Advice

An intersex perspective on the trans, intersex and TERF communities

September 15, 2014 ·

Are Trans Communities Losing Intersex Allies in the TERF Wars? By Cary Gabriel Costello, PhD Recently I spent several days in a public internet group for "gender critical" people, after a few intersex friends voiced some positive things about this line of thinking. As an intersex individual who gender transitioned from the sex he was assigned at birth, I was puzzled and concerned by this development. I'd read in trans writing that "gender critical" feminists were actively transphobic--yet here were… Read more.

Ask Matt: Changing My Friends’ Perception of My Gender

March 10, 2014 ·

A reader writes: “I recently started college, and I quickly came to the realization that I am transgender. I have been transitioning every way but physically (mentally, socially, etc.), and the process has been enlightening for me. The problem has mainly been with my friends and classmates. “All of my friends have been as supportive and understanding as they know how. Some friends that I have known for years simply accepted my trans identity as if I came out… Read more.

Trans medical care = mutilation?

February 19, 2014 ·

A reader writes: I was wondering if it would be possible to open a discussion seeking articulation explaining why and how surgical alteration is different from genital mutilation. I feel insufficiently equipped to defend the difference. Here's the deal: body autonomy. I - not some random person - get to decide what body modifications constitute "mutilation." I don't want a pierced septum and if someone held me down and forcibly priced it, I would view it as "mutilation" regardless if… Read more.

Trans medical treatment and faith

February 18, 2014 ·

A reader writes: I am trans but also religious. Although I live as a woman, I was born with boy parts. In my opinion, to have surgery would imply that God made a mistake. I do not believe that God is capable of making a mistake, which means that I have the body I was meant to have. I believe that God gave me a challenge and that I am playing the hand that I was dealt. I am trans… Read more.

Trans Etiquette: When is a Compliment Not a Compliment?

February 5, 2014 ·

By Matt Kailey It’s not tough to compliment trans people. Like anyone else, we like to be told that we look nice, or that you love our new shirt, or that we did a good job on our speech or our term paper or winning the World Series. But there is a confusingly fine line when it comes to certain compliments doled out by non-trans people – and that confusingly fine line might be enough to discourage compliments at all!… Read more.

Ask Matt: Can a Gay Man Love a Trans Woman?

January 8, 2014 ·

By Matt Kailey A reader writes: “I am a gay man and have no doubts really about that. I was late in coming out after being married and having children. However, 15 months ago I started a relationship with a guy who I had met several years earlier and who also was previously married with children. “After we had been dating for six or seven months, he started to talk about how he really liked dressing as a girl and… Read more.

Ask Matt: Coming Out About My Trans Partner at Christmas

December 19, 2013 ·

By Matt Kailey A reader writes: “I’m a non-transgender pansexual woman who has been dating my friend, a male-to-female transgender person, for a few months. “I’ve known my partner for five years and knew that she was trans for about the same amount of time but never attempted to act on my romantic feelings until recently, due to personal stuff and both of us being with other people. She is still thinking about transitioning and has yet to start hormones… Read more.

Ask Matt: Coming Out as Trans after Coming Out as Gay

November 13, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I am a 39-year-old gay male. Ever since high school, I have geared being more like a female. It was tough when I came out as being gay. I got teased and made fun of in school. My mother accepted me being gay. “I have tried to be a full-time male, but just was not happy with it. I drank a lot as well. A year ago I decided to start the process of transitioning. I have… Read more.

Ask Matt: Would a Genderless World Affect Transition?

October 14, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I’ve been thinking about gender roles and how most of them are created and imposed by society. I believe our behaviour could be ‘genderless’ if we didn’t have these external influences telling us how men and women should act, dress, etc. “Now, if this were to hold true and one day we are all genderless and there are no gender roles or gender-specific expectations by society, people would be able to behave however they feel like and… Read more.

Ask Matt: Correcting Pronouns on Someone Else’s Behalf

September 19, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “Our good friends have a daughter, Linda (I changed the name that the reader sent in, because I didn’t know if it was real or fictional). “Linda dresses and carries herself in a very masculine way.  She has done this for as long as we’ve known her – five years or so. She shops in the men’s section of clothing stores and seems to identify more with being a male. “Several times we have all been out… Read more.

Sometimes it doesn’t get better

September 16, 2013 ·

Sometimes it doesn't get better, sometimes life shit on you until you break and there’s nothing you can do. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you it gets better because it might not get better, but i do want to tell you one thing. Even if it never gets better you are worthy. You are worthy of love and respect and compassion and a fair chance and human dignity, your value as a human being is not… Read more.

Ask Matt: What is My Sexual Identity?

September 4, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I am having issues determining my sexual identity since transition from female to male. Dating and having a relationship are things I consciously took off the table while I was in the early stages of transition. It is now three years into transition and the idea of having someone in my life is sounding pretty good. “Although I am attracted to the male physique and enjoy the visual of a handsome, sexually attractive man, I just don’t… Read more.

Ask Matt: Coming Out at Home and at School

August 30, 2013 ·

  A reader writes: “I am a 16-year-old transman. According to my mom, I am much too young to consider myself a transman, and that this isn’t something I can figure out until I am more ‘sexually mature.’ “For as long as I can remember I have not exactly considered myself a girl. When I was little I was the one people called the ‘tomboy.’ It wasn’t until I was about twelve that I really began to become uncomfortable with… Read more.

Ask Matt: What Am I? Labels and Identities

July 16, 2013 ·

Today we have two letters about identity that I thought went together quite well. So here goes: A reader writes: “I consider myself transgender – I was born female, but feel very much that the concept of ‘womanhood’ does not apply to me in the slightest. I’ve always pursued more male interests and likings – everything from activities to clothes – even when I was too young to realize what I was doing. ‘Man’ best describes what I am when… Read more.

Ask Matt: Life Insurance for Trans People

June 1, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I’m curious if, as a trans woman, I would be considered ‘higher risk’ with regard to life insurance than a non-trans woman, or would be expected to calculate my risks/premiums as male rather than female. “And if I were to die suddenly, could my policy be nullified because of some trans-specific loophole that allowed the insurance company to claim fraud? “I know I should call an insurance agency to ask these questions, but I’m trying to see… Read more.

Ask Matt: Do I Owe My Parents Grandchildren?

May 27, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I am a 24-year-old transgender girl. I started transition about a year and a half ago, with one month in between where I had major doubts and confusion about my life. “I have asked myself, am I doing the right thing? Am I really transgender? Maybe I am just fooling myself. Should I simply live a life male and cross dress? But the one question that sent me down a spiraling hole of regret was, and is,… Read more.

Ask Matt: Gender Uncertainty is Stressing Me Out!

May 9, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I’m 18 years old and have lived under the assumption that I was a cisgendered female – identified as lesbian, never really felt dysphoric about myself beyond maybe a vague envy for the male body, feeling ‘off’ as a woman, a few times being curious about how ‘the other half lived,’ etc. Certainly didn’t hate being a woman, didn’t feel like I was trapped in the wrong body for the most part – until about two weeks… Read more.

Ask Matt: On Looking Male

May 2, 2013 ·

Today we have a couple of letter related to “male” appearance and expression. I now turn it over to the writers. A reader writes: “I was looking back on an old post where you stated trans guys all ‘pass’ after x amount of time on testosterone. “I have now been on T seven years. I have changed my documentation. I have a baritone voice. I still occasionally get read as female. This seems to occur more when I am in… Read more.

Ask Matt: Resources and Support in Mexico Urgently Needed

March 19, 2013 ·

A reader writes: Hello, I’m from Mexico. I am 18 and I just came out to my family and I’m going to therapy, but I feel trapped and that I am never going to start my transition. I really feel very uncomfortable, and I feel like my parents don’t understand me or don’t know what I want. I think it is more dangerous because i live in Mexico, and because of that, they don’t know how to help me. I… Read more.

Ask Matt: The Politics of Dating a Trans Woman

March 18, 2013 ·

A reader writes: I’ve always considered myself to be very well educated on the different letters in our acronym. However, all it took was one date with a trans woman to realize that I am not. I am an FAAB genderqueer individual, so, of course I know all about the gender issues with public accommodations, being misgendered, etc. However, as we talked politics, and, specifically, LGBT politics, I realized that there is a whole world out there that I know… Read more.

Ask Matt: What Are the Most Common Trans-Related Questions You Get?

March 11, 2013 ·

A reader writes: I’m FTM, still in the closet, and I was wondering: What are the most common questions you get? I would like to know because I want to be able to think about questions that I may get asked when and if I come out of the closet.” The questions never stop coming, and sometimes I still get caught off guard. Because I live in this “trans world,” I forget how little people actually know about this issue,… Read more.

Ask Matt: Educating the Children, Educating the Parents

March 4, 2013 ·

I have joined a couple of family-related questions into one column in a continuing effort to catch up with my backlog. As always, reader thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated. Here you go: A reader writes: “My granddaughter was born five days ago. She is, of course, gorgeous. She is also blessed with three granddads (one of whom she will hardly ever meet) and one grandma. The family set-up is one set of straight grandparents, one single grandmother who is… Read more.

Ask Matt: Why Do Trans People Make Me Uncomfortable?

February 25, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I am a straight male and consider myself fairly liberal. One of my best friends is openly gay and I have never felt uncomfortable around him. Yet the thought of being around a transgender person is extremely uncomfortable to me and I don’t exactly know why. “I can understand the scientific reasoning for having a different gender than one’s do-dads would imply, yet some part of me cringes whenever I hear the words “tr***y, transgendered or transsexual”… Read more.

Ask Matt: My Feminine Side is Screaming to Get Out

February 18, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I have questions, but have never had the strength or will to voice them and ask. I am, of course, a genetically born male, and most of the time I’m fine with that. But more often, in recent months, I’ve felt that it’s not right. I feel like there is a feminine side of me that is screaming to get out, like it’s trapped.” “But it’s not just a matter of acting more feminine. I don’t want… Read more.

Ask Matt: Do Trans Men Die Young?

February 14, 2013 ·

Welcome to a special Thursday edition of Tranifesto, with more Ask Matt questions. I’m hoping to catch up on my backlog of questions, and, as always, I’m hoping that readers will supply their wisdom in the Comments section. Today’s questions are: A reader writes: “I have a pretty scary question. I’m a trans man, and pretty early in everything, so I used to like looking accomplished trans men up online to have some celebrities to feel some sort of connection… Read more.

Ask Matt: Names, Labels, and Identities

February 11, 2013 ·

We have two reader questions in one post today, and in order to catch up with my backlog of Ask Matt questions, I will be posting a Thursday edition this week as well, so be looking for that. Readers, as always, your insights and experiences are much appreciated, so please join the conversation in the Comments section. And here we are with today’s questions: A reader writes: “My transgender daughter is legally changing her name next week and has decided… Read more.

Ask Matt: Some Tips for Presenting on Trans Issues

February 4, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I’m thinking about speaking to a Gender Studies class at the college I attend because of some ignorant comments from ignorant classmates when I took the class last semester (such as ‘I can pick out trans* people by looking into their eyes’). “The professor thinks that it’s a great idea. (I spent the whole semester educating him.) “I am not actively out at the school and would use a pseudonym if I do a presentation. The college… Read more.

Being Fearlessly Out and Trans is a Revolutionary Act

January 31, 2013 ·

On one of the trans Facebook groups I monitor a post was put up about the gruesome murder of transman  Evon 'Yung LT' Young.  One person remarked in the comment thread under the post that's why she never leaves her home, and of course my response to that comment triggered this post. That's what the haters want...They want you to cower in fear locked up behind your doors. Your most revolutionary act as a trans person is to be fearlessly out… Read more.

Ask Matt: Should I Come Out or Stay In?

January 28, 2013 ·

A reader writes: “I came out as a transman to myself in 2009, to my (cismale) partner, friends, family, and work from 2010-11, started testosterone in 2011, all in the same town, so to know me as male was to know me as trans. “In the summer of 2012, I moved 900 miles away from everyone I knew to start graduate school in poetry. When I applied, I was excited about exploring my trans identity through poetry and giving back… Read more.