My Reflection And Rejection

MulanJB“Look at me.

I may never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter.

Can it be,

I’m not meant to play this part?

Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself,

I would break my family’s heart.”

I identified with the character of Mulan in ways, at the time, I didn’t think possible. I never had a name for it, you know, transgender. Unhappy as a girl and the role set out for her because of her gender you see Mulan come into her own when she poses as a man. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Mulan is not transgender, what the hell you getting at Jay? Bear with me on this, I’ll get to it. No she’s not transgender, but the movie is up for interpretation. My interpretation, then and now, is that it’s about having to live up to expectations of family even though nothing represents who you are as an individual person; having to go along with their wishes and hiding your real identity because you’re scared they may not accept you for who you are; always having this nagging feeling within you every time you see yourself in a mirror or a photo. Who is that? That’s not me. I don’t want to be that person anymore.

Coming out to your family and loved ones is not easy. There is no right, or wrong way to do it. Rejection is something we all fear. Human beings are social creatures and the fear of loneliness can keep us awake for days. Hiding who I really am literally sent me to the hospital three times. I was having chest pains and no cause was found. So, I went to the next best thing, my therapist. Sometimes your stress can manifest itself in the body, ignore it long enough and it will show itself in ways you never thought possible. Stress, depression, and anxiety can be toxic. Being told “We do not accept you as a transgendered man,” is probably the hardest thing to hear. I don’t expect acceptance overnight. I hope one day all of those in my life can look at me the way I see my reflection in the mirror, as a loyal, honest, and good man.

My advice, it may or may not work, is to sit your family down and talk to them. Just be honest, don’t sugarcoat it, no sarcasm, straight to the point. The most important thing to remember is to be true to yourself. Not everyone in your life will accept you. Maybe one day some of them will come around, maybe not. I am open and honest with all around me. If they don’t like it, well too bad at this point, I’m tired of hiding and I’m awesome!  Why would I want to hide that? Hiding led to depression, and like I said in earlier blogs, suicidal ideations. Suicide is the number one cause of death in the LGBTQ+ community. Never be ashamed of who you are, be proud. If your family rejects you – and yes, it’s possible that people who raised you may not accept you – surround yourself with those who do love you no matter what, people who see you for who you are.

As of May 22, 2018 (my first shot of testosterone), I will not hide who I am anymore. Come what may, I am a transgendered man just writing a blog about my journey and random stuff I like to talk about it. A friend of mine in the Army once told me something about holding a grudge, holding onto the anger. He said “If they don’t sleep with you, and they don’t pay your bills, they don’t matter.” I heard this again from Rupaul, one of the best drag queens ever, “Unless they paying your bills, pay them b@#$% no mind” So, to heck with the haters and surround yourself with positivity and love.


~Jay Barnette~

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Communication: Talk, Talk, Talk

The mood swings: I started to notice them a couple of days before it’s time for my shot of testosterone. I get moody, aggressive even, not physical, but I can explode.  Currently I’m on 50mg every two weeks – that’s not a lot, but they start you low and you work your way up – and I’ve been going to the doctor more in a month then I have in my lifetime. I’ve also become more sensitive since starting the testosterone. For someone who did not learn how to handle emotions as a kid, this is quite a sight. However, since I did attend therapy for my trauma, something I recommend to everyone who has ever experienced any kind of trauma whether it be physical, mental, or both. Get help. Don’t hold it in. I can speak from experience bottling it up will only lead you down a very bad path, to the dark side (star wars references will happen with me). So, therapy helped me with processing my emotions and using coping skills. One of those skills was writing it out (oh, the irony).

Finding a support system and having the right person to talk to are key. The main person in my support system (but not the only) is my wife. She is my partner and my best friend. I am sure that this transition is not easy on her – I started my physical transition almost three years into our marriage. But, she has known since the beginning that I am a man and when I was ready to start the journey, to simply let her know. Communication is also key. Communication with your other half is crucial, it doesn’t matter the subject just talk to each other and always be honest with both your partner and yourself.

I tell my wife everything: the physical changes I’m going through, even when I’m feeling moody. Things are changing for both of us so, it’s vital for us to make sure the other knows what is going on.

Communication has never been my strength. I am reliable, loyal, will work to the bone for you. But, communicating what is going on in my head, not so much. The part I struggled (ok, still struggle with a little bit) is that it feels like there are a million voices in my head talking all at once. Sounds crazy? Well it is but, it isn’t. Everyone has those little voices in their head. It’s called your conscience. Your personality traits are there too. If you’ve seen the movie “Inside Out” then you know what I’m talking about. Let me just say that movie hit personality theory out of the ball park. Everything was completely accurate and on point. Excuse the nerd in me, I did minor in psychology after all and I gushed when I saw that movie and actually recalled what I learned. Who says you forget everything when you graduate? Not this guy.


~Jay Barnette~

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Blue Is For Boys, Pink Is For Girls

When a baby is born a boy, they give him a blue hat. The baby shower’s covered in blue. Dreams of him playing sports dance in the parents head. But, what happens if that same boy grows up to be a ballet dancer? Does that mean he’s gay? Feminine? Maybe he’s just really talented and, what do you know, maybe even heterosexual/straight.

Gender stereotypes

Gender stereotypes, I’ve been fighting against them as early as I can remember. I recall getting horribly upset that I couldn’t join the Boy Scouts with my brother, or play peewee football with him. The Boy Scouts were way cooler than the Girl Scouts, who as far as my eight year old mind could comprehend sold cookies and we were called brownies: LAME, (well to me anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of ladies out there who enjoyed girl scouts).

Why is it that as a kid I had to take Home Education, aka “Home Ec.,” while the boys in my class got to take shop? How cool would it have been if I got to play with power tools and learn about cars? My dad was pretty cool and let me play with a power sander when I helped repaint the entire house, or put drywall up in the basement. I was in heaven when we worked on the house together. I really felt close to him, like this is where I belong.

I remember growing up trying so hard to fit in with the other girls. Trying to like the things they liked. I wanted to belong, to have friends. Try as I might I didn’t fit in, except with the drama geeks.

Ah, drama club, the safety zone for all the freaks, geeks, and misfits of high school – the only place I was never bullied. I think that all of us were just trying to survive high school so when the time came we could strike out on our own. I always found a way to avoid gender, to avoid being identified as I am, a female. I never really dated boys because I had no interest. I didn’t have interest in anyone really, just getting out of Rhode Island.

Get out I did. I joined the Army. A decision I will never regret, it really did save my life – and yes, try to destroy me at the same time. I am who I am today because of my experiences in the past, both good and bad. One good thing I have to give the Army credit for is that I was always treated like one of the boys. The military distinguishes gender only on two occasions: sleeping arrangements, sorry, no co-ed going on here, and the physical fitness test: females had a lower standard on the push-ups and the run. Females, after all, are built to make babies and yes, men are stronger in the upper-body area; however, I never do anything the easy way, so I set out to blow the fitness test out of the water. By the end of basic I could do 100 push-ups in a minute, maxed on my sit-ups, and finished my run with two minutes to spare.

So, why am I yammering on about gender? Because for a lot of transgendered people we notice early on that something is not quite right with the biology we’re given. I tried, I really tried, to be what I was born to be…literally and physically. It led me down a dark path of depression and suicidal ideation. I felt alone and misunderstood. Take a look around, you probably know someone struggling right now. The best thing to happen to me was finding a support system. If you know someone struggling, or are struggling, you’re not alone. Reach out to that person; don’t judge them based on anything. We are all human, no matter our race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity. We all deserve to feel comfortable in our own skin.


~Jay Barnette~

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Twenty Three Days Ago

JBA1Twenty three days ago my life started. Twenty three days ago I finally started my journey to my authentic, true self. You’re sitting there wondering what the hell I’m talking about. For years, I have been keeping a secret. Some of those closest to me have known this secret for the most part, but not my family and not even some friends. Maybe I’ve been hiding it out of fear: fear of judgement, fear of loss, FEAR. Fear can be comfortable; it may seem to be easy to just fake it. Fake it till you make it right? I “tried” to be what society wanted me to be, what my family wanted me to be: a heterosexual female who would marry a man and have kids one day. I have never felt so awkward and miserable during than that time.

Coming into my sexuality – you know, when puberty hits and that love map you developed as a little kid starts to take effect – was a nightmare.  First off, I was an extremely late bloomer. All of my friends were already becoming women, whatever that meant. I thought it was hell on earth. I didn’t want my feminine features. I was quite content with my “tomboy like” attributes. I liked getting dirty, playing sports… I enjoyed all the things that a female shouldn’t enjoy. I should have been into boys, make-up, and dresses. WHY? Because I was born female and my biology should dictate how I live?

I was one confused kid… Then I set out on my own path, a path away from the eyes of my family and friends in school. I discovered that I was gay, be it a very masculine lesbian, but I hated the term “butch”. I hated labels period. I figured I can be as masculine as I wanted to be, I was in the Army after all and treated like just another one of the guys. I never really thought about my sexual identity at that time, I was busy doing soldier stuff – you know kicking ass, taking names, yeah right. I was serving my country and although I was in the closet I was proud to be a soldier.

About two and half years into my service, my world, my perfect naïve world, came to a crashing halt. I was sexually assaulted. I was in such denial that the reality of the situation didn’t hit me till three weeks later when I found out I was pregnant. I was horrified at the thought. How could this happen? I don’t remember drinking; come to think of it I don’t remember much of anything from that night. How could I have consented to sex with a man, I was GAY? I didn’t report the assault. Again, fear creeped in. I was scared that I’d be discharged. See, the only way I could prove sexual assault was to say I didn’t consent because I’m not heterosexual. If there were any date rape drugs, they were long gone. The only evidence I had that ANYTHING happened was the pregnancy. I made the difficult decision to have an abortion. Yes, that nasty word no one likes to talk about. To this day I think back and I still would have made that decision.

JBA1 2

Even as a lesbian I still didn’t feel whole. I knew something was missing. But, what? Why am I telling you all of this, you ask? Well, my sexual identity story starts back as early as childhood and I think it’s important for people to see that I’m human too. I have thoughts and feelings like anyone else. So twenty three days ago I finally did it. I started on the path to becoming who I have always been. How do I know this? Ever feel like you have this feeling in the back of your head and you’re not sure what it is, and maybe it takes some time to get to that thought? My experiences make me who I am today. If you have read this far you may have guessed already, but to put it out there in laments terms, twenty three days ago I had my first shot of testosterone and, yes, I am a transgendered male. Let that sink in for a min….. With that said I’m not asking for you to like it or accept it. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Know that I am here and always will be. I have decided to come out because I want to make a difference in the transgendered community. Why should we have to hide? Why should we be scared of who we are? I love who I am. It took me a while to get here to this thought process, but I’m here. I will be starting a blog and or YouTube channel once I figure all that technology out. I want to document my journey so that those who feel like I did have someone they can go to for questions, answers, and support. Whether you’re transgendered, or not, I am here to support you.


~Jay Barnette~

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What Are We Going To Do?

What are we going to do when the car breaks down again? How will we make the commute that’s literally shaving time off our life expectancies? Will we be able to pay for the gas? Will we have to choose between food and rent that month?

What are we going to do when we’re sick? How will we make up those hours? Will we be able to fill our prescriptions? Will we have enough money to not die?

What are we going to do when they raise rent and energy costs again? How will we pay off our college loans? Will we ever be able to retire? Will we live to see that age?

What are we going to do when the next storm comes? How will we replace our food when we lose power in the summer again? Will we be able stay warm when the power goes out in winter? Will anyone be coming for us after a disaster?

What are we going to when we can’t pay? How will we survive? Will we ever be able to thrive? What are we going to do?

~D.T. Kukulkan~

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Traitors And Illegitimate Judges

flagnrBrett Kavanagh, an overtly partisan and hostile man who lied under oath and misrepresented evidence, a man who threatened revenge against his political enemies, a man with the belligerent and overly emotional temperament of an abuser playing the victim, after a Kangaroo Court investigation and against the wishes of the people, has been confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

Senate Republicans are traitors, the Supreme Court now has two illegitimate picks from an illegitimate administration. And because of them we are moving ever closer towards what looks like civil war. The pleas from these men and their supporters for civility, respect for the rule of law, are hollow and hypocritical only meant to reframe the political narrative as they break the rules and expect everyone else to follow them.

The legislative branch, specifically Republicans, have been chipping away at our institutions and their legitimacy for decades while dismantling unions, the education system, the democratic process via gerrymandering and dark money, and instating a for-profit school-to-prison pipeline, letting everything else crumble and pretending we don’t live in a police state.

This means all laws passed by the votes of these traitors, all Supreme Court decisions determined by Gorsuch and Kavanagh, all appointees and executive orders and signed legislation by the so called “president,” are all illegitimate. With every action they push us all further into poverty, strip people of their rights and dignity, perpetuate modern slavery and the police state, whilst taking every last cent and poisoning every stream.

We must vote, but that is the bare minimum of engagement. Call them at their office and at their homes, show them out of your places of business, ostracize and cast them out at every turn and do not apologize for any of it. So called “Judge” Brett said his nomination was an orchestrated political hit and had been through hell, show them all what hell and orchestrated political hits really look like.

~D.T. Kukulkan~

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The Great Game

Remember when Tyrion told Daenerys: “You’re part of the great game now. And the great game is terrifying.” He could have said that to almost anyone of us today. If you take a stand, if you demand your voice be heard, particularly if you have criticisms of the alt-right, or of this fascist regime, in this age of instant connectivity you may be harassed online, or harassed in person; sent death threats, or put on a “dangerous persons” list posted in forums to be physically targeted for harm.

And all of this occurs with the encouragement, praise and approval of the President on Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, people on the Left harass people on the Right too – just the President is usually far less encouraging towards them on Twitter to say the least.

Protests and rallies regularly have bursts of violence and occasionally churning into riots before they end. People have already been brutalized and murdered. And now as an illegitimate president gets a second illegitimate Supreme Court nomination, a woman and her family have been forced essentially into exile when she isn’t testifying after sustained harassment, threats, and having her email hacked in an attempt to forge a recantation. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford said in her opening statement to Congress that she was terrified, but believes it to be her patriotic duty to present facts for consideration during the nomination process of a possible Supreme Court Justice and that is truly brave. She is now one of four women publicly accusing “Judge” Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, or sexual misconduct.

Riots met with deadly force, murder, subversive plots, arrests without due process, all accompanied with a ruler acting like a spoiled child while survivors of abuse -particularly women- rise up to challenge the established patriarchy and those who exploit people for their own obscene profit in true feudal lord fashion… that’s, not the fictional Seven Kingdoms, or even medieval Europe, that’s the United States today.

The “Great Game” of politics is a war (“by different means” can be debated) with very real consequences. Circumstances are more frightening and increasingly so for everyone, especially “minorities*.” They’re murdered in their cars and homes by “officers of the law” and the victims are targets of posthumous smear campaigns. They’re being rounded up and sent to detention centers, they’re children stolen, and citizenship being subject to expanding redefinitions – as if citizenship had prevented American citizens from being railroaded and deported before.

So if you’re terrified too, and understandably, remember that’s the only time a person can be brave and hopefully you’ll never have to, but if you find yourself in a situation requiring a choice then choose to be like Dr. Ford.


Minorities*: everyone who isn’t a straight, white male which isn’t a minority demographic.


~D.T. Kukulkan~

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