I felt the need to record the answers to many of the questions I get asked; hopefully this clears up any confusion you might have about me.
Q: I’ve seen you use different names in a couple of places, so what is your name?
A: I mostly go by “Demi”, but I also accept “Samantha”.
Q: Okay, we have been friends a long time, do you mind if I call you “Sam”?
A: Yes, I absolutely do mind. Please only refer to me as either “Demi” or “Samantha”. My parents and SOs all call me by either of those names, so you can too.
Q: So what is your full name?
A: My full name is currently “Samantha Demi Marshall”, but I never use it as such. You shouldn’t ever need to address me by my last name, so it really isn’t that important.
Q: And your legal name?
A: That’s it!
Q: What are your pronouns?
A: I use she/her pronouns.
Q: Are you transgender?
A: Yes! I am a non-binary transgender person.
Q: I am not sure I understand what “non-binary” is.
A: That’s ok, the simple answer is that I haven’t found a word that I feel adequately describes how I feel about my gender.
Q: Does that mean you don’t have one?
A: Nope, I definitely have a gender, my native language (English) doesn’t have the proper words to describe how I feel about it.
Q: I don’t understand.
A: So I was socialized (brought up/raised) under the assumption that I was a boy. That assumption was wrong. I am not, and never was a boy/male.
Q: Doesn’t that make you female then?
A: Well, that is what is on my government identification; but gender is more complex than a simple “male/female” binary. As much as I would like to go into more detail about how gender consists of a spectrum of identities, this is about me and I’m going to let you do your own research about that.
Q: Alright, so I see you refer to yourself as a woman/girl sometimes; if you aren’t “female” then why use those words?
A: I use those words because I am describing an experience that is rooted in femininity, or has to deal living as a trans women/trans femme. This is in the same vein of describing my sexuality as “lesbian” as that is the closest word that fits the description for me.
Q: How old are you?
A: 23. Ok, not really; this is how old my brain tells me I am when I ask myself this question. I was born in May of 1991, so my “real” age is however many years have passed since then.
Q: You look/sound different from the last time I saw you.
A: Yup, I probably do. I started HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) in the middle of 2017, which means I’m probably going to look physically different than you might remember me. This is a result of giving my body estrogen while suppressing testosterone production.
Q: That’s … weird.
A: This is actually a really normal and extremely safe thing to do, I am much happier and feel better since I started doing this.
Q: Oh my gosh, are you ok? Were you in an accident or something?
A: What? No. I use a cane as a mobility aid. If you see me out and about then chances are you will see me with it. I’m doing just fine, but might like somewhere to sit-down instead of stand.
Q: But why do you need it?
A: I don’t have a medical name for it yet, if that is what you are looking for, but I experience a disabling amount of pain in my legs (particularly my knees).
Q: You said “disabling”, like…
A: Yup, as in I am unable to function at all some days because of how much pain I am in. I don’t particularly like answering questions about it, so please refrain from asking me.
Q: I’ve seen you walk without the cane, are you really disabled?
A: You probably have, but since the end of 2016 the amount of pain I’ve been experiencing has been getting worse. Using it allows me to walk and remain mobile for longer periods of time. My doctors have strongly recommended continuing to use it as it increases my mobility.
Q: Let’s meet for coffee some time!
A: I don’t drink coffee. Ok, I know that wasn’t the literal point of the request, but bear with me here. I’m autistic and not only do I tend to take many things literally, but also I don’t enjoy small-talk. If we aren’t friends outside of the realm of online (I qualify this as people I arrange to see), then I’m probably not super enthused to meet up with you to talk about stuff.