On being trans

I am powerful, fierce, resourceful, creative, weird, caring. I am so much more and also none of that, in my own way. I take some time here to write about womxnhood and encourage everyone to actively challenge how we perceive it. Let the womxn in your life expand your definition of it.

It’s been an incredible journey getting to know the trans womxn I am and coming to terms with how I want to live my life from this point forward. Identity is indeed a very politic thing as much as it is a personal thing and coming out as a trans womxn definitely affirmed my stances as much as my appearance. I stand with my sisters today and will fight for a more kind, inclusive and supportive society.

“Rejecting the idea of a natural basis to sexual difference allows us to see that it is always susceptible to new interpretations. Like other systems of meaning, it is less like a cage, and more like a tool: it constrains but never completely determines what one can do with it.”

– Mary Joe Frug

Also don’t forget that the gender binary is fucked and that all queerness is traumatized in a cis-hetero-patriarchal society.

“But by saying that trans people have an acknowledged past, trans people can better imagine a future.”

M. W. Bychowski and Dorothy Kim in Visions of Medieval Trans Feminism

Body horror as a metaphor for dysphoria

The unnatural and graphic transformation, degeneration, or destruction of the body: the themes and images of body horror evoke visceral fear and repulsion, causing us to ask questions. What does it feel like to lose your identity? To become alien to the people around you? To feel severed from your own body? During the process of coming out as trans and transitioning, I’ve been faced with these questions often, and I wanted to step out for trans awareness week and express my support to all trans and non-binary folks. Many of us live with internalized horror and darkness—which too-often originates from outside forces that violently impose “normativity”—but compassion, both for ourselves and each other, is an act of resistance, as well as an irrefutable answer to those existential questions.

Go check the series of photos I did with Hayley exploring this idea too and the song we composed on it.

On changing my name and symbol

A bit more than a year after changing my name to Lizbeth, I replaced my online pseudonym and sigil for something that better expresses the tools and philosophies that are resonating with me in the present moment. Ritual Dust is the new name I’ll be presenting as online. “Ritual” refers to my process of making, which is something I’ve started exploring using an alchemical approach; this approach has now been allowed to deepen, incorporating a more intuitive side to my practice—one that’s informed by feelings, emotions, and honesty. I include with it “dust” because of the dust that’s settling now as the sheet I’ve been wearing, hiding myself like a metaphorical ghost, finally falls off. Accumulating slowly, dust to me is a testament to the passage of time, an ode to patience and impermanence, but also a reminder of the beauty of a single mote of dust floating in a sunbeam—a quiet kind of beauty that I’m discovering in more and more places every day.

“I am haunted. All trans women are. Behind me stretches a line of ghosts-trans women, killed before their time by the hatred of a society that does not know how to love us. Perhaps this is why trans women’s words are so powerful, in those rare moments when we are allowed to speak: we speak with the voices of those who have come before.”

- Kai cheng Thom

Additional reading and resources

Here’s a good article on trans-inclusive design
The website of Trans care BC
The procedure to change your legal name and gender in Qc

SHE in black metal lettering

Last modified on 2020-11-26, published on 2020-10-19