What Does It Mean To Be Transgender?

For those of you wondering what does it mean to be transgender, this is a great explanation. Thanks Rimonim!

Today I Am A Man

Thanks to Ieshia for my first reader question! Ieshia asks what it means to be transgender. I think that this is really more about what it means to have a gender at all. Ieshia writes,

I never understood what being transgender actually means and it’s my own fault because I have not tried hard enough to learn. […] I recently saw this comment under a male v. female brain article and it seemed to help more than anything I have learned, is this true though,

“Transgenderism as a phenomenon does not seem to correlate with societal notions of gender performance. In other words, for most transgender people experiencing body dysphoria (or, indeed, dysmorphia) the condition is a physical one: Their brain expects a certain anatomy. It does not seem to be a question of looking or acting a specific way.

An example of this is the fact that trans-men (men…

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Gender I am discovering is quite a complicated matter. Our traditional binary system of male and female is so very limiting. Yes I feel a gender expression of male feels more in alignment with who I am. AND I am so much more and always will be so much more than simply male or female. However, we are so set on perceptions. We see boobs and long hair and we see a woman. We see short hair and muscles and we see a man. And when we see a woman or a man we have all these incredibly preconceived notions of what that means. So I have been asking myself a lot of questions about who am I, who have I been, who am I becoming… and I realize most importantly, I am me and always will be.

Professionally, I work with primarily women who want a female therapist. So what will expressing male on the outside mean for my practice? Will the unique work that I offer for trauma survivors and people exploring personal and spiritual growth be lost to those who have since benefited? Will new doors open that I cannot even imagine making this a mute point?

I read trans-men’s experiences in the male body so radically changing. Women crossing the street when they see a man walking in her direction. Woman having such fearful images of men. And the flip side, trans-men suddenly feeling a whole new level of appreciation, respect, and acceptance as they reap the benefits of male privilege. I acknowledge that the process I am in puts all of this right in my path. It is unavoidable. But I really do not like what I am waking up to.

Month 2 on T

This is my second month on Testosterone. Still feeling strong, confident and happy. Only marked effect of T is pimples. Frustrating and an odd mark of honor at the same time. No weight gain or loss. Feel physically stronger and more energetic. Feel more able to hold my seat in confrontations or disagreements. Ok, I guess there are more effects than just pimples.

I have a meeting today at the Gender Identity Center in Denver to see how I can become affiliated with them. In my search for mental health support around this last year, I did not find a single trans-man or woman therapist. Many straight and open or gay. I would have preferred working with someone who has been through it on all levels. Someone who really gets it. So I figure, I am a commodity. Chuckle. I do have something to offer that others don’t, given my lifelong struggle with this and now going thru the transition. So we will see what happens.

A side note: the above meeting is also a effect of making this choice in the sense that 1 year ago I would never have reached out to a group I wanted to connect with. My social anxiety would have taken over. With the GIC I put myself out there openly and confidently. I got a reply immediately and have maintained openness and confidence. Sure pangs of the old anxiety come, but less and they do not take over. Pretty awesome.

More Changes

One of my sources of income will be coming to and end soon and I am needing to build my private practice adding 1-2 days. I realize I am not ready to move full time to Loveland and want to therefore begin again promoting myself in The Denver- metro area. I just got off the phone with another Doctor of Naturopathy who I have known for years and is a referral source for this area. I asked if she had an office she would want to rent to me. I went into full disclosure about my transition to make sure it would not be a problem for her. She was totally fine, accepting and supportive; willing to continue referring to me and likely referring more since I will be so close. When I told her I will keep her informed about what I am choosing to do should I choose to fully masculinize, she said “I would hope you tell me as a friend but don’t feel the need to professionally unless you want to.” I relayed anther transman’s story of not telling his coworkers and them thinking he was dying and that I would not want to do that to her and likewise I would want her to know as a friend. She later chuckled noting that she sees a lot of “churchy” people and will be curious to see there reactions.

All I can say is what a relief!!! I have been stressing on so many levels about work and how this will impact it. I am so grateful to the support, love and acceptance I feel from so many people.