Tagged: transman

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?


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.

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?


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.”


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?


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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?


Enough to keep Steph around for a little while longer…


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

how is dating a trans guy different from dating a cis guy?

Honestly, dating Matt isn’t a whole lot different from any other dating experience I’ve had. The most unique aspect of our story is that we fell in love in a whirlwind are incredibly (ridiculously) compatible. However, a few trans-related differences:

  1. I can’t tell, just from looking at or touching his crotch, if he’s got a boner.

  2. There are some things that are infinitely funnier. When my period is late and a friend says, “Jeez Steph, what if you’re pregnant!” or when someone says, “Damn, I bet he has a huge cock.”

  3. He understands my body, and how it feels pleasure, very very well.

  4. Acquiring hormones requires therapy. Therapy leads to greater self awareness and emotional stability. Matt is more ‘whole’ than anyone else I’ve ever been with. He’s emotionally equipped to handle stress, confrontation and crisis better than anyone I’ve ever dated.

  5. Since soy sauce and testosterone don’t jive, I’ve had to adapt my Thai Peanut Chicken Stir Fry recipe to be soy-free.

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,


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:



so you’re thinking about dating a trans guy? | steph’s side of the story part 2

You have a friend who just told you they’re a trans guy?

Your significant other is thinking about transitioning?

You’re just curious about trans guys in general?

Here are some of the things I learned the night (and weeks after) Matt told me that he is trans:

A Translation of Terms and Concepts for “Interested Parties”:

Note: I’ve ordered these in a “story” format. Feel free to skip around, but if you’re completely new to the game it may benefit you to read from top to bottom. Some of these terms can be found with textbook definitions in our FAQ section.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. My knowledge is limited and learning and understand the trans community is an ongoing process. 

Gender Identity: Gender identity has very little to do with genetailia, assigned gender, chromosomes, sexual orientation, or presentation. Just because someone is currently presenting as a female does not mean that they identify as female. Gender identity is the gender that a person feels they are. I’ve read that this is dynamic or fluid in some people, but in my experience it’s fairly static. I truly believe that no gender identity is wrong.

Gender Identity Disorder: This is when someone’a assigned gender (chromosomes and/or genetailia) do not match up with their gender identity. Matt went through a long process as a child and young adult being told he had Gender Identity Disorder and going through the hoops to rectify it. Basically the process entailed ensuring doctors that he was confident in his gender identity and competent enough to make life-altering decisions (like to start hormone therapy or to have surgery).

Transgender vs. Cisgender: A transgender individual was born into a body that does not match the gender they identify with. A cisgender person was born into a body that does match the gender they identify with. Matt is a transgender male, Steph is cisgender female.

FTM, F2M, female-to-male, trans man, trans guy, transgender male: These are all other terms for trans guy. I typically stick with trans guy, because it’s generic and gets the point across. Tranny, transsexual and transgendered are all generally unacceptable terms to refer to a trans person. If you’re unsure of how to address a trans person, just ask them.

Passing: Trans guys work to present to the general public as their intended gender. They go through a fair amount of work to pass in their daily lives. I’ll go through some of that below…

Stealth: When someone passes 100% of the time, they’re able to go “stealth” if they want to. I wish this had something to do with being a secret undercover agent for a special operative, but really it’s just going about one’s life as the gender one identifies as without needing or wanting to disclose their transgender identity and their past with others. Pretty simple, though the name is awesome.

Stealth Seal: Cis-gender people generally assume that the people they’re around are also cis-gender. When a trans person reveals their trans-status, they are breaking what Matt and I have called the stealth seal.

Here’s a list of some techniques guys use to pass:

Packing and Packers: A packer is a prosthetic that hangs in a harness situated in a trans guys’ groinal area. Packers are intended to create the bulge that cisgender males have. Matt’s packer is a “vanilla” colored silicone soft packer. He uses a homemade harness with an elastic around-the-waist band and denim/mesh pocket for the packer. I’ve read about (and seen pictures of) “pack and play” packers that are semi-hard and can be used for general presentation as well as sex. Matt and I tend to make light of his packer. My first few times seeing or holding his packer were uneasy, but we’ve gotten past that. He’s comfortable joking about “cleaning his dick” or making jokes about his dick being in another room. Take this slow. Some guys won’t be as comfortable. I recommend taking a look at some packers and harnesses (NSFW LINK).

just so you aren’t surprised if/when you see one.

Stand to Pee (STP): An STP is a packer that is rigged so that a trans guy can urinate standing up. A big concern for transgender individuals is being “outed” while in the restroom. It’s a big risk that causes a lot of stress and can sometimes be unsafe for the trans guy. STPs make it possible for transguys to “whip it out and go” just like bio-guys. I’ve never seen one of these, but there are lots of YouTube videos!

Binding: Breasts often get in the way of passing. I met Matt after he’d had his top surgery (more on that below), but binding is a technique lots of guys use before they have their surgery. Binders are basically super tight tank tops that constrict the breasts to make the chest appear flat. Some guys use multiple sports bras, but FtM specific websites sell products specifically for male presentation. I think it’s important to note that guys can do real damage to their spine, chest, lungs and back by binding too tight. I’ve read that a lot of trans guys, before having top surgery, don’t take off their binder for sex. Don’t expect that your partner will be comfortable with their body as is.

Dysphoria: The unfortunate feeling of uneasiness when a guy’s body parts don’t match his mental image. Lots of guys report “phantom boners” and even phantom flaccid penises. The mis-match of brain-gender and body-parts can be extremely distressing. Fortunately Matt doesn’t experience much in the way of dysphoria, but my advice would be to ask your partner at a time when they’re not feeling dysphoric how they would like for you to respond. Every person’s expectations and needs are different.

“T”: On a very non-scientific level, testosterone is the body’s male hormone. Trans guys use testosterone to ease dysphoria and help their body match how they feel they should have been born. Common outcomes include lowering of the voice, increased sex drive, elongated dick (clitoral growth), hair, hair, and more hair, redistribution of body fat, increased muscle mass, and the stopping of menses. Topical creams and injections are the two most common forms of administering testosterone. Matt takes a shot once every other week. It’s not uncommon for guys to crave or look forward to their dose of T.

Top Surgery (chest surgery, bilateral mastectomy, double incision, keyhole): Top surgery is a permanent solution to binding. Breast tissue is surgically removed. A keyhole is a surgery that’s done when only a small amount of breast tissue exists. Scarring for keyhole surgeries is minimal. However, Matt had a bilateral mastectomy and was left with two large scars. The chest tissue is reconstructed to look just like a bio-male’s chest.

Gyneocomastia: When cisgender males develop abnormally large breasts. Gyneocomastia results from an imbalance in hormones; the body creates an excess of female hormones rather than male hormones. It’s not uncommon for stealth trans guys to tell people (when swimming, for instance) that they suffered from gyneocomastia. I don’t see anything wrong with this. Trans guys are guys. Their bodies created too much estrogen. That gave them excess breast tissue. They got it surgically removed. Bam. Scars.

Bottom Surgery (lower surgery, metoidioplasty, phalloplasty): There are a number of surgeries trans guys can undergo to reconstruct their lower organs to be more like cisgender males’. Science has not yet progressed for trans guys in the ways that it has for trans gals, but the option exists. To simplify: metoidioplasty involves separating the clitoris from the labia and extending the urethra while phalloplasty uses tissue to construct a penis. Check out this video for a look at one patient’s phalloplasty outcome. Other options that fall in the same category as bottom surgery include hysterectomy and oophorectomy to remove the existing internal female reproductive organs.

Prosthetic: Many trans guys are uncomfortable using their given parts during sex. This stems from dysphoria and is (very) understandable. A common solution is the use of a prosthetic (or dildo) and harness. However, I’d like to point out here that it is possible for a cis-woman and trans guy to enjoy coitus without the use of a prosthetic (Matt and I are happy sex-ing proof). Body confidence is key, ladies and gents.

Other Things to Consider:

What pronoun should I use? Well. If you’re dating a trans guy, I’m going to assume he’ll want you to use male pronouns. This shouldn’t be a guessing game, though. Ask. If you’re comfortable enough with this person to be diving into a relationship (sexual or otherwise) with them, you should be able to ask what they want to be called.

How does sex work? Of course, this will be different for every couple, but I can offer some advice. (More will come later too, I promise.) Buck Angel was my number one resource. Buck is an out-and-proud FtM porn star. I won’t provide any links, but there are videos of Buck riding vibrating dildos on talk shows, giving and receiving head, talking all kinds of dirty about his parts and loads (seriously, loads) of other things. Take an evening off from your usual spank bank and give it a look. If nothing else, you’ll learn a little.

How do I refer to his genetalia? This will depend on the guy. In the same way that some women don’t like their lady bits dubbed “cunt” I’m sure some guys won’t like the same terms Matt prefers. My general rule is this: If you wouldn’t say it to or about a cisgender male’s body don’t say it about a trans guys’ body. Buck Angel’s videos are a great resource for this. Again, I recommend taking a look at some pictures before you jump into the sack.

Don’t forget: Buck a great resource, but he is most definitely still a porn star.

In the same way cis-women don’t all want to have their face covered in cum, not all trans guys will want to have sex in the ways Buck does.

I used his videos more as a way to familiarize myself with transmen’s “parts” than anything else.

Can I tell _______ he’s trans? No! Not unless you’ve asked him. Story time: one friend of mine found out by accident. I had a picture of Matt in his boxers on my cell phone and my friend was flipping through my pictures. He noticed the scars on Matt’s chest, gave me a sly look and said he’d dated a guy with similar scars. I smiled, he smiled and it never came up again. I did, however, immediately text Matt and let him know. Regardless of whether it was intentional, or whether Matt wanted my friend to know, he now knows. It is my responsibility, and I owe it to Matt, to let him know.

Can I ask him about _______? Matt has been very open with me from the start. Only once has he not answered a question I asked. About what? His birth name. A few weeks later it came up on the back of a photo from when he was a kid. Once Matt was comfortable letting me see that part of his past, he opened the door. The moral of that story? Don’t push your partner to tell you anything he’s not comfortable telling you.

Is it transphobic of me to not want to date, be in a relationship with, or have sex with a trans guy? Time for an anecdote! I’d answered the OkCupid question, “Would you date a transgender person” with no. Luckily, Matt disregarded my response and gave me a shot. My hindsight perspective is that when answering that question I was dead set that penis-in-vagina sex was the best sex. Great sex is extremely important in a relationship and I didn’t see that as a possibility in my split second answering of that question. If that’s your reservation in dating a trans guy I would urge you to reconsider. However, no. I don’t think it makes you transphobic. I have lots of “deal breakers”. If a guy smokes cigarettes, he’s automatically out. For some women, a biological penis is required for satisfaction. If you wouldn’t date a guy who had his junk removed because of cancer either, I say you’re A-O-K. Transphobia comes into play only if you’re disrespectful to a person specifically because they’re trans.

Here’s a list of resources I found helpful:

Dade and his girlfriend Tiff (ElctricDade) were together before Dade transitioned. Their YouTube channel documents their journey; from top surgery to the birth of their child.

Skylar (skylarkeleven) is a college-aged trans guy who has documented most of his transition in vlog form.

Forest (ClosetTransgender) may be my absolute favorite YouTuber. He’s not afraid to ask the questions everyone is thinking. He often interviews other trans guys and brings in his real-life experiences when discussing hot-button trans issues.

Hudson’s FTM Guide is a great place to learn a little more about any trans related topics.

/r/mypartneristrans is a great place to ask questions of other people dating trans individuals

/r/asktransgender is a great place to ask questions of trans individuals themselves

/r/askGSM (gender and sexual minority) is a great place to ask questions of anyone of a gender or sexual minority. While it’s not specifically trans related it is, at times, nice to hear perspectives from a variety of sexual minorities.

Also check out /r/trans, /r/transeducate, and /r/ainbow

Huffington Post article: “How to Bed a Trans Man” is written from the perspective of a gay trans guy, but was helpful for me as a straight woman as well.

Tranifesto is a blog written by author Matt Kailey. He has a great perspective on the world and has a number of helpful posts.

TransQueerNation is a free member-only discussion board site with lots of information.

the beginning of a process | steph’s side of the story part 1

Hey, internet. I’m Steph.

I’ve always been an “ally”. People are people and I believe they should be allowed to do what makes them happy (unless that’s killing babies, but you get the point). I helped organize the GSA’s Day of Silence at my high school. I’ve run Minneapolis’ Big Gay Race three years in a row.

My exposure to transfolk and trans-related issues before meeting Matt was absolutely zero. The image in my head of “trans” was incredibly vague, if not non-existent. I’d never met an openly trans person and I’d never even seen pictures of anyone, other than Chaz Bono, who was to my knowledge a transgender individual.

Matt is my boyfriend, but when he told me he was a trans guy our relationship was still quite new.

A few months ago I sent a cute guy a message through an online dating site. We messaged back and forth for a few days before setting up our first date.

Based on my interest in wine and the appeal of an intoxicated first impression we had dinner and drinks. We talked for hours over two flights of wine, two entrees, and bacon covered dessert. Having never smiled so much in my life, I talked him into walking across one of Minneapolis’ many beautiful bridges with me. At one point he snuck his hand in mine. I beamed.

I’d parked right near the restaurant and not wanting to end our date just yet I offered to drive him over to his car (two blocks, ladies and gentlemen… I was so into him). In my car, my beloved Saab, he asked me if he could kiss me. Matt was, and had been all night, unlike any of the other suitors I’d met online. I can’t remember if my response was of course or simply nodding my head, but I drove home that night with butterflies.

The next day or text message conversation was limited compared to those prior. We were both working and in hindsight I’m sure he was frightened to inform me of his “situation”. One glass of wine into the evening, I said (quite crassly, because I’d waited all day for him to ask me first) that we should go on a second date. The next few text messages are hard to recap, so here they are verbatim:


Re-reading that my response seems so calm. Honestly? I was in an absolute panic.

Let’s rewind for a minute…

Throughout my college career I only seriously dated one guy. Let’s call him Brandon. Brandon and I got engaged toward the end of our Junior year. That summer I took a trip to the West Coast to visit a close friend and his newlywed wife. My relationship with Brandon had already been rocky, but seeing the joy my friend and his wife shared created even more doubt. Over and over in my head I assured myself that I deserved to feel the spark that my Oregonian friends had. I gave Brandon back his ring the day I landed in Minnesota. Our breakup was rocky, but I learned a lot about myself and what I was looking for in a partner.

Around the beginning of the new year I opened an account on OkCupid account. I went on dates with 4 or 5 guys and exclusively saw (and broke up with) one other guy before Matt and I started talking. My online experience was similar to that of a lot of women… Meaningful conversations with a few fellas, but an overwhelming number of sexual advances from creeps.

Anyway, the story at hand…

I’m thankful that I had google at my fingertips as Matt came out to me. I immediately googled “trans guy” came across a list of 10 Things Not to Say to a Trans Person:

  1. “Have you had ‘the operation’?”
  2. “Which bathroom do you use?”
  3. “If you combed your hair a certain way, walked a certain way, did ____ a certain way, you would be more masculine/feminine.”
  4. “When did you decide to become transgender/transsexual?”
  5. “You pass really well.”
  6. “I thought you’d be a monster – but you’re just a normal person!”
  7. “How do you have sex?”
  8. “I can still see the woman (or the man) in you.”
  9. “Are you afraid that people will hate you or want to hurt you?”
  10. “What does being a man (or a woman) mean to you?”

Given the fact that we’d intended to have sex with each other eventually these rules didn’t all apply. I asked him about hormone therapy, top surgery, his transition timeline, his junk–for lack of a better word–and even sex. I asked questions that I would never feel the need to ask a cis-gender male, but I did my best to be (and having asked Matt after-the-fact I believe I succeeded in being) respectful.

A lot of questions came up, but not necessarily all at once and definitely not all that night. Transitioning is a process and so is understanding what it means to date a trans person.

So, I began that process with Matt.

More on that process in part 2…