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Joshua Bastian Cole

By Joshua Bastian Cole
Joshua Bastian Cole is a yankee transplant to the South. After graduating from James Madison University's School of Theatre and Dance, Cole moved to southern Virginia and now currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but he will always have Brooklyn in his blood. Cole is pursuing a Masters Degree in History & Culture with a specialization in Queer Theory and Performance from the Union Institute and University. He is a femme-identified trannyfag performance artist and playwright who uses performance as a medium for activism and trans awareness. Cole has been published and seen and heard in newspapers, books, magazines, ezines, photo series, films, radio, and podcasts. You can find his website here.
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ou are a butch woman, you dyke.”
“How dare you co-opt our male only space?”
“You came up in my search for females, you fag.”

The first line is from when I attempted to join a trannyfags blog community.  There was tremendous response to my post about being shunned from a transfags group because I do not identify as a male, but as simply, FTM (female-to-male transgender.)  I was told by a group of individuals that I deserved to be excluded, and in this crude manner, told I am not a “real” transman, but instead, a woman pretending to be one.  They agreed with the transfags group that told me I was trying to enter a space in which I didn’t belong.

The last line came from a confused boy looking for girls online.  I list myself as female if it is absolutely necessary to be listed at all, not because I am female-identified, necessarily, but because I’m not male-identified.  I look like a male with my clothes on, but in one particular way, I’m still more like a female.  And I’m alright with that.

I have been on testosterone now for 6 years -- or, as it’s more commonly referred to as, “T.”  I “pass” as male full-time, without question or doubt.  And yet, because I don’t self-identify as a male, I, by my mere existence, threaten many transmen.  My refusal to identify as male scares many transmen I’ve met so much that they are pushed to going out of their way to take me down.  My identity, they feel, somehow undermines their safety.  You see, I look just like other physically transitioned (those who have undergone medical transition) transmen.  While my experience has been similar to their own, I am not like the “stealth” transmen who are not out as trans but living full-time as male and don’t disclose the trans identity.  If it can be true that I, differently self-identified, can transition the same way, then maybe male-identified, closeted transmen can be like me, but who I am is not a person those in the closet for any reason can allow themselves to be.

It isn’t as if I fuck with gender on so much of a presentation level that they can separate from me.  I don’t wear dresses or makeup – or even glitter.  I wear men’s clothes and I wear them the way most men wear them.  I don’t bind my chest, my breasts are small enough to make that unnecessary.  Without much effort, I pass exceedingly well, 100 percent of the time.  The effect of the “T” is all that society needed for me to be read as male.

To  many, I am a big scary monster.  I look like them, but underneath lies the spawn of the devil - someone who reads as male because of hormones, but doesn’t identify as a male and therefore, in the mentality of this group of people and its highly pressure-driven definitions, cannot actually be a transman.  Simply put (and it is very clear to them,) transman equals male.  What seems to baffle and miff them is the idea that in a broader sense, transman can include masculinity that is not necessarily male.  Okay, now, hold on right here.  Am I crazy, or isn’t that what FTM transgender is?  An FTM can be a man who is not male.  Doesn’t that make sense?  Well,  those who believe that I am not a transman because I am not male-identified also believe I am not trans at all, but am actually a butch woman who has arrived to steal away the experience of transmen, invade their trans-only space, and co-opt their language.  To call myself trans irritates them because they feel I’ve taken a word that I don’t rightfully own.

Without fail, the accusation is of actually being a butch, which is something I have never been -- even when I did identify as a queer woman.  On the contrary, I identify as femme, but that would just blow their minds if I even mentioned it!  In some people’s minds, identifying as femme would just make me even more of a woman, or at least, less of a man.  Traditionally feminine characteristics, be they performed outwardly or in my case, lived in my emotional experience, particularly as a partner (boyfriend,) are highly looked down upon by much of the trans-masculine community.  I’ve known quite a few who have attempted to remove themselves from anything remotely related to women, even in the most distant way, just in case whatever remained might “give them away.”  I’ve heard comments that relate to things like “if I were a girl, but I’m not so what do I know?” or “I don’t wear dresses, I’m not a cross-dresser.”  These may be valid points, but they devalue the history of living as a woman and having at least some, if strained, understanding of that social experience.  Personally, I’m no use matching eyeliner to stockings, but the fact is I never was good at that.  That doesn’t mean that I was never a woman.  But this is my experience.  Some transmen believe they were always men.  I, unlike those who identify that way, was actually a woman for a little while.  I was awkward and uncomfortable, and preferred to be a man the whole while, but a woman I was.

One of the transmen with this mentality of male-identified-only transsexualism told the genderqueer/trans group I belong to that he would like to educate me because apparently he knows how it all works.  Having written, spoken, performed, filmed, photographed, and – oh yeah,   lived, as trans obviously does not qualify me as knowledgeable on the subject.  He harassed me and humiliated me to the transmen listserv he moderates.  That group, of course, all agreed with him.  In their world, transmen get top surgery (removal of breasts to create a visibly male chest) and the idea that someone would not bind their chest before surgery, or even not get top surgery at all, is not only unfathomable, but angering as well.  Men don’t have breasts!  Well, this man does (kind of!)... (continue reading)

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L said:

Joshua, thanks for sharing your experiences. It's refreshing to hear people voicing the diversity within a transmasculine-identified community. Gender policing comes from all directions, sometimes, and it takes strength and courage to withstand that.

Posted at: September 4, 2008 11:29 PM

goingsomewhere said:

I'm a queer ftm and I hear your pain. I too find the gender policing clone culture of many transman communities difficult. There's a real double bind, too, with transfag sexuality, which you express very well. It seems to be acceptable in transfag communities to only want to have sex with nontrans men -- although this contradicts the logic that trans and nontrans men are exactly the same. And it seems completely acceptable to fetishise nontrans mens' acceptance of transmen, as well as their genitals and embodied masculinity (I do it myself). Being seen as a man by nontrans gay men is seen as the ultimate validation of masculine identity for many transfags. But the truth is that a lot of transfags date other transmen. For myself, I date both. I have met nontrans men who 'get it', or who understand the complexities of my desires, far more than some transmen would, and vice versa. I guess I think that maybe identity as trans or nontrans doesn't come into it so much as having particular perspectives in common.

Anyhow, thanks for this article! It's great.

Posted at: September 5, 2008 3:19 AM

B said:

Cole, ss a man of trans experience, I have to say I am impressed and thankful for your insight and eloquent writing. While my experience of being trans is very different from yours, I think that the plethora of perspectives of living trans experiences is crucial to the understanding and appreciation of the amount of diversity that the trans and queer community, in general, has to offer. For those who have decided to voice your negative thoughts about Cole, or have victimized yourselves by saying that Cole has put this community in danger, I strongly encourage you to honestly ask yourself if this anger is really directed at the right person. Obviously, it is vital to our communities to question and critique writers, artist, and/or whoever we may feel is representing us. So, I DO value critique and I DO think that questioning essays like this is valuable and important. However, if you read closely, this essay is NOT about anyone else but Cole's experience, so why take it on as your own? I would also question the need for anyone who has been judged or in a marginalized community to judge ANYONE, or contribute to, or perpetuate hate and discrimination toward anyone who has made themself vulnerable in this manner.
I am only speaking for myself here and asking people to think before they write slanderous posts on various public forums. Why do we need to create more divides or feel the need to push people into boxes? Like I said before, I do not identify the same way as Cole, but I still see his experience, along with everyone else's experience, to be extremely valuable. It should be much safer for people, who are sharing their life stories, to be safe to do so.

Posted at: September 8, 2008 2:37 PM

Ezky said:

Many transmen may be macho, but many transmen also never let up on the 'gender-revolutionary' schtick long enough to hear what people are actually saying.

you are entitled to have your experience. But I disagree that this kind of public commentary doesn't affect other people.

From what I've read, you chose to enter a space organized around self identity-- the best, most trans-friendly practice there is for organized spaces--and you identified *yourself* as not fitting the criteria.

It's not gender policing for people to point that out. Self-identity policies are actually the opposite of policing--they allow *you* to say whether you fit the criteria. I don't know why you want to work against that.

I have to agree I think this sense of entitlement to be anywhere you feel like is not good for trans people of all stripes. You are basing your access around some kind of perceived shared experience based upon your past assigned gender, your medical steps, and your genitals--exactly what the trans community has been fighting against for years, *particularly* those who aren't stealth and rely less on perceived gender and more on self identity for their rights.

I take issue with the idea that stealth=closet, that some forms of masculinity are necessarily a product of "not relaxing" -- or that adopting something for survival is somehow cowardly. I imagine you too have adopted some kind of survival tactics that include your femme identity and openly trans status -- we all do what we need to do, and one is not more courageous than the other. Stealth people are often and frequently in danger.

Gender freedom means not policing others as well. It works both ways, and to promote the idea that genderqueers or feminine men and mascluine women=the only people challenging gender is really harmful. There are real-live condequences to this prejudice.

I think if you really listened to the people rejecting you from that space you wouldn't feel the need to publicly put forth misassumptions about other people's identities.

A space asked everyone to self identify as male. You didn't want to. Nobody policed your ID or your pants, they simply wanted their group to mean one specific thing with a range of variations, and I'm willing to bet there's a variety of masculinities in there who aren't just "macho". The alternative -- a hair-trigger offense that seems more invested in his own "revolutionary" image than on building community and finding solutions, doesn't seem much better to me.

Posted at: September 8, 2008 6:17 PM

Ezky said:

PS - case in point--

"Experiencing the world as a woman, even if it was only for a matter of years, gives us transmen wholly different perspectives – not to mention different kinds of bodies. While non-trans men and transmen share secondary male characteristics, there are things that each of us knows that the other will not (and perhaps cannot) know. It’s kind of like understanding the misery of menstrual cramps or knowing exactly how awful a kick in the balls feels, for example"

This is exactly the argument people use to keep trans people out of their gendered spaces. It's most often used against MTF lesbians -- so I'm sure they'll thank you for working against what many people have worked toward -- spaces where self-identity rather than genitals and birth sex are the defining criteria.

Posted at: September 8, 2008 6:22 PM

Trevor Hoppe said:

As the editor of this anthology, I feel compelled to step in to say that I'm deeply dissapointed by the disguting personal attacks and accusations that some commenters have been making. I have removed comments I felt were inappropriate, and will continue to do so. Disagreeing with Cole's ideas and arguments is welcome. Slandering another person is quite another. I won't tolerate the latter.

Posted at: September 9, 2008 1:36 PM

mateo said:

Personal attacks beget personal attacks.
I'm disappointed by the content of this website.
You both can stay barking at the window from the inside. True revolution is born of actually leaving the house.

Posted at: September 9, 2008 2:48 PM

Anonymous said:

so being editor of this anthology makes it ok for you to censor others?

Posted at: September 9, 2008 2:59 PM

Anonymous said:

I agree. This was posted PUBLICLY on a PUBLIC site. If the creator or author didn't want comments from the PUBLIC, they should have thought twice about posting it in such a PUBLIC arena.

Posted at: September 9, 2008 3:03 PM

connor said:

mr. editor: so it's ok for the author to say such culturally insensitive and inappropriate statements as:

"I thought that this was utterly ridiculous; I wasn’t sporting gauged body jewelry or a 3-foot pink mohawk"

but it's not ok for the very people he's talking about to leave him constructive criticism?

something is wrong with the world.

Posted at: September 9, 2008 3:10 PM

jesse said:

Ezky covered everything I would've said, only much more politely and eloquently.

There is something inherently troubling about the idea that you would undergo radical sexual and social changes via changing one's gender and then NOT suffer reprocussions. I am not saying people should be hurt. Heaven forbid! But I am saying it's presumptuous to assume that being even a little different won't get people to scratch their heads or react negatively at times.

Author: you, like many others, chose to transition. For yourself, as you said. So I don't think it's much to ask that you take responsibility for the fact that, no matter what you do, some people just won't get it and will be rude. If you don't want to be treated like a child, don't act like one. Don't diss on "stealth" guys on being in the closet when you have the luxury of being out. For some people it is simply not an option, survival wise. For others that is simply the truth of their existence - which happens to be different from your truth.

It's not really mature, nor responsible, to deflect the judgment others have shown you by turning it around and doing the same back to them.

The way each person navigates their gender, their body, is different. Whatever works for you, great. And it is good to read accounts that are outside of the "mainstream" discourse about transguys. But still. What works for you, doesn't work for everyone else, and it doesn't make you any more right than the guys who were rude to you.

Personally? I could do with a lot less transguys bickering amongst themselves about conflicting notions of identity and behaving like adults.

Posted at: September 13, 2008 7:27 AM

Injectaman said:

Chickens in poor living conditions will peck each other to death. I look foward to a day we've made a place for ourselves in a world where we will not be our own worst enemy.

Thank you for telling your story... yet another facet of our very diverse transgender community.

Posted at: October 14, 2008 3:06 PM

Anonymous said:

Thank you for this informative article, Joshua. I myself have a hard time defining myself as masculine OR feminine, so the closest thing I could come to is "genderqueer." I enjoy dressing and in male clothes, and I bind, and I have short hair. On the other hand, I wear makeup sometimes and paint my nails and have somewhat "faggy" mannerisms. This is just the way I am, and I'm happy with it. I don't feel the need to be totally butch or totally femme like so many other transguys do. Not all men are totally masculine, so why should all transguys be? I think it's completely hypocritical (for lack of a better term) for ANYONE, but especially transgendered people, to be criticizing anyone else on their choices or appearances or transition-status.

I don't plan on having bottom surgery, and I probably never will. I wouldn't mind having male parts, but it's not something I NEED to have to feel comfortable. Nor do I want top surgery, at least in the foreseeable future. I am fine with binding. Just because I don't ever plan on surgically transitioning doesn't mean I'm any less of a transguy.

Posted at: October 18, 2008 10:37 PM

anonymousguy said:

You weren't the only guy who was asked to leave
a transfags yahoo group.
I was many years ago.
The reasons were probably different someone found
my thoughts and words threatening.
I guess it comes down to I didn't fit in.
I didn't use the right words that others could understand or approve of.
Personally we get to define ourselves and who we
are, we already experience what it was like to be
defined as the gender we didn't feel we were that
led us to transistion in first place.
Transitioning is very personal process and ultimately it something you face alone and you do it for yourself regardless in how others define you.
I am FTM, I never was masculine until I grew the
beard, I identify as male, but I am not 100% masculine.
I was never really comfortable in Lesbian community or particular welcomed, as Man I am somewhere in middle really having no place to belong.
I find that it is easier to be just me, not get
caught up with the labels, if other want to label
me great but they don't dictate or have much influence in my life because I am just over the numerous years have become anonymous guy and few need to know my gender status.
Of course we want to be liked and belong, but at what price are we willing to comply to fit in?

Posted at: October 23, 2008 1:10 AM

Jixx said:

You do have a knack for revisionism eh?
Since the whole trannyfag group stuff didn't quite happen like you wrote in this article:

Posted at: November 11, 2008 4:54 PM

Mac said:

Very well written and articulate article, and it is interesting to know your experience and how you have or haven't fit in to different groups. If the True Spirit conference is still going on, you might find people of like mind there.

Posted at: November 12, 2008 11:55 PM

Andre Perez said:

I think you highlighted several complexities in your piece that we both share. I am a genderqueer turned FTM. I think of FTM as being descriptive of where I came from and the direction that I'm heading in rather than of some kind of destination. One of the joys of being trans for me has been finding alternative ways to enact my masculinity, adopting a lot from queeny gay men and men who are caretakers. While I am very thankful that pressure to physically transition has not been a huge thing in my community, I do worry about how we can have a sense of community when so many trans people want to distance themselves from their trans experience. While I try not to judge it, I do feel somewhat saddened by that position because for me transitioning is exciting. My own and others is exciting. The fact that we are taking something so basic into our own hands, that we are recreating our bodies in the face of a society that pathologies and oppresses us for our desies, is nothing short of amazing.

Thank you

PS: I have started an oral history project to try and gather stories of trans people about our lives and our struggle ( . If you were interested in doing more media stuff, then I'd love to have your perspective represented.

Posted at: September 10, 2009 8:56 PM

MHR said:

"What all of these people, groups and individuals, failed to consider was that my identity, my masculinity, my presentation, my transition, was all just that: MINE."

It'd be nice if you could extend that same respect you seek to other trans men. I don't mean to suggest that their attacks on you are justified, of course - but neither are your repeated assertions that no trans men are really men. You are just as guilty of devaluing and delegitimizing the identities of others - and, in your case, of brazenly charging into their space and trashing their identities.

Posted at: October 6, 2009 5:42 PM

Asher said:

Interesting article. You are certainly entitled to your identity and your opinions.

Following the livejournal links posted by Jixx, however, left me somewhat less impressed.

And parts of this article ARE offensive and devaluing to male identified transsexual men. I particularly took exception to comparing the "always been men" school of thought to creationism, and the "becoming men" school of thought to Darwinism.

People have doubtless been offensive to you. Some of the comments you quote are absolutely horrifyingly transphobic, ignorant, offensive and douche baggy. However, rejecting you from a male identified space is understandable, seeing as you are not male identified. And saying you are interested in FTMs but implying you are not interested in anyone that may be covered by the check box "men?" Well, that's just self defeating. Not to mention offensive.

People have invalidated your identity, which sucks. It's a load of bull. I get it. But in this article, you show that you aren't afraid to invalidate others right back in order to feel superior.

Posted at: October 29, 2009 7:20 PM

Kian said:

I think many of your problems stem from your insistence that "an FTM can be a man who is not male." The definition of FTM is a female-to-male transsexual. Also, being male does not mean being masculine, as you seem to imply by referring to the transmale community as the "trans-masculine" community. Trans-masculine does not mean transmale. You can be trans-mascline and be female. But you cannot be a transman and female - the terms contradict each other. If you insist on identifying yourself as female, then claiming yourself as an FTM makes you seem a bit dense.

Also, why choose to identify as an FTM when you don't identify as a male? Can't you choose another word to describe yourself?

I will agree with you on all your points about policing in the transmale communities, particularly when it comes to gender expression. I'm an extremely effeminate gay transman and most other transmen find me to be an abomination of their identity. I stopped trying to be a part of the trans community for many of the reasons you cite.

I am a part of the gay male community and find it revealing about your politics that you don't date cismen. Have you ever dated a cisman and exactly how do cismen and transmen differ, besides a few body parts here or there? In my experience, the differences are usually superficial and trivial. A man is a man is a man.

And the fetishization of FTMs makes me sqeamish. I would never date a transman that only dated other transman because it would make me feel as if I wasn't being taken seriously.

And as a gay man, anyone who refers to a gay man as a fag and who isn't a fag is overstepping their bounds. Just sayin'.

Posted at: December 20, 2009 10:14 PM

dtrain said:

"A man is a man is a man" said the last poster. What a load of crock! That smacks of true ignorance -- of what gender means, of what being male means.

I am an outsider here -- not trans by any definition (of course, according to some posters, I am not an outsider, because a transman is not in any way different from me). I came to read this article after googling "transman fag." I wanted to find out how prevalent the use of the word fag was among transmen because I saw it the first time a few days ago and was surprised by my own strong reaction to it. It was used by one transman to refer to another, repeatedly. If you had asked me before that if I had any qualms with the transgendered world I think I would have said no -- I would never disrespect someone by deliberately using the wrong pronouns, say. But seeing that discourse really pulled out something dark in me. Suddenly, as a gay guy who actually grew up being called a faggot and knows what that feels like, these two transmen started to look like white people in blackface calling each other 'nigs' for kicks. The moment passed, so please undertand that I'm sharing it in a spirit of honesty, not malice.

I went through a few other pages before I came across this article. They were interesting, and I learned a lot of new words, some quite useful. For a community so sensitive to the significance of words, though, terms like 'trannyfag' do surprise me. It’s worth pointing out that most gay guys -- trans or not -- who use the word fag are the ones who never had to deal with it much.

Anyway, there are worse things in the world. Like the hypocrisy Joshua described. So many conflicts seem to stem from the single delusional idea that identity is something one /has/. Identity is ephemeral and, when unenforced by rigid thinking, always out of focus. And it belongs to both the identified and the identifier, an idea which I thought would be widely understood in the trans world but seems to be extremely contentious. All people, trans or not, experience an imperfect alignment of how they see themselves and how others perceive them. And even in less sensitive zones than gender, this pretty much invariably feels bad when you know it's happening, so I can only imagine the frustrations ... nonetheless, that dissonance is usually not the product of bigotry. So much of gender is a social construction. I hadn't expected to discover so many transgendered people fundamentally deny this! The very existence of transgendered experience has transformed gender categorization. It puts the lie to it. Perhaps with some irony. Because it makes some fairy tale ideal of gender-perfection forever out of reach. In a binary world, all the confusing details of the various ways a person can be male or female would be swept under the carpet. You either made it or you failed. But visibility and understanding has helped to make us all more aware of the plausible variety, some probably as yet untried. As such, 'male born male' and 'female born female' become inevitable categories themselves. Relatively dull ones even. If what drives a transman to insist his experience is the same as mine is an insecurity that this would mean he was less male than me he ought to be able to find it in himself, instead, to realize he is valid as he is -- and was, and will be -- without denying that those things, too, are part of who he is. There is no lack of authenticity until someone is lying. To say something ridiculous and trite and sexist that I will regret, 'a man wouldn't pretend it was all exactly the same' (that's 'man' in the idealized, virtuous, silly sense: i.e., 'a man doesn't hit a woman,' 'a man finishes what he starts' etc).

I should probably end on that positive note, but this is the internet, so I won't. Two other things confused me:

Why object to an attraction to trans-(X)? It's one thing if it manifests as exploitation, but surely everyone here knows that sexual attraction isn't any more binary than gender identity. It seems patently obvious that one transman's attraction to another transman is not likely to be exploitative. You know, I'm a skinny guy who goes for bearish men. They are different from me. But so far, none of them that I've known have gotten sick to their stomachs at the thought that their bodies -- which are looked down on in mainstream culture, and which they sometimes do not themselves like -- are sexually attractive to me.

And finally -- this is the really important one, as far as I'm concerned -- why on earth do people who should be much better informed cling to outmoded ideas about brains, biology, sex and gender that have their roots in early 20th century misogynistic scientific beliefs? Feminists fought long and hard against reactionary, comforting lies that men and women are mentally different in appreciable ways by biological fortune. You don't need to believe you were 'made gay' or 'born in the wrong body' just to feel justified in being gay or being transgendered. You have a right to be, and that right shouldn't depend on getting a free pass from god. You want what you want and you don't have to explain yourself to anybody. Early childhood psychology is incredibly complex and divergences don't automatically equate to mistakes.

Inevitably someone is very offended by something I said, and to that person, I'm pre-emptively sorry. I know I must have gotten a few things wrong. Feel free to re-educate me.

Posted at: January 26, 2010 10:11 PM

Bo said:

" On the upside, we are much  more likely to be multi-orgasmic than a non-trans man!"
I have to disagree with you and if you made some research on that topic you would learn
that males are as much able at multiple orgasm as females.

"Many of us also have smaller hands than non-trans men which allows for easier fingering and fisting."
Well I have experienced transladies and other type of males which could handle pretty large organ or object
intrusions if you ask me.
Too late now but I'm of the opinion that bed time stories are better left as private intimate matters and these are the least interesting
passage in your article, which could even make any new to such topic person misjudge peoples of your condition as
some kind of sexual deviant. Not that I'm for standard sexual practice, to the contrary, but was all this really crucial to

Also why do you use 'non-transmen', is there something wrong in saying using the word 'men'
when you compare with transmen?
I know it's not your case but I've met a girlfag (which in my observance won't yet admit it, though at least defines as genderqueer) and he blatantly rejects friendship from heterosexual males, goes to the gym in mainly gay populated hours and frequent -only- gay clubs (fine to me) but also voice hateful remarks against any heterosexual and butch ladies, that I became aware and somehow worried of the possibility of heterophobic individuals within a proportion of the trans poplulation and the minority existence of transmen quite worried not to socialise with any sort of lesbian person, including transwoman lesbians.
The heteronormative worldview can only 'win' if minority groups keep only busy in bunkering from other minority groups
and that's probably what the patriarchal hegemony would prefer anyway.
So again why using 'non-transmen' instead of just 'men' when comparing in the same sentence?
I understand the intention but this sounds nearly ridiculous to me and yes nearly heterophobic!
And if you had one or two bad experience in internet forums or in the flesh with non-trans men or butch type ladies, should you generalise or stay open and give a new candidate at least a chance?
You're obviously not pan-sexual ;)
Passing as male is easier for anyone born with female genitalia by the way. Just look around. Cisgender females can wear baggy trouser, sneakers and baseball caps, smoke like a chimney and I even seen some chew and spit without anyone questioning their feminity. Imagine being born with male genitalia but wear ladies garments and manners and see if you'd pass full-time without question have you questioned?
I wonder where the general uproar you often mention in regards to your condition brought such mayhem in the brick and mortar world or just silly internet interaction, cause the later is often the place to go to get such uncivilised type of reactions
or do you shout around anywhere you go that you are a FtM happy to stay in eternal transitional state that feels like a moebius and not a real transition. I feel I'm able to understand your stands but that you are unaware that it can be quite confusing to some and why should the trans community be more welcoming to your case if you seam to have enjoy wiring with such group or another if your condition could just provocate them which could be understandable viewed from their side of things, if only you would have considered they made effort for acceptance as much as you seam to do!
I'm pretty confused when you apparently have socialised with any of the groups you mentioned but without 'really considering" (in your own words). What's the point in joining a community if it's just to challenge a group as an outsider, that's not supportive nor socialising imo. Your 'own personal mental health'. Mental illness remain to be proven. It was recently admitted by scientist that 'there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit.' Where you insane mentally before being in such state you wish to remain in (which paradoxically is named transitioning, which I understand for what it is, please call a cat a cat) ?
And prove us that self-image is not build out of external perception from day on is a joke. All perception comes from external interaction, your finger in the mud baby. It's not secondary. You remind me of that person that wished to fuck hirself and admitted sie would as well have being gone for transition if born with the sex organ sie was born with.
In France we call such individuals to have just an 'esprit de contradiction'.
Maybe that is your main issue but consider that some would be happy just being 'normal' (if that ever exist, I know it doesn't but you catch my drift), it makes for the later very uneasy to support you but why do you seams to wish anyone in the world or any sub-groups to be supportive to your big ME? The world ain't like that. You support yourself pretty well though but I also disagree with you that 'any' marginalised group seek comfort, safety or/and support. LaVey Satanist for example do not seek all that but aren't less on the margin. You are lucky though to have had the chance to interact with these transsexuals and gender-queers in the flesh (though I feel it was more often online than not) but I question why such group would be more open to you that the 'norm'?

Maybe the norm would have been more supportive (have you tried or are you 100% heterophobic or cisgenderphobic?) if that is what you seek but it's contradictory if as you said you do it for YOU (then why anyone, supposed supportive groups included, should feel concerned?), indeed why do you need to look for a group then? Is that not a tad of a herd mentality in you then or maybe attraction rejection dichotomy for alike not alike?
Why do you seek support if you know perfectly what is fine for you and you admit to pass and it works fine at nearly all times?
Maybe you just need to posturize a lot about your situation on the internet then write blog about you've been treated in some forums.
So you are a trend-setter then transitioning but not transitioning anywhere, though I know a person exactly in the same fashion.
As someone commented you cannot tell you are transitioning if you all you want is to stay in at all time in transition.
Just admit you like male hormones and define your practice as hormoniszing. That would sound more honest to some groups you approached to later complain imo.

As for sexual preferences why peoples these days have to makes these blatant. Isn't our society already sexualised enough. Should we need a FtM or MtF parade with chariots and loud music and explicit postures once a years in streets like gay-prides for peoples to know and tolerate gayness? . I think it might produce the reverse intention in the very long term. As a trans person myself I hope not. And I never understood the T space in LGBT. As trans identity is not a sexual orientation and perpetuate the public confusion on the T and sexuality issue.

Note that these are just remarks as your article made me question certain things, I do not attempt to judge you but admit to have write supposition (some reactive, some a tad ironic I admit) as they came to mind.
I wonder if you would accept the term I just made-up and could be open to define 'hormonizing girlfag'.

Please consider.

Posted at: June 20, 2011 1:49 AM

Bo said:

Correction/clarification, in a passage I just wished to write instead: "that person who admitted wishing to have sex with zemself and also told ze would as well have gone for transition if born with any possible sex organ anyway"

Posted at: June 20, 2011 11:05 AM

Mark said:

I think it's interesting, and somewhat baffling, to hear about transmen who are threatened by your identity/ how you live your life. What's the big deal, really? I am a man, I exist in the world completely as a man, yet I wasn't considered male when I was born. I made changes to my body so I can live in a way that feels most right to me. I assume you, and most everyone else, have as well. I'm not threatened by your existence, nor do I think that because we both (I gather) inject ourselves with testosterone that you must be just like me. As I see it, each person lives their life in their own way, being as true to themselves as they can/want to be. I wouldn't want anyone else to impose their ideas on me, so why shouldn't I value others just as they are?

I do identify as a man and as male. You do not. So what? Maybe my identity will change in the future; it's changed before. Maybe yours will change. Maybe not. Right now I'm happy as me, the way I am. Hopefully you're happy as you. Isn't that the goal? Want to grab a beer?

Posted at: July 1, 2011 12:43 AM

Eliot said:

Um, pardon?

It's clear to me here that there is some miscommunication. How do you self identify or - more importantly - what do those words mean to you? I see the acronym "FTM" and to me its meaning is as defined in various dictionaries and by general consensus of most, not all, of the queer community: "person who was born in a female body but is, in fact male". Clearly, you mean something different, and the linguist in me asks that you instead use another term. Words are not only defined by the person who uses them. If I define myself as an android but use it to mean "One who is familiar with computers," the only person to whom it has that meaning is me. I cannot then go out and tell everyone else they are simply using the word android incorrectly. From what I understand, your issue is then more the lack of English words to describe yourself, which I empathise with deeply. Let us then work on making a word to fit, rather than taking one with a different meaning and appropriating it. After all, the word/acronym of FTM is new, so why not? How about Was-She Trans-masculine, or WSTM for short?

Posted at: September 4, 2012 10:15 PM