Tag Archives: transman

Identity & Comfort Zones

My lesson for today:

It’s ok to be a woman who wants to look/act like a man.

Not that I didn’t already know that, but it must have been important enough that someone would point it out to me. For anyone who has been following my blog for a while, or for those who know me on a more personal level, you know that I have been struggling for some time with identity. It’s far more than the questions of who am I? or where do I belong?, but also, am I in the right body? 

Ever since I was a tiny child, I remember imagining myself to be a boy. I liked girls, therefore logically, I’m a boy. That seemed to suffice for a young me. Now, as I get older, I’ve begun dissecting myself and my life in order to find that place where I can feel a sense of peace within.

One thing is certain and has never changed: I am attracted to women! I love women! Women do it for  me! The only attractions I’ve ever had to men were more of wow, I wish I looked like him.

Another certainty, I love masculinity. I love dressing in men’s clothing and looking like a man. I am most comfortable in my own skin when I look and feel masculine. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have feminine qualities. Sometimes I feel as if I am more comfortable with my own femininity the more masculine I look. When I look in the mirror, I am much happier with the masculine me.

I’ve always rebelled against labels, but at the same time, I’ve always wanted to “fit” somewhere and realize that in most cases, labels are important in finding others of like mind. For a long time I referred to myself as a lesbian. Other terms were harder for me to swallow. After I’d just come out, words like “dyke” or “butch” seemed offensive to me. Now, I find them to be power words.  It is the same with “FTM” or “Transman”. I turned away from expressing myself using these words because of my own fears about myself. Now I embrace them.

Yes, it is ok to be a woman who wants to look/act like a man. And yes (!), it’s alright for a transman to decide he doesn’t want to take hormones or have chest reconstruction surgery. Just the fact that I have come to terms with who I am, I am now slowly realizing that I don’t have to be anybody other than who I am. I don’t have to be like everyone else — I can be me!


Catching Up

Finally! The semester is over! But I only have a week to breathe before I start the first half of summer classes. No rest for the wicked!!

This is a “catching up” post; nothing major.

I went for a follow-up with my medical doctor. Apparently I have high blood pressure problems. She also decided that a new anti-depressant was required (what, you’re not a Prozac slave??!!). And — yes, there’s an ‘and’– she set me up with a time next week to go in for some blood work to check my hormones. I’ve been having some very strange symptoms lately. She thinks I may be pre-menopausal as well. All I could think was what the fuck is going on with my body??!! (Insert my best attempt at a Scottish accent)

Needless to say, I went home with four (4!) new medications ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be healthy, but I have my suspicions about pharmaceuticals and conspiracy theories and …

Good news — I joined a gym! I know, I can’t believe it either, but, this very cool transguy I follow on Twitter was telling me that if I work out my breasts will shrink. That’s all it took! All these years of hiding from the gym and one simple statement had me signing on the dotted line the next day! Now, as I work on my upper body, I visualize my breasts shrinking. I’ve turned into a meditation of sorts and I feel good about it. There are other benefits to going to the gym of course. I’ll lose weight and gain muscle.

I’m halfway through “Stone Butch Blues” — incredible story! I can’t believe I had never heard of it before. My therapist recommended it, as well as a couple of books on FTM transition stories. Even though “Stone Butch Blues” is fiction, I see many aspects of myself in the main character, especially during the early childhood years. I keep thinking that there has to be some truth to this fiction. I wonder if it’s made up of the author’s personal experiences…

I bought Chaz Bono’s book today. I usually don’t buy books when they first come out because they’re priced so high. I am curious about what Chaz has to say. I read the inside cover and it was so me, so I bought it, along with a steampunk novel to help break up the many things flying out of my Pandora’s Box of late.

I’ve been extremely emotional lately. My therapist thinks that this is because I am opening doors that I’ve previously had padlocked. Perhaps she’s right. I’m not only dealing with the present, but the many pieces of my past and the best way to move into the future. I wonder how many other people she see’s who come in having no idea why they’re there and then early on realize that all they want is to be loved and accepted. I know I’m not alone in this and I am trying so hard to get all the muck out and deal with it so I can stop letting it haunt me. It’s not easy, but I’m really fucking tired of carrying it around. I want desperately to be “healthy” (whatever that is).

“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.