Ask a Trans* Person.

In the year and almost six months since coming out, I’ve been asked a lot of questions.  Some of them were rude, some of them were not.  A lot of people asked them with very good intentions, and some said things like, I’m not sure if I should ask this, but…  And then there have been several guys who came out and asked me questions about it because there’s not a lot of guide books for us.  This is normal. I asked a lot of trans* guys about transitioning before I came out.  So I thought I would put some of the many questions I’ve been asked since I came out here, and that way, if you’ve had a question, but were afraid to ask, or whatever, you can probably learn the answer.  Or just ask me. I  can tell when people are genuinely wanting to be educated or just being assholes.  Don’t be the latter one, and I’ll answer it, without a snappy comeback.

“I am out to my friends and my girlfriend only. They are all very supportive of me and my decision to live my life as a male and to be happy. However I have not come out to my family. They are of the Christian faith and DO NOT support anything in the GLBT community. I’m terrified to come out to them in fear of being tossed out of the house. I’m 22 years old, but I currently live with my parents and my sister. How/when should I break the news to them?”

In some ways I have experience with this.  A lot of my friends from the Christian faith stopped being my friends when I came out.  It sucked at the time, but now I’m kind of okay with it.  I mean, it sucks when you are rejected, but the people who aren’t able to accept you are people you really don’t want in your life.  It’s different for family though.  In this case, it’s difficult, because you want to be who you are, and not live a double life.  But you don’t want to be tossed out either.  I didn’t come out to my family until I was living at college.  Then when I did move home, they already had time to deal with it.  But it’s still hard because my Dad isn’t even religious and yet he has a problem with it.

I think if you can, wait until you are in a situation where you have a backup plan in case they decide to kick you out, or that you decide that it is way too much to handle living with them.  Because it’s going to be very awkward at first.  And probably for a long time.  I’ve been out for nearly a year and a half and it’s still super awkward, even with my Mom on board.

The unique thing I’ve found about the trans* community is that when our friends or family reject us, we always find people that love us unconditionally.  In some ways, we have our own family.  At first my parents were absolutely pissed off, and I had a set of parents in the community that knew and treated me like I was their son.   I also have found trans* brothers and sisters and we’re a family.

“Do you have to go through gender therapy before being able to start T?”

I do not have to because I get mine from Planned Parenthood.  I couldn’t find doctors that would prescribe me T, so I drive 3 hours to Planned Parenthood every 3 months for my prescription.  I just go to gender therapy because it helps me.  But technically, I could stop. 

“Is it going to be weird for me and my girlfriend to have sex because I’m not on t, so it’d be like having sex with a girl cause I can’t do anything else.”

 I think if you make it weird, it’s going to be weird.  Don’t focus on the fact that your body isn’t the body you want.  Just know that you might feel dysphoric.  Hopefully you have an amazing girlfriend and she supports you.  But yeah, if you focus on, wow my body isn’t the body I feel I’m supposed to have, oh this is weird, it’s going to be weird and you are going to feel very uncomfortable.

“If I have a girlfriend and I’m trans, is she still straight? She says she only likes guys and would only date guys?”

I would say she is straight.  You’re a guy, right?

“If you’re still queer, why are you transitioning?”

First off, there is nothing wrong with being queer.  Second off, the two are completely un-related.  Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing.  Just as I can’t control the fact that I’m trans*, I can’t control who I am attracted to.  Me moving forward in my transition was not something I did so I could be straight.  I couldn’t be straight even if I tried.  I started transitioning because I felt like I had to be honest with who I am.  Just like many people feel when they come out for being queer.  But sex and gender are not the same, and sexual orientation (who you are attracted to) is not the same as your gender identity (what you feel like you are as a person.  Boy, girl, both, neither, a mix, none, just to name a few).  Just like there are many sexual orientations, there are many gender identities.

This is just part one.  I’ll add in more as time goes on.

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