Trans Sexuality

November 2, 2010 at 5:28 am Leave a comment

A friend of mine recently told me that he didn’t like it when I called myself trans. In his eyes I was a man and I should see myself as one, period. No need to qualify myself as a transmale or transsexual. While I appreciated his acceptance of my chosen gender, it made me think about how I view myself. For all intents and purposes I am a guy like any other. I interact with the world, socially at least, as a man, and no one questions my masculinity. No one, that is, except for me.

Sometimes I forget that I’m trans, and on those days I am happy. But every now and again, something will happen to remind me of my difference. A co-worker’s passing comment on the “weird” person on the bus that you couldn’t tell if they were a man or a woman. Or, if I’m walking home, I’ll pass someone who is, like me, trans and I will smile uncomfortably (depending on how well I know them). My trans identity sits uncomfortably with me. It’s not that I’m ashamed exactly. Oh hell, of course I am. I feel inadequate. As a man, as a human being, as a person. Sometimes I don’t like to see myself for what I am.

The place of most discomfort is the dating scene. I have met a few cool men (and women) who have shown interest in me. But then, when my trans identity is exposed, well, at that point, matters get complicated. If they accept my body, I inevitably feel inadequate in my own abilities to satisfy them. If they DON’T accept my body, it’s just one more reminder that I will never have a normal, healthy, functioning romantic relationship with another person.

I try to tell myself that it’s all in my head, that if only I act with confidence, I will find someone who accepts me. But changing the way the head works, isn’t easy. I’m getting better, more comfortable with myself, and am learning to enjoy the company of others more and more. But successful romantic relationships still elude me. It’s not for lack of interest. Those who do express their attractions to me run the risk of alienating me for exactly that: I’m suspicious of anyone that is interested in my freakish, malformed body. Something obviously must be wrong with them, I tell myself — even as I chide myself for the absurdity of this observation. Then there are those who I fall in love with and who do not love me back. The agony of unrequited love wears thin after a while, and frankly I’ve had enough of that.

Learning to let go of the fear of rejection, that is what I work on these days. Learning to accept that some people will like me, others will reject me, and that’s OK. That happens whether you’re straight, gay, trans, intersex, disabled or a beautiful Adonis. Learning to be comfortable with my own body; that’s the hardest of all.

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Entry filed under: Gender, Masculinity, Mental Health, Sexuality, Transgender. Tags: , , , , , , .

Itchy wounds at night The Unusual Man

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