To say every day I struggle with discovering who I am and what my life means may seem like an exaggeration. However as a trans guy, this is a fairly true statement. Being a trans guy who is on the femme side of masculine spectrum is extremely touchy. However, I know that I’m a guy. I am a man.
Man is a new identity to me. For a long time, I wanted to shy away from that term because of all the connotations attached to it.
“Man up.” “Don’t be a sissy.” “Don’t cry.” “Talk like a man.” “Act like a man.” “Be a man.”
Men are expected to demand respect and not take no for answer. Men don’t apologize or admit their wrong.
Does this sound familiar? We put so much pressure on people to conform to gender “standards” or “norms”. These standards can be stereotypes and cliches. Standards should be affirming or milestones such as graduating high school, getting their first job, etc. Standards should not be things in which put down other people.
Another reason it took me time to be comfortable is with the personal effect that the word man means to me. As someone who lived the majority of his life as a woman, I have personally seen how men interact with women. Women are looked on as inferior, soft, delicate, or less than. They are questioned all the time to ensure they know what they’re talking about. Women have to present facts and figures and look professional but also attractive to be heard. If they become tired or sick, it’s because they can’t handle the work load or have too many distractions. I didn’t want to be part of something that can make people seem small.
Women are not without faults. They can be catty and tear each other down. Gossip is definitely a problem. However women are tough, extraordinary, and capable of so many wonderful things. They have come so far and will continue to soar.
As a man and a trans man, I do not want to raise my voice over my femme siblings. They so deserve to be heard. I never want to be ashamed of my background as a woman, but that doesn’t give me any more of a right to speak for women. No one person can speak for an entire gender.
As people and humans we need to remember that just because we don’t agree with someone or persons, it doesn’t give us a right to demean or disrespect that person. We should focus on building up each other.
I want to use my voice which unfortunately may be heard louder than my femme sibling as a platform to build up the others around me. I’m not just talking about femininity vs masculinity. I’m talking about all the minorities and majorities helping each other to create a better environment.