|Who do I prefer:||Male|
|Tint of my eyes:||I’ve got huge hazel green eyes|
|What is my favourite drink:||Rum|
By Charlotte Alter. Three guys are sitting at a Harlem bartop eating fries, drinking whiskey and talking about love.
One of them, Bryce Richardson, is about to propose to his girlfriend. The other men light up when they hear the news and start talking about rings, how much they cost, will it be princess cut or pear shaped? Pictures are Googled, phones are passed around. I ask the groom-to-be how he knew his girlfriend was the one.
They met at work, he says, and by the time he came out to her, they were already in love. Over the last three years, transgender awareness has exploded. From Orange is the New Black to Transparentfrom Janet Mock to Caitlyn Jenner, America has a growing fascination with the lives of transgender people, most recently in light of recent debates over controversial bathroom laws.
But the spotlight on trans issues has mostly been focused on transgender women, and transgender men have been largely left out of the narrative.
Our cultural obsession with feminine beauty contributes to the imbalance. Because most surveys ask people to identify as male or female but not cisgender or transgender, the size of the transgender population in America is unclear, though one study suggests there are abouttrans people in the U. Yet experiences of trans men can provide a unique window into how gender functions in American society. Over and over again, men who were raised and socialized as female described all the ways they were treated differently as soon as the world perceived them as male.
They gained professional respect, but lost intimacy. They exuded authority, but caused fear.
From courtrooms to playgrounds to prisons to train stations, at work and at home, with friends and alone, trans men reiterated how fundamentally different it is to experience the world as a man. And that cultural sexism is often more visible to trans men, because most say they find it easier to be low-disclosure than trans women. One day in court, Ward and his opposing counsel were making a big request to a judge.
Many trans men I spoke with said they had no idea how rough women at work had it until they transitioned. As soon as they came out as men, they found their missteps minimized and their successes amplified. Often, they say, their words carried more weight: They seemed to gain authority and professional respect overnight.
They also saw confirmation of the sexist attitudes they had long suspected: They recalled hearing female colleagues belittled by male bosses, or female job applicants called names. Some trans men have noticed the professional benefits of maleness. James Gardner is a newscaster in Victoria, Canada, who had been reading the news as Sheila Gardner for almost three decades before he transitioned at As soon as he began hosting as a man, he stopped getting as many calls from men pointing out tiny errors.
When did you first know you wanted to be female?
Dana Delgardo is a family nurse practitioner and Air Force captain who transitioned three years ago. Trans women have long observed the flip side of this reality. Joan Roughgarden, a professor emerita of biology at Stanford and a transgender woman, says it became much more difficult to publish her work when she was writing under a female name. Those who had taken testosterone treatments said they noticed psychological changes that came with the medical transition.
Most trans men said that after they took hormone treatments they felt more sure of themselves and slightly more aggressive than they had been before the treatment. He says the shift has affected his daily routine, even for something as ordinary as a trip to the grocery store.
Before he transitioned, he says, he used to spend 45 minutes debating which pasta sauce to buy, which vegetables were the freshest. A small recent study on trans men taking T therapy showed changes in the brain structure of those undergoing medical transition—though whether those changes lead to the effects trans men described to me is not yet proven.
The changes in patients taking testosterone are strikingly consistent, says Dr. Safer has treated hundreds of people with testosterone for more than a decade, and says he observes his patients becoming more decisive and more aggressive under testosterone treatment, though he laments the lack of data to back up this observation.
Most trans men I spoke to also identified another commonality: Once they transitioned, walking became easier, but talking became harder. To be more specific: walking home after dark felt easier, casually talking to babies, strangers and friends felt harder. I miss being seen as not a threat. As a trans man of color, Milan says he feels that the world perceives him as a menace, and his interactions with police officers have gotten much more fraught.
Dana Delgardo also says that being a man of color comes with new problems. Many white trans men said they felt it was easier to walk through the world, freed from the myriad expectations placed on women.
Many also noticed a shift in their friendships after they transitioned, with some struggling to make friends with cisgender men, unsure of the social cues of male friendship. For Milan, male friendship has been mostly positive, but occasionally alarming. To continue reading: or In. Your browser is out of date. Here's what changed when trans men came out.