Tagged: good things about being trans

Good Things About Being Trans* [8]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I’m lucky to be alive, and I know it.

As I struggled with my gender identity, I felt haunted by my own ghost. I had visions of my death–by suicide, murder, or unhappy accident. One thing I knew: I simply could not grow up, become an adult and grow old as a woman. It was just impossible. When I tried to imagine myself in the future, I saw nothing. A total void. I remember saying, “People like me don’t live that long.” It sounded true. I was 18.

Then came the idea–I could grow into a man. Suddenly, I had something to look forward to. I could imagine myself turning 20, 30, 40, 50 as a man. I could imagine being a husband and a father. I could imagine being an old man. I had found my future.

When I transitioned, I truly felt I got a second shot at life. This experience has made me more grateful, more present, and more compassionate. I feel like I got a miraculous second chance, and I intend to enjoy the hell out of it. I also feel a deep obligation to help others–a thank you for the impossible blessing I have received.

All of us alive today are lucky to be here. I am very glad to have a constant reminder of that.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

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Good Things About Being Trans* [7]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I have great sex.

Sex can be fraught with negative emotions for many trans* people–and for many cis people, for that matter. It is difficult to find a person you really click with, and to create a space where both people can feel comfortable, be vulnerable, and enjoy themselves.

I struggled with this for many years. Pre-transition, I was never 100% comfortable and 100% naked at the same time. Sex often triggered dysphoria, anxiety and a sense of inadequacy. For the first few years I was sexually active, I never had sex sober.

Moving forward on my gender journey, sexuality has been an important area for healing. I am now able to enjoy sex in a close, happy relationship with my fiancee.

As a result of being trans and going through all those painful experiences, I learned to communicate directly about what feels good and what doesn’t. I learned to focus just on connecting with my partner, in one moment. Being trans forced me to become nonjudgmental about the human body, to directly state my preferences, and to ask my partner’s preferences, with little preconceived idea of how things will go. Turns out these things laid the foundation for a great sex life.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

Good Things About Being Trans* [6]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I have a unique personal style.

Growing up, wearing the clothes I really wanted to wasn’t an option. I remember feeling strange, powerful emotions walking past the boys’ section or seeing ads for suits on TV. I felt chronically uncomfortable in my clothing. As a young teenager, I experimented and tried to find ways to feel okay. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, “When am I going to look like myself?” I felt a deep melancholy.

I got a glimpse of myself the first time I shaved my head. I was about sixteen, and I’d had short hair for awhile. One night, I grabbed my dad’s buzzers and cropped my hair to a 1/4 inch or so. When I saw myself in the mirror after, I thought, “I am beautiful.”

Now, I can dress and groom myself as I please. I love the feeling of a new haircut, a fresh shave, an old pair of jeans. I have a distinctive style, and I think that’s in part because of my unusual development. Over a few months when I was 19 and 20, I got rid of every piece of clothing I had ever owned and started from scratch. Transition gave me the chance to make a lot of choices and do exactly what I want. Since I never took it for granted, my personal appearance is another little thing in life that I truly enjoy.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

Good Things About Being Trans* [5]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I find it easy to talk to non-binary, third-gender and ambiguously gendered people.

Unfortunately, a lot of people get very uncomfortable when someone is not clearly male or female. This category can include genderqueer people, transsexual men and women, masculine women and feminine men, and many others. Members of the general population are likely to get flustered (or much worse) if they can’t easily pin a person into a pink or blue box.

When I meet people whose gender is ambiguous to me, or whose gender expression falls outside the binary, I am able to treat them with respect–the same respect I’d show anyone else. I neither gawk nor look away. I simply treat them with courtesy. I don’t feel a burning desire to know each person’s identity, assigned sex, or current body shape.

For a year or so during my transition, my appearance was very ambiguous to other people. Some called me ma’am, some called me sir, some stared, some refused to look at me. These experiences opened my eyes to the way ambiguously-gendered people are treated. I don’t feel uncomfortable around gender diverse people, because I’ve been there.

I don’t need to know anything about a person to be kind to them. If I do need to know something about them for whatever reason, I simply ask.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

Good Things About Being Trans* [4]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I find it easy to talk to men.

Before my transition, I struggled to form friendships with guys. Men made me a little uncomfortable.

After transition, I feel at ease around other men. Male patterns of communication come very easily to me. I enjoy friendships with other guys and find it easy and fun to communicate with the men I encounter in my day-to-day life.

As a man, it is comfortable for me to go through the motions of male conversation. As a trans man, I think I bring a lack of judgment and a security in my own gender that help reduce the tensions that often mar male/male interactions. I do not feel threatened by macho posturing, flamboyant femininity, or anything in between, and I think it shows. I can meet dudes where they’re at.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

Good Things About Being Trans* [3]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I find it easy to talk to women.

A lot of straight guys really struggle to communicate with their girlfriends and crushes. I have enjoyed fairly open, direct communication in all my intimate relationships. I have always found it easy to show someone I am flirting–and just as important, to show when I’m not flirting. My fiancée and I have our share of misunderstandings, but we resolve them easily. I feel comfortable talking with female friends, classmates, coworkers, and strangers. It’s simple and enjoyable.

I think being socialized in a female gender role–and the results of that, like having many female friends growing up–gives me some extra insight into women’s communication. Being trans also allowed me to examine and reject gender stereotypes, which helps a lot.

I value this ease in communicating with women as a straight man and as a person.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

Good Things About Being Trans* [2]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I am well-versed in anti-oppression thinking and activism.

Coming up as a young trans dude, I read a lot of about gender issues. I read everything I could get my hands on about gender, sexuality, and struggles for equality. I got involved with LGBT youth activism, and found a community of passionate, thoughtful people.

I was quickly immersed in powerful conversations about gender, race, class, religion, ability, and more. I learned about institutional, interpersonal and internalized oppression, about intersectionality, and about the history of activist movements. I began this journey in the eighth grade, so anti-oppression thinking has truly shaped me as a person.

I cannot count the benefits of these experiences. I learned a lot about myself, other people, and the larger society. I learned to think critically. I lost a lot of shitty cultural assumptions. I am better able to communicate with and act as an ally to others. My deepest values and highest goals have been formed in response to these lessons. I even met my fiancée through activism we did as teenagers.

Being trans certainly isn’t the only way to get this kind of education, but I probably would not have had all these experiences if I weren’t trans.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

Good Things About Being Trans* [1]

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I am unusually knowledgeable about human anatomy.

In the course of learning about myself, other trans folks, and various transition options, I know way more about our bodies–how hormones affect us, what it means to be male, female, or something else, and what is really going on with sex organs–than pretty much anyone.

This kind of thing comes in handy, if you know what I mean. Innuendo aside, this information has been useful to me in all kinds of contexts, from understanding my own body to helping a friend with a question they were embarrassed to ask. And also in the bedroom.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.

In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

Good Things About Being Trans*

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Image: Caroline’s Cakes

I have spent way too long working just to survive as a transgender person. Being trans is really hard. It is time to celebrate some of the good things about this unusual this life experience.

To that end, I will be doing a series of posts in which I highlight some of my own positive experiences. Some will be serious, some silly. I hope to share others’ positive experiences, too. I chose to use the more inclusive term trans* because I would love to hear from people from all over the gender variant range. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.

What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to mantodayblog@gmail.com or submit anonymously.