“What’s your name?”
“Sorry, I thought you said Andrew for a second there.”
Trans*man, Pokemon master. Loving up on @serialenthusiast.
“What’s your name?”
“Sorry, I thought you said Andrew for a second there.”
no matter how hard i flap my wings
The last time I wore a dress was my grade seven graduation (though I do believe I wore skirt for a funeral one time after that, not that I wanted to) I remember feeling extremely uncomfortable for all of the graduation. I tried to look happy for pictures and tried to be comfortable but on the inside I felt terrible. It was one of the first times in my life I felt extreme gender dysphoria.
My Mom and I were just looking through old pictures and she found the ones from the grad. She smiled and showed them to me, I didn’t have much interest in them, and I saw her looking at them, she looked a sad.
I know I shouldn’t, but I feel so guilty.
I know that feel, baby boo. It’s the worst feeling.
You’re a human and your feels are valid but if she needs to process she needs to do so in a way that is not at your expense.
I love you, man. Be well.
It’s sort of like…when I’m naked, I feel awesome about myself (this is partly because the only people who ever see me naked are myself and the girlfriend, who recognizes me as completely male). My body functions well as a body. It does what I ask it to do a solid 90% of the time. It’s just when I’m clothed and I’m not being read properly that dysphoria sets in, and I feel like it’s illegitimate to call myself a trans* guy a lot of the time because intense dysphoria is not something that I’ve always felt. I don’t know. There’s been a lot of introspection over this. I’m aware that my identity is valid. My issues are largely because I know so many people who are so much worse off re: dysphoria and dealing with body image issues. You know? That sentence didn’t make a lot of sense. Perspective’s a bitch. It’s like the EAT YOUR DINNER THERE ARE CHILDREN STARVING IN AFRICA sort of mentality. You know?
Today was a pretty good gender day, but this is just to open some dialogue regarding feelings about being trans* enough/not trans* enough.
Boyfriend’s boundaries change.
Which is okay.
My boundaries change.
The fact is, sometime he’s okay with certain things, and sometimes he’s more dysphoric and certain things can make that worse. Sometimes something that was fine for weeks, that was fine yesterday, can be not okay.
Consent is not a constant. If someone gives you consent to do something once, it doesn’t mean that it’s alright from then on.
I’m not trying to make you feel guilty or ashamed. I’m trying to stress that it’s normal for their boundaries to change, for them to decide that they don’t want you to touch them in a certain way or certain place.
What’s worked out easiest for Boyfriend and I is to discuss issues as they crop up - like, mid-makeout session fairly early on, I broke off to ask him about touching his chest (through his shirt and binder). He told me it was alright if I stayed outside his clothes and stayed above his collarbone.
Over time, we adjusted these boundaries. But it made things so much easier when we talked about what was okay and what was not before we ran into things neither of us was ready for.
Another thing we did later on was that when I would accidentally push a boundary, he’d just let me know, I’d make a mental note, and we’d move on. Business as usual.
It can make it easier to not treat it like it’s a huge deal. After the umpteenth your or their boundaries change, it’s really not. Ask what’s okay, what’s not - and then move on. If you need to process and discuss, that’s perfectly valid - but if you are going to be involved with a trans*man, it may actually become fairly routine.
Basically, I fucking love consent.
It is one of the best things ever.
Because, frankly, it makes things a hell of a lot easier.
Trust me, it’s way better to ask right before sex if anything has changed since last time than not asking and stumbling into some sad, dysphoric sex.
- Ask them what’s okay and what’s not okay.
- Ask what the boundaries are.
- Consent is the bomb.
Oh lord, this is the best fucking thing.
noun: a state of dissatisfaction, anxiety, restlessness, or fidgeting.
Gender Dysphoria: “the unhappiness that some people feel with their physical sex and/or gender role”.
These are the simple, clean-cut definitions. In my reality, dysphoria is a messy, sneaking, ugly, sad, scary, and unpredictable thing.
The catch-22 when discussing dysphoria is that it’s hard to impress how serious and sucky it is sometimes without freaking anyone out or getting too wound up in this one not so great thing. I don’t want to freak anyone out, or (God forbid) guilt any trans* individuals.
But I do want to talk very frankly about how much of a reality dysphoria has been for me and my partner – and how awful that can feel.
To be honest? I didn’t think it would be that bad. Very early in my relationship, I watched a YouTube vlog about a woman’s experience with dating an FTM (female-to-male) and at one point she spoke about his dysphoria being so unpredictable and intense that they sometimes had to stop during sex because of it. I thought that there was no way it would ever be that bad. But just because someone puts up a good front in public, or even in the first few months of a relationship, doesn’t mean that everything is alright. Odds are, you are going to see them at their most physically and emotionally and mentally vulnerable. When they are really just themselves – all the guards against society and the outside world stripped away.
If you are being respectful and loving and caring and really just RESPECTFUL, then it’s not you. Dysphoria is not your fault – you do not cause these things to happen. You are not at fault.
Yes, one of your actions may have triggered dysphoria, but you were coming from a place of love and respect and were not trying to harm them or make them feel anything but happy and good - you are not at fault.
It is so hard to watch someone you care about feel so sad, and so fundamentally unhappy. It is so hard to not feel as if you have triggered something, as if you have somehow caused them to feel so invalidated and depressed, to feel as if they are a freak and a lie.
How can you even begin to reassure them when the hurt is so primal and buried so deep within them, when it is so volatile and unpredictable that it often takes you both by surprise?
Sometimes it’s so bad that we have to stop.
Sometimes (the worst times) he cries.
We usually just totally stop having sex at that point. We get dressed. We watch TV. We play cards. We might talk about it a little bit, but only if he feels up to it. Sometimes I push conversations about his emotional state, but not always.
I try to know when it will actually help him or me, and when it’s just me wanting to know how to fix it.
Because me wanting to fix his dysphoria for him won’t work. I can sometimes make it weigh a little less heavily on him, but trust me, if wanting to take away his dysphoria was something I could do, I would have done it a long time ago.
One day when I was talking to a cis-female, heterosexual friend about my sex life, I told her about one time that we had had to stop having sex because I said something that triggered already lingering dysphoric thoughts.
I told her, very quietly, that if she thought it was bad when guys couldn’t get it up, imagine how bad it was when they hated an aspect of themselves so much that they cried in the middle of sex – that they cried and asked you to stop, even though you were already frozen and desperately trying to think of how to rewind, how to take back your seemingly harmless words or actions and somehow fix this gaping wound inside them that baffles you –
I love him just the way he is – how can he not?
God, there is nothing worse in the entire world than watching someone you love suffer and feeling helpless to do anything about it.
Because what can you do besides be there? What can you do besides bear witness to this incredible sadness?
There are some things you can do.They may not feel like much, but they can help sometimes.
Reassure them that no matter what, you see them as who they really are. No matter what.
Tell them you love them.
Ask them what they want to do.
Remind them that it’s not their fault.
When I first started to express to Boyfriend how guilty I felt when he would get bad dysphoria when I was touching him sexually, how I felt I had triggered his “attacks” sometimes, he was so sad and so guilty that I wished again to take back my foolish words. He instantly began to assure me that it was not me – it was his fault, it was him.
Couldn’t he see that when he said things like this, it just hurt me more? It just made me feel so angry and sad that he couldn’t see that this was no-one’s fault – it was just something that happened. No-one caused this on purpose, it just happened sometimes.
That anger at his quickness to blame himself for dysphoria was an eye-opener for me. It really did help to reinforce the idea, the fact, that dysphoria is not his fault or my fault. Because if it wasn’t my fault – and I really wanted to believe it wasn’t if he told me it wasn’t, if I was already being as careful and respectful as was possible – and if it wasn’t his fault, because that made my stomach bottom out and swallow my heart along with it when he tried to shoulder the “blame” for these “attacks” – then it was, logically, no one’s fault.