I didn’t realise I was transgender until my mid-twenties. Growing up I knew that something was awry, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was. There wasn’t much information about trans people when I was a kid. The most I saw was from late night documentaries on channel four in which trans women spoke about being a ‘woman trapped in a man’s body.’

It was always filmed in a ‘look at the weirdos’ fashion that makes my skin crawl just thinking back on it. I do think that a lot of my internal transphobia in the beginning of my transition came from those documentaries. And due to only seeing trans women being talked about, I didn’t think that it could be done the other way too. Of course looking back it should have been logical to think that transgender men could exist. But I was a child, both fascinated and frightened by what I was watching.

I came out as transgender first and then a few years later I came out as gay. I suppose I just wanted to have to deal with one thing. Thinking that, if I could make things simpler for myself, if I could just try to be as ‘normal’ as I could; then life might be a little easier. But, life is rarely simple or easy.

As expected, me coming out as gay brought out more questions. But mostly, it had confused people. Some had been under the impression that I had transitioned so that I could date and be in relationships with women. After pointing out several times that lesbians do indeed exist and that if I was a lesbian, then I wouldn’t be transitioning, a couple of people slowly started to get it. But most were still unsure and often the words ‘real man’ would come up.

How would I expect a gay man to want me? Why would they date me when they could have a ‘real man?’ Would I be getting surgery ‘down there’? Because that’s the only way I could persuade a gay man to go out with me.

( I would like to point out that these people are no longer my friends )

As much as I tried to ignore this, it was something that filtered into my sub-conscience and I ended up thinking about it far more than I wanted to. My google search history became a long series of the same question asked in different ways.

Would a gay man date a trans man?

Do cis gay men have trans man boyfriends?

How to get a boyfriend if you are transgender?

The information I got back didn’t look good at all. I had managed to stumble upon a couple of TERF forums which probably didn’t help. And then there were the forums in which trans men were asking the same things I was, posing the question to cis gay men ( instead of just aimlessly throwing questions at google ).

The responses I found were mixed. There were a few who said they would be happy to date a trans man, some said that they’d consider it if the trans man in question was ‘masculine enough’, others said they weren’t sure. And then of course there were the ones who decided that harping on about needing a ‘real man’ with a ‘real dick’ was the right option.

Real sensitive of you there, guys. Thanks for that one.

It’s because of these worries that I am still slinking around the edges of the gay community. This was going to be a blog post about my first time in a gay club as a gay man, but it seems to have veered sharply off into another direction. But that first real ( for me ) night in the gay club still has a place here I think. I had wanted to go for such a long time, but that fear was there. What if I wasn’t gendered correctly? What if someone ‘found out’ I was transgender? I have been trying to be ‘stealth’ in order to just get on with life and not be bothered. And so the idea of being outed in the middle of a club was terrifying to me.

I am certain that no one would have really cared, and if someone was put off by it, then they wouldn’t stick around and nothing of value would be lost. But that fear clung to me and I needed to just jump in and, in a way, get it over and done with.

By the time I managed to go to a gay club, I was being gendered correctly 90% of the time and I hoped that would be enough. I took one of the housemates with me as back up and took a couple of shots of liquid courage. I had no real goal, only to go out and dance with my friend and have a good time. Bonus points if I got to dance with a cute guy – But not the main objective.

I did in fact get to dance with a cute guy, but alas! Due to me not knowing the flirting etiquette, I gave the impression that I wasn’t interested in anything other than a friendly wriggle on the dance-floor. And yes, I wasn’t really ready for more than that, but I still kicked myself when I realised. I’d accidentally been playing hot and cold with him, and I feel rather bad about that.

I’m kind of learning as I go. Learning how to date, figuring out how to navigate hook ups and in general I’d like to get more gay friends with whom I can talk about these kinds of things. I am very lucky to have Comic Dad ( Pseudonym used to protect both our identities ) and his lovely Husband in my life. He takes and answers my questions graciously and holds my hand as I pick my way across certain minefields.

I shall go more into the actual experience of being gendered correctly in a gay club and how that felt in a different post as this one is getting rather long. But I am glad to say that the world didn’t end, the sky didn’t fall and no one begrudged me being there.

There have been other times after that which didn’t go as well. But I will tell you that story another time.

With love,

Patroclus

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In my little intro post, I mentioned that I would talk about the concept of ‘Passing’ and how it is rather problematic. And by rather, I mean a lot.

Now, this is not to say that I myself haven’t fallen into this trap, as I have. From pre-testosterone to two years on, I spent most of my time figuring out how I could look more cisgender. How I could look more like what society expected a man to look like. All so I could just… Be left alone.

When I came out as transgender, I was faced with a lot of questions. Most of them were from other trans men who wanted to talk to someone who was going through the same thing they were. This was something I expected and did not begrudge them at all. I myself had been asking my trans friends questions and trying to figure out how this whole thing worked.

There were my cisgender friends who asked questions, but these were more along the lines of wanting to know how to help me. How to make me feel more comfortable and what I’d need to find my path among the many of transition.

And then there are the people who were “just curious.” I have become utterly fed up with the phrase “I’m just curious…” as it was tagged on to every personal, intimate and downright rude question that people who were an acquaintance or a complete stranger who had found out about my trans status insisted on asking.

I found myself bombarded with questions about my genitals, how I have sex, who I have sex with, when would I have ‘The Surgery’. One man thought it would be funny to ask if I was some kind of ‘Super Lesbian’ and was very confused when I said that was wrong on many levels. You have to be both a woman and attracted to women to be a lesbian. And I am neither. Which opened up more questions, this time about my sexuality. I have had many say that they don’t understand why or how I’m gay. If I like men, why didn’t I just stay as a woman?

Because I’m not a woman.

So. If passing as cisgender makes me feel safer and it stops people from asking me questions, then why do I ( and many others ) find the concept of passing problematic?

Well, firstly it holds trans people to much too high standards. They’re expected to perform their gender to ridiculous levels, to which cisgender people are not expected to. ( For example, trans women being hyper feminine and not going out without a full face of makeup, and trans men being hyper masculine and god help him if he so much as wears eyeliner ). This leaves little to no room for self expression. And in my opinion makes trans people more paranoid and far more aware of what they look like. Constantly wondering and worrying if they are performing their particular gender right.

Then there are people who are non-binary transgender. How can you ‘pass’ as non-binary? Many would say it is an androgynous look, but that seems to fall heavily on the more masculine side of things. So for those who enjoy a more femme aesthetic will be misgendered because people assume that they’re women. And those who enjoy a more masc aesthetic will be misgendered because people assume they’re men.

Most importantly – Trans people shouldn’t have to Pass for people to gender them correctly. If you tell someone your pronouns, regardless of what you look like, they should respect that and use your pronouns. To be trans you do not have to medically transition. You don’t even have to perform gender in the way society expects you to.

There are people who no matter what they do, they’re always going to look trans. And some people are fine with this and they like this. But some people really want to be able to pass as cisgender, but for whatever reason, cannot. Which is why the whole concept of passing is problematic and honestly, rather hurtful.

It is so very painful being constantly misgendered. After two years I finally began to be gendered correctly by strangers, but it’s only around 90% of the time. And that 10% throws me for a loop every time. But if there wasn’t so much pressure to look cisgender, every day life would be so much less stressful.

I honestly don’t know if I’ve been able to discuss this topic properly. It’s a difficult one, but one I wanted to get out there first. I may revisit it at a later date if I find a better way of explaining it.

With love,

Patroclus

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If you enjoy my writing, please consider buying me a coffee!

The first of anything you attempt is difficult. The first day at school. The first hour of learning how to ride a bike. First driving test. First date. First kiss…

And so in the same vein, first blog posts…

I thought long and hard about whether or not I should start this blog and how to go about doing such a thing. What would it be about for starters? I knew I wanted to talk about being gay and trans, but also do reviews on sex toys and STP’s ( Stand To Pee Devices ). A mixture of reviews, advice and lifestyle blogging. A little bit of a mixed bag, but I reckon they’re all linked enough to go in the same place.

So, who am I?

In the past year or so, I have enjoyed ‘passing’ as a cis male ( please note, I understand that the idea of ‘passing’ is terribly problematic, but for sake of simplicity it will be used here. I will however go into the issues with that word in a later post ). For those of you not in the know, ‘passing’ means to be correctly perceived as the gender you identify as ( Again, I want to state that it is a problematic concept, but there are reasons behind it ).

Due to being able to finally ( safely ) go through the world being correctly gendered ( finally FINALLY! ) I don’t want to jeopardise that by shouting about my true identity on the internets and also talking about what’s between my legs and what I like being done to them.

So! You may call me Patroclus. I figure it’s as good a name as any, and I am deeply attached to The Iliad and The Song Of Achilles. I’m in my early 30’s, reside in the UK, I have been on gel testosterone for a year and a half and post top surgery for eleven months.

A short intro is better than an overly long waffling one, I feel. And we can really get into the meat of things with the next few posts. Speaking of which, I am going to be posting three days a week: Sunday ( All about Sex and Dating – Sex toy reviews, Adventures in dating apps, porn – the lot! ) Wednesday ( All about this Trans Malarky – Including how to get hormones, which surgeons should you consider for top surgery, exploring bottom surgery, the problem with ‘Passing’ and a heck load more ) and Friday ( Gay Lifestyle and culture – Where do I fit in and how am I navigating this new world?

With love,

Patroclus