How does it feel to be transgender?

Below are the comments and experiences of transgender FTM men.

Jim—Queensland, 2003
“I identify as a trans person. My gender is messy, because it does not fit neatly into any one box or any one story. My body is messy, because it and my perceptions of it do not fit neatly or consistently into male or female, transsexual, transgendered or queer. I choose to adapt my body in the ways that make me feel whole and strong. I choose how I am seen and how I live in a society that recognises only two genders and two sexes. I live some of my life as a man, but most of it as a trans man or trans person.”

David—NSW, 2007
“I am not a bioguy and don’t want to be seen as one by my friends and family. But I have had to accept that for my own peace of mind and safety it is better for the general public to assume that I am a bioguy. Sure, there are some things I have to lose from this – I am assumed I’m male, so I get treated like one, and that can bring with it negatives as well as positives (for instance, being assumed to be a male chauvinist pig simply because of my looks or not being able to walking up the street near a woman without her being on guard).

But since my genetics mean that I turned out like my father with hair all over my body, back, shoulders, you name it – and I am fortunate enough to have passed so well that I am never spotted as trans in the street, I have to accept that as part of the deal.”

Mick—Sydney, 2002
“I’ve always had a deep sense of being male; or rather I’m further down the male end of the gender line than female if that makes sense…I don’t want to become “invisible” because for me I feel that rejects in some ways the life I’ve lived until transitioning and that’s something I’m not totally prepared to do.”

Jacob Rogers—Sydney, 1994
“Female to male trans-genderists fit into a slightly different category of male. We’re not your typical male. We have female-ness about us in the way we’ve been brought up and the way we’ve more sensitive to women.”

Jacob’s girlfriend—Sydney, 1994
“People always ask how I relate to him, if he’s male or female. I don’t see him as a man. But he’s not a woman.”

Jim—Queensland, 2004
“I’m not ashamed of being confusing. I’m not embarrassed by my body or the way I speak or what it is that I say. My masculinity is transgendered, built on my experiences as a female person and a male person. It is based on observation and a little bit of envy. It is based on a dislike of what makes me feel stiff and uncomfortable, it is a celebration of what makes me feel whole. I’ve ignored it and doubted it, but my masculinity is solid. It is my way of being a good person.”

Jodie referring to her partner—Melbourne, 2002
“…it is important for me to say that my love is not gender blind. I don’t love a transman in spite of his gender or because I separate him from his gender. If I were to take refuge in the essence of him, then there I would come face to face with his gender: there is no separation to be had.”

Len Davidson, 2000
“Some people were quite shocked at first because it seemed to be so out of left field. But it didn’t take them long to see that it made sense for me. Each step I took totally confirmed the rightness of the decision for me. But yes it is weird. Sometimes I sit back and think, ‘Let’s face it, it’s a weird thing to do.’”

Tov, 2003
“If you think I’m simply a heterosexual man or a butch lesbian, you don’t know anything of my journey. These are just two of the many parts that together form my complex identity. The one thing that is always clear to me, and has been throughout the emotional and psychological chaos accompanying my questioning of my gender identity, is that I will always be queer as a three-dollar bill.”

Jim—Queensland, 2003
“While my family were dealing with me being transgendered, I wanted them to know that: It’s not your fault. I’m not doing this to hurt you. I’m not ruining my life. I’m not becoming a different person. This isn’t a whim or a decision taken lightly.”