Recent searches

While I’m working on a couple of more in depth posts I thought I’d go over the search terms I’m apparently fairly high ranked for, but haven’t actually addressed.  Figure if people are going to get here from them I should at least make sure they get information.

when you start taking testosterone ftm will you get wet dreams?

Let’s start off by defining ‘wet dream’.  Technically the ‘wet’ part comes from a guy ejaculating while sleeping which isn’t always a part of trans guy orgasm so in that sense, no, you won’t necessarily have wet dreams.  General sex dreams during which time you orgasm?  Yeah, possibly.  Sex dreams without orgasm?  Also possible, even likely depending on how your sex drive ends up and whether or not you remember your dreams.   I know I definitely have had my share, but I also had a few pre-T. Just a naturally horny fucker.

what is a gay ftm?

I think I may have covered this in the FAQ (at least, I really hope I did), but since the search didn’t point there for some ridiculous reason I’m going to answer it again.  Note that the following are the most basic definitions designed for the hardcore beginner and do not account for every possible identity permutation.  FtM: Female to Male trans* person.  Generally someone born female who is actually a guy.  Gay: In this case, guy who is into guys.  So a person who is gay and FtM would be a trans person who identifies as a guy and is sexually/romantically interested in other guys.  (Hint in case you’re confused: if this person was not trans they’d probably be considered straight.)

why do transmen wear earrings

Why does anyone wear earrings?  Because they bloody well want to.  Cis guys wear earrings, why can’t I?  I like earrings, they’re fun accessories.  Just because I’m a guy doesn’t mean I have to be Rambo or something.

i am ftm transgender, and i want an effeminate voice

This is an interesting one that I wasn’t expecting.  Honestly, I don’t think it’s a good idea to force your voice to do anything it doesn’t want to do naturally.  Your vocal chords are very sensitive things that are easily hurt.  However, there are different speaking patterns that can be read as more feminine/effeminate based on region.  For example, in the US it’s very common for people to consider men who don’t speak in a monotone effeminate.  Most trans guys end up sounding effeminate by accident because we’ve had social training as girls, but if you’re worried just take all the stuff trans guys say to do to sound masculine and reverse it.

I’m bi and trans, and I’ve only ever dated other bi’s. I know that there are plenty of gay and straight people who date trans people, but I know that I would always be worried that I’m inadequate. Do/did you have that problem? How did you get over it?

This is amusing to me because I actually have the *opposite* problem. I have problems dating bi/pan guys because I’m always worried they’ll see me as a girl or something ‘in between’.

So…I guess I don’t really have any advice for you. My issue with bi/pan guys has gotten better since I started passing better and became more comfortable with myself. That’s about it.

Ask me anything

Have you dated an FtM? Would you?

I have. It’s not that big of a deal. I’m into guys, trans guys are guys, I’m good.

I *don’t*, however, top vagina. I’ve tried. It was really awkward and kind of terrifying.

I also haven’t dated anyone — trans or cis — who identified as anything other than male. So no genderqueer trans guys or trans as an identity trans guys. Not necessarily because it’s a deal breaker, but because I tend to not get along with those guys. We look at our gender and histories in such fundamentally different ways that there end up being fights. That’s fine for friends, but way too tiring for a relationship.

Ask me anything

Hrm.  Reading again that second part makes a bit less sense.  I haven’t dated anyone who identifies as anything other than male regardless of genital configuration is probably a better phrasing.

It doesn’t always get better

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the It Gets Better Project.  In some ways I agree, there are very few things worse than high school.  At the same time, I feel like this is one of those times being transsexual is different from being gay.

For me, it hasn’t gotten better.  Not enough.  I am still trans.  I still wake up every morning and am slightly surprised that my lower half is entirely different from what I feel like it should be.  I still have days, weeks, sometimes even months where seeing myself without a shirt and pants is physically painful.  I still have times where I wonder if that pain is worth it.

Part of this is because I have chemically based depression.  Just like being trans, that isn’t something that is going to change.  I’ve known that for far longer and have mostly come to terms with it.  However, coming to terms with it has not made things any easier.

I admit, my life is much better than it was before I came out.  I have words for my feelings now.  I’ve found people who feel the same way and can sympathise, even if they can’t fix things.  I’ve treated my condition in the only way anyone knows how to treat it: with legal documents and hormone injections and therapy to help with all the things that aren’t solved with a simple shot.

I no longer am so caught up in my own nameless pain that I can’t function.  I have a successful career, incredibly close friends, and a generally decent life.  Not amazing, I’m not rich or famous or anything, but good.  In the most basic of ways my life is better than I could have imagined at 16.

Unfortunately, there will always be reminders.  My trans related depression was never linked to people disapproving.  It was never linked to bullying or bigotry.  It wasn’t even really related to society’s perception of my gender.  No, my depression was always due to the knowledge that I would never be fully comfortable in my own body.

Some of that has gotten better.  I enjoy my tenor voice.  I like the feel of slightly rough skin when I rub my face.  I love that my slim build now allows me to develop the long, elegant muscles that I wished for during years of ballet classes.  I will never be a bulky man, but my toned abs are a particular point of pride.

Those things are nice.  Very nice, actually.  However, they don’t make up for what I lack.  They help.  They allow me just enough strength to push through the depression.  Most of the time they’re enough to keep it away entirely.  There are still moments.  Moments when it feels like nothing in the world will help because medical science isn’t moving fast enough and likely never will move fast enough, not when being transsexual is seen as something deviant rather than a condition to be treated.  Not when medical professionals view us with emotions ranging from mild curiosity to outright disgust rather than compassion and dignity.

Yes, it has gotten better.  It also has not.  I am no longer a terrified young adult.  I no longer worry about being shut out from society.  I no longer look in the mirror and fail to recognise the face that looks back at me.  However, these things all come with their own drawbacks.  I am not afraid, but I am aware.  Aware that there are people in the world who hate me simply because I exist.  I am not isolated, but in some ways that hurts more.  It hurts when I have to decide whether I trust someone enough to disclose.  I recognise myself, but that’s just another reminder.  Every day I am faced with the reality that sometimes I don’t have the mental or emotional energy to look past my waist.

For me it wasn’t quite as simple as leaving high school and coming out.  I wish it was.  It’s not so bad that I feel like killing myself every day as I did when I was in my late teens, but it’s also not all better.  I’m not going to lie to people and say it is.  It’s hard.  Some days it still feels impossible.  I still keep sharp objects and all ingestible medications locked away.  Most days I don’t need to.  Some days I do.

Not all of us will ever be fully ok.  Some of us will always feel that pain, will always have to fight against our darker emotions.  Is it worth it?  I don’t know.  For me, today, it is.  Tomorrow I may have a different answer.  Point is, we keep fighting.  I don’t know if that makes us stupid or strong, but we do it anyway.

Teen boys and testosterone

I normally don’t answer questions unrelated to gay trans men (or even trans men in general), but this one I felt should probably go up.

Yes, there are ways to curb testosterone production in teen cis guys.  However, this isn’t something that should be done without a good reason.  Actually, I don’t think you’ll find a doctor who will do it without a good reason.  It’s hard enough getting them to prescribe hormone blockers to young trans women.

I don’t have the knowledge required to go into this in much detail, especially not without knowing why the person in question wants to slow their/their son’s hormone production so all I can really say is talk to your family doctor.  If it’s for reasons relating to gender identity there are support groups to help you figure things out.  PFLAG has a trans-specific group called T*Families, the local chapter should be able to point you in the right direction.

Choosing not to transition

“Can I know I’m trans and still not transition” – search term

Simple answer?  Up to you.  There’s no rule that says you have to transition (socially or physically) as soon as you know you’re trans, just like there’s no rule that you have to run out and have gay sex immediately upon figuring out that you’re gay.

Of course, if it was that simple it wouldn’t be something people ask.  Question is, what does being trans mean to you?  Some people have very little dysphoria, they don’t feel the need to transition.  I liken it to having a very mild form of depression and being able to handle it with journalling or good friends instead of medication or therapy.  Different people just experience their dysphoria in different ways.

So how do you feel?  Are you ok with the world seeing you as a girl (or guy, if you’re MtF)?  Do you feel fine in the body you have?  If both of those are the case then go for it.  I couldn’t do it, but I’m not the one who has to live your life.  Everyone’s different.  I’ve had more than a few guys tell me they could never transition to be an effeminate man and that’s fine.  It’s not for them.  Maybe transitioning isn’t for you.  Maybe you’re cool to just know in your head that you’re a guy and let everyone else keep thinking of you as a guy.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as you’re happy.

There is a warning though.  Often “choosing” not to transition is more a form of denial than a well thought out decision to maintain happiness.  Transitioning is scary, it means changing everything you know.  You have to worry about what happens if you end up changing your mind (which always seems so much more common than it actually is), how people are going to react, and, if you have kids and/or a partner, how it’s going to affect them.  It often seems easier to just ignore any dysphoria you may have and pretend everything is fine how it is.  Sometimes that’s true, but if it’s not, well then you end up in a situation where you’re miserable for no good reason.

It doesn’t all have to be transition or ignore.  You could decide to tell a few close friends and relatives, create yourself a sort of gender oasis.  Maybe you wear guy clothes and use a gender neutral name, but let everyone except your friends and family consider you a girl.  Maybe you’re happiest being a girly girl in public and a manly man at home.  Whatever it is, it’s your choice.  No one can tell you how to handle your gender except you.  Sit, think, maybe experiment with a few different options.  If something works that’s great.  If not try again.  Eventually you’ll figure out what makes you happy.

Why I don’t post about being a man of colour

First of all, I really hate that term.  It’s like when I first found a box of my mom’s old Crayolas and noticed that what I was used to being “peach” was labelled “flesh”.  My white friends have colour too, it’s just a lighter shade.  Unfortunately, there’s not really another good term that encompasses everyone from Asians to African-Americans to Native Americans to Latinos so it’s what I use.

Second…it’s not a huge part of my identity.  I’m Latino.  Mexi-Rican to be more specific.  I have an olive complexion, horrible wavy hair that frizzes up like you wouldn’t believe, but isn’t curly enough to be fun, and dark eyes.  However, this isn’t something that I ever considered important.  I grew up in an area where there were a wide variety of ethnicities and we all got along fine so I didn’t consider it to be important until well into my 20s.

What’s more, I didn’t start being visibly Latino to anyone outside California until two or three years ago.  Other Latinos can always tell, rather like having gaydar, but very few others could.  Most non-Latino, non-Californians assumed I was Jewish, if they assumed anything at all.  There’s this image of all Latinos (particularly Mexicans) as being short, square, dark skinned, black haired people.  I’m short, but not square by any means, I have a skintone no one knows what to do with, and hair that turns almost blond in the summer.  It’s only now that I’m starting to develop more Latin features (yay T!) that people are starting to notice.

So I don’t have a ton of experience with being a man of colour.  Even what little I have I have nothing to compare to.  I was never considered a woman of colour in an area where it would have mattered.  Sure, everyone in my home town knows my ethnicity.  However, it was an area where the only thing that might get you discriminated against was being Republican.

I can’t talk about it because I honestly couldn’t come up with anything to say.  I know racism still exists now (that honestly was a revelation to me at 20), but because I wasn’t raised experiencing it I don’t know what discrimination is based on race and what’s based on gender or sexuality or religion or whatever else.  I’m not exactly a fountain of privilege here, about the only thing I’ve got going for me is being a dude.  It can be hard to tell sometimes.

Quick Answer: Male Reproductive System

No, it is not currently possible for a trans man to have a male reproductive system.  We cannot produce sperm.  We cannot *ejaculate.  Our testicles (if we have them) are silicone.  At the moment the surgical options are something of a trade off between size and the ability to get hard without mechanised assistance, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, etc. aren’t even an afterthought.  Reproduction is still a fairly new consideration for trans people.  Until recently it was assumed that sterility was desired by everyone involved.  If you’re interested in having biological children I suggest finding a doctor who can help you go through your options.

*At least, we cannot ejaculate in the same way cis men can.  I know of a few guys who can in, uh, other ways.

Some more musings on brotherhood and man-only organisations

The “Downsides to being seen as a man” post has received quite a bit more attention than I was expecting, most of it good.  However, I feel like I may have failed to explain a few areas as well as I could have.  One of the big ones has to do with male/man-only organisations.  More than a few people have said that all non-women-only organisations are for men by default, something that I think needs to be looked at.

Yes, most organisations are run by men.  However, there is a distinct difference between something be run by a man and something being for men.  Just as there is sisterhood, there is brotherhood.  Unfortunately, there are very few areas for men to experience brotherhood, particularly straight men.  If you’re not big into frats and/or can’t get into a Masons lodge you’re left with religious organisations and maybe recreational sports teams (depending on whether or not your area has progressed to mixed-gender teams).  What’s a straight, atheist, geek guy to do?  Women have social organisations devoted solely to the experience of being a woman and how that brings them together.  Men don’t.

What’s more, there’s often a certain amount of anger at the idea that men might need men-only groups.  It’s as if people believe that the simple act of men getting together is going to cause a return to the 1950s.  I first noticed this a few years ago when I was converting to Judaism, the (cis-woman, as far as I know) rabbi was openly hostile to the men who had been to an orthodox shul and said they enjoyed the male bonding experience.  This same woman hosted women-only Torah studies and organised the yearly women-specific Shabbat service, but was less than thrilled when my synagogue at the time started up a men’s group.  It makes absolutely no sense.

Now, I’m not saying there should be only men’s and women’s groups.  I love my woman friends, I’m much closer to them than I am most of my guy friends (particularly the straight guys).  However, there are times that it’s just nice to be with only guys.  Trans, cis, gay, straight, bi, whatever.  There’s just something a little different about not having women around.  It can’t really be all that surprising to anyone, particularly women who love their women’s groups.

Even when there are groups of only gay guys, not having women around brings the stress levels down a bit.  For all we try to act like men are insensitive animals who don’t care about anyone, most guys do change their behaviour around women.  Sometimes it’s subconscious, often it’s an attempt to make sure the women in question are comfortable.  Either way, having women around changes the dynamic.

Hell, let’s say none of that was true.  Would it matter?  Why can’t guys just want to hang out with guys?  There’s nothing wrong with men and women having their separate spaces.  There’s not even any reason we have to limit it to men and women, let’s also have bigender, agender, genderqueer, and whatever other gender variation we can come up with groups (along with the ‘everyone’ ones, obviously).  As long as we all recognise that no group is inherently better than the other there’s nothing wrong with splitting up every now and then.

One more Formspring: Clothes

What advice do you have for smaller transguys in terms of finding clothing? Nothing too fancy is necessary, I’m a college lad.
– Anonymous

How small and what kind of proportions?  I’m short with dancer/gymnast proportions (long, lean arms and legs, no torso to speak of) so I tend to go with either boys’ sizes or smaller men’s sizes in slim cuts.

If you’re more square or just out of kid sizes I’d go with places like H&M and TopMan, anywhere that stocks a men’s XS/XXS (usually these places cater to metro and/or emo college boys).  If you can afford it, Abercrombie (kids, not A&F) has a nice selection of clothes in the “between boys’ and men’s” size range.  For anyone who can get to a Celio, I maintain their shirts are magic.  I end up wearing the same size as a far better built friend, it’s awesome.

I also recommend learning to sew.  I know, you’re probably busy enough with college, but it’s a great way to get well fitting clothes for very little money.  Besides, it means that if you find something you like that needs a tiny bit of alteration you can do it yourself.