Connie asked the question did I think I was "playing" the part of alpha male before I MtF gender transitioned and I relied (figuratively) very much so.
Kindergarten through ninth grade, I went to a very small semi rural school. Our class size was normally well under a hundred students. Along the way I needed to pick a group to try to fit in with since I was a slightly effeminate boy who happened to love sports. Since choices were so limited I tried and found myself fitting in with a group of junior "hell raisers." Which at the least protected me from bullying.
These were the days of desperately wanting to be a cute cheerleader rather than getting beat up (mostly) at defensive end. So I was sharpening my initial "macho man play skills!
Here's Connie's comment:
"Just wondering....Do you consider yourself to have been playing the part of an alpha male before deciding to transition? I ask because I never did, and we seem to have had different experiences in our respective transitions. For me, it was a deprogramming of the self-brainwashing I had done in order to fit the male persona I thought I needed to project - not the other way around. I have also never really seen any difference in the way I've been treated since, as you say, playing in the girl's sandbox. At least, there was no more back-stabbing after entering it than there was before - but most of it has always been good.
I came to realize many years ago that the lessons my mother gave me on being a gentleman were really lessons on how women expect to be treated by a man (my father died when I was eight-years-old, so I never really got lessons from the male point of view). Growing up, I was often bullied by boys, for which I developed a sharp enough wit to counteract them. I had little trouble being included with the girls, however, when the opportunities were there for me to do so. I used sports to portray myself as a rough and tumble guy, and any success I had with the guys was as a "quiet leader", but certainly not as an alpha male.
Later, my wife was the envy of all her women friends because I always did more than my share of the homemaking duties, doing all of the grocery shopping, cooking many of our meals, and even arranging my work schedule so that I could be a stay-at-home dad at least half of the time. Although I was deeply suppressing my true gender during those times, I believe I was allowing myself to express my feminine self as much as I could. I always felt right at home in the mom groups, and I would often have long chats on the phone with many of our lady friends. The women would feel free to gossip and tell me things in confidence that I imagine they never would to the average man. When my resistance finally broke down, and the need for me to let my feminine-self be seen (if only by myself in the mirror), it was because of the connection I had with other women so much more than it was from the "thrill" of cross dressing. I was never so happy then as when I could be free to look the part while having one of those phone conversations - even though the guilt was building because of my secret. My goodness, I was not only cheating on my wife and family, I was cheating on everyone (including myself, really).
As you say, people have to go through the socialization in their own way. I suppose I was lucky that I managed to create the illusion of being male while still expressing my feminine side in a socially acceptable manner. The social transition has been fairly easy, as a result. I must say, though, that whether you are cis or trans, it's still very unnerving to find that your mother-in-law is comfortable in telling you, in detail, about her sex life. Yikes! TMI!!! :-)"
Thanks Connie, to this day I carry with me the idea's my Mother had such as always walking on the outside of a woman on a street, the proper way to help with a coat, and yes housework too!
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