Category: Transitioning

to tell or not to tell? | there is a time and a place

As of right now, we’ve not told any of my family members. Two of my friends know and, for now, that suits us well.

I would like for my immediate family, my parents and brother, to know at some point. The number one reason being that it’s possible that they could find out from another source. A gathering of Matt’s family and mine for instance. I want them to find out from us. I want it to happen in a positive environment where they can have the opportunity to ask questions and process however they feel necessary. I don’t think that they’ll react negatively, they’re open and understanding, but it’s a topic that I don’t think they’ve ever had to confront head-on.

I don’t think it’s relevant for my extended family, or even most of my friends to know. I frame it similarly to ethnicity. There are a lot of people who are very proud of their ethnicity. They love to educate others and spread the beauty of their culture. That’s great, but there are plenty of people who identify as an ethnicity, but feel no need to advocate for it. Matt isn’t a trans-advocate (I wouldn’t mind if he was, he just isn’t). He isn’t particularly involved in the trans or LGBT community. There’s no reason to tell people his life story unless he wants to.

Until then, I guess we’ll just keep being stealth 😉

— Steph

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to tell or not to tell? | i’d rather not

Steph and I are gearing up for a holiday that we’re splitting between our respective families, which includes swimming and being semi-naked frequently. Understandably, the topic has come up… do we tell her family that I’m a trans guy or don’t we? So that got me thinking…

Do you wanna know something that I don’t know?

I don’t know how big everyone’s dick is. My boss, my brother, my best friends, strangers on the street, not even my old roommates’ dicks… I don’t know and I don’t care.

This is my rationale when people ask me why I decide to be stealth and why I don’t think it’s all that important to tell people that I have a trans status/past/history/experience/etc.

Let me explain…

I have yet to encounter someone who has been circumcised or not circumcised who feels the unavoidable need to disclose that information to all of their friends, relatives, and in laws let alone complete stranger. It’s not a judge of their character, it was almost certainly not their choice, and it had absolutely no effect on their ability to receive or provide pleasure to someone (given that there were no lasting medical complications, which happens at a rate of 1.5% for newborns and 6% for older children, source).

Side note: circumcision is a little different with respect for the individual’s bodily autonomy, etc, etc; which is a great discussion but not one for this post.

So, anyway, other than the instances where I’ve gotten impressively drunk with my friends and we all decided to drop trow, I can’t see how the topic would ever come up among decent, socially aware human beings.

To be clear, I’m not ashamed of my trans status/past/history/experience/etc, I just don’t embrace it or think that it accurately expresses how I feel and what I’ve gone through.

Ok, so you get the big idea here, right? People don’t need to have intel about my genitals to know who I am as a person, and really my genitals are the only thing that’s visually affected by my trans status/past/history/experience/etc. There is actually another reason too…

People generally treat me differently when they know.

Some people have a very static idea of what being trans means and what trans people are like or how they look. People in the past have noticeably shifted their attitude towards me when they found out including…

  • Treating me more delicately
  • Being more guarded about certain topics (like sex or profanity)
  • Questioning my sexuality
  • Distancing themselves from me physically and emotionally
  • Using incorrectly gendered pronouns
  • Simply being mean and rude

So, at the end of the day, I don’t feel like anyone needs to know. I definitely don’t owe it to anyone to disclose my trans status/past/history/experience/etc and actually feel that it’s not worth my time/attention/sanity/safety/anxiety/stress/etc to fully explain who I am and why I don’t give a shit what they think. However, if someone does find out or if I tell someone, I’d rather educate them properly then have another ignorant jackass running around misgendering people and asking rude questions.

–Matt

meditation for the transitioning body | pilot episode

I’m getting a little tired of posting intro posts. Don’t get me wrong, I love Steph and I love our story and I think we have a lot to share with the world, individually and collectively, but the lovey dovey stuff isn’t useful beyond those feel-goody-feels.

And as helpful those feel-goody-feels are on a bad or dark day, they aren’t going to help you pass any better or have better sex with your partner or feel more safe in your life.

The company that I work for has a consistent mission to improve the quality of life for the employees as well as the whole world. Which is basically what I want to do here. It helps me improve my life and hopefully it’ll help you improve yours.

So, now that I talked the talk it’s time to walk the walk…

Introducing an inconsistent series on how meditation and buddhist philosophy can improve your mood, dull your dysphoria, and make you an all around better person.

Over the years I’ve discovered that a lot of people get pretty up-in-arms when I start talking about my experience with Buddhism. I’ve lived with Buddhist monks for a short time, I’ve spent years being celibate and relying on meditation to regulate my mood, and have delved deeply into Buddhist text and the psychology that they inspired.

There are some really important things to remember when you begin to look at Buddhism.

First, it doesn’t have to be a religion. Unlike Islam, Christianity, or Hinduism, most Buddhist sects don’t have a deity. There is no one to pray to or meditate to or however you want to frame that personal time within your own head. If you want to make a religion for yourself you are free to do so, but I don’t. For this, that, and the other reason, I’m just not into religion.

Secondly, spirituality is personal. You don’t have to be an evangelist if you don’t want to. You can meditate all you want and never tell anyone about it, or you can meditate once a week and tell everyone. Honestly, people might or might not care and either way it shouldn’t impact how you feel about meditation and your desire to understand yourself better.

Thirdly, that’s exactly what learning Buddhist philosophy and meditation is all about: understanding yourself better. Many trans people have been to therapy, it’s the nature of the beast, meditation is therapy without a second person. You learn how to ask yourself the big questions and how you can cope with the answers you give yourself. Sounds pretty meta, right?

My infomercial is almost over. I haven’t really explained exactly what you might get out of this underrated level of self exploration.

Side effects may include:

  • The ability to realize that dysphoria is an inward projection of perceived outward stimuli; and just like middle schoolers obsessed about how much acne they have, the only person that really notices and cares is you.

  • An understanding and “re-wiring” of your mind to body that allows you to perceive you naughty-bits in whichever way you want, freeing your mind and body to experience mind-blowing sex.

  • A general sense of calmness and perspective. Stress is less stressful when you allow yourself to think about it. Arguments with friends, family, coworkers, or significant others will be easier to resolve when you allow yourself to understand the opposing viewpoints and how every viewpoint is valid.

  • The ability to recognize how you feel and objectively act on it or let it pass by. This means waiting in traffic and enjoying the drive or shopping during the holiday season and enjoying the smile on a child’s face instead of getting angry; or even being able to walk into the grocery store when you are hungry and NOT buying the container of double-stuffed oreos and five bags of Lay’s barbecue chips; or more aptly, not becoming distressed or angry when someone uses the wrong name or pronoun.

  • Being happy with yourself exactly where you are because you know that you are doing everything you can to be happy and to be where you want to be.

If you’re interested in these benefits, then stay tuned. In the meantime, check out a few meditation resources:

Love,

Matt