Change Your World-NOT your Body

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Weekend's Who is Transitioning






















Practice being the woman that you are, not paying to be the man that you can never be.
Expand the narrow notions of female through being the unique female that no one can be but YOU!


Conformity under any other name still isnt transgressive, conformity is cowardice.



Send me a video of you being an out and proud strong unique female (gay or straight) and I will post them on my blog. Tell me what makes you unique, your passions, dreams, your strengths, what you are doing in your little corner to make a difference, things you do that make you feel powerful, beautiful, special.

dirt

ps I am working on several blog suggestions, so if I haven't gotten to yours yet, it doesn't mean I'm ignoring your suggestion. Please keep them coming, its helpful, because I'm only one person and can only be in so many places.



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16 comments:

  1. I like your blog very much! But I think these "who is transitioning" threads are too much. I wish you would post more informative things again.

    sorry for my english

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  2. Anon,

    What would you like to see more of?

    dirt

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  3. The "Who is Transitioning" posts show the extent of the trans fad, especially among teens and women in their 20's. What I'm trying to figure out is why they feel compelled to do this. When I look at their videos, websites, etc., I see a lot of "how to pass", stuff about facial hair, body hair, clothes,and "does my butt look like a girl", but not much at all about WHY they think they have to do this. I've even read books in the past by some of the older transmen trying to understand what it's about, and usually it's very vague, like they felt they were a guy, felt they were in the wrong body, or that kind of thing, that doesn't really tell us a whole lot about what the motivations and causes are, especially from their perspective.

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  4. Oh, those "how to pass" articles.

    *Rolls eyes.*

    I pass all the fracking time, without trying, even wearing just a T-shirt, and I'm built like Marilyn. Monroe, that is, not Manson.

    Here's my contribution to Dirt's how to be a proud whatever kind of woman you are project. When someone calls me "sir" (and I get called this more than anything else), I just smile and say, "It's ma'am, thanks." And I don't give them time to get all freaked out and apologetic.

    The Patti Smith link was very cool, btw, along with that blogger's comments.

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  5. DM, that's because it's really hard to put into words. Many of us have made colossal mistakes in our attempts to explain it, babbling on and on about how we like stereotypical male things, as if that's evidence of anything. It's quite understandable that butch women and effeminate men in particular are rather offended when we keep implying that we buy into sexist stereotypes that erase them and their female/male identities.

    It's hard to find the words, though, to give a more accurate depiction of the feeling because it is a very vague feeling most of the time. "I don't fit." "I'm in the wrong clothes." I'm in the wrong class." "I'm on the wrong team." "I'm sleeping in the wrong berthing." "I don't belong in this bar."

    Not so much that I didn't like girls, their clothes, their toys, their sports and games, nor that I don't like women or find something objectionable about their spaces. Just the pervasive feeling that if people were going to be divided up into groups labeled "male" and "female," then I should be in the "male" group. Even in cases where it kind of sucks to be in the male group, especially without the privilege men get to compensate, because it's usually colder, dirtier, smellier, harder work, and rather hard to keep up with everyone else when my body is female. Oh, and the sexual harassment and rape. But it was better than the alternative of feeling constantly like an invader, an impostor, a spy in women's spaces.

    The frustration I have with my physical appearance isn'tprecisely a hatred of my body. I mean, it's a pretty nice body, it functions fairly well, it's reliable. But it...well, it largely feels like it never grew up. It did, in the standard female way, breasts, hips, etc. But that's not what men get at puberty. I didn't get the muscles, the squared-off face, the hairline changes, the deep voice, the rougher skin and coarser hair. I didn't get the physical changes that tell the world that I'm a grown man. I feel perpetually stuck at thirteen.

    I don't know why I don't feel like a woman. I don't even really know what "feeling like a woman" really means. Most people probably just kind of feel like themselves. But when I heard "boys are" and "boys should" and "boys don't" I always felt like I was included in that, and when I heard "girls are" and "girls should" and "girls don't," I felt I wasn't...regardless of whether or not what I was hearing lined up with my own inclinations and preferences. I learned that boys were supposed to like girls, and I felt like that included me, and I tried to like girls, and felt incredibly ashamed and wrong when I instead found myself having crushes on my baseball teammates. It didn't matter that that was ok for girls.

    It never mattered if something was ok for girls. The only sense in which the rules for girls mattered to me was the feeling that it was wrong for them to be restricted from doing things that boys could do (it was always "them," the rules never stopped me, my dad wouldn't let that happen). It took me somewhat longer to realize that it was equally unfair that boys weren't allowed to do the things that girls could do...for a long time I just took the boys' restrictions at face value and internalized them.

    And at this point I'm just babbling incoherently, but I hope maybe some of it was interesting or new.

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  6. These photo posts are very helpful. They put a real face on a fad that's so unreal and so very dangerous. Keep it up, Dirt.

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  7. @ Evan. I think a fair number of women have experienced what you describe, to a greater or lesser degree, while still considering themselves women. Even in this supposedly liberated era, there are a lot of subtle differences between the social roles, ways of being and interacting, etc., that are open to men and women. Many of those things are not inherently good or bad, or *obviously* sexist, but they are still artificial and heavily policed. Some women don't mind this, as long as they can be engineers, run for president, and bust broncos; others mind a great deal, because they just have a different way of being that, for lack of a better term, comes across as "masculine." Doesn't have to be the very particular James Dean kind of masculinity that people tend to associate with butch lesbians, either.

    (Btw, I've been the lone woman in groups of men doing dirty, smelly, tiring work. It usually involves more physical motion and activity than the dirty, smelly, tiring work assigned to women, and therefore is not quite as stifling and depressing, even if it's harder to keep up. There's a certain privilege, even there. Just sayin.')

    Even frustration with one's female physical appearance does not have to be a sign of trans male identity for every woman who experiences it -- those physical traits that mark a person as a grown man also provide unchallenged entry to the social roles and behaviors associated with men. *Especially* with regard to all those seemingly minor things that are still policed much more than is generally acknowledged. A masculine woman will always face social pushback in some areas of her life; a woman who actually passes for male (intentionally or not), will usually pass for an extremely youthful man. When that happens, she's often the object of a fair amount of pointless, macho physical aggression from men who would normally defer to a larger, older-looking guy. All that can get discouraging. But that discouragement does not necessarily add up to "not a woman."

    Neither does feeling like an imposter in women's spaces. Again, I think this is a fairly common experience. In an all-female setting, women who are okay -- or even partly okay -- with those heavily policed, gendered ways of being and interacting tend to notice the presence of women who are not. Even they don't have an obviously bad reaction, there's still a reaction. It's a rare, rare all-female environment in which this doesn't happen at least some of the time. That can also get discouraging. But again, it does not necessarily add up to "not a woman," either.

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  8. This one is very interesting : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWInyN5-tLk
    a lot of misconception about T and transition in general...

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  9. Each FtM probably has different reasons as to why she wants to "transition." An older "transman" I know,(who if given the choice today would not have transitioned) told me that testosterone really is like a strong drug, and people who take it really do feel better/different. I'm sure that's a great motivator for people who may have been miserable for years.

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  10. @Anon at 1:39AM:

    But perhaps the things Evan describes are stronger feelings of "not belonging" in transmen than they are in a person who identifies as a female? Also, what is your opinion about the "body dysphoria" transmen experience?

    I know that I was trying to emulate a bulge in my pants from as early as 3 or 4, even before I had been told or seen for myself what a penis was. I have always felt that there is a physical absence in the area of my genitals. That absence makes me very uncomfortable, and has made me uncomfortable since I was a small child. I have always been surprised when I looked in mirrors, because my mental image of myself had nothing to do with the beautiful, perfectly functioning female body I possessed. After starting testosterone therapy and experiencing the physical changes I have had, I can now look in a mirror and not feel like I see a stranger. I don't feel like a guest in my own body anymore.

    I identify as male, even though I don't have a biological penis, partly because of my physical discomfort and also partly because of this feeling of "not belonging" or "intruding on women's spaces." Of course, it is difficult to get into much detail in the space of a comment on a blog, and there are many other things that I consider building blocks that make me a male, but most of them constitute private information I wouldn't share with the general public.

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  11. "told me that testosterone really is like a strong drug, and people who take it really do feel better/different" (quote from anonymous at 10:47am. This makes me wonder if any research has been done about the minimum level of T needed for this 'feel better/different' effect to occur? My understanding is transmen have to take high doses of T? What if they can get the "curative" effect at a much lower and therefore healthier dose of T, without the side effects?

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  12. this one is so....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NYLua5nOFY

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  13. If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

    Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

    Otherwise you are a FTM ie boyish woman with secondary sex attributes (facial & body hair, baldness, muscles) without the mental gender

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  14. That is a fucking awesome poem. It has helped me a lot throughout my life. I can even say it has saved my life more than once.

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  15. @Dirt, have you seen this campaign of ILGA europe ?
    http://www.ilga-europe.org/home/publications/reports_and_other_materials/two_posters_on_the_rights_of_trans_people_december_2009

    The image for discrimination at work shows trans with no passing at all...surprising

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  16. Practice being the woman that you are, not paying to be the man that you can never be. Expand the narrow notions of female through being the unique female that no one can be but YOU!

    awesome stuff.

    ReplyDelete

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