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.
Be a Trans Advocate
February 5, 2014 · mkailey
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.
December 19, 2013 · mkailey
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.
October 14, 2013 · mkailey
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.
September 19, 2013 · mkailey
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.
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.
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.
Editor's Note: This is part of a series on "stealth." The goal of this series to examine the nuanced ways trans opinion leaders conceptualize stealth and how they feel about it. Suzan Cooke kicked off the series with her article, The Many Shades of Stealth. It should be noted that TA is not endorsing any one view, definition or conceptualization. As with the elephant parable, each perception presented in this series represents one representation of the truth; taken together,… Read more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 25, 2013 · mkailey
A friend of mine told me about a workshop she had been to where participants were asked to tell each other what comments they would be perfectly happy never to hear again for the rest of their lives. The activity was based on what marginalized group or groups a person belonged to and what things people said to that person because of his/her/hir membership in that group. It sounded like a fascinating exercise, so I decided to try it out… Read more.
Last week in my Transgender Studies class, and also at a Diversity Day presentation that I made on the Auraria Campus, we talked about allies. In my opinion, allies are an important component of any group. They add numbers, they add voices, and in some cases, they bring a certain amount of power that is lacking because of the way that a particular group is seen in the “mainstream,” where the group is trying to gain at least equality, if… Read more.
Sean Dorsey is an award-winning choreographer, dancer and writer. Recognized as the United States’ first out transgender modern dance choreographer, Dorsey has won audiences and accolades from San Francisco to New York with his powerful dance-theater. Dorsey is the founder and Artistic Director of Fresh Meat Productions, the first U.S. non-profit dedicated to the year-round creation, presentation, and touring of transgender arts. Dorsey’s current show, The Secret History of Love, will be in San Francisco from March 28-31 as part of a… Read more.
March 19, 2013 · mkailey
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.
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.
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.
March 4, 2013 · mkailey
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.
February 25, 2013 · mkailey
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.
February 18, 2013 · mkailey
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.
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.
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.
February 4, 2013 · mkailey
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.
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.
June 18, 2012 · mkailey
A couple of years ago, I attended a community forum in Denver that was set up so that trans people could meet with local police and discuss our community’s concerns. The police representatives present were from a newly formed “diversity”-type unit that was created to work specifically with marginalized communities, including LGBT communities, and to investigate possible hate crimes or crimes that appeared to specifically target members of these particular communities. The officers and detectives in attendance were friendly, attentive,… Read more.
April 2, 2012 · mkailey
“Is the Happy Meal for a boy or a girl?” I had no idea that McDonald’s Happy Meals were gendered, but then I’ve never ordered one before this week. I’ve been suffering from a nasty bronchial thing, which I thought was improving but which then circled back on me. I still had to run some errands, though, and I was hungry, so I pulled into McD’s. I decided that, since I couldn’t taste anything anyway, a Happy Meal would be… Read more.
March 26, 2012 · mkailey
A woman who was arrested last year for providing dangerous “butt enhancement” shots consisting of cement, caulk, tire sealant, and other toxic and troublesome substances is facing new charges as more victims come forward. I don’t know how many of this woman’s clients were trans, but I suspect that at least a few were. The fact that this underground business is thriving – and destroying women’s health and lives – is a testament to the problem of classifying transition surgeries… Read more.
January 19, 2012 · mkailey
Last year, I wrote a guest post for the excellent blog Womanist Musings called “Leave the Kids Out of It,” about a brouhaha over gendered Halloween costumes. Now we’ve got another situation where kids are being dragged into adult morality wars. The Girl Scout Cookie boycott, organized to protest the admission of a trans girl to a Colorado troop, was allegedly conceived by a fourteen-year-old girl, but my guess is that she’s getting her faulty information from somewhere above (and… Read more.
When my nephew was about four or five, his best friend was a little girl of the same age. My sister and the girl’s mother were friends, so the two kids grew up together. My nephew was and is a sensitive child in many ways. He has always shared his toys, stopped to help other kids on the playground who were in trouble, and worried about people around him who seemed upset. But one day, when his friend was in… Read more.
It’s amazing what’s expected of us as trans people. We’re supposed to watch our trans sisters succumb to unspeakable brutality on a constant basis. We’re supposed to ignore the fact that we can be legally fired in thirty-eight states simply because we’re trans. We’re supposed to “understand” when we are denied admittance to public places or refused public restroom access based on our appearance or our paperwork. And we’re supposed to “get over it” when someone uses offensive language to… Read more.