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How I present myself

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I don't like the term 'passing' because it sounds to me like I'm trying to fool people. I'm not 'passing' as male because as far as I'm concerned, I am male. These aren't 'tips for passing' as such, because it's just how I am and what I do, and my way of doing things won't work for, or resonate with, every trans male out there. I think we each need to find our own way of feeling comfortable with what we are and how we present that to the world. There is no right or wrong, and what feels natural for me won't necessarily feel good for another trans man. But here are my thoughts anyway.

My husband has told me, more than once, that I have always 'walked like a man' - whatever that means :) - so I thought I'd try to describe what that is for me. I have never attempted to walk in a consciously masculine or feminine fashion. I have to admit. I just walk. When I asked my husband to describe my walk to me, he said I take longer strides than the average cis woman, and I don't sway my hips. He also said I walk purposefully, as if I know where I'm going and want to get there. Since I ditched my last piece of 'female' clothing last year, he said he's noticed that I pull my shoulders back more and that sometimes I 'strut' when I walk. I'm not entirely sure what that means.

I do think I'm more comfortable in myself, now that everyone knows who I am, and now that I don't have to dress in any female clothing anymore for appearances' sake, so maybe that extra comfort has made me a little more confident.

I've never worn high heels. I've always been more comfortable in flat shoes and boots. Maybe that has influenced my walk.

My hair is short. I cut it myself. I trim the back and sides with an electric hair trimmer and I cut the top with scissors. I admit that I haven't yet found the confidence to walk into a barbers' and ask them to cut it for me. But I hardly ever went to visit a 'female' hairdresser, even before I came out. I've always cut my own hair.

I don't wear makeup and I didn't like to wear makeup even before I was out. Lipstick, on the odd occasions I wore it in the past (such as on my wedding day), never lasted more than ten minutes before I wiped it off - it always made my lips feel funny. I was never very good at putting on makeup when I had to and I always felt wrong in it, so it was something I avoided.

​I've always had a thing for aftershave rather than perfume (I think it smells nicer, generally) and I've bought 'male' deodorant for years because I preferred the scent. There's a thing I did discover, many years ago, about the difference between 'male' and 'female' deodorant. When I was supposed to be female, I shaved my armpits, as 'women' are encouraged to do in our society. If I had 'female' deodorant and used it after shaving, it stung horrendously - and women were supposed to buy special 'no sting' deodorant (which was more expensive) if they wanted to avoid that particular discomfort, not just use any old female deodorant. But here's the thing - 'male' deodorant doesn't sting after you've shaved your armpits. Whatever they put in 'female' deodorant that they don't put in 'male' deodorant is the culprit. But male deodorant smells nicer anyway so I've used that for years. And I stopped shaving my armpits a long time ago.

My clothes are mostly casual. I have a couple of suits, dress shirts, ties and the like, but they don't come out often. Mostly I'm in jeans with button flies (I like button flies far more than zips) or chinos. I will wear a t-shirt over my binder and a long sleeved shirt over that. Sometimes I will button up the shirt but usually I like to leave it unbuttoned. I rarely tuck in my shirts. I find that if I tuck in a shirt, it's a little more obvious that my hips are larger than my waist. I haven't been taking the T long enough for it to have had a noticeable effect on the shape of my body (although it is happening, slowly - my waist is thicker and my thighs are thinner than before I started the hormone). When I do need to tuck in a shirt, I wear something over it, such as a jacket or waistcoat. My jeans and trousers sit on my hips, not my waist.

Obviously, I wear a binder. Not only is it there to change my shape, it makes me feel more comfortable and confident. I've been wearing binders for years but only started wearing them seven days a week last year. It's probably more psychological than physical, but I feel more 'me' since I started wearing them full-time. I've bought binders from three different manufacturers but I prefer one of them over the others. It's easy to get them, too, because they're available online from a stockist in this country. I wear a packer, too, and they're available from the same stockist. That's also a psychological thing, I've found. I feel better when it's there. I feel bereft when it's not. When I bought my first packer, I soon realised that the one I'd bought was too big. I switched to a smaller size soon after and I tend to re-order the same 'make and model' when I need to.

I have, in the past, spent a lot of money on STP devices - some very expensive ones have turned out to be a complete waste of money - but I didn't know that until I'd tried them. These days, I make my own. I know what works for me, now, but it did take a little experimentation.

I don't think I'm 'fooling' anyone with how I look and behave and dress - but I do now feel more at ease with myself. Whether other people think I'm female, or male, or neither, doesn't matter to me as much as how it makes me feel to be presenting myself as me. 

And I'm not trying to be a 'typical male' - because there is no such thing.

 


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Posted

Hey Jay,

"And I'm not trying to be a 'typical male' - because there is no such thing." I seem to be in a quoting mood today (see my comment to Lisa a moment ago). But anyway, I think you're right on in all of your comments and how you present yourself: you are just yourself, simple as that. I think that's how we'd all like to be, just ourselves, take it or leave it.  That takes a bravery that I don't have at least outside of our home, and I commend you.  Bravo! 

Emma

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I'm not sure how people see me either.  I can only guess based on how they do or don't look (stare) at me.   I think I've mentioned recently that it seems men don't even notice me for the most part.  I dunno if it's because in passing they just see (or think me to be) another guy, or if they see me as a female that's "not much to look at."

Women, on the other hand, do notice me.  There is an age group that has no problem in just straight up staring at me in a disapproving manner - the look on their faces bordering on disgust.  But every once in a while, there will be a woman cut me a glance that clearly indicates she likes what she sees.  Most often though, that happens when I am in a vehicle... :lol:

I did try to be like women.  Make-up, jewelry, curls and smells.  Until I just couldn't do it anymore.  I was always nervous.  And of course being nervous made me sweat more than I already did.  After I started wearing men's clothes from shoes to shirts and everything in between outerwear to underwear, I realized that the female trappings are what caused me to always feel nervous - I was uncomfortable, self-conscious, unsure of myself, never felt like I measured up.  I always felt like people could see my vulnerability.  I'm sure that added to making me nervous.  I hated going to salons, and so I too often cut my own hair.  In salons, I felt naked.  I felt like the women around me were able to visually completely strip me of the facade I presented, and then glare at me because they knew I wasn't supposed to be there, and I was invading one of their sacred places of womanhood.

As for the binder and STP... I have to agree that those two items might cater to the psychological.  I only know that I feel better in a binder and packing.  When not packing, my jeans don't feel like they fit right.  And then of course, that feeling of something missing is distressing.  That feeling is reminiscent of when I tried to dress and act like women do, and because of that, I rarely go out without it even though I'm the only one knows that it's there.

-Michael

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Hiya Michael. If other People cannot accept You for You, then Young Man, They are the One's who have got the Problem's. Being MtoF Myself, if other People cannot accept Me, that is Their Problem. I Am Fully; Full-Time; Female Living; and Dressing; as I have been Now, for over 15 Month's. Michael, as long as You are comfortable as Yourself Young Man, that is what matters ! Michael, Be Happy Young Man, Take Care, And My Very Best Wishes, Big Hugs, Love Stephanie. xxxxxxxx 

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Female hairdressing salons are scary places when you know you don't belong there. :) 

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Posted (edited)

Hiya Jay; Emma; Michael; and Monica. Back at the Beginning of September, 2014, My Hair, was a Grade 2, Allover. I have let it grow ever since. It Is Now Halfway down My shoulder-blades; and still growing. I have Not been into a Female-Hair-Salon, as a Customer. I wash My Hair with Head And Shoulders 2-in-1; Shampoo and Conditioner; and apart from Brushing and Combing right through a couple of times a day, and drying it with a Hair-Dryer, nothing else really gets done with it, apart from putting it into a Pony-Tail !  One day I'll use a salon, but, I don't know when that will be. Take Care My Friend's, Big Hugs, And My Very Best Wishes, Love Stephanie. xxxxxxxx 

Edited by Steph53
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