Monday, January 24, 2011

Snapshots on the last day

A common theme throughout the workshops was to find your own narrative. Finding yourself in the louder noise of society. It doesn't matter what others see, only who we know ourselves to be. By not allowing others to label us, often with hurtful language, empowers us. I think this is true for everyone.

As I calmed down, and left the fearful, and shy zone, I noticed that almost everyone attending had the saddest eyes. Years of not being able to be "seen" for who they are, being afraid of others reactions, has left it's mark. Even though I was still hampered by bouts of shyness, I made sure to look my fellow trans in the eyes, and smile, to validate their existence and worth as humans. I began to get loads of smiles back.

Everyone there is worried about "passing". And yes, some do it much more successfully than others. But even the most successful of these worried nonstop about not looking right, not sounding right, moving in a way that doesn't break the illusion they are weaving. The transwomen worry about not being feminine enough, and the transmen worry about not being stereotypically masculine.

Among both groups there seems to be a hierarchy, yes even among us trans, there seems to be a need to pick on each other, sad isn't it? The transmen seem to garner disapproval by other transmen by not being hyper masculine by coming across as a "femme" gay guy. I talked with one guy about it. He said he didn't care if he got hate by other transmen, he wasn't going to change how he acted to please others. I really enjoyed talking with him, we really hit it off.

While the vast majority of transwomen were in their 40's, most of the transmen were young! The youngest that I met was 16. The under 18 crowd had to be chaperoned. Needless to say these young teens were overwhelmed and out of their element. So, why are there young transmen, but not transwomen? I don't know, this has really made me curious.

I got a few dismissive looks from some of the late 20's transmen, which were extremely hurtful. It's funny, I felt completely comfortable with the transwomen, but my own gender made me feel uncertain and tongue tied. Made me feel unworthy and as if I shouldn't even have been there.

After each nights dinner banquet there was dancing in the lounge. I was standing watching people dance when a woman came up and started flirting with me!!! Last night one woman wouldn't take no for an answer! She kept touching me, stroking my arm, leaning on me, sigh. As I made my escape from her, I was asked if I was dancing. I didn't understand at first, but finally realized she was asking me TO dance. Yes, yes I know, a total face palm moment for me. We did finally dance, and spent hours talking, she is a very cool person.

This morning I had the pleasure of having Jamison Green sitting down next to me at brunch. He is handsome, sexy, and one of the smartest person I've met in a long time. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, go you won't be disappointed.

Ok, so now the hard question, did this change my mind about transitioning? No, and yes. No, because the reason can't, or more correctly won't transition hasn't changed. Yes, because I saw ftm's that while short, could totally pass and they looked good! I was rather jealous seeing the teen trans guys. If I was a teen now, that could be me getting ready to starting testosterone, and being able to live as a visible male.

Sent from my iPad


  1. stay strong and continue to be who you are!!! remember: it's the society that's f'ed up, not YOU! you are an amazing person - im so happy to have had the chance to speak with you. i admire you and your story.

  2. I can't even in my wildest dreams imagine what it would feel like, after all that time finally placed amongst "your own kind", ppl sharing the same hardships. Then of course there still has to be differences as well, we're all humans right?

    I hope these new perspectives has given you strength to carry on. You're absolutely amazing!!



  3. But all in all, it was a great experience, right? Now you've been around folks like you, and it sounds as if they're not a lot different than everyone else, just stuck in the wrong bodies. Cliques, hierarchies, petty differences...

    I'm glad you had a good time. Bet you can't wait until next year!

    Peace <3

  4. Seems like a rather cathartic experience.

    A quick question of terminology (because I always forget). Does transmen = FTM and transwomen = MTF?

  5. yes Aek, your terminology is correct... :)

  6. I'll never forget my first ever gay conference.

    Yeah, sure all that's old hat these day and you were treading some new ground over the weekend - but 'cathartic' and 'life changing' and 'bet you can't wait until next year' - oh yes! That's exactly how we all felt after that first time we met gay people en masse (although it was only a few hundred!).

    Well I guess you're now wondering why you were so nervous beforehand and nearly didn't go at all!