Author Topic: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline Zarathoustra

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"Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« on: January 30, 2021, 03:57:39 pm »
Hi,
I am a fairly old ftm (in medical transition for 12 years already) and I am still often perceived as a woman often in real life and always on the phone, which makes my social life difficult. People hesitate a lot and they called me "madam" or "miss" in public space a dozen times a week or more. It's very unpleasant and I no longer trust my masculinity when I hear "ma'am", "miss", "she" or "her" to refer to me. I have a very short and masculine haircut and only masculine clothes but I'm very short with feminine shapes and a small face...
I tried to work as a man as a teacher and the students called me "madam" to make fun of me and I heard them use female pronouns to talk about me I’m desperate to be seen as a guy one day and I think about accepting fate but at the same time I see myself as a guy despite the fact that my appearance makes me appear like a woman.However this facts accentuates the dysphoria in me and when I look at my face in the mirror I sometimes feel it it is definitely feminine (with a useless beard) and the fact of having to be perceived as a man puts me a great pressure.
I fall apart when I am sent back to femininity and yet it happens so often

 I admit that I thought of getting my beard waxed to live as a very butch woman in social and professional life while knowing that I remain a man inside but this does not seem to me a totally good way. I am sometimes seen as a boy but I am nearly 32 years old and I am never seen as a man of my age and much more often as a woman than a man. This is very unsettling. I feel like I’m doomed to be a woman in people’s eyes and I don’t know how to build my life with this fate.
Sorry for my poor command of the language, I hope you will understand the essentials of my message.

Thank you to read me.


I add that I am tired of fighting about people: "please, I am a man, not a woman" "I am not Madam, just call me Sir please", "no you are mistaken, I am not a girl", it is exhausting and so humiliating to always have to justify oneself.

Maybe I’d be happy to live as a very butch woman in public while knowing I’m a guy for myself but this private identity is frustrating.

Offline Maid Marion

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2021, 05:10:48 pm »
I know what that is like.  I'm AMAB but due to my short height and hourglass figure I would constantly be misgendered. No matter what I did. But, I just accepted that people couldn't tell.

The biggest issue was that people would discount my talents and I didn't realize it was a gender issue.

As a mtf I find it very easy to socialize as female. Which is what I do now.  But, I also had the benefit of being married to an excellent partner for fifteen years and being able to talk about anything and everything.  As well as the living through the tough times the year before she passed away.  These days my figure is as girly as ever, with my waistline down to 25inches. 

There is no pressure at work because I do lots of stuff which nobody else can do.  As well as living in a state that is quite progressive with regards to gender equality. 

Marion
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 07:29:40 pm by Maid Marion »

Offline Rakel

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2021, 08:12:19 pm »
At 32 years of age, you are NOT old. I am 71 and I do NOT feel old. Age is just a matter of perspective.

The situation is the same with gender identity. Our perceived gender is a combination of outward appearance, mannerisms and speech. Many of us do whatever we need to do to match our physical self with our internal sense of self. We must make a good evaluation of our own situation and decide what needs to be changed.

One caution here, be yourself. If you are trying to act out as a different gender, it too often, becomes obvious and does not convince anyone what your gender is.




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Offline Devlyn

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2021, 03:56:15 am »
My standard answer here isn't meant to sound glib; I can tell that being misgendered bothers you. But people see what they see. If their eyes tell them you're a woman, beard and all, they'll address you that way. We have to give people the visual clues they're looking for. This also extends to voice and mannerisms.

I'd like to comment on this:

Quote
I add that I am tired of fighting about people: "please, I am a man, not a woman" "I am not Madam, just call me Sir please", "no you are mistaken, I am not a girl", it is exhausting and so humiliating to always have to justify oneself.

In cases like this, a simple correction is best. You shouldn't be pleading with people or explaining. Just interrupt them and  say "It's sir." or "Him" or "His" and move on with the conversation. I recently started a new job and we were talking in the parking lot after work. I showed one of the coworkers my etsy shop and he said "Hey, Josh, check out what he makes." I said "She" and my coworker immediately said "Sorry, look what she makes."

In the end, you need to not let it get to you. What matters is what you think of yourself. If it's the perception of others that is important to you,  you're in for a rough ride. You're doing this for yourself, not for them.

Hugs, Devlyn
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Offline ChrissyRyan

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2021, 04:41:31 am »
My standard answer here isn't meant to sound glib; I can tell that being misgendered bothers you. But people see what they see. If their eyes tell them you're a woman, beard and all, they'll address you that way. We have to give people the visual clues they're looking for. This also extends to voice and mannerisms.

I'd like to comment on this:

In cases like this, a simple correction is best. You shouldn't be pleading with people or explaining. Just interrupt them and  say "It's sir." or "Him" or "His" and move on with the conversation. I recently started a new job and we were talking in the parking lot after work. I showed one of the coworkers my etsy shop and he said "Hey, Josh, check out what he makes." I said "She" and my coworker immediately said "Sorry, look what she makes."

In the end, you need to not let it get to you. What matters is what you think of yourself. If it's the perception of others that is important to you,  you're in for a rough ride. You're doing this for yourself, not for them.

Hugs, Devlyn


How true.  Good point.

Chrissy
Be a good example of good behavior.  Always be kinder than needed.  Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that you speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.  Serve others.

Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

It is not usually about how fast you transition, it is about how well you transition.  

Offline Zarathoustra

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2021, 04:52:30 am »
It's true : It's for me not for them but it's complicate to have a public/social/professional life when
when people refer me to female status. However I will continue to do sports, to change some external aspects: for about 2 years I dress very sporty and I feel better like this. I changed job and my new job allows me to be dressed like this (jogging, sweatshirt, baskets...) and it's so much better for me. But I'm very short with a very feminine face so the people take me often just for masculine woman and it's so irritating.

Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2021, 07:18:40 am »
Zarathoustra, my heart breaks for you. You have a man's brain, so you are literally hardwired to move through the world as a man. I assert this without knowing you because I read that FTMs' brains are distinctly male in structure.

I wonder if you're not taking enough testosterone. Testosterone is a powerful drug and the FTMs that I've seen in the media appear male. Heck, the MMA fighters who take testosterone appear male and that's not even their intent. Testosterone should do more than give you facial hair. It should change the structure of your face and the shape of your body. I urge you to consult with an endocrinologist and if you already have one, perhaps seek a second opinion.

Offline Maid Marion

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2021, 08:42:03 am »
If you can afford it I would suggest working with a speech therapist to work on your voice.  It is much more than pitch.  How you modulate sentences and choose words is as important.

Marion

Offline Zarathoustra

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2021, 12:00:14 pm »
Interesting for the voice!

My body is less feminine than before but not enough masculine.

I do lot of swimming and I feel better with this practice.

I think it's the fault at face shape and to be very small.  :/







Offline Maid Marion

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2021, 03:02:26 pm »
Mannerisms and how you interact socially are just as important as how you look.
I smile too much to be a guy.  It may help to observe and watch how guys interact.

The hard thing about social interactions is that there isn't time to think about what to do.
The feminine thing to do is to go first while someone holds the door for you. 
But it gets awkward the moment someone hesitates. 

Marion

Offline Zarathoustra

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2021, 03:33:41 pm »
Hmm for me it's not very important (mannerism) but everybody say me I walk always very fast but I don't knowif it's good or not for passing. To me physical appereance is more important than mannerism.

Offline Maid Marion

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2021, 03:45:19 pm »
Mannerisms play a large role in whether you pass or not.
There is a"social dance" that goes on.
Two dancers can't occupy the same space at the same time no matter how strong or skilled they are.

The same seems true for social interactions.  We aren't designed to both talk at the same time.
There are gender based social clues as to who talks.

Marion

Offline MeTony

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2021, 06:38:11 am »
Hmm for me it's not very important (mannerism) but everybody say me I walk always very fast but I don't knowif it's good or not for passing. To me physical appereance is more important than mannerism.
Mannerism...it’s the social code that makes people interact with each other. Someone with the wrong mannerism (such as my autistic son) will be an outcast and interpretated as anything but who he is.

Don’t give up on mannerism. It is a huge part of the social interactions going on between human beings.


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Offline Maid Marion

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2021, 08:27:37 am »
I find that my female  presentations and mannerisms invite people to socialize with me.   
I'll show someone respect and they feel obligated to reciprocate.  And I can do it without saying a word.

The sad truth is someone with autism is usually incapable of learning such body language or even having a clue as to what the other person is attempting to convey.

Marion

Offline neonorigami

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2021, 03:20:01 pm »
Sorry I am a bit later answering this but it is an interesting post as I think there is an expectation among FTMs that testosterone will easily make you pass. I've found it's not always the reality and have met an FTM who didn't pass even after some years on T. So don't feel like you're the only one. I had voice coaching before I started T and found it helpful in lowering my voice.

I've been on T about 3 years (not a full dose during that whole time though, for health reasons) and quite often don't pass visually (although I am often perceived as male on the phone), so am also interested in this issue and how one goes about communicating ones' preferences to people regarding pronouns etc. Bon courage!

Offline Zarathoustra

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2021, 06:12:16 am »
I'm always perceived as a lady on the phone (people never hesitate to genre me, they said systematically "hello Ma'am" or "hello Miss") but in reality, fortunately I pass at least 50% for a young teenager boy (i'm 32  :P) or young male adult and 50% for a butch woman.

I try to accept my situation but it's difficult with the society to be very ambiguous.

Offline Emileeeee

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2021, 01:55:04 pm »
I don't know how much this will help, especially coming from an MtF, but what you describe sounds like my life right before I started HRT.

I never developed any male secondary sex characteristics. I had a buzz cut, visible ink, all guy clothes, combat boots, really working to be seen as a man, and I just looked like a butch woman. I even had other guys tell me I was in the wrong bathroom. I was over 40 at the time, by the way.

What I'm getting at is there are cis men that deal with this too just as there are cis women that deal with the anti-transwomen stuff. I know it's hard to not quite fit in a box, but you have to live for you, not for what society expects of you.

That being said, I would second mannerisms. You're probably giving tells that you don't even notice. I'd also second voice training. Even men that aren't monotone in speaking, are compared to women.

Offline Maid Marion

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2021, 02:21:19 pm »
I was very lucky to have professional voice training as an adult and learned how to modulate my voice.
Now if I try to sound as my birth gender it sounds fake.

Marion

Offline neonorigami

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Re: "Old FtM" still perceived as a woman
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2021, 05:09:24 am »
If you're 50/50 I suppose it's a "is the glass half full or half empty?" situation. Could be better, could be worse. There are so many little things that make other people form an opinion on what gender you are but ultimately it's what you think about yourself that counts.

If you think medical transition has done all it can for you, you can either stop or continue depending on how you are liking it, and your health situation. As for socially detransitioning, I think it depends what you'd be most comfortable with. If you really hate being seen as a woman, you shouldn't feel like you have to present yourself as one. I think society is becoming more accepting of androgynous-looking people and people who are visibly trans, although it can feel like a slow process.

I find it helpful to think of it less in terms of "should I present as a man or a woman?" than "what things make me feel comfortable?" For example, if having a lower voice would help you feel better, you could try vocal coaching. You've already found that you feel more comfortable in men's sporty clothing, so that's a good step.

I'm always perceived as a lady on the phone (people never hesitate to genre me, they said systematically "hello Ma'am" or "hello Miss") but in reality, fortunately I pass at least 50% for a young teenager boy (i'm 32  :P) or young male adult and 50% for a butch woman.

I try to accept my situation but it's difficult with the society to be very ambiguous.

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