Why I still go to FtM groups

I hate FtM support groups.  Cannot stand them.  Most of the time I want to strangle everyone there.  Still, every time I’m in a new place I look for the group that’s furthest away while still being accessible and go check it out.  I go, I sit, I listen, I try not to get into too many fights.  Then the next time they meet I go again.  I get nothing from it other than maybe a headache, but I go anyway.

Why?  Because I remember my first meeting.  I remember being the guy that everyone looked at funny and whispered about when they thought I wasn’t paying attention.  I remember going to another meeting a few years later and being told by a particularly irritating person that I must be genderqueer because real men don’t challenge the gender binary.  I remember having my identity dismissed in every possible way every time I went anywhere near another FtM.

I go for the same reasons that I started this blog.  I know that I can’t be the only gay, effeminate, non-genderqueer FtM out there.  Somewhere another guy is being told that he can’t wear pink.  That he has to speak only in a monotone.  That he needs to stop crossing his legs.  I may not be able to stop all the gender policing that goes on in FtM circles (rather like how I can’t stop it when it happens amongst teen boys), but I can at least let people know that there’s more than one way to be a guy.

You see, when I’m around it’s hard to pretend that a trans guy can only pass if he’s butch.  It’s hard to pretend that anyone who doesn’t change their entire personality is somehow not trans enough.  It’s really hard to pretend that you can only be effeminate if you’re genderqueer.  I still get treated like the class fag, but I’m ok with that.  In the vast majority of FtM groups I am the class fag.  I’m the small, queeny guy who wears glitter and likes showtunes.  Of course I’m not going to fit in with a bunch of butch guys who like to talk about sports and girls, I wouldn’t fit in with them if they weren’t trans either.

No, I definitely don’t go for the bonding experience.  I just know that one of these days another small, scared kid is going to come in with rainbow high tops and a swishy walk and I want to make sure he doesn’t get run off.

14 Replies to “Why I still go to FtM groups”

  1. You have made a scrawny little boy in a bright pink v-neck and Hello Kitty pajama pants very, very happy. I wish I had even half the patience you do for the “if you don’t act like a total brute you won’t pass!” propaganda.

    • It gets easier with time. Rather, my ability to bite my tongue and not get kicked out has gotten easier with time. I have actually met some nice guys too, so it’s not ALL bad.

  2. I know a guy who isn’t on T yet who passes better when his hair is longer. So don’t believe the propaganda. Take what you like and skip the rest.

    And- same here about the ftm groups. I hate them too and was treated the same as you.

  3. Well, I was told by a very good friend that I was a girl. I ran to my computer and searched frantically for a place where to ask, basically, can I be perceived like a girl, when I’m at my most liberated and free to wear what I like and open about my feelings, and still be a guy ? It’s not a question of being seen as a girl by boring grown ups who make me wear a dress and some make up, it’s a question of managing to be who I am, for the first time of my life, and being told this ”who I am” can not possibly be a guy.

    Well. I happen to be into men – in fact, into attractive people in general – and to love making my own clothes – and other objects – and to listen to classical music – and to heavy metal – and, and, and… But for me, those are just details. I’m the guy who listens to classical music while making his own clothes, I’m not a girl because of that, see ?

    My friend used harsh words like ”against nature” and ”making a terrible mistake” and ”hormones will destroy who you are” and so on. He says so because he loves me so he fears for me, but that disturbed me so much I had sex with the first gay friend I ran into just in order to reassure myself that I was indeed what I thought I was. Farewell, virginity… It was stupid, and I knew it while doing it. I still feel disturbed, and in addition to that I feel the shame.

    And now someone on the site I found in the first place gave me this adress, and I feel at least a bit better. People like me exist ! I met one. 🙂

  4. Wow. Glad I found this. Sometimes I’m softer than others cause that’s just how I feel. Sometimes I want to vogue while I’m playing soccer. So what.

  5. Just to say that it isn’t always like this. I am lucky enough to live in a big city where there is a well established and very varied FTM group. I went to my first meeting in a kilt – they couldn’t have been more welcoming.

  6. Hah. I wish you’d been at my first meeting. I remember there was a lot of conversation about one particular guy wearing a bra instead of a compression vest. He left early and everyone started asking each other if he’d decided not to transition after all because of the bra thing.

    It was so utterly ludicrous that I nearly died. I went a few more times but I experienced the same kind of reaction – tremendous gender policing; more than in just about any other environment I’d ever been in, actually.

    I am blessed to have had some great trans faggy role models to support me on my way out. Without them – well, I don’t know.

    I think it’s very brave to go back to those meetings – I hope that I get there someday, I’d like to I think. Right now I’m bringing along this kid that I’ve known since he was 12. I remember thinking he was a boy even back then. We had a conversation about it the other day and I was really moved at the experience. Some things have changed but others have stayed exactly the same. le sigh.

  7. I do my best to be manly (I want to live up to my dad but as an ex-marine, he has left some pretty damn big shoes for me to fill) but being really into the Marilyn Manson aesthetic, it makes it hard for people to take me seriously. And I dance hardstyle rave, in mountains of bright bracelets and black eyeliner; I mean, for pete’s sake, what kind of boy does that…? I sculpt dolls as well. I mean, how can I blame them for judging me?

    • Mate, might I suggest looking up some stuff on internalised -phobias? I get where you’re coming from, but there are people who will just read your words instead of your intentions and assume you’re a jackass.

      No one should be judging you. Fuck how men are “supposed” to be, you are who you are and that’s all there is to it. Until you start hurting others by being yourself no one has a right to judge.

      People should take you seriously because you are a person. You are a human being and therefore are worthy of basic respect and decency. Whether you dress like a cowboy or a fairy has nothing to do with it.

      As for what kind of boy wears bracelets and eyeliner…look at Adam Lambert. Look at the 80s and glam rock. Guys who don’t fall into a macho stereotype are still guys. You don’t magically lose your guy card just because you’re a bit different.

  8. Trust.

    I’m pangender, more comfortable being a boy but there ain’t no way I’ll stop wearing makeup and wigs.

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