Just because you’re a man does not mean you need to be a douche

Something I’ve been noticing as I make friends with younger guys: there’s a horrible trend of coming out, passing, and suddenly becoming the world’s biggest pain in the ass.

I’ve seen some sweet, polite, well mannered, privilege checking guys turn into people I never want to see, let alone be associated with. It’s more than a bit sickening. Particularly since I know you’re all capable of more.

This is everyone’s reality check. I know that passing means suddenly you’re allowed — and even expected — to buy into a ton of negative behaviours. I know that it can sometimes be tricky navigating what is and isn’t considered ‘normal’ for a guy. That doesn’t mean you should accept all of it.

Stop taking up two seats on the bus just because you can. If you can fit in one seat you should sit in one seat. It’s only polite. Stop reacting to everything with physical violence. Not only does it show a complete lack of brain power, it’s going to get you in some serious trouble if you mess with the wrong guy. Stop forgetting the table manners I know your parents taught you. No one wants to see your half-masticated food. It’s gross. Stop laughing when the guys around you tell a sexist/homophobic joke. I don’t care if it means you don’t fit in, you don’t need to be playing into oppression. You’re better than that. And for god’s sake, just because you can scratch yourself in public doesn’t mean you should. If your hand is down your pants I’m going to assume you’re playing with yourself and in most places that’s a crime.

I know, it’s awesome that you now have license to be a disgusting slob of a caveman. That doesn’t mean you should. For one thing, most people — man, woman, or otherwise — don’t want to date a caveman. For another, it’s going to create bad habits that are difficult to break when you need to act like a gentleman for something like a job interview. Think about it for a second. Do you want to be the tool on ‘Tool Academy’? I know I don’t. I laugh at those guys. I don’t know how the hell they’re still getting laid. So cut the crap and grow up.

“There is more than one way to have a male body you know”

Can we please stop saying any variation of that when a guy is experiencing severe dysphoria over his genitalia?  It dismisses the problem in favour of gender theory, an approach that is neither compassionate nor effective.

We know that there’s more than one way to be male.  Trust me, we know.  It’s virtually impossible to be part of the trans community for more than five minutes without being told that particular aspect.  That’s not why we’re upset.  Some people transition for social reasons, some people for a mix of social and physical, some for entirely physical.  Those of us who are more on the physical than social side of the spectrum shouldn’t be talked down to simply because the prevailing attitude says having a penis isn’t important.

Having a penis is important to me.  I don’t feel right having a vagina.  Fuck social gender, fuck theory, fuck anything else that says having a vagina isn’t relevant to my masculinity.  It’s relevant to me.  That should be all that matters.

When you feel like crap because looking down makes you feel like you’ve been kicked in the stomach you aren’t helped by people saying “oh, it doesn’t matter, there are a ton of different ways to have a male body.”  In fact, that only hurts.  It says that what you feel isn’t important.  That your entire sense of how your body should look is irrelevant because being transsexual isn’t PC any more.  You can live without a necessary limb, you’ll be fine.  After all, these sixteen gender theorists say so.

Would you tell someone with severe depression that it’s ok, “there’s more than one way to be happy”?  I doubt it because there have been amazing shifts in the way depression is looked at.  That wouldn’t have been an uncommon response in an earlier time though.  It was perfectly acceptable to brush off depression as just another state of being, a personal flaw to be overcome rather than a debilitating illness.  Most people think that’s a horrible thought now, yet we do the exact same thing to guys with genital dysphoria.

I get that for some guys there really is more than one way to have a male body.  There are guys who love their vaginas, guys who don’t feel the need for T, guys with any number of different ways of viewing their bodies.  However, that is not the case for all of us.  Some of us really do have a very binary way of looking at our bodies.  That doesn’t mean we’re any better or worse than the guys who experience less genital dysphoria, it just means we’re different.  Acting like we’re simply in need of education fails to recognise that.

Who the fuck cares if T makes you gay?

If there is one thing I’m sick of it’s straight trans guys flipping out over “ZOMG T’S GONNA TURN ME INTO A FAG!”

First of all, there is absolutely no evidence to prove that increased T levels have anything to do with sexuality.  Anecdata =/= data.

Second, why does it matter?  Woo, you might like dudes, so scary.  Man the fuck up and accept that there is nothing wrong with a healthy love of peen.

The level of homophobia amongst trans men is just bloody ridiculous.  Nothing wrong with being seen as a lesbian and hanging out in lesbian-only spaces, but everything goes to hell if you start liking guys.  Sit and think about that one for a second.  Fucked up, isn’t it?

Men are not the enemy.  You ARE a man, clearly we can’t all be evil.  Gay men are not magically any worse than lesbians.  We’re all queer together.  So get over yourself and accept that you can’t help who you’re attracted to.  It’s frickin’ 2010, we should be over this by now.

Dealing with the lower surgery hate mail.

Seriously, people?  It’s been weeks now and you still feel the need to bitch at me on formspring because I’m not willing to shell out $20-100k on surgical options with results that don’t make me happy?  Do you not have anything better to do?

I have spoken to surgeons in over a dozen countries about every possible lower surgery option there is right now.  I have talked to surgeons you probably haven’t even heard of because they can’t find a transguy willing to be a guinea pig for their new surgical technique (honestly, it’s likely because they’re not all that different from the known procedures and have more risk).  I learned several different languages solely so I could speak to researchers.  I have spent the last decade of my life pouring over medical books and the latest research findings trying to guess at how long it’ll take before there’s a surgical technique I’m willing to try.  I’ve done enough research to have multiple job offers from surgeons and academics as soon as I have the formal education necessary to make it legal.  I know what I’m talking about when it comes to this.

I still refuse to go with any of the options I’ve heard of so far.  Why?  I don’t like them.  For me they’re not worth the money.  They’re not worth the potential complications.  They’re not worth the risk that I won’t be able to have another surgery when an option comes around that I actually want.  If you want to have one of the current surgeries then go for it.  It’s your body, you know what’ll make you comfortable.  Just stop telling me that I think your body is deformed.  Because I don’t.  I honestly couldn’t care less about your body, it’s not like I’m sleeping with you or something.  I simply have a different opinion when it comes to the current surgical options.

For those of you who still think I’m some asshole who thinks you have a frankenpenis or something: find a better use for your time.  Go help the homeless or get laid or something.  I’m just a guy with a blog.  I get an average of 50-100 hits a day, most of them from the same people.  I’m really not important enough to be yelling at.

For everyone else: sorry about this.  I’m just a little sick of getting home to an inbox full of expletives.

Oh FFS. You CAN’T tell if someone is trans unless you ask.

Apparently this is “stupid trans questions 101” week here on the blog.  I might have to make a FAQ section or something.

So cispeople: YOU CAN’T TELL IF SOMEONE IS TRANS JUST BY LOOKING.  Seriously, cut that shit out.  The guy you’re looking at could just be short/pretty/slim/whatever.

Even if you think you’re sure someone is trans don’t say anything.  It’s rude.  It reminds us that most people don’t see us for who we are.  Plus, you could be wrong.  There is very little more awkward than mis-gendering someone, you really don’t want to put yourself through that.

What if you just have to know?  Too bad.  Unless you’re going to be sleeping with the person it’s really none of your business.  I don’t go around asking about your junk, don’t ask about mine.  By the same token, if someone comes out to you don’t ask about “the surgery” or anything related to that.  You don’t see me asking about your latest pap smear/rectal exam.

If you absolutely must say something go with “you look great” or “that’s a nice shirt” or some variation thereof.  Everyone likes to be complimented.

“I only date women and transmen”

Very few things can upset me faster than that phrase.  It’s offensive and completely disregarding my existence as a man.  Today, I found one that actually irritates me even more.

“I like femme women and femme FtMs.”

Really?  Gee, that doesn’t make it sound like you see me as just another woman at all.  You don’t like femme people, you only like “femme” (completely lesbian word, btw) people with vaginas.

This is a sentiment that I have only ever seen from [a] lesbians and [b] transmen who used to be lesbians.  With it comes the term “pansexual”.  You know who doesn’t say they’re pansexual?  People who honestly don’t care about the genitalia of their partner.  Instead pansexual is used by those who put transpeople in an “other” category.  “I date women, genderqueers, and transmen.”  Yeah, sorry sweetie, you’re not getting near my bits.

I’ve heard a variety of reasons for the “women and transmen” sentiment, all of them offensive.  Apparently I’m “better” than non-transmen because I’ve “lived as a woman.”  Uh, no.  Not really.  Anyone who knew me growing up can vouch for the fact that I’ve ALWAYS been not-a-girl.  This assumption that because I have a vagina I must have lived through some sort of universal womanly experience baffles me.  It also cuts the lives of women into one pattern — something we know is not true.

What’s more, the people who hold this view almost never date transwomen.  Transwomen have lived as women, it’s right there in the word.  Apparently this universal womanly experience can’t be had after age 18.

Then there’s the “but I’m a lesbian!” argument.  Honey, if you’re a lesbian who doesn’t date men then maybe you shouldn’t be actively seeking out men to fuck.  I am still a man, regardless of what may or may not be in my pants.  (Besides that, I’m bloody GAY.  I don’t need women of any sexual orientation hitting on me.)  You want to date a transexual?  Check out those lovely transwomen over there.  They‘re the ones who belong in women’s circles.

The transmen who say this actually piss me off the most.  They claim to be “bisexual” or “pansexual”, but they never date men who aren’t trans.  One of the reasons given is that guys who aren’t trans don’t understand their experiences.  I can kind of understand this, at least in theory.  The problem is that I don’t understand most of their experiences either.  I’m not somehow magical simply because I’m trans.  My experiences as a transexual man are very different from everyone else I’ve met.  The one advantage to this type of guy is that they usually are open to dating transwomen.

The argument that really gets to me: “Transmen make a conscious decision about their masculinity.”  Seriously?  First of all, have you met me?  I’m not exactly butch.  Second, I didn’t choose my version of masculinity any more than my fabulously camp friends did.  This is simply how I was made, it’s no more a choice than my asthma.  I could make a conscious effort to be more or less traditionally masculine, but what purpose would that serve?  The reason I transitioned was to be myself.

Which is really what my biggest objection to the “women and transmen” idea is.  I transitioned to be myself.  I am not an object to be fetishised, I am not a special snowflake who overcame some mythical hurdle, I am not a crossing of male and female.  I am a man who happened to be born with a vagina.  Does this give me a slightly different experience from most other men?  Sometimes.  Not in any way that counts though.  Certainly not enough to put me in some completely different category.

Another reason why I tend to hate the entire trans community

http://community.livejournal.com/transgender/2040478.html (post is unlocked which is the only reason I’m ok with posting it here)

The community as a whole is childish, bitchy, and rude.  I don’t like to generalise and usually manage to avoid it, but so far almost every trans person I’ve interacted with has been this way.  The ones who aren’t tend to avoid the trans movement just as much as I do because it’s been taken over by radicals who believe it’s fine to abuse non-trans allies simply because they are not trans.

I hate being treated differently due to my medical status.  I am a man and I deserve to be treated as such.  By the same token, I don’t believe in treating people differently because they may or may not have been born with all the correct parts.  This idea that cisgendered people need to feel guilty for being born the way they were is patently offensive and I simply cannot agree with those who perpetuate it.

I have the same problem with all the other “privilege” idiots.  I am a gay, female-born, ethnic, transexual from a lower class background who has all sorts of health problems and has lived everywhere from Beverly Hills to a back alley street.  Don’t try telling me about privilege.  Life may have been more difficult for me than it would have been otherwise, but the ONLY two that have ever proven to be actual issues are the health problems and the lack of money.  Even the health issues are relative, I could be far worse off than I am.

Plus, this idea that everyone in the world has some level of privilege puts off actually helping anyone.  Instead of going out and volunteering at a soup kitchen or working for economic reform people just sit in their cosy little thinktanks and talk.  If you really care about something then get up off your lazy ass and FIX IT.

But, no.  The trans community isn’t that intelligent.  Instead we have a bunch of sociology majors talking about how we all need to own up to our privilege before we can do anything.  Of course, even once you’ve owned up to having privilege it doesn’t go away so you’d better be prepared to be harrassed by those less privileged than you.

Bullshit.  Be polite to people.  Treat everyone with common respect and decency.  Think before you speak.  Try not to make ignorant assumptions.  If you do make an ignorant assumption, be gracious when you’re corrected.  If you encounter someone who makes an ignorant assumption, don’t berrate them.  People don’t respond well to hostility, if everyone would just take some responsibility for their actions and follow that whole “treat people as you wish to be treated” thing that we learned at age 5 then the world would be a much better place.

Parents: Why we’re way too hard on them

So I’ve found my biggest issue with transpeople is how we react to our parents.  There are a million other things that also drive me nuts (particularly when it comes to transmen), but the parents issue is one that always grinds on me more than the others.

It’s this horrible thing where we seem to assume that our parents should automatically accept us, that they should be able to look past their own personal experiences and welcome our transitions with open arms.  In reality our parents are human beings just like everyone else and they’re going to need some time to adjust to the idea that their daughter is really their son or vice-versa.

It’s worst with transpeople whose parents are honestly trying.  You’ll get the transpeople whose parents love and accept them and always will, but when they first come out they say things like “That’s my bo–girl…um…son.  You’ll always be my son.”  Now, they obviously mean “you are my child and this isn’t going to change that,” but because we’re so overly sensitive we hear it as the world’s biggest insult.  We act like these parents are as cruel as the ones who throw their teenage children out of the house when they try to come out to them.  In reality they’re just being human and taking some time to adjust.  We have to respect their need for time because it’s the only way they’ll be able to respect our need for immediate change.

What gets me even more are the parents of idiotic genderqueer kids who you can tell are just trying to be assholes.  When your mother comes up to you after reading a book on gender and asks “so…you’re a boy…in a girl’s body?” the correct response is not to go on about how on Monday you’re a boy and on Tuesday you’re a girl, on Wednesday you’re both, Thursday neither, and Friday through Sunday you prefer to identify as a Cherry Coke.  Your mother is trying to understand you and you are purposely being a dick simply because she didn’t use the right word.  It’s not her fault she didn’t use the right word, she doesn’t know what it is becuase you haven’t taken the time to explain things to her.  Instead you tell her you identify as a high-fructose corn syrup infused beverage.

It’s also not fair to expect your poor parents to understand that you see yourself as a transman in a biological male’s body.  I don’t understand that and I am trans, your parents are going to be even more confused.

I just think we need to give our parents a break.  They’re transitioning right along with us, but they don’t have the 15+ years of experiencing what it’s like to feel like your body is against you to help them understand.  They can’t read our minds, they don’t know what it’s like for us.  To them we were just their quirky little kids, maybe a bit different from the other boys/girls, but not enough to cause concern.  Sure, we were moody and depressed when puberty hit, but aren’t all teenagers?  They’ve tried so hard to protect us for so long that to hear that they’ve failed in such a hugely fundamental way is heart breaking.  It’s not their fault, there’s nothing they could have done to make us feel any better, but they’re our parents so they still feel guilty.

Then you add in the fact that we tend not to tell our parents until we’re ready to physically transition and that adds another level of shock to things.  It’s hard enough for them to get used to the idea of calling us by the opposite pronouns and a different name, but now we’re also saying we’re going to change how we look.  Different clothes might be ok, at least we still have the same face (complete with Daddy’s eyes and Mama’s nose), but now we’re taking that away from them too?  It’s too much for them to take in at once, they just can’t handle it.  Some will manage with more grace than others, but in reality it’s a huge leap for our parents to make.  We’re asking them to jump across the Grand Canyon when they can’t even walk yet.

So often we forget that we’re not transitioning nearly as much as the people around us.  We forget that our transition affects them just as much as it affects us — sometimes more than it affects us.  We’re so focused on finally making ourselves happy that we lose sight of everyone else’s happiness.  I’m not saying we should give up what we want to please others, we’ve all tried that and it doesn’t work.  I am saying that we need to give them a little more room to mess up because even though they love us, it’s still going to take them more time than we’d like.

Response to an Essay in “Beyond Masculinity”

I’ve refused to read the essays in this collection simply because I knew they’d all annoy the hell out of me. I loathe the current generation of queer feminism, I reject the idea that I need to apologise for being a guy, and I don’t believe it’s necessary to spend every waking minute of every damned day analyzing “what it means to be masculine”. First of all, I’m not. Second, even if you were to take the more “butch” aspects of me (read: I like martial arts and was in JROTC) I don’t think they’d be considered exclusively male. My partner’s mom is more masculine than I am and she’s a perfectly happy, straight, cisgendered woman who just happens to like camping and working on cars.

However, this essay was linked in one of the trans communities I read so I broke down and looked at it (I couldn’t help myself, there were a ton of comments and I’m a sucker for internet drama).

I do not identify as a male, but as simply, FTM

And here starts the insanity. FtM stands for “female to male“. If a person does not identify as male then they cannot be FtM. Why? Because they are not meeting the second requirement of the definition. If you identify as “not female” fine, but don’t call it FtM. Call it FtNF or genderqueer or non-binary or something. FtW (female to whatever or female to win) is my personal favourite, but I’m a bit of a snarky jackass like that.

My refusal to identify as male scares many transmen I‘ve met so much that they are pushed to going out of their way to take me down. My identity, they feel, somehow undermines their safety.

Not really, mate. You’re putting way too much thought into this, not to mention making yourself out to be far more important than you actually are. We’re not afraid of you, we don’t think you’re going to mess with our safety. We just want you out of our spaces because you don’t meet the basic definition of being a transguy. Again, it’s right there in the name.

Simply put (and it is very clear to them,) transman equals male. What seems to baffle and miff them is the idea that in a broader sense, transman can include masculinity that is not necessarily male. Okay, now, hold on right here. Am I crazy, or isn ‘t that what FTM transgender is? An FTM can be a man who is not male.

Yes. Transman does equal male. Why? Because transman = FtM and male is right there in the definition. You seem to have some serious issues with reading comprehension.

Now, I have no problems with the idea that masculinity does not necessarily equal man. I know more than a few masculine women, masculine genderqueers, etc. I also have no problems with men who are not masculine (hell, I’m one of them). However, you lost me at the last sentence. Male is a synonymn for man (and boy and guy and a bunch of other words). A person cannot be a man without also being male in some way, shape, or form.

For example, I am a transman. I consider my physical sex to be FtM because I have female genitalia with male secondary sex characteristics. My gender identity is 100% male. (Man who is male.) A cisgendered man would have a male physical sex and male gender identity. (Also, man who is male.) To go the other way, a transwoman would not be male (or a man, obviously) because they’d have MtF as their physical sex with a female gender identity. (Woman who is female.) “Boy shaped” genderqueers could have a male physical sex, but their gender identity is not that of man. (Genderqueer person who is physically male.) Nowhere in there do you get “man who is not male.”

Traditionally feminine characteristics, be they performed outwardly or in my case, lived in my emotional experience, particularly as a partner (boyfriend,) are highly looked down upon by much of the trans-masculine community.

This is true and it drives me batshit. That’s a rant for another day though, if I started now I’d never get back to the original point.

I was suddenly expected to wear big baggy pants (preferably cargo) to hide my hips, big square polo shirts to give me a rectangular torso shape and hide my chest, cut my hair short but add just a bit of gel, stand slouched, shoulders curved to further hide my chest, hands in pockets, to emphasize the squared off posture, and drop the ends of sentences instead of doing what women and gay men do, raise them.

Yes, you were expected to do all of those things. So was I. I followed the “rules” for all of a month before figuring out that I was trading one hated box for another and started discovering out my own style. Now I wear pink and purple fitted shirts with fitted jeans (“Jeans are like the UPS man, they should always give you a nice package.”), rainbow shoelaces, earrings, and occasionally something over the top camp like my pink, glittery collared muscle shirt. I stand how I like, sit how I like, speak how I like, and act how I like. Why? Because I see no point in transitioning if I’m not going to be who I am. That doesn’t make me “not male”, it makes you too stupid to figure out that you didn’t have to either conform or stop identifying as male.

When I look at pictures and videos of me and my friends from that time, I ‘m shocked to discover that we were clones. Literally, we wore the same shirt in different colors and we all had the exact same hair cut. (Image here)

Of course you were! Look at 99% of teenage boys, they all look the damned same (teenage girls too, but we’re focusing on guys here). In fact, that picture could be of any 4 of the guys I grew up with. Transmen go through the same awkward teen years as cismen, we just tend to do so several years later. If you think about it it makes sense, we have the same hormonal changes happening as 14-18 year old boys and we’re just starting to learn how to navigate the world as men. It’s a confusing, sometimes scary phase of life, but it’s not unique to transmen. If anything the extra couple of years make things easier for us.

My comfort level lies somewhere in between — I like passing, but I also like remaining visibly queer. I would like to be read as a transman most of the time, but there are exceptions, like in bathrooms, gas stations, or on busses or, for that matter, anytime when strangers are within earshot.

I understand the desire to be visibly queer. I grew up in San Francisco and I identify very strongly as a gay man. Long before I came out as trans (or even knew there was such a thing) I interacted with people online as a gay boy/man. It started when I was about 11 and continued up until I came out as trans (at which point it was no longer necessary). I never changed anything about myself other than my name so I’m not sure it would actually qualify as role playing, but that’s how I justified it.

Again, that does not mean I identify as something other than a man. I am a gay man the same way any other 23 year old gay male is. I see no reason to stop considering myself a man simply because I do things that cisgendered gay men do all the time, it’s ridiculous. It perpetuates this idea that transmen are fundamentally different from cismen in ways other than genitalia and I’m offended by that. Which is also why I hate people who want to be “visibly trans”. Be visibly “other” if you like, but transpeople are NOT “other”, we are the same with regards to everything except what may or may not be in our pants (and in some cases we’re the same there too!)

I just want to be treated with respect and dignity.  I want to be treated like a human; an adult not a child; responsible not immature; a person not a sinner. The “sore-thumb-sticker-outters” are often blatantly discriminated against and harassed. While I admire their bravery, I don‘t have the energy for dealing with constant harassment — especially when I get so much of it from my fellow transmen. This doesn‘t make me weak, as some quite visibly queer folks I‘ve encountered have scoffed.

This is just plain contradictory. You want to be visibly queer, but at the same time you claim you don’t have the energy to deal with the consequences. No, that doesn’t make you weak, but it does make you a bit of a flake. If you want to be treated like an adult you’re going to have to learn that sometimes you do have to pick a side.

FTM, to many, means the transition from female to male, starting in one place and ending at another. It is not intended as a place to stay, but is only the transition, the midway. The idea here is that the point of being FTM is to become a male, eventually.

Again mate, that’s where the “TO MALE” part comes from. Seriously, why is that so hard to understand?

Much of the controversy surrounded the fact that I am exclusive to dating transmen, and I don‘t date non-trans men. This group of transmen found this offensive because they believe to be considered different than non-trans men emasculating and devaluing. What they don‘t understand is that I highly value and prefer the masculinity of transmen, mainly because it is chosen and continues to be chosen at each injection day

This entire paragraph is just patently offensive. I don’t care if you like transmen more or think we’re “better” than cismen for some ridiculous reason, it is still saying we are different and I am not ok with that. I did not choose to be a man any more than I chose to have brown hair or an allergy to grape juice. It is part of who I am, a biological aspect that was programmed into my brain without any input from me.

I did choose to transition. I did choose to stab myself with a needle every week for the rest of my life. However, that was a choice made out of necessity, it was either transition or be miserable until I finally broke down and killed myself. I’m not sure that can be considered much of a choice.

Experiencing the world as a woman, even if it was only for a matter of years, gives us transmen wholly different perspectives — not to mention different kinds of bodies. While non-trans men and transmen share secondary male characteristics, there are things that each of us knows that the other will not (and perhaps cannot) know. It‘s kind of like understanding the misery of menstrual cramps or knowing exactly how awful a kick in the balls feels, for example.

I think that this is true for *some* transmen in *some* areas, but certainly not all. I was raised to do whatever the hell I wanted and gender roles be damned. Now, I did do some pretty girly stuff for a while, but I was also a huge tomboy. I modelled and competed in beauty pageants until I was about 9 or 10 years old. I also was a competitive in-line skater and started taking martial arts classes when I was 6.

I was the first girl born to my father’s side of the family in two generations so I was surrounded by uncles and older male cousins who I was expected to keep up with. I played with boys almost exclusively and the two or three girl friends I did have were just as rough and tumble as me. I joined JROTC in high school and was well known for maxing out the male version of the fitness test when only two of the guys could. I can knit, crochet, sew, and I adore cooking, but those are all things my guy friends could do as well.

I have never understood or fit in with girls/women. They really are like a foreign species to me with their over analyzing of the simplest things (no, really, your boyfriend IS just tired) and inability to separate sex from love (he was horny, it doesn’t mean you should be picking out china). I tried, but being a girl is not something I will ever be able to do. For one thing, I can’t stand about 75% of the female population (to be fair, I can’t stand about 75% of the human population). In most ways I respond to things the exact same as my gay male friends, when I don’t I respond the same as my straight male friends. So how exactly have I navigated the world as a woman?

I‘ve even been told before that I was transphobic, that I was certainly not trans myself, and that I dangerously fetishize transmen because I prefer to date them over non-trans men. My preference for transmen has been the cause of tremendous offense on more than one occasion. I shouldn‘t have to really explain why I don‘t want to date non-trans men; I‘m simply not sexually attracted to them when it comes down to it. I‘ve tried. I just don‘t get hot.

Here’s my issue: I like my men to like dick. Why? Because I’m gay. One of the fundamental differences between a gay man and a straight man is a love of dick. Now, there are the gay men who prefer the secondary sex characteristics (hairy chests, beards, etc) to the primary (yay penis!), but for the most part gay men like cock. If you don’t like cock then I can’t be sure you’re seeing me as fully male and I can’t sleep with or date anyone who sees me as even remotely female or other.

I also do think liking transmen, but not cismen is fetishizing. Some guys are ok with that, but the vast majority aren’t. Why? Because it’s loving a part of ourselves that we wish wasn’t there. It’s being attracted to the one part of us that we don’t identify with, meaning you’re not actually attracted to us at all.

I make conscious decisions about things like how much space I take up, how loud I speak and how often. Personally, I believe this is how I can be a responsible man, accountable for the privilege handed to me.

I knew this would come up eventually. It is one of the parts of queer theory and women’s studies that drives me the most insane. Has anyone ever considered that men “take up more space” because they’re usually bigger? Why is it that I suddenly have to scurry around trying not to bother anyone simply because I’m a man? I always thought it was enough to be polite and well spoken.

It really is a reverse form of sex discrimination. First women were the ones expected to sit quietly in the background, not interfering with “men’s work”. Then the first wave of feminism hit and women were clamouring for equality (which I’m all for, btw). We could have (and should have) stayed there where all women were allowed to choose for themselves what they wanted to do with their lives whether it was becoming an engineer or staying home and watching the kids. Instead we moved on to third wave feminism (second wave got squashed pretty easily, no one likes man-hating lesbians) where everything is about the patriarchy and all men have privilege and need to account for it. Bullshit. I am living my life the exact same way as when I presented as female. If anything I have less privilege now because people assume I’m a snot-nosed little boy instead of a driven, responsible woman.

I’m not even going to get into how no one seems to understand that effeminate men (be they gay or not) are treated far worse than masculine women. That’s an entire essay all on its own.

Essentially, this guy has managed to sum up everything I have ever hated about “FtM, not man” types and queer theory. It is people like him that make me want to be completely stealth for fear that someone will think I’m just as crazy.