All posts by TJ Cuthand

ALMOST BIRTHDAY!! 🌈🔥✨

Tomorrow is my birthday! A long time ago someone told me birthdays were celebrations of oncoming death, which is a bit grim. But it does have a bit of a countdown quality to it. I will be 46! And I’m not anywhere super amazing this year because I couldn’t get my birth certificate in time to get a passport. I am in fact STILL waiting for my birth certificate. It could come today, but who knows! It’s been in the mail for like, nine days or something. That’s a LONG time! It’s supposed to take five to seven days to get national mail delivered, and Toronto is a big hub! Or Mississauga anyway, I know that’s where the big Canada Post mail place is around here because my packages always get to Mississauga first before going out for delivery.

ANYWAY before I get into my self indulgent blog post, here’s some links to send me birthday money or “I appreciate you” money or “Thank you for making weird shit for us all these years” money or whatever you want to call it.

My Ko-Fi https://ko-fi.com/theocuthand
You can also send me paypals and etransfers to tjcuthand at gmail dot com.
ALSO buy my game

I got my COVID shot yesterday, so I am caught up again on my vaccine. I don’t really mind doing it every six months, it’s a lot though. I mean, I get a shot of testosterone every week now though, so it’s not like I’m never getting needles. It’s just like, wow we really have to do this forever I guess. Unless they made a universal vaccine I guess, that got all the variants.

It’s kind of disappointing that humanity couldn’t get it together to stop the virus being endemic. I guess that’s where we are now.

I was listening to an old psychic reading from 2020 before all the shit happened. And I was surprised to realize that the things she was talking about DID happen. On a bit of a longer timeline though, which makes me wonder if we’re destined for things to happen but sometimes the world slows it down because of current events. Like, some of that stuff didn’t become apparent until 2022. But I guess were already going into motion. Like she saw someone I was working with did not respond well to criticism and always took it as a personal attack, which became very very true. I didn’t know who she was talking about at the time, had no clue, thought it might have been someone else. But no it was this other person. There’s also this person she saw coming into my life who I think might have turned out to be my therapist, who I met and started working with later in 2020. That was really cool, I’m not totally sure she meant my therapist because she could hear an accent though and my therapist doesn’t really have one, or it’s similar to mine anyway so it doesn’t sound radically different. It could be another producer of mine though, which is also interesting. Either way this person was supposed to give me good advice and stuff and that’s true for both of those people.

She also saw me ending up spending winters at least in California, but like, in 20 years or so. Or maybe 15 years. In my 60s anyway. So who knows, maybe that is still in the cards! It was a tarot reading actually that this particular psychic did.

I should probably do a tarot reading for myself for this birthday, I used to read my cards all the time but I think they got annoyed because I just kept asking the same questions. But when I read for other people I can be pretty accurate sometimes, so maybe if I do a birthday reading it will be less annoying to my cards than when I was reading every day.

Ha ha omg one time I was reading my tarot cards about this Femme lover who dickmatized me and I got this card that had a goat masturbating on it. I was like wow what does that mean? Ha ha ha.

Anyway I hope I achieve great things in my 46th year, despite the odd adversary. I am making a new game this year about Repatriation! And I am developing a class! And hopefully directing a film! And finishing my short video about Transitioning! I’m hoping to get that done soon, I wanted to get a shot for it but I can’t until July, and I need to do things sooner if I want to submit to this particular documentary festival in Europe.

I was trying to get hookups this week but I think I might give up for a while. I’m just too busy, and these guys want to talk all the time because they are lonely. I need a wildly unbothered lover or two. Someone who doesn’t need attention EVERY DAY ALL DAY. I admit I used to be one of those sucky guys who needed constant attention. But not anymore!

Film screenings are ceremony

Today was a LONG day! Cleaner came by and my house was a fright so I’m very relieved it’s been reset back to clean. Also I had a pitch today that went well I think but I’ll find out in a couple months. Also! I am going to get more of my videos into distribution at Video Databank so that’s cool because I’ll make more money on my old videos having them at an American distributor, they get lots of rentals so that will be nice. I have to get all that material together (titles and video download links) and sign some paperwork. And I am still working on my transition video, but that’s a longer term project because I don’t think I will have the last piece I want until July when I can go to Saskatchewan and shoot something. I feel like it needs to be more interesting BUT ALSO right now just the basics are there because it’s still at an assembly edit stage.

I was putting in all these headlines about anti-trans laws and shit and it was DEPRESSING and overwhelming and also visually not very interesting. So I think I might just use a few headlines. I also noticed my body changed more than my face did, and my transition photos I’m starting with are mainly face shots. SO I gotta go through my phone and put images from that in there because there were more things being documented.

TMI Paragraph, skip if you are a relative or young!
Lol omg I know I shouldn’t care, I should be brave and push it or something. BUT I have a ton of photos of my dick growing and I wish I could use them but I don’t think I will. It’s pretty hot. It did get pretty big considering where it started from. Unpopped popcorn kernel size to Haskap size. I mean that’s impressive but I don’t think it’s going in my transition video. Maybe I will make a more sexy/porn oriented video about my dick one day. But not today. Or tomorrow. But SOMEDAY before it gets old and more wrinkled.

ANYWAY I’ve been doing well.

I’m in a bit of a lull between income streams so my cash situation right now sucks. BUT work is happening and I will be getting paid soon. So it’s just trying to squeak through the lean days. My career is actually doing pretty good. Which is a relief considering a producer tried to cancel me for not supporting our project anymore after said producer was sending me abusive emails. It’s nice to know people still support my work and see the value in it. I think also there was a bit of a comparison between reputations and track records of people involved. And I have burned a few bridges in my career but not many really, very rarely, in comparison. MOSTLY my working relationships have been good and mutually respectful. I’ve generally been fortunate to work with experienced producers with integrity and I am still working with experienced producers with integrity. So life goes on I suppose is the moral of the story.

I’ve been feeling a lot of spiritual significant things have been happening in my life recently. I might have talked about them, or maybe not. I don’t really want to get into them now. But I do feel like, a curiosity about why that’s been happening to me a lot. I don’t want to be a spiritual leader or medicine person. If anything I would hope my art is medicine. I don’t want to feel called to take on a more spiritual role in the community because I don’t think it’s for me. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to translate those events into storytelling more than doing ceremonies with people.

I mean, a film is a ceremony anyway really. We all come into a dark room, follow certain codes like not talking or being on our phones, eat certain things and watch a story. It’s very ritualistic really! I would rather lead people through experiences that way.

I’m doing well on a lessened testosterone dose. I went from 80mg a week to 70mg a week. It’s doing good so far, I still haven’t cried but I feel like, CLOSER to being able to cry. On 80mg I would get misty eyes and that was about it. Not satisfying. I was so relieved to stop crying every day like I did on an estrogen dominant system. I used to start crying at the beginning of therapy sessions and cry the entire way through it. And now I don’t. BUT like having emotional release is important for me. So I’m hoping this helps me get my full range of emotions back. It’s like trying to draw a picture with a bunch of crayons missing from the box. I want the whole box! Not this cheap ass missing crayons box.

So we’ll see, it does feel like I’m closer to getting that range of emotion back. I was laying in bed the other night, feeling the cry start to build behind my eyes and I was like “Yes! This is it! I’m gonna cry!” NOPE. Dammit. SOMEDAY SOON I HOPE.

Squish Squish

I’ve been doing 80mg of testosterone a week for a while now and I’ve stopped being able to have a good cry. It’s eerie!! I feel exactly like Edina Monsoon being like “Squish squish” when I want to be crying but can’t. Like one time in therapy recently my eyes watered but then I wiped them and it was over.

When we did therapy when I was on an estrogen dominant system, I would basically walk in and start crying and KEEP crying until I left. Every other week like clockwork. I used to have to schedule crying times at home too ha ha. One time I cried so hard the cushion I was sitting on was damp.

But now I can’t really cry, or if I do it’s just like, easy to wipe away. But I feel like crying is a good thing. It’s a release, it does good things to your body to let that stuff go. Now I have to go be a boy and work out at the gym when I need to regulate my body. So tough! Sigh.

Anyway I am gonna do it again next week and the week after, but after that I’m seeing my doctor again FINALLY to see what’s going on with my hormones and maybe I will decrease to 70mg and see if it makes me feel better about being an emotional human. I don’t feel like the higher dose brought any more things like new hair or anything. And 70mg is higher too anyway. I think I can cry at 60mg.

It’s just very weird seeing certain people in the community try to ruin my life and then not cry over it. Like, that should happen, some tears. Nope.

So anyway maybe in May I’ll be able to cry!

Paid Up Until 2027!

My web host has been paid until 2027. So this blog will stick around for that long at least, hopefully longer depending on my ongoing survival in this hellhole we’ve turned Earth into. But at least I’ll have some corner of the internet to blab in.

I did a lot of work today. I scored some applications for an award. I answered some emails about upcoming travel to EMPAC. I responded to an application for the workshop for Indigiqueer/2 Spirit Youth with Crushing Colonialism so that they knew we received it (please apply! See Crushing Colonialism Instagram @crushingcolonialism for details!). I did some light cleaning. I edited some video FINALLY for a project and realized the resolution is extremely LARGE which was making it glitch out in the sequence settings I was trying to edit it in. I’m gonna have to dial down the resolution when I go to output because honestly the monitors it’s going to be on are NOT that fancy. I got some toilet paper and Posey’s fancy cheese for her heart pills. I also did an interview with a filmmaker who is doing a film about various approaches to gender and sexuality in different societies so I was telling him things I knew about 2 Spirit people. Which is a lot but I still gave him some names of other people to talk to.

This last month was a lot of managing issues going on. And that took a lot of time away from working on my practice. It was really hard to keep on top of stuff. But yesterday and today I’ve gotten back into the swing of things. I came up with a course description for a course I am going to teach in 2025. So that’s cool, I think I wrote about it here already because it hasn’t been so long since I posted last.

After these small videos are done, I am going to be trying to edit my video about transitioning. I have two last shots I want to get but aside from that it’s taking everything I’ve gathered over the last while and trying to do something experimental with them. I obviously want to do something NEW with it that hasn’t been done before. But I don’t know if that will happen, maybe it will just go into the pile of what all the transition videos look like. July 25th will be two years on Testosterone so I’m not sure if I want to wait to export it until I get some images of me at two years. But I could at least edit most of it.

I also have to finish this script I’ve been sitting on like a little egg that is going rotten. It’s like, extremely young (not even a first draft yet, just outlines) and I need to work A LOT on it. Which means getting back into my writing practice and things have just been taking time away from that. But when I wrote “macîskotêw (Evil Fire)” I would MAKE myself write. like I had DEADLINES to meet and stuff, and I would put on timers so I would have to write for 20 minutes at a time a few times a day. And that worked for me but this project has been so neglected. Plus I need to get stuff to my story editor and he’s just waiting. WONDERING. When is it coming?

It’s funny to me that the two projects I’m having a hard time starting are the trans projects. I heard someone criticize trans people who have only been out for less than a year taking up space and talking about their experiences. So I didn’t want to do that I guess although the beginning of transition is exciting. But anyway, it’s been almost two years since I came out as a trans man so it’s about time I did SOMETHING about it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty and ugliness, kindness and cruelty. I feel like I’m committed to bringing beauty and kindness into the world. I heard someone boast about being mean and I just think wow what a sad life that is. I’m assertive but I’m not aggressive. My therapist was telling me about the difference because there is one. We’ve also been talking a lot about power and what it means to have power. And the possibilities of having power without abusing people. I think some people think power is equivalent to abuse and that being cruel means you’re dominant. But even in BDSM that is not a true statement.

Anyway ha ha philosophical thoughts.

Really though I think being an artist means I’m committed to beauty in some way, and I don’t even mean physical beauty. I just mean creating spaces in the world for people to experience themselves and understand something. Not like a garden, although maybe sometimes. I think even horror films can have a kind of beauty, to the people who like to watch them.

Trans Day of Visibility!!!

Happy Trans Day of Visibility! It’s a scary time to be visible, with manufactured outrage stemming from predatory fascist Christian evangelists. Jesus was probably trans to be honest, if the virgin birth thing was real. And hurrah, because a Trans Jesus is a great concept. Loving but persecuted by the government of his era. We owe a lot to Trans Jesus, and the fact that it’s Easter Sunday today also makes me think of him.

ANYWAY. Personally I think even when I was identifying as a Butch there was some acknowledgement for myself that I was trans masculine. I remember the agony of trying to figure out if I was cis or trans. I felt like I wasn’t qualified to take on a trans identity because I was so unsure about a future with hormones and surgery. I remember when I was finally deciding to start hormones in 2022, I had dinner with a friend and said I had some ambivalence and they were like “I asked a friend whose been on hormones for 7 years and he said he’s still ambivalent!” I know that sounds like maybe I wasn’t sure, but it seems like every day since then I have become more and more sure of my identity.

But also my gender was just in a state of flux for my whole life, and I think in certain ways I was very visible as being some kind of trans person.

What I like about the label Transgender is that it is an umbrella that lets people in at their own pace. I felt trans for years before I started a medical transition, I was even vocal about it before starting to use he/him pronouns and a new name. If I hadn’t been allowed to fit under the umbrella when my identity was more non-binary, it would have been harder to finally ID as a somewhat more binary trans man. Not that every non-binary person eventually transitions, but I felt like I had a community even before I figured myself out.

I had the feeling a lot of trans people in my life were just wondering when I would get around to it. And I just had to think about it for a long time I guess.

And now I’m the one being visible, hoping another trans person at whatever age gets inspired to live their truth. I can’t promise it’s fun, except it kind of is. I mean the persecution sucks yes, but having your body more aligned with the way you feel inside is really worthwhile. Not that every trans person needs hormones. In fact a lot don’t, or do them for a while and then stop for other reasons. BUT the shifts my body has taken with hormones and surgery is so fucking nice.

The other day in boxing class we were throwing tennis balls back and forth to practice defense (I am the worst at this) and my friend hit me in the chest with a ball and got so worried they almost said the forbidden word (“sorry,” if you say it in boxing class you have to do ten pushups). But it actually didn’t hurt the way it would have if I had boobs still. It just hit muscle and bounced off. And that was a cool new thing I realized about my body after surgery because breast tissue can be so tender.

Anyway, regardless if you can be visible or not, if you are trans and feel alone or scared, there are people who love you as you are, or will love you if you haven’t met your people yet. I’m fortunate that trans people in my life loved me and helped me be myself for over 26 years.

Addendum to previous post on Allegations Against me by Jas Morgan

I was gonna write a post for Trans Day of Visibility, and I probably still will after this. But it was brought to my attention that Jas Morgan made another allegation about myself and Union Docs which I did not address in the previous post. They claim we published their writing and edited materials against their wishes. This is a serious and entirely false allegation which they know is false yet have not made any attempt to correct.

The fact is Jas Morgan asked us to remove all of their writing and edited materials from the book in 2022. We did that. We did not even keep the title the same. The reason the reader moved forward is because we commissioned writing from three new writers to write scholarly essays/poems about my practice. Since it takes a long time to write and edit a reader, the book is actually not even published yet but will be shortly and released this summer of 2024 of materials Jas Morgan was not involved with.

Again I am not sure why Jas Morgan is clinging to a patently false narrative except to try to paint me as a predatory collaborator who steals ideas.

“He’s a good man”

Before I was born, my Mom did amniocentesis with me to check for any genetic issues. My sister has a translocation of the 13th pair of chromosomes, so they just wanted to know that my chromosomes were “normal.” Normal is such a dirty word ha ha grimy more than perverse tho. Anyway my chromosomes were XX so at that time it was assumed I was a girl. But my Dad was CONVINCED I would be a boy. My mom told me she asked him “You want a boy with girl DNA?” Which I guess in the 70s did sound odd. Anyway I was born appearing as a girl so yeah, but my Dad was still right in the end.

Another time when my Grandpa, Stan Cuthand, was on his deathbed and still lucid, he looked at me and pointed me out to my uncles in the room and said “He’s a good man.” I wrote it down in my FB because it was baffling at the time and I’m sure we all just shrugged it off with “he’s dying he doesn’t know what he’s saying.” BUT HE DID KNOW! I didn’t even know for sure, I was still really hanging on to my non-binary lesbian label. But I guess my Grandpa saw me for who I was and wanted to make sure before he died that I knew that.

I find it interesting that in both of those events, the people who recognized me as a boy/man before I was even sure myself were both men. And close relatives at that. Throughout my life various people thought I was a boy or a man but those were more surface interactions, like being called sir in the store and stuff like that, not people who were super invested in my life. But being recognized as a boy/man by my Dad and Grandpa really means something to me.

I sometimes wonder about my Mom and how she has adjusted. She was a very feminist mom and like “girls can do anything” and then I got into some very male dominated fields (filmmaking and game development) and now I am a man so it’s kind of taken away the magic girl power thing. Now it’s just regular dude stuff I guess. ALTHOUGH I would say definitely being trans can be rough on careers. So trans success is still a pretty amazing thing I think.

I got a mention in the New York Times last year which was kind of nice. But the more I think about it, the more I’m like “Wow the New York Times just said I’m trans and nothing about the actual art I made in the show.” Like that’s not engaging very much with the themes/formal approach I take to my work. It’s just a statement about my identity. I have it quoted on my facebook because it’s cute and hilarious, but also yeah not about the art. What about the art man!?!

I’m coming up with a class to teach next year and I wish it could be game development, but ALSO there’s a very steep learning curve to game development and I feel like I’m more of a video making expert. Although I made two games. BUT knowing how to solve problems in coding takes me a long time. I worked on Carmilla the Lonely for 14 months. That’s a long time! And a one semester class for people new to game development, I don’t want to overload them. Or make them try to do something overly ambitious. Ambitious work is great but when it’s a class project and you have other classes and genuinely can’t spent 14 months on a game it seems bad. I know I could scale it back to like, ONE small game. I don’t know I gotta decide soon though! Video or video game? Ohhhh it’s so hard both are so fun.

I did a class talk recently and someone asked me how I knew what story would be better told in a game or a film and like, honestly you could easily do either one with any kind of story really. I guess films have more precision in how the story unfolds. But you can force a narrative the same way in a video game. So I think there’s really similar really. I remember the first time someone talked to me about doing a video game, they said it was the same as film and that there was a lot of crossover potential. And I was like noooo no video games. Ha ha!

I’m glad it’s Easter weekend, I needed a break! I’ve been dealing with various things, some serious some not. A lot of energy being spent on certain things though when I would hope I can spend it elsewhere. But it’s calming down and I think I’ll be able to focus on things soon. Better!

I’ve been having a lot of spiritual experiences these days which is interesting but not something I talk about a lot except maybe on Facebook to my friends. I’ve been smelling “ghostly” sage off and on. Not constantly, maybe only three times in the last month. But when I do smell it it’s usually because things are hard and I’m being supported by ancestors. I assume anyway, that’s the sense I get. I’ve also felt the presence of some relatives who are on the other side. That’s been the most comforting I think. My ancestors were very powerful people in their own way and for various reasons. And before my Grandpa died I didn’t know how to communicate with them, because the majority of them I had never met in my life.

Last year after a major event in my career, I was walking with my friend Mikiki to go get lunch and saw an eagle feather laying on the ground right in front of us. It was a really nice one too, like a big wingtip eagle feather. A left wing feather. Ha ha that’s cute. BUT I had been looking for an eagle feather for a while, I’d been telling my Mom I wanted one and thinking about looking into those applications for eagle feathers. There’s a lot of laws around how to get them because they are protected. People do gift them for things like graduations and stuff. But like, you can’t go buy one, or kill/harass eagles to get them (that would be so awful). And it’s weird to ASK for a gift, that’s not how gifts work. So it kind of came in a perfect way to me because it just naturally fell out while the eagle was flying, and I did think it was my Grandpa looking out for me and congratulating me.

Spiritual things like that happening are really comforting. I don’t think I’m a religious person but I am a spiritual person. I know I’m not a hardcore traditionalist at all. But I definitely have a very specific nêhiyaw world view and moral compass that I think is supported by my spiritual beliefs. And some of it is just beliefs supported by my life experiences. Like trees having spirits (I know because I made one angry once) and rocks having spirits (rocks are animate in nêhiyawewin and I also have a rock companion I’ve carried for 32 years). I don’t think everyone needs to believe the same things. I just know what I believe to be true.

My dogs are constantly licking my head since I started shaving it. It was funny at first but after the 5th head licking session in a day it gets to be a bit much. I’m getting exposed to some kind of horrible dog germs. I think also it was only an occasional thing when it was just Posey. But now it’s Posey AND Todd and it’s like licking my head is a competition between them. I can’t handle it!

Ha ha what a random ADHD post, men recognizing I’m a boy/man, spirituality, head licking.

Saturdays are slow days

I’m trying not to post too much about things I already made a statement about. I don’t really have anything to add or want to encourage more manufactured outrage towards me. I’m glad people are still reading it though because it covers most of the current situation.

I went to the GTA24 openings at Museum of Contemporary Art this week because I have two videos installed on the third floor. The openings were fun, I’m SUPER wiped out today though and I need a break. I’ve been losing sleep the last few weeks and trying to catch up on it is hard because a puppy is very similar to a baby in terms of going to bed late and waking up early and needing things. He’s exhausting but so sweet and FINALLY we are getting a handle on Todd’s biting, which has been an issue for a while. But he’s less bitey now. He’s also more social than Posey, or like, a promising kind of social because he’s a bit standoffish when he meets people but he does warm up.

I’ve got to catch up on work this next week. I’m behind on a few projects. I know one has priority because we’re trying to get it done SOON so I’m hopeful to be able to finish it next week. I also have all these meetings and so on going on.

AH work is boring ha ha why do I always end up talking about it here? It’s also especially boring when I’m like “I’m doing things I can’t tell you about.” BORING no one wants vagueness like that.

My transition is fine, I feel like things are always changing but it’s slower and more subtle now and a lot of the main changes happened so there’s not much NEW NEW stuff happening. I’m STILL waiting for my birth certificate and every time I contact Saskatchewan to find out about it they just tell me information from the website and don’t actually look up my application to see if it was processed. I have to assume it’s fine because they would have called me if something was out of order. BUT ALSO it’s a clearly transsexual birth certificate right now because they are supposed to process a gender change on it, and I don’t know I do feel kind of vulnerable about that because Saskatchewan isn’t a very progressive province. They have a form JUST for the gender change that I had to get notarized and my doctor to sign, so it SHOULD be fine. Like there’s a process for it, it’s not unheard of. But yeah I am suspicious of them anyway PLUS I need it asap so I can get a passport again because I have work in the US coming up. So frustrating.

I’ve got a job that is going to start in August so that’s really promising, it’s a year long artist in residence position. I’m looking forward to it and will give more details in the future when a certain creep isn’t so eager to contact all the orgs I work with to tell them to fire me. I did give them a heads up that someone is harassing me and might make contact with them in the future. I’ve been very upfront and proactive with all the orgs I am working with about the situation and for the most part they’ve been supportive of me except for one that didn’t wait to hear my side of things. But that org can go suck a lemon.

I’ve really gotten into these Djarum Black Bliss clove cigarettes. They don’t have tobacco in them because you can’t have flavoured tobacco in Canada, which is the only reason I’ve started smoking them again. If they were a gateway to regular tobacco again I would skip them. But they’re nice! I used to love the old school Djarum Blacks. Such a goth cigarette ha ha. OMFG OKAY please do not let this rando comment influence you to smoke tho I’ve already been called a bad role model for smoking weed. And they aren’t good for your lungs anyway.

I don’t know about being a role model at all though. I do stuff and people admire it and that’s nice. But I don’t really want people to do things just because I do them. Like, if you don’t smoke weed now please do not go buy some just because your fave people smoke it. NO to peer pressure! On the other hand I do want people to be respectful to trans 2 Spirit and Indigiqueer people. So I guess I feel that’s a good influence. Ha ha omg I never wanted to be an influencer though. Nightmare. Some festival paid me once to be an Influencer for their festival but I felt kind of silly. It’s not like I have a huge huge following anyway. Maybe it made someone buy ONE ticket ha ha I dunno.

Posey is doing ok with Todd, but every time I try to cuddle her he wants to get involved, which makes me sad. He usually starts wrestling with her. But she and I used to cuddle so much before Todd arrived and she would actually come over and stand on my chest to get hugs and now she doesn’t do that. I think Todd will calm down and not bother her as he grows older. But Posey’s heart murmur is quite serious and she might not have more than 15 months left, which is REALLY sad and something I didn’t find out until after I got Todd. She’s only 10, and Little Mister lived to be 16 but he was in pretty good health up until maybe 2 or 3 years before his death. And I do love Posey a lot, she’s been my crabby rock. There are temperament things about her that were difficult though, or are difficult, and I know it will be easier with Todd on his own to be a dog I can actually bring with me a lot of places. Because Posey’s always been so crabby with strangers and other dogs.

I’m happy that they get along, that was a longstanding fear of mine about introducing another dog to the house. But Posey does deserve some love and dignity in her last days and I’m so worried I can’t provide that with a very demanding puppy around. I’m not going to get rid of either of them though, they’re both important and loved by me. But I have to figure out how to give both of them the best life together and meet both of their needs.

When I got Posey, Little Mister was seven years old. So technically a senior but really he still had almost half his whole life left to live. And he had a good life. Even when he was a senior with health issues he had a good life. But Posey is exactly ten years older than Todd and it’s a big difference. I wasn’t ready for a new dog until this year, but I almost wonder if I should have gotten a puppy a while ago when Posey was in better health.

ANYWAY I am going to a movie later, and hopefully the gym although there was a storm here and I’m reluctant to go out in all that snow. It’s probably mostly cleared though. I haven’t had time to go to the gym this week except for Boxing class on Sundays. And that’s a very intense 2 hour class, BUT weightlifting at the gym is so nice! Listening to tunes, trying to impress myself by lifting more than before. Looking at all the cute guys. And I’ve been going for long enough to be a regular but I’ve missed so many days and it’s bumming me out!

napêhkân to napêw

I am really trying to learn my language. My Grandpa was a fluent nêhiyawewin speaker, but didn’t teach his children when they were young. We all did learn like, the bare essentials though. Like awas (which means go away) and astum (which means come here) and other random words. He tried to teach me when I was younger. But anyway it’s been something I work on off and on.

I think part of having an Indigiqueer identity is trying to go back to my original language to find terms to refer to myself. When I came out as a trans man I was using the word napêhkân to refer to myself which means “looks and lives like a man.” But it’s one of those words where sort of context and deeper meaning is a bit unsure. Like was it a slur? But also it might not have been a slur at all.

But also as I’ve gotten more and more used to my lived experience as a man, I feel less and less like “looks and lives like a man” is an appropriate identifier for myself as a trans man. I’m not someone who goes around saying I don’t want to be referred to as trans. But somehow napêw (man in Plains Cree) matches me more these days than napêhkân.

I think also that Cree masculinity is a specific thing, so calling myself a napêw is more accurate to who I am than “looks and lives like a man.” Like there is a certain kind of softness and kindness that a lot of nêhiyaw men have, and I recognized that even before I began to identify fully as a man.

I know sometimes with intersectional identities like mine, people like you to rate your identities. Like it’s a very weird thing, like put them on a scale which is the identity with the most privilege vs the identity with the least privileged. Or which community shuns you more, Indigenous communities for being a queer, or queer communities for being Indigenous? It’s kinda nefarious. And also too binary thinking. I don’t like rating my communities like that.

Truth is more complicated than that. Mostly I have been supported by those communities I belong to. I think there is a racism problem in the Queer/Trans community and also a homophobia/transphobia problem in Indigenous communities. BUT I don’t find talking about those issues helpful in terms of trying to figure out which identity/community I favour more. I honestly like all the communities I belong to, even when they don’t all like me.

I’m still working on my intro. Artists are always doing intros on panels and stuff and most Indigenous artists have developed some kind of intro in their language. I don’t have one yet. I don’t even have a spirit name to be honest, or rather I DO but I don’t know it yet because I haven’t gone to a ceremony over it. But you’re not supposed to really tell anyone those names anyway (at least in the teachings I have gotten you don’t). BUT I could at least say my community and that I am a nêhiyaw napêw. But I guess I’m also aware that it’s a language only certain people understand, so I have a chance to say something profound for a very small audience. It’s very intimidating to try and think of a word!

I know there’s a word for filmmaker and I should probably look it up again. I’m taking a Cree class again and it’s time to finally work on a real introduction for myself in nêhiyawewin.

Anyway…

Back to scheduled programming which is really just my life in a nutshell. Todd has been growing and learning! We’ve had three puppy classes so far, he’s getting used to being on transit and in cabs in a bag. He’s a handy bag size still, which is good because it’s convenient for me. And yes his head sticks out, I do not carry him around inside a ZIPPED bag. At some point tho he’s gonna be too big for the bag and I’ll have to just tote him around on transit on his little legs. He’s already gotten very looooooooong. Today a friend came over and he tried to eat her hair, which was pretty funny/ridiculous. I’m glad he made a friend! He also tried to hump her tho, shame shame ha ha. But it’s the first time I’ve seen him warm up that well for someone, he’s a very standoffish little pup to strangers. I guess he likes people to play with him. I’m learning new things about him all the time.

I’ve been doing well otherwise. Work is still going mostly as planned, which is nice. People have been supportive in messages to me which is always good. I’ve got some new projects cooking and also trying to finish up some older projects, or at least get them into a more developed phase. Including my VERY OVERDUE script for a new new project. I honestly think though that since it’s a film with a trans man protagonist I needed more lived experience before I could write it in a more honest way. And now I’ve been an out trans man for almost two years, so I’ve learned a lot about what that feels like. There’s been more euphoria than anything else in my experience though. I’ve been fortunate by living in a larger urban centre, and knowing a lot of other trans men who were already friends before I came out. So it’s been easier for me at this point. HOWEVER I do remember trying to come out in Saskatoon as a trans man in 2007 and how complicated it was, how difficult to access health care and also it’s just such a small place it was hard to find dates. I did go back in the closet not long after coming out that time. BUT ALSO I kept packing a dick on and off ever since then. So something was still brewing I guess.

I’m still in the middle of name change stuff. I’m waiting to get my birth certificate, they were supposed to have processed it now, but it’s not arrived in the mail yet. I hope it comes soon because I have places to be! Mostly in the USA. I have other places to be domestically, but my Aeroplan is STILL under my old name, which is frustrating. I sent them the documents a while back and they said it would be two weeks. It’s been three weeks now. So Air Canada you can go suck a lemon! Westjet changed my name in their system within 48 hours. Which is WAY more reasonable. I called the birth certificate place to find out where my birth certificate is and all they did was inform me of information already on their website. Which is not helpful. I guess it’s in the mail somewhere. Or in a pile to be mailed out. Who knows.

Posey is now on medication for her heart murmur. It’s $100 a month. Poor baby! Poor wallet! She hates pills so I’ve been sneaking them to her in a ball of cranberry and pepper Boursin. Which she loves so she always is stoked to take her pill now. I wish I’d realized this was the easiest way to pill her earlier in her life! I tried other things before without any success.

I mean she has a point tho, if someone was trying to sneak something to me, probably putting it in some Cranberry and Pepper Boursin would do it.

I took a bit of a weed pause over the last couple of weeks, but it’s gone back to regular usage. I just needed to be super clear for a week, and it did help! My resting heart rate has been elevated but it is slowly going back to my regular range. I got blood drawn at the lab the other day and it was kind of HORRIFYING because it was SOOOO thick and viscous. I was curious so I looked it up and blood gets thicker and stickier during fight or flight stress responses, because your body assumes you are being chased by a lion or attacked by someone with a knife or something, so it makes your blood easier to clot and save you from bleeding out. Okay, first of all thank you body, for evolving and adapting like that. But also WTF?!?! That can’t be good in the long term.

I mean the funny thing though is it wasn’t really me I was worried about. I was thinking about people in war zones like Gaza where that stress response has been ongoing for months. I can’t imagine what that would do to your longterm health.

Humanity can be so brutal. I have felt supported by my community recently though and I am def grateful for that, and also hopeful that my blood goes back to regular programming.