Category Archives: Transgender Life

You Can’t Go Home Again

You Can’t Go Home Again   With regards to Thomas Wolfe and his excellent novel, I respectfully, disagree.  As Trans* people, I think it is imperative we do go home again.  Our visibility creates awareness, makes people uncomfortable and increases opportunity of having a meaningful and productive dialog between Trans* and cisgender folks.  In rural America where I am from, we may be the first and only Trans* person they ever meet.  It may be painful, scary, exciting, fun, humiliating or a failure, but I think it needs to be done.

I ran away from ‘home’ and never went back   I grew up in Shelby, Ohio, a small, farming/factory town in mid-Ohio.  There were 9,600 residents when I left in 1969.  All of them white, primarily blue collar, hard-working citizens living the good life.  There was no diversity; everyone looked like everyone else.  There were no problems with race relations, for obvious reasons.  The goal of life was to graduate from high school, get a factory job, get married to your high school sweetheart and make babies.  The holy grail for working hard for 40+ years, for almost everyone, was to retire with a nice pension and move to Florida (The Promised Land).  As far as I knew, there was only one person living there, at that time, who was Trans*.  That was me. So  when I was a senior in high school in 1968, I enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and on Saturday, January 4, 1969, I ran away from home.

Come back with me to 1958   When I was about eight years old, the earliest I remember, I became intrigued with women’s clothing.  My mother was a raven-haired beauty who wore Donna Reed dresses, high heels, red lipstick, bullet bras, gloves and a hat.  She was a beauty then and more so into her final days at age eight-four.  Back then I didn’t have a definition or a name to what I was feeling, I just know I loved the way girls looked and I wanted to be one too.  I didn’t know what was going on with me, but I knew it was something I should keep to myself.  I was so good at keeping secrets, it wasn’t until 2006 I came out.

Queer!   Back then, there weren’t distinctions between sexual preference, gender expression and gender non-conforming people.  In my home town, everyone different, no matter who you were, was a ‘queer’.  The more expressive folks would use ‘faggot’, ‘sissy’ or ‘homo’ or a combination laced with expletives.  I was an easy target.  I was short, not thin, played music, acted in theater, hated sports, hung out with the girls and was goofy.  All, apparently, traits of your garden-variety homosexual during the 1960’s.  I know what bullying is from being up close and personal and on the receiving end.

Like a thief in the night   Over the course of almost fifty years, I went back to Shelby infrequently to see family, be with my parent’s when they were sick and watched them slip away when they passed.  I was there when they were laid to rest in the town cemetery.  I came and went without visiting old haunts or went looking for former friends or classmates.  If it wasn’t for funerals, I’d never have seen any of those people, but I was the dutiful ‘son’, dressed in my manly attire.  They didn’t like me then, why should I like them now!

I am woman, hear me roar!   This year I turn 67 years old and I think I’m a pretty cool and courageous woman, not unpleasant to look at, so I’m told.  I love who I am and the woman I’ve become.  Now, however, is the time to turn up the ferocity.  I need to go ‘home’, walk the streets of Shelby, Ohio, engage people and look up old acquaintances and classmates.  My 50th Class Reunion coming is up and that will be the perfect time.  Let those in my Alma Mater see just how fabulous I’ve become.  Let them know that Trans* people exist, even in Shelby, and have forever.  If any of the old bullies are still there and start with their old taunts, bring it on!  They will see just how fierce an old Transwoman truly is.

Love in the time of transgender

Love in the time of transgender   Finding someone special with whom you can fall madly, passionately in love is difficult for anyone.  Many of us in the Trans* community struggle to find meaningful and loving relationships.  Some of us are blessed to have a spouse or partner who is supportive and wants to keep the marriage or relationship together.  Some of us are not so lucky.  I’m sure we all know a member of our Trans* family who has chosen to remain in the closet to keep or find a loving partner.  There are many, also, who have decided to live a single life.

Some of us aren’t so lucky   We all have heard of or know someone who lost their family when they came out. I have an acquaintance and a friend who both were thrown out of the house, divorced and have not seen their children in years. The pain of that loss never goes away.

Making our choices   A few years ago, I was widowed, losing my wife of twenty-four years.  I had come out to her a couple of years before and we were working our way through the changes in our marriage.  Cancer changed all that way too soon.  After a couple of lost months, I vowed to come out and begin my journey.  I did not have anyone in my life and my children are adults and not living at home.  I was on my way and I didn’t need a partner.

Loneliness   I had not lived on my own for a very long time and I found it lonely.  I had been married a total of forty-three years.  I had a house that was too big and too quiet, and I thought, who’d be interested in me, an aging trans-woman.  I was still working, so I have friends and associates from the office, but not romantic material.  I also wasn’t attracted to men, so that cut out a significant slice of the population.  I had made up my mind it would be me and the dog and visits to the grand kids.

Just friends   I knew one of the ladies in another department where I work who had lost her husband and we became friends during my wife’s last year.  She shared her heart and wisdom while I struggled.  About four months as a widow, my friend invited me to dinner on New Year’s Day.  I wasn’t out to all at the time and she was unaware of my true gender identity.  As we talked, the topic of ‘What will you do now?’ came up.  When I got to the ‘I’ll probably never marry again,’ she asked me why I wouldn’t.  That was when we had the ‘There’s something I should tell you’ talk.  To say I caught her off guard is an understatement.

Time and patience . . . and lots of conversation That night, we began what has been a three-year long conversation.  In the beginning it was about gender identity issues, sexual orientation, (yes, I’m transgender, no I’m not gay) and living a lie.  Also on the list was how can you know you’re a woman, people will never speak to you again and what do your children think of this.  There were many late night talks, long phone calls, some tears, some harsh words and many, many more questions.  She started out the conversation with the knee-jerk reaction of what I was doing is a sin and why did I chose this, to slowly realize this isn’t a choice, this is real and this is my life.  What began as a friend helping someone through a very bad spot in life, slowly blossomed into love.

November 26, 2016  Risking it all, in May of this year, I asked her to marry me.  She didn’t see that one coming either.  When she realized I was serious, not to mention being on one knee and holding a ring, she said, “Yes.”  This time it was happy tears.  We will be in Hawaii for Thanksgiving to spend it with her family (she’s a wahine), so if you are near Waianae on Oahu, look for the crazy haole and her island girl getting married on the beach.  Come by and say, “Aloha.”

I so happy to the other brides and grooms Through social media and the online press, I see more and more of us are finding love and getting married or being in committed relationships.  To all of them, my heartiest congratulations, long life and much happiness.

Thank you   I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge using part of the title from Gabriel García Márquez and his brilliant novel, Love in the time of Cholera.  Gracias, señor.

Hormone Therapy for Transgender

hormones

Hormone Therapy for Transgender   There is so much we could talk about hormones.  Almost all of us have thought about them, are using them, want them or have given them up.  We do what we need to in order to get our hands on them.  Some of us go to our endocrinologist, gender med doctor, family physician, healthcare provider, local clinic, cross the border to buy them, use herbals, creams and lotions.  Some of us get blood work done quarterly (I’m one) and review with the doctor or never mention it and monitor progress themselves.  We use pills, patches, shots, and topical applications.  It is a polarizing topic and one that will continue to be discussed as long as we are taking them.

Hormone Patch (234x250)

 

They are important to all of us   You may take a testosterone shot and someone else jabs herself with estrogen.  Every one of us is effected whether we use them or not.  My Trans-men friends love the feeling of strength and power they get from testosterone.  I love the calming effects of estrogen.  We both want and need to see the physical changes our respective hormones produce in us.  It’s important for us as we reveal who we truly are.

Spironolactone-Bottle-Sandoz

 Spironolactone   Equally import to us women is ‘Spiro’.  That wonder drug that blocks testosterone.  It helps to get, “more bang for the buck” as my gender med doctor told me and he was so right.  I see the effects of testosterone poisoning in so many young cisgender boys and men and I think what a pleasant world it would be without all of this hormone-soaked macho bravado.

How does it affect your thinking?   I was having a wonderful chat with my GF in New England, Melanie.  She asked some terrific questions.  I’m listing them here.

I would like to know when women go on estrogen does the way you think change? Do you have strange dreams? Do how you see other people change?

Great question   I want to open this up to all of us so you, too, can share your experiences and knowledge. I’ll start the conversation.

I would like to know when women go on estrogen does the way you think change? Speaking for myself, it does change the way I think.  I find I’m less aggressive, competitive and less likely to anger.  The world is a much happier place to me now and, I’ve been told, I am a much more likable person.  Those who knew me before I started hormones and Spiro tell me I’m so much nicer to be around.  My son’s mother, my ex-wife and my oldest friend told me when we were married, she always wondered what would make me happy.  She didn’t think it would be this, but she likes what she sees.

Do you have strange dreams?   I don’t know if I have any stranger dreams since I’ve been on hormones.  I’ve always had pretty strange dreams and that doesn’t seem to have stopped.

Do how you see other people change?   I will say yes, absolutely.  I no longer envy women like I did before and I’m not angry for being born in ‘that’ body.  I’ve gotten more accepting and I am trying to be a gentle, loving soul.  I credit hormones with giving me the physical and mental changes I needed.  Because of hormones my anger and frustration has gone away.  I’ve achieved acceptance from family, loved ones, friends and acquaintances.  I truly rejoice in seeing myself as I’ve always imagined.  How can we not see others differently when we look through new eyes?

Hormones   That’s our discussion for now.  Melanie, thanks for those questions.  You are the best.  You’ve got my $0.02, now let your thoughts and voices be heard.

wish i could be a woman too

All About Loneliness and Depression

wish I could be a woman too   Just last week I received a one-line e-mail, no subject, from an AOL account.  It simply said, “wish i could be a woman too”  This e-mail had an immediate impact and has followed me for days.  For many reasons, old and new, I empathize with this person.  Most of us can, because we’ve been there and this is or was us.  There came that moment for us when it all became too painful, too bewildering and too consuming that we all had to say or type or write the words or even scream them, “We are not the people we appear and we are prisoners in our own bodies and our hearts and souls are in pain”.

Loneliness   There are few soul pains as cruel as not wanting to be the gender you are, hating the body you see in the mirror and being unable or afraid to tell anyone.  The added sadness that you have lived with this secret for a year or decades.  The agony of seeing others who have successfully made the transition while you must hide your true self.  We’ve all been there.  We all reached that point where we had to tell someone.  We could no longer contain it and had to say, “wish i could be a woman too”

I am so happy she reached out   I am so glad this person wrote to me.  I responded, but have yet to hear back, and I may never, but for a brief moment, this person, one of our sisters, reached out and got a reply.  Maybe this was enough and she will go about her life. Maybe it is the start of her liberation and transition.  Everyone’s transition is different and perhaps hers is just coming out to herself and knowing who she really is inside.  Wherever her journey takes her, I wish her well.

Please reach out, we’re here  We need to remember when we had our, “wish i could be a woman too” moment.  This goes for ALL our sisters and brothers.  We also should rejoice, remember and thank those to whom we reached out.  At our low moments, we found someone to connect with.  I encourage all those out there, those who are looking to connect or those who are willing to speak with someone just finding their way, reach out. Please find each other.  There are many places out there where you can connect with someone, but if you are here and need to connect with someone, I’m available.  E-mail Cate.OMalley@MatureTransgender.com, I would love to hear from you.

Her confidence is her armor

confident

Her confidence is her armor   A confident woman is a beautiful woman.  A confident woman is a strong woman.  A confident woman is a powerful and fierce woman. Confidence is her armor.  This is a lesson I learned from my mother and sisters and from dear friends, Trans* and cisgender.  When I was just beginning this journey, I had wonderful teachers/mentors/friends who help me gain the confidence and courage I needed to step out of my house.  There is so much I learned from my dear friend, Elayne and our dear sister, Leanne Edna Anderson.  They shared parts of their journeys with me.  Both used their confidence as their armor to live as they want to live.

I have nothing to be ashamed of   I’ve spoken a bunch about Elayne.  She has helped me so very much and I love her.  She shared a few experiences that emphasized not being ashamed, being honest and being bold.  Before I got to where I am in my journey, when I wanted clothing, I’d order on-line, usually to be disappointed, or I go to a store and sneak a garment into the men’s dressing room.  Our sister, Elayne, took a different approach and it’s one of the many reasons I admire her.  She would gather the garments she wanted to try on, skirts, blouses, etc., take them to the dressing room attendant, if there was one and explain, “I’m a crossdresser and I’d like to try these on.”  The attendant almost always did not object and if, needed, unlocked the door to the dressing room. (Why do they lock those doors?)  Confidence, honesty and pride allowed her to shop and live as her true self.

Not to this girl, you won’t   Our gf, Leanne Edna Anderson, wrote and shared an experience where confidence was the difference between living honestly and being harassed.

“I was in Walmart dressed to the nines. I am very passable. I went into the ladies room, entered a stall and used the facilities. In the meantime, a sales lady that knew me and my wife from before called security saying a man was in the ladies room. When I came out, there were four burly guys waiting for a man to come out of the ladies room, but I was not a man, I was a pretty girl and I strutted right by them and out of the store.”

With her head held high and confidence as her armor, she was not intimidated or mistreated.

Only two examples, but many exist   There are so many examples, most, I believe, are never considered as strapping on our armor and standing up for who we are, but they indeed are.  The bravest act for all of us, and the one really needing armor, is admitting who we are to ourselves.  We tighten up the armor and come out to a friend, family member or spouse.  An angel I know, long ago told me when you can get the confidence to walk to your mailbox in the middle of the day, fully dressed, you are on your way.  I was shivering in my armor that first time, but I made it to the street after a couple of false starts.  I timidly walked to the mailbox just knowing everyone in the neighborhood was watching.  When I turned around to walk back to the house, I stood a little taller and felt a bit more confidence.  I said to myself, “I got this!”

Look at yourselves  Whether you are Trans* or Cis*, regardless of whatever which gender you identify with or not identify with any, we all have drawn upon our confidence to get us through a tricky, troubling or dangerous situation. I hope you feel the heft of your armor and know you re strong and brave.

strong

The pure joy of being out and about

The pure joy of being out and about   I was talking on the phone with one of our friends, Pamela, who roams between the Pacific Northwest and the Southwestern United States following the warm weather.  She is one of my heroines for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason being she started living honestly and came out at the age of 72!  She’s the father of two and a grandfather. We have a lot in common.  She began going out and about like many of us by attending a gathering of Trans* women at a garden party.  It was her first time out and she experienced the pure joy of being out and about as her true self.

The answer to a lifetime of wishes and prayers   Pamela described how happy she felt and feels being out.  She waited decades, hiding her true feelings.  With love and respect, she came out to her family.  Pamela’s family is still on the journey to acceptance and understanding and she is able to enjoy an outing with her wife and daughters.  The joy Pamela feels is tremendous.  To be out with others like us.  No hiding, no guarding her conversations and just being really free.  Words are inadequate to describe the happiness.

The feeling doesn’t end   I was having pizza with my best friend, Elayne, last week and we also discussed this feeling of joy being out and about.  To her, it all came together when she was able to enter a crowded place and enjoy the thrill of being out.  She floated in, unconcerned, confident and beautiful, just the way it is supposed to be for us all.

My first dinner out   The first time for me was having dinner at a restaurant with a friend.  I was apprehensive and it took me a while just to get out of the car.  The hostess took us to our table and seated us.  The server came over and said, “Good evening, ladies, can I take your order?”  It was the first time, ever, that I had been called a lady by anyone.  I was on the Moon.  I spent dinner in a state of bliss, chatting with my friend, talking to the waiters and just loving being me.

It happens every time   It’s been a few years now for me and being out, even to the grocery store, is still a thrill.  Sure, there have been a bump or two in the road, but nothing to deter me, nor should you be deterred.  When I’m out and some young grocery boy says, “Yes, Ma’am.” (remember, this is the South) or I hear someone call, “Ms. O’Malley,” it’s a thrill and a dream come true.  My friends Pamela and Elayne know it and my wish is for all of us to enjoy and revel in going out and about, free to be your true selves.

Coming at you in 2016

Coming at you in 2016   Over the holidays, I was blessed with the opportunities to talk to a number of my friends, old and new.  Most are our sisters in the Trans* community, with a few cisgender friends thrown in for equal time.  I get so much from our conversations, e-mails and pizza-night chats.  I want to share their insights and experiences, pleasures and pet-peeves and what is decades and decade’s worth of knowledge.  I’ve learned so much from them and it’s too precious not to share.

Is it just gender stuff?   No.  We talk about everything from pedicures to wigs and everything in between.  A girl can only complain about Spanx so many times.  Clothing, makeup, wigs, shoes, travel, food, football, weather, camping, farm-life, herding cattle, cooking, sewing, hats, scarves and you name it.  It’s all shared lovingly and never a dull moment.

That includes you too   This sharing is open to everyone who reads this blog.  Those who have commented and especially our friends who have included their stories on the tab Your Page.  If you haven’t shared up to this point, this is a sincere request to join our conversation and let us hear from you and share your experiences.

How do I get in on this?   Easy.  Simply reply to this post.  If you like, share your story on the Your Page tab.  You can e-mail me directly at Cate.OMalley@MatureTransgender.com.  If you want to chat on the phone, drop me a line at my e-mail with your number and I’ll be really happy to talk to you.

Hurry up!   Don’t delay. We are eager to hear from you.

She’s the father of two

She’s the father of two   Recently, I was reading The Huffington Post, one of my favorite places on the web.  Along with the name of the author of an article, there is a one-or-two sentence biographic statement.  I saw the above headline regarding the author of the story I was reading and stopped short.  What a wonderful addition to this woman’s bio.  Being a parent is one of the really important things in life, if not the most important.  Being Trans* will never negate being a mother or a father.  It made me hope to see more and more references like this in the future.

Me too   Immediately after reading She’s the father of two, I said, “Me too!”  I have a son and a daughter and I’ve never thought of myself any other way then being their dad.  Being their dad is amazing and I can’t think of anything I’m more proud of or that I’d rather be.  I love Ben and Rachel and I love being their dad.

What should I call you?   When I came out to my son and daughter, they both asked, “What should I call you?”  My response was, “Call me dad, or whatever you are comfortable calling me.”  Regardless of how I present, my gender expression or how I define myself, it does not change the facts.  I’m a father.

Hi, I’m Cate O’Malley, Ben’s dad   This should be a simple introduction.  I’ve used it and it does tend to make the uninitiated a bit uncomfortable.  It’s a statement of fact, not a way for me to poke fun nor do I say it to get a rise out of someone.  I’m Ben’s dad.  It’s a simple, truthful statement.

Times are changing   If I’m a transwoman and the father of two, then there are transmen who are mothers.  There are agender people who are fathers and mothers.  It’s an undisputable fact.  Until there’s a different word, the person providing the eggs is the mother and the person providing the sperm is the father.  Until those designations change, and it seems unlikely, then I’m a father, and damn proud of it.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 20, 2015

Transgender Day of Remembrance is the day the trans* community comes together to mourn those who were killed during the last year for being trans*, gender non-conforming or perceived so. Whether they were or were not trans*, they suffered and died because of hate. There is no justification for bigotry, injustice and violence. Today the world mourns those killed, maimed and injured because of terrorism and war. These trans* people were not one of those. They were not in a war zone. They were not soldiers or terrorists. There were not our enemies. They were our sisters and brothers and they were going about their daily lives, just like you and I. The youngest was 16 years old and the oldest was 66. One young woman was killed in front of her church.

Our detractors will say they were ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’. The will claim they ‘where asking for it’. Whatever the circumstance, they did not deserve to be murdered. If I am standing in front of my church, is that the wrong place? If I am crossing a parking lot, heading to my car, is that looking for it. It is not!

We trans* people do not ask for special treatment. We want to live our lives peacefully, productively and without fear. That’s what our trans* sisters and brothers wanted, but it was violently taken away. That’s what I want, to live my life without fear for who and what I am. When I read the names on the list I have to think, there for the grace of God go I.

Please take time out of your day to look at the names and think about them, their families, their hopes and dreams, now gone forever. Please find the list here:

http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2015/11/20/transgender-day-remembrance-2015-those-weve-lost

Too Many Definitions?

Too many definitions?   When I began to realize I was not your vanilla, white bread, peas in a pod kind of person growing up, I had very few choices in which to categorize myself.  The three big ones at the time were straight, gay and lesbian.  If there were more definitions then that, I didn’t know about it.  It was the early 60’s and we were in a simpler time and place.  In all honesty, I was too interested in girls in angora sweaters, beer and rock and roll be too worried about labels.  I knew I was different, but didn’t know what to call it, so I didn’t call it anything.  Please realize I grew up in a very small, Ohio farm community where the pigs outnumbered the people, smack dab in the middle of a rural-agrarian culture which valued the status quo and frowned up diversity.  There was no alphabet soup of gender identities, sexual orientations and personal expressions.  Oh, how its changed.  These days we need a two-volume reference guide just to keep up with all of the new categories/definitions/identities/whatever you want to call it.

How many gender identities do we need?   The cornerstone of social media, Facebook.com, where you can have thousands of friends without ever having to spend time with any of them in person, made a big splash last February 13, 2014, by adding fifty-six new gender options instead of the old fashioned male and female.  This way you wouldn’t be hemmed in by the old fashioned binary.  In order to keep you up to date, here they are:

Agender

Androgyne
Androgynous
Bigender
Cis
Cisgender
Cis Female
Cis Male
Cis Man
Cis Woman
Cisgender Female
Cisgender Male
Cisgender Man
Cisgender Woman
Female to Male
FTM
Gender Fluid
Gender Nonconforming
Gender Questioning
Gender Variant
Genderqueer
Intersex
Male to Female
MTF
Neither
Neutrois
Non-binary
Other
Pangender
Trans
Trans*
Trans Female
Trans* Female
Trans Male
Trans* Male
Trans Man
Trans* Man
Trans Person
Trans* Person
Trans Woman
Trans* Woman
Transfeminine
Transgender
Transgender Female
Transgender Male
Transgender Man
Transgender Person
Transgender Woman
Transmasculine
Transsexual
Transsexual Female
Transsexual Male
Transsexual Man
Transsexual Person
Transsexual Woman
Two-Spirit
If these don’t fit – Fill in the Blank

That’s not all folks!   Here again, as an old-timer, I remember when there was gay, straight and bisexual.  Early on, bisexual was considered by many as someone who hadn’t made up their mind yet.  We now know differently and embrace our bisexual brothers and sisters.  However, and you know there would be a however, those three didn’t provide an accurate definition.  More definitions were added and added and added.  Below you will find a list of terms I’ve compiled while surfing the World Wide Web.  Everyday there are more and more.  This is what I’ve got so far.

LGBPTTQQIIAA+: any combination of letters attempting to represent all the identities in the queer community, this near-exhaustive one (but not exhaustive) represents Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Intergender, Asexual, Ally
Agender: is a term which can be literally translated as ‘without gender’.  It can be seen either as a non-binary gender identity or as a statement of not having a gender identity.
Advocate: a person who actively works to end intolerance, educate others, and support social equity for a group
Ally: a straight person who supports queer people
Androgyny: (1) a gender expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity; (2) occasionally used in place of “intersex” to describe a person with both female and male anatomy
Androsexual/Androphilic: attracted to males, men, and/or masculinity
Asexual: a person who generally does not experience sexual attraction (or very little) to any group of people
Aromantic:  is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Aromantics do not lack emotional/personal connection, but simply have no instinctual need to develop connections of a romantic nature.  Aromantics can have needs for just as much empathetic support as romantics, but these needs can be fulfilled in a platonic way.
Bigender: a person who fluctuates between traditionally “woman” and “man” gender-based behavior and identities, identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender)
Binary Gender: a traditional and outdated view of gender, limiting possibilities to “man” and “woman”
Binary Sex: a traditional and outdated view of sex, limiting possibilities to “female” or “male”
Biological sex: the physical anatomy and gendered hormones one is born with, generally described as male, female, or intersex, and often confused with gender
Bisexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as another gender; often confused for and used in place of “pansexual”
Cisgender: a description for a person whose gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex all align (e.g., man, masculine, and male)
Cis-man: a person who identifies as a man, presents himself masculinely, and has male biological sex, often referred to as simply “man”
Cis-woman: a person who identifies as a woman, presents herself femininely, and has female biological sex, often referred to as simply “woman”
Closeted: a person who is keeping their sexuality or gender identity a secret from many (or any) people, and has yet to “come out of the closet”
Coming Out: the process of revealing your sexuality or gender identity to individuals in your life; often incorrectly thought to be a one-time event, this is a lifelong and sometimes daily process; not to be confused with “outing”
Cross-dressing: wearing clothing that conflicts with the traditional gender expression of your sex and gender identity (e.g., a man wearing a dress) for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification; often conflated with transsexuality
Demisexual: is someone who doesn’t typically feel sexual attraction unless they have already formed a strong emotional bond with the person. The bond may or may not be romantic in nature.
Demiromantic: is similar to a demisexual, the individual doesn’t feel romantic attraction “unless they have already formed a strong emotional bond with the person.”
Drag King: a person who consciously performs “masculinity,” usually in a show or theater setting, presenting an exaggerated form of masculine expression, often times done by a woman; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite”
Drag Queen: a person who consciously performs “femininity,” usually in a show or theater setting, presenting an exaggerated form of feminine expression, often times done by a man; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite”
Dyke: a derogatory slang term used for lesbian women; reclaimed by many lesbian women as a symbol of pride and used as an in-group term
Faggot: a derogatory slang term used for gay men; reclaimed by many gay men as a symbol of pride and used as an in-group term
Female: a person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g.,  46,XX phenotype, vagina, ovaries, uterus, breasts, higher levels of estrogen, fine body hair) pursuant to this label
Fluid(ity): generally with another term attached, like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, gay and straight); not to be confused with “transitioning”
Fluid-sexuality: describes an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, gay and straight); not to be confused with “transitioning”
FTM/MTF: a person who has undergone medical treatments to change their biological sex (Female To Male, or Male To Female), often times to align it with their gender identity; often confused with “trans-man”/”trans-woman”
Gay: a term used to describe a man who is attracted to men, but often used and embraced by women to describe their same-sex relationships as well
Gender Expression: the external display of gender, through a combination of dress, demeanor, social behavior, and other factors, generally measured on a scale of masculinity and femininity
Gender-fluid: describes an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, gay and straight); not to be confused with “transitioning”
Genderf*ck: Deliberately sending mixed messages about ones sex, usually through ones dress (e.g., wearing a skirt and a beard).
Gender Identity: the internal perception of an individual’s gender, and how they label themselves
Genderless: a person who does not identify with any gender
Genderqueer: (1) a blanket term used to describe people whose gender falls outside of the gender binary; (2) a person who identifies as both a man and a woman, or as neither a man nor a woman; often used in exchange with “transgender”
Graysexual :defines the term as a magical place between asexual and someone who is sexual” and something more fluid between sexuality and asexuality.  Those who identify as graysexual might also identify as gay or straight or any other sexual identity inside or outside of the binary.
Gynesexual/Gynephilic: attracted to females, women, and/or femininity
Hermaphrodite: an outdated medical term used to describe someone who is intersex; not used today as it is considered to be medically stigmatizing, and also misleading as it means a person who is 100% male and female, a biological impossibility for humans
Heterosexism: behavior that grants preferential treatment to heterosexual people, reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, or ignores/doesn’t address queerness as existing
Heterosexual: a medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the other gender (or, literally, biological sex) than they have; often referred to as “straight”
Homophobia: fear, anger, intolerance, resentment, or discomfort with queer people, often focused inwardly as one begins to question their own sexuality
Homosexual: a medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the same gender (or, literally, biological sex) they have, this is considered an offensive/stigmatizing term by many members of the queer community; often used incorrectly in place of “lesbian” or “gay”
Hypersex(ual/-ity): a sexual attraction with intensity bordering on insatiability or addiction; recently dismissed as a non-medical condition by the American Psychiatric Association when it was proposed to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5.
Intersex: a person with a set of sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit within the labels of female or male (e.g., 47,XXY phenotype, uterus, and penis)
Lithromantic: described a person who experiences romantic love but does not want their feelings to be reciprocated.  A lithromantic person may or may not be ok with romantic relationships.
Male: a person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g.,  46,XY phenotype, penis, testis, higher levels of testosterone, coarse body hair, facial hair) pursuant to this label
Non-gender: a person who can not be identified as male or female without chromosome testing, or a person whose chromosome test is inconclusive.
Outing [someone]: when someone reveals another person’s sexuality or gender identity to an individual or group, often without the person’s consent or approval; not to be confused with “coming out”
Pansexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions
Polysexual: similar to pansexual, may be attracted to some gender variant people but not have the capability or desire to be with some others.
Panromantic :is romantically — but not sexually — attracted to others regardless of sex or gender.
Queer: (1) historically, this was a derogatory slang term used to identify LGBTQ+ people; (2) a term that has been embraced and reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community as a symbol of pride, representing all individuals who fall out of the gender and sexuality “norms”
Queerplatonic Relationships: are not romantic in nature but they involve very close emotional connections that are often deeper or more intense than what is traditionally considered a friendship.
Questioning: the process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, investigating influences that may come from their family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations
Same Gender Loving (SGL): a phrase coined by the African American/Black queer communities used as an alternative for “gay” and “lesbian” by people who may see those as terms of the White queer community
Sexual Orientation: the type of sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction one feels for others, often labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are attracted to; often mistakenly referred to as “sexual preference”
Sexual Preference: (1) generally when this term is used, it is being mistakenly interchanged with “sexual orientation,” creating an illusion that one has a choice (or “preference”) in who they are attracted to; (2) the types of sexual intercourse, stimulation, and gratification one likes to receive and participate in
Skoliosexual: attracted to genderqueer and transsexual people and expressions (people who aren’t identified as cisgender)
Straight: a man or woman who is attracted to people of the other binary gender than themselves; often referred to as “heterosexual”
Third Gender: (1) a person who does not identify with the traditional genders of “man” or “woman,” but identifies with another gender; (2) the gender category available in societies that recognize three or more genders
Transgender: a blanket term used to describe all people who are not cisgender; occasionally used as “transgendered” but the “ed” is misleading, as it implies something happened to the person to make them transgender, which is not the case
Transitioning: a term used to describe the process of moving from one sex/gender to another, sometimes this is done by hormone or surgical treatments
Transsexual: a person whose gender identity is the binary opposite of their biological sex, who may undergo medical treatments to change their biological sex, often times to align it with their gender identity, or they may live their lives as the opposite sex; often confused with “trans-man”/”trans-woman”
Transvestite: a person who dresses as the binary opposite gender expression (“cross-dresses”) for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification; often called a “cross-dresser,” and often confused with “transsexual”
Trans-man: a person who was assigned a female sex at birth, but identifies as a man; often confused with “transsexual man” or “FTM”
Trans-woman: a person who was assigned a male sex at birth, but identifies as a woman; often confused with “transsexual woman” or “MTF”
Two-Spirit: a term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders
Zucchini: is the name for a partner who is involved in a queerplatonic relationship, as in “He’s my zucchini.”

Did you find something that fit?   While putting this list together, I read them all and depending on the day/hour/minute, phase of the moon, season of the year or any other minor or major fluctuation in the universe, I may identify with one or more of these terms, only to change later.  Gender is fluid and on a continuum and that makes it the most interesting and exciting journey. What it really boils down to, and we don’t need a list for this is, we are all individuals, precious in our own way and deserving of respect, acceptance and love.

P.S. If anyone is looking for a zucchini, hit me up.