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A Feminine male vs Transgender

NancyBalik

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The wife of an online friend posed this question to me recently and I’ve been struggling with it: She said (essentially, I’m paraphrasing), since you aren’t going to transition, you will never have the woman’s body that you dream about, can you accept yourself as a feminine male? My mind has been spinning ever since, not being too sure even what a feminine male is (but probably agreeing that I am one because I wear panties every day, have a lot of personality traits thought of traditionally as feminine, and I love “girly” things). Seeing myself as a feminine male rather than trans would be a mindset shift. I’m wondering if it is more realistic? Is a non transitioning mtf transgender person the same as a feminine male? Does it matter how I think of myself? Yeah — it kinda does — I need to have an identity. I “googled” feminine man and was surprised to find a number of references, but mostly garbage. Thoughts?
 

KathyLauren

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The wife of an online friend posed this question to me recently and I’ve been struggling with it: She said (essentially, I’m paraphrasing), since you aren’t going to transition, you will never have the woman’s body that you dream about, can you accept yourself as a feminine male? My mind has been spinning ever since, not being too sure even what a feminine male is (but probably agreeing that I am one because I wear panties every day, have a lot of personality traits thought of traditionally as feminine, and I love “girly” things). Seeing myself as a feminine male rather than trans would be a mindset shift. I’m wondering if it is more realistic? Is a non transitioning mtf transgender person the same as a feminine male? Does it matter how I think of myself? Yeah — it kinda does — I need to have an identity. I “googled” feminine man and was surprised to find a number of references, but mostly garbage. Thoughts?

I think the difference is in how you think of yourself. You said that seeing yourself as a feminine male would require a mindset shift. So you consider yourself as transgender. The difference is in how you see yourself. That may be the only difference, but it is the important one. If you see yourself as the gender you were assigned at birth, then you are cisgender. If you see yourself as other than the gender you were assigned at birth, then you are somewhere on the transgender spectrum.

What you choose to do about it is an entirely open question. I have met people who knew they were transgender but chose to do nothing about it and live as their birth gender for various reasons. A transgender person may consider themselves as binary or nonbinary, and may choose to transition completely, partially, or not at all. None of that has any bearing on whether or not they are transgender.
 

NancyBalik

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Kathy, Yes. Thank you. I have decided not to transition for reasons posted elsewhere (and why this thread is in the non-transition forum). The friend is suggesting to me that, since I am never going to transition, accepting that I am a feminine male may help me come to terms with myself rather than continuing to wish for something (female body) that isn’t going to happen. She is suggesting that I may embrace my femininity in my male body. Seems like a mind trick — not sure if I can pull it off, yet I see some logic in it.
 

Monica

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Nancy, to me it sounds like an outsider's understanding of things. It comes down to if it would make things easier for you though.
I am not you, of course, but, my biggest fear was being seen as a feminine man even before thoughts of transition. Hey, if it is a way that helps you, go for it. We each have our path.
 

NancyBalik

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Nancy, to me it sounds like an outsider's understanding of things. It comes down to if it would make things easier for you though.
I am not you, of course, but, my biggest fear was being seen as a feminine man even before thoughts of transition. Hey, if it is a way that helps you, go for it. We each have our path.
Thank Moni, I’m curious why you feared this. Seems like (as I’ve been exploring it a little) feminine man and “effeminate” as in limp wrist, lisping gay stereotype is not the same. Feminine is embracing feminine traits (sensitivity, caring, empathy) and preferences, (florals, pastels, soft fabrics). Since I am not “out” in either case, this is more about personal identity definition and also, to some extent, how my wife sees me. My wife has already made it clear that she is not comfortable thinking of me as trans. This friend speculates that she already sees me as “feminine because of my underwear choice, my personality, that I love to go clothes shopping with her, do a lot of traditionally female household chores, etc. I have no interest in appearing like a “milk toast” wimpy guy in public — but at home I already wear floral pj bottoms to bed :). Nancy
 

Linde

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Nancy, I think a feminine male refers more to the looks of the person. because of my funny biology, I was considered to be a feminine (looking) male. I also was feminine inside, but that had not much to do with my exterior appearance. I think I was trans to be able to also feel like a female and present that to the outside.
Trans fits you better in my humble opinion, because it is only external circumstances that are out of your direct control that prevent you from transition. You transition a little every day by wearing female underwear. I never wore any female clothing items until I changed over, but I was still seen as a feminine person.

Hugs
Linde
 

Confused

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Nancy, ever since I realized who I am, I have been trying to find my spot on the gender spectrum. It has changed over time as I have begun to understand myself better. I can only offer this. You are where you think you are. Other people, however well intending, can't see what is inside you, and are speculating from a cis prospective. I want some parts removed, so I don't think I am a feminine male.

Hugs,
Mike
 

OzGirl

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Nancy, I have always been seen as a maternal male, in that I am focused on babies and kids. I have a natural connection to children and their parents even tell me somehow they just trust me with their kids. I have never tried (not that I could) to suppress this, even when I was also seen as a really tough man who could do manly things most men struggle with. While running my own truck repair business, I was invited to join a mothers group, and even though the women admitted it was strange, they thought I fit in so well.

I've learned there are very few rules but those we impose on ourselves, and if you are a decent person who has the respect of others, all sorts of variations from the gender norms will be accepted. Of course, if you are not respected, people will be critical. The trick is to just be nice to everyone no matter what variation you live as.

Hugs,,

Allie
 

Katie

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I faced the "why can't you just be a feminine guy?" thing with one of my best friends who opposed my transition. Her immediate reaction was that question. I responded by asking her why she doesn't live as a feminine man? Or a masculine woman? She kind of got the point and didn't bring that up anymore.
 
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Katie

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Is a non transitioning mtf transgender person the same as a feminine male?
No. I know a man who is very feminine, even mixes women’s clothing into his wardrobe and has a feminine looking hairstyle. But he’s as male as they come and would never consider himself female.
 

NancyBalik

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Katie, Thank you for these answers. Both stated in a simple, clear way that makes sense to me. Although, because I am not transitioning, this person (a nice woman btw) was trying, I think to help me find a place of better self-acceptance because I will never actually HAVE female parts, I do think that the term still fails to describe my gender IDENTITY. As a result, as I “try on” the term, it just doesn’t fit. One of the things she had said was that perhaps my wife, who has bristled at any discussion of my being trans (although obviously she knows my underwear choice and sees some of my femme clothes in the closet — although not on me) might be more accepting of the term and may already view me as a feminine man. I kinda don’t think so, though. She knows I’m not super macho, but I’m not externally effeminate in my appearance or behavior— I do, though, display many personality traits often thought of as more frequent in females — I cry easily, am emotionally expressive, empathetic, etc. Bottom line: I don’t think this term fits me. I think I my gender is female. I “just” have male parts. Nancy
 

OzGirl

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Nancy, I know if I had adopted a term which, after 20 years, was proven to be different to who I was, my wife would have accused me of misleading her. As it was, when we decided to get serious with our relationship, I told her I was transgender. She didn't talk to me for 2 weeks, but then agreed to marry me. I know in her mind she thought I was a crossdresser, and likely homosexual, and she accepted me under those terms to herself. I did say, and quite honestly at the time, that I had no plans to transition.

20 years later, she saw me critically ill, and when HRT cured me, she argued for me to stay on them, and promptly planned to leave me. She admitted that she never accepted me as trans, but that I had told her the truth, so any misunderstanding was on her. We came to he compromise of divorce so she wouldn't be seen as a lesbian, but to continue sharing our house. She still can't accept me as a trans woman, and our future is far from certain. She places a great amount of weight on honesty, and cannot fault me even as she wasn't honest with herself. Now, she feel a level of guilt as she finds it impossible to accept me, and that guilt may be all that is keeping us together.

The moral of this story for you is no matter what you do, there is no guaranteed outcome, but being seen as truthful, or untruthful.

Hugs,

Allie
 

Overalls Bear

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I don't say I'm transgender (although maybe I suppose I am?) Rather... I think to myself, and "talk" (on the internet), about my life-long struggle with my gender identity and my gender dysphoria. In addition to my struggle with my gender identity I also have a mental health history. (I'll spare you-all the details!) And I've made an arbitrary decision to view my gender identity struggles as being one component of a broader mental-health-related problem rather than to view my gender identity issues as the cause of my mental health concerns.

I'm in no way a masculine man. But I don't think anyone would have ever described me as feminine either. I've been dubbed "quiet" and "reserved", perhaps even "standoffish" and I am at this point in my life a pretty complete recluse. I don't honestly have much of anything in the way of a maternal instinct. Had I been born female I'm afraid I'd have been the kind who abandons her family to run off with a secret lover... (probably diagnosable as being bipolar or having BPD.)

I did have one interesting experience several years ago related to this though. Around 12 years ago I briefly saw a therapist who had experience working with transgender clients. During one of our sessions (I don't recall what we were discussing) she observed: "Well... you know you don't have the most masculine walk." I was quite taken aback since no one had ever mentioned such a thing. I had never made any effort to modify the way I walk. And, in fact, I have for years made conscious efforts not to do anything that would suggest any type of femininity on my part (with varying degrees of success.) So to hear someone suggest I had something less than a masculine gait came as a surprise... and a pleasant one I might add.

So anyway... I don't think I could see myself as a feminine man. But I also find myself not able to embrace the idea of me as genuinely transgender either. I'm caught in a sort of nether world where no descriptor quite seems to fit. But I certainly understand the need to have an identity. I'm still searching for mine.
 

Linde

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Hi there, I am Linde, and have not said welcome to you. Welcome to our forum.
Some lines I your contribution sparked my interest, you said you are not sure if you are transgender. Let me tell you, you are! No cis person ever thought lots about their gender, it is simply a given for them. Once you are not sure about your gender, you are trans gender(cis gender means you are, trans means you are not). There is no rule to what amount you have to doubt your current gender to be trans.

I don't know enough of your biological details, to make a judgement about your walking, but you being happy about having a female gait is another indication that you are trans.

I have a funny and unusual biology (I am intersex), and for most of my life, I did not know what I was, I id not even think about gender, I simply had no feeling at all about any gender, I simply was existing. And like you, I would have been an absolute rotten mother (even though have some female parts inside my body), and nature knew that I should not be able to bear kids.

I finally found my gender identity after my body decided I would look better if I had boobs, this and some other events made me to become a woman. These days I am a very happy woman, and I am glad that everything turned out the way it did.



Hugs
Linde
 

Monica

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Obee, I used to be jealous of people who were 'so trans that they had to transition.' I pictured them being a whole other entity from me. Me, I was not holding at bay this feminine side which might physically spew out at any moment, so how can I be truly trans? It was a complete surprise to everyone I knew when I came out. I had this thing, this preconception in my head of what a transitioner would be. I struggled for years thinking I could never be my concept one 'one whole person', I was not 'trans enough.' My point is not the direction I finally took, transitioning. My point is, I think the struggle of not fully belonging in any one neat group was really, really hard. I did it over fifty years. It is perhaps why I feel so much for others who are somewhere in the middle and perhaps are in pain. I think that everyone has their own personal answers to find what might make them happy. I will always believe that the hardest time to deal with is experienced by those in the middle. Their fight is hardest!
Thank Moni, I’m curious why you feared this. (hating the thought of appearing as a feminine male)

Nancy, I never saw myself as a feminine male. The times I grew up in, conditioned me to hate the thought of me being a feminine male. Heck, it bothered me to think about being considered a male, but if I had to play the role, I was not going to hedge it, so to speak. We all had bias instilled by upbringing. I have had to open my mind when it came to non binary and gender fluid presentations and identities. I'm binary myself, but my thinking for others is supportive. I strive to understand them.
 

Monica

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Let me tell you, you are! No cis person ever thought lots about their gender, it is simply a given for them. Once you are not sure about your gender, you are trans gender(cis gender means you are, trans means you are not). There is no rule to what amount you have to doubt your current gender to be trans.
Linde, the umbrella of being under the label of trans is certainly big, you are right. I am going to disagree with you just slightly here. (Don't kill me.) I think everyone has to come to the conclusion for themselves as to whether or not they consider themselves to be trans. Actually, I think you have at times struggled with whether you think of yourself as under that umbrella term too.
 

NancyBalik

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So, Moni, what you are saying about not wanting to be perceived as a feminine male fits for me. I don’t either. The male persona I pull off day-to-day would never be perceived as feminine. To me, it’s a “package deal” (pun acknowledged — haha). When I’m presenting as a man, I’m gonna “act” manly, but that doesn’t mean macho, nor does it mean I can’t be internally and socially sensitive, etc. when I am dressed, I enjoy acting more outwardly feminine — how I sit, hold my hands, etc. But I do not want to be perceived as a feminine man.
 

Linde

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Linde, the umbrella of being under the label of trans is certainly big, you are right. I am going to disagree with you just slightly here. (Don't kill me.) I think everyone has to come to the conclusion for themselves as to whether or not they consider themselves to be trans. Actually, I think you have at times struggled with whether you think of yourself as under that umbrella term too.
Yes Moni, everybody has to decide by themselves which box they fit in, and which label they want to carry. However, it is a fact that cis people never question their gender, they just live their life. I don't know which label somebody wants to use, but they are certainly not cis.

And yes, I always struggled with it, and still kind of do. But that is mainly because of my pretty screwed up biology. Sometimes I wonder if I am cis, because almost everything with me fit the cis label, the problem is that there is some male stuff inside me that would not allow me to be cis.
Trans seems to be the best label to fit me currently, because I had to transition from my male presentation to my female one, and I was also mostly socialized as a male.
But i am not a very common case, even among intersex persons the trans people are a clear minority.

Hugs
Linde
 

Katie

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Although internally I always definitely knew I was a girl/woman, I did not have a lot of externally noticeable feminine behaviors. I did not know what was “wrong” with me and quite honestly I was afraid of it. I thought if anyone knew, very bad things would happen. I was terrified all the way into adulthood that my father would literally murder me if he ever found out I was a woman. I tried hard to conform to masculine behavior ideals, and for the most part I did a pretty good job.

Even having integrated a mostly masculine behavior profile into my life, I was still a woman and could never make that conflict between internal and external go away. And now know that I will always be a woman, no matter what. No amount of prayer, no amount of “manning up”, no amount of anything will ever make living as a man seem okay. I tried hard, almost to the point of death, to make that work. If someone asks “wasn’t there some other way?”, I will always answer “no, I tried all the other ways and it nearly killed me”.
 

Lexxi

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My life experience was very much like what Moni said. When I came out it shocked the living shit out of everyone in my family. Everyone was totally and utterly shocked. They said that I was one of the manliest guys they'd ever met. I had to explain that the reason I was that way was because I was terrified someone would eventually suspect I was trans (even though that word didn't exist at the time), so I went over the top with the manly stuff. I never wanted to be called a "sissy". That terrified me!!

But it was all 100% an act. It was the way I protected myself from being forcefully outed, then having something really bad happen to me. Back when I started my acting career (that's what I like to call my pre-coming out life) it could have very literally put me in danger if anyone found out just how different I was. But you know even as good as I thought I was, I still got called a sissy in school. I was way more emotional than any other guy even though I tried VERY hard not to be.

There were only two people who weren't shocked when I came out. They said they always knew something was different about me, but they couldn't put their finger on what it was. Then when I came out they figuratively snapped their fingers and said "that's it!! You were always more like one of my girl friends instead of a regular guy." They said I gossiped just like a woman, I talked like a woman (inflection I think it's called), and when I wasn't careful they said some of my mannerisms were like other women they knew. But they didn't understand what they were seeing in me...they just knew something was really different. But it was only those two people out of every person I've ever known during my entire life who thought something was amiss.

The problem I have now is that while I do have some very feminine parts about me, I also have parts that are more like a butch female (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm not really into the flowery type of clothing, and I don't really care for dresses at all. In fact I'll probably never wear one. I just don't think they look good on most women. I don't see them as very flattering to their figures. Now skirts are a totally different matter. I'd wear the hell out of one of those. In fact I think I'm going to have to buy me my first one sometime very soon.

The same goes for stuff like high heels...or almost any footwear with heels. I really don't like them. I wear tennis shoes, or sneakers as some people like to call them, almost all the time, and I probably always will. I'm the type of woman who dresses for comfort. I like being comfortable...I mean really who doesn't? lol

One of the biggest parts of my femininity however revolve around hair and makeup. I like long feminine hair styles and kind of over-the-top makeup. Once I finally figure out how to really apply some awesome makeup, I can see myself getting up in the morning and getting all dolled up...even if I'm only going to be here at my apartment all day long by myself. I just LOVE makeup!!!

Oh and brightly painted fingernails too. You'll almost NEVER see me without my nails painted either hot pink, purple, or some other variation of bright pink. Nail polish is a one hundred percent must with me at all times!! I won't be seen without it.

With all that said...even though I'm not super feminine...I'm still all woman. I've known since I was five years old that I was really a girl. And that's never wavered for even one second throughout my entire life. Like many of you, my only regret is that I didn't transition sooner. After my marriage ended 10 years ago that would have been the perfect time to do it. But sadly I led a fairly sheltered life and didn't know what was possible with hormones and such. Had I known that biological males could take hormones and grow breasts, and have their fat pads shift to feminine places I would have jumped at the chance.

So I was way behind everyone else. I didn't find out about hormones until I saw it on the television show I Am Jazz. Once I saw what they did for her I started doing research...I was flabbergasted at what I discovered. I knew that transition would be for me. I started my HRT on July 12th of 2019 and I've not had one regret in all that time.

Okay so there are my thoughts on the subject. I think most of you already know all that about me, but there it is for those who don't.

Lexxi
 
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