“I want you to know who I really am.”

Twitter is one of my main forms of social media lately. I have many great friends there. I also really enjoy twitter games, things like the following where for each like on the tweet you share something. This one in particular I really related to:

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as of the time of this writing, I have 26 likes on the tweet. So I’ve shared 26 photos of characters I identify with. A big thing for me is relating myself and my experience to the stories of others, be they real or fictional. So this was interesting and fun for me. I decided I wanted to write a little about each of the ones I’ve shared. I figured this would be a better medium for the long form parts. There will be SPOILERS for each character and their story. You are warned.

  1. Tali’Zorah – Mass Effect

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In the Mass Effect games Tali starts out on a pilgrimage to find something of value to bring back to her people. Through the course of the games she is always looking for something. I relate to this, as most of my own life has been spent searching for many things, often without even knowing exactly what I am seeking. Seeking a home she’s never known is something I too feel.

2. Elsa – Frozen

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Elsa spent her childhood being told to hold her true self back, locked inside and trapped. When she finally lets herself just be herself, while she does face some hardships, she is much happier. I definitely felt this myself.

3. Celes Chere – Final Fantasy VI

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Celes starts a series of characters who believed they were with the good but really were being lied to. She was a general in an empire, a loyal soldier. When she resisted the actions of the empire she objected to, she was locked up to be executed. With help she escaped and fought back against the true evil inside those she had been loyal to. I relate strongly to this as my experience with religion.

4. Mona – Shovel Knight

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Mona is mostly a shared aesthetic and a love to dance in private. She’s also smart and wants to help those she cares about. This is very me.

5. Nonon Jakuzure – Kill la Kill

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Nonon is eternally loyal to the woman she loves, willing to fight and die for her. She also has a deep, passionate love for music. These are traits I share on a fundamental level.

6. Nina Windia – Breath of Fire II

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Nina is in exile from her home because she was born with black wings, while everyone else in her home has white wings. This difference has caused her to be hated and ostracized from of her home and family. The only one who is still close to her is her sister. This mirrors a lot my own family and home life.

7. Marin – Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

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Marin cares deeply for everyone on her island, loves to sing, and dreams of a life spent free.

8. Finn – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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I described Finn like this to a friend once: Raised from childhood to believe something that was a lie, only just starting to take control of his life, only just starting to find people he can trust, and wanting a home. Also gay as fuck. So… me.

9. Vala Mal Doran – Stargate SG-1

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Much like Celes and Finn, Vala lived a life that actually caused her a lot of pain, and spends a lot of time trying to take care of herself in the wake of what was done to her against her will.

10. Elizabeth – Bioshock Infinite

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Elizabeth spent her life trapped against her will, and has the power to see into other worlds. I relate that to my stories and poetry.

11. Hinata Hyuuga – Naruto

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Inspired by her love, Hinata, a shy and timid girl, starts to fight against her fate. Her two main fights I connect with deeply. The first is against her cousin Neji, who’s much more skilled and talented, but hates her, she fights back against her family for her own sake. In the second she fights against an overwhelmingly powerful person to defend her love. She stood in the way and would give her life to protect that which is precious to her.

12. Fuu Hououji – Magic Knight Rayearth

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Fuu is a caring, devoted friend who wants to support and protect those important to her, and has healing powers.

13. Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter) – Sailor Moon

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Tall, kinda clumsy, lots of exes, looking for where she belongs. Defender of those important. And headcanon in love with an Ami (much like me and an Amy).

14. Hitomi Kanzaki – the Vision of Escaflowne

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Hitomi is a girl out of her element, trying her hardest to figure out what she wants. She’s often confused, but she supports those important to her, and tries her hardest, no matter what.

15. Elspeth Tirel – Magic: the Gathering

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Elspeth is someone who just wants to find peace and calm, but is always drawn into chaos and conflict. Another defender, ready to do what’s right, even when it endangers her peace.

16. Hanako Ikezawa – Katawa Shoujo

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Hanako is a girl who is scarred down her entire side by a fire as a child. She’s extremely shy and has issue with how she looks. I relate strongly to the kind of shame she’s lived with just for her body.

17. Kyoko Tokiwa – Full Metal Panic

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Kyoko is mostly the supportive best friend who’s always there for the main character, upbeat and happy.

18. Shinji Ikari – Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Shinji clearly has some serious depression, has a long history of abuse from the people who were supposed to love him, and gets hated just for existing. Literally me.

19. Wakaba Shinohara – Revolutionary Girl Utena

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Another supportive, best friend, but with her own deep story of hurt, love and friendship. I am forever touched that Utena could not draw a sword against her best friend, even at the begging of Anthy. Their friendship is that strong.

20. Laura Kinney/X-23/Wolverine – Mavel’s X-Men

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Laura is another who was raised in lies, used and hurt by those with power over her, and spends most of her time now finding her own way in the world.

21. Mia Ausa – Lunar Silver Star Story

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A kinda shy, but devoted mage, who supports her friends. Also love her look.

22. Tish Katsufrakis – The Weekenders

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Tish has esoteric tastes, loves learning, old media, and is just kinda strange. I relate strongly to that.

23. Wanda Maximoff – Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Wanda is another person mislead and hurt by those with power over her, and made mistakes. She seeks to do better, and wants to make up for her mistakes. She also is hated by many and just wants to be herself. Plus great aesthetics I love.

24. Stomer – Jem and the Holograms (Comic)

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Stomer is the one who is always trying to make sure everyone gets along and things get done. She’s always there to help her bandmates and friends. Also super gay for her love (like me!)

25. Ruka Urushibara – Steins;Gate

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Another character who supports those she cares about, even to her own sacrifice. She finally had a chance at what she wanted, and gave it up for the people she loves. (Also canonically transgender.)

26. Penny Polendina – RWBY

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Penny isn’t like most girls. The way she was born is different. She also wants to protect and care for everyone, while also enjoying the world and her time with the people she loves. She has lots of doubts, but she still makes her way forward. I am Penny.

— This is the list as it currently stands. I believe I have some new likes and if I add more characters, I will be sure to add them to this list and update it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into the mind of Rachel. —

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There’ll come a time when you hear it and you’ll wonder “Where in the world have I been?”

Have you ever thought you knew something only to find out you had no idea what it was really like? I’ve had so many of those in this last year.

Just over a year ago I started my transition in proper. I claimed my name, I started seeing a counselor, and begun my road towards being myself. Each day I’ve been more and more sure of how right my decision has been. If it even was one really.

Coming out as poly has been a similar experience, and my two wonderful, loving partners are the best things to happen in my life.

I’ve been exploring my return to spirituality, letting go of the anger and ignorance of my atheist days much like i let go of the hurt and ignorance of my Christian days. I believe in magic. Not just the great game my girlfriend and I bonded over, but in something greater than just us. I don’t know that I believe it’s beyond human. In fact I believe it comes from inside us, in the words, the music, the art, the science we create. This is my magic, my runes, my spells. And I’ve adopted the title of witch because of the historical context relating to trans womanhood. I’m young in this but eager to learn more.

But the point of this post is to talk to something else. All my life I thought I knew what a home was. My life with family, with partners, with friends. It turns out I had no idea. Much like being a woman trying to be a man, I thought I was home when I was really a stranger.

I spent the last 9 days in Las Vegas with my star, my princess, my love. I called her Peace at the post about 2015 in review. It has been a truly amazing experience. In those 9 days I experienced great joys and love. In those 9 days I never once questioned my womanhood. I never deadnamed myself. I had no doubts about who I am and how I feel. I was with people who love me and I love. I found my home.

Months ago I mailed a symbol of my love, of my heart to my love Peace. I have a personal story of how I heal my heart from being broken, wearing it on a chain. I sent my chain to Peace, knowing full well I already had given her my heart. These past 9 days I was united with my love, and reunited with my heart. And in that time, my heart had come to know where I belong. I felt only right in Las Vegas in a way I’ve never truly felt in Kansas.

The coming months will be hard. I’m attempting to return for more trips, with plans to move and be together with both my loves. I cannot wait for that day.

I fought back tears in the airport, just minutes after watching my love drive away. On the flight (where I’m writing this) I finally broke down and cried, climbing higher and higher as I watched my home shrink into the distance. Once again I’m a displaced soul, who’s heart resides miles and miles away, going to a place of some loving friends and family, but mostly a false family who don’t support or recognize their love is not unconditional. I will miss people I love when I leave, but I will not miss a home, for I have never had one. “Home is where the heart is.” My heart, my home, is with Peace, in Las Vegas.

Old Writings: A Tribute to Exes (2008)

(CW// Ableist Language)

(This was a speech I gave in a public writing class years ago. We had to do a special occasion speech and I chose a tribute. I would never write this like this now, but I won’t be editing it at this time at least.)
Almost everyone has had their heart broken by a former lover in the past. If you’ve never had yours broken, consider yourself lucky, and I hope you never will. For those of us that have, I speak today. I speak these words to you, the Exes, so you can know how we, the heartbroken, felt then.

To those of you who have broken our hearts, you should know that a part of you will always be with us, you will always be remembered.

We will always remember the movies you said looked stupid, not the one’s you introduced us to.

We will always remember the music you hated, not the great bands you showed us.

We will always remember the foods you said were disgusting, not the delights you had us eat.

We will always remember the books you complained about, not the treasures you brought to our attention.

We will always remember the places you never liked, not the ones we now go to each day.

We will always remember the ideas you called moronic, not the thoughts we discussed at great lengths.

We will always remember the mean looks you gave us, not the smiles and silly faces you made.

We will always remember when your touch felt distant, not the loving embraces.

We will always remember when you kept things secret, not when you confided in us.

We will always remember the minutes spent fighting, not the hours spent in peace.

We will always remember the hurtful things you said, not the sweet words you said for us.

You will always be remembered, for all the things we loved that you hated, because the things you showed us are forever tainted with the emotions now lost.

And if I only could, Make a deal with God, And get him to swap our places.

Hurting for yourself is one thing. Hurting for someone else is a different kind of pain entirely.  And it’s even harder I think.  I’m honestly pretty shit about taking care of myself.  I don’t know how to be good to myself, do things for me.  But for people I care, I can spend my spoons so much easier if it’s for others.  I love to cook for other people.  But for myself I have to struggle to even just heat up a can of refried beans.

I had a pretty bad scare last night.  One of my partners started to tweet asking for reasons to stay alive because she couldn’t think of any.  This put a huge scare into me, and another partner of hers.  They were at least able to get in contact with her just before she had to return to work.  But at least they were able to get a response from her.  But then it was hours before she’d be done with work.

Words will never express my panic, my fear, my racing thoughts that she could be gone.  She’s going through a serious bout of depression.  I’ve been there and I know how bad, how scary it is.  I love this woman and I’m unable to help her from this distance.  It kills me that she’s hurting so bad and I don’t know what to do.

I got lucky.  I was with some amazing friends.  They were supportive, made me tea, brought a blanket, held me and put on tv to help distract.  They let me talk when I needed, they let me sit, shaking quietly when I needed.  They are part of my family, and I’m so grateful.  Friends, these family, were ready to get me money to put me on a flight if needed.  I almost wish I was just to force getting out there.  But we’ll get there.

I misread when she might get off work.  I called her and then got worried when it took so long to respond.  But once she did it was a wave of relief.  It took a bit before I finally got to talk to her, but I did, and it helped a lot.  The next few days are important.  I need to be vigilant for her.  I need to be whatever she needs me to be.  I need to be what her other partner needs me to be for them too.  I am terrible at taking care of myself, but I can at least be here for both of them.

Now I can feel your pulse, kick starting this lifeless soul. Like a lightning bolt to heart, you woke me up.

I honestly thought the last post would be my final blog post of 2015, but some how it isn’t.  Something magical happened yesterday.  The person I referred to as Peace last post received my gift.  She said she was moved by it, and I believe we’re moving in a direction now of mutually desired things.

There is not more clear, direct way I can put this.  I’m in love with this woman.  She makes me smile just with simple words. I don’t feel like I need to be careful around her. I don’t feel like I have to mince words, to offer platitudes, to do anything special.  Just talking with her, just getting to know her, I feel good, calm, happy.

I feel connected with her.  Like knowing her was always a thing that had to happen.  Every day it feels like I learn some new way we’re alike.  Just little things like the fact we both related heavily to a character from a show.  I didn’t even know she had seen it, but it added an extra, unplanned, unexpected touch to something in her gift.

As 2015 comes to a close, I am honestly hopeful for what 2016 can bring. I step into the new year as only myself.  I am an out, proud transgender woman.  I am a polyamorous, mostly gay woman who’s in love with a fellow, amazing woman, and a few others things are progressing with.  I have accepted my mental illness, and want to put more work into managing it in the coming year.  I’m learning to love my body as it is, and change things I can and want to.  I have ideas of what I want, and I hope to seek them out clearly in the coming future.

So I guess at this point I’ll list some resolutions and wrap up 2015, alone in location, but not in my heart.

  • To love Peace openly, honestly and with everything I have for her.
  • To love others as they move deeper in my heart.
  • To love my friends/family more, and be there when I can.
  • To take better care of myself, mentally and physically.
  • To return to making art, something that makes me happy.
  • To be more vocal, and call out cissexism more, even when at cost.
  • To learn to love myself, because I am beautiful and deserve it.
  • To find the ability to stand on my own where I can.

Thank you everyone, for making 2015 the greatest year of my life.  Rachel was reborn and I cannot wait to see what 2016 brings.

I love you all so much.  Especially you, Peace.

The Unknown – a poem

A beacon of light; a torch at night,
A path once obscured; now in plain sight,
A once lost wanderer; a direction now found,
A hesitant first step; treading unfamiliar ground,

Trepidation consumes her; uncertainty everywhere,
Her breathing is shallow; her steps are with care,
A knot for a heart; in her stomach a rock,
A key she has to give; to open this lock,

The light is so far; and frighteningly dim,
She steps down the path; hopeful tis no mere whim,
Carefully she steps; and rests when she must,
Unknowing of what will be; in faith she will trust,

A friendship most special; with one she does adore,
Beyond what words can say; it moves her at the core,
She’s sacred of a misstep; unsure which way to steer
She longs to say this; wishes she could be clear.

“I know not how to word this; I hope I’m not coy,
Nothing do I want more; than to see you in joy,
Your happiness is vital; filling your wondrous heart,
I just also do wish; someday I might be part.”

(for A)

Love is a sword, wielded by men. It’s an extension of one’s heart and of one’s cries. The Bed is a battlefield, home to the dead, and the weary don’t make it out alive.

Strangely calm.  That’s how I feel at the moment.  There are a large number of things that are so far beyond my control at the moment, normal life has become strange.  Everyday things have become like the movement of objects in space.  So far beyond my grasp, so far beyond my control, they’re not even considerations in my mind.  My life is in a very strange place.

I had a burger for the first time in… months? I haven’t eaten more than about 800 calories is a day in over a month I know.  Things have been that tight money wise.  I eat high protein, high carb and good foods at least, and I’ve lost over 10 lbs even! I just wish it wasn’t at such a cost.  I broke down and when I got a little money used it to eat something beyond my normal meager levels.  I knew I needed to, as my brain has been getting extremely… hazy lately.  The world goes gray, things wash out.  I haven’t been getting enough something, and I am hoping food will be a help.  A couple days ago I cried over the idea of a full meal.  Like literally broke down sobbing so hard other people heard me.  That’s how little I’ve had to eat.

The big thing that’s been going on with me has been my love life.  I somewhat recently came out as poly.  I actually came out months ago, but tried to only find a couple to join as a triad, because I’d always had issues with jealousy.  But like all things I don’t tend to just let thoughts lie anymore.  I started to break down my life to this point, and the honest truth is, I think like being transgender, I’ve always been polyamorous.  I’ve had more serious relationships than most trans people I’ve known.  I’ve talked about those a bit in the past, and while unhealthy, there was love in all of them.  But there’s more to each of those that I don’t usually talk about.

My first love I met as a teen, and we were long friends before anything came of it.   I loved her for a while, but never worked up the nerve to tell her, so I figured nothing would come of it, and when I met this other awesome girl, I started dating her.  Now I don’t know if I was in love love with this second girl, but the first told me she had been afraid to tell me she had feelings for me, and by that point I was pretty into the second girl, and she with me (as is clear by how things went after.)  Now at this point no one had ever told young me about the idea of things like being poly.  Hell, I didn’t know much of anything.  So of course I only had a cis/het normative view of the world, of life, of love.  So being in love with two people was clearly “Wrong!” And I ended up making one of them (the one who wasn’t my first love) break up with me, because I couldn’t do it myself.  It was a super shitty thing to do, but it was also because I couldn’t reconcile in my head why I had to choose between being in love with both of these women.  But I had been told it was the only way.  So I forced myself into the mold that had been forced upon me again.  This would not be the last time this would happen.

The next woman I loved wasn’t quite so messy on the falling in love aspect.  There was another person I had strong feelings for, but she had none for me.  So when I started to see the second love of my life, there was no complications on that end.  But at the outset there was a level at which I was having feelings for multiple people

If the first one was big, the third one should have been the eye opener.  My third love started about as messy as you can.  Before we even got together, when we were first getting to know each other, I was in love with one girl (who was having a good time but not interested in more), had feelings for another (who was dealing with a bad break up), as well as a third person (though I wasn’t sure what I wanted with them, I did like them a lot), and another girl who showed interest in me (and had I been less trying to be a “cis/het normal dude” at the time I probably could have had something with.)  All of those are in addition to this woman I was having a sexual and intellectual relationship with, that would turn into a full blown romantic and loving relationship (with a lot of problems.)

So now that I’ve finally been really unpacking my gender, most of my sexuality, my mind, on so many things, something happened.  When I started to fall for a woman a couple months ago, I was okay.  But then I started to have feelings for another woman, and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.  I also had a moment where I got really jealous about something that happened.  That gets to the second part of this massively long post.

Jealousy has always been a serious problem I’ve had when I’ve been in love with someone.  I’ve done some serious unpacking of that baggage in the last couple months.  If I was only supposed to be with one person, wasn’t I supposed to be enough for that one person?  Shouldn’t I be the only one they need in their life for serious support? (Now this isn’t unique to poly people, just even more more conflated in me since I was suppressing a lot of stuff.)  And after a lot of thinking on it, a lot of emotional and mental energy spent on this, I think I’ve figured out what I really want and need.

I will not being going into details on any of the following relationships, just the base level of where I stand on each of them, with one exception.  I am currently in love with a woman, I have strong feelings that are developing for another, I have interests with a guy who’s not uninterested, and I’ve got something starting with a enby.  In addition I’ve been talking with a couple who may be interested in either one or both going out some time.  And for me, this actually feels wonderfully natural.  This feels like a lot more what I should be trying to have with people.

The exception I mentioned was to addres the concept of jealousy.  Now of these all but one are openly poly (and the one who isn’t isn’t sure yet.)  The second person I mentioned in the last bit, the woman I have feelings developing for, she is in a very early place in whatever is happening between us, and she’s also has a couple of partners.  The me who was trying to make her be the only thing I cared about, would have lost my shit about this.  But as I am now, I’m super happy that there are other people who make her happy.  I just want to also be someone who makes her happy.  That’s what I’m looking for with her.  To be happy, and to make her happy if/when we do things.  For me this is a new place, and it’s… calm, peaceful in my mind.  There is turbulence over things like uncertainty of where we are with each other, but not over if she cares because she has other partners.

So many hurt feelings, so much jealousy, so much anger, so much self hate, and it all breaks down to once again trying to fit a mold that wasn’t me, because the world told me that was the only way to be.  Well fuck you world, I’m out, I’m a queer, poly, trans woman, and I’m starting to actually like myself! Who you tried your best to kill me, it didn’t work.  Life, love are finally things I can understand, and I will go forward, head held high, and ready to face this as best I can.