What is it like to be a man trapped in a woman’s body? How does a woman become a man? TRANSGENERATION, a dramatic and mesmerizing eight-part series, is a year-in-the-life look at four college students–Gabbie, Lucas, Raci, and T.S.–who are juggling the challenges of academia with their commitment to transition from their birth sex. Faced with life-altering choices–about how to deal with parents and society, whether or not to take hormone therapy and undergo sex re-assignment surgery–these…

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Not sure what I want. Is this normal?(r/ftm)

Being ‘life-wreckingly dysphoric’ is not a prerequisite to being Trans. No one can tell you if you’re Trans – you have to figure yourself out – but from what you’ve said, if you’re not some flavour of Trans, I’ll eat my hat.

>I want pecs, not breasts. I want to grow sideburns and be able to get broad shoulders when I work out. I don’t want to have the stupid childbearing hips every girl in my family gets. When i’m wearing boy clothes and the dude at the checkout calls me ‘sir’ I feel like i’m walking on air for the rest of the day. During sex, imagining I have a man’s body makes it twice as good. Sometimes I panic and pull at the stupid growths on my chest and wish I could just take them off.

That says it all, really.

>being a trans gay man seems so much more difficult from what I hear than being a cis straight woman who occasionally has body-hating panic attacks.

Being someone who’s happy with who you are, truly happy and not just getting by, is never more difficult than what you’re currently dealing with. It is much, much easier. You have no idea how much your quality of life will improve when you’re completely true to yourself, whether that means transition or not.

>I don’t know if this will pass one day

It’s been 20 years. I don’t advise waiting another 20, or 10, or two, to see if this will pass. I would be astounded if this magically went away. You sound like the majority of Trans people out there, thinking ‘but maybe it’ll go away even though it’s been a thing in my life for decades’ and eventually realising that no, it is not going to go away, and a lot of time was lost angsting and hoping it would just magically vanish so they wouldn’t have to deal with it. That doesn’t mean you should rush out and transition tomorrow (you can’t anyway; it’s a process, not an event, and it doesn’t happen overnight); it just means that from what you’ve said, I really don’t think this is going to go away for you, and I think the best thing you can do is what you’ve already started to do: talk to lots of Trans people, learn as much as you can, keep getting to know yourself better, and try out a new name or male pronouns (or both) in certain safe spaces if that’s something that interests you. (If it interests you but you’re terrified to do it because change is scary, do it anyway. If you’re concerned about your safety in a particular space, obviously don’t do it there. Online is a great way to start if there’s nowhere locally, including your own house with a close friend or two, that feels safe.)

A therapist who gets Trans issues (most don’t) would do you a world of good. Where in the world are you?

Don’t get so hung up on whether you ‘qualify’ as Trans or whatever. Just do whatever you need to do to feel as comfortable as possible in your own skin and in the world as you move through it. That’s the entire point; the rest is noise. Transition is not a roller coaster you strap yourself onto. You are in charge. Try stuff out, keep what works, chuck what doesn’t. That’s really all there is to it. If you don’t like your chest, get top surgery. That doesn’t mean you have to take T or live as a guy or anything else. If you want T, take T. If you want to be seen as a guy, put yourself into social situations as a guy, whether online or offline. Etc.

Since you’re so new, here, have a resource dump. 🙂

Talk to lots of Trans people! You’re already starting to do that. We’re not all cookie-cutter; for many of us, the only thing we have in common is that we’re Trans. We cross every demographic group and have a lot of different perspectives to offer. Get as many perspectives on things as you can so you can make well-informed decisions. Hope to chat with you at ftmichael.transboys.info/yayforqueers.html !

Take your time with these links; getting through them is not a race, and going through them slowly is a better idea anyway. Go through them in whatever order you want; I’ve just listed them by URL length so they’re easier to read. I put a few in bold that I think might be especially helpful for you.

If you get a database error on any of the T-Vox links, just click the little View Source tab and it’ll show you the raw contents of the page.

Must-reads if you can get hold of them – you may be able to find them at your local library or through inter-library loan, or get a cheaper used copy online:

  • Luna by Julie Anne Peters (YA fiction)
  • Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger (YA fiction)
  • Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green
  • The Transgender Child by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper
  • Just Add Hormones by Matt Kailey (author of the above-mentioned Tranifesto)
  • Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, edited by S. Bear Bergman and Kate Bornstein
  • Trans Forming Families, edited by Mary Boenke (third edition, 2008) – available from PFLAG’s Transgender Network for $10 US
  • The Our Trans Children leaflet (sixth edition) – available from PFLAG’s Transgender Network for $2 US, or you can save and print it yourself for free. The booklet is their only source of revenue, so if you can pay for it, please do!
  • TransGeneration (Ignore what Lucas says in the first episode about hormones being “very dangerous” – they’re not, not if you get them through a competent doctor and have regular – which usually means annual – bloodwork.)

(The books, aside from Trans Forming Families, can be ordered on Amazon or you can get the ISBNs from Amazon and bring them to any bookshop to order them. The DVD can be ordered on Amazon also, as you see from the link.)

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