June 10, 2014

Some Interesting People (W101)

It’s week two of this blogging challenge! I was going to write a trans-centric “update” sort of post this weekend, but just lost track of the time. It has been my goal to make these posts appropriate to the theme of the blog whenever possible. So here goes …

June 9, 2014 — Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year? Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

I think the most depressing thing about this prompt was how it forced me to realize how few new people I’ve met this year. I am an introvert and a homebody. I don’t do “new friends.” Maybe I need to get out more.

About the only really new people I’ve met this year outside of my job was Natalie and the people at the gender identity support group I wrote about back in February. And as a group, they were definitely interesting. Unfortunately for this entry, I more or less wrote about them at length in that prior post. So please, do go back and read that piece, which fits this prompt to a “T”.

One thing that attending the group did allow me to do this year was to have some meaningful contact with trans men. My experience with trans men has heretofore been limited to a single family member, and while he’s awesome we’ve never really discussed the trans thing much. He transitioned long before I was out, and he moved out West a good year before I started my journey. We don’t talk much anymore.

It doesn’t take long to do some reading online and to discover that, in many ways, the trans man’s experience is quite a bit different than the trans woman’s experience. In all honestly, it always felt to me like trans men had it easier than trans women did — less stigma, more acceptance, and an easier time “passing.”

I don’t mean to trivialize trans men’s negative experiences with that statement. In fact, that’s kind of where I’m going with this. Going to that group and being able to really meet and listen to some trans men talk about their problems was really an eye-opening moment for me. Trans women tend to be the more visible publicly and in the news, but that doesn’t mean that life is good for them. Some of their problems may be less obvious, more hidden; but their experiences are just as authentic and trying as mine. Going to those meetings helped me better realize how my perceptions had been wrong.

So that’s what 2014 has brought me so far in terms of new people: a better understanding of those moving in the opposite direction. I haven’t been able to attend that meeting for a couple of months now due to my work schedule, but that’s about to change and I look forward to heading out to the group again at the end of the month. The women and the men both are people I enjoy meeting, and they’re all people I’d like to get to know better.

1 Comment

  • This may be a little bit off-topic but one of the commonest complaints I have heard from transmen is the issue of binding to appear flat-chested. The other is having to inject testosterone instead of taking it as a patch or in pill form as transwomen can do for both estrogen and anti-androgens. The upsides are that transmen taking T will quickly begin to grow facial hair while transwomen must use painful laser treatments and/or electrolysis to remove facial hair which can often be as expensive or more than GRS, as in my case. I have resigned myself to the fact that often cis women must shave, pluck or wax facial hair, especially around the lips and eyebrows. Another upside is that transmen voices begin to lower on T while transwomen must have surgery and/or work hard at making their voices higher in timbre and pitch. While I can passibly speak and sing like a woman, I have yet been able to scream like one, although I am still working on it. Speaking of women with masculine sounding voices, Lauren Bacall, who starred in a number of films with her actor-husband Humphrey Bogart, had to work at lowering her vocal range to get a part in her professional film debut,
    “To Have and To Have Not.” Oddly enough, both she and Bogart suffered from a syndrome named in their honor called Bogart-Bacall Syndrome, a voice disorder that is caused by abuse or overuse of the vocal cords. One more thing, I asked the question once or twice if transmen I met on T thought more often about sex than they used to do, They all seemed to agree in the affirmative.

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