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Happier as the Opposite Gender?


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I think Jackie hit it pretty well.

3 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

The same way you make friends with anyone else?

I have one cis friend who used to run a hippie boutique in town.  I used to hang out there sometimes.  She was one of the first people I came out to when I still had a chest-long beard.  (I overcompensated bigtime back then)

It turned out that she had actually known a couple of transwomen in the past.  She let me hang out with her and her friends and drink beer and stuff.  The boutique crashed and burned, but I still see her from time to time.  This covid stuff sux.

When I made that comment, I was only thinking about how female store clerks will compliment my nails, or a necklace, stuff like that for instance; whereas men will "sir" me intentionally.

Women will speak to me in a store, whereas men will keep their distance.

I think most sane women don't see a transgirl as a threat.  To men, we represent a threat to the patriarchy, and perhaps their own manhood.

But these are just some of my theories.

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ElizabethStar
4 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

The same way you make friends with anyone else? You connect with shared interests and discover you enjoy each other's company. You do little things for each other to cement your friendship and share your lives and achievements.

I've always found this easier with girls than boys. Another red flag I ignored.

 

 

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Erica Gabriel

In reading all these posts I can relate to the sentiment of being more comfortable around women than men. It was only recently that I discovered the reason I was so uncomfortable around me and had difficulty forging male friendships was out of fear of being “ found out”. I too was bullied in grade school because I was perceived as an easy target. I’m still compiling and writing down all my memories of this time. 
 

Hugs to all of you and your honest, heartfelt posts.

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gina-nicole-t

@ElizabethStar yes you are correct that in the 80's it was referred to as the gay plague. If my memory serves President Regan started that whole mess up. He and his entire administration believed that gay people deserved AIDS. It took until almost the Clinton administration to dispel all the BS surrounding gay people and AIDS. Of course if you grew up with abusive over bible thumper parents like mine nothing was going to make them believe any different. The 80's had great music, but a horrible time to grow up knowing you're different and realizing you can't do anything about it. 

 

Gina

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17 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

For as far back into my childhood as I have any recollection there was simply one part of me that lived life as a more-or-less normal boy. Then there was this other (secret) part of me that took advantage of every opportunity to do things that made me feel female.

That's exactly how I felt too, OB.
I know now my true self-identity is transfeminine.  But, its taken me a VERY long time to reach that self-acceptance.

 

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I believe there are both male privilege and feminine privilege.

 

I understand feminine privilege as the intrinsec permission that every AFAB person has to feel and express their emotions, to have changeable moods, to be free with they way they express themselves, to be able to dress and express themselves more feminine and more masculine and both be ok. Just as males, some AFAB have turned that privilege into a malignant weapon, using emotion to guilt and manipulate other people, specially loved ones, both AMAB and AFAB. Every priviledge can be turned into a hurtful behaviour. At the same time, whe we do have a certain privilege we are not completely aware of its extent and how easy it makes that part of our live, we simply are not aware of it because it has never been lacking.

 

I have no clue how hard it must be to be AMAB in a society that not only makes them repress their emotions and only rewards goals achieved and "manlyness". I only know that I believe from the bottom of my heart that that's unfair and deeply harmful. I also know that AFAB woman (I don't know if all of them, but at least many/most of them) really appreciate when a man opens up about their feelings and expresses them, when we can support them too.

 

That said, male privilege is so real and so ingrained in society that I don't think any cis man can ever realise its extent. I'm AFAB and I've suffered every day of my life. I've been the one to be talked over at work meetings, or politely been let to talk to be swiftly ignored. It's like there is this pattern in male brains that allows them to let a feminine voice be talking but simply disconnecting as soon as it begins to sound. We are simply not heard. But we are seen. O man are we seen. Used as eye candy every day. Judged by our bodies and used as sexual objects constantly. Dismissed and diminished just as often. Our ideas are worth less just because they come out of our mouths. When I was pregnant with my second son I had a read hard time, I was sick 24/7. I asked to work from home so I didn't have to drive the curby road from my small town to the city, wich make everything even worse. They told me no, because it might set a precedent. For months after that they hired a new employee, a man. He asked to work from home. They said yes. Now, my boss was not a bad person, and the company was a openminded one. And yet, this is what happens. All The Time.

 

I have been reading this post for some days and I didn't want to chime in in case I came out too strong (that is another pervasive consequence of male privilege). Moderators please make your work as you see fit, and I am truly sorry if I offended anyone.

 

I identify as transmasculine. I will endevor to bring to this world a different kind of masculinity. I feel this is my work and also my privilege.

I won't ever discount feminine privilege.

I ask please do not discount male privilege.

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2 hours ago, Gabriel said:

I won't ever discount feminine privilege.

I ask please do not discount male privilege.

/\ This. The privilege walk is a well known exercise where folks all start at the same line and then take a step forward or back "if they have ever or never" according to certain questions. Inevitably a stable home growing up, middle to high earning, university educated white male does best; and I have seen men storm out of it and I have seen women finish ahead of men because of their family circumstances and ethnicity growing up, it is so highly dependant on our lives. I don't like it because people cannot help many of the factors that make them step forward or back, but the lesson is that in every area of life privilege exists whether we use it or are comfortable with it or not, it isn't chosen, just there.

Anyone under the trans umbrella will have unique insights because they will see more than most.

 😶

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ElizabethStar

I feel there is another side to privilege as well. I have two instances that that out. A few years ago there was a blizzard coming in. My employer decided to let all the girls go home early. I had to ask them -what the heck- was up with that, I don't like driving in the snow either. I was told it was only the girls, not the guys, due to their driving ability. I made a thing out of it and was able to leave an hour later. Still ended up in a ditch.

 

Another time I was having a full-blown migraine. I I could barely see or talk, and was incapable of thinking. Still I had to be at work. My supervisor got in my face, and like a drill Sergent demanded I tell him what my problem was. It lasted for a good 6-7 hours. I found out later that another girl has migraines all the time and stays home without question.

 

I saw my Dr. the next day. She freaked out, though I had a stroke (it was that bad). A few years later I found out my migraines were psychosomatic. Funny I haven't had one since I came out.

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Reading back to the first post I think we may be hijacking Overalls post here to focus in on privilege when the original post was more about the difference a cis person has wondering about whether they would be happy as the opposite gender.

Which is not how she experiences her dysphoria.

 

I know in the past I have joined in ridiculous pub conversations guys have had about waking up with breasts, and read more transformation stories than I ever should have before realising my brain was hinting at something (it's just pure fictional escapism lol); but I never realised just how hard it is for someone totally at home in their own body and societal role to recognise the struggle of those that aren't.

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ElizabethStar

Back on topic...

 

I'm much happier and calmer as a girl. I don't feel like I'm on the clock all the time and have to prove myself to other people. I'm just being me and don't have to be afraid of who that is.

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1 hour ago, DeeDee said:

I know in the past I have joined in ridiculous pub conversations guys have had about waking up with breasts, and read more transformation stories than I ever should have before realising my brain was hinting at something (it's just pure fictional escapism lol); but I never realised just how hard it is for someone totally at home in their own body and societal role to recognise the struggle of those that aren't.

 

You're right, we haven't talked about that yet. Waking up with breasts? Awesome. 😋

 

Pretty sure I read all those "transformation" stories too. I still enjoy them when they crop up in a book or series I'm reading but I don't pursue them like I used to.

 

Hugs!

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1 hour ago, ElizabethStar said:

I'm much happier and calmer as a girl. I don't feel like I'm on the clock all the time and have to prove myself to other people. I'm just being me and don't have to be afraid of who that is.

 

That's pretty much my experience too, except I'm in the other direction. I feel way calmer, like a constant buzz of discordance that fueled constant anxiety has lowered its intensity. 

 

It is really mindblowing to look back on my life now and see all the signs, clues and nudges that were always there. And yet I didn't see. 

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ElizabethStar
1 hour ago, Jackie C. said:

 

You're right, we haven't talked about that yet. Waking up with breasts? Awesome. 😋

 

I forget that there are people who would look at this as the end of the world.

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Not me although not much I'm happy to see my little girls... Allelulia. Oh darn I never get the spelling right. And for those going the opposite way I understand the feeling because I hate having ... As my English friend said..mm dangly bits.

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I remember talking to my wife (now ex) and wondering how it must be strange to have those on her chest all the time.  She said it must be strange to have those "dangly bits" there in the way all the time.

Guess there is a point of view involved.

Of course what wasn't said was how I kinda wanted my own to be there.

I'm pretty happy with my girls now.  And those "dangly bits" are kinda in the way at times.

It seems the point of view can change.

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Heather Nicole
On 11/21/2020 at 7:39 PM, ElizabethStar said:

I've always found this easier with girls than boys. Another red flag I ignored.

 

This sort of thing certainly seems to be fairly common among trans folk. (It even features prominently in one of my favorite trans stories, "Wandering Son" aka "Hourou Musuko"). I kind of wish I could echo the sentiment, but it was different for me. Not different in an "I found socialization easier with boys" sense though, it was more complicated than that.

 

Boys would look at me, see a boy, and therefore (depending who was looking) would register either a potential friend or a potential victim. Girls, on the other hand, would look at me, see a boy, and simply stick with the other girls. (At least until teenage years. At that point, my mere existence seemed to be personally offensive to a lot of girls.) I was always the shy introverted type, so my socialization was mainly based around those who approached me. And that was almost always boys.

 

But, I have to admit, the rare times when I would find myself in an engaged conversation with a girl...those conversations were comfortable in a way that was a little more personal and less superficial than a typical conversation with a random boy, and I really valued those rare exchanges.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 7:37 AM, ElizabethStar said:
On 11/22/2020 at 7:12 AM, Jackie C. said:

 

You're right, we haven't talked about that yet. Waking up with breasts? Awesome. 😋

 

I forget that there are people who would look at this as the end of the world.

 

Now this is one I can relate to! Ever since I first heard of Gynecomastia, I never could quite understand why other guys would be so bothered by it...I always found it enviable! I guess that one's a big honking red flag for me!

 

On 11/22/2020 at 9:39 AM, Jandi said:

And those "dangly bits" are kinda in the way at times.

 

They really are sometimes! Although I never exactly hated what I have down there, necessarily, sometimes it does seem almost a little weird to have all that dangly in-the-way stuff. Especially how the "twins" will randomly..and constantly...decide to get that dull ache and demand attention. It's like:

 

Me: "OMG, didn't we, like, just take care of this?"

Left: "Yea, but we want attention now, too!"

Right: "Yea! And we're not gonna let you focus on anything else until you do!"

Me: "Ugh, ok, fine, you win again, let's get this out of the way, I'm already late..."

 

On 11/22/2020 at 4:39 AM, Gabriel said:

I identify as transmasculine. I will endevor to bring to this world a different kind of masculinity. I feel this is my work and also my privilege.

I won't ever discount feminine privilege.

I ask please do not discount male privilege.

 

Gabriel! 😄 At the risk of extending any topic-hijacking, I especially feel a need to respond to your post.

 

First of all, I'm glad you ultimately felt that you could join in and offer your perspective. And I love what you've said here. Femininity had a much-needed reinvention and rebirth around the 1960's. And I've been noticing the past year or so that we both are certainly not the only people who seem to feel that the same rebirth/reinvention is long overdue for masculinity.

 

This is also one thing I love about transmen and transmasculine individuals that makes me very, very glad to have such wonderful brothers around: I don't know if maybe I'm generalizing, I hope not, but I often feel like transmen and transmasculine and such often make for better men and better examples of masculinity than many cismen do (nothing against cismen in general, of course, I've known many cismen who are also shining examples of positive masculinity).

 

But it's like, a masculine individual brought up as AFAB...that kind of life experience seems to often force a person towards a much better model of masculinity and away from the more toxic, anachronistic aspects. And I'm very happy to see you consciously dedicated to that advancement. :)

 

I should clarify one thing about the way my mind looks at the world, simply regarding terminology:

 

My mind draws a big distinction between the idea of "privilege" and the idea of...hmm...what to call it...I guess "detriment" for lack of a word that fits better. So, for example, to my mind, a "privilege" would be one gender having something beneficial that another gender lacks, whereas a "detriment" would be one gender having something...well...detrimental that another gender lacks.

 

Now, I think this next part is where some differences in perspective come in, and I suspect I'm likely the odd-one-out in this: My mind usually categorizes most of the unfair gender differences as EITHER a "privilege" for one side (or the other) OR as a "detriment" to one side (or the other). But reading through this discussion, it seems very common to regard most unfair gender differences as BOTH a "privilege" to one side AND simultaneously a "detriment" to the other side.

 

To be clear, I absolutely do regard any gender-privilege inequality to be a bad thing regardless of whether I feel I'm looking at the "privilege" or "detriment" category. And I have no intention of promotion my world-view on this as "better", its just different perspectives, differing terminology and classifications. But still the same values.

 

So if I say anything that may seem dismissive of male privilege, what I really mean is three things:

 

A. I fully recognize there are bad things women have to face in life that they should not have to face, regardless of what terminology I may ascribe to it.

 

B. I have just slightly enough awareness of epistemology that, whatever the topic, I'm fully aware of the possibility that I may very well have no idea whatsoever what in the world I'm talking about, and if so, I wouldn't even be aware of my own ignorance! ;)

 

C. I've faced a lot misandry (both "male detriment" and "female privilege" varieties) in ways that I feel like the general population isn't commonly willing to accept even exists. So it's a huge sore spot that is, I admit, very difficult for me to be fully rational about. Though I try.

 

I'd also like to say, for what it's worth, Gabriel, even as an amab who's never publicly presented as female, I can still directly sympathize with some of the "male privilege"/"female detriment" examples you and others have expressed. Especially the feelings of not being heard, feeling like your voice is overlooked and marginalized. That's been a recurring pain for me ever since I was a kid, so for what it's worth, I understand and I do sympathize.

 

And would you believe I was actually turned down for a job once because I was a guy? True story! The interviewer was even explicitly clear about it. Can't for the life of me understand why they even gave me an interview in the first place, if that was how they felt. It was an old, local retail chain that no longer exists, but to this day I have to be careful about mentioning it, because there's a lot of people who are so deeply convinced that sort of thing can't happen to males, they would (and have) weaponized it as me being sooo very misogynistic that I would make up an "obvious" lie like that. Again, main point being, you have a sympathetic friend in me.

 

Sorry everyone for bringing up the privilege thing again! I don't mean to re-derail!

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Heather Nicole

Oh, also, I should clarify too, it's less the idea of "male privilege" existing that bothers me, but rather, it's much moreso the idea of males having an exclusive overall advantage that hurts me. So anyone who recognizes female privilege in addition to male privilege is ok by me!!!

 

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11 hours ago, Heather Nicole said:

They really are sometimes! Although I never exactly hated what I have down there, necessarily, sometimes it does seem almost a little weird to have all that dangly in-the-way stuff.

I have come to feel that this part of my body is somehow "inside out".

Sometimes I wonder if there was a way to just poke it back in.

Oh well.

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On 11/22/2020 at 6:06 AM, DeeDee said:

Reading back to the first post I think we may be hijacking Overalls post here to focus in on privilege when the original post was more about the difference a cis person has wondering about whether they would be happy as the opposite gender.

 

Thanks so much for mentioning this DeeDee! For some reason I got to thinking about it while in the shower this morning. (I do a lot of my thinking in the shower.) Actually, I wanted to say, it's okay with me if members go off-topic while replying to my posts. Most of the the threads I post are just pretty-much random thoughts that happen to come to mind anyway. And so if some part of what I write, or some part of another member's reply, brings to mind a topic that's not really related to my original post & additional members want to chime in on that subject that's okay with me. It's interesting to me to see where threads I post go even if it's off-topic. And I feel like if something I post creates an opportunity for other members to toss ideas around, so to speak, then my post has been a success.

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Hi girls....

Here's my take: It depends on what you mean. Decisive, I know....

 

DeeDee observed:

9 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

Reading back to the first post I think we may be hijacking Overalls post here to focus in on privilege when the original post was more about the difference a cis person has wondering about whether they would be happy as the opposite gender.

And,

9 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

Actually, I wanted to say, it's okay with me if members go off-topic while replying to my posts....

And so if some part of what I write, or some part of another member's reply, brings to mind a topic that's not really related to my original post & additional members want to chime in on that subject that's okay with me. It's interesting to me to see where threads I post go even if it's off-topic. And I feel like if something I post creates an opportunity for other members to toss ideas around, so to speak, then my post has been a success.

 

I think the discussion about male and female privilege are directly on point. The existence of both social constructs is indisputable, as the examples in this thread attest. For me, transitioning MtF, I want to experience the emotional outlook which I think [hope] will be emphasized in my female gender expression and identity -- kindness, empathy,  gentleness, helpfulness, cooperation rather than competition, caring. I recognize that those are some of the female "vulnerabilities" upon which "male privilege" thrives. I hope that as my gender identity and expression evolve toward the feminine, I will be "evolving away from" my life-long masculine gender expression, including the role expectations associated with male "privilege" which are grounded in abuse of those feminine characteristics. 

 

In short, I favor the feminine outlook on life, but grew up in the masculine, including society's role expectations. I understand the "price" will be turning away from "male privilege," but I think it will be worth it....

 

~~Big Hug from Lee~~

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On 11/24/2020 at 5:20 AM, Heather Nicole said:

Oh, also, I should clarify too, it's less the idea of "male privilege" existing that bothers me, but rather, it's much moreso the idea of males having an exclusive overall advantage that hurts me. So anyone who recognizes female privilege in addition to male privilege is ok by me!!!

 

I have to admit that I share this view.  There are many women that use the stereotypical notions of gender to their advantage.

 

Why carry something heavy when a man will offer to carry it for you?  Why walk home when a man will offer you a lift?  Why put your own shelves up.......etc?

 

Some women also use their perceived vulnerability as means of control.  "Only men can be aggressive."  "A woman can't bully a man."

 

I live in a country that has a queen who is female, and we have had two female prime ministers, so the glass ceiling is not all that low for everyone.

 

Robin.

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10 hours ago, Lee H said:

 

In short, I favor the feminine outlook on life, but grew up in the masculine, including society's role expectations. I understand the "price" will be turning away from "male privilege," but I think it will be worth it....

I feel this way as well 

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ElizabethStar
10 hours ago, Lee H said:

I understand the "price" will be turning away from "male privilege," but I think it will be worth it....

So far it's been worth every moment.

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      Hi @Shawnster.  I know exactly where you are coming from. From the time I came out to my wife as transfeminine (about a year ago) it has been a similar denial and avoidance on her part.  Other than that our daily relationship is a good one, but its on her terms for what I am allowed to do (or more what I am not allowed to do .. ). That means the underlying tension always resurfaces at some point and then there is a meltdown on her part.  I had asked her before to attend therapy with me but she always told me she did not feel the need (I guess she saw it as "my problem" not hers).  But after the last meltdown she finally offered to attend (last week). One session did not solve everything between us but I came out of that with the feeling she had definitely moved in the right direction of "understanding" even if its not quite acceptance yet. Bottom line is, IF your wife loves you (and I have no doubt you love her as you declared), couples therapy (and possible individual therapy for both of you) may be your best chance at both of you being happy ... together. One other thing .. I have not started HRT yet.  But (for me) I feel I would need my wife's blessing before I started.  (For me again) Starting without her knowing/accepting would be a betrayal of her trust in me. Deep breaths ... one step at a time.
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