James Earl Jones
My voice is deep. Like super deep. It’s all anyone can say despite knowing that this is exactly what was supposed to happen. Last week, a trans guy asked me if the men in my family had especially deep voices, like I might be genetically predisposed to a bass. If I call my bank, or my cable company, they’ll start the conversation using my legal (account-holding) name, only to fall into Mr. Krieger within seconds. Unlike muscles and the tiny weeny, a deep voice wasn’t one of the things that I was especially looking forward to, so I’m surprised by how much pleasure I’m taking in it. I call people I could easily email, and I sing aloud to songs, privately of course. But the best is hearing myself “Om” in yoga. The vibration is finally primordial, eternal, resonant.
I can still cry. The first time I cried, a month or so ago, I wondered if it was a fluke. But these past couple weeks, I’ve been getting it out, a few trickles and one big bawl. About ninety percent of the trans guys I know say they have a hard time crying, or can’t at all, even when they need to. Sure, I’m not crying nearly as much as I was before T, but I feel significantly more in touch with my emotions. I trust them. And I don’t necessarily think it’s a man/woman thing. It’s more like I feel solid now, whereas before I was fuzzy—my shadow kinda askew, my doppelganger trailing me by a millisecond, something slightly off. I’m not entirely sure how this ties into crying, but I think I’m trying to debunk the myth of the “no crying, unemotional, irritable, aggressive T-infused trans guy.” The reality is I’m peaceful and softer inside, a more emotional version of myself. I’m coalescing in such a way that when I cry, it’s not just something my body is doing. It’s an experience that I actually feel deeply connected to.
The Pleasures of Gay Porn for a Pansexual Who Still, Thankfully, Loves Women
I have to admit that my ability to cry sometimes makes me think I’m not taking enough testosterone. (Although there’s significant debate on the subject of dosing, I take three-quarters of what some consider a “full dose.”) But then I pull something out from my expanding gay porn collection, and I know there’s plenty of T in my system. It’s simple–I used to *like* dude-on-dude action, and now I watch more of it than I ever thought was humanly possible. This is somewhat standard for trans guys, so I won’t go too much into my obsession. It’s also somewhat standard, or at least a possibility, that trans dudes on T go full-on gay. When I started T, there was a lot of speculation from those close to me, and a certain level of concern on my part, that I might no longer be attracted to women. At this point, I think I’m in the clear on this one; I’m still very very much into women, even if I’d prefer not to see them in porn.
When I was in high school, I was a sex educator with this group called HITOPS and one day we had the GLBT council from the local Jersey universities come talk to us. I remember the “bi” girl talking about how cool her sexual orientation was because it meant she had twice the chance of getting a date. Straight at the time, I was jealous; I held onto her comment, kinda dreamed of being like her some day. Now I am. Going out is just so much more interesting when I know there’s the chance that I’ll find anyone and everyone attractive. That said, I know enough to keep my head down and avoid eye-contact when I walk home through the Castro.
I recently saw a trans friend who left San Francisco about a year ago, around the time he started T. I’d bumped into him six months ago, and he definitely looked different, but when I saw him a couple weeks ago, I didn’t recognize him at first. It was partially the complete beard, the button down shirt and vest, the chic glasses. It was also his calmness, a confidence and ease I’d never before seen in him. And it was all wrapped up in his maturity, the movement from child to adult, from boy to man.
When I saw him, I saw the reason I started taking T, or the instinct I had the awareness to follow, a desire to grow up. It used to frustrate me that I couldn’t see my future. Now I realize it was that, from where I was before, I didn’t have a future. I was aging in a holding pattern. I think there are a million ways to mature, a plethora of experiences that can shape and inform us, teach us how to take care of ourselves, take care of others, but until recently, I’d never had the opportunity to witness my own physical maturity in my reflection, to be proud of the little boy who’s finally growing up.
I’m still occasionally, absentmindedly, doodling my old name.