I’m a man

People around me have increasingly difficulties with my feminine sides, well mostly my wife, but anyway… And it might not be the feminine sides per se, but when I’m flaunting them in a female way. My wife was washing the car the other day. It was freezing and her coat wasn’t enough to keep her shielded from the wind so she borrowed mine. Since it was freezing I put on hers. I wish you all could see the face she made when she saw me! It was a face of utter horror. She looked at me for a long time and then said, with gravity, “never do that again”. We’ve discussed this phenomenon a few times, and since I’m all man for her it really clashes in her brain when I do skip-hops, have overtly feminine gestures or dress in women’s clothes (yes, I’m childish enough to do skip-hops!). I’m really happy for it, but I am still in transition – moving from one end to another (kind of) and I will inevitably express myself out of habit now and then. But I do realize that I’m more “sensitive” to feminizing things than cis men are. My body betrays me with its hips, boobs, length and jawline (among other things) so everything that could be seen on a woman makes others to read me as female. At the moment I can’t wear fashionable t-shirts (slim, thin, v-neck) even though I really would want to. I can’t use mens bracelets or other jewelry even thou I’ve found some really awesome ones and I can’t wear light colored knitwear. Well, of cause I CAN, but not without being read as a woman. I hope some of this will change on testosterone, with surgeries and some workout but I imagine some things still will be “off limits” for me to be able to go in somewhat stealth.

The point is that I’ve changed so much now that everyone I meet react in some way or other. I’m to feminine to be seen as “definitely male” and to masculine to be seen as “definitely female”. Most people I meet get the borderline thing and don’t try to gender me on their own. Usually they ask me in the most polite way possibly – by asking my name (and dammit I chicken out too often and say my female name!) but some people just express themselves in a more brutal way. Yesterday a woman who I’ve met once through work asked/told me “haven’t you cut your hair a little too short?” I know it’s her way of saying “with that haircut, those clothes and that manner you are looking like a man (duh) and no woman wants to be misgendered like that”. It’s genuine but conservative concern for me, expressed in a rude way. She’s right about one thing though, I don’t want to be misgendered. The same night my wife met an old coworker while carrying our baby and the woman said, talking to our child, “so you are her with your mum and dad, are you!” I try to focus on that encounter and making it the memory to hold on to from that evening.

10 thoughts on “I’m a man

  1. Donna steals all my clothing, but I have never worn any of hers – even when I run out of underwear I won’t wear hers. I think it is natural want to push whatever is in our control to the masculine side (i.e. clothes, hair, language – intonation) because we don’t have complete control over our bodies and we don’t have control over how other people see us. And it is fun to push the limits, even if some people push back.
    It is really about how we see ourselves – I did not wear any bracelets before I came out because they were “too girly” but now I think of the two that I have (chunky beaded ones) as men’s bracelets (they were from a men’s jeweler), and I like them, and I don’t feel polluted by them (although I had to get them resized a little smaller).

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    • Resizing won’t be an issue for me, my hands and wrists are built like a mans and women’s gloves or bracelets never fit me anyway. It’s the same thing with shoes and a thing I’ve always been proud of, even if that would sound weird to an outsider.

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  2. I experienced this too and I’ve noticed a typical patten for trans guys. Early in transition, any little hint of femininity can cause others to misgender us; we need to be very masculine to be taken seriously as male. After some time on testosterone, though, usually one can afford to lighten up, relax, and do more “feminine” things like long hair, men’s jewelry, not policing hand gestures,etc. I had the exact same issue as you with v-necks; now I wear them almost every day. So this will probably change as you continue your transition. 🙂

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  3. I find what you said really interesting as I’ve been thinking something similar lately for myself, except flipped of course. For instance I own a lot of nerdy t-shirts, like 40+ or so, all with logos or references to comics or movies. But they’re all either in UK size large or US size medium and are “unisex” (meaning men’s sizes). But I’m 5″9 and skinny, I buy the t-shirts in that size as I like them baggy. So the obvious problem now is that a baggy black t-shirt isn’t very feminine looking. I had a weird moment the other day when I’d worn a dress for the day but then threw on a t-shirt and hoody to video call my family. I looked in the mirror and this weird feeling where I felt like I’d had my head plopped onto a male body all of a sudden. I was amazed by the difference the clothes made. I mean I know it should be obvious, but after getting used to more feminine clothes it was such a dramatic shift it took me back, it looked wrong. Anyway! so to get back to my point, I now own a ton of t-shirts I love that I can’t wear without looking like a dude. Which I think kind of sucks. I’ve always been focused on what I’ve gained (jewellery, dresses, shoes etc.) it’s the first time I thought about how I’ve actually lost something. At least “lost” in the sense that it betrays the presentation I want to go with and the vibe I want to give off.

    Meanwhile I catch myself with masculine mannerisms sometimes and it gives me a weird feeling. Like just stupid stuff like the way I might be sitting, it makes me stop and think how much is naturally me and how much is learned behaviour. Which is silly really. I shouldn’t have to delicately pose myself like the Greek Muses just to know that I’m a woman!

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    • You get past the posing after a while, for me it meant to actually stop posing. I mean that all the female mannerisms I had was the actual posing for me. I’m much less tense than I ever was as a woman. Back then I always felt like I had to watch everything I did, performing femininity.
      About your T-shirts, can’t you have them fitted by a seamstress? Or make them into a quilt? Or something like it. Stuff you really like shouldn’t be hidden in a closet! (Pun almost intended…)

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  4. The feminine stuff. It scares me. Even though I’ve never been very much into feminine stuff, I do have my feminine sides. What’s more, I don’t want to give those up. I honestly enjoy cooking, e.g and I won’t have that taken from me just because it’s supposed to be a woman’s job. But what bothers me most, is my face. It’s so delicate, I get misgendered 99% of the time, no matter how masculine I present. I guess T would take care of that, but I’m not on T yet, and don’t know when I will be allowed to go on T.

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    • Same here, today someone I just met said it must be lovely to be on maternity leave. The official name in Swedish is parent leave and it felt like he used the other term just to point out that he read me as female, despite the button down and all.
      I refuse to give up cooking, partly because the whole family would starve if I did. Cooking isn’t women’s stuff, most professional cooks are men! There!

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      • True that, about professional cooks. And you won’t believe the number of women I’ve heard complaining about having to cook for their families. I’m pretty sure a lot of them positively hate it.
        Oh, and my family would starve too, if I didn’t cook. 😀

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