Embracing Eli

Lately I’ve been experiencing a weird feeling inside myself. I watch a youtuber that identifies as nonbinary, and I am fascinated by them. I like the idea of not using gender specific pronouns, yet I also feel like I cling to my she/her pronouns for dear life.
When I was nine years old, I had to cut all my lovely curly long hair off due to head lice, and because of that I was referred to as a boy. It didn’t help that I was wearing my brothers hand-me-downs. I was so offended, and despised that substitute teacher for the rest of my elementary and middle school existence. In grade twelve I had beautiful long, and coloured hair. I destroyed it by bleaching it to much, and had to chop it all off going into year thirteen of high school. (I went back by choice.) Again I was offended when someone called me a boy, because it was so deeply ingrained in me that I was supposed to be a female, who liked males.
I came out as Bisexual in grade eleven to my friends and a few of my family members, but I didn’t openly discuss it with my foster parents because I figured that they would accept it. So being misgendered felt awful, and made me feel so self conscious about myself. I started to go into even more of a self hatred. By the time I was in my¬† first year of hair school, I felt more confident in my short hair. My boyfriend loved me with long hair, and still loved me with short hair. My friends didn’t care what the length of my hair was, and neither did I.
Now fast forward two years, and I’m trying to grow my hair out. Not because I don’t love it short, but because I haven’t seen myself with long hair in forever. In the last year I have been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder, General Anxiety disorder, Social Anxiety disorder, and Panic disorder. Because of the mixture of all these, I have many panic attacks, some of them so bad that I almost pass out. My clothing will be too tight, and I will fall apart, because in my head I am this fat disgusting monster, when in reality I am an averagely sized person. So lately I’ve started to wear my boyfriends clothing, and I feel so much more confident and comfortable.
Watching this nonbinary youtuber had gotten me to question whether or not I like the use of female pronouns for myself, and in all honesty, I could care less if someone used He/Him or She/Her pronouns to describe me. I’m me, and I don’t depend on these pronouns to be me. I have been doing a lot of thinking about it lately, and I have decided that I like dressing more Androgynous. I’ve also decided to go by a more masculine name, but that won’t be changed on any social media until I move from where I am living now, because the roommates I currently have are great, but I feel like they wouldn’t understand, because they don’t understand why I like to wear my boyfriends clothing.
The name I have chosen to go by once I move is Eli. My boyfriend says he will love me regardless of my name, and I’ve told him he can use any pronouns he would like, as long as he can try to call me Eli. When we move, we will be living with my best friend. He is gay, and is somewhat in the same mindset as me, where he wants to appear more gender neutral. I look forward to the journey I will be embarking on, and I am so grateful that I have my boyfriend to support me through it, and a best friend to take the journey with.
Sincerely,
Eli.

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Clothing Size and Body Issues

I have had difficulty accepting the way mt body looks and my size. So many people will often think I’m crazy because I’m by no means a large person. I am a size six or seven in pants, a size medium in shirts usually, but the fashion industry makes it hard for me to love myself the way I wish I could, along with past trauma.

For those of you who are unaware, women’s clothing doesn’t seem to have a standard sizing system. It sounds like we do when we talk about how we wear a size small, medium or large in shirts, when someone says they are a size one or a size twelve, we sound like we know exactly what we are talking about, but honestly, I don’t think we do. I can say that I am a size six in pants and a medium in shirt, but that’s in Old Navy clothing. In Ardenes, I wear a size large or extra large in shirts. At other stores I can fit into a size small.

The other day I was at a thrift store, and decided to try on a few pair of jeans because I need new ones, and I grabbed a size six/seven, and to my utter frustration, they didn’t fit. I couldn’t get them past my thighs. Again I would like to state that I am about average in size. I was pretty well taught as a kid that my size equaled my worth. If I wasn’t a small waist size, then no boy would ever fancy me. That thought was cemented into my head more when my high school boyfriend of a year had cheated on me with a girl with an eating disorder. Here I was, a girl not allowed to wear smaller than a size seven(about 27inch) finding out that my boyfriend had cheated with a girl that was a size zero or smaller. It really took a large chunk out of my self-esteem.

So after my thrift store disappointment, I went to a local mall while I was home visiting one set of my parents and my sister. A store that I had gotten my favourite pair of jeans from was having a sale. $10 for a pair of jeans. That was great for a pretty much broke college kid. I went looking through the selection, and they had up to a size 25 inch then it jumped all the way to 30. The 25 was too tight, and the 30 would have been too big on me. They didn’t have anything between the two, and that broke my self esteem a little more.

Women’s shirts aren’t any better. One store you can wear a small, a completely different one you can’t get a small over your elbow. Women’s button up shirts can be the worst at fitting, because they have to be done up around the breasts, which can cause an issue. At this point I have basically given up. I plan to wear men’s button ups, a size or two larger than I need in shirts, and I guess I will have to stick to pants that will be worn out within a year to guarantee a good fit.

I am just so frustrated with clothing, and the notion that the number on a tag defines who I am as a person. I hate feeling like I need to be a smaller number to feel the same love as someone tinier than me. I am sick of the photo shopped images, the air brushed looks, and the fact that our clothing size isn’t regulated.

Sincerely,

The Girl with Many Emotions