Thursday, April 25, 2013

Enough, when is enough enough?

There is so much pressure as a trans person from all around you on how to proceed once you come out. There is this pressure about when are you starting T? God forbid you say I don’t know, then it is why don’t you know? How could you not know? Isn’t this all you have wanted or is this just some phase? Now if you don’t want to start T then it is a battery of pressure and animosity. You are not trans enough, you’re not doing it right, you must not want to be a man or even see yourself as a man and you are just a woman parading around pretending to be butch insulting the trans community. There is so much pressure to start T that if it isn’t in your timeline of within 6 months of coming out barring any complications with medical practitioners you are doing it wrong. Then there is binding, and there is only one answer to this. You MUST bind, no excuses, no whining, no titties. Since men don’t have boobs of course and so we must not, bio men just don’t have boobs, just forget about all those bio-men you’ve seen running around with tits because they just don’t exist and it is your eyes playing tricks on you. Real men don’t want tits, what they want is a crushing binder that feels like or is cutting off circulation, they want chaff from all the spandex in the summer, they want labored breathing, they want back pain, and they want crushed and cracked ribs; all in the name of being breast-less. You better learn to stand up to pee, because if you don’t then you must be a woman, because instead of men going into the bathroom to pee what they actually do is stand there and decide whether or not you stood and pissed or sat down like a dainty lady just by the sound of your piss hitting the toilet bowel, since we all know they don’t have anything better to do. The pressure from the outside of the community is hard enough to deal with. You must also not have any peach fuzz on your whole body because that will without a doubt give you up and everyone will know you are a woman. Your eyebrows must be a certain thickness and distance apart. You have to pack I mean duh because if you don’t see this huge bulge you must not be a man. You have to walk a certain way and have your pants and shirts a certain way and the list goes on and on. I know that this list seems ridiculous and it is but the thing is these are all things I have either heard or I have heard other FTMs tell FTMs. Yes there are certain things that have to be done to pass but they are different to everyone and not everyone wants to be the same kind of man. The pressure of trying to find a way to fit standard heterosexual gender norms in order to “pass” however that is for each person. We try so hard to conform are actually gender identity to fit what society sees as the right way of presenting as that gender, often times stifling what we actually see ourselves as presenting as. For instance a FTM must not be flamboyant, must not show any sign of femininity. But the problem with that is that not all bio-men fit that gender presentation. It gets even harder when you get that pressure from within your own community. When the trans community is the group telling you when you don’t pass because you are to girly or not into boyish enough things. Or when there is so much pressure to be hypermasculinized that misogyny now begins to exist within the community. We become so afraid of not being man enough that we have created these impossible standards that 90% of cis-gendered/bio-males cannot meet on the best of days. Now don’t get me wrong there are FTMs that do present like this and that is how they want to be and that is great but that shouldn't be the standard or the expectation. One reason I have felt the need to even discuss this is as a trans athlete these are things I have heard a lot. Why aren’t you transitioning? You must not really think you are man (take note of the key word think). You really aren’t trans or you wouldn’t want to compete, etc.. These are words I have heard from the transgender community. Prior to transitioning and competing as a woman I had a very hard time finding a place in the FTM community despite the fact that the only part of my life I wasn’t presenting and passing as a man was track. It was so much pressure to try and fit in within the community and try to find a way to present myself in a way to feel like I fit in and belonged. The more I tried the more I felt like an outsider because I didn’t and still don’t bind everyday well at least on weekends, because I am not ashamed of saying I have a vagina, because I don’t need to be stealth and because I still competed as a woman. I spent so much time trying to be “ENOUGH” for everyone else to try and find a place in a community I was trying to advocate for that I began to lose track of the kind of man I was and wanted to be. I feel like that is one of the hardest things to navigate during transition is becoming the man you are not the man that you are being told to be. I finally had to step back and many years of therapy and begin to accept myself especially in the later stages of my throwing career as a woman. I had to say I am ok with the man I am because I began to realize that if I wasn’t who was going to be. I stepped back and said to myself you know what I got boobs and dammit I am not going to keep them down while lifting because I am not as good in the weight room or throwing when I do and it is not healthy, so fuck it. I stopped seeing myself as less trans or not trans enough because no one can tell anyone how to be them and that that person is not enough of anything. It took a lot of time and it is something I still struggle with but it needs to happen. It is something we all need to do as trans people because we need to be able to see within ourselves the men and women we are. We need to step back from pressuring each other into stereotypes and boxes and 1950s gender roles and just allow people to be the people they are. No man or woman is a certain way and we shouldn’t be either. I am a FTM jock that is a extreme feminist and you know what I don’t beat my chest and love to watch sports I actually really am not a fan of sports on TV except track and basketball but I love opera and poetry and the arts. I am both masculine and extremely feminine at the same time and I am ok with that.

5 comments:

  1. Peter from PoughkeepsieApril 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Hope you are still practicing! Weather finally is warming up......for low key hammer throw competition, primarily Masters age goup, but Open is allowed, look up the meets organized by Twilight Throwers in Chelmsford MA.

    KEEP THROWING!

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  2. Thank you for this. It needs to be said because people need to hear it. Thank you for saying it. Thank you for giving hope to others just by being yourself and encouraging others to be true to themselves. Thank you.

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  4. Happy 31st Birthday Keelin- doesn't appear that you are active in adding entries to the Blog anymore....I wonder if you tried to continue throwing the hammer- I turn 60 this summer, so the implement gets lighter, down to 4k, so I will be "comparing" my marks to your distances when you were competing nationally (and internationally- Pan Am Games!). I can only throw the 6k hammer 34 meters, so there actually is no basis for comparison- your technique, speed, and strength were always far superior to my efforts.

    But I intend to participate in hammer throw competitions in 2015, and maybe someday you will return to doing so as well, at whatever level you are comfortable with.

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  5. Keelin--

    I don't know if you automatically receive notification when someone adds a comment, but anyway--

    http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/sports/high-school/2015/07/22/state-mulling-guidelines-including-transgender-student-athletes/30424885/

    I am still throwing the hammer, will be age 60 in 3 weeks.

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