Trans Women and the False Security of Hyper-masculine Enviroments

A Die-Cast plane similar to the ones my dad bought me.
Source: http://yellowairplane.com/Models_Fighters/D_US_jet_fighters.html

I was a scared child. Scared of the dark. Scared of trolls. Scared of Dogs. Scared of most contact sports. I don’t thing I was the son my Marine father wanted. I grew up in a strange environment with plenty of masculine influences from my dad, but he never could mold me into the son he wanted. 

When I was a little kid, I was saturated with the fruits of the American Military  industrial complex. My dad used to give me tons of fighter jet toys, and I grew to love them. He also had me playing flight/combat simulators before I could ride a bike. It’s no wonder that I wanted to be a pilot at a pretty young age; I realized I wouldn’t cut it as a pilot  soon after. There were lots of guns in my childhood, toy and real. I shot a gun for the first time when I was around 4 or 5. Needless to say, guns became pretty ingrained in me. Today I stand to inherit more guns that I could ever find a use for and am very comfortable around firearms. Despite this, and my parent’s perpetual fear of letting me do anything on my own, I was a scared kid; I didn’t want to be, but getting tackled to the ground for an oddly shaped ball didn’t seem like fun to me.

Pull! Me Shooting Things

Pull!
Me Shooting Things Back in the Day

So even with the guns, and the toy planes, and my dads stories, and the countless movies I was too young for, I still grew to enjoy femininity. classmates and siblings would often times make fun of me for my apparent lack of manhood. I soon learned that not being ahead of your class in manliness was a sometime I was supposed to be ashamed of. I learned that I was transgender around 11 and decided I should grow up a woman pretty soon after. That is when, every day, I wish I’d told my parents I was a girl, started hrt, and then blossomed into their beautiful daughter. Sadly, I was sucked into the allure of hyper-masculinity. For us Trans-women it promises happiness at the end of a long road of everything anti-trans. A prospect of growing out of our problems an becoming the man society and family wants us to be.

The idea is simple; surround yourself with all things masculine and the feminine thoughts can’t get through. This is why trans women are draw to the armed forces. When you’re a soldier, it is hard to think about being a woman. Kristin Beck does a good job addressing this subject in her interview with Anderson Cooper. This is the same reason why some trans women get into body building or other super-male activities. I know that when I started to bulk up it became harder and harder to see myself as a woman. This provided me with some relief until something else triggered my dysphoria again. There was a constant battle I wagged with myself. Like an addict chasing a high, I always tried to run away from my feelings by immersing myself in environments that I thought would erase my trans thoughts.

When I was a senior in high school, I felt like I was winning the battle against my transgernderism. I had a long term girlfriend who helped me keep my mind far from transition. This how I imagine trans women can pursue a life of marriage and fatherhood to try and defeat their feelings and why there are so many late life transitions; Perhaps they can make it work for 20 years, but the pressure is always building.  Giving yourself a purpose helps stave off internal disharmony, but only temporarily. When I was looking at colleges, I made a real effort to attend the United States Naval Academy. Not only because I wanted to honor the family tradition of service, but because I was also drawn to jobs of national importance. Similarly, I knew that Annapolis would make transition impossible for me. This would mean I’d have to take those silly thoughts out of my head. Luckily I didn’t end up going to the USNA, and who knows where my life might have led if I did. I did however manage to find one last refuge of hyper-masculinity in college.

Typical Thursay-sunday, Tuesday too. I'm the thin one.

Typical Thursday-Sunday +Tuesday too. I’m the thin one.

When I matriculated, I shocked my parents, teachers, an friends by joining a fraternity. We were a group of degenerates; drinking, smoking, sleeping around, blowing cash, we tried to live the lifestyle. It’s easy to let go of your feelings in a large group of guys. Social protocol is simple. Its almost like a mob mentality where you get caught up in the testosterone. I was able to keep my feelings deep inside trying to be a fratstar, only to have them violently rip out of suppression. (seriously, this whole frat life thing is fad currently. it has some worrisome ramifications. I’ll probably talk about them later. Feel free to look at TFM. Regardless of what they say about it being satire, 90% of fraternity men try and live their lives according to that site). It seems like the harder you suppress certain things, the more explosively they come back into the mind.

Its amazing how far the excuses and attempts to bury my dysphoria went. For instance, I became obsessed with golf over my freshman summer. I started playing at the beginning of the summer and could barely hit a ball. But after 8 months daily practice, constant thought, conditioning, and near worship of the sport I started shooting in the low 80’s and joined the club golf team (for those of you not familiar with golf, lower score = better, average golfer shoots around 100, pro’s shoot in high 60’s). I thought that my dedication to this sport would give me meaning in my life and I put in the

Killer Driver Shot

time because it kept me from transition. I recall hitting my career long drive of 349 yards and thinking that I would never do that as a woman, silly me. Like a said earlier, its amazing what resolve and  a goal can make you do – especially when you’re as goal oriented as I am.

So basically that was my way of trying to relay though my own experiences why I think trans women are drawn to masculine environments, rigid obligations, and passions.

~Emily

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