Men Have it Different, Not Necessarily Easier

The Washington Post covered the experiences of four transgender men in an OpEd piece last Friday. It provided an uncommon view into the way these American men experienced differences in how they were treated after transitioning from female to male. We highlight some of the experiences that surprised us:

“A […] grad student I’d been mentoring […] started coming on to me, stalking me, sending me emails and texts. My adviser and the dean — both women — laughed it off. […] I felt like as a guy, I was not taken seriously. I had experienced harassment as a female person at another university and they had reacted immediately, sending a police escort with me to and from campus. I felt like if I had still been in my old body I would have gotten a lot more support.”

“Prior to my transition, I was an outspoken radical feminist. […] I was encouraged to speak up. […] When I speak up now, I am often given the direct or indirect message that I am “mansplaining,” “taking up too much space” or “asserting my white male heterosexual privilege.”

“Being a black man has changed the way I move in the world. I used to walk quickly or run to catch a bus. Now I walk at a slower pace, and if I’m late I don’t dare rush. I am hyper-aware of making sudden or abrupt movements, especially in airports, train stations and other public places. […] The less visible I am, the better my chances of surviving.”