Anonymous asked: Not really a question, I just wanted to thank you so much for running the NotAnotherAiden blogs because they've been so immensely helpful for me. Being reminded that my desires for a masculine body and an effeminate expression are perfectly legitimate and not mutually exclusive factors is a HUGE relief.
Isn’t it though? I remember being so confused and muddled when I first came out because all the other guys were super butch and the only effeminate people ID’d as genderqueer. Took months and a cis friend pointing out that he wasn’t butch either for me to realise those weren’t the only two options.
delmarwm asked: How many teens/young adult FTMs have lost their virginity? Before or after they began to wonder if they were trans? Did they cum?
…Um. Let me consult my magical crystal ball that allows me to check on the sexual activity of every trans guy ever? There aren’t exactly studies done on this kind of thing. (…Though now I’m intrigued and want there to be.)
fredthepole asked: I don't know whether you've covered this or not, and I know it seems petty but I've been wanting to come out recently and I want to have a name picked out for that time, and I can't think of one. What steps did you go through to pick your name, and were there any factors that were put into play in this decision. Thanks.
I’ve done this twice, actually. The first time I handed my best friends a baby name book and told them to find names they thought suited me. Worked out pretty well, but it depends on your friends.
Second time I went to the top 100 names for the year of my birth and picked from there. I knew I wanted a common, easily spelled name so I could blend in. (And because I grew up with first, middle, and last names no one could spell or pronounce so I was beyond ready for something simple.)
Other people ask their parents what their name would’ve been if they were born a boy. I know one guy who put the names he liked on a dartboard and went with the one he hit. Really it all depends on what you’re going for. I’d probably try to take into consideration the following points:
Practicality - This name will be on everything. Arrgonaut Von Fluffenfleffer is going to have more complications than Stephen Jones
Family/cultural heritage - Some guys want to keep the most generic (read white) name possible. Other guys specifically choose names from their family/culture. Think hard about this one because it’s the one I’ve noticed that guys are most likely to regret.
Originality - The more original/obscure your name is the easier you will be to trace later on. This is particularly important if you want to talk about trans stuff without everyone you work with being able to look you up.
Versatility - ‘Dave’ is a perfectly nice name, but if you make it your legal first name instead of ‘David’ you’re going to end up with a lot of very confused people. Similarly, Richie, Richard, Ricky, Rick, and Dick all bring up slightly different images. Play with nicknames and initials and combinations. Andrew H. Smith could be a lawyer, but Andy Smith is probably seven and Drew Smith sounds more like a musician or athlete.
Initials/Monograms - You’ll notice that Andrew’s initals are A.H.S. Not horrible, but what if his middle name was Simon? A.S.S. Not so great. For reference, monograms go First, Last, Middle so that A.H.S. becomes ASH.
Names you definitely don’t want - People will shorten your name. If you like the name Alexander, but can’t stand the idea of being called Alex get ready to spend the rest of your life correcting people. It helps if you can come up with an alternative so they can still feel like there’s a level of familiarity and you’re not just trying to keep them at a formal distance.
Neutrality - Some guys prefer gender neutral names, particularly early in transition when an obviously male name can raise eyebrows. However, this can also cause problems because it means people can’t look to your name as a guide. (That said, I have a blatantly gendered name and people still fuck it up so there’s no guarantee either way.)
It’s also important to know that you don’t have to have a name ready. Plenty of guys go through four or five names before they find one that sticks. People get a bit frustrated, but unless you already have an established career there aren’t really other consequences. Even with a career it’s workable, just more complicated.
Anonymous asked: If no one in either side of my family is bald, is it still possible (or likely) for me to have hair loss when I start T?
Yes. Hair loss is not a simple one-gene issue the way we tend to think of. It is caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors, none of which we fully understand yet. (It also rarely progresses to full on baldness. Most often it ends with either that horseshoe shape or what I like to call the ‘yarmulke patch’.)
That said, it doesn’t seem to be particularly likely. If you come from a long line of people without hair loss and maintain a fairly healthy life you should be fine. Most trans guys lose some hair, but not because they’re going bald. It’s just your hairline adjusting to a testosterone-dominant pattern.
Anonymous asked: Have you tried other forms of testosterone aside from injections? If so, what have your different experiences been?
I was on T gel (and then T cream) before I started injections because I’m an epic wuss with a fear of needles. In my case gel/cream just didn’t work. I was up to 10g a day of 50mg/g and my T levels were still only barely into the lowest portion of male range. It’s not something that was feasible for me.
That said, at the same time I was starting T another guy I knew did. He was on 1g a day of 50mg/g and was being read correctly 100% within three months. Lucky fucker.
It’s very progressive, of course, but the issue I still have with things like this is the dichotomy of gender - the only options are always boy OR girl. The first thing that should be emphasized to the child (or to anyone) is that you don’t have to be one or the other. You can wear dresses and have long hair AND have a penis and it’s fine, it’s not weird or incomplete. You don’t have to have a vagina just because you like “girl” things. It might help reduce the desperate need to have a “matching” body - they need to be explained that gender is fluid and indefinable and their body and interests don’t have to match everyone else’s.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting or getting hormones and surgery, but I just wish there were more effort on eliminating the “boy OR girl” staples. That’s still hindering the ultimate abolishment of gender roles. Transgender children tend to adhere rather strongly to the gender roles of their preferred gender (notice how much of her focus is on appearance and looking good, not to mention all the pink), and I can really only blame their parents for that. As we saw here, her mother initially gave her a traditional boys’ appearance (haircut, clothes) and wouldn’t even let her shop in the girls’ department, telling her those were “for girls” (and only changing her habits when a doctor told her her child might be transgender). Consequently, the child thinks “X is for girls, therefore in order to have X, I have to be a girl.” And that’s not how it should be.
I have made this exact argument, so I understand that you’re coming from a good place with this. And I agree that in the end, a world that understands the concept of gender in a more relaxed way would be better for everyone, cisgendered and transgendered alike. However, there is an inherent cruelty in this perspective that took me a while to clap my eyes on. I have done so now, and there is someone in particular I’d like to apologize to for some of the arguments I once made, but I can’t.
As a trans person raised in a very gender neutral area I’d also like to point something out: LACK OF BINARY GENDER ROLES DOESN’T STOP PEOPLE FROM BEING TRANS. It is not that simple.
I was raised in a place where little boys played with dolls and dressed up in fairy costumes and had tea parties and it was not a big deal. Little girls played with dolls, loved sports, and hated dresses. I took ballet and kung fu and both classes were about a 50/50 split gender wise. I still have a hard time remembering what’s considered “normal” for little boys because where I grew up nothing was off limits unless it was dangerous. (I have less trouble with little girls because little girls tend to have more freedom to “be tomboys”.)
I am one of at least four trans people in my graduating class of 400. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but trans people make up a very small portion of the general population. Having even one per graduating class would be fairly surprising.
Being trans is not just about gender roles. I wish people would stop with that theory. Quite honestly, I fit women’s gender roles a lot better than I fit men’s. I’m not a woman though. That’s just how it is. I don’t want a penis to fit in better, I want a penis because my entire life something has felt missing. I don’t want facial hair because men have facial hair, I want facial hair because that’s what I expected to happen when puberty hit. (You can imagine how much of a disappointment it was to realise I’d ended up with periods instead.)
I didn’t figure out traditional gender roles until I was in my late teens. I knew that I belonged with “the people with short hair” when I was three. (That was how I identified gender at that point. People with short hair and people with long hair. Took me longer to figure out that some of the people with long hair had penises and some of the people with short hair had vaginas.) The trans people I grew up with all say about the same thing. We knew we were trans long before we understood gender roles.
In a lot of ways the lack of gender roles contributed to the amount of shame I felt for being confused. It was entirely unintentional, but the lack of angst my friends felt over gender roles or sexuality ended up making me feel even more screwed up. I couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be the only one who still couldn’t figure out where they fit. (Being gay didn’t help this. I knew that I liked guys, but I also knew that I didn’t want a vagina and I was 99% sure I wasn’t a straight girl. That’s not an easy set of things to wrap your head around when you’re still in the early stages of understanding sexuality.)
What not having strict gender roles did help with was fully accepting myself after I had the words. I never thought I couldn’t be trans because I’m gender non-conforming. Once I knew trans guys weren’t just an extension of butch lesbians I was set. I’ve actually become more gender non-conforming since coming out because T has made me more comfortable with myself which makes me more comfortable with experimentation.
Yes, traditional gender roles hurt people. I’m not going to argue that because it’s true. Not having them doesn’t stop trans people from existing or make us any more comfortable with our bodies though. That’s biological. It’s not going to go away. The trans people who are more socially trans than physically might not transition, but there are always going to be those of us who are trans because our bodies don’t fit. Clothes and hobbies aren’t going to fix that.
Most every “trans and gender variant youth” camp I’ve read about I hate. The only one I’ve found so far that I like is the one for the little baby drag queens where there’s a fashion show.
I think a large part of it is that there would have been no place for me at any of the camps I’ve found. There would have been no place for my effeminate guy friends at most of them. They all rely far too much on the idea that kids are either gender conforming or not and if they’re not they’re trans. They never get into baby Kurts or effeminate trans guy.
I could not have answered if I identified on the “masculine spectrum” or “feminine spectrum” at 12. I’d have a hard time answering it now. Yeah, I’m a guy. I’m not a guy guy though. I’d be just as out of place in a cabin full of masculine trans guys as I would be in one full of trans women. Given the option as a kid I always picked staying with guys, but that was because the guys I grew up with weren’t exactly butch. Had I grown up in a more conservative place I don’t know where I would have gone.
What I like about the camp for gender non-conforming little boys is that because the kids are so young, they don’t ask them to define themselves yet. I’d love a version like that for all kids. Assign cabins randomly instead of by gender identification. Have everyone sleep in solo tents and use gender neutral bathrooms. Something where kids don’t need to have the words to describe themselves in order to attend.