Today is six weeks on T. Gave myself my 7th shot early this morning.
It’s exciting because it’s halfway through another month, but aside from the passage of time there really isn’t anything exciting going on. Still haven’t seen any other changes besides the ones mentioned last week.
I shaved sometime last week or early this week to see if I could see any difference when the hair grew in, but no. It’s still the same, lots of hair on my chin and upper lip, with individual dark hairs on my cheeks (especially my left cheek for some reason), but nothing more than what was there before. I don’t see any difference in the hair on the rest of my body, either. I was fairly hairy before T and my body hair is black, so it’s quite visible, but it doesn’t seem to be coming in any thicker yet, no matter how many times I look at it.
Anyway, while she came out to her family in January and February, I didn’t come out to my mom until April. I would have put it off forever if I could, because I’d rather be misgendered and called the wrong name because she doesn’t know any better rather than her deliberately doing it. But she wanted to join Facebook and that forced my hand, since my wife (whose name is Carla, since I get really sick of typing “my wife” every time and it’s easier to just use names) was out to a couple of their mutual former work friends and I wanted to tell my mom first rather than her finding out by seeing Carla’s FB, etc.
Anyway. So the day I set up my mom’s FB account, I sat down with her afterwards and said I wanted to talk to her. If you’re curious about the full account, it’s here on my personal journal, but basically it went better than I thought it would and she seemed…not accepting, really, because she flat-out said she wouldn’t ever call us anything but our old names, etc. but she seemed accepting of the idea that being trans was a real thing and could possibly have a biological explanation (note: that’s not actually something I personally believe, but it’s something I’m willing to use to try and explain being trans to people like that). Overall I felt really good about our talk.
However, a couple weeks later, I got an email from her saying that she believes we were deceived by the devil when we were children and that being trans isn’t a real thing. I have no idea if she talked to some other Christian folks and they talked her into this or if she just thought about it more and her discomfort made her come up with this. Either way, it felt like she’d really backslidden from where she’d been after our initial talk and things are just really uncomfortable with her now. She deliberately misgenders us and uses the wrong names and seems to say our names more than is necessary, even, as if to emphasise it. When I told her that Carla’s parents now call her Carla since she got her name legally changed, she was all “oh my, oh dear” like it was some horrible thing.
As for the rest of my family, after telling my mom, I had been debating telling my two aunts, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. One aunt has a twelve-year-old daughter and after the debacle with Carla’s sister and her husband threatening us with legal action if we ever came near their kids, I was worried my aunt might have a similar reaction. But my mom took the decision out of my hands and emailed both of them the same day I came out to her. That was fucked up of her, since it’s not her place to tell anyone, but at least I didn’t have to dither over it anymore. I know my mom must have told her husband, too, because there’s no way she would not have, but he hasn’t said anything. I’m sure his views are the same, though.
The aunt I was worried about, Alice, apparently took it similarly to my mom. I only heard this second-hand from my aunt Amy, but Amy said Alice and her husband said it was all in our minds and they would be praying for us. We haven’t heard from them since, though we will be seeing them at Christmas, which I’m sure will be awkward. I am glad at least that they didn’t threaten us or anything.
My aunt Amy is the one person on my mom’s side of the family who was actually accepting of us. The night after I came out, she sent me a message on FB saying no matter what happened, she and her husband accepted us. And it has been more than just words, more than just my mom’s “I’ll love you no matter what, but I’m going to keep disrespecting you” attitude. Amy and her husband immediately started using our chosen names and correct pronouns, and they have been supportive the whole time.
My grandparents still don’t know. I kind of want to tell them to just get it over with, but on the other hand, I’d rather never tell them and just keep on like this. It means we can’t be ourselves when we see them, but we don’t see them that often anyway. I don’t think they would cut us off or anything, but I also don’t think they would accept us. It would just be two more people deliberately disrespecting us. Depending on what changes T brings, we may have to come out to them eventually whether we want to or not.
I don’t have much family on my dad’s side. My dad has been dead for several years and we were estranged for ~20 years before that (we got in touch again briefly right before he died, but he’s never been a big part of my life). My grandma on that side has been dead since I was in college, and my aunt and uncle and cousing moved to Connecticut when I was in high school and we barely heard from them after that.
However, earlier this year, I found my aunt and uncle on FB and reconnected with them. They had moved back to the west coast after my uncle developed Lou Gehrig’s disease and had to retire from pastoring. I came out on FB after I came out to my mom, but I was never sure if they saw the post or not. When my uncle died a few months ago, I messaged my aunt with condolences and told her I was trans (since my FB now had my new name on it and I wasn’t sure she would know who I was otherwise). I had figured she would be accepting, since my uncle was the pastor of a very liberal, LGBT-friendly church, and indeed she was. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to meet up with her at some point, though she lives in Baja, so it’s not exactly close, even if it’s not as far as CT. (I know my cousin is also on FB, but I haven’t yet contacted him because for some reason I felt more awkward contacting him than my aunt and uncle, idk.)
It is good to have the support of two of my aunts, but unfortunately they both live far away and it is my mom, who just lives in Venice, who is the one I see all the time and have the most contact with. We also live in a house she owns, for much less rent than we would pay anywhere else, so are financially dependent on her, which complicates things even more. I wish we could get away from here, but considering Carla is out of work and I am extremely underemployed and we can barely make the rent here, that’s not really something that’s in the cards.
There are a number of amazing men who walk among us whose courage often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. They are far and away the bravest men I know and they deserve to be seen, heard and respected.
You may not even realize that you know one of these men because their life stories aren’t easy to share. Society teaches us not to open our arms to embrace these wonderful men and welcome them gratefully into our lives. Because we are conditioned to fear what we do not understand…what we cannot relate to…what is different from ourselves.
You may not THINK you know one of these guys but I bet you really do…
He’s probably the quiet guy in the corner with the bright eyes that finds it hard to hold your gaze because he’s wondering what you’re thinking of him. He’s the loving friend who helps you pick up the pieces after the latest jerk in your life has let you down. He’s the son who no matter his age needs his mother’s love desperately. He’s the man who longs to be an incredible husband and father…and trust me, he WILL NOT take that responsibility lightly. He’s that great guy in your office who always remembers to bring coffee to the ladies; who opens doors, pulls out chairs, leaves the front parking spaces and sympathizes when our bodies betray us every month. Why? Because his has betrayed him every day of his life.
The FTM community is comprised of some of THE MOST amazing men on the planet. I have been INCREDIBLY blessed to have known and loved a struggling member of that community and this is my way of channeling all the love and admiration I have left over for him and the experience of having had him in my life.
He was amazing. You are ALL amazing. And more than that, you are all supported and loved on your journeys to becoming your authentic selves. It is a very solitary path to walk and every experience is different but it is my hope that you never have to feel alone as you make your way. May this be a safe haven of encouragement on the days when you feel your strength waning.
Thank you for writing this and making this blog
I actually find this extremely othering and fetishising. So-called “positive” stereotypes (Asians are good at math, black guys have huge dicks, women are nurturers, etc.) are still stereotypes and they are still damaging.
Trans guys are not a monolith. Trans guys are no more inherently understanding of women than cis guys. (In fact many trans guys embrace misogyny as a way of emphasising their masculinity.)
This “trans men are better than real cis men” meme has to stop. Putting a group of people on a pedestal may seem like a positive thing to do, but what it means is that you’re not seeing them as real people, as individuals.
I’m also uncomfortable with the heteronormativity here. Not all trans men are interested in women. Not all want to get married or have children.
Finally, it really bothers me to see trans men held up as so brave and so wonderful while ignoring the existence of trans women and people who fall outside the gender binary. If you truly cared about trans people and believed they were “brave beyond belief”, why not make your tumblr about all trans people?
I hate that there’s no reblog function for Q&A posts. Anyway, this post showed up on fuckyeahftms where a guy says his mom won’t accept that he’s trans “because as a child, I played predominately with “girl” toys like dolls” and he wanted to know if that meant he really wasn’t trans. The answer was good, but there was also this reply by someone else saying “it’s possible you did show signs of gender variance that you’re mom was either unwilling to see or just not around to see”, to which I replied:
"That may be true, but I also want to emphasise that even if you showed no signs at all of gender variance as a child, that would not make you any less trans if you feel trans. There are cis guys who played with dolls and didn’t like sports and whatever else is seen as a marker of being male or female. It doesn’t matter what games or toys you liked or whether your friends were girls or boys.
There is a lot of pressure [from both cis people and other trans people] on trans people to be conform to gender stereotypes (and then we get blamed for perpetuating them), but that’s not what makes someone trans.”
To further expand on that, just for clarity, here’s what makes you trans: you feel that you’re trans. End of story. Seriously, it’s that simple.
Today is five weeks on T and I just gave myself my sixth shot a few hours ago. Thankfully no gushing blood this time. ^_^;; (That has only happened once.)
This week I am happy to report definite changes! Still nothing new, really, just that the changes I was wibbling over before as maybe just being wishful thinking are definitely not just wishful thinking. My voice is lower and there has been definite growth down there (I feel silly saying “down there”, but I’m not really comfortable with any other words right at the moment, sorry).
And now I’m going to cut for discussion of said growth. I feel weird/uncomfortable talking about my body like this, but I think this sort of info should be out there, so…yeah. Don’t click the cut if you don’t want TMI.
So as I’ve mentioned before, both my wife and I are trans. We didn’t know that about each other when we met, and while we came out to each other at different times (I’ll talk more about that in a different post), this year we both decided it was time to come out to our families, especially since my wife was already moving ahead with physical transition (she began hormones in the spring of 2009).
Both our families are conservative Christians, so we were prepared for things to not go over well. However, over all things have gone okay. There have been good responses and bad responses from both members of her family and mine.
She started by coming out to her cousin when she was staying at her aunt and uncle’s house in January (we live in California (as do my mom and grandparents), but her family lives in Wisconsin and Indiana, so we don’t see them as often). Her aunt and cousin are the two she figured would be most accepting of her out of all her family, and she was right. Her cousin basically said as long as she’s happy that’s cool with him. She wasn’t sure if she was going to come out to anyone else on that trip, but ended up talking to her aunt and coming out to her as well. Her aunt took it well, but said they should go talk together to her uncle. She was a little more worried about talking to her uncle, as he is fairly conservative (her aunt and cousins are the only liberals in the family), but while he wasn’t jumping for joy when he heard the news, he said he supported her in whatever she wanted to do, and even offered to be with her when she told her parents, if that’s what she wanted.
She ended up not telling her parents on that trip and decided to send them a letter instead. However, she kept dithering over the letter, and in the meantime, her sister (who she had also seen on the trip) called up her aunt and was basically like “what’s up with my brother?” Her aunt tried not to say anything, but her sister managed to guess anyway, and was like “am I going to have a sister?” When her aunt told us this, we thought maybe that was a good sign from her sister and that she would be okay with it.
Oh, how wrong we were. She ended up having the worst reaction of all of my wife’s family. She and her husband drove up to see my in-laws specifically to tell them about this, despite having been asked not to say anything. (We think her husband may have been motivated by trying to get on my in-laws’ good side. He has always been majorly disliked by everyone in the family and may have seen this as his chance to finally get in good with the in-laws.) My wife had not gotten around to sending her letter yet, so her sister ended up outing her to her parents.
In addition, we soon got an email from her sister and brother-in-law, who threatened legal action against us if we ever spoke to their children again. We don’t have much contact with them anyway, and my wife only speaks to her sister once in a while when she’s back there to visit, so it’s not like they were really close, but it was still a huge blow to her. They have not spoken since.
The one good thing that came out of it is that her parents did not take the news too badly. They were not jumping for joy, but we didn’t expect them to be. We were just glad they weren’t threatening to cut us off or anything. My wife did get a letter from her dad that said she was going against God, etc. and would have to live with the consequences, but her mom, while still calling her her male name, was pretty accepting.
That was…in February or March, I guess (since her visit back there was in January). Since then her parents have come around much more. Her mom was mostly calling me by the right name and pronouns long before she did so for my wife (I guess it was easier for her to adjust to me, since I’m not her child), and by the time my wife changed her name a couple months ago, her parents actually told her that since she’d legally changed her name, they would call her by that now. So in whatever it’s been, nine months or so, they have really come a long way, from thinking they would never be able to call her anything but her old name.
At some point, my wife also emailed her other cousin (who lives in Seattle now, so she didn’t see her when she was back east) and came out to her, and that went well. They’re not close, so I don’t think they’ve talked since then, but she was accepting. So basically of all the people in her family that she’s told, only her sister and brother-in-law have reacted badly.
So this has gotten very long, so I’m going to leave talking about my family for a separate post.
Woah! I found your J-pop/anime lyrics site, and I had no idea that was still around! I used to look at it almost ten years ago all the time! So that isn't really a question, but just wanted you to know how freaking cool that is.
Haha, awesome! :D It is kind of hard to me to believe I’ve been at it so long. I think I probably started it in late ‘97/early ‘98, somewhere thereabouts.
Lately, I’ve been having some trouble coming to terms with the fact that, unless science makes some pretty ridiculous advancements within the next 20 years or so, I will never be able to be a father. I mean father in the biological sense, of course. I realize that it is possible for me to be a…
The thing is, even if you were born a cis male, there is no guarantee that you would be fertile. There is no guarantee your wife would be fertile. Look at all the cis couples who seek fertility treatment, who adopt, etc. (I know many, many people who have adopted, who have tried/used fertility treatments, and the majority of them are cis het couples.)
Adoption or artificial insemination, etc. does not make you a lesser father. It doesn’t mean there will be no children to carry on your name. I realise you’re speaking emotionally, but you need to realise that when you’re saying these things, when you put the word “dad” in quotation marks when you call things like this “some semblance of parenthood”, you’re talking about real people.
It’s okay to say they’re not for you (though if children are really that important to you, I do think it’s something you ought to consider), but do so in a way that doesn’t posit those ways of becoming a parent as somehow lesser or those parents as not “real” parents.
Think about it this way. You want people to accept you as a man, regardless of your anatomy and medical history. The category of “man” should include all men, not just cis men. That is, in fact, why the term “cis” was invented. Similarly, the category of “father” includes all fathers, not just those who fathered children with their own sperm.
When you talk about how you can never father biological children, please don’t say “I will never be able to be a father”, even if you go on to qualify it. Because when you do, you are saying that all those people who have children in some other manner than “sperm + egg fusing through heterosexual intercourse” are not as good, not as real as those who do.
Thoughts??!! I haven’t decided how I feel about this. I love that there is space for this kind of dialogue in a mainstream paper, but I always worry about how these things will come off to a trans-ignorant (and basically all around queer-ignorant) audience.
Okay, so I reread it and talked to my trans friend and his partner briefly about it, and have decided that I think the article in this context was incredibly inappropriate.
First of all, as besttumblr pointed out, the article is ultimately about the author’s personal experience with visibility and invisibility within the queer and straight communities. It is about her own identity and in a lot of ways it is about what it means to be queer. The extreme focus on her partner’s focus seems unnecessary in serving the story’s ultimate purpose.
But my main issue with this, as my friend pointed out, is that NYT is not a queer blog. “People like my dad read that” he said. People who do not understand trans identities, gender-variance, or the trans experience. Honestly, people who have never read anything about trans people will read that article. And the author presents a one-sided partner perspective on medical/physical transitioning that does not discuss her boyfriend’s goals, needs, and desires, except for problematic statements like:
For him, chest surgery was the next step in transitioning genders, a symbolic and physical gesture of leaving womanhood behind. He wanted to replace his 34-C’s with emptiness, a flat manly chest to the outside world and scars to him and me.
I think that honest partner perspectives are incredibly important to have “out there” and available to the community, but it is irresponsible to have a partner perspective without any trans education or even just the perspective of the FTM himself in this mainstream media outlet.
Additionally, I think it is important in writing any sort of personal story (particularly queer-focused) to highlight that it is one person’s individual experience, and she actually does the opposite, suggesting that her friends were right to say “it was rare for a relationship that began early in a person’s transition to endure the pressure of physical and chemical changes that happen later.” First of all, this is so subjective and inaccurate (in my experience, many relationships have been strengthened through transition). Second, she met him and dated him as a trans man. I think her story very clearly talks about him as a man who is not a man. I think she uses trans as a qualifier to his man-ness - that she saw him differently before and after medical transition suggests that he was not ‘all man’ to her in the beginning, and that will certainly be communicated to readers, particularly readers like my friend’s dad who will be subconsciously looking for qualifiers like that. Readers who can’t imagine that anyone would stay with a partner through transition.
And the article has been edited and pitched to suggest that transition hurts relationships, even moreso than the author originally intended. Buried in the second page is her statement that “it would be dishonest to blame his surgery for our split,” and yet the article is called the “The Anatomy of a Breakup.”
I don’t want to censor queer voices. I don’t want partners to feel like they can’t talk about the difficulties of being with a trans person. About the difficulties of going through medical transition. Or any other part of our transition. But I do want the queer community to have some sense of responsibility. Let’s save articles like this for queer publications, with a readership who will not take these statements and apply them to every trans person and their partners. Or let’s AT LEAST balance these with stories of how a trans person coming out strengthened a relationship. Or how getting through the struggles of a partner’s transition was the best thing a significant other ever did. You know?
I agree with everything he has to say here. I read this article several weeks ago, though I don’t think I ever posted about it, and was left feeling really unsettled. It’s important for partners (and friends and family) to be able to process a loved one’s transition, but privileged people’s processing should never take center stage when the disprivileged group is so often silenced. Yet this is too often what happens, regardless of which groups you’re talking about. The voices of the privileged are always…well, privileged.
What I don’t understand is why this is a thing? Where did it come from? It’s like some bizarre ftm urban legend. Is it that people (young, pre-T trans guys included) have bought into the myth that all trans guys come out of the lesbian community, so when they see gay/bi/queer trans guys further along in their transition, they assume it must be the T that made them attracted to men?
I just find it such a strange question. I mean, if testosterone made men gay, then wouldn’t that mean there wouldn’t be any straight cis guys? And is it really so strange to think there would be gay/bi/queer trans guys that it has to be some side-effect of T rather than just normal, the way it’s normal that there are guy/bi/queer cis guys?
At least this particular question wasn’t phrased in a way that was homophobic. I have seen it phrased as “omg I don’t want to turn gay! I want to be straight!!!” which just…ugh. :(
So, obviously there is a lot of gatekeeping going on outside of the trans community, a lot of hoops to jump through to get hormones, surgery, name and gender change, etc. But I saw this post today on fuckyeahftmsofcolor (which doesn’t seem to be rebloggable) about gatekeeping within the community, and that sort of thing upsets me a lot more than cis people doing it.
I came across this myself when I was first looking for a binder. A friend suggested one of these binder exchange programs, so I checked it out, but found that the request form asked when you started T or when you plan to start. Since at that time, I wasn’t sure that would ever be a possibility for me, I would have had to lie if I wanted to get a binder from them. I felt horrible afterwards, not just because I couldn’t get the binder, but because it felt like they were saying I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t “really” trans unless I was on T.
I understand they have a limited number of binders and want to make sure they go to people who need them, not just someone who wants to try it out for a lark, but having hormones be a prerequisite is just really fucked up.
that I am “against the gender binary,” I do not mean that nobody should play football, or everybody should play football, or nobody should wear frilly dresses, or everybody should wear frilly dresses, or that the ideas “man” and “woman” are somehow wrong and dangerous. They are not.
What is dangerous is the idea of Standards. Of Real, Manly Men Who Are MEN and do not watch foreign films or bake chocolate chip cookies or vacuum. Of Real Womanly Women Who Are WOMEN and do not work in a garage or take an interest in televised sports or bodybuild. If you’re a man or woman who does/does not do the above, that’s cool. What I take issue with is the notion that there are two and only two ways of being, and everyone should aspire to the standard that society has decided corresponds to what’s in your pants. And if you don’t do that, then there’s something Not Quite Right with you. What I take issue with are the ticky-tacky little boxes sitting complacently next to each other, waiting for you to check one, please. Fuck that noise.
I think that people who want to play football should play football, and people who want to wear frilly dresses should wear frilly dresses, and people who want to stay in and type long rants on Tumblr should stay in and type long rants on Tumblr. And if one person wants to do all of those things, they should. If they want to do them all at the same time, they should, although I think maybe the typing would interfere with the ball-catching. And nobody should have a problem with that.
And if you do mostly things society calls “female” and you have a uterus, and you’d rather call yourself a man, you should be able to. And the same goes for any combination, including if you want to call yourself both at once or something else or nothing at all. And nobody, but nobody, should take issue with that.
TL:DR: Do what you want to do. Fuck the haters. The goal is to get rid of the hate.
Fuck. I must have hit a vein with this shot, because when I pulled out the needle, blood spurted everywhere. >_< I’m so pissed off. I hope my T didn’t come out with it. (Though I have never actually seen blood spurt before, so it was kind of cool in that regard.)
Anyway. Still no noticeable changes. Like I said last week, there may have been some growth down there and/or slight change in my voice, but it’s only at the “might be just wishful thinking” stage. Nothing I can really see for sure.
It’s really pretty disheartening if I think about it too much, so I try not to.
I’m considering shaving my face and seeing if the hairs grow in any different. I have a visible moustache and chin beard, as well as “peach fuzz” on my cheeks (which…I thought everybody had, but I guess not? Because I’ve seen some guys getting excited about growing peach fuzz). So I thought I might shave the fuzz and see if it grows in any thicker or darker.
In other news, I happened to get my period not long ago, which is kind of a weird coincidence, considering I very rarely get it (the last time I got anything more than a day or two of old-blood spotting was about a year and a half ago, and I think it was about a year before that that I’d had it before). This hasn’t been that heavy (really no need to wear even a light-flow tampon except once or twice), but it has been new blood rather than just old blood. I don’t get cramps or PMS or anything with my period, so it’s always just been a messy inconvenience rather than the painful experience it is for many people, but it is a messy inconvenience, so I hope this is the last I see of it.
Here in the UK, on the NHS, if you want the surgery you can have it after a year/18 months on T. I suppose if you go by BUPA or something you could probably get it earlier, but I imagine it’d be expensive. Having surgery after only just starting the hormones seems rather quick to me; I’d rather give my body time to adjust to one change before springing another on it.
Getting top surgery is something I look forward to every day. I cannot bind my breasts flat, it just looks like I have B-cup breasts rather than C/D-cups, and being so short as well I rarely get read as male by strangers. I’m also looking forward to going shirtless in the summer, being physically closer to people when I hug them, and the dysphoria easing. But that’s all because I have the dysphoria quite badly and have trouble passing, which I know is not a universal things for trans guys. (Well, nothing is a universal thing for trans guys, besides being born male in a female body.) Plenty of guys don’t want the surgery, or aren’t sure, or just don’t need to rely on it to be comfortable. There’s a huge emphasis in the online FTM community towards having surgery, and that’s got to feel pretty excluding/annoying for men who don’t want it or can’t afford it.
I know I would definitely get top surgery if I could afford it — by which I mean both the surgery itself and the period of time that I would need to recuperate afterward. It was odd going to a support group and hearing everyone talking about getting the surgery and then starting hormones. But these were older men — it could be that men who transition later in life, when they’ve had a job for a while, can afford to get the surgery done first. I know that’s what I’d do if I could.
Most of these guys were in their late teens/early twenties from the US, which is why I was so surprised. That seems like a lot of money to have at such a young age, but maybe they have insurance that covers some or all of it? idk. I’m certainly happy for them that they are able to get surgery so quickly, it just stood out because it just seems like that’s the norm for guys on youtube and tumblr, whereas that’s not true for the guys I know on LJ/DW, either because they don’t have the money or they haven’t been able to access those services yet or they don’t want surgery at all.
(Unrelatedly, I really hate this whole back-and-forth reblog thing.)
One thing that stood out to me, which is something I’ve noticed a lot on both tumblr and youtube, is that most of these guys were either post-op or planning on getting surgery within the next few weeks or months, even if they had only been on T for a few months. And I wonder how common that is. Most if not all of the trans guys I know on LiveJournal/Dreamwidth and even offline have not had top surgery and are not planning on getting it anytime in the near future, if ever, even if they’ve been on T for years.
Certainly I don’t see it happening for myself…ever, most likely. It’s really expensive, far more so than I had imagined, and for me, I am not even sure if I had the money, if I could get it done due to my weight. And tbh I’m not sure that I want to, either, really. I hate my breasts, but surgery is a big thing. Especially for me, considering I’ve never had any sort of surgery in my life, never even been to a hospital. So it kind of freaks me out just to think about.
So anyway, yeah. It’s just surprising to see such a quick move from starting T to getting surgery be the norm when that hasn’t been at all what I’ve seen elsewhere.