Live Through This

My Kind of Guy

I had no idea that being a man would make it so hard to be myself.

Illustration by Suzy X.

When I was three years old, I told my dad I was a boy. He assumed it was a typical toddler linguistic mistake, but I knew better. I knew I was a boy, and every night before I went to sleep I prayed that I’d wake up with a “boy’s body,” by which I guess I meant a penis, which I didn’t have. I was born with a vagina, so my father understandably thought I was a girl, as did everyone else but me.

In middle school, that time when everyone’s priorities shifted to looking hot, being cool, and above all fitting in, I tried my best to emulate the girls in my class. I copied their makeup, miniskirts, short shorts, and high heels. I bought a subscription to Cosmo, thinking it would teach me how to act like, feel like, and be a girl.

By high school, I had stopped trying to fit in. I hid under a hoodie and sweatpants every day and never took off my headphones, lest someone actually try to talk to me. I didn’t know it then, but I was depressed—clinically so—and in total denial of the truth I had so clearly understood and proclaimed at the age of three.

Finally, when I got to college, all those years of repressing that truth, of trying to be someone I wasn’t, took their toll. My depression became so severe that I had to reduce my class hours from full-time to part-time, and there were many days when I couldn’t even drag myself out of bed to walk the 200 feet to the dining hall, so I just wouldn’t eat. Even the parts of my life that used to be fun—singing, hanging out with my friends—became a struggle. I knew I had to do something before depression swallowed me whole, but what?

That summer, between my freshman and sophomore years, I got a job as a camp counselor. I was assigned to co-lead, with a male counselor, a group of 12-to-14-year-olds, most of whom were boys. Hanging out with those boys reminded me how I felt when I was a kid. I related with them way more than I did with the girl campers. The boys liked me, but they didn’t see me as one of them—I was the “girl counselor.” I was surprised by how much that hurt. It stung the way it does when someone insists that you’re…anything that you know for a fact that you’re not. As camp wore on, it became harder and harder to tolerate being the “girl counselor.” I developed really intense anxiety and was constantly on edge—when I was told I couldn’t take off my shirt when we went on a field trip to the beach, I became furious.

That was the alarm bell that finally woke me up from my years of self-denial. Obviously I had some strong, significant, but deeply buried feelings about my gender and identity, feelings I could no longer ignore. I started looking up stuff about gender online, and examining my own emotions and memories pretty much constantly. I knew I didn’t feel like a girl, but that still left me a lot of options. Was I androgynous? Genderqueer? Figuring out (or I guess remembering) that I was a guy took a long time, but when I got there, I just knew it was right. It’s hard to explain the feeling—how do cisgender people “know” what gender they are? You just know. And once I knew, I wanted to change my life, to stop pretending to be something other than what I truly am. I knew the only way I was going to stop feeling miserable 24 hours a day was by transitioning.

Transitioning means changing the way you live and the way you present yourself to the world to more accurately represent the gender you identify yourself as. There are lots of different ways to do this. Some people take hormones (testosterone or estrogen) as adults, or hormone blockers for children who want to delay puberty until they’ve decided what gender they want to live as. Others choose to have what’s known as sex-reassignment surgery, in which one’s genitals, breasts, and/or internal reproductive organs are changed, removed, or enlarged. (A lot of people, especially cisgender people, seem to think that sex-ressignment surgery is what being trans* is all about—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “So, have you had THE SURGERY?” as though that’s the ultimate goal, the final step to becoming A REAL MAN.) Some people choose a combination of surgery and hormones. Others choose neither and are perfectly content transitioning in other ways, like using a different name, going by a different pronoun, dressing differently, and/or behaving differently in public, e.g., using a different bathroom, going out for the boys’ vs. the girls’ soccer team, etc. How a person decides to transition, and what they are transitioning from and to, are as deeply personal as their reasons for wanting to do it in the first place—and all of them are equally valid.

Physically transitioning via hormones and/or surgery is a long, often difficult process. In the U.S., most doctors won’t give you hormones or perform genital surgery unless you’ve jumped the significant hurdle known as the Real-Life Experience, or RLE. The RLE is a specified amount of time (in the U.S. it’s usually between three months and a year, depending on what you’re asking for, and in some places, like the UK, it can be longer) in which you live as the gender you are transitioning to “full time,” everywhere you go, including in your own house. The RLE usually entails coming out to everyone in your life, name and pronoun changes, and a total makeover designed to help you “pass” as the gender you identify as. (I was lucky with this last part—throughout my RLE I usually passed for a 12-year-old boy, even though I was a 20-year-old person who was born with a vagina.)

In some ways the RLE is well-intentioned: it’s supposed to give a transitioning person and the people in their life time to adjust to their new gender identity, and to make sure they’re not “rushing” into a major operation. But it also functions as a test to see if a person is “really” transgender, and that never made sense to me. What does being “really” transgender even mean? And as for the concern that someone might “rush” into this—I’ve never known a trans* person who had not already spent years agonizing over their identity and researching their options before their first medical consultation. How many people have to prove that they really want a nose job by wearing a prosthetic nose for a year?

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84 Comments

  • Yip January 9th, 2013 3:57 PM

    Beautiful.

  • Mary the freak January 9th, 2013 4:06 PM

    This is so great. And I am happy that you are better now. some of the best articles. <3

    http://birdiewearsatie.blogspot.com/

  • Abby January 9th, 2013 4:16 PM

    This is so interesting… I’ve never really thought about the whole “if you’re going to be a guy you have to act like one all the time” thing. It’s really unfair… and it’s sad that those who are transitioning are the ones who can be the most cruel about it.

  • jenaimarley January 9th, 2013 4:17 PM

    The last sentence! Absolutely perfect.
    Thank you, Tyler!

  • angusyoung4eva January 9th, 2013 4:20 PM

    I applaud you.

  • Claire January 9th, 2013 4:20 PM

    Not sure how you can have such an accepting attitude toward, say, men wearing nail polish and then turn around and talk about how ~manly~ it is to drink beer or whatever. Kinda smacks of a double standard to me.

    • Tyler January 9th, 2013 4:44 PM

      That’s just how my friends tried to “initiate me” into what they see as their “world of manhood.” I don’t think drinking anything has any gendered qualities – bringing me out for beers was just one of the only ways my 20-year-old cis guy friends knew how to show their support and love.

    • Anelle January 26th, 2013 6:18 PM

      I know males who are born as males who LOVE to paint their nails. And my little boy cousins love having painted nails too. I don’t understand why it is such a big deal for men to want to feel pretty or be pretty whether they are trans or born male. Everyone should be allowed to decorate themselves in the way they want and not be told that they’re aren’t man “enough” or woman “enough” just because they are what has been stereotyped feminine or masculine by the western culture in the last 100 years or so.

  • LenoreK January 9th, 2013 4:36 PM

    I have never commented on any rookie article but this was so eye-opening! thanks for sharing your story!

  • thewordlover January 9th, 2013 4:36 PM

    This is so good. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and I wish you all happiness in the future.

  • Violet January 9th, 2013 4:37 PM

    That was amazing. Thank you!!!
    Love,
    V

  • Runaway January 9th, 2013 4:41 PM

    I loved this! You actually helped me to get a much better insight on gender issues. Thank you, Tyler! You sound like a great person, so I’m happy that you are now able to live your life as you want.

  • eyeroll January 9th, 2013 4:49 PM

    Claire, that’s not what he’s saying. He adhered to strict male stereotypes in the beginning of his transition (because he felt he had to in order to be considered a ‘true man’) but the rest of his transition was rejecting these rigid gender expectations and criticizing them within the trans* community and society as a whole.

    Anyway, this is a really lovely piece and I’m really happy for you, Tyler! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  • Artemis January 9th, 2013 4:51 PM

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Write it down: Im going to make a movie inspired in this.

  • Emma S. January 9th, 2013 4:51 PM

    Bravo bravo, this is wonderful. xoxoxoxo

  • Maddy January 9th, 2013 4:53 PM

    That was an interesting article! I’m glad you’re happy and hope you’ve found a better therapist.

    On a slightly different note: I have a friend who is extremely stressed and possibly depressed. I’d really like to send her a few Rookie articles about stress and dealing with mental health, but there have been so many! Which are some good ones?

  • KNadja January 9th, 2013 4:56 PM

    I cry, bravo!

  • ♡ reba ♡ January 9th, 2013 4:57 PM

    this was a brilliant article!!! i can’t really sum up what i want to say however, i found it so thought provoking, lots of things i had never thought about before xxxx

  • coolgirl January 9th, 2013 5:10 PM

    amazing. so brave. really important

  • Kathryn January 9th, 2013 5:14 PM

    This is such a great, thought-provoking piece! I long for a world in which we aren’t so gender-restricted.

    PS: I love how Suzy signs her work with just a cute little cursive S.

  • Sandrine January 9th, 2013 5:18 PM

    Tyler, I really thank you for writing this and sharing it. Like it was said earlier, it is eye-opening.

    When I was about 6 I had a friend, a girl, with whom I would play at school, on the weekends, whenever we could. Then years went by, highschool arrived and I don’t even talk to her anymore. Just a few months ago I learned that she transgendered to become a boy and the he was now dating his long-time girl friend, a girl that I knew. I heard a lot of people judging them. Myself I did not knew what to think about it, because months ago I wasn’t reading Rookie.

    This article helped me realizing what he experienced/what could have led him to go for it/etc.

    Thank you again

  • dearmia January 9th, 2013 5:21 PM

    I absolutely loved this! I know a few people who are currently transitioning (one is a good friend), but I never knew how much hard work it really was (the therapy and RLE, specifically). This article definitely sheds a LOT of light on that.

  • purrr January 9th, 2013 5:38 PM

    This article is just so so so perfect and right on time for me right now
    I’ve been thinking about gender so much recently and I really want to find an answer to the questions ‘what makes a girl a girl’ ‘what makes a boy a girl’ ‘what makes a boy a girl’ etc etc etc

    I really want to find out more about the gender spectrum in a non-academic way (you can’t really explain lived experiences by X Y Z)

    Are there any books/blogs/zines/youtube channels I should be reading/looking at?

    personally i’m a cisgirl and very femme so i’ve just been navigating through this sea of gender identity with no second thoughts whatsoever, but i really want to know more about those ‘second thoughts’.

    If anyone can suggest some resources about gender identity and different transitioning stories I would be endlessly thankful to you!

    http://sanctifiedyouth.blogspot.com/

    • georgie fruit January 9th, 2013 7:42 PM

      right off the top of my head, I recommend Original Plumbing, a zine for/by/about trans*men/trans*masculine folks.

    • LermWorm January 9th, 2013 9:57 PM

      artoftransliness.tumblr.com is a good one. It also has links to other resources.

    • Tyler January 9th, 2013 11:34 PM

      janetmock.tumblr.com, xxboy.tumblr.com, skylark11 (youtube & tumblr), and JesseW213 on youtube. I’m only listing people who are pretty well-known, because I feel uncomfortable listing people’s personal tumblrs without permission, even if they are “public.”

      Books: I read Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by Kate Bornstein and & S. Bear Bergman 2 years ago and found it helpful at the time. I haven’t read all of Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal by J. Jack Halberstam, but I went to Jack’s lecture and it was the most AMAZING lecture I’ve ever been to.

      tumblr is definitely your best friend for all things gender & sexuality related.

  • emine January 9th, 2013 5:51 PM

    Beautiful article ! It was incredibly interesting and eye-opening to read.

  • LisaPizza January 9th, 2013 5:56 PM

    Tyler, you are amazing. You’re so brave in the way that you allow yourself to really be yourself, and not how other people think you’re supposed to be. I think your view on gender and bodies is very inspirational and I hope that someday everyone will be as open-minded as you are. I wish you all happiness in your life!

    PS you were amazing on The Glee Project, it was great to see someone like you on a show that a lot of teenagers watch. I hope they all got inspired by you :)

    • Aurora January 9th, 2013 9:27 PM

      OMG this was Tyler from the Glee Project??? I loved him so much :) and might have cried a little when he left

  • victoria January 9th, 2013 6:03 PM

    this is so so so great. thank you, Rookie!

    Also – I think there’s a typo on the fourth paragraph (it says “all” instead of “hall”)

    • Anaheed January 9th, 2013 6:36 PM

      Nice catch – thank you!

  • sistercam January 9th, 2013 6:04 PM

    This is such a wonderful piece. I never comment online but I felt I should register and tell you that this is a great article and good luck for the future. Your comment that ‘gender is a spectrum’ is spot on and something that I feel is not discussed enough.

  • tturnthenoiseon January 9th, 2013 6:22 PM

    This is incredible <3

  • sophiethewitch January 9th, 2013 6:24 PM

    This is beautiful, and so true. I mean, I’m not trans* (though I don’t know if I’m cis, either) but the same thing comes up if you come out as gay, and then afterwords you date or even are just attracted to someone of the opposite gender, because you like that specific person. And then everyone is like, “I thought you said you were lesbian, why are you betraying your queerness, is this just to be trendy, what’s wrong with you?”. Yes, I said I was lesbian. What’s your point?

  • emilia.ct January 9th, 2013 6:26 PM

    Ah this is so great! One of my best friends in the world is transgender ftm, and he’s really so lucky to live in a community where he has been accepted and even embraced.

    This is so eye-opening, though, and it’s answered a bunch of questions about which I was too shy to ask my friend. Thank you for writing it! :))

  • Aoife January 9th, 2013 6:33 PM

    This is brilliant- thanks for opening my eyes to a point I hadn’t considered before, of such strict enforcing of ‘male’ characteristics. Beautiful article!

  • rottedteeth January 9th, 2013 6:33 PM

    Wow I feel like I understand people that I know that are going through something similar right now. I know a few females who I think would identify themselves as male but who don’t really know or have accepted themselves.

    http://growtolovesoon.blogspot.com/

  • Kaetlebugg January 9th, 2013 6:54 PM

    an amazing, very illuminating article. thank you for sharing!!!

  • rachelisms January 9th, 2013 7:01 PM

    This is without a doubt the best piece Rookie has ever run – or at least, it is, in my opinion.

    My best friend throughout middle/high school struggled a lot with his gender identity, and the impact it was having on the rest of his life. I look back now and recognise how awful a friend I was to him during that time, but it took me a long time to realise just how awful that was. Unsurprisingly, we drifted apart pretty drastically after he’d found out he wasn’t the only one feeling the way he did, and that I was the one with the problem, not him.

    It took me a little less time to find the humility in me to sincerely apologise (without hiding behind the excuses of my own problems during that time). We spent a long time talking about the things I did and said and how they made him feel/affected the things he did and said to me. I’ve never felt more misinformed and.. cruel?

    While on a very basic level I’ve since contemplated the use of misogyny and sexism against the trans* community, I’ve never had it laid out so plainly to me. I hope gender identity will be talked about (more) in schools in the near future, but until then, I’m glad Rookie is here to educate teens who’d otherwise not contemplate it.

    The privilege the cisgendered population has doesn’t grant free reign to say hurtful and ignorant things without a seconds thought. I wish I’d learnt that earlier. Thank you for writing this, Tyler.

    “Gender isn’t about measuring up to someone else’s expectations—it’s just another way to be the person you already are.” This is beautiful, I love it.

  • dharma94ara January 9th, 2013 7:14 PM

    This is absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad you’ve found yourself after all the struggle. Gender roles is such a sensitive topic still and it is a disappointment. I don’t remember ever being exposed to these certain situations and when I got to middle school people took gender bending and sexual oreintation to such a topic. It seriously felt like kids in middle school were trying so hard to make bisexuality a trend and transitioning genders was still a step too far to be “cool”. But it is so easy to get the wrong idea when all you’re thinking is about fitting into a crowd. Much like social cliques, people want to see gender roles as black and white and so they are just confused when people want to transition such a big part of their lives. This article was very enlightening and I feel that the high school and young adult years are so difficult to get through when you have to find youself both physically and mentally and I feel inspired.

  • Melissa @ WildFlowerChild January 9th, 2013 7:42 PM

    Amazing article. Thank you, Tyler! x

    <3 Melissa
    http://wildflwrchild.blogspot.com

  • Jolala January 9th, 2013 7:58 PM

    :) this was great to read.

  • Marian January 9th, 2013 7:58 PM

    This is so incredible thank you for writing this!

  • kolumbia January 9th, 2013 8:03 PM

    This is so eye-opening for me! I have often wondered how gender stereotypes play into trans* people’s lives, and this has given me a better understand. The last paragraph is absolutely beautiful!!

  • wanderluster66 January 9th, 2013 9:08 PM

    This made me cry for so many reasons. But mostly because I am so incredibly happy for your amazing self-expression. This article was absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for writing it. <3

  • Lazyflower January 9th, 2013 9:49 PM

    I hope you read this. You have no idea how much this article means to me. Since about a month ago, my identical twin sister came out to me as transgendered. I came onto this site to check it out today, and when I found this article, I couldn’t believe it. I am so grateful for this. My sister is going through the exact same thing as you did, and to see that there are other people out there telling their stories on sites like these just makes me so happy. I’m sad and confused and it’s a lot to deal with, but this shown me a lot. I’m a bit lost for words, but your writing is helping someone like me to understand.

    • Tyler January 9th, 2013 11:06 PM

      I’m so glad to help in any way. It is a lot to deal with for both of you. Just remember that you still have each other, even if it is a confusing time. Your sibling isn’t going to turn into a completely different person if they transition. All of my relationships with the people I’m closest to actually got BETTER after I transitioned, because I was more comfortable with myself as well as happier and more capable of sharing love, feelings, and happiness. Don’t be afraid to communicate your feelings, and always remember that compassion, understanding, and honesty are key. Please feel free to message me on tumblr (tylerthelatteboy) if either of you need advice. <3

  • lrnlzbth January 9th, 2013 9:51 PM

    This: http://youtu.be/o6tsXdfrGXQ

  • LermWorm January 9th, 2013 9:54 PM

    This was a great story about something not many people are informed on. Thank you! I also think it would be beneficial to do a follow-up.
    People (even well meaning people) often ask extremely personal, rude, and invasive questions to trans* people. I know everyone differs as far as what they’re comfortable disclosing, but perhaps you could do an article about how to have respectful conversations about gender and what NOT to ask about.

    • Tyler January 9th, 2013 10:57 PM

      I would love to do a piece on what not to ask a trans* person. I do that on my own free time on tumblr, but to write an entire piece on it would be much better, because then it would all be organized in one place as opposed to separate responses. Good thinking.

      • LermWorm January 9th, 2013 11:26 PM

        And I’d love to read it! I’ve also started following you on tumblr. Thanks again for sharing your story.

  • sherbert January 9th, 2013 10:02 PM

    this should be mandatory reading in schools. I cant even say… this was just the best

    • Tyler January 9th, 2013 10:58 PM

      I’m honored! Thank you!

  • bucknaked1 January 9th, 2013 10:44 PM

    ♡ this is really great ♡

  • Hannah January 9th, 2013 11:35 PM

    Tyler, you are amazing. I love how you told your story, and I glad you’re so happy now!

  • catseyeglassesgirl January 9th, 2013 11:52 PM

    i love hearing stories of people discovering who they really are. this truly warmed my heart.

  • Chloe Elizabeth January 10th, 2013 1:27 AM

    I don’t understand a lot of the feelings behind this, and I won’t pretend to. I was lucky enough to be born into the body I identify with, and I have never had to question well, anything. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate this and think it’s fascinating and beautiful.

  • Teez January 10th, 2013 5:19 AM

    this piece was so great, thank you for sharing tyler

  • nirvanabanana January 10th, 2013 5:50 AM

    this is such a great article <3

  • trassel January 10th, 2013 7:04 AM

    Fantastic article!

  • SparklyVulcan January 10th, 2013 8:37 AM

    This is an amazing article. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I only know one or two trans people and honestly sometimes I get so confused by the double standard because it seems so overlaid over the idea of transsexual people. Thanks so much for sharing your feelings on it. :) A family friend is a woman now, but I knew her when she was a man. She is still married to the woman she loved before she became a woman, so I think that’s really awesome. They also have an amazing little boy who doesn’t feel pressured to play with GI Joes and he plays with “girl” toys and “boy” toys. I think it’s really amazing how she could realize that she’s a woman, but at the same time go through how hard it must have been to suddenly be both a woman and a lesbian at the same time with a kid on top of it all! I don’t know her amazingly well, but I really admire her for being her.

  • ClickClaire January 10th, 2013 10:14 AM

    This is beautiful. This is actually one of the best pieces I’ve read here.

    I’m gay, and I’m an LGBT rights advocate. Still, I see the need for more material on trans experiences, mainly because of the weight of the experiences and changes that trans people go though. Personally, I’d like to know more, and understand better, trans experiences, because it can be quite hard for a cisgender to fully embrace the advocacy without full understanding of the various experiences people go though as a consequence of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

    I truly admire you for writing this! You are awesome!

  • Krista January 10th, 2013 10:51 AM

    This was really wonderful, I’m so happy you wrote this, I’m all grinning at work like an idiot right now.

  • jennathejenna January 10th, 2013 11:11 AM

    reading this was so moving.
    “I had no idea that coming out as trans* would cause my personal identity to be eclipsed by my gender identity.”
    god, i wish it didn’t have to be that way. i’m a psychology student, i want to be a therapist, and i hope to specialize in gender therapy, identity and sexuality issues. there’s a whole lot wrong with how the psychological community approaches trans* issues, as this articles illustrates. i’m so glad you still think therapy is a good idea, tyler, though your own experience with a gender therapist wasn’t great. your story helped me realize a concept i’ve been trying to articulate in class for a long time: transitioning does not mean becoming a completely different person. i hope i can one day be the kind of therapist who would have encouraged you to rock your purple vans the day you picked up your first testosterone Rx– the kind of therapist you deserve.

  • all-art-is-quite-useless January 10th, 2013 11:57 AM

    Fab article! Its opened my eyes so much more to what trans people could go through, because, as a girl who has been lucky enough to be born in a body that reflects her identity, I’ve never really given it much thought before and I’ve not really come across much information about it in society. By reading this article and doing some more research, I feel like I’ve learnt so much, thank you!

  • JoanaNielsen January 10th, 2013 3:42 PM

    I wish the whole world could read this.

    • Tyler January 10th, 2013 6:23 PM

      That is such a lovely thing to read. Thank you very much. <3

  • shjaron January 10th, 2013 10:24 PM

    I wish there was something I could say that could compensate what you’ve given us readers. I can’t think of anything except: thank you for sharing.

  • Han January 10th, 2013 11:13 PM

    Tyler, I was SO happy to see you on the Glee project. It gave me so much joy—I was rooting for you all the way. You are truly inspiring, thanks for giving me so much confidence

  • BittahBandit January 11th, 2013 3:23 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing. Lovely.

  • PFloyd90S January 11th, 2013 5:48 PM

    Thank you for writing and for sharing this article. It was really very eye opening. I think the advice can be helpful to everyone.

  • Reoka January 11th, 2013 9:13 PM

    simply amazing, I hope you’ll write many more articles in the future. definitely looking forward to it.

  • Ben January 12th, 2013 12:42 AM

    this really affected me, it seems like a gender therapist of all people should know that there are many variations of gender and its not all about conforming to society’s standards! I’m glad you are done with that now and can be the person you want!

  • Tiffany January 13th, 2013 12:41 AM

    really eye-opening and great to read, thank you

  • Hedwig January 13th, 2013 8:06 PM

    I feel freer

  • a-anti-anticapitalista January 14th, 2013 3:48 PM

    This was perfect :3 I am going to show this to my sociology of inequality (in which gender as a social construction is discussed) professor so that we can discuss it in class.

    • Tyler January 16th, 2013 2:56 PM

      Awesome! Let me know how it goes. Thank you!

  • amazeedayzee January 15th, 2013 2:20 AM

    Hello Tyler! I’m a TGP watcher :P Anyway, when I saw what this article was about I was instantly reminded of the kinds of things you posted about on Tumblr and whatnot. Lovely and thoughtful article. Great to see you on Rookie ^___^

  • Wolguv January 16th, 2013 12:23 AM

    i loved it!

  • AwkwardAngela January 18th, 2013 4:32 PM

    Tyler this is kind of amazing minus the kind of plus really.

    Thanks for writing this, you’re beyond an inspiration!

  • LadyeOfBarr February 12th, 2013 9:04 PM

    You are the right kind of guy, Tyler, kiddo, you try hard to be *you*, nail polish and maroon vans and all.

    Thanks you so much for sharing these things, there is a whole crop of boys now who need to know that “being a real man” means being a real person and has nothing to do with stereotypes.

  • A. LaWe April 22nd, 2013 1:03 AM

    This was a privilege to read. Thank you for writing it…
    A lot of what you write virtually mirrors my experience.
    I could go on at great length (and usually do), but above all, I’m reminded of my ill-fated appointment at the surgeon’s office. I went in expecting to set a date, very excited, but the appointment ended with the surgeon saying he didn’t want to operate on me until I got another letter from a third professional. This came as a complete shock, and to this day (about three years later), I have no idea what I said or did to give the impression that I was somehow unsure or hesitant.
    I was already depressive before, and I got exponentially worse after that, which hasn’t really improved in the three years since. I’m downright scared to make another appointment, because I really don’t have it in me to go through that kind of letdown again. I’m basically nonfunctional, and it’s kind of bitterly funny that I’m like this because the medical establishment wanted to protect me from potential post-surgery depression. From a surgery I did everything in my power to qualify for.
    The whole thing is warped.

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica May 28th, 2013 2:33 PM

    This was a beautiful article and I am so glad I read it. My only knowledge of an RLE is from reading this, but from what you have said I think it sounds ridiculous. Isn’t the whole point of transitioning to feel more comfortable and more yourself – yet the RLE involves acting out a gender stereotype regardless of whether you identify with it at all? I can’t fathom how that could ever be beneficial. Gah I can’t articulate my thoughts into words at all but the RLE is making me cringe! Please excuse my ignorance.

    Also, “A lot of trans* guys transform their hatred of having to have lived and/or been seen as female for most of their lives (so far) into straight-up misogyny. I don’t understand how someone who knows what it’s like to be treated as female and what it’s like to be discriminated against (via sexism, heterosexism, and/or homophobia) can subject others to the same discrimination. Aren’t we, as trans* people, trying to get society to understand that gender is a spectrum, and many of us don’t fit where we have been assigned?” is so fantastically well said and I want to frame it and put it on my wall.

    Again, spectacular article and, like A. LaWe said above me, it was a privilege to read it! <3