Tagged: ftm

meta musings | living through a transition that either never started or will never end

I’ve always had a hard time coming to terms with the idea of transition, of having a moment or series of moments that define a transition. On one hand, it’s kind of a perpetual thing with a few very distinct mile markers; but then on the other hand, every life is a life in transition and it really is only those distinct mile markers that make it possible to differentiate between mine and yours and someone else’s.

I get to thinking about this kind of stuff whenever I have something going on with my trans-ness; whether that be dealing with hormones or meeting a new potential partner or figuring out a new way that I like to have sex. Sometimes they happen sporadically and it’s doesn’t really phase me that my trans-ness is more apparent then (when I’m coming out or picking out a new dick or whatever), but other times they happen all together and it just kind of hits me like a freight train.

For a while now my hormone levels have felt pretty wonky, but I’m all headstrong and whatever so I’ve chosen not to go to the doctor. I’ll be rectifying this mistake this week, but this has been a big weight on my shoulders for months and months.

Meanwhile I met Steph and we’ve been having this amazing sexual relationship. We have some awesome sex and part of it has been exploring ways of having sex that I didn’t think I’d be ok with. Being ok with having sex in whichever way I like is actually pretty anxiety inducing. Basically, we escalated from pegging (her strapping in and me receiving anal) to what I call “front pegging” (her strapping in and me receiving in the… front hole…). Now, being a guy (and a manly-man-guy at that), it’s quite scary to suddenly realize that apparently I like dick-like-things in my front hole. What does that mean? Should I be concerned that I made a mistake somewhere? Am I different now? The short answer is: nothing, probably not, and no. The long answer is: bodies feel pleasure so I guess mine is working pretty well, definitely not but kudos to me for finding a new way to get off, and no other than coming harder than I’ve ever before.

Alright, so wonky hormones and fun new sex aside, I’ve also decided that I want a way for me to wear my packer when I go swimming. This is such a common issue with trans dudes, and we know by now that when there’s a void, I like to provide a solution. So, I’m working out a version of a backing harness that I think will work well, but this seems to be putting my trans-ness on the forefront of my mind more often than any of the other things that I should be thinking about. Am I having some sort of internal trans revolution or liberation? Am I suddenly embracing my trans-ness?

What I struggle with is that while my thoughts seem to be very trans-focused the way that I just described them, they don’t seem that way to me. My hormone levels are messed up, and while this stems from being trans, I see it as a basic medical need. To me, it’s a chronic medical issue, but it’s not really any different than my boss’ bum knee or my coworker’s IBS in the way I go about dealing with it. All couples explore their sexual needs and desires together, sometimes that means that one person second guesses themselves and what they want or how they want, and how great that Steph and I are able to do so with such passion and understanding of each other. As for the packer harness, I can’t be the only guy in the world who doesn’t like swimming with my wang flapping around in my shorts, so I hardly think that even this SPECIFIC goal is all that different; I just happen to be doing something about it.

Life is a weird place. It’s always changing, evolving, backtracking, giving you hindsight and wisdom; a constant transitional phase.

Just when I think that I’m exceptionally different, I remember that I’m just as different as everyone else.

— Matt

How do we display pictures of his childhood when he’s wearing pink and his hair is in pigtails?

There are a few really simple answers:

1. Don’t. Not everyone displays kid-pictures, right?

This one just isn’t good enough for Steph. I love having pictures up. It’s one of those things that turns a house into a home.

2. Just do it. People might ask questions, but if we’ve let them into our home, then that’s “to be expected”.

This one just didn’t sit well with Matt. There are a lot of people in our life together that don’t know Matt is trans. While some of our readers don’t believe this is the best way for us to “live our life”, we feel it is. For instance: Neither of us are ready to out Matt to Steph’s parents. There may be a time and a place, but here and now is not it. Having pictures of Matt, with long pigtails and pink dresses, doesn’t bode well for keeping stealth.

So, like always, we went into brainstorm mode to find a solution.

3. Reddit. Check out one of the many subreddits: /r/picrequests.

Matt and Steph submitted a request for the photo manipulation masters of the web to give his pink clothes a blue-tint and shorten his hair. The results? Absolutely fantastic and 100% framable. We’ve actually shared the digital copies with Matt’s parents, who were thrilled.

Image

Remember, if the solutions presented to you aren’t adequate, keep thinking.

Our thoughts from the holiday weekend with our families: shirtless with scars, beer, and everything being just fine

This past weekend was a monumental one, both in our relationship and in Matt’s life as a whole. For Matt, it was his first time being shirtless around people who weren’t aware of his trans past, it was the first time we faced the possibility of needing to come out to Steph’s family (with Matt being shirtless and all), and it was the first time ever that Matt brought a girl to meet his extended family.

So here’s a look into how it went down for each of us:

1. How were you feeling about the holiday weekend before it started?

Matt

I was pretty nervous about the initial shock of her family seeing my chest and what their first impression would be. I had my excuse ready but I’ve had some experiences in the past where people have been violently shocked, and I hated that.

Steph

Nervous and excited. We had a lot planned and we were both coming off of stressful weeks. Often vacation with family (especially new family) is more stressful than relaxing. I prepared for this to be the case.

2. What was your biggest fear with Steph’s family?

Matt

That they would know what my scars were from and I wouldn’t have been able to use my gynecomastia excuse. It was actually a tie between that and not being able to water ski/sky ski/wakeboard/etc. They’re big into water activities (which I have virtually no experience in), so I didn’t wanna suck.

Steph

The drinking! Oh, the drinking. My extended family tends to do a lot of our bonding over drinks. Often… that trickles into naked swimming. Naked swimming and trans-boyfriends (even cis-boyfriends…) don’t exactly mix well. I was worried that Matt would get pressure to take off his clothes. Thankfully, the drinking was minimal.

3. How did you recall the shirtless situation going down?

Matt

I think her sister-in-law saw first and was like, “woah, those are wicked,” or something and I was like, “yeah, I had gynecomastia as a kid.” I don’t think she really know what that meant (expected) so just went with it. Repeat for Steph’s dad and uncles. No one else cared.

Steph
A few family members asked about them. My sister-in-law inquired with a few questions out of concern, being that she’s in the health field. My father/uncle asked out of awe of the gnarly scarring. Matt’s response was smooth; I had gynocomastia as a kid. The guys nodded and moved on. It was a non-issue.

4. What was the most memorable moment with Steph’s family?

Matt

Getting up on the sky ski on my first go at it. Apparently it’s really hard to do that, so it was pretty great that I did. Also, they didn’t want us to leave early (to go see my family) so it was nice to feel wanted.

Steph

My family’s cabin experience, when not centered around drinking, is focused heavily on water sports. Matt got up on my dad’s SkySki on the first try. No, that’s not him, but he did look pretty darn great 🙂

5. Overall, how do you think it went with Steph’s family?

Matt

Really well. I’m more of an introvert and it takes me a bit to open up, but Steph’s family is great and I’ve gotten pretty comfortable around them. The being shirtless thing was a non-issue, which I’m glad for.

Steph

Great! He’d already met everyone there, so I wasn’t really worried about much other than the swimming. Once that cat was out of the bag, it was smooth sailing. (Omg. So many cliches!)

6. What was your biggest fear with Matt’s family?

Matt

That my less that sensitive uncle would mess up my pronouns or name (on accident or purpose). I knew it wouldn’t bother Steph, but he can be a huge dick. Also that I would get shit from my family for needing time away from them since I can only handle them for a few hours before I need some “me time” or “Matt and Steph time.”

Steph

Interrogation. My first meeting with Matt’s mom and her boyfriend included a lot of questions. Including, but not limited to, what my favorite part of sex is.

7. What was the most memorable moment with Matt’s family?

Matt

My Uncle saying “fuck you” to my mom when she was razzing him in front of the WHOLE family and my grandfather telling Steph and I jokes and just talking with him for once.

Steph

Probably the whole picture taking ordeal and Christmas name drawing. In my dating history I’ve never felt so accepted into a partners’ family so soon. I was asked to be in all the family pictures AND to be a part of the name drawing. Very, very cool.

8. Overall, how do you think it went with Matt’s family?

Matt

Well, no one fucked up my name or pronouns in front of me and my tiny cousins think I’m the best cousin ever, so there’s that.

Steph

Pretty good. There were a few minutes where I wish I’d have bitten my tongue, but the whole weekend went really well. It was great to get to put faces with names.

9. What would you have done differently?

Matt

Made the weekend longer. I had a great time, actually. Once I got over the nerves of being shirtless around her family for the first time, I had a lot of fun swimming and hanging around drinking beer.

Steph

There was one memorable negative moment, in which I was teasing Matt for a long-ago bonding experience with his cousin. I’ve since replayed that two minute segment in my head a number of times, and wish I could get a do-over. I won’t go into specifics, but I teased him for being compassionate. I wish I would have just “aww’d”.

10. Did you have fun?

Matt

Enough to keep Steph around for a little while longer…

Steph

Absolutely. There hasn’t been a day in the last four months that I haven’t been having fun. I guess that’s how I know I found the one. 🙂

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

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

reacting to anti-trans attitudes in public

Thankfully this has yet to be an issue. This post was sparked by a hypothetical situation posed by a fellow redditor:

Two strangers are sitting in a separate seat on a public busbashing a co-worker who is a trans man or woman.

What do you do?

Before meeting Matt my reaction would probably have been to scoff, make a displeased face directed towards the strangers for their distasteful conversation topic and move on. I had no stake in trans-rights or equality.

My attachment still isn’t “first degree” personal victimization, but after all the research I’ve done, all the incredible trans men and women I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know in person, through their writings, and through vlogs… I’d probably have a small fire burning under my ass.

If Matt and I were on this hypothetical bus together, I would probably let him take the lead. I wouldn’t want want to make him feel uncomfortable, and he’s the one whose safety is at risk if he’s outed.

If I was alone, however, I’m honestly not sure what I’d do. I would definitely want to confront them. I hate bullying. Not that anyone likes it, but I absolutely cannot stand the way decent human beings can turn into inconsiderate fools in seconds.

My desire to confront them wouldn’t come from a place of wanting to raise my voice and “set the record straight”, but to educate them. To challenge their way of thinking. I think a the majority of anti-trans attitudes (or anti-any minority, really) come from a lack of understanding. We’re fearful of the things we do not know; things we don’t yet understand.

Rather than kicking ass and taking names I’d like to scoot into a bus seat near these folks and hope to ease their fear through teaching them that trans men and women are just that: men and women.

 Safe travels,

Steph

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