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When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello

This is so beautiful, and embodies everything I believe about transgender people and the experience. As an outsider looking into the whole thing, this makes me sure that I’m on the right track to understanding. Please read and share this incredible piece.

Let's Queer Things Up!

This article was originally published by Ravishly.

cello.They promised I would “grow into it.”

When I was small and new to this world, my parents placed a radio beside my crib.

“We used to play classical music for you,” they told me. “You loved Bach.” For years, I fell asleep to the sounds of 12 different violin concertos, the music bouncing off the walls and into my tiny ears.

My mother swears that this is why I took up violin.

My parents eagerly exposed me to any and every song with a violin solo. I went from Bach to Riverdance to Dixie Chicks, the music captivating me. By the time I was 12, I told my parents that I wanted to make beautiful music like the people on the CDs.

They made me promise that I wouldn’t quit after just a few weeks. I would’ve promised them the moon…

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Respect That: Why Medication for Mental Health Isn’t Your Concern

It’s too much to ask you to be understanding of everyone and everything. I don’t know that it’s humanly possible – it is, at the very least, excruciatingly difficult.

But if you understand one thing today, let it be this: some people are sick, and need to take medication. And that is okay.

By sick, I mean suffering from mental illness.

And yes, I am aware that the word ‘sick’ may not be how you are used to hearing mental illness described. But that’s what it is – being sick, having an illness.

And if someone with a broken leg can take Nurofen, someone with anxiety can take Xanax.

It is not your job to judge them. It is not your job to have an opinion on whether taking medication is right for them. It might be keeping them alive. It might be getting them out of bed every morning. The only thing you need to know is that it is something they need, and that is okay.

Taking medication for mental health issues isn’t usually glamorous. My friend Zarlo Cooman described it to me once as, “feeling the same at someone’s funeral as you feel at their wedding.”

Which is awful. But it’s better than feeling like you want to be at your own funeral. I imagine that is not a great feeling.

Medication for mental illness isn’t a cop-out. It isn’t recreational drug use. It isn’t to get high or stoned. It’s there to make people feel like people.

You job is to understand that. Your job is to respect that.

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Again

The paper sits face down on the desk.
The teacher is already moving on to the people around me.
Groans of displeasure accompany fist pumps and war cries of a job well done.
The air is thick with one question: “What did you get?”

I wait until the people next to me have turned away.
Slowly, the paper is turned.
Slowly, my eyes travel upward to the numbers circled in red.
Slowly, the cogs of my brain start to spin.

It’s a good mark. A really good mark.
I absolutely cannot complain.
I worked hard for this, I know I did.

The boy on my left turns to me.
“What did you get?”
“Oh, I did pretty well, yeah.” I smile and turn away.
“No, but what was your mark?”
“A number.” I turn away again. He moves onto quizzing the girl on his left.

It’s not that I’m embarrassed.
I’m just tired of being judged for it.
“Yessssss!! I beat her!” Well done you. Jerk.
“She got that mark and I bet she didn’t even try. What a show-off.” Of course I tried, you moron.
“She doesn’t even look happy about it! Way to make me feel bad about what I got.” It’s called modesty, look it up.
“Is she seriously disappointed? With that mark? How arrogant can someone get?” I know I could do better than this. I know I can work harder than this.

But this mark, just now, this is one I’m proud of.
I know I put in the work.
I know I tried my best.
And it paid off.

But amid the mess of voices around me, only one rings clear.
The little voice that sits between my ears.
And this is what is saying:

“Well done. But… Could you do it again?” 

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Mantras

I swear by three phrases.

  1. Don’t f*ck with the bees.
  2. Drink your d*mned water.
  3. Think big. Start small. One bite of the elephant at a time.

Keep your chin up. Be a badass. Repeat.

You can do this.

Xx Loony

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Progress

I just got coerced into singing in the park.

A lot of people were there. I was very unprepared.

The first few bars I was switching octaves, because my breathing was nutso. I probably looked like a bit of a twit.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. I don’t expect zero preparation to give me perfection.

I’m making progress here, people.

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