All posts by TJ Cuthand

Settling into new/old stuff

I am back in Toronto! I had an uneventful but very long transit back on New Year’s Eve.

(TW/CW for body talk/weight/exercise for the next bit)

I lost fifteen pounds on my trip, which was super surprising to me because I thought I got fatter. But I didn’t, actually when I came back I was out of breathe a lot less often, and because of carrying two suitcases around I was also able to carry a medium sized box with barely any effort. Stronger! I have since gained almost five pounds back. But I’ve stayed at a decent for me weight because it’s close to the BMI I think McLean clinic wants before they will do top surgery on you. And I know there are other surgeons where it doesn’t matter but I just know more people who went to McLean. Anyway! I won’t be crushed if I don’t stay at this weight. But I am really liking the not being out of breath stuff and carrying heavy things easier. And it makes me think I’m more in shape for things like sex (not looks wise just not getting puffed out so fast). So I’ve decided to keep trying to exercise to maintain this. I’m still eating what I want more or less, but I don’t order in as much, and I’ve switched drinking Coke for drinking water. I am not gonna count calories or anything like that though. I think that gets into sketchy territory, or it would for me. I got a trial membership at the YMCA for a week and I’ve been three times to do cardio. It’s just a really nice activity, to be around strangers who are all working out. Also I’m probably still mostly seen as a woman when I go there, but that is shifting and there’s a universal change room with individual changing stalls there, so I started using it and for some reason because there’s often men in it I feel more at home. I thought I would feel more threatened being around cis guys and being a trans guy who is at the beginning of a transition, but it was fine, they honestly didn’t care. I don’t know if I would feel differently if I was in specifically the mens change room. I am hoping to eventually just use the mens change room but it’s nice to have this universal change room while I feel like I’m presenting more ambiguously.

I went on a date with someone and it was super nice and super low pressure and I think we’ll see each other again. I’m also trying to date other people, but mostly I’m just glad I’m open and available to date people again.

I was thinking I was heteroflexible, but now I am back to thinking I’m bisexual. I don’t know I’m exploring things about my gender and sexuality. I think going to the YMCA also made me think more about guys because there are just so many there. Also I go to the Y near the Village so it’s full of queers. I can see an aesthetic appreciation of men. I am still unsure of romantic things because I’ve never fallen in love with a man before. Nonbinary people for sure though. Anyway, it’s interesting to feel my perspective solidify into a more masculine perspective. Because I think desiring men as a man is different than the viewpoint I had before.

I don’t know how to talk about my past, because I was SUCH a lesbian, and now I’m a man, but at the same time I kind of always was a man and when I think of my childhood I think of myself as a little boy. Even some of my favourite pictures of me just seem like an average little boy, maybe with longer hair than usual little boys but that’s all. But being a lesbian for so long was really nice in community ways. I think I was a little terrified when I came out that I would get shunned, but that hasn’t happened. It’s been a little awkward maybe at times though.

My mom and I’s relationship is improving. We’ve been in therapy and I promised I wouldn’t talk about it. But we have progressed to having a few phone calls during the week, so I actually know more about her and I feel a bit relieved to be able to talk to her about other things in my life that I would normally talk about with my mom. Like art world stuff and that kind of thing.

I feel like transitioning is starting to draw in more potential partners. I just think people didn’t really know what to do with me before, because there was obviously gender stuff going on with me and people have specific tastes. And I think they just didn’t know where I was gonna take it. I mean the funny thing is most of the people I dated in the past are also open to dating trans men. So in some ways I don’t know if it would have bothered any of my exes if I had transitioned while we were together. There were other things about me that bothered them I guess ha ha.

I mean there might be other things that change about me that become turn offs to some people though. Like if I do get way more muscular, some people just don’t find that kind of thing sexy. I mean a lot do though. But some don’t, so in a way I’m gonna miss being desired as a fat person. I’m still on the bigger end of things but even that is small fat. I don’t know how to explain this. It’s just really nice to desire and be desired by as a fat person. So I don’t know what it’s going to be like to be more muscly.

I have always wanted to be able to hold someone up against the wall while we’re fucking though, so maybe that can be a new dream to realize.

I have work still. I am still working on the video game. I managed to get the stake to kill the vampire, but to trigger the stake you have to kill ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN THE ROOM which is the opposite of what I want to have happen, where killing one person triggers losing the game. No this is just a total vampire bloodbath! So I’ve been googling the answer to my coding issue and trying to get any ONE object destroyed to trigger the stake. But I don’t know how to do it and I’ve been messing with an array but yeah, that’s my current issue. Also I need to make another level, I need to do a diner. But I drew the asset of the counter at a very specific visual perspective and I’m having trouble envisioning how the other assets of the diner will work together in the scene. So I can either go googling or asking for coding answers, or draw assets. ALSO I am trying to get a step outline done of my new feature script, which I could be pitching to someone except I gave them the worst first pitch already and I want to actually look like I’ve thoroughly fleshed this idea out before going back to them. I took notes from a notes meeting recording the other day and I think I’m going to try and work on it tomorrow. Today I have two meetings to do, one about a project/event, and the other about my OTHER feature which is completely written.

I’ve been worried how my career will handle me being a trans guy. Because like discrimination etc. So far it has been ok, if I lost any opportunities I feel ok about it. I’ve still been asked to speak in classes and show films and present stuff and had studio visits from different curators so like, things are still happening. I feel sort of like, I was meant to make films about identity and stuff so that there could be things existing in this political climate that show trans lives right now. Because there’s so many anti-trans laws being drawn up and stuff in the UK and the US and that stuff always makes its way into Canada. We already have assholes threatening drag story times up here, ridiculous. I actually do a lot of work in the United States so it would be nice if they could stop being transphobic. Plus this is Indian Land, come on, fuck off with your colonial bullshit. That’s my favourite thing to tell transphobes, let them know their transphobia is also rooted in racism and colonialism. And that they aren’t wanted on this territory. Fuck off!

But yeah I guess I am curious if funders will see the value in me telling trans stories. I got turned down for a grant recently about being trans, which sucks. I’m going to do the project anyway because it’s mostly gathering ephemera over a long period of time to talk about my transition. But it does suck not to get money.

On the other hand I did get a screenwriting grant to tell a horror story about a trans masculine person, and if this one company likes it they might produce it. So not all bad things.

I guess I’m just really tired of being part of minorities whose stories aren’t considered universal, while white stories are. I just think capitalism really crushed the diversity of storytelling, specifically when it comes to film.

A new name, but kind of the same name for work

So I have a new name now, which I’m not gonna update on most of my social and stuff because I want to stick with TJ Cuthand for work reasons (it’s a pain in the ass to change it everywhere and I do not want to go through that again ha ha). I am now Theo Jean Cuthand. But yeah if you are talking about me for work still use TJ just so people don’t get confused. I don’t know. I just don’t want to go through the internet again trying to fix my name everywhere. I mean really it’s a JOB going through all that shit. I’m still finding my deadname here and there on stuff where the only person who could change it is me and that’s such a drag.

Anyway, I was drawn to using the name Theo because it sounds similar to my deadname, it would be the same initials, I was partial to it as a kid because I named one of my pets Theodore (he was a rat!), and also because Vincent Van Gogh’s supportive brother was named Theo, and I want to be supportive to emerging artists so it kind of fits. But it’s not Theodore it’s just Theo.

I am leaving Vienna soon! TWO DAYS and I’m outta here! I’m ready to go, I got super lonely especially over the holidays. I did meet a new friend through Tinder so that was nice. But I miss home. I miss my friends, I miss my dog, I miss my bed, I miss legal weed, I miss Canadian food, I miss being able to use Uber Eats and Doordash. I miss Earls Cajun Chicken and BBQ ribs. That’s like my all time go to dinner order and they def don’t have Earls in Vienna. Or I am pretty sure they don’t anyway. So I’m ready to come home. My game is in a way more advanced stage and I think I’m going to be able to finish the main coding I have to do for it this next month in my next residency. So that’s exciting. I am going to make one of the characters have blood giving properties so the vampire can feed, and I am trying to figure out a mechanism so the vampire can meet their lover and have a romantic encounter. Not sure how I will do that though.

Christmas here was nice, I’ve been to so many Christmas Markets. I went to the one in Berlin that was attacked by a terrorist in 2016, and they have GIANT barricades on all the roads leading to it so no one can drive a truck through it again. I went to a molecular gastronomy Michelin starred restaurant in Berlin and had all this wild and elaborate food which was really good (I didn’t like the pike tho). They first brought out these tiny savoury things that looked like desserts, including this lollipop with somehow savoury cotton candy wrapped around it. At one point they brought me a cup of foam that was actually filled with pieces of spicy crispy chicken. Just wacky stuff! One looked like stuff in a petri dish, and it was pieces of pickled kohlrabi surrounded by a kohlrabi sauce topped with slices of kohlrabi and small granule shaped drops of blood orange juice that was frozen by liquid nitrogen. It was nuts! But beautiful. I want to dine at a restaurant like that again, it was just too amazing.

I have escaped all the winter storms that were happening in North America, it’s been relatively mild here. It barely snowed, and when it did the snow went away pretty quick. I almost miss the snow but I know I will feel differently when it’s February in Toronto and I’m shovelling us out again.

I’m ready to be home. I think the first month here was ok, but then after that I got super lonely and missed my life back home. I did get to meet some cool artists though, and it was nice to have space and time to focus on a project. I didn’t get the webseries shot though, unfortunately. But the game came a long way.

Also my drawing skills have improved as I’ve worked on my game. I’m considering if I should redraw some things that were in the cemetery level and see if I can make it look better. I know the grass was way too long, and I could make a different ground that is at a more realistic scale. The handy thing about Unity is if you want to replace a sprite with another sprite, you can just swap them in the Inspector and it will still keep all the settings and stuff. Also it might be nice to smooth some lines out in the maze.

I think my favourite level is the BDSM club. I put a lot of work into it. There’s a St. Andrews cross where you can get whipped, there’s several people whose blood you can drink (but shouldn’t for most of them), there’s ramifications if you go around killing people (I still need to work on the coding for this but basically a hand with a stake comes out and stabs you to death if you start killing people, or that’s what it’s SUPPOSED to do but I needed to take a break before I could finish it exactly). I’m still trying to figure out what a dialogue system would look like in this game, and now I am wondering if that is really necessary. Originally it was going to be so you could talk to people about consent or finding love. But I’m also thinking it would be nice to be able to make a more universal game that anyone could play regardless of language spoken. At the same time negotiating consent was a big part of the game’s initial concept, so it would be disappointing to just not put it in.

After I get the main stuff in, I need to start coding it so that it will remember what happened in different levels. Like if you fed in the BDSM club then I would want that to be reflected even when you go to the street or the cemetery.

I’m also a bit concerned about censorship, cause like it does have adult themes and I was hoping to be able to put it on Itch.io but I don’t know if they have rules against that. If worse comes to worse I will host it here and you will be able to download a desktop version.

It sucks that Queer artists have to deal so much with internet censorship. Like ok, I’ve been making work since 1995, very Queer work, and there’s been censorship since the beginning of my career (and long before). But it feels like it’s getting worse. You can’t even use certain words on online spaces without triggering censor algorithms. Like the three letter F word, a gay friend of mine used it in a post on Facebook and got thrown in FB jail for it. But it’s his community! So frustrating. That is not the progress people think it is. And people saying shit like “unalive” because if they say kill or die it triggers the algorithms to ban them for abusive language. It’s very frustrating as an artist who likes to use language in my work. I feel like it’s changing the way we communicate in a detrimental way. And it’s def changing the kind of work you can show. I mean you can make anything you want, and you can write anything you want, but in a lot of online spaces those writings and art works will not be able to be seen.

I’m so glad I have my own website.

My voice is now sounding like a teen boy

It was my 21st shot of testosterone today. Hard to believe it’s already been this long! My voice sounds way different now, I recorded a short story vid for my instagram and I sound like a teenage boy. Definitely a masculine sounding voice, it’s really cool and makes me pretty happy.

I feel like it has sounded deeper on other days, but that’s the comparison between a couple weeks on T and 20 weeks on T.

Pre-T and after 21 Shots of T
TJ comparison of pre t and 20 weeks of t.

This comparison photo has been making me pretty happy because I feel like there’s something more feminine that’s disappearing, and my jawline is getting more square and masculine. I tried to match the smile in the pre-T shot but I felt like I was making a silly face so I couldn’t do it! Maybe that would make it easier to see differences tho, if I matched the smile. Oh well. Also I have zits today which is def because I’m in my second puberty but doesn’t make me feel as cute in the second shot. Oh well!

I had a good time in Prague! I went into a nuclear bunker, which scared the shit out of me because it was 85 steps down a spiral staircase with a big space in the middle where you could see to the bottom. And my legs were all shaky, I thought I would have to inch worm down. I made it though! Even though my legs continued to shake for a couple of minutes after we hit the bottom. The guide told us about his childhood in Communist Czechoslovakia, and how his education involved a lot of military exercises even as a child, in learning to operate rifles and gas masks and grenades. It sounded very traumatizing. He escaped by going through Yugoslavia. I also went on a ghosts and legends tour and found out there’s a church there with a severed skeletal hand of someone who tried to steal the Virgin Mary statue to sell, and somehow he got caught and couldn’t release himself so the police chopped off his hand so he could get free and then the church just like, kept it! And hung it on the wall. There were also these medieval underground houses we went into that were also creepy because they had sketchy stairs to get down. Again my legs were all wiggly and shaky. We also saw a torture chamber from that era which was across the courtyard in another underground building. Apparently there’s a lot of underground buildings there.

I wasn’t there for very long but long enough to see how beautiful the place was and to want to come back and have more adventures.

This week I go to Berlin from Wednesday until Sunday, which is gonna be fun. I’m going to see a show I am in at Schwules Museum called Queering the Crip, so I am excited about that.

I am leaving Vienna on the 31st of December, which is finally coming up pretty soon. I think the rest of my time here is going to fly by. I got a green screen today so I can finally think about shooting my webseries. It’s a very simple green screen set up, and it won’t be done before I leave cause I’ll need to edit and things. Also my video game is very far progressed which I am happy about, but I still need to finesse the choice between conversation or biting, and I need to build some sort of dialogue system. So I want to have all the characters in there before I leave and then continue fixing it up at home. I’m doing a residency at McMaster University starting in January, so I’ll be spending my time finishing up these projects there. I’ve been taking these short trips to Prague and Berlin as my time off, because I’ve been working really hard while I am here. I’m glad most of my things are done though for my game. Like, I really did get so much finished so I am happy about that.

Krampus Lauf and Gender Dysphoria

I had so much fun at the Krampuslauf in Salzburg. Here’s my best video from it. I tried to take pics but it was night time, so not a great time to take pics of moving people. But I did get some good videos. I’m glad I went, it was so wild! I know some of these Krampus runs are more violent but this was way more family friendly and pretty sweet. And if you stood near children the Krampuses would come after them to try and scare them.

Anyway, I have been dealing with my low self esteem when it comes to relationships in therapy and I was trying to figure out where it’s coming from, besides not having a long term relationship ever. But also I felt ugly my whole life. And then this week I was like WAIT A MINUTE! I feel ugly because I have gender dysphoria. I honestly thought I just felt shitty about myself, I didn’t realize I was feeling disappointment at not seeing a more masculine me in the mirror. It was both a relief and also kind of sad, because I realized it wasn’t really a reflection of whether I am cute or not. It’s just the gender I’m currently presenting.

Although the gender I am presenting is starting to shift with testosterone. I’m noticing more things different in my face. I put a pic of myself pre-T next to me on T and there’s differences, I don’t know what it is though but it’s shifting.

I went out with a trans masc person I met on Tinder the other day and I could see this amazing shift between them looking like a guy and then being more ambiguous. I wonder if I am presenting that way now? It was so interesting, like watching gender shimmering.

I’m also noticing more changes in my pants, which is nice cause I was kinda bummed that not much was changing down there. But it IS changing and getting bigger, which makes me happy. I can’t talk about it very many places tho. But yah ha ha I wanted to have a cupcake to celebrate my little dick.

I took a pause and now am back to working on my video game. I drew the rest of the furniture in the BDSM club. I programmed it so that the vampire would show her butt if she touched the St. Andrews Cross, and then I’m gonna add whip noises. But after she turns into a butt she just flies around the club being a butt so I have to fix that, although it is really funny. Lesbian Vampire sub frenzy.

I unfriended my ex, even though it made me sad, and I just sent a message to say why and goodbye. And then they still haven’t read it and I’m just like “WOW you really hate me.” I can’t make them read my message. They probably won’t ever. But even that kind of made me realize it was for the best to unfriend them, just knowing there was honestly no way to ever fix things between us. I just don’t know why they didn’t unfriend me a long time ago if they hate me so much. Were they hate-watching me? Ugh that feels bad. I tried. Nothing I did was gonna change things, I don’t even know if they know anything that has happened in my life this year. It’s very strange. But it makes me feel better to not have someone who hates me so much on my friends list.

Vampires!!!! And Krampus!!!

I made a level of my video game! It’s not the first level. It’s more of the interstitial level when she’s got to run through the cemetery to find and get to her crypt.

Carmilla Cemetery Level from TJ Cuthand on Vimeo.

It was a lot of work but I’m mostly pleased with it. There are minor edits I want to do, like there’s a couple white spots in her hair that look weird. And I think the Sun Timer needs a bit of adjusting to be just right, just moving one image a little more up.

I’m working on the street level now which is gonna be some stores and things and a couple places she can go into and be in another level. I have to figure out how to keep timers and info across levels, so that will be a challenge.

But also it’s been fun to do all this troubleshooting and coding by myself. I’ve solved most of my issues by doing deep googling about other people’s c# codes to get things to do things. And also by going back to my old video game and comparing code there to code here.

I’ve been having a good time in Vienna, people I’ve met have been very friendly. We had studio visits for Vienna Art Week today and it was long. Plus some jerk played really loud EDM downstairs on the street near where I sleep at 2 or 3 am so I was tired. After the studio visits I came back here and had a long nap.

I went on a ghost tour and saw where Elizabeth Bathory used to live, the countess who murdered 600 people to bathe in their blood. So intense! Of course people still live there because why not, so while the guide was telling us about it there’d be like, people coming out to walk their dog or take their trash out. Kinda funny.

I got a train ticket to Salzburg and an AirBnb for a night so that I can see a Krampus Run. There’s supposed to be 900 Krampuses there!!!

I also got a Krampus chocolate.

Krampus Chocolate

Fuckin’ cutest thing I ever saw. I got another one for my friend Terri and now I have to figure out how to bring it back without squishing it. It’s hollow I think, so maybe I can get a box or something.

My German sucks. I’ve mostly gotten around with English. But I did learn a word today, Jetzt, just means Now and the only reason I know it is because it’s in all these youtube ads. STILL!! One new word!

Aside from Vampires and Krampus, I’m taking this next week to finish Evil Fire. I got some last notes on it and I’m going to hopefully be done before I go off to see the multiple Krampuses on Saturday. And then hand it in on Monday. We’re gonna try and get production financing so we can shoot next year, and it’s SO CLOSE to being done. Just needs these last changes. So that’s exciting and will also take a big project off my plate for a while.

Someone got hacked on Instagram but they were sending me sms messages to reset my instagram password and I got creeped out and unfollowed both her new profile and her old profile because I didn’t know what was happening or who was the Imposter. I am sure I will find out later.

Twitter is dying, or so they say. It looks pretty battered. I’m glad all those people quit on him, he made such a toxic work environment so fast. I would def not put up with that.

In Vienna Finally

It’s finally time for me to do the Vienna Residency and I am here! I have a nice studio, lots of room. The bed is small but decent. There’s a washing machine in here which is nice, and a tiny dishwasher. I finally went to the supermarket today to get some things and it’s so close, like on the next corner down the way. I got some currants which I never see in Canada. I also got some breakfast things and snack things. I went back for more snacks because I needed something salty. I’m trying to avoid candy and chocolate (I’ll prob have some chocolate though) because of the pre-diabetic thing. I hope this helps. I am staying across the street from a really cute bakery though so I might eat pastries once in a while.

I’ve been constantly working the last several days so I took yesterday to rest most of the time, I was all jet lagged yesterday also so I needed it. Today has been better. I am going to try and get some work done tomorrow though, probably on my script and also my video game. I watched a tutorial on making a maze in Unity 2D, so it’s helping me come up with ideas for the cemetery level. I’m really stuck on how to draw the main character. A Bipolar Journey was so easy to draw because they were just giant heads rolling around. But I’m not sure I want to do the same thing with this character. I mean I guess she could just be a head with vampire fangs. It would make it easier to have her moving through the world that way. Ha ha omg this reminds me of that French and Saunders skit where they are being a famous art couple and the interviewer is asking Jennifer why she draws people with hands behind their back and French comes along and goes “She can’t draw fingers!” Ha ha all the cheesy Britcom lines that live in my head. That was a funny episode tho.

I had kind of a rough few days. I had some conflict that was very emotionally abusive and violent towards me and it sucked. I don’t really want to talk about it much, and I know largely it was about the other persons shit. But it still sucks to get dumped on. Anyway, oddly enough it kind of turned around my depression just because I knew all the things they were telling me were wrong and they were deliberately trying to get a rise out of me. Still sucked but I had therapy right after that and it went really well, just like processing this huge conflict.

My therapist and I were worried she wouldn’t be able to work with me remotely while I am here. But it was ok with her insurance and the Ontario college of whatever (I’m sorry I just don’t feel like looking up the name that regulates therapists) and then it was just trying to see if Austria would allow it. And there was a delay finding out because my therapist had to write to them in English and they weren’t responding right away. But today we found out from them that it is fine. So I’m relieved to be able to see her again next week, online. I was prepared to not be able to see her, so this is a happy surprise. Especially because I was talking to her about noticing myself standing up for myself more and being happy about it. And wondering how events in the past would have unfolded differently if they happened today. Like, if I met my ex this year, I might have been more inclined to leave after not being treated right for a long time. I mean the thing is it wouldn’t have happened for a long time, I think I would have recognized a lost cause faster and left the situation earlier.

I’m not really looking for love right now. I get on Tinder and don’t really care. Grindr is meh. I DID have a Grindr hookup and it was fun in some ways and kinda awkward in other ways. He was a nice guy, I think it just wasn’t ideal. But also I’m not sure I care about sex or love right now. I was super horny for a while but I think I just got too stressed out with everything to think about sex or love. It’s fine, I’ll care about it some other time. Right now I’m just focused on my work. I need to get two scripts done and also a video game and also a webseries.

I ordered some coveralls for my webseries. I hope they arrive ok. I’m a bit dubious about my address. I’m not really doing ubereats here either because I’m not sure how to let them know which door to come to, and its like, a block long complex so a long walk if they go to the wrong door.

Well that’s annoying

I was trying to pay Telefilm back money that I got way back at the beginning of the year but didn’t use (it was travel funds to go to Berlin but some variant was really popular at the time and I wasn’t traveling after all) and I’m just having so much trouble. I went to a bank today (not my branch but the same bank) and spent half an hour trying to get them to do a direct deposit but they said they could only do a wire transfer and then none of us knew what the address was for the actual organization I was paying (and it’s the government also so does it have an address??) Anyway, no dice. I’m going to try again on Halloween but after then I’m gone so I won’t be able to pay it until January. So, that’s an annoying bank task. I wish telefilm gave me the direct deposit info a long time ago so I could have settled this already.

Anyway what else? I was on a panel, it was nice. I got stressed at the bank tho so that kind of puts a downer on my day. BUT food is coming soon, so hopefully that makes me feel better.

My T levels are already almost in normal range. A lower but normal level for T is 8.64 and I’m at 8.3, even though I’m only taking 30mg right now. I got the go ahead to increase my dose, so that’s exciting. I’m going up to 40mg. Which will definitely put me in a typical range. I’m surprised honestly, I thought it would take a lot more T to get me to this level. BUT ALSO going on testosterone seems to be pushing me into pre-diabetic existence. Which sucks. But also I want to be more obviously a man. So yeah, going to 40mg and then trying to have less sugar is basically the plan my trans health care nurse and I decided on. Because otherwise I might have gone up further, but really it’s so close to normal T levels that I don’t have to. And I did drink a lot of full sugar coke which is like, terrible, although delicious. So yeah.

BUT it’s true that some more changes were happening on the 30mg dose than the 20mg dose. I noticed my voice lowering a little bit. I’ve been getting more bottom growth. I still haven’t noticed body hair changing much, it’s fairly smooth. But my sideburn peach fuzz is getting a bit longer. Like, incrementally though. My face is shifting a tiny bit, my cheeks aren’t as round as they used to be. That’s actually funny because when I noticed it I remembered so many times I’d looked at photos of my face and felt it wasn’t quite what I was supposed to look like, and having round cheeks was one of the things that made me feel weird. My sex drive is higher for sure also, I haven’t met up with anyone from Grindr yet but it will probably happen, and even without meeting guys it’s been fun to sext people and just be raunchy. That’s definitely an energy I didn’t get when I was trying to be a lesbian. I don’t know why. I think talking to women on apps is just different.

I still feel very romantically oriented to women and non-binary people, it’s really not changing yet. I know things happen though but right now when I think of being with someone in a long term sense I still want to be with a Femme. But who knows, I don’t know, I’m trying not to predict things anymore. But yeah when I get butterflies it’s typically still for women, Femmes, nonbinary people.

I’m excited to go travel for the rest of the year. Or like, live in Austria for two months anyway. I might be able to travel while I’m there, but also I might save money and just stay at the residency the whole time. I’ve got chunks of money coming in, but its a slow uneven trickle, and I’m trying to avoid having to borrow money. I think I’ll be ok, most of the people paying me are direct depositing my money. And it should all come in the next couple of weeks I think.

I was charged for the hotel room in Boulder and then had to get the University to talk to the manager to reverse charges. Such a drag! I was worried it would take a long time to go through, but it wasn’t too bad. Had VERY LITTLE space on my credit card for a while though. Money is so stressful. Like, it is always coming in, but sometimes shit happens. Or sometimes it doesn’t come when you need it. I still have my RSP, but I’m not gonna be able to make an appointment to borrow any from there until January anyway. Which is fine, I don’t want to touch it again.

I’m depressed because of the depo-provera I’m been taking. My body hates progesterone, and I guess I should have known because I had to get off birth control pills before, and because when I got the trigger shot for my egg retrieval, I got super depressed after. Anyway now I just have to wait for it to leave my system. I’m on a list to get my tubes tied so I don’t have to worry about sex with people with sperm. I could only ever get an ectopic pregnancy but that scares me and is bad so yeah. I’d rather do a one time surgery than try taking ongoing birth control that would hurt or make me feel like this forever. UGH. No thank you.

Mostly things are objectively good. Like if I look at it from outside of my depression, things are fine. I have stable safe housing. My career is fine. My transition is going well. I could have a better relationship with my family, but that’s being worked on. I was finally after years of stress able to set a boundary around a relative’s presence in my life (or rather, to have a preferred absence). And my therapist is back so I don’t have to be without her except for the upcoming winter holiday season when she takes time off. OMG I totally used to always say “Christmas season” and then finally there were enough people who didn’t celebrate it at all in my life that I’ve replaced it with Winter Holiday Season which is longer and clunkier but more accurate. I suppose I could have also just called it the Solstice. I don’t know if I’m witchy enough though to go around celebrating the solstice. I wish I knew more about traditional Cree celebrations. Ahh we probably did celebrate the Solstice.

Beginnings of Traveling again

I tried really hard to stay home as much as possible this summer, because I knew I was gonna spend a lot of time out of the country this year. But today my dog went to her sitter for the rest of the year while I start the first of three trips. There’s two this month to the USA. Then next month I’m in Austria until the end of the year doing a residency. I’m gonna have people checking on my place so I’m not totally abandoning it or anything. Anyway. I packed today, and charged my trusty hitachi, and did my dishes so there’s nothing gross growing in the sink while I’m gone. I am coming back soon though, for long enough to attend ImagineNATIVE as just an audience member. No tensions! Just films!

I also managed to work out seeing my therapist throughout these trips. I think since I am maintaining a residence in Ontario it’s fine. We had a session back when I was in New Orleans, the internet was terrible but hopefully the wifi in Vienna is better. If it’s not I’ll hotspot my phone I guess. I’m going to buy a sim card while I’m there so that I don’t have to pay roaming charges.

I miss my pup already.

Tomorrow I go to Boulder Colorado. I don’t remember if I’ve been to Colorado before. I’ve been to a lot of Western states but I don’t know if that was included.

I hope my dog is ok. She is spending time with a larger dog and has issues.

I’ve watched all the tarot youtubes there are to watch. And I realize it just makes me spin around in circles. No one really knows whose reading that is. Like sometimes I will try to make it fit but then it doesn’t. I miss when I used to pull cards on my own. I do think I’ve learned a lot more about how to interpret the cards with all the reads I have watched, so maybe going back to doing my own reads would be a good practice. I don’t read for other people very often but when I have it’s been sort of accurate? I don’t know.

I miss my ex. And I restricted their access to my fb (not unfriending though) and I just wonder if it’s doing the right thing or not. I’m mostly feeling sad about them being able to see my posts while not posting or revealing much on their end. I would feel more ok if I knew they were sharing parts of their life with me. But you know, I mean, they don’t want me in their life. So you would think restricting them from seeing most posts would make me feel ok. But no I feel sad about not being able to let them in anymore. Unless something changes.

I had crazy horny times today, which surprised me because T day is on Monday, and that’s only two days away. So my levels should be going down. But I came like, a ridiculous amount of times today, like four or five times. It was INTENSE!!!! I’m starting to see why some trans guys complain about their dicks getting sore. I didn’t expect it to be this ridiculous. I mean I was warned, my friends told me what it’s like to be this horny. But like I was considering casual sex finally and going on apps a little bit and who knows what will happen. If all goes well I should be able to have a hookup later this week. But yeah. INTENSE!!! Also I’ve discovered I’m a bit of an exhibitionist and keep taking pics of my dick to send to guys on apps or post on Fetlife. So that’s been fun.

I was having some depression this week, I just had a lot on my mind. But oddly enough this desire to go fuck around is making me less depressed. I just feel like maybe I can finally start doing sexy stuff again and regardless if it leads to a relationship or not, it would be nice to touch someone and get touched. I don’t know what I am gonna do in Vienna. I suppose I could see who is on Scruff and Grindr over there. But would we speak the same language?

I’m getting better at understanding German. I can understand some sentences, and I can read more. Not big words. But like I was looking at a pic the other day and I could read the German subtitle that went with it. So something is sticking. It would be nice to practice German while I’m in Vienna. I asked my ex if they would practice German with me since they are fluent, but then our situationship which was at the time more of a friendship fell apart. It’s not like I have no one to practice with though, I do know a lot of German speakers. Plus omg I was so shy to talk to them in German cause I know I only speak like, baby tourist German. Wo ist der Kellner? Sprechen sie Deutsch? I mean I am starting to get more words, but I’m still way down in the Duolingo German tree, or way up, whichever way has less modules finished.

Hips

Honestly transitioning is the most interesting thing I’ve done in ages. I know one day it will just be like, whatever, pretty routine and normal for me. Doing my shot this morning felt really routine even though my needles and syringes got thrown out I think (I have a cleaner and it was in a bag looking like a bag of plastic bags). BUT I had other needles and syringes that I’d gotten before my first shot when I thought I had to provide it all to the nurse. So it was fine. I liked those other syringes though and I think I’m gonna ask for more of them when I see my nurse, because the needle gets locked onto the syringe better than the 1ml syringes, and testosterone is in a really thick oil and injected through a thin needle so it takes some effort to inject it. Or the way I take it does anyway. BUT besides missing stuff, I actually was pretty good with this shot and not nervous and I remembered all the things including swabbing the vial and also my stomach with alcohol. So I think it went fine.

Seeing the wispiest beginnings of a beard coming in made me euphoric for days. I know it’s so early, today was only the 6th shot and it’s still a low dose. But besides my t cock it was the most obvious recent outward change. And it really just looks like longer face hair but when you look at it it’s very clearly defining my sideburns and part of my jawline. Like it’s in a facial hair pattern, not just rando werewolf hair. I was writing my diary about it and seeing what I’m going to look like in my mind and being like omg this is what I really look like! And I cried about it, but happy tears. Cause before I saw it coming in I didn’t know if I would get facial hair. My Mom said no I wouldn’t get any because the men on her side of the family don’t have much or any facial hair. But my Dad’s side of the family is Métis and definitely hairy and beardy guys.

The other day at Metric, my friend and I were looking at guys beards and I would be like “I think it’s going to be that color…. but I’d probably want it to be trimmed like that guy…” There are a lot of things you can do with facial hair! Plus it means I can finally be a bear!!! Like a real bear ha ha!

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OMG so I don’t know what happened but I didn’t finish this blog entry and then things happened. Anyway, today was my ninth shot (or is it tenth?) OMG it’s the tenth shot! So yeah time passed since that last beginning of a post.

I noticed the other day when I was running my hands over my hips in bed that they were way smaller than before. And I stood in front of the mirror and yeah my hips are kind of going away. That was pretty cool to notice. I don’t know what my shoulders would be doing but some guys told me I’m gonna have to get some new shirts because women’s shirts don’t fit their shoulders now. So I guess I just hope my expensive button ups will survive. I guess we’ll see what happens. BUT part of the awesome thing about my hips disappearing is that maybe I can buy mens pants and they will fit properly. So I’m excited about that.

OH I REMEMBER what happened, I got stressed about money, because a big cheque was late, and I had to get money out of my RSP. And then by the time the bank gave me part of my RSP, the cheque had arrived. But I’d already nearly maxxed out my credit card so I ended up putting most of the RSP money onto that. I know really I should change my card in my ubereats and door dash, because usually it bills my credit card but billing my chequing account would make me more accountable to myself. Anyway that’s why I forgot about finishing this blog post.

A friend gave me some plants which was really nice, but today I noticed black ants and I think they came from the plants. But they were VERY motivated to trying to drink my coke so I know they aren’t weird like the ants already living here that like protein. So I put some ant poison out, hopefully it nips this ant colony in the bud. OR maybe these ants will fight off the other ants.

I still remember accidentally bringing an ant colony to Portugal. I was SO embarrassed. I was less embarrassed when I found out they weren’t an invasive species there tho cause they already have them.

I’m really tired all the time. But I notice I get more loggy just before my shot. Also though I am kind of worried about just being tired all the time even though I know that’s part of a testosterone fuelled puberty. I guess it’s that desire to be productive. I haven’t napped every day like this since Little Mister died. And it’s not like I have a hardcore two hour nap, but like, every day between 4 and 8 I have to get an hour of laying down time. I know though that there are entire countries of people where having a nap in the middle of the day is expected.

I got a letter today from the co-op saying I was approved to be on the internal wait list for a larger one bedroom unit. I actually got on the list way back in April but they didn’t give me a letter until today. It’s kind of funny that they even bothered since they already told me through email.

But it made me a bit sad to see it, because really I would have preferred to be able to put in a request for a two bedroom unit that my partner and I could move into. It would be such cheaper rent, like less than 650 bucks each. And I don’t know. I can always put in a request for a two bedroom in the future. But it’s just one of those things I can bring to a relationship that I feel like certain other partners didn’t give a shit about. Affordable housing in one of the most expensive cities in Canada. It’s not a small thing. I feel like homeownership is just out of reach of most of us by now, this is kind of a really good alternative to trying to buy a house. There was an old lady who lived her whole life and died here, and I know that kind of permanence and stability was not something I was looking for in my 20s or 30s but it sure is now. I don’t want to live somewhere with a landlord who is inevitably gonna renovict me in a year. And I don’t want to scrounge together all my money to buy a property that is gonna need so much upkeep and will keep me from doing other things I’d rather be doing like travelling or having Experiences.

So it was a bit of a bittersweet letter. I’ve been having all these therapy revelations one after another the last while, and one of them was that I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer that was good enough for my last deep feelings relationship/situationship. Which I know isn’t true but it just felt like I had all these things to bring with me and they just weren’t really acknowledged or respected. Or some things I didn’t even get to mention because we never got that far in our situationship. But honestly, that person wanted those things from someone else. So nothing I had to offer would have been good enough because I wasn’t that other person. But it still doesn’t stop me from feeling shitty about what I have to bring to a relationship.

New URL!!! New home!! (in cyberspace anyway)

Cyber is a word that has fallen out of fashion. It was very popular for a while, enough so that a certain pliable sex toy material was named Cyberskin. I never understood why it was called that. God, sex toy materials have seriously improved since I was a pup going around trying to get sexy in the world. Like, I remember those jelly dildos that people eventually stopped buying because they would secrete some kind of toxic chemical. Why did we do that as a species?

So I’m in this new url, and hopefully it goes well. I did realize I needed to update all my links on my socials. Which is a drag. Changing my name all over the place was a pain in the ass but now I have to go back to all those places and update my url. Depressing! I think I’m probably going to change my name to something beginning with a T that isn’t just an initial, but I’ve decided to reserve the use of that name for close friends and family, and I am going to retain TJ as my professional name. And I don’t know what my secret name will be, I keep thinking maybe Theo but I looked it up and I think it was super Christian or something? It’s origins made me feel weird anyway!

Although I do like that Theo was Vincent Van Gogh’s brother who supported him through his failing art career.

And I had a rat named Theo when I was a kid!

But no I am not Theo.

I went to a Leather Swap today and it was super cute. I haven’t been able to mingle with people in real life in a while. Most of my dates have been coming from apps and that kind of thing, mostly Lex and Tinder (and Grindr if I ever manage to have a hookup). But this was nice, got to have flirty eye contact with people, super fun! Made me feel hopeful again.

I’m so excited to tell my therapist that I am hopeful again. OMG I finally get to see my amazing therapist in person on Monday!!! I’ve never had an in person therapy session with her. And internet instability always happens at the worst times, and I drop out, or she drops out, or I have to keep turning my camera on. The last session we had was online and at the end my internet kicked me off for the last minute of my session so I didn’t get to say goodbye properly. Which was too bad. BUT not so bad now because I get to see her in real life until I have to travel again.

What else? I feel like I’m such a defensive crab about dating just because some people approached me in ways that didn’t feel good. BUT I am honestly open to it. I just am extremely picky and like being treated like a human being. Like, don’t go into sexy things right away that just irks me. I like light conversation until I know someone isn’t a bad weirdo. Good weirdos are fine, but creepy weirdos are very much unwanted. And I will talk about my kinks and stuff I just need to have a bit more of a feel for someone first before opening up. It’s honestly not THAT hard to date me, I am pretty easy going if someone isn’t crossing my boundaries.