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G. L. Balend

How losing my husband led to accepting my gender identity

Photo by Igor Kasalovic on Unsplash

In 2016, my husband lost his lifelong struggle against depression and anxiety. The man I had been with for nearly a decade, that I had planned to grow old with, was suddenly gone. …

The complicated story behind my deceptively simple name change

Photo of the writer, G. L. Balend

In early 2020, I began the process to have my name changed legally. Again.

This is a common rite of passage for most transgender people, as we come to terms with our identities and seek to find a name that better suits us as we begin our transition journey. …

My journey on this platform and what I’ve learned along the way

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This is the one hundredth article I’ve written since starting my journey on Medium in July 2018. I am not as prolific as some, but I wanted to mark this milestone. I write about one to four articles per month, which I write between working on my novels and fictional…

How I’m preparing for this year’s challenge

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It’s that time of year again, for those of us who participate in the annual writing event that is NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, many intrepid writers all over the world set aside their other activities and focus on trying to write 50,000 words in…

Being out online can attract both the best and worst people

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As a writer of LGBTQ+ content, I often use social media to promote my writing. Besides the pieces I write for Medium, I also write fictional stories and novels. As a self-published author, I need to promote to get any sales. Sometimes my promotions fall flat with zero engagement, other…

As long as you keep trying

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Everywhere you look these days, you’ll see people adding their pronouns as pins to their clothing or to their internet profiles. For many queer people, being referred to by the correct pronouns is important to us, and it’s great that our allies are helping to normalize the practice.

Still, those…

Praising a trans person’s past appearance is not the compliment you think it is

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Someone I recently met saw some photos of me before I transitioned. I don’t hide them, so that wasn’t an issue. However, when she began gushing about how pretty she thought I was in those photos, it made me uncomfortable. At first, I responded with an awkward, um, thanks, but…

A review of the new Amazon writing platform

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On July 13, 2021, Amazon launched a new serialized story platform called Kindle Vella. As a published author through Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Amazon notified me in April of the upcoming rollout and invited me to prepare a story for the launch. …

Avoid stereotypes and dehumanizing your characters

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I mostly write about LGBTQ issues here on Medium, but beyond this platform I write works of transformative fiction and have published gay erotic stories under my pen name Grayson Bell. As a gay, transgender man, I also read a fair amount of gay erotic romance. There are many amazing…

Living my truth and changing my perspectives

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I frequently write about the negative experiences transgender people face, but I want to step back and take a moment to appreciate the good things I have found in being trans.


Anyone close to me knows I have transitioned. They have watched as my appearance changed over the past few…

G. L. Balend

Transgender writer and author. I primarily write on LGBTQ issues, with a focus on the transgender community.

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