10 myths about men (identified ‘female’ at birth)

MYTH 1
We all come from the lesbian community. After transition, we will all be heterosexual (attracted to women).

Not all men who transition are sexually attracted to women – either before or after transition. There are men who were attracted to other men before and after transition and who socialise with men in the gay community alongside other men. There are also men who are bisexual (attracted to women and men equally).

MYTH 2
Men who transition are really ‘butch lesbians’ who want to avoid harassment or justify their ‘same-sex’ relationship as a heterosexual relationship.

There are easier ways for ‘butch lesbians’ to avoid harassment than expensive, invasive surgery and radical changes to their physical appearance. There are also men who have transitioned and never heard of the concept of ‘butch lesbian’. Many men (identified female at birth) indicate they have never felt comfortable in the lesbian community.

MYTH 3
Men who transition are rarer than women who transition.

This is debatable. Given the effects of testosterone since birth, women are unfortunately more obvious in society. Given the effects of testosterone, men are far more undetected in society. Some figures suggest there might be a 1:1 breakdown.

MYTH 4
Men who transition are ‘victims’ of sexual abuse.

While there are some men (XX and XY) who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, most men (XX) who transition do not have a history of childhood sexual abuse.

MYTH 5
Men who exhibit stereotypically male behaviours are just ‘pretending’ or reinforcing gender-role behaviour they think is right.

Men transition out of a personal desire to be authentic in appearance and to become comfortable in their own skin. It is time-consuming and tiring to consistently exhibit behaviour that is not genuine.

MYTH 6
Transsexual men didn’t exist until after testosterone and surgical procedures were available.

There are plenty of people who were only even known in their public and private lives to be male long before the availability of testosterone and surgery. In most cases, they were only ‘outed’ by the coroner after their death. Some famous examples include Dr James Barry, jazz pianist Billy Tipton and politician Murray Hall.

MYTH 7
Men who transition do so for ‘male privilege’ or economic advantage.

This myth misses the reality that women who transition, by and large find their ‘male privilege’ is revoked and their ‘economic advantages’ dwindle. Neither group undergoes life-changing medical treatment and irreversible surgery either for the ‘economic advantage’ or ‘privilege’ of the other sex. There is a much deeper, more urgent drive behind their need for transition.

Medical transition is not about sexuality or politics. It’s about achieving comfort between psychological and physical presentation.

MYTH 8
Men who are transitioning or have transitioned have deluded themselves into believing they’re men, when they should just accept the body they have and concentrate on ‘re-working’ their female gender-role.

The need for treatment has nothing to do with society’s perception of gender, gender roles or social values. These men need medical treatment to rehabilitate their physical body in line with their brain-sex. Treatment is about finding personal comfort within their body where their brain-sex and physical body characteristics are congruent. also see — Human Sexual Development.

MYTH 9
Transgender men and men with transsexualism are essentially similar, just on a continuum of ‘gender issues’.

At first glance, it certainly looks as if transgenderism (TG) and transsexualism (TS) exist on a spectrum. However, these terms are about as similar as the words ‘click’ and ‘clique’ or ‘morning’ and ‘mourning’.

A transgender individual takes hormones to appear as one gender or another; a man with TS requires medical intervention (hormone treatment and reconstructive surgery) as rehabilitation for a physical condition. also see — What’s in a Name?

MYTH 10
Transition is just a big game for young people who are ‘screwing’ about with society and their bodies.

Transition takes a great deal of commitment and effort for the individual. It is often hard work, spread over many years and makes considerable demands on people who go through with it.

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