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COLUMN

Savage Love

I'm a 22-year-old FTM

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I'm a 22-year-old FTM. I will become a legal male this summer. WOOT. Useless hole but still no pole. My friends - all straight - don't know I'm FTM because I don't feel it matters. I don't know any other FTMs, and I really don't care to. However, I like men. I have never had a boyfriend or been on a date. I go to gay clubs and flirt, get hit on, dance and make out with other gay men. But when I am up front about being FTM, I never hear from a guy again. My question is, when do I tell a gay man I have been flirting with that I am not a bio male? I don't want to deceive them, but I at least want a chance for them to get to know me a little bit first.

No Pole, No Go

The first thing Buck Angel - trans activist, public speaker and porn star - wanted to say was congrats in advance on become a legal male. The second thing Buck wanted to say was that hole of yours isn't useless.

"If he isn't familiar with my work, maybe he should check it out," said Buck (buckangel.com). "I get tremendous pleasure from my hole and I am comfortable sharing that with the world in my movies. Whether a transman plans on getting a penis or not, there still has to be a time that he realizes that what's between his legs does not define who he is."

It seems to me that time had to have come before you began transitioning, otherwise you wouldn't be transitioning at all. As for how the guys you're meeting in gay bars now, post-transition, feel about what is or isn't between your legs, Buck has some advice for you about that, too: "If he meets a guy and tells him about himself - which is the right thing to do - and he doesn't hear back, then that wasn't the right guy for him."

If you're not having any luck with messy face-to-face meetings/make-out sessions in gay bars, Buck suggests you consider online dating.

"If he's looking to hook up," said Buck, "here's a site where he can start: ftmlover.com. He'll see that there are tons - and I mean TONS - of men out there who are interested in guys like us!"

But before you start meeting those guys, Buck thinks - and I agree - that you have to become more comfortable in your own skin. "Be proud of your body," said Buck. "When you feel confident that you are a man, no one can tell you otherwise."

Do you know what might help you feel more confident? Getting to know some other trans guys.

"There are many reasons that someone might isolate themselves from other trans and gay people," said Ezra Goetzen, a mental health therapist and trans community activist. "Some folks identify as male-to-male, seeing their transition as a medical procedure rather than a path to a transgender identity. Others, due to the fabulously flattering cultural/media images of trans people in general, internalize the shame, indifference and disgust - and they don't want to be reminded of these feelings by hanging out with other trans people."

Whatever your particular reason for avoiding transmen, you're doing yourself a disservice.

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