Ok. This is going to be a bit of a rant. Before I begin, I do want to point out a couple of things. First, everything I talk about here is my own experience and my own subjective, narcissistic view. I cannot speak on behalf of others, for others, etc. I may be able to retale what someone has mentioned to me but that isn’t necessarily my experience. Second, I do love my trans sisters. I’ve learned a lot from them about life in general, their trans folk experience and the discrimination that is often faced. What they have to go through to become who they are is amazing. What they have had to go through in the last 20-30 years, as many of them were the forefront trans activists, is just as amazing if not more so. I do respect everything about them. And find many of them incredibly beautiful in addition to intelligence (which for me has always been a turn-on). That said…
Why is it that when the mass media, researchers or others hear the word trans they think “trans woman”? Are we that invisible? I know that trans guys make up a far smaller percentage of the already small percentage of trans individuals. But that doesn’t mean we don’t exist. And we’re not all pregnant guys either. So far, the image of a transguy has be rather limited in the mainstream public eye. It’s frustrating for me to find role-models for me, a guy who transitions late in life but is happy with it. I look at the mass news media and when they write about trans individuals, it seems that it’s primiarily about trans women. Part of me wonders if it’s because we may blend in so well and pass so easily that we go stealth and become somewhat an unforgotten part of trans history or trans society. So far, only one place I know has a higher percentage of trans men and that’s at the Philly Trans Health Conference (I think it was 50-50 for last year and very young too).
As I wrote this I decided to see if I could find some photos of trans men to post. What I found was even better. Lynn Conway has created such a site that recognizes some great role models for trans men and, as a result, records some of our history to follow. But it’s still little things. The trans community is well-aware of us men and we often have places where we can put our hats on but outside of there, it almost feels like we’re nonexistant. I suppose that’s good in one way: we seem to have less violence against us (in general — there is always violence against trans individuals and moreso is targetted towards, very unjustly, POC; side thought: TOC, trans of color?). The only thing I can attribute to this disjointed and slanted view of trans society is that trans women are more visible. They have been fighting the fight for many years in a more prominent view in more numbers than trans men. It’s not that we aren’t there but.. well. I dunno. It’s too much generalization to say that we settle down more, start families and become devouted to those. Or perhaps we are able to keep our present jobs and want more to blend in, and are able to blend in far easier.
Whatever the reason, I do wish and hope that society would see trans individuals as more than trans women.