I’ve been transitioning for 5 years now. It honestly is crazy looking back thinking about that. I’m really glad I transitioned because while shaving is annoying I like my new body and the medication really helped. I think in my case it had a lot to do with my brain chemistry or something, it really felt like it. I try to help people who recently come out feel more comfortable and to not “egg” them on, let them come at their own pace and talk about their feelings. A lot of nonbinary people find expression through this.
I am frustrated by how many people think that nonbinary is just being a girl. Outside of my breasts I think if someone saw me in public normally they wouldn’t assume I was a woman if they saw my face. For me, nonbinary means distancing oneself from identification entirely by using the term “nonbinary” as a signifier of nothingness - its the last step from the stripping of gender entirely. Having breasts is frustrating, but I’ve come more to terms with them - they represent an active defiance of expectation - expectation of men being cis, expectation of transmen forced into another bodily cage.
Do transmen really escape the cage of femininity when they are forced directly into one of toxic masculinity through these social forces? In these hostile expectations, transmen are expected to be men without manhood, causing them to double down on compensation. Many transmen I’ve encountered as a result become bitter, toxic and cruel as a result. Celebrities as well, many of us know about a certain infamous famous and toxic transman. We are pressured so much to change our bodies to accomplish an image that had nothing to do with us - regardless of whether we want it or not - for this very reason, otherwise we are not “real men”. And for what? To find we will still never be accepted as “real men”! And does a “real man” even exist?
I’m not saying that transmen are not legitimate, rather - the struggles so many FTMs were forced through growing up - body image, control over their dress, forced occupation and obedience - are just replicated in the faux image of maleness that so few people take seriously anyways, and in the process, we shred ourselves. We are forced into this empty image when trying to merely follow what we think is right for ourselves - what direction is there to go?
I think something that I want to talk about is my struggle with gender/sexual expression with disability. I sustained a head injury in 2019 that caused changes in my personality and the emergence of many problems. While I still feel very comfortable transitioning, a result of this was a newfound experience with my gender where I oscillate to a femininity, but without truly becoming a woman again. I think the best way to express it is through the image of an FTM drag queen, the subversion occurs twice over, blurring femininity and lifting it off from the constraints of the body entirely. When I hit my head, it was like new possibilities were exposed to me. I feel like the gender oscillator pulses faster and faster until reaching a new limit of possibility. A feminine-man, a man-woman, a dissolution of gender across femininity folding across itself repeatedly, faster and faster.
In a way I’m glad I got hit in the head, it broke this cycle of toxic masculinity. I rediscovered a new person in myself, a feminine person, with a bold edge, finally free from the girl-cage. For me now, transitioning isn’t really about becoming a man at all, if anything, its the furthest thing from it. It’s about realizing the image of a man is a lie, and only exists to escape the oppression of the woman - as is evident by how we treat “girly” men. I’m becoming a self-actualized woman, versus the woman I was confined to within expectation of society. Through this movement all trans movements liberate across this vector of femininity.
For me, my oppression was coded not in traditional feminine expectations like cooking and housekeeping, but a new, professional managerial misogyny dressed in feminist clothing. I was forced to be a working woman for the sake of professionalism. I only became a new kind of doll for my parents and society to decorate. Does becoming a trans man really escape that? For me, I had to seek beyond. This is the deep reason why TERFs attack trans people - because they want women - ALL WOMEN - to stay in their place.
Also, I heavily encourage people to talk to intersex people. They are heavily marginalized and tokenized in so many communities and their issues are sorely misunderstood. My bf is intersex and the issues also intersect this health and expression barrier. I have a few other intersex friends and each experience is unique and exposes an opportunity for emotional discussion about the struggle of mandatory assigned gender.