Tag Archives: FTM

“Man Core”

During my life, I’ve met all sorts of people. When I identified as a woman, and as a lesbian, I met women who were hardcore man haters. There were always reasons why they hated men, such as male privilege, gender discrimination in the workplace, and the list goes on. Even while I identified as a woman, I was not one of those women who hated men. I had an ex-girlfriend who used to torment me about being bisexual as opposed to lesbian because of my defense of men. Little did she know that it was because I AM a man. Even I didn’t realize that at the time, but looking back, it makes more sense why I was so highly offended.

Recently, I went to the park with an ex-girlfriend to walk dogs. I asked her to take a picture of me with my dog, Kali Ma, so that I could add something new to my Twitter/Facebook accounts. She took several pictures and stopped for a moment and stared at me. I asked her what was wrong and she said, ‘you look just like a dude’.

Mind you, I wasn’t dressed any differently than I normally am. There wasn’t anything about my physical appearance that was different. I brought this up to her and she mentioned that it wasn’t so much my physical appearance but the energy I projected. She referred to me having a “man core”.

At first, I was exhilarated by the fact that she noticed this “man core”. I’d certainly never considered it as I spend more time obsessing over the reasons that keep me from passing successfully as a man. It was a short-lived moment of progress, but then I realized that she was utterly disgusted by me. That hurt. This woman who had once loved me was now plainly disturbed by the energy I projected, although I took that to also include my physical appearance. I was heartbroken in an instant — not because I felt guilty or that something was somehow “wrong” with me, but because of her instant rejection and blatant hatred of my “man core”.

My “man core”, as she referred to it, is my essence. It’s my true self. It’s the part of me I had repressed all of my life. The part of me that I have now come to accept and love. The part of me that is now shining through me. ME.

Ever since this encounter, I’ve played the scenario over and over in my head and even with my therapist. I am still the same person I’ve always been, minus pretending to be female and lesbian, which, in my defense, was a process I had to go through to get to where I am now.

I played the “straight” game for years. It’s what was expected of me. I was supposed to meet a nice man, settle down and make babies. I did meet a nice man. I married him too, but then I realized quickly what a huge mistake I’d made. It wasn’t his fault, and honestly, I don’t blame myself either because I had to go through that to make it to the next “level”, so to speak.

That next level was my imagining that since I was attracted to women and wanted to be with women that I must be a lesbian. I was so relieved in the beginning. I could be with women, which made me very happy, although my family and some friends were obviously appalled. I felt free for a bit, but then, I began to take note of my discomfort in the bedroom. Mind you, I had absolutely no problem pleasing women, but when I realized they wanted to please me sexually too, this became a bit of a struggle. I had such body hangups that I’d never realized before. I couldn’t relax and at times I preferred not to even be touched. Something about it just wasn’t what it was supposed to be, and I was naive enough to believe that it would be ok, that there would be no questions and that women, like men, would be overjoyed at being ravaged without having to return the favors. I was so wrong!

Looking back now, it’s crazy to think that it took me so long to put all the pieces together and realize that my discomfort with my body is because I am in the wrong body! It isn’t because I have a mental disorder or am a control freak in the bedroom, it just simply comes down to body dysmorphia. It amazes me how repressed, subconscious thoughts/memories can affect your life. Now that I have embraced myself as who I am, a man, I am learning new ways to work past body and self-esteem issues.

All of this brings me to thoughts on physical transition. In my continued research of the FTM community, I find what sometimes seems an unspoken “rule” that if you are a transman that you will take hormones and have your breasts removed. Although I’m not happy with my body and I will probably be working on body image issues for the rest of my life, that does not mean that I am ready to go under the knife. If I’ve learned anything in my search, it’s that I don’t have to transition physically at all. In my mind, I’m male. It’s my “man core” that is the primary source of my being, and with or without hormone therapy and/or surgery, I always have been, and always will be male.

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Emotional Rollercoasters

I don’t think I ever really paid that much attention to how much I am affected by PMS until I accepted myself as a man. I’ve lived long enough with PMS and menstrual cycles that, like everything else female related in my life, I’d just learned to deal with it and pushed any thoughts of it into the darkest regions of my mind.

For some reason, this cycle affected me in a much different way. Once I realized what was happening and that I wasn’t going insane, I actually became angry. All these emotions flooded forward and I allowed myself to become angry about being trapped in this body and being forced to deal with periods, PMS, female hormones, large breasts and body image while all along I am a MAN!  If I believed in a god I would have to give him credit for this most cruel and heartless joke!

Centered around this emotional overload were glimpses into myself that I hadn’t had before. All of a sudden, I realized how I had repressed so much for the sake of pleasing everyone else. It’s become a habit that I’m finding difficult to break. How do I find  myself and be myself when all I know how to do is pretend to be somebody everybody else wants me to be? Where is the real me in all of this charade?

The more I thought about it, the more realizations came at me like harsh slaps in the face. Just the sight of my breasts has become enough to make me feel vile. My entire body is one giant birth defect and with each passing day I find it harder to suppress the real me and keep up the lie.

I actually “came out” the two guys I volunteer with at the LGBT Community Center. I didn’t think about it, it just came out. We were talking and the next think you know I’m telling them that I’m in therapy because I’m a guy and not a girl. They didn’t say anything…didn’t really acknowledge it. I have to wonder if I made them feel uncomfortable by sharing. I figured, what the hell — as gay men, if they can’t deal with my “coming out”, then who can!


New Projects

If you know me, then you already know that when I get in a creative spurt, that energy takes over everything to the point of exhaustion at times. I’ve been home with strep throat for a few days and in my restlessness I have managed to create a social network for transman, their partners/lovers and advocated, AND, as if that weren’t enough, a new transman magazine. Ask me when I am going to have time for all of this — go ahead. Not to worry, I will make times. This is important to me.

These projects, like most I start, will need more than just my energy. That being said, I am searching for others who may want to participate. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a couple of guys who are willing to pitch in. If all of this does what I want/hope it will, it will eventually generate money and community awareness.

If you’re curious, you can take a peek at the skeleton web mag at transmale.org. This is the online think tank where the ideas will flow, the words will dance, and all the magic will happen to bring the magazine together. From there, the magazine will be offered through Issuu for purchase as a downloadable digital file or in pretty print version. How exciting!

Before I say more, I guess I should give an idea of what the magazine is all about, right? Yeah, thought so!

TMQ | TransMale Quarterly is a magazine likened to GQ for transmen. This will be an informative, mature and entertaining look into the world seen through transgendered eyes. There will be regular contributions in areas such as Heath & Fitness, Sex Ed, News/Politics, Sports, Style, Erotica, Technology/Science, and Interviews with personal stories from people in the LGBT community. I also want a section for the partners/lovers of transmen! There will be photography, short stories, poetry and art. Plus plenty of reviews — everything from movies, books and music to sex toys, binders and packers!

Whew, that’s a lot of content! BTW, if anyone would be interested in contributing to this project, please let me know. I’m seeking professional and personal insight!

Ok, now on to the social network. Did I mention that I do things really big?? Yeah, a small creative flaw of mine. Go figure!

TransMale Network is a social network much like Facebook for transmen, their partners/lovers and advocates. If you identify as any of those, please, please, please join me there. Currently, it’s just me and Arden, but we’re holding down the fort nonetheless!

All of this started when I decided I wanted to move this blog to a private server. Now that I’m there, I think I prefer it here better, so I’m going to just point that domain here. I already have trusted followers here, so I’m staying here! Woot!

After all of that, you’d wonder if I had time to recover. Well, I’m feeling better, so that’s a good thing. I may be out of it for another day or so, but at least I’ve been productive during my illness!