Are you a girl or a boy?

I haven’t been asked that question since I was about twelve years old, and although I realise my appearance is confusing to some people I was honestly never expecting to be asked those exact words at the age of forty-six.

The whole conversation was a shitshow. So I will do my best to recreate it here.

Setting: The local pub – in a small village where LGBTQ+ people are either absent or invisible for the most part.

Cast of characters: Me, one of my cisgender female friends, and a very drunk cis/straight bloke (who was at the bar with a group of other drunk blokes).

My friend and I are sitting at a table having a drink and a chat. Drunk bloke swaggers over and sits in the extra chair at our table, manspreading as if his balls are the size of a small country. He hugs and kisses my friend, then turns to me and sizes me up (as much as he can given that he probably can’t focus properly).

Drunk bloke: She’s fucking great isn’t she? I love her.
Adds meaningfully: And her husband’s fucking great too. He’s one of my best mates.

Me: Yeah, I know man. They’re both great. I was at their wedding recently.

Drunk bloke: Stares and looks confused after hearing me speak….¬†Are you a girl or a boy?

Me: rolling my eyes. I’m a boy.

Drunk bloke: Turns to speak to my friend rather than me. But she sounds like a girl.

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Accurate gif is accurate

My friend: He’s a boy. This is my mate. We’ve known each other for years. He knows Andy too.

Me: rolling my eyes more and getting impatient for him to fuck off. Look. I’m a man, but I’m transgender. I was born a girl, and now I’m man. My voice isn’t that low yet because I’ve only been on testosterone for six months.

Drunk bloke: Looks slightly bewildered but spreads his hands placatingly. Oh, fair play. Fair play. Well, you take care of her. She’s great, and her husband’s a top bloke.

Me: Sighs.¬†Look mate, I’m not into women anyway. I’m gay. So her virtue is safe with me.

Drunk bloke: Stares.

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I can practically hear the gears churning in his alcohol addled brain at this point while he tries to wrap his brain around the intersection of gender and sexuality, and probably fails.

I decide that challenging his views about treating women as possessions who need to be claimed, owned, and defended by men would be too much for one evening. I think his head might explode if I introduce another new concept.

At that point he clearly decides I’m not a threat, and buggers off back to his cronies at the bar.

I wonder whether he’ll remember this conversation this morning?

Gender Euphoria is Real

So… a lot of my blog posts have talked about gender dysphoria. Where gender dysphoria is a state of unease, sadness, or distress that’s directly linked to someone’s gender identity.

Well, gender euphoria is a thing too. And it’s basically the opposite. So gender euphoria occurs when you finally feel that your inside is matching your outside and let me tell you, it’s pretty great. It’s like planets finally coming into alignment after a million years of circling around and not quite coinciding.

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Today I had one of those moments. I’m only 3 weeks and 3 days post top surgery. And my surgeon said I should wait 4 weeks before starting to run again. But I’m a terrible patient, and I think I’ve bounced back faster than most and everything is healing up just fine. So today, I put on my running kit and left the house with the intention of half walking/half jogging for half an hour or so.

But once I started running, I didn’t want to stop. I’m a big believer in the whole ‘listen to your body’ thing. And my body was saying:
Dude, seriously. This is fucking awesome. You’re awesome. Don’t stop. Run like the wind!

So I ran (like a slightly sluggish breeze, but whatever) for about twenty minutes, and it was BRILLIANT. Running, with a vest top on and no sports bra. This is the stuff that pre-transition trans men’s dreams are made of. Seriously. I fantasised about this for months as my surgery date approached. Any time I felt nervous, or had doubts that I was making the right decision, all I had to do was put a sports bra on and remind myself that top surgery would mean I never needed to wear one again.

Disclaimer: Yes, I know that most cis women hate sports bras too. Who wouldn’t? They’re designed by Satan and are awful… and boobs are a pain in the arse when you’re running blah blah. But presumably you like your boobs most of the time, even if you hate sports bras. And if you really hate your boobs in every possible way, then I can give you the number of an excellent gender therapist to discuss this with.