Why all the misgendering?

by Allison Blaylock
Transgender Advice Columnist

I know you write a lot about female trans issues, but I have something to ask about being a trans male. I have been in transition for about nine months, but I'm misgendered all the time. I don't have hair on my face, but not all guys do. I'm small. Maybe that's it.

What do you think?


X. Xavier

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Dear Xavier,

The aspect of being trans does have some differences between trans women and trans men. Like many things, we have different obstacles, but some are similar. The question you ask is one I have heard from many of the trans men I have encountered as well as those I have read on social media posts and blogs.

It is not uncommon for a transman to be misgendered. This usually is because society views men as larger people as well as the deeper voices. In the people I have talked to, the voice is not something that changes for transmen right away. On many cases it is something that takes years to come into play.

Much like a cis-gender male it is not instant with the voice. Neither is hair on the face. One male trans friend of mine on the west coast is about 5’5”, he has facial hair and he will still get misgendered when out if someone approaches him from the back. Even more so when he is with his wife who is also trans.

There is not a lot we can do since society has built it in their minds that men should be 5’ 9” or taller and that women should be 5’7” or shorter. There are some famous actors and actresses that do not follow in these categories: Tom Cruise is 5’7”, Bruno Mars is 5’5” and Mark Wahlberg is 5’8”.

When you think about it, these celebrities are below par with the society norm for men in America. Like in many of these individuals, they have done things to help offset their height. Many lift weights or do other things to bring their height out of the picture.

This does not mean that you must do this. You can just keep being you which is, of course, perfectly fine.

One thing that I tell so many people, even in my articles, is that we must be who we are. We cannot focus on others. Sadly, we tend to be our own worst enemies or critics.

Even as I write, knowingly I, too, beat myself up about something in the way I look or present. For example, “I wonder if I wore this item would it have made me look more femme,” or “If I did not do that would it make me not as masculine like.”

What we must do as a community is remember that just like any other human out there, we’re different. Our height, weight, hair and skin is not who we are.

I am sorry to hear you are being misgendered. I can only say that with education we can continue to make each person understand more that we are who we are and we just want to be treated equally as humans.

Thank you,


Copyright The Gayly – October 26, 2017 @ 7 a.m. CDT.