Should I have said so sooner?

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Should I have said so sooner?

Llewey Llewey
Hey all, just had a conversation with a friend that I've had some romantic interest in that ... ended less-than-ideally. I'm transgender, identified as agender but am still having a bit of an internal crisis as I learn more about myself. I am a natal male, but present androgynously. Since this is the only place where I don't feel others will go "Ew, TMI." so I'll just cut to the chase:

This friend and I both have feelings for each other, but I didn't give him a heads-up about my gender situation at the start and only have recently told him. He still refers to me with exclusively male pronouns, and the conversation I just had with him basically boiled down to him being frustrated at my dysphoria about my male figure/organs. Because of this, I'll clam up and sometimes even shut down if he makes any sexual mention to my penis or any situation where I would be playing a "male" part.

He's basically acting like I'm punishing him by not being comfortable talking about or doing certain things sexually, and is generally having a hard time understanding that sex and gender aren't one and the same. So... what do I do? Should I continue talking to him, do I stay his friend? Should I "warn" people I may get involved with sexually/romantically right away in the future? He isn't abusive about it, just frustrated and confused. I'm aware that anything on the romantic front is probably hopeless by now... but can I salvage the friendship, at least? Is there anyone else who has been through something similar? Thanks in advance.
02/13/2012
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charletnarouh charletnarouh
Quote:
Originally posted by Llewey
Hey all, just had a conversation with a friend that I've had some romantic interest in that ... ended less-than-ideally. I'm transgender, identified as agender but am still having a bit of an internal crisis as I learn more about myself. I am ...
I'm sorry, sweetie. This is rough. I think you should try to salvage the friendship at least. I don't think your gender identity is something you should address with people at the point of a handshake, even if you are potentially interested in them. However, it's something that should be explained sooner, in my opinion, rather than later, especially in the case of a romantic situation. I think that explaining in as much detail as you're comfortable with can help avoid the frustration and confusion you're up against now. Letting it wait led to a lot of not understanding on this friend's part. This isn't to say that explaining it would completely avoid any confusion because plenty of people are likely to not understand what you're going through, but it may make it gentler and let you have the opportunity to explain before you get to the level of frustration you're dealing with now. As to the situation with your friend/romantic interest currently, I'd keep talking to him, trying to help him understand. Hopefully you can help him become more comfortable with your identity and maybe something more could be possible in the future. If this friend cares about you, hopefully he will try to learn and open his heart and his mind to understanding you better.
02/13/2012
butts butts
Definitely attempt to educate him on the differences between sex and gender, and let him know what you're going through. If he's at least a semi-sensible person, he'll catch on and understand. If he doesn't, I'd say he's not worth pursuing because he will not be able to respect you for who you are. Believe me, I'm transsexual, and I've been with someone who did NOT understand my gender/sex issue, it was hell. I felt embarrassed and disrespected constantly. He never really acknowledged me for who I was, I was just a fetish object.

Do try to salvage things, but just saying, if it seems like he's too hard headed to learn something new, don't pursue him romantically. It'll only end badly. I hope things don't go that way though!

In the future, I've found that as soon as romantic or sexual interest becomes obvious, it's best to mention it. It definitely shouldn't be such an important thing in an ideal world but unfortunately not everyone is so open and understanding. Bring it up, if it's an issue, it's not worth it.
02/13/2012
eroticmutt eroticmutt
Quote:
Originally posted by Llewey
Hey all, just had a conversation with a friend that I've had some romantic interest in that ... ended less-than-ideally. I'm transgender, identified as agender but am still having a bit of an internal crisis as I learn more about myself. I am ...
You shouldn't do anything that is going to make you uncomfortable or unhappy. I have only recently come to terms with being trans myself (FTM) but my partner accepts that about me. There isn't time in this life to waste your precious few days on being unhappy with yourself or letting other people put you in a situation that causes you do be displeased with your identity.

No matter how frustrated he is, this is who you are, and he needs to accept that if he wants to be with you. Even though men have breasts (smaller than women but tissues are there and all) it would be incredibly disrespectful and unacceptable for a woman to force a man to let her touch or lick his chest if he did not want it done, and it would be equally unacceptable for her to label his body parts in ways he is uncomfortable with. The same is true if a man tried to do that to a woman- it would be unacceptable. Everyone has a right to their own body and intimacy is a privledge, NOT a right. If someone can't respect that, then it is clearly a privledge they haven't earned and don't deserve.

Being outside the typical gender binary does not make someone any less of a person, so they still have every right that anyone else would have. You don't need to disclose your feelings or gender status with someone immediately, just like women don't need to tell every man they date whether they will do anal or like having their breasts touched- it is a very personal matter and one that is to be discussed when the time comes.
02/14/2012
Llewey Llewey
Thank you all for the kind advice. I'll keep all of this in mind.
02/14/2012
Chris Corrigan Chris Corrigan
Well, first of all, you're either trans* or you're agender. You can't be both at the same time. Trans means to transition from one to another. Agender is having no gender.

You don't need to out yourself to every person that you meet and date. You should only ever out yourself if you end up being intimate with another person in a sexual way. Either they'll break up with you or they'll still want to be with you. His making no attempt to understand you is a red flag and a deal breaker.

I'd dump him and find someone new.
02/15/2012
Chirple Chirple
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Corrigan
Well, first of all, you're either trans* or you're agender. You can't be both at the same time. Trans means to transition from one to another. Agender is having no gender.

You don't need to out yourself to every person that you ...
"A transgender individual may have characteristics that are normally associated with a particular gender, identify elsewhere on the traditional gender continuum, or exist outside of it as "other", "agender", "Genderqueer", or "third gender". Transgender people may also identify as bigender, or along several places on either the traditional transgender continuum[...]"

Trans* is a pretty open term that encompasses many identities.

Sorry, I don't want to sound picky, but want the OP to get that viewpoint, too.
02/15/2012
GONE! GONE!
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Corrigan
Well, first of all, you're either trans* or you're agender. You can't be both at the same time. Trans means to transition from one to another. Agender is having no gender.

You don't need to out yourself to every person that you ...
Not necessarily. I know people who identify as agender who are transitioning medically to make their bodies match up with their gender, and people who identify as a binary gender who aren't doing anything at all.
02/15/2012
SexyRayne SexyRayne
Dont feel bad and plaese dont be offended by my answer on my post either. I have more than one transgender friend and I understand how hard it can be. I do hope you can find your comfort zone and find something to connect with when the time is right. Also if you this person you care about is making you feel uncomfortable let them know, If they get offended or dont care than they are not good for you. I am married and have been divorced. The ones who truly care will always take your feelings into consideration. Take care of yourself first and others after. at least until someone super special comes along and then they will want to take care of you too. Take care my friend and no matter what just be you its the best person to be.
02/15/2012
Chris Corrigan Chris Corrigan
I am someone who is trans and I am also a trans educator so I do know what I'm talking about. In the academic community if you are trans it means you are going through transition and if you are agender it means not having a gender. The two identities cannot exist at the same time because if you identify as trans you identify with having a gender.
02/15/2012
DeliciousSurprise DeliciousSurprise
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Corrigan
I am someone who is trans and I am also a trans educator so I do know what I'm talking about. In the academic community if you are trans it means you are going through transition and if you are agender it means not having a gender. The two ...
This post is reading a little bit hypocritical to me: you're basically saying that Llewy doesn't have the right to self-identify however ze/she (sorry, no pronouns were specified there) wants to. It's kind of like you saying to me, "You can't be a woman because you aren't meeting the criteria to be a ciswoman."

Identity, as I'm sure you know, is in the eye of the beholder.


And just to clear it it all up:
Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses anyone whose behavior or identity crosses gender roles assigned to them by society based on their anatomical sex. *

So if Llewy (or anyone else) is identifying as asexual they can also be transgendered because they do not identify with the gender roles assigned to them--lack of identification with another gender role is not exclusionary.


*Source.
02/15/2012
Chris Corrigan Chris Corrigan
Quote:
Originally posted by DeliciousSurprise
This post is reading a little bit hypocritical to me: you're basically saying that Llewy doesn't have the right to self-identify however ze/she (sorry, no pronouns were specified there) wants to. It's kind of like you saying to me, ...
That is not what I'm saying at all. Anyone can self-identify however they want but they need to understand the terms they are using.

The Latin prefix Trans means to transition from one to another, beyond, or across.

Transgender means to transition socially without surgery or hormones.
Transsexual means to transition with the aid of hormones and surgery.
Agender is to not have a gender.

Trans really isn't an umbrella term at it's core latin meaning. Agender does not fit into the trans prefix. It's only the last four years that trans got turned into an "umbrella term" because people wanted some magical community where everyone belongs. That's why I don't identify with the trans community anymore despite the fact that I'm a transsexual man.
02/15/2012
Chirple Chirple
The way I see it, you can "transition" from one who is perceived as male to someone who lacks gender markers. "Changing beyond gender" makes perfect sense, I think.

It can't really be done perfectly because society tends to want to put a binary sex/gender to a person and "figure them out", but it can certainly play a large part in personal satisfaction.


I'm not sure how I feel about term usage. On one hand, I think it's great that terms are moving away from being rooted in the gender binary, on the other, I understand how it could feel like someone is trying to erase identities.

I'm not really sure what the best solution would be.
02/15/2012
Llewey Llewey
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Corrigan
That is not what I'm saying at all. Anyone can self-identify however they want but they need to understand the terms they are using.

The Latin prefix Trans means to transition from one to another, beyond, or across.

Transgender ...
I understand where you're coming from, and sorry if my using both terms is incorrect. From what I've read/seen, transgender in a broad sense just means having a gender identity other than the pre-assigned one of your birth sex. So, it makes sense for me to use that term since I wasn't born without a gender. I'd rather this not dissolve into a semantics argument, though.

EDIT: I didn't know what the "academic" community had to say about the terms, honestly. I'm still pretty new to even the idea of being honest with myself about this, so I might not be as informed as I could be.
02/15/2012
Total posts: 14
Unique posters: 9