Fem

I wrote this little post a long time ago and am now reposting it here because somebody recently flagrantly and publicly misgendered me as “transmasculine.”

God, it fucking hurts.

I am not masculine. I do not need to be lumped in with butches, bois, FTMs and other trans people who have nothing in common with me aside from having been assigned female at birth. It is totally cissexist to believe that I have something in common with those other people based on that one arbitrary and fucked up fact.

I don’t. I am not butch. I am not masculine. I am not masculine of center.

I am male and I am fem.

So I thought I’d just put it on my front page where nobody could miss it. Here goes.

I just changed my gender to “fem” on a certain website and it feels fabulous.

No, it doesn’t mean I’m no longer male identified. But “male” can be a pretty broad category, and I like being specific about exactly what kind of man I am.

It’s also political. All the gay guys seem to be butch these days. Femininity in queer males  is deeply looked down upon by many (especially by gay cis males).

Personally I respect femininity. In someone who is expected to be masculine it is particularly transgressive. I enjoy that transgression.

The fact that I, as a trans man, am expected to be obsessed with being as “masculine” as possible makes my femininity especially shocking, and especially dangerous to me. The threat of ungendering has caused me to hide my femininity for a long time.

But no more. I’m sick of it.

Calling myself fem is just more honest. I identified with feminine males long before I could bring myself to identify as a male. The first time I ever saw anyone who I thought of as being “the same gender” as I was, was when I watched The Naked Civil Servant, a biopic about Quentin Crisp starring John Hurt. Before, I had related more to women than to straight men, and I still do, but I never could conceptualize myself as a woman.

When I watched that movie, for the first time I began to realize there were other options. There were men who in some sense were like women, who were allied with them against the common enemy of masculine brutality. This is how I came to see myself.

Still, I assumed, like so many others, that being a feminine male required being assigned male at birth. I thought the closest I could come was being a masculine female, but that idea depressed me. I didn’t want to be masculine. Neither did I want to be female. I wanted to be just the opposite– if these things can really be said to have opposites.

So it went on for years. My love of glitter, fishnets, pretty clothes and other men made me assume I was disqualified from being transsexual. And not too long ago, those things really would have disqualified me. Thanks to the trail-blazing work of individuals like Lou Sullivan, a homosexual trans man, having a aueer orientation is no longer considered to be a contradiction to the diagnosis of gender identity disorder. Gay and lesbian transsexual people can now access hormones and surgery just like our heterosexual brothers and sisters.

I want to honor the work of people like Lou by living honestly, not just as a faggot, not just as queer, but as a decidedly unmasculine transgender man. As Quentin Crisp blazed trails for fem men everywhere by living openly and flamboyantly, and as Lou Sullivan fought for the right of all men to be faggots (and all faggots to be men), I want to stand up and be counted, too.

Politics quite aside, I have spent too much time and money in transition already to be anything but exactly the kind of man I want to be. This was never about being a guy, any guy. It was about being me.

And now, that is exactly what is going to happen.

For other places where I have been loud and open about my fem identity, go here. Thanks.

About Asher

Asher Bauer is fast becoming a fixture in the San Francisco kink community, and intends to stay that way. He has worked as a Queer Educator at LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation And Information Center), and since has taken his talents as an educator to a wider variety of audiences, teaching on subjects ranging from safer sex to BDSM to trans and queer identities. He is also one of the hosts and originators of Transmission, the new trans-centric party at the San Francisco Citadel, and Invasion, the Citadel's all-genders queer party. View all posts by Asher

2 Responses to “Fem”

  • Jonathan

    “I am male and I am fem.”

    me too :)

    and so is:

    http://femmeguy.wordpress.com/

  • Christien Rodriguez

    I feel like you have beautifully put into words what I have been feeling since before starting my own transition, which is something I have had the most difficult time doing. One of my friends just convinced me to start following people on the web, because I have been feeling so alone in who I am, and your post has made me so grateful to have started. I am not saying we are the same person, but your sentiments are shared, and you are fantastic! Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly =)

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