@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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dandelion

@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone

This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. Browse more on the original instance.

She

So my wife and I have been trying to work through the practicality of me coming out. She’s been having trouble perceiving me as female, which, like, I still have a beard, so I get it. She’s bi, but also believes that homosexuality is a sin, so she’s been trying to work though what we would look like. I’ve been trying to...

dandelion,
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Came here to say the same. I’ve seen other people claim Leviticus 18:22 was mistranslated, but all the actual Biblical scholarship and evidence I have found does not support this and the word is indeed a generic word for “male” that doesn’t imply age. Would love to see evidence to the contrary, though!

However, there is a debate about what “Paul” (the author was probably not actually Paul) meant in the New Testament in Corinthians by malakoi (“soft”) and arsenokoites (“man-bed”) and some people argue this is about pederasty and not about homosexuality, and that is at least more plausible than the claims about Leviticus 18:22.

Of note perhaps to @June and OP: a documentary was also recently produced called https://www.theguardian.com/film/2023/dec/01/christian-homophobia-bible-mistranslation-1946-documentary, which makes these kinds of arguments.

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

For me, I personally reacted differently to different labels and pronouns as I transitioned. When I first started I didn’t think my deadname or old pronouns bothered me at all, nor did I think they would in the future. It only took a few months for that to change.

In my opinion, early transition is not a time to make these kinds of promises, your intuitions might not be the same a year from now if you medically transition and live as a woman. You also aren’t thinking about what it might be like for your children to call someone who looks and lives as a woman their “dad”.

If possible, I think it would be wise to seek couple’s counseling (ideally someone with a PhD who has experience working with couples where one of them is transitioning), not because anything you’re doing is wrong but because it will give you a context for working through the active issues in your relationship. (Sometimes people see couple’s counseling as something you do when you’re failing, but in my experience if you are proactive and seek couple’s counseling before the relationship has reached a critical point where it’s too late and the relationship is ending, the counseling is more like an investment in the relationship that breathes life into it and can help sustain it.)

I wish you luck in your transition, I wish you lots of gender euphoria. ❤️

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Can confirm, I still don’t know that I’m trans, all I know is that I started HRT and transitioned socially and I still like it so I keep doing it. Sometimes you just have to admit it’s scary and you’re taking a gamble, but you can always take stock and see if the transition is still right for you. It can feel like you have to commit up-front and know for sure, but I’m not sure anyone knows for sure.

When I’m feeling the most doubt I like to sit down and write out the reasons I think I’m trans or why I think I might not be trans. Usually by writing it out I am confronted with all the reasons I have for transitioning and I feel better, more grounded in my choices. I think this is probably just fear and internalized transphobia that causes me to endlessly doubt and question whether I’m actually trans.

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

I recommend watching this video if you haven’t already: Common Excuses to Avoid Transitioning

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Yes, I recommend watching all those videos. They were what finally forced me to admit I was probably trans and that I should at least try hormones and socially transitioning to see whether it made things better or not.

I need some tucking help

As a transfem, it’s probably not a surprise that I get disphoric about a certain area. Tucking normally doesn’t really work for me because it leaves tape residue everywhere, hurts like hell to remove the tape and is super inconvenient (even though it’s medical tape). My idea: there has to be at least some underwear that is...

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

I recommend a gaff from origami customs, as they don’t charge for making your gaff to custom measurements, and they have a free gaff program.

EDIT: Origami Customs is based out of Canada and they ship internationally. Since I don’t see any of their in-person free gaff programs partners in Austria, your best bet will be their online free gaff program through Point of Pride, here are their requirements:

We have only two requirements in an effort to be as inclusive as possible:

  • You identify as transgender (MTF, genderqueer, non-binary, genderfluid, gender non-conforming, and every other non-cis identity assigned male at birth within the trans umbrella.)
  • You cannot afford to purchase femme shapewear, or you cannot safely obtain femme shapewear.

We accept all requests for support, and applications are open year-round. Once you complete your application, your request will be added to our waitlist. Shipping is discrete and 100% free, and we ship internationally to 90+ countries and counting.

Point of Pride sources their gaffs from Origami Customs. You have to take measurements, fill out an application on this Google Form, and they will contact you when it’s ready to ship. They do ship internationally for free.

I think the main “catch” is that there is a wait-list and presumably a long wait time. Even buying a gaff directly from Origami Customs I placed my order in December 2023 and it didn’t ship until March 2024. I suspect it will be a much, much longer wait for a free gaff through Point of Pride.

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Thanks, I love how genderqueer the underwear models are 😁

I do have one of their gaffs and it works for me really well. I tend to wear underwear over the gaff, and while it doesn’t entirely eliminate all bulge or completely smoothes out the area, it does a much better job than just underwear. I wore the gaff through a couple TSA pat-downs and it was perfect for that kind of situation. It also lets me wear dresses that otherwise show too much, if you know what I mean.

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

they debunked the myth that caffeine causes pancreatic cancer:

www.nature.com/articles/bjc2015235

EDIT: Caffeine might make you more likely to have issues with your heart, and isn’t good for your blood pressure.

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

I started injecting into tummy around mid March, so I guess it’s been a month since I gave up on injecting into the thighs. I started the 5 mg / 4 days in mid February, so I guess it’s been two months at that dose.

In that case it seems like injecting into the tummy shouldn’t be the reason I started to experience dysphoria. I do think sometimes that some injections depot better than others, and that it depends on various factors like whether I hit any blood supply, how much bleeding I cause when I inject, etc.

Thanks for the tip on the thigh - I can’t remember if I’ve heard that as well, but it’s good to hear what people are experiencing.

❤️

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

That does seem like a strong possibility, but then I don’t know how to explain why taking 0.4 mg more estrogen seemed to fix the mood issues I was having and made me feel more like taking 5 mg used to feel.

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Yeah, that was one of my hypotheses - that sustaining too high of a dose causes downregulation of the estrogen receptor, or something along those lines. A bit like a drug tolerance. That said, it’s unclear to me whether that kind of thing is actually likely or possible; I can only say it’s what the experience is like.

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

There’s a growing rift between the Lemmy developers and the team at lemmy.world. The developers, whose political views differ significantly from many in the Western tech sphere, run lemmy.ml with a distinct set of principles. The arrival of a large number of new users, many with different viewpoints, led to tensions and even bans.

What are the different viewpoints, or if you don’t want to say, is there somewhere that these differences are explained? Just curious.

I’ve subscribed to the new community on the new instance - thanks for the heads up!

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Yeah, the Left is dead in America. Most people here don’t understand basics about politics or history, and the language almost feels intentionally manipulated to prevent understanding. “Liberal” only means “the left” to most people, and the idea that liberal could mean anything else is suspicious and considered wrong. The idea that “conservatives” are also under the banner of liberalism is also not commonly understood here.

Anyway, interesting. Thanks for the articles!

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Yes, I’m also a “left of liberal” person, and also not a tankie (not a “Marxist-Leninist”, Maoist, etc.).

Generally I like labels like “libertarian socialist”, or what Lenin would have pejoratively called “left communist”. I find inspiration in Chomsky, Bookchin, Kropotkin, Proudhon, etc.

In the U.S. I get the sense that most vegans are liberals (in the American sense of generic social liberalism, rather than the broader global sense of seething reactionary capitalist, though they are often more similar than not), but it’s not uncommon to find a consistent radical niche among vegans in the U.S. (sorta like in the punk subculture, though less so with vegans).

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Sorry, I haven’t heard about this; do you have a source where I could follow-up?

Generally I think of “tankie” as a pejorative for those supporting the Soviet Union in their authoritarianism (literally supporting the Soviet tanks that crushed the 1956 Hungarian Revolution). “Authoritarian” Marxism is rather broad, so maybe I would feel a Maoist, Leninist, or Trotskyist could be a tankie depending on how they relate to those views.

It is strange to me that tankies stan for Putin, considering Russia is no longer even pretending to be Marxist.

I have seen Chomsky provide some pretty bad arguments on various issues, and I don’t entirely agree with him on everything. I have noticed Chomsky consistently takes an antagonistic position against the U.S. and the West that I broadly agree with, and it’s a complicated position to take because in global conflict there is a notion that there are two sides and one of them is good and the other bad. To go against the U.S. is often to appear to be supporting the “wrong” side. In some interviews during the pandemic Chomsky condemned the U.S. and the West for hoarding vaccines and praised China for working to provide vaccines for the countries in the Periphery.

There is something to be said about Putin responding to U.S. violations of previous agreements and needless antagonizing of Russia that doesn’t require we agree fully with Putin’s narrative. This isn’t just a tankie position, as it is a position I have heard articulated in peace conferences by professional philosophers who were clearly critical of the Ukraine invasion but still wished to contextualize the conflict in the broader post Cold War world where the U.S. had a chance to sustain peace but choose needless provocation anyway. It seems unfair to not to call out the U.S. for those provocations, and the predictable resulting conflicts, but that’s not the same as saying Putin is justified or that his narrative is worth supporting.

I also admit I just have not done the kind of reading on the situation to be able to properly evaluate or defend these kinds of claims, so I apologize for not being able to speak with any real substance on the issue. I know it’s an important conflict, but a lot has been going on with me personally and there is only so much space I can dedicate to education, especially education on difficult topics such as war.

Either way, when I say Chomsky is an influence, I mean this broadly and not specifically that I endorse all of his viewpoints.

Chomsky has spoken against the gay rights movement as creating too much division among the working class, for example, while my life personally has been deeply impacted by the gay rights movement and I think his evaluation might be a bit off. I can be sympathetic to the point he makes, but I think he is too quick to dismiss the significance of these social movements.

I am an ethical vegan and Chomsky has responded to questions about ethical veganism with fallacious whataboutism reasoning, essentially arguing it’s not a cause worth engaging in critical consumerism and boycotts over because there are larger and more pressing issues. I used to be caught in that whataboutism thinking myself, but what I eventually realized is that being a vegan for me did not take away from any other cause or purpose, and was in most cases not even an inconvenience, and is something that increases enjoyment and health in my life as well as being a minimally better choice ethically. Maybe it’s not that way for everyone, since I already cooked most of my meals, but I can say being a vegan seemed most impossible right before becoming a vegan. After a month or two I realized veganism wasn’t much of a sacrifice at all, but to the contrary resulted in a kind of renaissance in my cooking (translating to more enjoyable meals, and much better health).

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Yes, I agree the heart of what it means to be a tankie is to be authoritarian socialist of some stripe; I think that’s precisely why I don’t find the label fitting to Chomsky, given the whole of his work and the kind of political advocacy he has engaged in.

Thank you for the link to the response to his talking points.

As I have said, previous to this discussion I have not known anything about Chomsky’s view on Ukraine.

I did find this, from April 2022, Noam Chomsky: A Left Response to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Whatever the explanation for the Russian invasion, an important, crucial question, the invasion itself was a criminal act, a criminal act of aggression, a supreme international crime on par with other such horrific violations of international law and fundamental human rights like the US invasion of Iraq, the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland, and all too many other examples.

From this I get the broad sense that Chomsky does not side with Putin nor does he support the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This is hardly saying much, since seething reactionaries like Jordan Peterson have said similar things, decrying the invasion of Ukraine while defending and rationalizing Russian interests.

This has long been a problem with the Left since the main geopolitical opposition to the U.S. and Western Imperialist countries have been problematic Marxist-Leninist authoritarian countries like the USSR, China, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.

Though ironically Chomsky was also decried is an Imperialist and liberal for supporting U.S. intervention in Syria to support the Kurdish movement in Rojava, so he has committed sins in both directions (against Russian interests, and for, apparently).

From the May 2022 Open Letter responding to Chomsky’s position there are many claims of positions Chomsky takes in his interviews, but the only quote they provide is about Crimea. Sure, maybe he is wrong about the people of Crimea supporting Russian annexation considering the claims made by the Ukrainians that dispute the Crimean referendum that Chomsky may have been alluding to by his comment. Hard to say, but I at least understand why people might bristle when Chomsky says “Crimeans apparently do like [being off the table].”

It seems to me there is a lot of work to do to sort through all the claims and counter-claims and evaluate evidence and so on.

I can suspect Chomsky is not likely to come out of that entirely clean, and I can understand to a Ukrainian that anything less than full, uncritical support is betrayal enough. War creates a stark psychological reality for the victims; it is for Ukrainians an issue of survival and all this hemming and hawing about larger geopolitical issues and Leftist ideological commitments will just come across as hypocritical to supposed Leftist values, and compromising to the pragmatic goals of resisting the Russian invasion which is pressing, immediate, and traumatizing. It reminds me of Che Guevera who summarily executed a suspected traitor, and was surprised when people were shaken by this. His reality had adjusted to war-time, and he had become so pragmatic he had stopped caring about due process or rights. This is the reality the Ukrainains are in, and we should understand this and be sympathetic to the on-going genocide.

I don’t have the time or space to educate myself on this issue, and I am sorry for that. It may be that Chomsky is like other famous leftists who have taken compromising positions in the past.

Coming to mind for me is Howard Zinn who was so bent on criticizing the U.S. that he amplified Nazi propaganda about the Dresden fire-bombings. I don’t think that made Zinn a Nazi or a Nazi collaborator, nor do I think it undermines his humanistic principles or overall project as a historian. I do think it is unfortunate, that it weakened him as a figure, and so on. I see Chomsky similarly. In his attempt to attack the U.S. he can come too close to defending authoritarian regimes. (I don’t know whether that’s true with Ukraine, it’s just sounding like it from what you are telling me; I’ve had the thought previously about his support of China.) Still, I think in the context of his ideological commitments those compromises make sense even if they are flawed, problematic, or simply built on lies that are convenient to authoritarians. The politics are messy and none of the sides are morally righteous even though that’s not how it feels.

I do not expect figures like Chomsky to be right about everything. We could be having a similar discussion right now about how Kropotkin is a whatever-disparaging-term-you-wish because he supported Western entry into World War I.

Some figures might be more compromised by others, but I don’t think Chomsky or Kropotkin are compromised to the point of figures like Lenin, Trotsky, or Stalin who each proclaimed ideals of communism and did much more to destroy those ideals.

Still, I am sympathetic to criticizing Chomsky where he is wrong, I just don’t have the time to figure out exactly what sins he has committed with regards to Ukraine, as plentiful as those sins may be.

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Hey, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but maybe I can come back another time when I can respond properly? I already compared Chomsky’s response to right-wing responses, and I feel like parts of my response are getting ignored and the claims being made are getting a bit out of hand given the context. At this point it feels like communication isn’t happening between us, and usually that’s a sign that this isn’t going anywhere helpful, for either of us.

I want our time together to be mutually useful. I’m not here to defend Chomsky, I don’t even agree with Chomsky on many points, as I’ve already tried to communicate. I just can’t spend the time unpacking claims that he’s a tankie, an enlightened centrist, committing “both-sides” errors, etc. I feel like I mentioned casually that I’m a leftist and a libertarian socialist and now we’ve gone down this rabbit-hole about how Chomsky is actually maybe kinda like a tankie or like Trump or Tucker Carlson because he criticizes the U.S. and NATO handling of the situation with Russia (and maybe worse things than that, to be charitable to your view).

I hear what you’re saying, and I’m not really saying you’re wrong, I just don’t want either of us to keep wasting our time on communication that is not working.

At this point I can’t tell how you are trying to relate to me or what you think my position is in all of this.

EDIT: I’m saying this because I assume you and I have no major disagreement, just want to make sure you’re not feeling hostility towards me and that we’re good.

Does anybody have experience with progesterone creams?

I feel like I am at a point in my transition where I might benefit from adding progesterone into the equation. However, I have heard wildly different opinions on whether it has any impact at all, and criticism of generally available creams on amazon for not being the same as human progesterone, since they are often derived from...

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

I would take bio-identical progesterone (P4) prescribed by a doctor. The common recommendation is to press the pill (normally taken orally) up into the rectum, since taking it orally causes the liver to filter most of it. Bypassing the liver by putting it up the rectum allows it to absorb readily in the lower intestines.

See:

transfemscience.org/articles/transfem-intro/

A common recommendation is to start progesterone a year or two into HRT once the breasts have reached Tanner stage III, as taking it too early supposedly can negatively impact breast development (take this with a grain of salt, may or may not be true; there is also no empirical evidence progesterone helps breast development, it’s all anecdotal reports).

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

I feel that I should preface this by warning questioning people that looking for signs is generally not a good way to find out if you’re trans. Different people experience being trans in different ways.

What is a good way to find out if you’re trans?

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

I could never explain why I always wore long sleeves and pants when I went to school. I don’t think there was a single day where I went to school in shorts, and not a single day I went to school without long-sleeves (some days I would wear short-sleeve shirts but I would bring a long sleeve shirt to put over it). I felt exposed and uncomfortable otherwise. I was a good student, but the only class I did poorly in was gym because they graded you based on whether you dressed according to dress-code, and I refused because it required changing into shorts and a short-sleeved t-shirt in a locker room full of boys. I tried it a couple times but just couldn’t keep doing it. I think the teachers thought I was just defiant or something, but I was meek and just uncomfortable.

I remember being in third grade and wearing a literal winter coat to school every day in the heat of summer (this being in the south). I remember being extremely sweaty and uncomfortable on the bus rides especially where it was crowded and there wasn’t AC, but I never took that coat off.

I never understood why I always felt ashamed of my body and wanted to cover every part of it. Before realizing I am trans I thought maybe I had a repressed memory of sexual abuse or something, but now it makes more sense to me why I had that kind of relationship to my body.

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Strangely I hid my legs before the hair started coming in, but I do think it got more intense after that.

I guess that’s another memory / thought that didn’t make sense until after transition. When hair started to come in on my legs when I was a teenager, I really didn’t like it and started shaving it, despite also feeling insecure about my masculinity and wishing I were like the other boys in my puberty (which was coming too late and too weak to keep up). I wanted to be normal and that was more important, but I still hated the changes that came with male puberty (though I didn’t think of it that way, I didn’t really contextualize it, I just instinctively shaved it until I felt I couldn’t keep getting away with it).

dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

I obviously can’t speak to your particular circumstances or the risks involved in remaining closeted and hiding your HRT, etc.

What I can say is that I wish I had transitioned much earlier, and that life without HRT left me with serious mental issues that weren’t resolved until I started HRT. A lot of masculine features didn’t show up until my mid to late 20s.

Different people respond differently to HRT, so my experiences may not match yours, but I seriously underestimated the biochemical and cognitive impact HRT would have.

Waiting 5 - 6 years seems insane to me, and HRT takes time to cause changes. Starting while still young will have significant impact on your development for the rest of your life, even starting at 18 compared to your mid-20s is a huge difference in my opinion.

If I were you, if it were at all possible I would choose to start HRT as soon as possible, but that’s a highly contingent statement based on my narrow set of experiences. Starting HRT can be its own stress and not having the space to accommodate that in your life may or may not work. Looking back, I tried to come out of the closet and transition over and over in my life, and it wasn’t until I was much, much older with a stable career and home life that I was finally able to accommodate transitioning. Still, I wish I could have started HRT when I was 18, or 16, or 13. I wish I could have avoided the failed suicide attempts, the self-harm, the crippling depression, the anxiety. There was so, so much suffering I had no idea was being caused by going through the wrong puberty, and I still can hardly believe the way I feel with injections of estradiol. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. It’s like asking if you should start injecting insulin as a diabetic, it seems like the only answer is yes. Still, I know it’s more complicated than that.

Consider educating yourself on transfeminine HRT and sourcing hormones on the grey-market if possible. Even if you are able to see a doctor and go through official means, educating yourself is important as doctors won’t know much about how to treat trans patients. The DIY route might also save you from the potential of being outed by going through official channels (bills, paperwork, etc. can easily end up going to your parents if you live with them, etc.).

Be smart, prioritize independence. Save up money, be safe, and take care of yourself.

I wish you luck my sister.

dandelion, (edited )
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Gender identity

  • Masculine-feminine spectrum: Somewhere in the upper quartile of femininity, if I had to guess.
  • Fluidity: Seems to depend on my hormones, I feel more imposter syndrome with more androgens in my system. Doesn’t make me feel like a man, but I feel less certain about being a woman.
  • Intensity flux: Also depends on hormones. Most of the time I am unaware of my gender experiences, they are largely in the back-ground and I have to carefully observe and infer the gender. This leaves me less than confident. Sometimes high levels of estrogen can suffuse me with a sense of being a woman that can be quite euphoric. Androgens can make me feel disconnected from being a woman.
  • Overall: I feel non-binary, but for all practical purposes I fit into the binary woman gender identity well (being NB for me is more about what I can tolerate on my body compared to some other trans women, but I don’t have much desire to be like a man and lots of desire to not be like a man).

Attraction to others

  • Sexuality: If you assume I’m a woman and my attraction to women makes me gay, I was a 5 on the Kinsey scale before HRT and now I’m a 4, so somewhere in the bisexual umbrella. The Kinsey scale usually does not respect trans identity, so researchers would call me a 1 and that I moved to a 2 on the scale. Take your pick, whatever.
  • Romantic…ality?: Almost no romantic interest in men, almost all romantic interests are directed towards women. HRT seems to have caused me to feel more visceral sexual attraction to some men (which is a bit disorienting and not entirely welcome, tbh), but not any interest in a romance or relationship.

Social traits

  • Platonic affinity: Prefer to be friends with women, has been true my entire life but became quite stark when puberty hit and most boys I knew diverged even more from what would make them acceptable as friends. (At the time it struck me that boys were immature, brutish, violent, and mean; girls my age seemed much more mature, had similar interests as me, were much nicer, and were worth talking to and being friends with. My perception was that greater social, emotional, and intellectual development in girls than boys made them more worthwhile friends; now I realize maybe I was trans or something, since not everyone experiences this preference to be “one of the girls”.)
  • General sensitivity: Maybe some overlap with HSP, but I’m not sure. I definitely can feel overwhelmed by social situations, even small ones.
  • Social tolerance: This seems to shift for me since HRT, I think my introversion might be connected to mental issues like anxiety and so on, so with HRT I have sometimes had greater resilience towards stress and higher tolerance for being in public and being in social situations. I’m still a recluse by preference, though. I prefer deeper 1-1 conversations with people I trust or like to being in group settings or interacting with strangers.
dandelion,
@dandelion@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Hm, I think I hard disagree that gender variance is tolerated more in women than men.

Even feminine looking women feel insecure in their gender, and rates of body dysmorphia are empirically higher in women than in men. Women often feel they have to “put on their face” using makeup and aren’t themselves or recognizable without makeup, whereas men are not expected to do anything to be “themselves”. Being a man is just a default, and as long as you have certain minimal gender traits (like a deep enough voice, a beard, etc.) you’re easily granted manhood. I’m primarily looking at this in cis folks since I think binary trans folks during transition are by definition not stable in their gender or haven’t “achieved” their desired gender yet (and non-binary presenting folks are forever ambiguous and left between genders).

Your experience of transitioning and the very real fragility you experienced (and many men both cis and trans experience) is not meant to be disregarded by discussing the severe insecurity and fragility of gender for women, in fact I know a lot of what you have experienced from being raised a boy and having a much delayed and relatively weak puberty. I wasn’t recognized in my manhood and constantly felt insecure in my gender as people expected me to be a man.

I also live in the deep south and was raised here, so the masculinity here is as you mention of a certain intense quality. Men are more fragile here and more likely to police other men in their gender, it’s true. Even as an adult living as a man it became a kind of sore point when interacting with certain kinds of men. I remember one time I was pleading with a line worker who was shutting off my internet to leave it on (I was in the middle of hosting a meeting and couldn’t get disconnected). The line worker after ignoring me and disconnecting my internet referred to me as a boy, which I experienced as a kind of dehumanizing refusal to recognize me as a man, and a statement that created a stark hierarchy. It was not just that I wasn’t a “man”, he was also implying I wasn’t an adult in his eyes, even though I had finished whatever male puberty I was going to have at that point and was adult by any other measure. I was a bit shaken by that experience, as those kinds of experiences were more common when I was younger, and for the most part adults were more mature and less likely to treat me that way. So I started growing out my beard as a safety measure (and as a form of self-neglect, and as a way to hide my face), and when city workers like that would show up I would crawl into overalls and boots and put on my best man-drag. I didn’t get confused for a boy after that.

So I agree that the fragility is very much there for men, and that the way it works is different for men and women. Still, I think it’s typical for cis women to work much harder for their gender than men, and it’s just empirical that women experience more insecurity and fragility in the gendered expectations. I think this stems from the fact we live in a patriarchal society where men hold a privileged position.

Here is a source about the body insecurities in men vs women:

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16801740/

It’s hard to properly compare the ways gender are enforced, especially when they can be so different. So I will just reiterate what you have said: there is fragility and enforcement in both genders, even if I think it’s well established that fragility is more stark for women in this society than for men. It’s true in different subcultures the shape of gender enforcement is different, and this is also just ignoring the obvious difficulties faced by any trans person whether men or women.

I know trans men struggle, I just don’t know why they don’t show up to support groups and participate in trans culture online and IRL.

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