After coming out twice I never thought I’d have to come out AGAIN - but here we are. I am a trans man.
When I first came out as trans 3 years ago I didn’t feel like a man - I knew I definitely wasn’t a woman. So, I called myself non-binary. More describing what I was not than what I was. As time passed I felt “genderless” was a more accurate description, though no words could ever perfectly capture how it actually feels inside. Later, I switched to “gender abundant,” which feels like it encompasses many truths at once.
How does it feel to be a man? Well - I feel terrified. I’ve been terrified all along, but now that my manhood has floated from my subconscious mind up into my conscious mind, I’m now aware of the terror inside me that has been there all along.
It’s what has been driving me to walk on eggshells, to make myself small, to doubt my worthiness to receive. I had been equating manhood with abuse of power. My subconscious mind had more evidence that men abuse power than evidence of kind, nurturing men. I was equating manhood with danger and untrustworthiness. It feels burdensome. As I finally accepted this truth about myself my body was buzzing with years of shame that got bottled up. I kept taking deep breaths through the discomfort. I asked my housemates to help me co-regulate and they did 💜
When I was female it was easy for me to express masculinity. However, now that I’m presenting male, if I were to perform the same masculinity the way I was pre T, I would come off as unsafe. Now, I realize I was performing toxic masculinity - that toxic masculinity can be embodied by any body - not just people with penises. Now I’m confronted with relearning what it means to embody a nurturing masculinity.
I’ve been asking myself “What does positive masculinity even look like?” Like, I literally have to dream it up because it has been so rarely modeled to me.
It’s no coincidence the few possibility models I can think of are other trans folks. I'm grateful for those who showed me what it looks like to be a gentle, nurturing man (IG: @mars.wright, @ezramichelmusic, @freshlevlove).
I had been so afraid to admit to myself I’m a man because it would mean I’m inherently unsafe. I’ve been scared that if people knew the truth, my female friends would feel less comfortable around me and it might even be harder to make new friends.
Writing and singing sings like this one has really helped me get to a place where I can confront my shadows and embrace them with love and acceptance. I am paving the road as I walk it, embodying the future I want to see. A world where men are a safe haven - nurturing, trustworthy, compassionate, silly and sweet.
"Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" by Forest Williams