Not titling this one with lyrics because I couldn’t think of anything fitting.
I am a transgender man and I am a musician. Where this intersects is in my singing voice. Past the cut is my experience in learning how to use (and find!) my voice while medically transitioning.
This is a blog entry I’ve been wanting to write for a while. It’s the perfect way to start using my domain again, which turns 10 this year! I hope to transform this space into something more functional.
I have not used my blog in a while since life got…life-y. I turn to the incredible Séan McCann for inspiration today. His story, in short, comes from a successful career as a part of the band Great Big Sea… until his demons caught up to him and he decided to come clean and face his addiction head-on.
I am also inspired to finally write on my experience as a transgender man and survivor of abuse. This is my truth.
(Also a note that I began writing this a few nights prior to my 30th birthday.)
violence, domestic abuse, suicide, mental illness, addiction, and all sorts of whatever I write about.
I haven’t posted in a while… So here’s a recipe that’s 100% vegan.. all measurements are approximate because my people don’t measure things since we’re always right. I’m getting better at making childhood favorites dairy-free and mostly egg-free. 🙂
It’s a custard pie that’s kind of like baklava but without the nuts. The name is a combination of Greek and Turkish: “galakto” means “of milk” in Greek, and “börek” is Turkish for a filo-filled pastry. This is a family recipe that I modified to remove milk and eggs.
…have no grief at all; life exists only for a short while and time demands its toll.
This is the text of the Seikilos Epitaph… the oldest surviving complete piece of music, including notation. It was engraved on a tombstone in modern-day Turkey. The composer only lists himself as Seikilos, son of Euterpe (the Muse of Music). Also engraved on the tombstone is the ominous “I am a tombstone – an image (icon). Seikilos put me here as a long-lasting (timeless) sign of deathless (eternal/undying) remembrance.” (translated, probably pretty poorly, from ancient Greek…. I am obviously a modern-Greek speaker.)
It was found engraved on a tombstone in modern-day Turkey, and is said to have been composed in the 1st or 2nd Century, CE. The composer only lists himself as Seikilos, son of Euterpe (the Muse of Music). Also engraved on the tombstone is the ominous “I am a tombstone – an image. Seikilos put me here as a long-lasting (timeless) sign of deathless (eternal/undying) remembrance.” (translated, probably pretty poorly, from ancient Greek…. I am obviously a modern-Greek speaker.) Music is literally in my blood as a Greek-American musician.
Music is literally in my blood as a Greek-American musician…. passed down for centuries in my ethnicity and culture.
I’m a bit behind on this… primarily because I hit this nasty string of instability again. I don’t even know how long I slept, but I stayed in bed for the better part of a week. My illness does that to me sometimes, where I pretty much just disappear.
What do you wish you’d known when you were diagnosed?
I’m behind on prompts, but that’s ok… I’ll try to be better. Sleep’s been a challenge again. I did get two new piercings, though. This brings me to 9. Most notably, I guess, is my septum. I’m not 100% sold on keeping it just yet, since it feels kind of odd to have a sharp object literally through the tip of my nose, but the response has been great today. I was told that, not only does it make me look younger, but that it really does a lot for my passing privilege… and for that, it’ll likely stay. The other piercing is #3 that’s pretty much hidden. I wanted a pair for piercing 6 because I was getting annoyed with the one-sidedness of it. I enjoy having new piercings because it helps me reclaim my body in such a visible way.
Young Dubs today… in my extreme OCD, I’ve added a field for link to the artist and song title at the bottom. I think I made it work without breaking my theme. It’s been a hot sec since I’ve done anything in php or css, so my head’s a bit sluggish on it. We’ll see if I like it or not.
Today’s prompt is one of my pet peeves. I’ll expand on the topic tomorrow — just wanted to get it up so I wouldn’t miss a day.
How do you feel about people who diagnose themselves online and then treat themselves for bipolar?
…but I wish that you had only known just what was wrong with me long before you did.
Today, I turn to Steven Page, and an album I’ve been avoiding listening to for nearly a year.
Surprise Surprise is a song off of his newest album,Heal Thyself Pt. 1: Instinct, the first half of a double album, with the second to be released at some point between this year and eventually.. I’ve been hesitant to listen to it since last March because a friend had told me that it would likely hit way too close to home. This song came up on my iPhone on my way home this evening, so I sucked it up and started to listen to the album. Big mistake.
I didn’t make it too far in before turning into a pile of emotional on the train.
Steven Page has been one of my biggest influences musically for most of my life. He has this way as a lyricist and musician where he could take the most depressing text and turn it into the happiest tune on the freaking planet, without losing the feeling of the lyrics. His open struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction have gotten me through a lot of bullshit over the years…
So my friend was right — what I’ve listened to so far has hit too hard and too heavy for a Saturday night. This album is a musician trying to find his voice again, regardless of mental illness and addiction. In his honesty, there is hope.
Tonight’s prompt is about coming to terms with life. I feel like this song is very fitting to this prompt.
How old were you at the onset? How old were you at diagnosis? How were you given the diagnosis and are you satisfied with the way it was handled?
…only take away from me any hope I’ll be happy in the end.
Today’s lyrics come from Haven, by an awesome band called Enter the Haggis. They’re a Celtic-ish/whatever-the-hell-they-feel-like-playing band from Canada-ish that I’ve been following for longer that I haven’t, so check them out! (I say “-ish”, because they have a US citizen and also some recent Philly in their ranks.)
This song fits into today’s prompt, and it’s one of my favorites in their repretoire.
What is your baseline mood/state? How does that impact your life?
Today’s lyric is from a song called The New Sad by the Barenaked Ladies.
Former frontman Steven Page has openly spoken and written about living with bipolar disorder over the past few years, and many of the songs that he’s written depict his experience. This song has spoken to me for the past 10 years or so since I first heard it, and it’s one of many depicting the ups and downs of living through mood episodes. It’s on one of my favorite albums by them, BNL Are Me. The ending goes “I know it hurts. No one wants to die. Goodbye, goodbye.”
This is day 1’s prompt from a series of 31 prompts that I’ll be writing a little on (hopefully) every day.
What flavour of bipolar are you? What does your diagnosis mean to you?
On 18 June 2015, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. I had already been hospitalized once with the worst hypomanic/borderline manic episode in over 10 years a few weeks prior, and was about to be hospitalized again for full-on mania. Since, my diagnosis has been changed to Bipolar I, because I do get pretty scary highs that are more “severe” than hypomania.