Category Archives: News

Things I’m Liking

I think my voice deepened this week again. I took my first dose of 60mg on Monday so it’s still very early on this higher dose, but I noticed when I went up to 50mg a while back my voice dropped in a couple days and it seems to have happened again. It’s probably my favourite testosterone effect so far because my voice started changing so early.

TMI for the next paragraph:

I had a dream I was touching my dick and it was big, not cis big but trans big. I remember feeling pretty happy about it. And then I was curious about what was going on down there so I took a pic and it IS a lot bigger than the last time I checked. It made me feel pretty happy, bottom growth was something I was excited about. I’m hopeful I can use it soon with someone else.

Unrelated to my dick, I started seeing a personal trainer at the YMCA and we’ve had two sessions so far. She already noticed progress in the second session. I was able to do more pushups, and I could hold a plank for a longer time. In fact even the first time we met up I realized I was able to do things I hadn’t been able to do before. Like the plank, I could sort of do a regular plank but only on my knees, and now I can do them on my toes and hold it for longer. Also I can do pushups way easier, it was funny because the last time I did them with her I felt like I could go longer if I wanted to. And we went from 2 sets of 12 reps in the first session to 3 sets of 15 reps in the second session. So I’ve been watching my muscles finally start to get bigger and that’s been super cool.

It’s way more motivating to work out when you can see your body changing into something you want. And I think honestly I always did want masculine musculature more than what women’s bodies look like typically, so before working out was kinda meh. Also it just FEELS good to work out so that’s cool. I try to go to the gym three times a week including the one day I see the trainer. I don’t want to go every day, but also it’s close enough that it’s more or less convenient to go, and my schedule is so varied that there’s generally enough free time to go.

I’ve got an idea for an art project that is making me laugh a lot and people are helping me out. I don’t know that I will release it under my name though because of reasons. But it’s still been really fun to suddenly get an idea and figure out how to execute it without a grant.

I’m still working on my video game. I had some kind of error happen and now the dialogue manager doesn’t work on my street scene, so I have to get it fixed somehow. The version of Pixel Crushers Dialogue System I was using just got improved though so I am hoping the new version works better for me. Although tbh I don’t know if I was able to download the new one. I tried!

I’m coming up to near the end of my residency at McMaster. End of the semester I will be done! Also I am going to Syracuse next month, and then also next month is my vacation with my friend!!! To San Diego and Joshua Tree! I’ve never been to either place so I’m pretty excited, also I need to be somewhere sunny. The snow just kept hitting us this month and it was getting so tiresome.

I feel like the changes I’ve gotten on T have made me feel a bit more confident about dating guys. I don’t know why I don’t feel weird about dating women and non-binary people, but guys make me wary because I don’t want to be with straight guys who are mentally misgendering me so they can sleep with me. I feel like my voice and having more muscles makes me feel I’m more obviously a guy. Not that it matters anyway because I haven’t been able to have sex for a while because of reasons. BUT SOMEDAY I will have sex again and I want to feel confident in my body when that happens.

Dating after Testosterone

I’m going up to 60mg of testosterone on Monday, which is an average dose for a lot of trans guys. So that is exciting. I am in male range now, but I think going higher will get me more masculinization. So I am looking forward to this. I remember when I went up to 50mg I noticed my voice did a sharp drop within a week. That was pretty cool.

I have been thinking a lot about how going on testosterone has changed the way I approach dating. I am A LOT more laid back about it. Like I can date multiple people now and not feel really obsessed about a person or possessive. I feel like I am way less jealous too which is nice. I also changed my priorities because for so long I was looking for a partner to live with and have children. And now I don’t want children, and although I could still live with someone, I don’t feel it’s necessary for me anymore. It would have to be a serious connection because I’m worried about losing access to stable housing if we broke up and I had to move out of the co-op. But so far everyone I am dating is also very laid back and not looking to cohabitate, so that’s good.

It makes me miss my ex though, because I was so not the right type of partner for them at the time we were dating. And now I think I could possibly fit in with them better. For one thing I wasn’t dating anyone else and they had some serious relationships, so I was all focused on them and pretty needy. And I know it’s ok to be needy, but I think I overwhelmed them. While the way I am dating people now involves giving everyone a lot more space than I was able to before testosterone. I don’t mind so much when someone takes hours/days to message me back. Especially as my career has required more and more of my time and focus because sometimes I can’t message back for hours or days either.

Although I don’t know maybe if I met them again I would turn into a pest. I was/am pretty heavy in love with that person and it’s not going away and what if I just latched onto them again?

Another interesting thing I’ve noticed about being on testosterone is my ability to date different genders has expanded a lot. Before it was SO NARROW. Femmes only! But now I could date lots of kinds of people including cis and trans guys.

I haven’t fallen in love with anyone new for a while, but that seems to be ok. Some people I am super curious about have potential. I’m trying to just be open to life I guess.

I haven’t had a ton of sex on T yet, but that’s mostly due to medical reasons and not a lack of desire. Desire for sure has increased overall. I have had TONS of orgasms on my own though ha ha and those definitely improved after testosterone too. They are way longer for one thing which has been really nice. And a bit easier to have. I’m trying to learn how to communicate around sex and kink more effectively. I’ve gone into sexual relationships all wrong for most of my adult life where I wouldn’t really get into specifics about what I wanted, so then obviously I wouldn’t have the kind of sex I wanted. I’ve been improving but I’m realizing I need to really work on it. Like I need an elevator pitch or something for the sex I want to have. Especially on Grindr because they are very upfront about what they want there and always ask about it.

BUT ALSO I do need at least one partner who wants to explore a bunch of things with me. Because I have a LONG list of things I want to do. And also I need to be more experienced as a top, which I have had very limited experience in. Mostly I’ve been a bottom. Anyway blah blah blah ha ha I just want my sex life to elevate.

Carmilla Game Play of a Work in Progress

Watch me play Carmilla! It’s not done yet, but a lot of features are working so you can see those. Also the cemetery level is near perfect and you can see that again (it’s been cleaned up!).

Also I narrate this game play so it’s kinda silly. But you can hear my genuine anxiety when the timer is nearing the end in the cemetery level! I was worried I would lose, and instead I beat it, but I pressed a button too soon for the calming almost winning screen to stay for very long. I have lots to fix! Like if I just add wait for seconds on the code for the last game, it would hold that screen long enough to see it.

Also it needs a lot more sound design, and I’m not done with the Diner yet either. And not all the conversations are enabled and some of the health bars aren’t in the right spot or the right layer or the right size. And the falling in love thing is still being coded and I am trying multiple different ways to get it to do what I want but honestly it’s going to take a lot more work.

BUT I feel like the development of this game is nearing the end and I’m pretty confident it will be done by the end of March. At least done enough that my friends can properly play test it for me. After I do that and get feedback and work on it a little more, it should be ready to release on itch.io. So that’s exciting!!!

Approved

OHIP approved my top surgery! YAY I got funded. I still have to pay like, $3000 for contouring because that isn’t covered by OHIP. But that’s fine, I have that much money. I don’t know when I am going to do it, I need to get a consultation first and then I have to schedule it around a big project that is hopefully happening this year. So it might not happen until next winter. Or else it will have to happen in the early summer if I can get in that fast. I also have to find some friends who are willing to drop by and help me out while I am recovering. And I’m just always trying to be so independent but there are friends I know who would feel ok dropping by, if they still live here at that point.

I’m excited about my upcoming vacation to San Diego for my birthday. I want to do so many things! And then we are going to Joshua Tree for a couple of nights. We have an Airbnb near the beach in San Diego, so that’s fun. I just wanted to be somewhere sunny and have fun. ALSO maybe I’m just going to start going away for my birthdays, since that’s what I did last year too when I went to New Orleans.

Posey is good. I am discovering she likes things like apple if it’s a small enough piece. I thought she didn’t care for apple. Actually I thought I didn’t care for apple either, but I’ve been buying honeycrisps and they’re so good.

My diet is getting better since I’ve gotten on T. I think it’s because I’m more motivated to build muscle so I’m more obviously looking masculine. So I am eating a lot of high protein things like nuts and peanut butter. And peanut butter cliff bars are amazing and I am also drinking high protein shakes when I work out. And I’ve started drinking a glass of lactose free milk before bed because I read that it helps you build muscle in your sleep. And since I’ve been eating more apples I’m starting to do better with my fruit intake. I also eat berries but that was always true. I also don’t eat so much candy, before I used to eat TONS of candy and my triglycerides were high. And now I barely eat candy. I still get sweet cravings at night though.

I’m doing better overall I think. I can see ways my body and face are changing and that makes me happy. Also my voice keeps getting deeper and keeps cracking and things. So that is pretty affirming. I might just end up being a muscly guy with a square jaw and a deep voice and I think I could live with that. I mean there are other things that have changed that aren’t immediately apparent though. I think after top surgery a lot of my dysphoria will be resolved. I don’t have too much bottom dysphoria, so I think that will be the end of my surgeries unless I decide on metoidioplasty. But that’s a ways off. But who knows you know I can’t say for sure all the things that will happen in my life. I do want to do a name and gender change on my ID, so I’m going to need to get a letter from my doctor and pay all the things to update it all the places. Such a drag. I dread it just because of the paperwork involved. But I want to do most of these things soon before fascism really gets bad here and makes transitioning harder. I mean it might be fine though I don’t know. I’ve found the moral panic over trans people really tiresome.

I remember when being gay was appalling to most people though, and I do remember how people tried to tie our community to pedophilia a long time ago. So it’s kind of like I’m just old enough to see these weird cis-heterosexually driven moral panics rise up again and again. They don’t always work, but sometimes they do! So it’s best to stay vigilant I suppose. Like they worked in Nazi Germany. They half failed in the USA after gay marriage was legalized but then they’re coming back so I dunno. Canada is still pretty good. I likely won’t leave here to live in another country, unless shit went down. But whatever.

My vampire video game is nearing the end. I installed a dialogue system on the BDSM Club level, and now all the characters say stuff. I made it so you can choose to bite someone by pressing “B” instead of just touching them. And that totally resolved an issue of it not being consensual by anyone when they got bit. There are still consequences if you kill someone. I fixed the persistent data issue where the vampire health bar was not updating in each level you played. That was a simple fix in the end, I just needed a static float I think. It was a static something or another that the game could remember from level to level. So that’s ONE qualification to win fixed. I’m pretty happy with how it is turning out.

I need to finish the Diner level and put in all the people to talk with there. I also think I need a couple more people on the street level. And then I need to put the dialogue system into the Diner and Street levels. And then figure out how to code a character following the vampire through multiple levels. That’s probably going to be the most challenging. Then I have to write code to check if these two things are met for the character to win. I don’t think that will be too too hard. After that and tying up loose ends like the game over screens and the start screen and game play instructions screen, I think it will be done! I am anticipating finishing by the end of March. Then I can get my Canada Council Final Report in and move on!

I also need to write a script. And so far all my creative time has been going to this game. I find it very hard to switch my creative brain over between projects, which is too bad. I have people interested in this script though and it’s not done at all so I really do need to figure out a way to get it up to speed. Plus I was asked to read at Glad Day in April and they want a screenplay so like obviously I’m just going to read a scene or two, but I need to write it. So maybe that will motivate me. I kind of ended up getting a lot of grants one year and obviously I need to finish them so I can get more. And I want to apply for a big project after this that will go over a few years, so I need to clear these two final reports so I can apply. AHHH I also need to fill out my travel grant final report.

I was asked to do a short residency this summer but I had to turn it down because I need some space to do this bigger project. It’s too bad there’s not enough of me to go around.

I am super conscious of how much my time is worth these days. Like, if someone else will do something for me if I pay them for it, I would much rather do that so I can work on my projects. I know this is pretty privileged though. When I think about my life when I had so little energy and was working a long demeaning job like call centre work, I could not muster up energy for projects like I can now. I don’t think I want to teach either because I’ve also seen some people feel demeaned by that job too. I like mentoring people in more informal ways if I’m getting compensated, but ugh, teaching university classes sounds awful. I’m sorry I can’t do it!

Anyway. Blah blah blah I gotta go to the dentist in a bit so I should go I guess before I get stuck writing and never finish this.

Trying to write more frequently I guess!

OMG it took me so long to write another entry here! I used to write more frequently. Anyway, I did get locked out of my site for a few days, so it took a while to get back here AND have time to write.

I don’t know, things are good. I solved that problem in my vampire game of the character needing to kill everyone to see consequences. Now it just takes killing one other character to face consequences. Right now my issue is trying to program persistent data so that the Vampire health meter is the same when she switches levels. Then I’m going to be drawing more assets, because the big thing after that is going to be putting in a dialogue system. I have all these hopes for elegant detailed conversation but realistically I know I can only program short conversations between the vampire and the characters. I know you can buy premade dialogue systems, which definitely is tempting. I also have a materials budget from McMaster so I could spend it on that. I don’t know. I tried to buy another premade thing from the asset store but it wasn’t doing the code I wanted. So I didn’t use it.

I also made the diner level, it needs people in it and a few more details. But it looks pretty cool. I think the wallpaper is kind of ugly tho and I’m wondering if I should make it a white diner with red accents. Ahhh!

Work is good. Busy! Besides that there’s been some work on my feature so that has been exciting. Hopefully things go forward this year. It’s been such a long development process and it’s exciting to finally be heading into soft prep. But we have to get some money together so it’s gonna be a bit.

I’ve been doing a residency at McMaster so I’m trying to be on campus twice a week. This week I only went once tho, because I saw an astrologer on Wednesday night and it went quite late. So I needed to sleep in.

(CW for weight talk in next paragraph)
I am still hovering at the same weight I was when I came back from Austria. It’s nice I guess. I also wonder how much of my body changing is because I’m building more muscle? Testosterone does do things to your metabolism also so it’s likely also helping. I still eat a lot, I’m not starving myself. But I exercise more which is making my body feel good. I’m going to the gym later this evening. I’ve been going a couple times a week. I just do cardio there but I think I’m going to try and get a personal trainer or someone to show me how to use the weight machines. Because I’ve been doing dumbbells at home to gain muscle but the weight machines look fun and like I could actually work out with heavier weights.

Anyway it’s just been work these days, haven’t done a lot of socializing outside of that. It’s nice that I work with cool people as a general rule, they are all positive people. Oh no my hand is shaky! Why is that? I totally just ate and had some juice so it can’t be low blood sugar. Plus my health has improved and I’m not pre-diabetic anymore anyway.

I’m trying to become one of those people who casually tidies throughout the day. I did some today, it went pretty decently but of course things got all messy since then.

Posey has been doing great, she loves her walks, she loves snoozing next to me, and she’s more perky on a walk since she got smaller. I love her. I’m so glad I get to be with her. I feel fortunate!

I’m pretty happy overall these days actually, which has been really nice for me. Definitely an improvement since I was taking Depo-Provera and got all suicidal. But now I’m not on any birth control and I’m on a list to see a gynecologist to get my tubes tied but it will be months before that happens.

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.