Manchild And The Dysphorias

Inkblot's picture

If ever I form a glam rock punk band, it will be called Manchild and the Dysphorias.

I recently read about the whole "men's movement'' and how men need to connect with their inner, primal Iron John lumberjackmanliness in order to live balanced lives. I guess it makes sense that repression of anything would make for an unbalanced life. Still, should women connect with their inner, primal shoe hording chocolate glutton? Maybe we should eat chocolate and be lumberjacks. ("I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and I work all day...")

I'm terrified of hormones. I can barely deal with the ones I have naturally, so the idea of putting more in sounds frightening. But then, so does living the rest of my life as the reedy-voiced manchild. It's very frustrating to be assumed to be younger, or gay, or to have people ask rude questions about my anatomy. I never thought I'd want to grow a beard, but if I could, I would, just so fewer snotty little freshmen would have the gall to argue with my about it. It goes like this:

Snot: Blah blah blah she said...
Me: I'm not a she. I'm a guy.
Snot: Well, technically....
Me: (assorted threats and swearing)

When did it become even vaguely acceptable to argue with someone about their gender? If the snots were to say "I felt so manly" and I said "well, technically, you're boys" this would be considered a cheap shot, rude, crossing a line, and generally a shitty thing to do. But the moment it's the tranny who may feel slightly sensitive about his masculinity, as opposed to the snot who may feel slightly sensitive about his masculinity, it's a situation "they're unfamiliar with" and I should "educate them about sensitivity towards transgender individuals". I'm all for sensitivity towards transgender individuals, but it seems simpler to say WHY DON'T YOU PEOPLE TEACH YOUR CHILDREN SOME GODDAMN MANNERS SO THEY'LL KNOW BETTER THAN TO ARGUE WITH SOMEONE ABOUT WHAT IS OR ISN'T BETWEEN THEIR LEGS!

Ahem. The larger point being that I find myself having this conversation and the ensuing feeling of frustration and unpleasantness far too often. I'm hoping that after the surgery the snots and company will at least stop looking at my chest to figure it out. But then come the other parts. Hormones being the largest. The idea of muscles, facial hair, a deeper voice and at least slightly narrower hips sounds great. The idea of a raging libido (it doesn't need any help), acne, and a built-in thing my mother can point to as what's causing me to lose my temper, not so great.

And this leads to larger, scarier, more nebulous questions as to what manliness is. Is it strength and fortitude and the ability to be a good father, or just having a penis? Does not having a penis exclude me from all manliness? Clearly not, I was manly, or perhaps more accurately guyish, before I ever figured this out. Is it growing hair on places other than your head? Does it count if it's on your chest but not your face? Is anyone counting?

I can't continue to live as the manchild while my classmates grow up around me. It's unduly painful and frustrating. And yet, what it takes to get hormones frightens me. Before I'd even get to try I'd need a therapist, and I hate therapy. I don't need any help overanalyzing my life. Then, if I did, I'd probably have to stick a needle in my ass every two weeks. And then all kinds of weird shit would happen to me.

And maybe, once it settled down a bit, I'd be shaving, sound less like a 12 year old, and be able to build muscle properly. Which would be awesome.

I can't worry about any of this until after surgery. My parents worked their asses off to pay for it, and I feel guilty, despite them telling me not to. But when it's done and I'm healed, it'll be awesome. I've reserved a new, clean, shiny white T-shirt to wear as soon as the bandages and such come off.

And this, boys and girls, is why typing after midnight is bad.

39 days.


Riku's picture

You know, testosterone

You know, testosterone causing transmen to have bad tempers and whatnot is EXTREMELY rare.

Also, I agree, the therapy is a pain. But for me it was entirely worth it. Even though it's annoying that she always repeats back to me the things I say, and I hate that she's analyzing everything that comes out of my mouth.

And the needles aren't so bad. You can shoot them in your thigh too but that tends to get more sore than shooting in your ass. But a lot of people go with the thigh just because you have to twist around to see what you're doing.

And as far as changes go, I figure bio guys have to take the good with the bad, so do I. And I'm lucky that I have a choice at all, you know? Acne isn't TOO bad, and it'll go away sooner or later, and I figure you learn to deal with a raging libido. (I haven't felt that yet though. I've only had one shot and my libido is no worse than it was before. But maybe it'll just kick in later... I hope it doesn't though. That'd be awesome. But I'm sure it will)

I figure it's better to have hormones that make you more of who you are in you than ones that don't. But it's up to you. If you're not comfortable with it then don't.

I really wish I could have surgery soon though. :/ I don't know where I'm going to get the money for that. My dad said he'd help pay for it... But he was fired the other day. So I'm stuck.

Also, I hate when people have the nerve to tell me that I'm "technically" a girl. It's like "Well technically, you're an asshole for judging me by what I may or may not have between my legs. And also for thinking you know me better than I do." Why is it so difficult for people to disconnect their definitions of gender and sex? Why does the existence or lack thereof of some dangly bits define a person to these people? Like, you can't look at a persons privates but it's perfectly okay to assume what they are and who a person is based on that assumption.

And when they can be bothered to respect that I'm not female, they still act like I'm somehow less than male. GUHHHHHHH. So then instead of just calling me "he" and a guy like, you know, a respectful person. I get called things like "it" and "he/she/whatever" even though I've been making it painfully clear that all I want is to be treated like any other guy. :/

Okay, there's MY rant. Sorry. Done now.

jeff's picture


I think you have it backwards. Until recently, like less than a decade, I think it's always been acceptable to argue with someone about their gender. Open discussion of trans issues is VERY new, so you have a long way to go yet.

I'd say this is the first generation of gay teens who can finally be largely accepted in their peer group at a young age.

But trans isn't as far along. Just the way it is...

Of course, that's not cause for pessimism. You are still light years ahead of every trans generation before you. That you are bringing up any of these issues at a young age would have been unheard of even 20 years ago, in all but the rarest of circumstances.

That said, I wouldn't bother with any of that butch men's movement nonsense, either.

"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis