What Do You Want To Be Called?

Faith is not my legal name; although it will be when I can finally afford to. I never liked my name, and long before I started on my gender identity journey, I was on an overall who am I journey. During that time I was writing about my past, the traumas that I faced, and was told to choose a name to protect my identity. I was taking a class that focused on writing about love and loss, and my professor was going to include my essays in his textbook. I spoke about self-harm, child abuse, suicide attempts, and overall depression. To keep all of his students safe, my professor asked for pseudonyms. Faith was born then. Faith, an ideology that was broken within me. Faith, a concept that I was trying to regain in my life. Faith, one of my favorite characters on TV in a show the resonated around the world. The name became my own.

Broken, drowning, lost and feeling so disconnected from the world around me, Faith rose up within me as I navigated my world through essays, reflections and prose. Taryn Davies came later, through gentle musings and a need to feel complete. My given name is still used, out of legality, out of disrespect and  out of confusion. But that girl is gone. She is gone with the gender roles and deep secrets that always held her back.

Continue reading What Do You Want To Be Called?

I’m Not Transgender, I Have Gender Dysphoria.

One of the issues that I’ve found in the LGBTQ+ community is the consistent use of umbrella terms. I understand why the practice exists, and continues. Writing out the entirety of the community could take years as a new term is added under the glorious rainbow umbrella each day. With the variations that take place even within basic terms, like “lesbian,” I understand the struggle the community faces in finding a home for all those searching for love, understanding and identity.

Then there are those outside the community trying to understand the melting pot our community has become. Many are trying to be allies, and trying to understand so that they make their loved ones feel loved and accepted. It’s hard. Years of conditioning (gender binaries, heteronormativity etc) are working against their attempts in understanding, and for them, understanding is important. It gives them a connection to us. It is something more than just “accepting” us for who we are. Continue reading I’m Not Transgender, I Have Gender Dysphoria.

Irrational Thoughts

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Yesterday I attended a mental health support group called Rational Thinking. The purpose of the group is to address issues with irrational thinking, and provide skills that will assist with reframing negative thought processes into positive ones. I pride myself in being able to identify my irrational thoughts and I work hard not to let them overrun my mind. For many that is no easy task so, again, I take pride in my skills.

The wonderful person leading the group had decided to try to address irrational thinking in a new creative way. She asked us to take an index card, write down an irrational thought, and place it in (anonymously) in a box. She would read them aloud once everyone was finished. I took two index cards. I understand the power of putting words to paper, so the chance of placing negative thoughts on paper and then giving them away wasn’t something I was going to pass up. I put my first irrational thought down, and then turned to the second card. What to write? I had been grappling, for weeks, with relationship insecurities, so I decided to write about that. However, I never expected the words that appeared in front of me to be what they were.  Continue reading Irrational Thoughts