Transman In the Mirror

Guys, I have decided to start the blog here at TransGentry again.

I know, it’s not like it ever really got under way before.

Lately, though, I am feeling driven to write about some of what I experience living life as a gender variant person that I feel must be common experience for most of us – and sometimes not so common. I have also learned a lot about life in the last couple of years. What I have learned has changed me, mostly for the better, but it has also exposed some weak areas that I do not like. Knowing gives me the opportunity to do better. In the meantime I often feel like a lesser person. But that will all change. That must all change.

I have lists of things I wish to accomplish. I will be sharing those with you and inviting you to share as well. I hope we can all experience new and enervating successes together by helping each other achieve whatever it is we want – starting with figuring out what the hell it might be that we want.

When you finally sit still and think about it, knowing what your really want is the hardest thing.

On many levels I can’t fathom that anybody would want to read my ramblings. But I have been encouraged by some people whom I respect to get up and do this. And lately I do feel driven to write. So here goes.

Every day I am confronted with the uneasy question of how others see me. I currently work in a public area, I present myself to the public every day, and I never know what exactly they see when I step up to them, smile and say, “How are you today? How can I help you?”

I don’t know if it is real or just my own perception that people greet me normally at first, but then they begin to get “that look” on their face. It’s a look so many of us know all too well. It’s that look that says, “Something is not quite right about this guy – I don’t know what it is — and I’m not sure I want to know — I just want to get away from him now.”

And then they scurry away with that thin tight smile on their faces, and they won’t look me in the eye.

Maybe I have bad breath. Or maybe my tranny is showing.

I am feeling the need to get past my fears of confronting myself – my weaknesses, shortcomings, and most difficult, tearing away my carefully constructed inner self-image and building a new self-image based on my external reality. I am determined to get on top of the things I want to change in myself. I am bracing myself to see for real exactly what I have to work with here, and what I am working against.

I think a lot of photography will be necessary. I’m not looking forward to this. I am looking forward to the result.

Clothing is a very big deal for me, which is why TransGentry began as a preworn clothing store for transmen.

My friend the tailor says, “All clothing is costuming,” and she’s right. Most people don’t realize how important what they wear is – and what their choices of attire really say about them.

For transpeople, however, clothing – costuming – can literally be a life-and-death matter. At the very least what we wear, or how well we can manage to pass, or especially if we decide we do not care to adopt a gender identity at all, can determine where we eat, where we work, where we live, or any number of other essential living conditions.

And it can literally get us killed.

For me, realizing that I really was a man all these years and finally putting the puzzle of my life together to see a picture of my whole self for the first time since I was three and Knew – realizing who I was again as an adult allowed me to start making decisions about who I wanted to be.

I could finally begin to grow up. I could decide what kind of man I wanted to be.

It wasn’t a hard decision and it didn’t take long to make it, but it’s sure taking a long time and a lot of work to wholly manifest it.

I want to be a suit-and-tie guy.

I want to be the man in charge, the man with the answers and solutions, the man who makes things happen, gets things done. The man who commands respect as soon as he enters a room.

Unfortunately my lifelong enforced female socialization, along with my slight physical stature, are not helping me to embody this dynamic and powerful self-image beyond the movies inside my head.

Now, I understand that the suit and tie are designed to make any man look professional. Like other uniforms, the suit is designed to make anybody look good. It is absolutely costuming. However, the whole image becomes caricature if the suit flat out does not fit properly.

If I put on a suit that has been tailored in such a way that it emphasizes the unfortunate feminine qualities of my physique then I am not presenting the image I need to present. Or, as I am afraid I have inadvertently done for a very long time, if my clothing is too big or otherwise does not fit, then I look like a 14 year old boy wearing his daddy’s outfit. Definitely not a powerful masculine image.

I know I have to get this handled if I want to manifest the success I can now aspire to attain, now that I know who I am and can set real life goals for myself. I can be the man I want to be. But I have to look the part.

People decide what they think of you in the first few seconds they see you. It’s just a bald fact. The only way I am going to burn the immediate image in their minds of who I want them to see when they meet me is for me to take a cold hard look at what I’ve got to work with in reality, and find out what I can do with myself.

I completely believe I can make myself into whoever I want to be.

This blog will be a journal of my rite of passage, as well as the day-to-day living that happens along the way. A lot of it will pertain directly to living in the world as a transman. A lot of it will be about simply being a person in the world today. I will be curious to see which condition is most significant.

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2 comments

  1. Xavior KayNo Gravatar says:

    Dear Broderick,

    Firstly I would like to say, ‘you are not alone in this world’. I truly understand how you feel and what you are going through as we share quite similar experiences.

    Since at a very young age, I always wondered why was I so different from the rest. Although it wasn’t at all too apparent, it got worse as I got older. Reaching puberty was the worst. My mental health was all in a mess as I couldn’t see how I was going to fit into the female world, wearing feminine clothing, gossiping about the latest girly trends. It wasn’t me. When I looked at men, I envied them. Not because they were and still perceived as the supreme class, but just the fact that I wanted to be a part of their circle. To talk about the things they are interested. To wear the same clothing. To share their manly experiences. I felt as if I was one of them, yet my physical self showed otherwise.

    It gets worse as I come from a very conservative family who rejects all that is different from the norm. My mother was really worried that I rejected girls clothing. I despised bras, skirts, dresses, figure hugging clothing and hated long hair. Life was a torment back then as I was forced to don a pinafore in school and had shoulder length hair. I only wore pants, shorts, jeans and baggy t-shirts outside school. She kept arguing with my dad that he was a bad influence, allowing me to buy boys clothing. She even tried to convince me that it was just a phase I was going through and up till today still forces me to dress up, which I don’t. It gets worse when she bullies me by calling me gay and abusing me mentally. It gets really upsetting and frustrating.

    It doesn’t help that I don’t get much support from my father or anyone on transitioning. I had a boyfriend which I was with for 5 years. He loved me because I was masculine. We broke up about a month ago, which I initiated because I realised that although he was really girly, he did mention that he couldn’t accept me as a partner if I transitioned. The weird thing is that he recognises me as a transman but still goes out with me and secretly hopes that I will change.

    I managed to pass as a man at times because of my flat chest and deep voice. I got stopped by the cleaners from entering the ladies once because she thought I was a man. However it’s disappointing that people will eventually find out and quickly change their perception of me. They keep staring at me in a queer way. Either that, or I’m just paranoid.

    It gets worse living in a country which denies LGBTQ people. I have no support whatsoever. No one to talk to, and no one to seek help from. People here generally shy away from the topic all together or criticise it so much that it makes one feel like a freak. So I guess life has to go on as long as it will do, and hopefully one day I will be able to reassign myself as what I should be for the longest time.

    I know it is difficult for you as it will be difficult for all transmen around the world. But we will have to be strong and not let anything defeat us, mentally or physically.

    I have to thank you for putting up this website and sharing your experiences. You, writing about yourself makes me feel that I’m not the only one in the world in this situation. Lastly, I hope you won’t be offended by me sharing my life story with you.

    Thanks again.

    Xav

  2. BroderickNo Gravatar says:

    Xav, thank you sincerely for your post. I know your story will help others who read it, and I am pleased you chose to share your story here. TransGentry is meant to become more about you, and about other readers, than about me. I will do my best to continue to write about concepts that you and others will want to expand on. As you say, we are not alone. Let’s all do our best to make sure none of us ever has to feel that way again

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