Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family & Themselves

Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family & Themselves - Zander Keig, Mitch Kellaway, Heath Adam Ackley, Dustin Ashizz, Loren Cannon, Justin Cascio, Trystan T. Cotten, Lance Cox, Aaron H. Devor, lore m dickey, Scott Duane, Nathan Ezekiel, Jamison Green, Gus, Daisy Hernandez, James C. Knapp, Shaun LaDue, Micah, Chad Ratner, Ezekie My friend loaned me this two weeks ago and I finally finished it... It was not the most impressive of anthologies. The majority of the stories came from gender-conforming men in relationships with women and so I could not relate to a lot of the writing...

One essay I DID NOT like was Max Wolf Valerio's "Why I'm No Transgender." Originally written in 1998 when transsexual was the norm and transgender was mind-boggling. Yes, transgender has basically replaced transsexual in usage, but at the same time the definition never changed from what transsexual stood for, for the majority of society. You say 'transgender' to anyone and immediately the images conjured to their mind is that of grotesque surgeries and strange body modification through mad scientist pills and injections. Even in the transgender community itself, most people are still under the assumption all their fellow trans people want to medically and surgically transition in the same way. The 'sex' may be out of the word but it is not at all out of the meaning and obsession of the public mind.

The submissions that DID impress me and touch me were:

Always Moving Forward by Shaun LaDue. LaDue writes about being a First Nations trans man in Canada's group home system and how that affected and continues to affect coming out, transitioning and his life.

Men Like Me by A. Scott Duane. Duane recounts finding gay/queer male community and getting bottom surgery as a gender non-conforming queer trans man. (I related to the desire for that kind of community a lot as a GNC gay trans man myself.)

Not a Caricature of Male Privilege by Trystan Theosophus Cotten. Cotten writes about transitioning into a visible black Muslim man and how the change in society's treatment of him affected his views previously learned in radical feminist spaces and circles.

A Stranger Handed Me a Business Card by Gavin Wyer, about how connection with an older trans man at Gender Odyssey helped him through his transition. (Meaningful to me because of similar experiences with Gender Odyssey and older trans mentors.)

Did I Ask For This? by Lance Cox, on how moving to college to be out as transgender led him into activism by necessity, as the college had no accommodation or support for trans students. This was extremely relatable and made me so happy to read, as Cox discusses trying to find sexuality label that 'fit' before he realized/came out as male, going from lesbian to pansexual to bisexual, pushed by people's perceptions of him as a masculine woman which must equal lesbian. I had the same experience before finally accepting I was gay and only interested in men.

Just Living by Micah, about being a non-binary person and what that entails in regards to transition and coming out.