My Second Year at Carolina

July 28, 2011

Trans I am, said Peter.  Now what? When my second year at Carolina started I was still using female pronouns and mostly going by my birth name (with the exception of my girlfriend who almost always called me nicknames), but I wanted to change that.  So I made two major decisions that propelled me forward to the person that I am today.

1) I got my first binder. (Alright, alright, I know I talk about binding a lot, but it is REALLY important to me.  It changes the way that I see myself, the way other people see me, it changes my attitude, my confidence, and when I looked in the mirror after I got one I finally started to see my physical appearance match the person on the inside.  I am planning on doing a video blog soon about binders, because I think it will be easier to show you rather than write to you about how drastically it changes my appearance and you can probably even see my confidence level go up.  I’ll also talk more on the video about how binding affects my emotional stability.) Binders aren’t the cheapest things in the world, I actually consider them to be quite expensive (good ones run up in the $50 range, which is a bit much for something that I consider underwear…or maybe I’m just cheap…either way, I’m not trying to blow 50 bucks on a binder, I mean, I could live off 5o dollars for at least a couple of weeks).  AND you can really only buy them online, so you are always running the risk of it not fitting.  AND there are certain logistical issues with some binders that make them difficult to wear (but I’ll get into those during the video).  So, basically, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the way it felt, I wasn’t sure I could find the right size (my dimensions are a little wacky, I have a super tiny rib cage so technically I need an extra-small, but I have decent sized boobs so if I get too small of a size then it could be unhealthy for me to wear, ya-da-ya-da).  BUT THEN I found the Big Brothers Used Binder Program (I’ll put a bit about it on the resources page) which allowed me to get a free used binder and all I had to do was fill out an application and send five bucks for shipping costs.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I still wear it.  Since then, I have acquired only one other binder which was given to me as a gift.  From the day I got my first binder, I’ve worn a binder almost every single day.  I’ve come to very much dislike how shirts fit me without one.

2) I changed my name.  Not officially, I’m still struggling with documents and shit, but socially I started going by Peter.  This didn’t happen until late in my second year, probably February or March, but the second I decided on Peter I made sure everybody knew and I never went back.  Here is a common question that I would probably include on a FAQ page if I had one: How did you pick Peter?  Honestly….

Yes.  That’s right.  Peter Pan, y’all.  Of course, it took more than just that.  Several people in my life had pointed out that I have the characteristics and mannerisms of little boy Disney characters (Peter Pan, Mowgli, Arthur (from Sword in the Stone, this is my FAVORITE MOVIE and I implore all of you to watch it!), ect..) but Peter Pan was the one that I got way more often than the others (although, I wish it had been Arthur).  People have called me Peter Pan as a nickname all throughout my life, and now that I was deciding to adopt a more masculine name why wouldn’t I give it a shot?  So I did.  And I loved it.  It stuck, it fit, I like the way it sounds, I like the way it looks written on paper, I like the way it looks in my handwriting, and it makes me feel good.  I also tried Brendyn for a bit (this is what my parents were planning on naming me if I was male-bodied), but even my mom agreed that I am definitely not a Brendyn.  Peter became mainstream at the end of my second year, but mostly during the summer following during which I spent two months in Asheville, NC playing amongst smelly queers, squeaky clean opera singers, tents, PBR, and waterfalls.  Outside of Drum Corps, last summer was definitely the best summer I’ve ever had.  Meeting entirely new people allowed me to introduce myself as Peter from the get-go and allowed me to be me, and make great, awesome, beautiful, life-long friends who will always know me as Peter.  My first friends who didn’t know me by my birth name, who didn’t know where I came from, who didn’t know who I was before Peter, and best of all, they didn’t care.  They let me be me, they supported me being me, they loved me for me.

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