ChoiceWords Blog

Aleo

Major: Journalism & Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Favorite writer: James Baldwin
Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: Any that don’t involve cishet white folk… In dire need of some variety.
Hidden Talent: I can whistle Shostakovich’s entire 5th symphony with incredible accuracy.

Posts By: Aleo Pugh

Uncertainty is OKAY: On Gatekeeping & Transitioning

Growing up, I vaguely knew of trans people from their routinely featured roles on Jerry Springer, yet quickly became familiar with them through their public denigration, references, and comments leaving my family’s mouth unfiltered. It wasn’t until one of my many excursions across Youtube, desperately seeking advice on how to tell my family of my own truth, that I came across an FTM coming out video. Simultaneously amazed and perplexed, I continued watching these videos, convinced that my interest lay solely in learning their stories. A consistent theme in many of the coming out videos I watched was how seamless arriving at the decision to start hormone replacement therapy (hrt) was for them, though not always immediate, eventually feeling 100%, undoubtedly comfortable. I continued to watch these videos, hoping that something would spark the… Read more »

5 Tired Microaggressions Trans People Are Tired of Hearing

I realized that I was trans when I was 15 and a sophomore in high school. Prior to then, I was mostly occupied with uncovering my sexuality, which was further complicated by my false idea that gender and sexuality are two inextricable elements, rather than two independent–but frequently –intersecting identities. Although I didn’t truly let my trans flag fly until my senior year, I have been open about my identity (in varying degrees) for years, meaning that people around me have had plenty of time to come up with uncreative, stale, and expired microaggressions. Here are 5 hella microaggressive comments/questions to never say/ask to trans people! (and if you say them to me, consider yourself cut off :)) 1. It is important to note that a name change does not validate… Read more »

Miss(Cis) Expectations: Pregnancy & Trans Identities

It’s the first week of classes and I’ve already had to defend my decision not to carry children twice.  It happens at least once every year, either from friends, family or well-meaning acquaintances, my insistence that I will never carry is met with disturbed, pity-filled consolations – pity because some assume I am infertile or believe my queerness has jaded my perceptions of pregnancy, and shameful disbelief that I fail to follow my “maternal instincts.” This pity typically morphs into anger or twenty-minute tirades filled with alternative options, as if I have never watched a Laci Green video, or as if my decision is not well-informed and just came overnight. These interactions demonstrate concern at best from commentators, but for me, they demonstrate disrespect towards my identity and autonomy. My first memory… Read more »