No Days Off

 Yesterday I took a rare day off from all my blogging activities. It was one of the few days I couldn’t come up with anything to write about in the cluttered transgender universe which is my mind. Today as I retrieved and turned on the old lap top (I knock on wood every morning when it comes on.) and proceeded to come up with a new post. 

Photo Credit: Cyrsti Hart

Writing for me is either a labor of love or a real chore. I compare the whole process to the early days when I was exploring the world as my true feminine self. Many days I would feel so confident and good. Other days, the process was not so seamless. It felt like everytime I turned around something was going wrong. An example was the day I was (in my mind) proudly negotiating a mall in my dress, heels and hose when I promptly stepped into a crack in the sidewalk. Needless to say I didn’t feel very feminine as I almost fell and had to retrieve my shoe. Fortunately no one else seemed to notice and I learned another valuable lesson. Watch where I am going and not so much on the publics’ reaction to me. 

Another discovery I made was learning I could never take a day off from the feminization process I was slowly but surely going through. Unfortunately, the whole process made me a very difficult person to live with or work for during what I called my “down” days when I couldn’t cross dress as my true self. Between battling my bi-polar behavior and gender dysphoria, life was no fun. Still I kept going spurred on by working way to hard all the way to changing jobs and moving to different places. Another prime example was when my wife and I moved from one part of Ohio to metro NYC then back again, only to move to  a very rural area of Southeastern Ohio to open restaurants. I learned the hard way no amount of frenetic moving and changing could solve my basic problems. Plus, I won’t even m mention the amount of heavy drinking I did to self medicate my problem.

Along the way, I always considered myself to be a competent but deeply flawed person. Looking back now I see taking any days off from my issues would be impossible until I “manned up” and faced them like a woman. Which is exactly what my wife told me to do. Instead I blundered ahead until I tried suicide. It turned out I even screwed that up and went to work the next day like nothing happened. Looking back of course, I am glad self harm didn’t work for me. 

What did work was finally realizing my inner feminine self was the dominate portion of my being. Once I let her live was when I could relax, build a new life as a transgender woman and take a day off…from myself.  

Male Privilege

Recently I have received several very good in depth comments from Logan, a transgender man from the Medium writing platform I use.  From our communication I began to wonder how it would be to undertake a gender transition from the other side of the human binary. In other words , what does a transgender man go through to compete and/or thrive in a male world. Of course as I write this post, I am using a few stereotypes and biases because I can only speculate on the process. 

Years ago I actually went on a dinner date with a trans man. It was the first time I had been on a date with someone as my authentic self  so the first thing I remember is being scared to death. After all, I was building a new person from scratch.  But we aren’t writing about me. Through it all, he was the perfect gentleman and we remain friends to this day.

Other transgender men I have met have come through my dealings over the years with Trans Ohio which true to its name tries to provide statewide services throughout Ohio for the transgender community. My first observation was how well they presented as men. If I had not known, there would have been no way I would ever guessed their true birth gender.  Secondly they all seemed to be so well adjusted, the opposite from many of the transgender women I meet. Probably a topic for another blog post.

Here is where my pure speculation sets in. I would think using the men’s room early on would be as traumatic as it is for a novice transgender woman. Even though the great majority of men try to distance themselves from any communication in the “room.” 

For younger trans men, I am sure the parental adjustment is just as brutal. It is a special breed of parent such as my former hairdresser Theresa who adjusts to, loves unconditionally and raises a trans son. A lot of effort is needed.

I think also relationships may be easier for trans men to form, at least I know several who are in relationships with cis women. My thought is (and it is only a thought) it is because women are more sexually relaxed than men. Meaning, a hybrid transgender male person can be more appealing than a cis man.

What we can’t forget, male privilege comes with the potential of toxic male behavior which I haven’t seen from the transgender men I have known. Perhaps it is because they were never taught it growing up.

The whole process is so interesting but still so confusing to me. Perhaps Logan or someone else could shed some light on the process a transgender man goes through to survive in a man’s world.