On Trans People And our Bodies

This one’s a bit late in getting posted. I spent all day yesterday traveling to visit my dad (which is going well so far, they’re still using the wrong pronouns and mostly the wrong name, but there have been some efforts to use my female name), and I didn’t really know what to say either. So I’ve thought about it and realized, I do have a topic.

The other night, near the end of the group I run at a local club, I was talking to a couple of the people who had attended and the topic of trans came up. Throughout the evening, the woman in the couple kept slipping on pronouns for me (but at least corrected herself in a simple “sorry, she” kind of manner). But at one point, she brought up the trans porn industry, and mentioned Buck Angel (after messing up his name and calling him Buck Naked), and referring to him as “the man with the vagina.” This whole evening highlights a few points of trans existence.

First, the slips are indicative of how cis people view us. Yesterday while traveling, I was mostly read as female (yes, read a couple times as male, but mostly as female), because most most people don’t think trans when they see someone. Most people will see us as cis and just explain away any inconsistencies. To them, I’m just a tall girl with long arms and broad shoulders. A trans man would be read as a short guy with small wrists and androgynous features. But as soon as someone learns that we’re trans, they suddenly start focusing in on those things that are traditional to our birth sex, and start seeing us as such. This is why I can be visibly female to most, but suddenly those who’ve never known me as a male will refer to me as such.

Additionally, cis people tend to think of us in terms of the porn industry. That’s how most of them get their exposure to us, and it leads to the whole “man with a vagina” or “chick with a dick” mentality we see so often. This is another sad state of affairs within society. We tend to be fetishized, and are reduced again to our bodies.

Basically, people view us as our bodies, and this leads to a lot of our problems in finding relationships. Men and women both tend to view me as a man, or a woman with a penis, and even when I have completed bottom surgery, this will still be the same. Trans men are often viewed as women, or men with vaginas. They don’t see the whole person, only the genitals or means of birth.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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