Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold
BY Advocate.com Editors
August 05 2013 5:00 AM ET
I was not raised with strict gender roles. My parents were proud to have a rough-and-tumble daughter who refused to wear a dress even to a wedding or a funeral. And yet, in the three years that testosterone has been working its biological magic on my formerly female body, I have found myself wondering again and again: what does it mean to be a man? In the beginning, I tried my best to be as masculine as I could. It just didn’t take. I wasn’t that kind of guy. So what was I?
About two years into my transition, my (now ex) partner and I decided on a whim to dress me up as Tinkerbell for a party. As he was fixing my make-up and frilling up my skirt, he answered his phone: “I’ll have to call you back. I’m making my boyfriend into a fairy.” In that moment I saw myself reflected in his eyes: a gay man in a girly costume. He’d cracked the door to a kind of manhood I hadn’t even considered.
Since that relationship, I have gone in search of other men like me. I’ve ventured as far as the woods north of San Francisco for a weekend “faerie” gathering for queer, gay, and bisexual men. I’ve stayed as close to home as a little yoga studio in San Diego that holds nude classes only for men. On these adventures, I am almost always the only transsexual man. It can be scary; I’m a “naturalized citizen” to male culture and I don’t always know the customs. But even though my journey is a little different than that of the men I find in these places, they’ve usually found me a little spot in the circle.
Scott Duane, age 28, Visible Bodies creator and producer
Assigned Sex: female
Gender Identity: transsexual man