Recently I have received several very good in depth comments from Logan, a transgender man from the Medium writing platform I use. From our communication I began to wonder how it would be to undertake a gender transition from the other side of the human binary. In other words , what does a transgender man go through to compete and/or thrive in a male world. Of course as I write this post, I am using a few stereotypes and biases because I can only speculate on the process.
Years ago I actually went on a dinner date with a trans man. It was the first time I had been on a date with someone as my authentic self so the first thing I remember is being scared to death. After all, I was building a new person from scratch. But we aren't writing about me. Through it all, he was the perfect gentleman and we remain friends to this day.
Other transgender men I have met have come through my dealings over the years with Trans Ohio which true to its name tries to provide statewide services throughout Ohio for the transgender community. My first observation was how well they presented as men. If I had not known, there would have been no way I would ever guessed their true birth gender. Secondly they all seemed to be so well adjusted, the opposite from many of the transgender women I meet. Probably a topic for another blog post.
Here is where my pure speculation sets in. I would think using the men's room early on would be as traumatic as it is for a novice transgender woman. Even though the great majority of men try to distance themselves from any communication in the "room."
Shane on Unsplash
For younger trans men, I am sure the parental adjustment is just as brutal. It is a special breed of parent such as my former hairdresser Theresa who adjusts to, loves unconditionally and raises a trans son. A lot of effort is needed.
I think also relationships may be easier for trans men to form, at least I know several who are in relationships with cis women. My thought is (and it is only a thought) it is because women are more sexually relaxed than men. Meaning, a hybrid transgender male person can be more appealing than a cis man.
What we can't forget, male privilege comes with the potential of toxic male behavior which I haven't seen from the transgender men I have known. Perhaps it is because they were never taught it growing up.
The whole process is so interesting but still so confusing to me. Perhaps Logan or someone else could shed some light on the process a transgender man goes through to survive in a man's world.