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Author Topic: Transmasculine but doesn't particularly care about having a penis?
Alexei
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I'm starting to get more comfortable with my gender and now looking back it's been kind of obvious from childhood that I'm not my assigned gender. I have some dysphoria about my chest/general build and I worry about being able to pass, etc. but I don't actually want a lot of the things my transmasculine friends want or need. If I were recognized the way I am, that would take a lot of the pain away. The only time I want or feel I need a penis (and I know dysphoria is way more than wanting something, this is why I'm confused) is when I think about sex with a male-identified partner. I know you get growth in that particular region when you start T, and lots of people pack/use a prosthetic dick, but that's the only time I wish I had one or wonder what it feels like. I just don't have strong feelings about my junk when it's left alone. (I have a whole bucket of other issues with reproduction and sexual assault but that's got nothing to do with my gender.)

I love being read as, and presenting as a boy. I try not to adhere to a really stereotypical masculinity, but I ended up kind of hard-edged femme, weirdly. Some of my interests, ones I've had since childhood, make me worry I seem like I'm trying to fill out a stereotype (I really love musical theater, vintage clothing and... this is probably only a "femme gay" stereotype where I hang out, but Classical studies.)

When I still identified as a girl, I hated my voice (I have a very expressive voice that in ordinary speaking is fairly low, and I have a minor speech-fluency thing that makes me very self-conscious) but I actually secretly want to keep my high singing voice. I know cis guys do all these things (are indifferent about their junk, are indifferent about sex, sing in a higher range) but I feel weird being trans* and not having all these common points all my male-identified trans friends do.

I identified as androgynous for a while (I don't specifically want to not have genitalia either, though, though that would look cool) but I'm starting to realize I might just be a man. I feel weird and bad and like my gender ID must be insincere or really just misogyny. There's no right way to be a man, but I feel like since I'm not very dysphoric down there I must be faking.

[ 06-30-2011, 10:12 AM: Message edited by: Alexei ]

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Heather
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Do you feel like you have a good handle on the fact that gender identity is not just about bodies or body parts?

In other words, that gender identity can involve all of who we are, and there's no one part or thing that must be central or more or less important for everyone.

So, while for some trans guys, their genitals, or having a penis, specifically, ARE a very big deal, and are very central, or is an issue in every aspect of their lives, other trans guys can be having the kinds of feelings and experiences that you are, where this is somewhat situational or just doesn't feel like that big of an issue. Same can go with things like the way you feel about your singing voice (though as a one-time classical music major, I feel compelled to talk about boy sopranos!).

You know, just like with anything else in a group of friends, we sometimes need to remind ourselves that our peer group is never going to be representative universally, and probably has things very specific to it as a peer group that are not the same in all peer groups. So, for example, just like some people will say things like, "All my friends are having sex, so all teenagers must be," which we know isn't true, even though it can feel true, all your trans guy friends feeling the same way about this doesn't mean that's how all trans guys feel.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alexei
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I feel like I know that pretty well, but it's all in my brain and not in my heart. I'm just so worried I'm going to wake up one day and all this is going to be fake (finding out I'm not just a "bad" girl, and even more than that that there aren't any bad girls at all, has been like a dream) and I just want to minimize that risk in advance.

(Yay, boy sopranos! I'm really interested in castrati -- wow that sounds kinda weird. While I know they weren't always recognized as, and didn't always identify 100% as men -- pretty much any group of people with anything in common won't all be the same gender even if the activity involves something pretty specific -- they're kind of inspiring.)

For me dysphoria is a lot more about how I'm recognized, not the build that gets me recognized correctly. My junk (it is so hard not to start Spring Awakening lyrics when I type that, haha) is pretty not an issue as it is right now, and I'm okay with that. I was just really worried if this was a legit way to feel, even though I'm pretty sure there's no supreme judge to appeal to about whether I'm "really' trans or not. It'd make things easier but there's not a real and then a fake way to be. It just really feels that way.

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Heather
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I think all ways of feeling are legitimate, and I don't see your feelings with this as being any exception.

maybe try to not think about this as who is 'real" and who is "fake?" Once you are outside the binary cis gender box, it's hopefully become pretty obvious that gender in and of itself is fake in some ways: is a construction, even when we have deep feelings about it and our sense of it matters to us deeply, and it is always mutable, and really, never fixed. So, talking about it as real or fake is tricky in the first place. Do you know what I mean?

So, maybe some day your sense of gender does change, or it keeps evolving, adapting, adjusting, changing. It probably will because that's true for many, many of us, and is more common than not.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bump on a log
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quote:
Originally posted by Alexei:
The only time I want or feel I need a penis (and I know dysphoria is way more than wanting something, this is why I'm confused) is when I think about sex with a male-identified partner.

quote:
Originally posted by Alexei:
I actually secretly want to keep my high singing voice.

Are you me? I was assigned female at birth, I identify largely as male and I might have written both those things. So just to tell you, you aren't the only one.
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Alexei
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Thank you, Heather. Thinking about some of that has been really comforting for me -- for a while I was pretty disturbed because while I wanted to express as male, I still had interest in nail polish and makeup and (sometimes) dresses. But I didn't fault cis guys who wanted to do those things and plenty of them do. It just feels stranger when it's something so many people want so badly.

And hi, bump on a log xD I'm glad to know I'm not alone, oh my God.

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CoatRack
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I identify, depending on the day, as a trans guy or a genderqueer trans masculine individual... either way, I definitely get what you're saying. It was weird for me for awhile to explain to people I was planning to sleep with that I didn't have any genital dysphoria; that, really, I rather liked my genitals.

It wasn't until I saw it really expressed in a way that made sense to me that I suddenly had the words to explain my feelings. A friend started a blog called, "this is what a man looks like."

He's a trans guy who does not plan to transition medically or surgically and has a fairly feminine presentation. From his blog title and his posts I finally came up with this explanation:

I have the body I have. And I have the identity (or identities) that I have. Just because my identity may shift or may have shifted doesn't mean that my body has changed. So if my identity has changed does that mean that my body is no longer mine? No. It means that the body I have is the body of whatever that identity is.

This is what a man looks like. Breasts and hips and high voice and vulva and all of that. If your identity is "man" or "transmasculine" or anything else then your body is that of a man, or a transmasculine person, or whatever else.

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Hey folks, my name is Andrew and I was a mod here for awhile a couple years ago. I'll be here for a couple weeks while Heather is out and the site is even more short-staffed than usual

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