There are times when I do a shoot with someone, when I want to write an article about a topic, that I quickly realize that the interesting thing for me is their viewpoint, their experience. It would be the grossest form of mansplaining for me to explain to you what their life is like. Much better to hear it directly. When that happens I scrap the whole idea of writing it, and ask for a first person essay. Trust me it’s always better this way. So without further jaw flapping from me here is Lee Valone;
1- Every trans experience is different
and the expression of that experience is different. There is no inherently right or wrong way to be a TransMan. Some are very traditionally masculine, some are more feminine, some folks are a wonderful NonBinary mixture of everything or nothing.
2- There is no wrong way to present as masculine.
Masculinity is as varied in presentation as femininity. In this time of queer revolution, anyone can wear anything they wish to wear.
3- Please don’t ask us about medical procedures unless we say it’s ok.
Not all Transguys feel top/bottom surgery is right for them and it can be painful to talk about for a lot of folks. It’s also just plain rude to ask a stranger about their genitalia.
4- We are valid.
Our voices, our expression, our lives are valid. TransPeople are a minority of a minority. Our life stories are all so different and each one of them deserves respect.
5- Toxic Masculinity, cultural misogyny, and classism effect us just as much as anyone else in the queer community.
We have to fight against it just as hard as everyone else but in very specific ways, we have to fight even more for our own space. In my Trans experience, I have been told by CisGayMen that I am not “man enough” to be in their spaces. I have been told by high Femme CisWomen my masculinity is inherently toxic. I have been told by other Trans folks that my identity is less valid because I haven’t had any surgeries.
Transmen have to fight against so much to just have space even in our own communities. All anyone wants is to just be seen/heard/understood.