Content warning: gender dysphoria, trans-hostility, self-harm, violence, sexual assault
Over four years ago I wrote about the violence and abuse I experienced as a child and teenager, what that did to me and how I live with it. Since then, a lot has happened and I came to accept a few very important things. Back then I thought I would be writing a follow-up at some point. It turned out that post was just the beginning of something much bigger.
Since then I've come out as a transgender woman and started to live as my true self. This is part one of a series about my experiences up until that point.
A german translation is available.
Recently I went through my old childhood photos. This is the latest one in which I still recognise myself. Everything after that is already showing someone in a mask who I don't see myself in. I'm about four years old in that picture.
I remember when I was eight to nine years old I often lay in bed, unable to sleep, desperately wishing to wake up next morning with a different body, a different name, a different life. I wished to live as the girl I really was. From then on I would not be able to live that live for almost another 25 years. Having been assigned male at birth I was denied that life and instead forced to masquerade as a boy. During that time, I did not understand what these wishes and feelings meant. I lacked the knowledge and vocabulary to express any of it. So I buried it deep and tried my best to perform as the world expected it from me. This is an extremely hard task, especially as a child, and I failed at it frequently.
I've spent the last twelve months getting into analog modular synthesizers and building my own Eurorack system.
One thing that almost every modular synth needs is a way to reduce the final output signal to a level that headphones or computer audio interfaces accept.
That level is called "line level" and it usually should be between -1.5 and + 1.5V, preferably even less to avoid clipping. Audio signals in a Eurorack modular synth however often range from -5 to +5V so they need to be
lowered before sending them to any other audio gear. This signal processing is called "attenuation".
In my system, I often need one to three outputs and I've been using my two dual VCAs for that most of the time.
The problem with that is those VCAs could be much more useful for other things so I wanted to have a dedicated output attenuator with four channels.
An attenuator is probably the simplest synthesizer module there is so it's probably a good starting point to try building your own modules and Doepfer even have a schematic for it right on their DIY website.
So, I went to my trusted local electronics hobby store and picked up the parts and had myself a nice weekend project that I'd like to share.
I recently moved my photography work from Flickr to a page on my own website and in the process, selected a much smaller set of images. I used to have about 150 photos on my Flickr account, all of them uploaded at a time when I deemed them good and then never touched again. I never went through that list and sorted out the ones I really no longer liked because I thought it was a good thing to have a lot of work to show.
When I decided to move my collection over to my personal site I first planned to take along the entire thing but then thought "Who will ever actually page through hundreds of mostly mediocre photographs?" – I certainly wouldn't.
Every time someone asks me this question I want to say: "Ok, have a seat." because the answer will take a moment. I have one movie that immediately comes to mind as the, in my opinion, best movie but calling that one my favourite isn'y really fitting, you'll see why when I get to that.
Instead of one single favourite movie I have several "best of genre or mood" type of selections. Here we go: