I´ve been living as Rowan for six months now, and asides from the sometimes castrating dysphoria (discomfort with my body), I got the social part down pretty well. I feel like a guy and since my hormones are naturally so messed up that I´m growing a beard (without being on any kind of medical hormones), everyone else thinks so too. People at the hospital even got cranky when the doc called for a “ma´am” and saw none.
But here´s the thing. Now that I´m Rowan I´m starting to ponder whatever masculinity means. I don´t have a big pick of rolemodels, since my dad is kind of not in the picture, and I have no big brothers. Being raised a girl in modern society means that you learn to be agreeable. You don´t usually start a fight just for fun or participate in competitive golf-kart racing with your mates. In that sense I feel like I was brought up to be a “nice guy“.
Meaning an inclination to being nice even when you´re fuming mad, and to be more hesitant in your demands. It has me wondering how to relate to other guys and even reconsidering how to ask for a smoke casually. My disposition to linger on things has lessened and my reservation to talk about feelings increased. This isn´t because I´m actively supressing myself in order to be Macho Macho Man. It just makes sense.
I spent my entire life trying to figure things out by talking about it. But I didn´t always talk straight from the heart and more often than not I was too afraid to say exactly what I felt – because it wasn´t pretty. Which leaves me to the conondrum of becoming more straightforward and more genuine in a lesser amount of words. Also leaves me to ponder what it means to get respect as a guy, among other intricacies relating to men.
Don´t get me wrong. I don´t think that genitals neatly separate everyone or that people should live in little boxes according to a gender marker. I just want to familiarize myself with the box that says “dude”, so I´ll have the means to further express who I really am, and relate to fellow male creatures accordingly. I feel like I missed out on a lot and this is my time to explore the other side of the coin.