Its not for me-Bailey C-Transgender Universe - Bailey C. on pressuring others into transition steps they don’t want to take.

The other day, I saw a Facebook post by FTM adult film star, Buck Angel, talking about how there are some trans men who say that, “trans men with vaginas don’t exist.” I couldn’t wrap my head around this ludicrous statement (neither could Buck, it seems, but that’s another story.) Bottom surgery for transgender men isn’t a very commonly sought procedure, as far as I know. Besides that (as I commented on Buck’s post), weren’t the trans guys who think that way “trans men with vaginas” at some point?

Early on in my transition, I accepted what’s in my pants. I will never have a penis, and will not get a phalloplasty for a few reasons- cost being one, concern about it being sexually functional afterwards being another, and the last being the fact that I’m perfectly fine with not having one. I stopped binding just before I began T. It was a hassle, and I felt that I was being misgendered regardless. I also have never used a packer or an STP (Stand-to-Pee) device.

“I’m happy how I’ve chosen to go through transition, but that’s not the comfort level for every trans person out there.”

So why is that a big deal to some? I’m happy how I’ve chosen to go through transition, but that’s not the comfort level for every trans person out there.

More and more I’m noticing pressure being put on transgender people by other transgender people to do things like go on hormones, change how they present themselves or act, or even go under the knife for whatever reason in order to be considered “truly trans”. I’ve even seen some trans people look at those who have taken a certain step in transition, and they can’t understand why they went through with it, so they raise hell about it. But why? Why does what someone else does (or doesn’t do) for themselves matter in our own personal transitions? There seem to be many reasons for this. One reason that I’ve heard is that there is a fear of the trans community not being taken seriously if not everyone undergoes the same major changes. Another reason has to do with the general obsession of trans people passing (from trans and cis people alike). This is just a couple of things I’ve heard whispered about from time to time. No one truly wants to discuss their thinking behind the shaming of another’s path.

Its Not for Me-Transgender Universe - Bailey C. on pressuring others into transition steps they don’t want to take.

I feel one major thing comes into play, and that is our default mindset whenever we see someone doing the opposite of what we’re doing- “How can they do that? How can they think that way? How can they live with themselves?” We do it all the time without realizing it with anything- from transition choices, to TV show preferences, to political views, to the flavor of ice cream we like- we give each other strange looks all the time because we can’t imagine not thinking the way we do, and if the issue causes us enough dissonance in our minds with our own thoughts and feelings, we question it out loud. I’ve caught myself doing it too, a hard thing to break free from.

“..human nature or not, it’s not our place to tell someone else how to transition.”

However, human nature or not, it’s not our place to tell someone else how to transition. If someone is happy without HRT while you’re well into it, don’t wave your needle in front of their face, saying they “know it’ll make them happy.” If someone is cool with how their natural genitals are, don’t go off on a tangent about how “incredible their life will be” after bottom surgery. At the same time, if someone is showing their post-op scars, don’t jump on them with “I’m fine with mine, why weren’t you with yours???” It’s their life, not yours. You wouldn’t want someone pushing permanent and extreme changes on you that you don’t want, so why do that to someone else?

  • Emma Sweet

    Hey Bailey,

    Right on – thank you for writing this. I agree one hundred percent. I’ve had one MTF transsexual berate me for not being “really transgender” since I don’t publicly present as female nor plan to transition. At the time it hurt me very deeply. Now I know that regardless of what she thinks I know what I am, and what I have carried, for almost six decades.

    I have often wondered why she even cares to comment. She seems happy and content enough. Maybe she just has no tact? Or maybe she would be more comfortable having others around her that she sees as more “dedicated.”

    In the end I think it’s all about how each of us manages our dysphoria and our lives, our happiness, and delight in our own skin. And that depends a lot on circumstances and who knows what else is in our backgrounds, history, and nature.

    I really liked your piece and hope to hear more from you.


  • Leigh Goodwin

    I am a post surgical transsexual who has had all of my surgeries and I still think you made a great point about people being individuals in this regard. Frankly, I think that “real transman” attitude is bias to have, although it is rumored that you are still your birth gender unless you have all of your surgeries. Not everyone will get surgeries for their own reasons. Personally, if I could have been switched at birth that would have been my choice. I simply am comfortable with male parts and a male appearance. Even in female garments I looked like a man or a masculine transvestite. Nevertheless, I do treat transmen that are not post operative with courtesy and respect. To me they are still transmen and I wouldn’t find them sexy as women. With who we are in this world I do not believe we should be finding reasons to create divisions between ourselves. As somewhat of a hermit, I still think unity and solidarity in the trans community are important.

  • Krimson Kat

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m one of many girls who really benefit from others validating our identities. I had an ex trans bf who declared I couldn’t be trans because I didn’t have dysphoric attacks in the same way he did. That I couldn’t be trans without a diagnosis…the whole TRUSCUM 9 yards.
    He’s an ex for a reason