that I can have pride in the fact that I am doing what I want and working on accomplishing what I want to accomplish. Understanding myself and knowing the fact that no person can make me happy as consistently as I can make myself. Also putting my flaws aside to pursue fun and knowledge no matter what is a great source of energy.


  11. Will


    (not. joking.)


  12. anta



  13. Anonymous

    Sometimes I dont even know what keeps me going. Mostly, it’s either stubbornness or laziness (:


  14. Anonymous

    Doing art. Also I like trying to see the world as purely through my eyes as I can…I’m in a situation where I feel like if I could live as a hermit off in the woods, I would feel pretty comfortable with my gender…it’s these dang human beings that stop me from re-seeing my body as who I am…so I try and just think of experiences I have had directly, as opposed to getting consumed in either what the normative folks say I should do, or what I should to in order to be “trans-enough”…I try to just be me as best I know how to do that and not worry about pleasing other people.


  15. Alex

    I’ve found so many fantastic replies on here where I’ve wanted to reply with “ditto”, but I’m not going to reply to all of them indivdually (even though I started to before I’d read them all)…

    Just to add in my own little strategies, I’ve found other trans* people inspiring (as I’ve already dittoed – sorry people), particularly when I’ve felt more weak and pathetic than I usually do. Writing has been a great release, as has art, and I’ve found that simply being around accepting people – trans* or otherwise – builds my hope that I CAN live life my way.

    University is a great place, where I don’t even have to try and explain my confusing self to people, and I’m just taken as I am, which was a pleasant surprise! I’m beginning to feel strong (without the need for strategies) for the first time in my life thanks to the brilliant people I’ve come across there.

    I hope you find your source of strength soon :)


  16. Adam

    From inside!


  17. Yellowwallpaper

    Because of my sexuallity and gender identity I’ve lost the priesthood, had to move out of my home, had the greater part of my family refuse to contact me, and I make few friends; however, inspite of this, I am happier than I’ve ever been. I cannot stress the pricelessness of waking up and never having to put on a facade for anyone. It’s a freedom few understand and many take for granted. Compared to before, every movement I make with the knowledge that it’s ok to be me, is a euphoria I will never let anyone take from me again.


    Brett Blatchley replied:

    Yes, I understand some of this: I was excommunicated from my church family a year ago when I publicly identified myself as transgender/transsexual as part of my asking for prayer for my TG friends (though I had been living openly transgendered for years). It was deeply painful, but it actually strengthened my closeness with Jesus (He was odd and rejected too). Actually it was the leadership who rejected me, some in the congregation supported me, and left themselves after they saw how I was treated. Only weeks ago, I found a church where I am accepted as I am – a family that will give me room to grow in God’s way and in His timing…

    I’m sorry that many in your own family will not contact you, BUT I am thrilled for you that the facade is gone!!! After decades of my own repression, I know of the weight you carried, and of the relief you experience now!!!

    Allowing ourselves to be who we are in this is really the best way to live, both for our own mental and spiritual health, but also for the sake of others, even others who don’t (or won’t) understand us: We can live lives of honesty at this profound level. We can live with integrity – integrating the parts of ourselves. This helps us be our best whoever/whatever we are as persons.

    To those who think we should hide who we are (because they are inconvenienced!), who think we are deceiving ourselves and others because we are TG (as if we *want* to live a lie!): would it be better for us to live repressed lives, knowing we are deceiving others, presenting a badly distorted version of ourselves to the world, OR would everyone be better-served by someone who may seem a bit odd, but who is mentally and spiritually healthy? I could love others even when I was repressing; I love others *much better* and more purely, now that I am not.

    Heavenly Father, please continue to comfort Yellowwallpaper. Please bring healing, reconciliation, understanding, and growth to everyone involved in their life. Please give this special person a supernatural hug of assurance, and meet their deepest needs. You are *extravagant* in what You do in and through our lives! Please bring this person back into ministry that they may be blessed and may be a continued blessing to others, even as this person has blessed us here with their comment! We look to Your greatness dear God!


  18. Leslie

    I gain strength from the joy of knowing myself and being continually freed from limitations.


  19. Anonymous

    I myself am an atheist, but I wanted to pop in briefly to say that the responses naming religion here are interesting and inspiring. I had a religious friend react very badly to me once, and I’m glad to see that religion and the gender-aware community don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You are all wonderful, strong people. Thank you.


    Brett Blatchley replied:

    Your comment is touching and kind, thank you.

    I’m saddened that your friend reacted badly to you; I wish I could make it better…


    Regen replied:

    Religion is one of those things that for some people creates a wall and for other people creates a door.


    J.D. replied:

    Regen is absolutely correct. I grew up in a very hostile small town. There were 8 churches I could walk to from my house and I didn’t feel comfortable attending a single one. People told me to rot in hell, people told me to kill myself because God hated me, and I believed them. They were wrong.

    I am a Religious Studies major now with an academic emphasis on the Abrahamic Religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) and with a secondary major in Sociology, My life’s work is – literally – looking at the walls and doors created by these religions in the world today and in the past and in the future.

    In my Hebrew classes we’ve learned just how much of the Bible is a translation and how much of it is the translator’s personal interpretation. The chasm that separates the religious majority from the rest of us is vast, but its also – in my opinion – mostly psychological with very little scriptural backing.

    I do not attend a church, but I feel God in my life – in one form or another – every day. I feel blessed every day. I feel loved every day. For me there have been walls and doors as a result of my faith, but they have always led me to become a stronger, better person.

    Your friend, sadly, is likely misinformed or just ignorant of your situation. Its hard, and sometimes fruitless, but patience can make a difference. It did where I’m from. Change was made in my years in high school, but it took time, patience, and careful communication. It so easy to hate what we fear and fear what we don’t understand. This is a problem on both sides of the issue.

    God Bless you all. This website is a rock for me in the hardest, most trying times.


    Brett Blatchley replied:

    Yours and Regen’s comments are both really insightful!

    It’s amazing, and often sad, how much of our own biases, or human traditions, we manage inject into our view of God, and then how this affects the way we love or don’t love others…

    God, to be God at all, must be larger than the basest, most petty fears and bigotry of mankind. It is in our highest, purest ways that we reflect God’s character who must be higher still, if it is that God made us and not the other way around. Love seeks the greatest good through the highest means for the beloved. Jesus pointed-out that the sum of God’s purpose for people is that they unconditionally love God and others. He also pointed-out that God is love. I cannot do or be any of this without His help…

  20. A.

    my strength comes from a combination of things people have already said.

    my ability to take pride in what I do and what I love to do that has nothing to do with my gender identity.

    my personal relationship with God that tells me that no matter what other religious teachings/leaders/followers say I am exactly who God made me to be and I am perfect and good in God’s eyes. Plus the wonderful support I’ve found within my faith community has only helped strengthen that.

    Beautiful, wonderful trans*/genderqueer people who’s blogs I read, picture I look at and videos I watch who are living amazing lives and being open and truthful about their identity and experience.


  21. Nick

    I get my strength from nothing other than the firm belief that I, as a good person who helps others, DESERVE to feel good about myself, whatever my gender, whatever my body.


  22. Bucky

    Hey, this hasn’t been put up yet I don’t think, so I’ll forward my best friend; my family’s golden retriever. Dogs are better than humans because they don’t even have gender roles or judgements, much less use them and define their daily lives with them. Plus, you can scratch yourself where-ever and know that not even that will be judged; it will be joined.

    only sad thing is I hardly get to see him. And he’s going to be dead in only 7 or so years.


  23. Augustine

    Whenever I doubt myself, I remember one thing; the pain I felt when I was in the closet, lying to everyone around me and even more so, myself. I remember how it felt to look in the mirror and see a person I didn’t really know. I remember how lonely, empty and dull I felt, hiding my true self away.

    There will always be people who try and shove me back into their social molds, some perhaps even going to extremes to do so. But then I remember how happy, free and elated I felt the moment I said “I am Augustine. I am a man born in a womans body. I am me.”, and I can face through whatever some ignorant bastards want to shove at me. ‘Cause I’m worth much more than their daft beliefs.


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