I had really fantastic embodiment experiences all day yesterday. I remember, at one point, just sitting in the train and feeling so present and good within my body, like I was filling it perfectly, right as rain and happy within it. I remember sitting still and feeling conscious of the rightness and the power of the fit between my body and the gendered self within it.
I haven’t even changed all that much, physically, since I started T. I don’t pass all the time, I haven’t had chest surgery, I bind every day, and of course, I don’t have a cis penis. But I think I can safely say that I no longer have body dysphoria. I can now experience my body as a male body from within without feeling contradicted by its form or by the gaze of others. When I look in the mirror, even naked, I see a male, and this sight delights me. I’m quite a hot young guy, really – I like my muscles, my face, the way my body fills my clothing. Even my chest looks male to me – if I ever got chest surgery, it would be to spare me the (slight) discomfort of binding and not because of body dysphoria over my chest.
Probably the change that delights me the most is my voice. It’s hard to be objective, but I have the impression that it’s finally over the hoarse-sounding stage to have the resonance and depth of a cis male voice. I can’t express how much I like talking, and especially singing with it. I’m a shmaltzy male crooner, and I really do think I have a full, robust, musical baritone when I sing! I remember how much it bothered me before to be talking to men and to hear my voice sound so much higher and more feminine than theirs. It really disturbed my sense of male authenticity. Now it makes me feel so relaxed and at ease to hear myself conversing with men, our voices in the same overall range. And to feel the deeper, slower vibrations in my throat and chest. I’m acclimating to my new range and learning that I needn’t be afraid of it. I was previously speaking in its upper register; I am learning now to speak, and to project, in my mid to low register. These days, I hum and sing constantly when I’m alone.
Last night, I went to a holiday party thrown by a transwoman I’m in the early stages of dating. I was wearing clothing that fit me perfectly (no mean feat now that, thanks to my broadening shoulders, I’ve outgrown most of my favorite shirts), and was feeling quite comfortably embodied as well as enjoying my first day of what seemed to me to be an acceptably male-sounding voice. There was a group of “typical” gay guys at the party – I mean the kind that have perfect gym bodies, don’t identify as queer, and have likely had minimal interactions with trans people. We were in the kitchen, under some pretty harsh lighting, and they struck up a conversation with me. We talked about jobs and about where we lived and compared tattoos, and I was astonished and delighted to see signs, throughout, that they considered me a gay cis guy, like themselves. They referred to me as “he” without hesitating or asking questions; they called me “man;” they lightly tapped and touched me on my chest without the slightest worry that there might be bound breasts there; and most of all, they just flirted, easily and naturally, one of them with his arm around me.
Now I pass with straight people regularly as cis. This is pretty easy, since most straight people have pretty rigid ideas about gender. It doesn’t occur to many of them that I could be either female or trans. I also hang around with plenty of queer-identified people, trans and cis, male and female. This crowd is super habituated to trans folk, so they treat me as a queer male and know that I’m trans. In terms of gay men, however, I’ve so far found it rather difficult to pass. I blogged, pretty early on, about my distress at feeling that gay men saw me as female. Lately, I’ve had gay men read me as trans, but this has not felt entirely comfortable either since then, they will either assume that I’m into women, chat with me while ignoring me as a potential sexual partner, or creepily eroticize me as trans. It was novel and exciting to have an extended, well-lit interaction with a group of young gay men who saw me, unquestionably, as a young gay cis man. I was ecstatic the rest of the night.
I then went on to have a very hot make-out with the host of the party, a femme genderqueer transwoman. I’ve had to get used to the fact that, with T, my sexuality is all over the place. I definitely get turned on more than I expected by femme women and by by female body parts, and I typically find myself enjoying taking the “man’s role” with them, both in how we interact and in how we make out. I am more butch than I expected, and when I imagine sex with them, “straight” sex is what I have in mind. Of course, from conversations I’ve had with the transwoman in question, I know that the sex we are going to have will be anything but straight, and I’m up for that. In spite of this expanded range of attractions, fantasies, and roles, and in spite of the fact that I increasingly consume straight porn, my sex dreams these days are almost invariably about bottoming for presumably gay cis men. Sometimes I take it in the ass and sometimes in the front hole. Last night, I had a very graphic dream about overcoming my gag reflex to deepthroat a pretty large, hard cock. It was sublime.
As I’ve transitioned these past four months, I’ve remained celibate in spite of my increasing sex drive. I think I’m ready now to be sexual as a man with people. I’m sufficiently reembodied now.
One thing that’s a little different now is that I sometimes find myself wishing I had a conventional penis. Not because I need one to “feel complete” or to feel fully male or because I’m ashamed of the bits I have, but simply because much of the sex my body wants to perform would be facilitated by having a cis penis. I mean, in my body and in my fantasies, it feels like I have one. It would just be easier to translate those fantasies into reality if I actually did.
I had this thought last night: “I have arrived.” Everything has clicked into place, and I am now completely at home in my body, my gender, and my sexuality. It feels so peaceful, and there is so much possibility. I am a bit surprised to find myself enjoying becoming physically male so fully and without ambivalence. I guess I thought I would have more resistances and regrets, more of a desire to remain gender ambiguous, and less pure enjoyment. It is hard to describe, this feeling of arrival, fullness, and – more than just comfort – pure enjoyment in one’s embodiment. It sounds silly to say it, but I feel suffused with sexiness. This is a great place to be, at the end of my first semester of professing, just before I return home to my queer family for Christmas.