Youth Gone Wild

By Christina Vronay Ruggles


The Question

Look, we’re both strangers here. I don’t know who you are, and you don’t know who I am. Through the medium of the printed word, we can only solve one of these problems. I’m Christina, and I’m addicted to estrogen. I inject the stuff once a week, doctor’s orders! It keeps me even, keeps me all soft and happy, and fixes my body one dosage at a time.

Besides being a wet ‘n’ wild lesbian transgender woman, I’m also a member of the “youth brigade”. That means a grab bag of little things, in this context though, the important bit is that I bring a (hopefully!) new take on age-old queer issues. Maybe I introduce new ones. Maybe I don’t, that’s for me to attempt, and you to judge.

An acceptable Answer

Expanding on the introduction, you may be asking yourself, “Why did this get printed, and why should I read this?” For fun, and expanding one’s mind, as well as for laughing at yourself. We all take ourselves too seriously, we could all stand to loosen up, let our guard down, let some new thoughts and ideas melt into our brains.

We take ourselves seriously for a reason though, because if we don’t the cisgender heterosexual “norm” decides we don’t exist. They kick us, they poke and prod at the sheer concept of us having fundamental human rights, much less full equality. So we build these walls around our identities and anything and everything that gets too close to our walls MUST be stopped, halted at all costs.

Maybe these walls are some young person problem. A symptom of us still looking for meaning to be given to us in a world that demands we make our own. Maybe not. If its not a problem you’re experiencing in the here and now, you may have forgotten how it feels to live with those walls up.


Drama Queens and Gangly Teens

The first time I went to a queer event was 2014. It was a transgender support group in Los Angeles, and a stranger from the Internet was dragging me along, with the assurance that I really did belong there, that I was in fact, transgender, and that these peoples’ stories would validate and strengthen my own.

It was also full of drama before I even walked into the room. The woman bringing me into the group hated the current moderator, who apparently got the role by pushing out a transgender woman with some light bullying and harassment. Or so I heard. I had no clue; I had yet to meet a single person in the room before I had at least 3 people to glare at contemptuously.

The meeting went fine for me; the few pointed questions that were mortared my way by the moderator were simultaneously soul-crushingly painful and enlightening, mostly because I wasn’t asking myself these questions. I had no mental framework to ask, “What on Earth IS my gender?” I simply had a puddle of unknown angst and pain focused around being a man.

She began walking- you know what? Let’s name her! I’ll call her Charlotte because there are lots of hers, hims, and theys along the way and by golly you readers knowing who the hell I’m talking about will probably be helpful. Probably.

Sorry for the interruption, back to our previously planned programming!

Charlotte had been sitting across from me in the classic folding chair filled, speckled tiled floor, and drab drywalls that fit non-descript buildings that LGBTQIA+ support meetings were usually housed in. I think the chairs were grey, possibly green. Whatever color they were, they looked perfectly ordinary, perfectly in place.

Charlotte though? I still can’t describe her. I could look at a picture of her for hours and tap out not a single word. An angel of slender legs, grace, and warm smiles; beyond that I fail. She was and is beauty. I say is because I follow her on Instagram and still participate in mild stalking sessions when boredom truly sinks in. She’s my trans mom. She put my butt in that uncomfortable metal chair. She jumpstarted, if not began my journey. And Charlotte if you’re reading this, thank you. I’ll never be able to repay you.

Upon the meeting’s end and her folding chair being added to the orderly pile, she glided over and hugged me apologizing for the painful and awful things the moderator had asked me, holding me in an embrace that was only made awkward by my surprise. After releasing me and asking me what I thought of the meeting, she introduced her friend Roger, a man of stocky, heavy-set shoulders and jet black Johnny Bravo pompadour.

As we strode out into the parking lot, letting the warm Los Angeles night envelope us in its rather heavily spiced version of a chilly night, I knew something about this was right.

Though the evening was a night of many firsts, and many things stood out to me, as time goes on and I’ve grown and learned and lived, I still wonder WHY is there so much drama in the greater queer community? It’s never minor I feel either, it’s deep seated, organizations, bars, community groups and leaders are CONSTANTLY involved in drama. Why is this drama so fundamentally involved with being whatever flavor(s) of queer we are?


We welcome Christina Vronay Ruggles to The Standard Magazine family. Each month she will be giving us insight into the Transgender community from her point of view.