What I’ve Learned About Toxic Masculinity As A Trans Man

Courtesy of CJ Atkinson

The first time I attended a group for transmasculine folx, I stood nervously in the breakout room watching three men drool over a car on their phone. In so many ways it felt like I was a kid again, standing with my brother and his friends while they talked about rugby and girls and cars.

Sometimes I think that the nature of being trans is that you’re born in the world with a tally in your head. A certain number of points make you a girl, a certain number of points make you a boy, and good luck to the rest of us floating around in between.

People always ask trans people how they knew, as though we only make sense with an acceptable enough origin story. Trans women are incessantly policed on everything from being too female to not being female enough. But in some ways, this policing of trans women also begs the question that people never ask of trans men like me: what does it mean to be a man?

Cards on the table, I’m not a binary trans man. I identify as non-binary transmasculine for many reasons, a lot of which I’m happy to discuss at great length but essentially comes down to this: I was assigned female at birth but my discomfort in my body has more to do with stereotypes or societal norms.

The policing of trans women begs the question that people never ask of trans men like me: what does it mean to be a man?

Because of this, I take testosterone, and am on the waiting list for what is known as ‘top surgery’ – a double mastectomy which will allow me to present a more masculine chest shape. Yet I’m aware of the limits of language and gender, and I’m also passionately queer, which is why I use they/them pronouns. It sounds a lot, but it’s simply my way of being in the world. I am specific, but I’m certainly not unique.

The first time I came out to a friend, she laughed. It wasn’t unsupportive laughter but the kind of laugh that a best friend can do where they’re amused and fond and ready to fight your corner with you.

“But you hate men,” she said. And then, without missing a beat: “but if you want to go shopping, I’m here for you.” The first time I heard that it was funny. The tenth time, it …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


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