I struggled for a really long time with unhealthy friendships, but I’ve come to compare it a lot to romantic relationships. You have the right to break up with someone if you don’t want to continue that relationship for any reason, and it shouldn’t be any different with friendship. Just because there isn’t a contract in place doesn’t mean that you aren’t both bound to decent rules of human decency, and if your friendship partner is being awful or toxic or you just need out for whatever reason, you absolutely positively have the right to end that friendship. You deserve to have good people in your life who support you and make you feel good about yourself.
I think the hardest thing so far about my transition has been coping with the change to male privilege, and with the change in the way I’m treated by people in terms of that. Now that I’m passing as male most of the time, I’ve noticed a fundamental difference in the way that people interact with me.
Men treat me with a respect that I hadn’t realized was absent before. It’s like a white noise in the background of a video clip - it’s so constant that you never realize it’s there until it stops, and then the silence is just deafening. There’s no longer an underlying patronizing tone to their voice. When they ask me a question, they actually listen to my answer. Even when I’m just ordering food I’ve noticed that they care more about what I’m saying. When I speak, I’m more likely to be listened to.
The part that’s been harder to deal with is the sense of kinship that I feel like I’ve lost with women. Because there’s something in the way women talk to each other and interact with each other that’s different from the way they interact with men. There’s an implicit “you understand” in every interaction that’s not there now. I’ve gone from a comrade to an enemy, and it’s startling.
It’s startling, and it angers me to realize the degree to which women are threatened by men. They do treat me with more respect, but it’s an alienating kind of respect, a “I’d rather you leave” kind of vibe. Because now that I’m seen as a guy, I’m no longer safe. I’m a potential threat, a potential danger to their self-esteem and their safety, and even though they probably realize it, they’re trying to defend themselves.
To suddenly be on the other side of this line, and to see so clearly all the changes that come with it, brings me a completely indescribable sense of… injustice? Rage? Towards the system that has so solidified the boxes of Men and Women that I am only treated with respect when I’m seen as male, where men are such a threat to women that it changes the way they interact.
I just hope that I can use this undeserved privilege and power to do some good in the world.
if you listen to men talk about underage girls it’s really creepy because they’re totally down to fuck if the law weren’t in the way and i’m like dude the law is there because they’re too young, they’re not too young because the law is there do u feel me