Category Archives: blogs

Stay Visible…Drop A Card

north-carolina-lgbt-controversy-040216
Photo by Associated Press/Skip Foreman

The recent protests in Charlotte and other cities in our country area is a great reminder that we cannot be complacent and simply stand by waiting for change to happen, because as we wait, more people are dying. While the current fight is for race equality, the same battles exist for all minorities, not the least of which is the transgender community.

I have the greatest respect for people who risk everything in attending protests, but not everyone has the ability or willingness to do so. Fortunately, there are other ways to effect change, and while less dramatic and slower, still move us forward.

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For the transgender community, visibility is key. Most of the world has no knowledge of our existence, or if they do, it is based on misunderstanding and prejudice.

One way to enhance visibility is to announce your presence in the room, the building, the community, and the world. Obviously, most of us cannot do this as directly as we would like, due to safety concerns.

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But, most of us have opportunities nearly every day to drop a note or a card, anonymously if necessary, leaving a message that we are sharing space in this world. The Transgender Encounter Project (TEP) was started to promote such opportunities.

There is a map on our website where you can mark where you have dropped your cards, so that you and the rest of us can see acknowledgement of where we are in the world. Please take the time to participate. Let’s cover the map!

Click here to learn more about the project!

 

 

You Are Not Who You Date: Self-Reliance and the Single Life

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Local libraries are doing a decent job of housing all types of publications for folks to peruse at their leisure but for an atmosphere of community I’d be hard pressed to find a better collection of literature than at my local LGBTQ community center. The Center here in Las Vegas has a specialized collection of literature for and by LGBTQI+ authors and a few days ago I found myself walking along the shelves looking for something to read.

Several covers later, one caught my eye because of its unusual title: Finding the Boyfriend Within—A Practical Guide for Tapping into Your Own Source of Love, Happiness, and Respect by Brad Gooch. Written in the late 1990s, the book served as an answer to gay cis men’s seemingly restless and unsatisfying search for the perfect boyfriend. Using the age-old advice that loving another requires loving oneself first, Gooch paints a detailed picture of what self-care looks like and how it thinks, as well as the tools to give you a better life of your own creation.

I can relate directly to this book, being gay myself, but his advice and perspective is universal. Just insert “girlfriend” or some other title in its place and you’ll see what I mean. Despite how hokey this title may seem to those who aren’t as in touch with their emotions, Finding the Boyfriend Within has plenty of insights that are worth reflecting on no matter who you are and whether you decide to use his many awareness exercises. Continue reading “You Are Not Who You Date: Self-Reliance and the Single Life” »

Invisible: Accountability without compassion is an act of violence.

 

Image from https://www.outandaboutnashville.com/
Image from https://www.outandaboutnashville.com/

I was having an interesting conversation with some folks the other day, and it was suggested that those of us in the trans community should always remind people that we want a seat at the table when it comes to discussions with community leaders, or speaking at events. I’m not so sure i’m on the same page as them, so I thought i’d write this blog to discuss it, and possibly help me think the process through.

I’ve been an activist for over ten years, having dealt with nationwide leaders, local political officials, and other movers and shakers in the lgbt and non lgbt community. I’ve always made my voice perfectly clear, and at times had to demand people listen to how certain things affect or don’t affect the trans and gnc communities.

So, here’s where I’m kind of stuck. I’m not sure that having to remind  people that Trans and Gender nonconforming  people exist and want their voices heard should have to be a constant thing.  There are decisions made everyday that affect the lives of those under the trans umbrella, and our opinions are never asked.

When we stand up and talk about what effects us, we’re told to quit victimizing ourselves…to do something about it…to affect change if we don’t like something.  My question is this:  do gay men and lesbians have to remind people they want their voices heard?  Are we as a trans community ever going to have to stop being loud and crystal clear as to what our needs are?

There was an event recently where there was no trans representation from my local community, and when it was asked why there was no one trans to speak at this event, the answer was, “We didn’t think about it. No one from the trans community called and said they wanted to speak.”  Why should we have to?

It says to me, very poignantly, that we always have to remind people to ask us to share our voices and our opinions.  LBG organizations have often taken money and donations from non trans friendly organizations, and when this is pointed out, the answer is “Oh, I didn’t know.”

So now on top of having to constantly remind people to have trans and gnc folks actively participate in community discussions, we now have to remind them to ask places and people they take money from whether or not they’re trans friendly? I say no.

I say they have the responsibility to automatically ask how the business or person they’re taking money from affects change and actively supports the trans and gnc communities. I’m not talking about simply hanging the “T” at the end of the acronym and calling themselves inclusive.

According to a February 2015 publication called TransInformational Impact done by the Funders For LGBTQ Issues, the trans community receives .015 percent of foundation funding, which equals about a penny for every hundred dollars awarded.

We need more pennies obviously, but we also need for them to include us without having to constantly remind them that we even exist. We need to have a seat at the table when decisions are made for and about the trans and gnc communities.  When we do ask to speak up  for ourselves, we don’t need to be told that not everything is about the trans community, or that we’re being aggressive and demanding too much.

The opportunity to have our voices heard loud and clear is not too demanding; it is being equal. It is our equal right not to be “forgotten about” when LGB(T) organizations receive funds from sources that don’t include the diverse trans community. This type of trans exclusion is not ok, and it needs to be called out.

Accountability without compassion is an act of violence. And so is forgetting about or excluding the trans community.  We shouldn’t have to be constantly begging to be included and actively involved in processes and discussions that impact our lives.  We can and will always speak for ourselves, whether or not our voices are wanted or heard. That’s one thing that will never change.

 

Blogger Blue Montana via https://www.facebook.com/transman
Blogger Blue Montana via https://www.facebook.com/transman
Blue Montana on sabfacebook
Blue Montana
Blue Montana is the Transgender Programs Manager at The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and a former Board Member at San Diego Pride. He studied LGBT Studies at San Diego State University. Now he lives in Las Vegas with his husband.

Am I Trans Enough?

Blogger and cover model Tygh at our table at the 2016 Philadelphia Trans Health Conference!
Blogger and cover model Tygh at our table at the 2016 Philadelphia Trans Health Conference!

Am I trans enough?

That’s a loaded question, so let me start by defining Transgender.

Transgender is an umbrella term that includes all people whose authentic identity does not conform to typical stereotypes of male or female genders. However, some parts of the trans community define transgender as having transitioned in some way. Unfortunately the language that is often used by the community is exclusionary. Some people feel it is acceptable to question the authenticity of trans people, and imply that you are only transgender if you present a certain way, take hormones, and get certain surgeries. As if there is only one way to be transgender!

Photo via huffingtonpost.com
Photo via huffingtonpost.com

Transgender is simply a label, but emphasizing labels is divisive rather than inclusive. Labels, I hate them. Not everyone feels the need to transition completely or partially, and some do not chose to transition at all.There should not be specific criteria associated with identifying as transgender.

I have to think about labels regarding my gender. I don’t know what box to check because I’m a little bit of this and I’m a little bit of that. Labels are pointless. I hate them. Many of us don’t fit into neat boxes. We aren’t one particular gender and we don’t neatly fit under the familiar umbrella.
There are so many labels, but still none seem to really fit. Labels work really well for inanimate objects that don’t have the ability to adapt and change. But, when it comes to me and my life, labels fall short. Labels are wrong. I hate them. I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I’m not a this or a that. I’m not a who, a which or a what. I am me and I am trans enough.

Transgender should be a label of self-identification, and there is no right or wrong way to be trans. Therefore we are all trans enough.

For Amos

Members of the Burlington community mourn the death of Amos Beede. Photo by Glenn Russell/Free Press at www.burlingtonfreepress.com
Members of the Burlington community mourn the death of Amos Beede. Photo by Glenn Russell/Free Press at www.burlingtonfreepress.com

This Blog in particular is dedicated to  us transguys. We are often the invisible, more silent, yet still harmed component of the transgender and gnc communities.  When I heard about the death of Amos this past memorial day weekend, it got me thinking about the issues transmen face that aren’t often talked about. Everyone in the trans community faces much higher instances of discrimination in housing and work, we face stigmas that no one should ever have to face.

Transmen often blend into stealth lives and on with  life we go. Homelessness is always to quick to rear its ugly head, which then puts us in unpredictable situations. I myself have struggled with being homeless more than once. Its not because I couldn’t get a job, I had one. I simply couldn’t work enough to live in a state that afforded me almost every protection and safety that could be offered to a trans identified individual. I had amazing health insurance, and protection from discrimination, and even the knowledge that I couldn’t be disrespected after I passed away and buried under my birth name in a dress thanks to Toni Atkins and the dignity after death bill she helped pass.

However, homelessness is one issue that isn’t being dealt with  quick enough to stop transwomen and transmen from being sex workers to support themselves. No one should have to sell their body in order to have a roof over their head and eat, yet some do it everyday as a form of survival. Amos was homeless for reasons unknown to me, but what is known to me is that he struggled just as bad if not worse than all us us do, and being trans and homeless took his life. The disparity that regular society needs to recognize  is prevalent now more than ever, and we are standing smack dab in the middle of our own civil rights movement, the right to exist.

Getting Started

Photo from google images.
Photo from http://crystallowery.com/services/nutrition/

Since I am just starting out as a Blogger, I thought that title would be great.

Struggles of waking up in the morning, not feeling just right. Tough to sleep because your thoughts keep you up all night. I know the feeling. It’s tough out there. But I have learned with Healthy Living, life is much more livable.

Eating healthy foods can keep your body full of nutrients. When we eat bad meals and when we are not fueling our bodies we can get chronic illness. Cholesterol levels are very important to those looking to start or already on Testosterone. If we are not eating healthy our cholesterol levels could be off and it could affect us from getting prescribed Testosterone. Also, eating healthy can help with chemical imbalances. Cutting out sugar is a good way to start maximizing your life. Last THING Drink MORE water. When you think you have drunk enough, DRINK MORE. Being Dehydrated is not fun.

Next, Exercise is for more for than just losing weight and getting muscular. It is also a stress reliever and mood enhancer. I have not had top surgery yet, so I get dysphoric at times because of my chest. I have to take the focus off the fat pockets on my chest somehow so I workout. I set realistic goals and try my best to do them. If I don’t complete those, I still did my best and start again the next day… just never give up. This can help us feel good about ourselves and that is the most important thing.

Thank you for reading Transgentlemen’s Club Magazine Blog Style

That is all….this time. If you have any questions, hit me up. I’m looking forward to it.

Live Healthy, Live Happy!

A few links to help you get started:

Basic Nutrition

Nutrition For You

Fitness For You

Devyn on sabfacebook
Devyn
Motivational Speaker, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Life Coach, and Volunteer Spokesperson at Bold City Health a Maximized Living Health Center
Hey what's up there you beautiful people!?!?
My name is Devyn. Unfortunately that is not my legal name, YET. But just as many others who want their birth name changed, I hope it is changed soon.
I am a Trans Man, soon to be 33 (June, Gemini, whoop whoop), also 5 months on that there Testosterone.
12-04-15.
I'm pretty much a happy guy that truly loves people, I want to encourage all people to set goals and motivate them to achieve those goals. I'm really big into Healthy Living now, Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and on some levels Spiritual, Internal and External health. I just want many people to live longer and healthier. Which I believe is true happiness.

Lets enjoy this journey together.

Political Rant

Photo via Amazon.com
Photo via Amazon.com

2016 is going to be a pivotal year. A culmination of five years of exponential expansion of LGBT rights. 2011 marked the end of DADT. In 2013 DOMA was ruled unconstitutional. Then, in 2015, marriage equality was made the rule of the land. Little by little our country has been chipping away at its last vestiges of legalized discrimination. Sixty years ago my parents could not marry in the state they lived in because they were of different races. Today, that seems unbelievable to most. Until last year I could not marry my wife in most states because legally we were of the same sex. Just a year later, it’s hard to imagine not having this right. This year, I can marry whomever I want, but I cannot legally use the bathroom consistent with my gender identity in some states. While, we still have a ways to go, I am hopeful that a year from now, we will all be celebrating the elimination of socially and legally accepted discrimination in the United States.

As ridiculous as this seems, there are many out there who are desperate to ensure that my right to pee, rent, and work are dependent on me conforming to the majority’s definition of gender. But, just as bathroom restrictions for people of different races were ultimately determined to be unconstitutional, so will be restrictions based on gender identity. If not by our current Supreme Court, then certainly by one in the near future. The President who is elected this year will likely choose 2 or 3 Supreme Court justices, who ultimately will decide our future. We need to vote in November, and we need to vote wisely. Our lives depend on it.

Tygh Lawrence-Clarke on sabyoutubeTygh Lawrence-Clarke on sabtwitterTygh Lawrence-Clarke on sabtumblrTygh Lawrence-Clarke on sabpinterestTygh Lawrence-Clarke on sabinstagramTygh Lawrence-Clarke on sabfacebookTygh Lawrence-Clarke on sabemail
Tygh Lawrence-Clarke
Tygh Lawrence-Clarke is a transman. He was born in Beverly Hills, CA and was raised by a single mother, who was a prominent physician. His family moved to Las Vegas when he was 11, where he remained for most of his life. He retired in 2011 from the Pharmacy field to become a stay at home Dad. He now lives in the woods of New Hampshire with his wife, son and his menagerie of pets. Since his transition, Tygh now spends his free time advocating for the transgender community. He has a Youtube channel where he documents his transition and makes educational videos. He, with the help of his wife, is also working with a nonprofit organization called 41%, which strives to pair people in the transgender community with supportive volunteer peers in an effort to address the suicide problem. Despite the challenges Tygh faces every day, he couldn't be happier now that he is living his life as his true self.

Welcome New Blogger, Jionni!

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How you doin?  My name is Jionni and I hope you read a little about my story and who I am in the Mangina Monologues section of the magazine.  I have dealt with many different issues regarding discrimination, divorced parents, physical and emotional abuse, death of parent, drug addiction, unhealthy and healthy relationships, depression, anxiety, trauma, coming out as a lesbian, coming out as a transgender man, etc.  There is pretty much nothing that I cannot relate to or understand.  I am taking this opportunity to share my life experiences with you all by giving you the best advice I can and always keeping it real.

The Transmen Buzz Lounge, is an open platform for transmen in any stage of their transition to ask me (Jionni) questions anonymously or not about anything and everything.

Are you at the beginning of your transition and need advice on where to begin?

Are you getting top surgery and want to know what to expect post op?

Are you in a relationship and wondering if it could last through your transition?

This is a great opportunity for Transgentleman Readers and the Magazine itself to create an interactive experience to address and advise on real, authentic, everyday issues within our community. So please send use the contact form below to send me a question!

Ask me anything below!

 

 

 

 

Super Tuesday: Which Candidates Love Trans Voters?

Photo via https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CTFAOJ8UcAA2e8n.png
Photo via pbs.org

Before Barack Obama had a Mitt Romney, or George W. Bush had an Al Gore, or even a Bill Clinton had a Bob Dole, presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle had to win their party’s nomination in a series of state-by-state primaries and caucuses.

The presidential primary season is a time when the media shamelessly speculates about what will happen in states that no one usually cares about–like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada–because they hold their contests first.  My home state of South Carolina has even steadily crept forward into the action, now holding their Republican primary 4th and their Democratic primary 6th in the country.  And despite being a solid Republican state, in 2008, South Carolina’s Democratic primary was incredibly crucial for Obama’s grabbing the party nomination that year.

But remember 2007?  We were all buzzing about how Hillary Clinton was a shoe in for President.  The subtext of every political Saturday Night Live sketch that fall was, why even have a primary?  But then on February 2, 2008, just as the primaries began, Will.IAM released the “Yes, We Can” Obama song on Youtube.  And we all went from feeling warm and fuzzy about voting for the first female president, to feeling even warmer and even fuzzier about voting for the first African American president.

Point being, primaries are huge, even if you live in a state that might not seem important in the grand scheme of things.  It was in South Carolina that Obama finally toppled Hillary, who had been beating him up to that point, and his campaign went on to dominate the rest of the primaries, and clenched the nomination.

What’s especially exciting about this year’s race is that the candidates are actually taking a stand on transgender issues!  So even if you already feel comatose from all the presidential primary coverage, that’s reason enough to wake up!  Now that you’re up, please dive into this “Transgentlemen’s Guide to Voting:  Part II.”

1.  Hillary “Loves Us So Much” Clinton

Photo from commons.wikipedia.org
Photo from commons.wikipedia.org

Immigration

Last summer transgender rights activist Jennicet Gutierrez ‘interrupted’ President Obama at the White House, drawing attention to the transgender women being detained in men’s jails. Before that, in May 2015, Hillary Clinton, while in Nevada, said she would review the policies that put transgender women at risk for assault.  She went on to say, “I think we have to do more to provide safe environments for vulnerable populations.  I don’t think we should, you know, put children and vulnerable people into big detention facilities because I think they are at risk.  I think their physical and mental health are at risk.”

Gender Markers

And as Secretary of State, Clinton made it possible for transgender Americans to update their passport gender markers.  As she told Terry Gross on Fresh Air in June of 2014, “It was part of the overall efforts to try to treat people with dignity and equality.  And certainly the Obama Administration made some of its own moves at the same time with respect to the larger federal employee pool.  And when I had the responsibility for the well-being of the 70,000 people or so employees around the world who worked for the State Department and USAID, I had the opportunity through executive action to recognize that there were barriers and vestiges to discrimination that had no place in a modern American workplace, and so I acted.”

Military

Not only does Hillary share the same initials of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), she and Joe Biden both have recently pandered to the group at their annual gala dinner.  Funny enough, this pandering now involves supporting transgender rights to serve openly in the military.  She explained, “Meanwhile, you know, transgender people are still barred from serving. That is an outdated rule, especially since you and I know that there are transgender people in uniform, right now, they’re just keeping this core part of their identities under wraps, because they are so committed to defending our nation. They shouldn’t have to do that. T hat’s why I support the policy review that Defense Secretary Carter recently announced at the Pentagon.  And it’s why I hope the United States joins many other countries that let transgender people serve openly.  Now, we pride ourselves on having the world’s best military, but being the best doesn’t just mean having the best-trained forces or the biggest arsenal.  It also means being on a leader on issues like this; on who we respect enough to let serve with dignity as themselves.”

Violence

At the same HRC event, Clinton also spoke out about the violence against transgender people, particularly trans women of color.  She said, “We’ve got to address the crisis of transphobic violence. 2015 has seen the murder of at least 19 transgender women, primarily women of color.  And nobody knows how much violence goes unreported or ignored.  And we need to say, with one voice, that transgender people are valued, they are loved, they are us, they desire to be treated fairly and equally.”

Bathrooms

Not to be out down by Bernie Sanders when it comes to social media, Clinton also took to Twitter to support an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in Houston, “the bathroom bill,” writing, “No one should face discrimination for who they are or who they love–I support efforts for equality in Houston & beyond. #HERO #YesOnProp1 -H” on Ocboter 29, 2015. So, if you’re not already, follow Clinton on twitter so you can at least tweet “H” that you voted for her in your state’s primary.

2.  Bernie “Equal Rights” Sanders

Photo via wikipedia.org
Photo via wikipedia.org

Same-Sex Marriage 

Bernie Sanders is a candidate who has openly supported LGBT rights for the long haul. Sanders voted against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act as a member of the U.S. House. His home state of Vermont was the first to legalize same-sex unions (2000) and gay marriage (2009) through legislative action.  In 2011, he endorsed same-sex marriage ahead of the 2012 election, becoming the highest official at the time to support the issue, and even encouraged Obama to do the same.  He’s also cosponsoring a bill that repeal what’s left of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Discrimination

In 2013, Sanders supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act when it passed the Senate. Currently, he’s cosponsoring the federal LGBT-inclusive Student Non-Discrimination Act.  According to Sanders, “All I can say is I think I have one of the strongest, if not the strongest record, in the United States Congress on LGBT issues,” in a May 2015, interview with the Washington Blade. He went on to say, “My record speaks for itself, and I will compare it to any candidate who is out there.  I spent 25 years fighting for equal rights. What makes it a good idea that black people can drink water at a fountain?  We are trying to create a non-discriminatory society where we judge people based on their character, on their abilities, not on the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their gender.  Clearly, as a nation we’ve made good progress; we have a lot further to go.”

Housing

Bernie has also openly supports transgender rights. Dawn Ennis from the Advocate reported on October 1, 2015, “A single tweet from the senator’s campaign reflects the biggest effort by any candidate to appeal to transgender voters and allies.” And that tweet, sent out on September 28, 2015, stated, “In many states, it is legal to deny someone housing fro being transgender. That is wrong and must end.”  Therefore, the Senator supports amending the Civil Rights Act and Fair Housing Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Violence

Finally, Bernie has spoken out about the ongoing crisis of violence against trans women.  He suggested in the Washington Blade one of best ways to address the high rates of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is by re-educating police officers.  He compared the way police treated cases of domestic violence in the 1980s to how police treat cases of violence against transgender people now.  He explained, “The point is we need to make sure that police departments are sensitive to the fact that every person in this country–man, woman, transgender, whatever you may be–is entitled to equal protection under the law, and abusing people is not acceptable.”

3.  Donald “The Douche” Trump

Photo via wikipedia.org
Photo via wikipedia.org

Donald Trump has avoided making any political statements about transgender rights, and he has even asked Caitlyn Jenner to judge his Miss USA pageant!  However, in 2012, Jenna Talackova was banned from competing in Miss Universe Canada Pageant when the organization found out she was transgender.  But they reversed their decision after Gloria Allred took her on as a client.  In his 20/20 interview with Barbara Walters, Trump recalled, “I looked at her name, and somebody brought this up to me: ‘Jennatal.’  Those are the first letters of her name.  And it’s ‘genital.’  And I’m saying to myself, ‘Hmm, that’s strange, could there be an ulterior motive?’”

4.  John “Let Them Eat Cake” Kasich

Photo via wikepedia.org
Photo via wikepedia.org

Discrimination

In 2011, as Governor of Ohio, John Kasich let his predecessor’s executive order protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, only to sign a new executive order adding sexual orientation back to a list of protected classes for state employees, but leaving out private LGB employees, as well as transgender workers altogether.  According to his campaign, “We extended those protections in the way we thought most appropriate,” and they didn’t feel a need to protect all LGBT Ohioans from being fired, evicted, or denied service because of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.  Kasich told the Columbus Dispatch in April 2015, “I think we’re doing fine in Ohio.  Everybody’s opinion has to be respected  in all of this and we have to strike a balance.  I think we have a good balance in Ohio and I don’t see a reason to do any more.’

5.  Ted Cruz”-ing for a Bruising”

Photo via wikipedia.org
Photo via wikipedia.org

Military 

In October 2015, at a campaign stop in Sac City, Iowa, Ted Cruz said, “I think military policy should follow what is necessary for good order and discipline, that we shouldn’t view the military as a cauldron for social experiments.”  He suggested the Obama administration is “trying to pursue sexual identity politics” by lifting the transgender ban in the military.  Then, he asked, “How about having a military focusing on hunting down and killing bad guys.  I think that should be the focus of the military instead of treating it as this, like, crucible for social justice innovations.  We’ve lost sight of what their job is, and that’s what we need to get back to.”

Marco “Bathroom Pass” Rubio

Photo via wikipedia.org
Photo via wikipedia.org

Bathrooms

In a December 2015 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Marco Rubio promised to reverse Obama’s executive actions protecting LGBT people “on things like gender equality in restrooms.”  He was speaking about the action Obama signed in July of that year, prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people, forcing them to allow transgender people to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity.

 

7.  Ben “Prison Makes You Gay” Carson 

Photo via wikipedia.org
Photo via wikipedia.org

Military

During town hall hosted by Concerned Veterans for America in Waterloo, Iowa, in December 2015, he said he would prefer to bar transgender people from serving openly. In fact, he liked the idea of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy that barred gays and lesbians from serving openly. He explained, “I do not appreciate using our military as a laboratory for social experimentation. We have too many important things to do when our men and women are out there fighting the enemy. The last thing that we need to be doing is saying what would it be like if we introduced several transgender people into the platoon. Give me a break. Deal with the transgender thing somewhere else. I liked the old ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ philosophy. Why do you have to go around flaunting your sexuality? It’s not necessary. You don’t need to talk about that. We need to talk about how we eliminate the enemy.”

Bathrooms

In November 2015, when Jorge Ramos from Fusion asked Carson about transgender accommodations, he suggested that trans people have their own restrooms. He argued, “It’s not fair for them to make everyone else uncomfortable. It’s one of the things that I don’t particularly like about the movement. I think everybody has equal rights, but I’m not sure that anybody should have extra rights–extra rights when it comes to redefining everything for everybody else and imposing your view on everybody else. The way that this country was designed, it was ‘live and let live,’ and that’s the way I feel.”

 

When Do You Stop Counting Days on T?

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Let me start by saying I am a trans woman, and this is only my perspective from the outside looking in, as someone who works with and is friends with a lot of trans men.  I honestly have no clue how long–and certainly not how many days–I have been on hormones.  As a trans woman, I have never counted.  In fact, I have never seen any other trans women count how long she has been on “E.”   Most of the trans guys I know in real life do not count the days they have been on testosterone. My boyfriend is trans too, but the only time we talk about our shot is when laugh about how sometimes we each still manage to forget to do them. But when I started adding trans guys to my Facebook page, I really began to notice how many of them add videos, blog posts, or statuses discussing how long they have been on “T.”

At first, I kind of thought it was weird that none of the guys ever said how many months or years they were on T–only how many days–so the length of time tended to sound greater than it really was.  The more I saw these types of status updates, the more I began to wonder why so many trans guys post how long they have been on hormones.  Is it for self-gratification, or to boost one’s ego?  Is it to validate who they are?  Or, is it to compete with other trans men?  Why don’t we see trans women documenting their transitions in similar ways?  And, when does a trans person stop counting the days, and just start living as one’s authentic self of being a man?  I really don’t know the answers to these questions, and every trans guy is different.  I am only sharing my outsider perspective and opinion.

A few trans guys I’ve discussed this issue with say that at the beginning of their transition they were excited and counted the days, but after a year or so, most of them just started living their lives.  I’ve also seen guys on social media post about shot days even three years later.   Either way, I still love hearing how their testosterone shot made them feel different from the moment they first injected themselves.  But for myself, I have taken hormones and never felt an instantaneous change.  Maybe it’s because shots have never really phased me; the changes I notice from taking hormones are the long term ones, like softer skin or less body hair, as opposed to any immediate, psychosomatic benefits.  What I mean is, I think what a lot of guys feel right after taking their shots is not a physical, but a mental, benefit of becoming the authentic self they were meant to be.  I totally understand this excitement; I was excited early in my transition too.  But what about those trans guys who don’t have a chance to be on hormones?  They might see your counting and get jealous or upset with their own transition.  Have you considered how what you post out of excitement might harm other men struggling with their own journeys?

So my main question to the trans guys out there is:  when do you stop counting and just start focusing on living your life as men?  When do you stop anticipating the next shot?  When does it just become a normal thing in your life, like a person who has to take an insulin shot?  Does the shot really make you a man?  I don’t think it does.  Yes, testosterone gives you the physical characteristics to appear like a man, but it doesn’t make you a man.  You are a man within your soul.  A shot does not make you more or less of a man.  When is it time for you just to be you?  You are a beautiful soul, and you are more than a shot, or a day on a calendar.  Trans men are beautiful human beings, and the journey you guys go through is beautiful.  The scars on your body are breathtaking because they tell me you went on a journey to become your authentic self.  You worked hard to be that man, that beautiful man you are.  I would love for you to just live your authentic self without a counter running on how many days you have been on testosterone, and to just be happy as the man you have always been.  Be your true self because no number makes you more of a man, or less of a man.

photo via http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/longform/stories/identity/2/img/20140423MWHtransgenderAdvance21.jpg

 

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Michelle Austin is an award winning performer, producer, director, speaker, and writer. She has been writing for trans publications for almost fifteen years. She is the Creative Editor of Transgentlemens Club, she is also the co-owner of Michelle Austin Films and Kennston Productions.