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My Masculinities Project Contribution

My Masculinities Project – Micah (2nd post)

Men go days without even thinking about the dangers of using the men’s bathroom or not shaving their legs. It is much more difficult for someone who may not 100% pass as a man, meaning be perceived as a man by everyone all of the time. For transgender males, life is a completely different story, especially when just coming out.

 
The first summer a transgender male may want to go without shaving his legs is a big leap. This is because he may be perceived as a woman still and it is likely people will stare, question, make assumptions, and become disgusted with his appearance. How come it is completely fine for hair to be on a man’s leg and not on a woman’s leg when they practically look the same? How come it is questioned when a woman does not shave her legs and a man does shave his legs? Why is the hair on legs so important to people when there is hair virtually all over the human body?

 
Shaving legs is not the only obstacle a transgender male may have to face. Deciding which bathroom to use is an even bigger conflict to face. Typically when transgender people start questioning which bathroom they should use, they are in an androgynous state, meaning not obviously male or female in appearance. They may start getting funny looks in the bathroom they have been using all of their life. Since they are most likely going through transition, they are further from their previous appearance and closer to the appearance they want to have. Unfortunately, this results in danger in using either a male or female bathroom. One does not have to search very long on the Internet to find that harassment in the bathrooms involving transgender people is not that uncommon. This can cause transgender individuals to avoid going to the bathroom altogether, resulting in medical consequences. It also shows how important it is to allow the option of a gender neutral bathroom. If a cisgender person (someone who is comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth) is disturbed by the fact of having to use a gender neutral bathroom, maybe they should consider how transgender people have felt this way almost their whole lives.

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About CSMMD Admin

The Center for the Studies of Masculinities and Men's Development at Western Illinois University. Research is clear that men are in crisis, particularly men from underrepresented populations. However, considerable disagreement exists about how to most effectively support men's engagement and development, while maintaining focus on social justice. The Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development aims to provide quality scholarship, advocacy, and programming that positively influences college men’s development in a manner congruent with gender equity and social justice.

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