The other day, I saw a Facebook post by FTM adult film star, Buck Angel, talking about how there are some trans men who say that, “trans men with vaginas don’t exist.” I couldn’t wrap my head around this ludicrous statement (neither could Buck, it seems, but that’s another story.) Bottom surgery for transgender men isn’t a very commonly sought procedure, as far as I know. Besides that (as I commented on Buck’s post), weren’t the trans guys who think that way “trans men with vaginas” at some point?
Early on in my transition, I accepted what’s in my pants. I will never have a penis, and will not get a phalloplasty for a few reasons- cost being one, concern about it being sexually functional afterwards being another, and the last being the fact that I’m perfectly fine with not having one. I stopped binding just before I began T. It was a hassle, and I felt that I was being misgendered regardless. I also have never used a packer or an STP (Stand-to-Pee) device.
“I’M HAPPY HOW I’VE CHOSEN TO GO THROUGH TRANSITION, BUT THAT’S NOT THE COMFORT LEVEL FOR EVERY TRANS PERSON OUT THERE.”
So why is that a big deal to some? I’m happy how I’ve chosen to go through transition, but that’s not the comfort level for every trans person out there.
More and more I’m noticing pressure being put on transgender people by other transgender people to do things like go on hormones, change how they present themselves or act, or even go under the knife for whatever reason in order to be considered “truly trans”. I’ve even seen some trans people look at those who have taken a certain step in transition, and they can’t understand why they went through with it, so they raise hell about it. But why? Why does what someone else does (or doesn’t do) for themselves matter in our own personal transitions? There seem to be many reasons for this. One reason that I’ve heard is that there is a fear of the trans community not being taken seriously if not everyone undergoes the same major changes. Another reason has to do with the general obsession of trans people passing (from trans and cis people alike). This is just a couple of things I’ve heard whispered about from time to time. No one truly wants to discuss their thinking behind the shaming of another’s path.
I feel one major thing comes into play, and that is our default mindset whenever we see someone doing the opposite of what we’re doing- “How can they do that? How can they think that way? How can they live with themselves?” We do it all the time without realizing it with anything- from transition choices, to TV show preferences, to political views, to the flavor of ice cream we like- we give each other strange looks all the time because we can’t imagine not thinking the way we do, and if the issue causes us enough dissonance in our minds with our own thoughts and feelings, we question it out loud. I’ve caught myself doing it too, a hard thing to break free from.
“..HUMAN NATURE OR NOT, IT’S NOT OUR PLACE TO TELL SOMEONE ELSE HOW TO TRANSITION.”
However, human nature or not, it’s not our place to tell someone else how to transition. If someone is happy without HRT while you’re well into it, don’t wave your needle in front of their face, saying they “know it’ll make them happy.” If someone is cool with how their natural genitals are, don’t go off on a tangent about how “incredible their life will be” after bottom surgery. At the same time, if someone is showing their post-op scars, don’t jump on them with “I’m fine with mine, why weren’t you with yours???” It’s their life, not yours. You wouldn’t want someone pushing permanent and extreme changes on you that you don’t want, so why do that to someone else?