Rioting On: The Tale Continues

Jenny Ian Asencio
14 min readFeb 6, 2021

People who’ve read my previous work might remember that I wrote criticisms of feminism from the perspective of a woman who agreed with some of feminism’s premises but also observed its excesses. I’ve also written pieces arguing in favor of sensitive and vulnerable cis-gendered men, a group I feel is underrepresented and could also benefit from some of the core philosophies of feminism.

The Me You Know

My writing got thrown for a loop on November 14, 2018. I had been playing Starfinder, a tabletop role-playing game (the old paper-and-dice kind), and my description of my character was “Han Solo with boobs.” What actually came out of this character was more like Cary Grant in space, complete with the gallantry and even a little Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckling. Surprised by how I was describing and portraying “her,” I decided to personally roleplay as a male amongst my friends, in an experiment with what could be called gender fluidity. Although this was contrary to my ideas about sex and gender norms, I became Ian (named in honor of an old childhood friend), not realizing how core to my identity Ian was.

As soon as I chose the name, there was a clear physical reaction throughout my body, a strange wave of resonance. Over the three days that followed, I documented a flood of memories from throughout my life which all pointed to a fact I’d never considered before: I am transsexual. This had nothing to do with how I acted or thought. It turned out that for a very long time, I’ve been explaining away sexual body dysphoria, commonly (and in my opinion, mistakenly) called “gender dysphoria.”

It’s time anyway for another “who I am and what I believe” essay, especially as people change over time (sometimes in extreme and unexpected ways…), and also because events and attitudes have shifted about a lot of issues since last I wrote semi-prolifically. Being transsexual is such a large part of who I am that I wasn’t sure I could return to writing truthfully about my views about feminism. I also wasn’t sure my views would be taken seriously, especially in a world where my femininity will be questioned on account of my transsexuality and vice versa. The main purpose of this essay is to discuss, after long thought, lots of therapy (including starting hormonal), self-examination, and observation of recent events…

Jenny Ian Asencio

Card-carrying nerd, rational feminist, spiritual observer, ally of free thinking and objectivity, Harvard student, power metal is life! Trans man, he/him prefd