Well that title sounds … I swear there isn’t anything wrong, I have nothing against anyone, and I still love to read.
I started becoming an avid reader, and a booktuber, back in 2015. I’ve taken breaks here and there. I’m finally realizing i’m done with making bookish content. No more things like hauls or tbrs/pops or wrap ups etc. Not because I have anything against them, I don’t. That’s not what this is. This is me having no more desire to make said content. That kind of stuff makes me feel obligated, and I don’t want that. I have other shit going on in my life, other shit I want to do, hell books i’d rather be reading.
If I decide I want to say, gush about a particular book or post about some random bookish topic or something like that, sure, maybe i’ll do that. If I really want to. Random shit like that I might do because then I shouldn’t feel any sense of obligation about it, in terms of having to keep making more of it.
I do think this will actually make me more excited to blog but at the same time i’m not promising anything. Why would it make me excited? Because then I can just post when/whatever I want to! No feeling like I have to do shit or like I owe anyone anything when I know I don’t.
I know there are so many other things i’d rather blog about. And this means i’ll have the energy sometimes to do that. Being chronically ill and in pain I don’t have a lot of energy. I want to put the energy I do have into stuff I want to do and … I no longer care to do that bookish content.
So here’s to the stuff I’ll be blogging about instead! What will it be? Who the fuck knows. Could be stuff related to me being trans and transitioning. Could be stuff related to disability. Could be related to other hobbies: Movies, TV, Video Games, Writing, Art, Puzzles… Could be other random topics as well. Feel free to make suggestions if you want. I don’t promise anything but who knows, I could really love a suggestion and decide to do it.
If you decide to stick with me, I appreciate it a lot. I understand if you do not though. Thank you for reading this.
Edited to add: I am really glad for what it’s given me, being a part of the bookish community and making content like that, it’s just not what I want to do anymore. Technically i’m still part of the bookish community because i’ll still read, log what I read, and occasionally watch and read book related content (booktube, tiktok, book blogs…).
I’ve been called brave a lot in my life. I’ve been called brave lately for starting T, starting medical transition because I am a trans man.
Other reasons i’ve been called brave: I was born with VACteRL Association (It’s an acronym, there is a reason it’s capitalized like that) aka i’m a medical mess. I even got shit wrong with me that don’t fit into vacterl. I was born disabled and in chronic pain and I will die that way. I do not know what a minute without pain is like or what it’s like to be abled.
I’m bisexual and a nonbinary trans man surrounded by people who think that’s a sin, living in a world that wants people like me dead. In particular the trans part.
I’m also surrounded by people who think me being Wiccan is demonic.
I had to recently stop talking to my dad because he refuses to accept me as Tyler, his son.
I’m autistic and have adhd and did not know this until my 30s. I also have anxiety, depression, and ptsd (for multiple reasons, both simple and complex).
I’ve been abused from multiple people. I’ve been used. I’ve been raped. I’ve been in situations where I should be dead.
Hell that last part is my entire life. I was born with vacterl association because of lead where my mom worked, a glass factory, when she was pregnant with me. They tested their employees lead levels once a year (i’m 34 so this was the 80s btw) and it came up when she was 2-3 months pregnant with me. The doctors tested hers and mine. They said she should have been dead or at least a vegetable, and I, or the fetus that became me, should have been a miscarriage. Logically, it makes no sense that I am here. My mom quit working there immediately upon learning that. But it didn’t stop there. There are other situations in my life where I shouldn’t be alive ranging from an abusive boyfriend to a house fire I was in. I was saved by my neighbor with a ladder.
Statistically, people like me often unalive themselves, and i’ve had thoughts of doing just that for over 20 years now. Physically disabled, neurodivergent, queer and trans, mental health issues … I wonder what the statistics would say about me.
Prior to starting T just last month I know that’s where I was headed. I realized I had 2 options. 1 Attempt to be myself, transition, try to live as a trans man, as who I am or 2 suicide. This is me trying to live.
I became a widow in my early 30s. Jan 17th, 2021 my mommom died, during a time me and my husband were moving into our own home and I was also learning i’m autistic, and we moved in late January and February 16th, my husband died. My husband and my mommom were the 2 people in my life who I knew loved me and accepted me as I am. I don’t think my mommom “got” it, but she accepted me. She called me Tyler. I had come out as nonbinary at 30 and socially asked people to use my name Tyler. I talked to my husband about wanting to transition (but medical reasons and disability delayed me starting) and he supported me. Now … I just started a month ago and he’s not here with me. As excited as I am about transitioning … it’s bittersweet. I really, really wish he was here with me. I know he’d be proud of me. I know he’d want me to be happy.
So … after that brief story of my life … how do I feel about being called brave?
Well, I finally know it’s true. I am brave. To go through all that, and to continue to, every single day. To still be here, to still breathe, to exist. Just existing as someone like me is brave. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
I know it’s true. And I appreciate that it’s seen by people. That all this bravery isn’t invisible. Because it’s fucking hard and it hurts. So yea, I know it’s true and I appreciate it when people call me brave … but … yes, there’s a but. But I shouldn’t have to be. I shouldn’t have to be this brave. I shouldn’t have to be brave just to exist. It’s exhausting and it’s painful and no one should have to be brave like this, just to exist as themselves, as myself. Brave just to breathe. I should have a right to exist peacefully as me.
I know i’m far from alone in this. Having to be brave just to exist. If you relate to having to be brave just to exist, you aren’t alone. You shouldn’t have to go through this. This world is deeply fucked up, and I will never fully wrap my head around why. I like to believe I see a glimmer of hope for the future though…
So no, i’m not offended, I know i’m brave and I appreciate it, but what other choice do I have? It’s be brave … or die.
And I don’t want to die without at least trying to be myself. I’d seriously regret not even trying.
I don’t want to die before legally changing my name (i’m currently working on it).
I don’t want to die without trying to actually live.
You can say i’m brave, but i’ll just think, “Yes, but what other choice do I have?”
I started T February 2nd. I’m a nonbinary trans man. He/They. I started on a low dose because I have a lot of medical issues and I want to see how my body reacts first and figure this is a smart way. I have gone through Plume because reasons. I am using the Testosterone Gel 1.62%, 1 pump a day and each pump gives 20.25mg of testosterone. I figure i’ll track my transition here. I’ve also made some tiktok videos, my linktree link at the bottom has links to all my socials, including tiktok if you’re interested.
I still have a long way to go in transition, i’ve barely begun, so please send good vibes or whatever you believe in for it to go well, especially with my medical issues.
CW: Talk about “downstairs”, horniness and masturbating. It’s a part of T and i’m going to talk about all of it. Do not proceed if this bothers you in any way or if you’re related to me. Thank you.
So, changes. Within the first day I noticed an increase in horniness. Yes, apparently that’s how it starts lol. I seriously felt like a dog in heat for a bit there. Now it seems more normal, like, guy normal, which is significantly hornier than I was pre-T. But it’s not insane. I can function lol. Before I’d masturbate maybe a few times a month? Now it’s almost every day. Typically once. Sometimes more.
Also before I typically needed some sort of help, to get off. Porn, reading smut, a toy. Now, it seems I do sometimes but, not usually. It’s actually interesting, especially because i’ve heard other trans guys say the opposite and I seem to be alone in this (but i’m sure i’m not).
The feeling, all of it, is different. Within the first 2 weeks I also felt bottom growth. That’s when the clit grows on T, it basically turns into a mini penis. It’s made from the same stuff after all. From my understanding it grows a little, stops, months later or whatever it’ll grow some more etc. And yes, I felt it. That seems to be normal from what I gather. Some trans guys say it hurts. At worst it was uncomfortable for me but generally just made me horny (i’ve heard other trans guys say the same thing, so it depends). It’s still small obviously because it’s only been a month but there is noticeable growth, and I love it.
The way I masturbate has already changed. My clit is so much more sensitive than before. I can just lightly stroke it, that’s not something I could do before. I can also feel and see when it’s hard and erect, just like a penis, just smaller. The sensation is also more localized. Before I could feel the pleasure through my whole body. Now it’s more localized but also more intense. I wouldn’t say either way is bad, they both feel good, but this way feels more right for me personally. It’s also easier for me to get off than before, which is nice because sometimes it seemed impossible before and the fact I have chronic pain wasn’t helping.
T can make it drier down there (which can hurt, cause bleeding..), but it can also make it wetter because it tends to cause more horny than before. So, depends on if the T or the horny wins. I have noticed at times it being too dry (and there is stuff for that), but when i’m wet even that feels different, and I don’t have the (normal) white discharge I used to. I can’t tell if the smell down there has changed or not, sometimes it seemed to but not other times. T can make there smell like dick and balls, so i’ve heard.
I’ve also noticed an increase in hunger. Nothing drastic because I was born with vacterl association and the imperforate anus part of that includes serious stomach issues with me. Hunger is not something my body tends to have, I just eat because I have to, but my body also hates food because it’s too stupid to work right, or like, at all. So barely eating could be difficult before. Now … I actually want to eat (a normal amount) and can eat easier, with less trouble and actually feel hungry a little every now and then, which with my severe stomach issues is a big deal.
I mentioned I started T February 2nd. I got my period February 7th. Seemed pretty normal, mighta been a little lighter/shorter than usual but who knows as one period to the next can change.
Also I noticed my mood, i’m much happier, less anxious and depressed (it’s hasn’t cured anything, I still have anxiety and shit, but i’m happier and able to cope better than before). I feel more me, more myself. More confidence. Still got work to do, but it’s nice.
I also cry less. I thought trans guys saying they couldn’t cry anymore or couldn’t cry as much as before was bullshit. Honestly, I thought it was internalized toxic masculinity and certainly wouldn’t affect my over-emotional cry at everything self and I know men are allowed to cry and it’s nothing shameful, and as I said, I was a constant crier and couldn’t help it.
It wasn’t bullshit. I can still cry. I haven’t lost the ability. But I don’t cry at every little thing like I used to. Commercials, puppies, stress, tv, movies, books, frustration…. Now it takes something significant to me to make me cry, and even then I don’t sob like I used to and it’s over much quicker. I’m not trying to do that, it just stops. Like my body saying “ok, done now”. I can try to cry and it doesn’t work anymore. Before I couldn’t get myself to stop crying until I had been cried out, now I can barely get me to start let alone continue for more than a few minutes no matter happened. Like I said, I can still cry though, it just takes more and is over much quicker.
I do still feel the emotions. Emotions can be less intense but I still have them. They haven’t gone anywhere. But I can handle them better to. Not perfect i’m sure, but better.
I do have a bit more of a mustache than I did before but it still has a lot of growing in to do. I’m not sure how much my face and body mighta changed, my mom said she can see some change but i’m also trying to lose weight (and failing). Same with my voice, it seems to be a little lower (using a voice app) but not much and it still very much in the female range. Voice (and facial hair) take longer than other changes though. Plus i’m surprised being on a low dose for just 1 month I have as much changes as I do, but i’m happy with them!
Also my face feels a bit oily and i’ve noticed a few more pimples than usual (but nothing bad yet).
So that’s it so far. Here is a pic of me Pre-T
And a pic of me now, one month on T
Ignore the fact I look mean. I wasn’t smiling only because I wanted to see my face shape without smiling.
I recently installed DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials and it breaks some things, including this video. If you have that and want to see the video, please go to the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension in your browser, go to options, at the bottom will say unprotected sites, click “add unprotected site” and type in myqueerdisabledlife.com (or wordpress.com would probably work to but would do the entire website).
With how i’m just going to focus on mood reading and reading what I want when I want and no longer doing the Goodreads challenge I decided to start off the year with intentionally not reading anything for the first day of the new year. Kinda like intention setting. I played Sims 2 all day and had a blast! I got some sims through University, which always takes so long.
It is so refreshing (for me personally – if you want to do it, go for it and good luck!) to not have to worry about anything in regards to a Goodreads challenge (anymore, though it worked for me for awhile as I mentioned before) or any books I said i’d get to in either a TBR or a POP. Even though POPs were looser I was still treating them like a TBR, just one I knew I wouldn’t get through all the books and had a tiny bit of freedom with.
Speaking of POPs, I know what my problem was. Sharing it. If I share any TBR or POP etc, I’ve then set the expectation i’ll get to those books, or at least do the best I can. It’s like a promise even though it isn’t and I can’t break a promise. I was frustrating myself without realizing it.
Now i’ve been writing down books that call to me, that catch my eye, that I wanna get to etc. just so when i’m ready to read I can see if any of those still catch my eye, so I can remember. But i’m no longer sharing them and i’m not treating them as monthly things anymore. It’s for however long said mood lasts. Before I pick up a book I must ask myself, do I feel like reading this right now? If the answer is no, I won’t pick it up then.
If for some reason I look at my private temporary POP and think “I don’t wanna read any of these books right now, but I wanna read something” well, at least i’ve crossed some books off the list and am that much closer to figuring out what I do want to read.
I have no concrete plans. I do know I enjoy blogging and do not plan to stop. I am thinking of how I want to continue it in the new year, since I am still trying to figure out exactly what works best for me.
Given everything i’ve said previously (about mood reading etc.) and how I don’t necessarily want to mention everything I read/watch/game/whatever, i’m thinking maybe monthly or bi-monthly wrap ups of whatever I want to mention specifically? Since I don’t want to limit myself to books anymore (though i’m going to continue reading and talking about books, it’s just not all i’m into).
I could mention video games I play (I have a ton I haven’t played yet!), movies and shows that I watch, life stuff, art (I want to draw and paint, I keep starting but then stopping) that I do and share it, talk about writing since I want to write more. I could get into fandoms and talk fandom stuff. I could talk about news if something calls me to. Other random stuff idk.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to comment and let me know. 🙂
I want to write blog posts i’m passionate about after all, or that I at least want to write and post, not feel like I have to. I think this would be good for me. And of course i’d come up with post ideas like I do now, but letting myself dig (back) into all my other hobbies and read what I want when I want, will help give me more post ideas.
I became an avid reader in late 2015. If you’re not new here you might already know that, otherwise I posted my reading journey here. I was 26 years old in 2015. I started doing the Goodreads challenge then. I’ve done it every year since 2015 (I didn’t always start it at the beginning of the year but usually I did).
At first I truly believe it got me to keep reading and to become an avid reader. It pushed me and motivated me. But eventually, it started to stress me. So I set it lower once I got to a point I was happy with in my reading, no stress about the numbers. But, it no longer feels right to me to have a reading challenge goal on Goodreads at all.
It’s so gamified in the book community. A source of stress for some. Turning reading into a numbers game when it should be an enjoyable hobby or way to learn. Not a chore, but fun. It wants quantity over quality, and by quality I don’t mean you have to read classics (unless you want to) or hard stuff. By quality I just mean books one really wants to read and enjoys. But instead, you gotta hit those numbers, so short books it is. And if one wants to read short books, that’s fine. But when you want to read those chunkers? It’s no longer fine.
You can still see anyone’s books they’ve read in any given year on Goodreads even without a reading challenge goal set. On their profile on Goodreads go to their bookshelves, hit “stats”, and then any years they’ve logged books into Goodreads will show up and you can look at them by year. Sure they have to have read dates on them but generally those are automatically added when you choose “currently reading” and then “finished”.
By not having a Goodreads challenge my reading will feel just a little more private (even though it really isn’t but it still feels different since not everyone knows you can still see people’s read books by year even without a challenge and it has more steps to do so so even someone who knows is less likely to do it than they are to click a reading challenge and quickly and easily see all the books).
I stated how I just want to read what I want when I want and mood reading and all that in my previous post 2023: The Year of Mood Reading. I love to read now. I needed a kick in the ass to get here, I know I did, but the kick in the ass has done it’s job now and i’m in love with reading. I don’t see myself not reading, that seems absurd to me now. Not read? But why not? I wanna read so many things! But at the same time, i don’t have to read anything, and if I didn’t read anything ever again? That could be ok. Confusing, but ok.
So no Goodreads reading challenge goal feels less stressful, no matter what I would’ve done with the challenge. I thought about setting it to 25 (i’ll most likely crush that), thought about setting it to 1 “to make a point” or nothing at all. And now i’ve decided, none at all. And I don’t think i’m going back to it. The ones i’ve done already will stay up on my Goodreads. I just won’t have any new ones.
But as the title says, i’m not against it. I already said I needed the kick in the ass it gave me to become the reader I am now. I’m grateful for it and I know it works wonderfully for some people. We’re all different. And things can change with a person to, like they are for me. But even so we’re all different and our brains and lives work differently. Do what is truly best for you, and have fun!
I became an avid reader in late 2015, I was 26 years old. I’ll try to be short since i’ve mentioned it before. I grew up struggling with reading comprehension, not knowing I have aphantasia and was thinking differently than others, and being told I wasn’t allowed to read the things I did want to read, like Harry Potter, because “evil will send you to literal hell”. Thankfully I had Goosebumps and Fear Street from R L Stine to show me that reading could be fun! Even if I still struggled, I enjoyed it. So I have much gratitude to R.L. stine.
But after high school I didn’t read much, just a nonfiction book on paganism here and there as I wanted to learn something, that was it. Until 2015 when I realized I was being dumb thinking I was “too old” to read Harry Potter, that I had missed my shot, and read it. I loved it. Then I wondered what the hell i’d read next and I found booktube and it spiraled from there.
So i’ve made TBR lists and stuck to them (and hated it but couldn’t stop myself), finally changing them to POPs (pile of possibilities) but still … not quite where I need to be.
Readathons, popular in the queer book community, popular in the horror book community, buddy reads, group reads, etc. I’ve started a million (ok about 100, i’m serious) different series only to never continue them because I couldn’t make the time, no matter how much I loved that first book.
I’ve had so much fun and got so much out of the online book community, I am very grateful for it. And I think I did need that push and those experiences first, to kick start me on my journey and show me the awesomely wide world of books. But I think i’m moving past that now but I got to do it consciously. And it’s not as easy as it sounds.
I am not saying any way is better than another, everyone is different! Do what works for you and makes you happy. I am only talking about my personal reading journey, no one else’s.
I know I have a bunch of “reading goals” and challenges but i’m not going to be using those as “must do” things. I’m using them because the challenges on storygraph are fun and it can be fun to see how much I complete of them, without the goal of completing them. Also most of them don’t have a time limit anyway so I can finish them years from now if I want to. Also, I know i’m going to have a lot of times where I don’t know what I want to read, but I can look at them and go “nah, don’t feel like reading that at the moment”, “maybe”, “Oh, yes, that!”. Because I may not be able to think off the top of my head what I feel like reading but I can identify if a thing is a “no” or a “yes” once I see it. So i’m going to be using them as tools to help me decide what I am in the mood for reading, if that makes sense. I can always say fuck them if it doesn’t work out for some reason.
Next year, or starting now really, i’m only going to read when I want and what I want. I will game if I want. I will write if I want. I will draw if I want. I will do puzzles or watch tv or movies if I want. You get the picture, and yes, I do enjoy doing all those things. But rarely do I do most of them. And that makes me sad because I don’t have a good reason.
I will have a rule for myself of no readathons. I will not say ahead of time i’ll participate in a buddy or group read in case I don’t feel like it when the time comes. If when the time comes I feel like it, sure I can read it and chime in. There is one possible exception to my no readathons rule: Nonfiction November! I love nonfiction November but if I don’t feel like nonfiction in november (I pretty much always do though), then I won’t participate. But there is a strong chance I still will participate because i’ll want to. I won’t use the prompts at all though, i’ll just read whatever nonfiction books I want (since that’s all you have to do to participate, the prompts are optional).
And of course, no feeling like I “have” to do anything in regards to reading. If I start to feel that, I need to reevaluate what i’m doing wrong. I’m not in school and I am disabled and unable to work. I don’t have to read for any reason, I read because I want to. I should not be turning it into a chore.
I want to have pure joy at reading, no stress, only unbridled joy. I mean it’s fine if a story stresses me out if i’m enjoying the story, you know what I mean. I am one of those people that I love the really depressing stories … i’m already in therapy ok? (Seriously, I am in therapy) I just want the joy of going “I really want to read right now” and then figuring out what i’m in the mood for, and reading it. Not feeling like I have to, though I don’t quite know how to kick that feeling. Probably just takes practice. I’ll keep kicking it.
I mentioned earlier how i’m awful with series, I want to change that! I want to binge series and not feel like i’m doing something wrong by doing so. I mean, if I don’t change it, that’s fine to I guess but I think that will change as a consequence of doing this :).
I’ll be able to read at my own preference and pace. No “I have to read this much” or “read this book this fast” or “I must read this now, then this, then …”.
Also, I don’t want to feel bad if I want to reread books! Down with rereading shame! Seriously, there are many good reasons to reread, but even if there wasn’t, why the fuck not? Read what you want, you don’t need to justify that to others.