Author Topic: I'm jealous of my transgender friends  (Read 3543 times)

Offline ParsiGuy

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I'm jealous of my FtM transgender friends.  There.  I said it.  

I probably live in a little bit of a leftie (in terms of coasts and politics) bubble.  I'm a gay man aged 34.  I'd happily be described as a progressive and have lived in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco  - cities with large LGBT populations.  I have many friends in the LGBT community - several of them transgender folks.  As I watch my transgender friends finally experience perhaps the beginning of their civil rights tipping point I celebrate. I celebrate with them through every social, cultural and legal victory.  I do.  But, I also find myself increasingly jealous of them.  

In the past year, I have been invited to participate in no fewer than 19 in-person fundraisers or online crowdsourced fundraisers for Female-to-Male transgender friends looking to cover the cost of their top surgery - breast reduction/removal procedures.  I've been to several and I've donated a few bucks where I could, but at a dear friend's fundraiser last week, I had to leave after 10 minutes as I was filled with such jealousy, I felt like I was going to burst.  

There is a system.  A community.  A very public and supportive community safety net for trans folks - at least in liberal enclaves like LA and SF for trans folks in the midst of transition that doesn't and probably can't exist for men suffering from severe gynecomastia.  It would be unthinkable for me to organize a fundraiser to have my "manboobs" surgery, because this is still considered a cosmetic procedure.  It would be like having a fundraiser for a nose job - at least that's how it would be viewed by most people.   And, then there are the even luckier trans folks whose insurance now cover partial or even the total cost of hormone therapy and top surgery.  

I've been through three layoffs since 2008.  Right before my first layoff, I was about 80% of the way saved up for my gynecomastia surgery.  Then I was laid off with 2 weeks severance. It took me more than a year to find another job and I eventually had no choice but to live off of my surgery savings.  I'd been saving to have the operation since I was 20.  Then, at age 28 I was within six months of securing the funds needed for surgery - including all possible fees, transport costs etc and before I turned 29 those funds were completely depleted just to keep the lights on and food in my fridge.  I then faced two more layoffs - in 2010 and 2014.  And when you experience those many layoffs, let me tell you, you have to make tough financial decisions - like buying groceries instead of making your car payment.  My credit which was stellar before my first layoff is now completely in tatters.  I'd be hard pressed to get approved for a credit card with a $100 limit let alone secure a private loan.  

So, here I am. 34 going on 35 with severe gynecomastia.  Hiding from the world.  I've lived in California since I was 10.  I haven't gone to the beach or swum in a pool since I was 13 and my breast tissue started developing.  I haven't been able to form any meaningful romantic or sexual relationships because I feel like a foreigner in my own body - but just the top half. Forget relationships.  I've never kissed another man.  Or romantically embraced another man, because letting someone feel my breasts is unthinkable to me.  It's doubly hard as a gay man.  Gay men's interactions with each other - whether they're friendly or romantic - are so connected to our sexual identities that I sometimes get anxiety when hanging out with a big group of my gay male friends.  I feel like they can all see right through me as this imposter.  This man living alone and afraid to let another person touch his body.  I have to make up lies about my supposed sexual encounters so that I don't seem like this freakish 34 year old virgin.  This is so much more than a physical... symptom.  This condition has totally broken and stunted me psychologically, emotionally, spiritually.  But, because it isn't gender dysmorphia, this is just considered a "cosmetic" issue.   I'm approaching 1 year since my 3rd layoff and I'm hopeful that one of the six interviews I have set up for the next two weeks will finally lead to a new job that will allow me to eventually rebuild my savings.  But at this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm unable to have the savings built up again until I'm approaching 40.  

I think that if my 20 year old self could look ahead and know that I would still be in the exact same place nearly 15 years later, I would have felt so... desperately helpless.  

So, I don't know.  I just needed to vent and admit that I am seething with jealousy at all of my trans friends who have the avenues to obtain surgical solutions to their problems while I have to just smile at the sidelines and cheer them on, strapped beneath the oppressive weight of my gynecomastia vest and these years of psychological misery.  

Can anyone else relate, or do I sound like a nut job?   

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=30823.0

hammer

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I've been holding back on this, but with your post why not.

I read a powerful post on Facebook from Johns Hopkins that was great food for thought about Transgender and why they no longer do those surgeries. I won't get into the details of the articles but think about this. On either m to f or f to m transgenderr, when there dead cut open having an autopsy what is the corner going to find inside? Are they still going to find the original equipment inside?

Think about this, can Caitlin  (Bruce) Jenner still get prostate cancer? I don't know about you, but I've never known a woman who could get prostate cancer!


I'm really not sure where I stand on transgender,  these are just questions I have. I've been reading and hearing different arguments for and against and haven't decided how I even feel about it.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 08:19:21 AM by hammer »

rrr

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I'm with hammer on this, I don't know where I stand on transgender - mainly after several cases I found out about, one being Bruce Jenner.
I know of 2 other cases that make me question the surgery and I have a lesbian friend who doesn't understand it either.
The Jenner case just stinks of publicity, and the other 2 cases involve a person having the surgery only to be a gay as their new gender. One was MTF who is now a lesbian and one FTM who is now a gay man.
I do get someone being gay or feeling they are in the wrong body (the book Brain Sex is interesting), but these 3 cases really make me question the validity of it all.

hammer

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DISCLAIMER:
I'm not 100% sure the info that I'm quoting from an article from Facebook was from Johns Hopkins, but I'm darn near 100% sure that's were it was from, it's been awhile. The article may have had parts from Johns Hopkins and been written by someone else.
----------------------------------------

One of the points that I was trying to make in my post is, when they go through the transgender surgery from what I understand all that gets changed is what's on the surface, not the inside, therefore, what's the corner going to see? One cannot see what's in there mind, which brings up the reason Johns Hopkins stopped doing transgender surgeries. Their studies had shown that it was a mental illness and doing the surgery did not fix the problem, and suicide rates were still extremely high among transgendered people.

The article said, Jenner never would have done, or won the status the he did if he had changed before the time he became famous nor would he got the scholarships for school as a woman. And it's true.

The other thing, in the article that was published is that not only is it just what's on the outside that is changed, but the person never lived through what the "real" gender did live through going through the natural stages of puberty or the harassment such as woman have to put up with as young ladies in school and beyond.


As the old saying goes, you never really know what it's like until you walk in their moccasins! However, if you wait until your 65 to do so, you have no idea what it was like when  they were 35, or 25, or 15 for that matter.

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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I have a number of transgender patients in my practice -- and each has related sad and poignant stories about their battle to come to grips with who they are.

The medical literature now describes roughly 140 different types of sexual orientation -- so L, B, G & T are only four categories of a vast number of lifestyles.

As was stated, "never criticize someone unless you have walked a mile in their moccasins."  Therefore, who are we to judge?  What counts is to try to be happy and content during one's time on this planet.  It is all too brief.

As for ParsiGuy, I feel for you.  And I understand your frustration in seeing insurance cover some FTM surgery and not surgery for gyne patients.  Unfortunately, we are up against the insurance companies -- and they are far more powerful than any single individual.  Let's hope that things can change someday.

Keep your chin up!

Dr Jacobs
Dr. Jacobs 
Certified: American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow: American College of Surgeons
Practice sub-specialty in Gynecomastia Surgery
815 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10021
Telephone:  (212) 570-6080
Email:  [email protected]
Website:  http://www.gynecomastiasurgery.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastianewyork.com/revi

Offline Paa_Paw

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Like many others here, my Gynecomastia developed in early puberty.  The catch is that I was 12 years old in 1949.   it was not for decades that surgery became anywhere near the  good choice that it now is.  
Instead of bemoaning your plight, rejoice that you live in a time when you really do have alternatives.   No matter how difficult it may be to finance the surgery, we always find a way to finance those things that are really important to us.   I drive an older car, but I had the money to take a recent two week camping trip.   This fall we will go on a cruise.   The combined costs of these two outings would cover the payments on a new car.   We have set our priorities and made our choices.    By the time Gyne surgery became safe, effective and reliable, I had different priorities.  
Grandpa Dan

jb

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I'm not exactly sure what to say, but your story did make me think. And wonder. When you're with your gay friends, is it really that much different than it is for me, or any other straight male with gyne when we're with a female? I understand your point about gay men and the importance of your sexual identities, but isn't it the same with a straight male with gyne when he's with a potential female sexual partner? I'm not trying to minimize your pain and struggles, but I really don't know that living with gyne is doubly hard if you're gay. There are different relationships. Sexual and friends. If you're talking about your gay "friends", they should be as accepting of you and your gyne as my female friends are to me. If they're not, I think I'd find some new friends. As far as sexual partners, again I understand your fears. It's not easy for straight men with gyne to bare all to a female partner either. But I have to question why a gay male would be even more "turned off" by the sight of your breasts than a female would. Do you have any close friends that you can talk to about this? Maybe I'm wrong. But I have to believe that there are many gay men who would understand that even though you're gay, you're still a male and aren't immune to gyne. Surely you're not the only gay male with gyne. Maybe your fears wouldn't be as intense if you could look in the mirror and accept the person you see for who he is, and not so much for how he looks. With any of us, male, female, straight, gay, I think it's easier for others to accept us once we're able to accept ourselves. When I was so concerned that everyone was staring at me because of my breasts, I'm sure I appeared insecure and didn't act "normal" (whatever that is) when I was in public. And that's likely to draw more attention than the breasts do. I wish you the best, both in your personal relationships and your finances. Don't give up. Sometimes good things happen when we least expect them.

Offline fairviewL

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I'm a little more liberal on the transgender thing. Being a cosmetologist I've met them all. I never used to be like this but anymore my attitude is 'What ever floats your boat'.   Doc says there's 140 sexual orientation. That's good to know I have something to look forward to to keep my days exciting. I've probably had about 20 of those orientations sit in my chair. What I can say is they were harmless, quite interesting, nice, respectful and a bit crazy. But then again I would hope that I am so generously described in my absence. 

Offline ParsiGuy

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OP here.  Completely forgot I started this thread.  While I appreciate the responses, I was not intending this to be a Gynecomastia.org referendum on transgenderism.  You can have an "opinion" on trans folks, I guess.  Just like you can have an opinion on the color purple.  But purple exists and it doesn't need your approval to continue existing while you slowly evolve and catch up with the rest of us.  

I was just venting about how surprisingly suffocating being a member of a supportive, open, progressive community that now offers so many avenues of support for trans folks can be when I have to sit there in silence watching my friends solicit funds from their circles to get their "top surgery" or subsidize their hormone treatments.  I know, I know, I don't have to.  But, it's just not something I can talk about with anyone who doesn't have it - I would feel like they'd always be looking, always watching my chest.  And there aren't, you know, gynecomastia anonymous meetings anywhere.  Thank goodness for this forum!  I know some of you have to come to accept your gynecomastia, but I will never be one of those people.  I can't wait until I've rebuilt my savings, gotten my surgery and moved on with my life.  


I'm not exactly sure what to say, but your story did make me think. And wonder. When you're with your gay friends, is it really that much different than it is for me, or any other straight male with gyne when we're with a female? I understand your point about gay men and the importance of your sexual identities, but isn't it the same with a straight male with gyne when he's with a potential female sexual partner? I'm not trying to minimize your pain and struggles, but I really don't know that living with gyne is doubly hard if you're gay. There are different relationships. Sexual and friends. If you're talking about your gay "friends", they should be as accepting of you and your gyne as my female friends are to me. If they're not, I think I'd find some new friends. As far as sexual partners, again I understand your fears. It's not easy for straight men with gyne to bare all to a female partner either. But I have to question why a gay male would be even more "turned off" by the sight of your breasts than a female would. Do you have any close friends that you can talk to about this? Maybe I'm wrong. But I have to believe that there are many gay men who would understand that even though you're gay, you're still a male and aren't immune to gyne. Surely you're not the only gay male with gyne. Maybe your fears wouldn't be as intense if you could look in the mirror and accept the person you see for who he is, and not so much for how he looks. With any of us, male, female, straight, gay, I think it's easier for others to accept us once we're able to accept ourselves. When I was so concerned that everyone was staring at me because of my breasts, I'm sure I appeared insecure and didn't act "normal" (whatever that is) when I was in public. And that's likely to draw more attention than the breasts do. I wish you the best, both in your personal relationships and your finances. Don't give up. Sometimes good things happen when we least expect them.

JB - I appreciate your attempt to understand.  I just really needed to vent.  It may be impossible to fully explain, but, yes, in most circles of gay male friends there is a sexual dynamic there that is not present in mixed groups of friends of mostly heteronormative groups of people.  I don't mean that everyone in your circle of friends is fucking.  It's more esoteric than that - there's an unspoken common knowledge; a dynamic of sexuality that doesn't exist with other groups.  You probably just have to experience it to know what I mean.  It certainly doesn't exist in my mixed or mostly-straight groups of friends.  And, while I sit and talk and laugh in these groups, I'm really sitting there, frozen in amber watching my friends progress through their sexual, emotional, spiritual lives as I pretend to be progressing with them all from the sidelines.  

Anyway, back to my job hunt so that, one day, hopefully while I'm still in my 30s, I can move forward in my life.  And maybe even go for a swim on a warm southern california weekend.  


 

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