Social Masculinity

It’s still new to me, externalizing my masculinity, trying to make others recognize it too, being accepted as “one of the guys” rather than “one of the girls,” getting read as male, binding, darkening my mustache, shaving my hair into a male hairline, eliminating every accessory, every detail of hair and dress that might mark me as female.  Seeing friends and strangers react to me differently.  Feeling who I feel certain types of kinship with, who I’m drawn toward…

So far, I very much like inhabiting social masculinity.  I’m surprised by how comfortable it feels to be treated, unconsciously, as one of the guys, not one of the women.  I’m even more surprised by my own spontaneous acts of gentlemanliness and chivalry toward women and effeminate men.  With effeminate men, my chivalry is an erotic act of appreciation.  With women, it is a social role – it just seems like the only appropriate way of interacting with them in certain situations.  I’m also surprised by how much I like my own masculinization.  The more masculine I look, the better, sexier, and more powerful I feel.  There has never been a point where I’ve felt that I’ve gone too far.  Finally, I’m surprised by the pleasure it gives me when people refer to me as a guy, a fella, or a faggot.  Sometimes you don’t know how badly you want a certain type of recognition until you feel the jolt of pleasure that getting it gives you.

What I know is that the changes I’ve made have had results.  Straight people gender me as male more and more often.  Recently, I noticed that my best friend had stopped using “she” while talking about me and was referring to me solely by my (changed) first name, no matter how often she had to repeat it.  People I don’t know well ask me what pronouns I use, and more and more, I have the urge to take the opportunity to ask them to refer to me as “he”.  One lover told me that she has been wanting to use male pronouns when talking about me recently, that she did once and that it felt good.  Another said that he had been having the urge to correct people when they referred to me as “she”.  An ex-lover messaged me on facebook to ask whether I had started taking testosterone.  Recently, in a mixed queer space in New York City, I became aware that none of the new people I was meeting had any idea whether I identified as male or female, what pronouns I used, and whether I dated men or women.  Part of this was geographical, but part of it was a result of the masculinity that I have begun to inhabit.  It felt freeing to know that I could move to a new city and say that I was a faggot who preferred male pronouns, and no queer person would so much as blink at it.

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