Freelance columnist and fiction writer; creator, The Needle Prick Project
As the mainstream image of what a gay man is continues to morph into more of a hero and less of a victim, we continue to cast our most handsome, athletic and masculine men in the leading roles of the gay movement. As our rainbow fades to pastel, society now understands that gay men can be just like the rest of mainstream society. Our community has a new cast of gay heroes who place our most chiseled, scruffy-jawlined faces forward for everyone to see. From TV stars like Wentworth Miller to athletes like Jason Collins, the world now knows that we can be strong and manly and fit right in with the rest of the boys. But there is a different kind of strength that has always existed within gay culture, although it might not come in the form of bulging muscles and bass voices.
Unlike his masculine counterpart, the effeminate gay man doesn’t have the luxury of hiding behind a butch façade until he is comfortable with coming out of the closet. You know the type. He can learn the choreography to the latest pop song more quickly than you can learn the lyrics. In high school he had to make a beeline for his car the minute the bell rang so that he could avoid the worn-out name calling, bullying or even violence. The Bedazzler was, is, and always will be his best childhood friend. Yes, these queeny gays may have been born with a serious masculinity deficiency, but that is exactly what makes them the epitome of strength.
As someone who has always straddled the masculine/feminine divide, I desperately sought to play up my butch qualities and minimize my fairy wings as much as humanly possible. Thankfully I excelled at sports and had a muscular build and a sort of generic, all-American-white-boy appeal — until I opened my mouth, of course. I sounded more like a chipmunk with a lisp than the boy who’d just made the saving play on the soccer field. Eventually it was the only thing that people noticed.
Even after I accepted my sexuality, I struggled with my femininity. I spent hours in the gym, building my body in an effort to emulate the ideal of what men supposedly should look like. I stopped applying my coveted bronzer and shaved my head like a G.I. Joe. I even opted for a more understated wardrobe over the tight, bright T-shirts that I secretly loved. But the nasal voice and extra bounce in my step were inescapable. No matter what I tried, I always received degrading comments and snickers about my disposition, but not from the straight community. These came from gay men.
A girl can only take so much. I have learned to embrace and enjoy my feminine qualities just as much as my masculine ones. If masculinity is paramount, something that all men must strive for to be considered “real” men, then gay men, by definition, will always be considered lesser than their straight counterparts. We gay men know that there isn’t one definition of what a “real” man is. Hell, we are living proof. So discounting or stifling any feminine characteristics that we may have is a slap in the face of our own culture and an admission to others that there is something to suppress. The gay men who couldn’t help but shoot glitter out of every orifice were the ones who propelled gay rights into the mainstream. As we get closer to becoming fully integrated in the larger society, it is important that we not allow any segment of our own community to suffer in the process.
The measure of a gay man’s femininity in a heteronormative society is much like the measure of an African American’s skin color in a society of white privilege. The most feminine of gay men are the equivalent of the darkest-skinned of African Americans, while the gay men who exhibit the most masculine qualities enjoy privileges like fair-skinned African Americans do. These phenomena are the result of expectations placed on both groups by segments of society who demand that we be like them. Those who fail these litmus tests are least valued by the ruling party. As proud gay men, we should demand within our own community that masculinity not be an indicator of worth, and that we respect each other regardless of our differences.
To the queens who have been beaten up, marginalized and mangled for refusing to cave in to the norm, you are the true heroes of the gay movement. It is these men to whom we owe our freedom to be the exact type of gay man that we were made to be, and nothing else.
So even with my nasal voice and knack for choreography, I realize that I am as much of a boy as I need to be, and as much of a girl as I want to be. That is strength.
Unread post by IAmScared » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:22 am
Re: Being feminine as a trans guy
Unread post by Siân » Sat May 02, 2020 7:02 am
It’s absolutely okay!
Dressing more or less “masculine” or “feminine” doesn’t make you any more or less trans, it’s just choosing ways of presenting that feel right.
Whether you’re trans or cis, only you get to decide what clothes, hairstyles and cosmetics feel good for you and fit the way you want to present. It doesn’t make your gender any less “real”, after all your gender is inside of you – not in the shoes you wear. Besides, experimenting with lots of different options can be fun!
I’m sorry that you are living with people who aren’t supportive of your presentation – how are you coping at the minute? Are there lockdown restrictions in Croatia?
Re: Being feminine as a trans guy
Unread post by care_witch » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:32 pm
I agree with you that it’s definitely okay to be a feminine trans guy. I was assigned the gender of female at birth (AFAB) and I identify as trans and non-binary. When I first came out as transgender I had a a lot of uncertainty because I have never been very “masculine”. It was helpful to for me to meet other trans people who didn’t identify or present as strictly “masculine” or “feminine”. You totally get to figure out what works best for you AND it’s totally normal for that to change over time.
It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of who you are and how you want to present. Does that feel like something you could talk about with your mom, the way you talked about it here?
Re: Being feminine as a trans guy
Unread post by sunadonis » Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:04 pm
I’m a transmasc nby and I’m also very feminine! I like my dresses, I like my lipstick because it’s pretty but the idea that I have to be 100% masculine all the time doesn’t sit right with me.
Gender is a fickle thing and I think talking to your mom about how while you’re a boy, some feminine things make you happy and that doesn’t change who you are!
Re: Being feminine as a trans guy
Unread post by queen_of_jones » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:15 am
Hi, hopefully it’s not too late to reply! I just wanted to say that that’s totally valid. I am the same way myself! For me, going on testosterone helped me express my femininity more because once most people started to assume I was male based on my looks automatically, I felt like I could express “feminine” characteristics (such as wearing makeup or form-fitting clothing) without people questioning my gender.
However, I get that it can also be really difficult to explain this to other people, especially if those individuals carry specific views about the gender binary. The best advice I can give in this situation is first, telling your mom that she may herself not relate to your experience but that that’s okay; and second, stating that gender identity and expression are different. For the first thing, something that I think helped my parents accept me as trans was them realizing that they themselves were not going to “understand” my gender and that they didn’t need to–I just wanted them to believe me and accept me.
For the second thing, maybe it could help to state plainly that gender identity and expression are different. You are a guy, but your “expression” (for example, wearing makeup) is usually seen as feminine. However, to you, that expression doesn’t change your identity, so wearing makeup doesn’t mean that you aren’t a guy.
Re: Being feminine as a trans guy
Unread post by Melamyl » Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:25 am
How To Be In Your Feminine Energy To Attract The Man You Want
One of the best ways to attract the man you want – or the man you’re already with – is to make sure you’re in your feminine energy when you’re with him.
Here are some important concepts to keep in mind:
A man DOES good to feel good. A masculine-energy man goes after what he wants, and asks his partner how she feels about it.
A good man will take your feelings into account when he’s planning and making decisions.
A man will usually be able to feel right away if you’re open and receptive to him – or if you’re going to go “competitive” on him. You want to be warm, open and receptive to what a man is offering you.
By doing good for you, a man feels good about himself. As long as you’re happy, a masculine-energy man feels good.
A woman FEELS good to do good. A feminine-energy woman receives first, processes that through her body – and if it feels good to her, she’ll show appreciation and respect.
A feminine-energy woman gives back, but doesn’t initiate the giving. This keeps her in the feminine receiving mode.
As the feminine-energy partner, when a man makes you an offer, you want to see how you feel about it, say “yes” if it feels good to you – and then show appreciation and acknowledgment.
Feminine energy is extremely powerful – it’s about being open and receptive, while having boundaries at the same time. Saying “no” to something that doesn’t feel good to you is a very feminine-energy quality!
Many women are afraid that setting a boundary will scare a man off – but the truth is, a man can’t fall in love with a woman who doesn’t love herself first.
If you’re caught in the trap of, “I need to do this to please HIM” – but you’re ignoring your own needs and what YOU want, that’s an error in thinking. Your first priority should be taking care of yourself.
It’s not about being selfish in the negative sense, it’s about taking care of yourself and feeling good in order to do good.
A man will fall head over heels for a woman who feels great about herself and knows where to draw the line.
When you start taking over some of the masculine role, that’s where you can get into trouble. Most women want a masculine-energy man who can figure things out on his own, but they often get in their own way because they think they’re “helping.”
How often do you try to to “rescue” the conversation – or “entertain” a man? How often are you offering suggestions, or offering to help a man with something when he hasn’t asked? These are good questions to ask yourself.
Many women are giving and “doing” too much without realizing it, which comes across to a man like mothering or managing – and ends up pushing him away.
If you give too much and a man starts to get comfortable with that, you’ll lose that feeling of him wanting you.
Being mindful of the energy dynamic is about making a conscious shift for highest benefit of both parties involved, and for the betterment of yourself and your partner.
Everything is energy. Shifting and experimenting with the energy dynamic within yourself will help you to experience yourself in a different way, and therefore create a better a relationship with others.
This takes awareness along with a little bit of self-discipline. You don’t need to have all the answers or always be “right.” Remember, your feelings are an indicator that things are going well or that something is amiss.
Being in your feminine energy is about leaning back, observing, and letting yourself just BE in the moment – rather than always trying to “make something happen” when you’re with a man.
Men lose interest in relationships when they don’t FEEL this…
If you’ve ever experienced a man who was really excited about you one minute and then completely lost interest the next, you know how frustrating this can be.
You may start questioning yourself…
Did you do or say something wrong?
What’s happening here?
The #1 reason this happens is because he FEELS like there’s one thing missing between the two of you.
You can learn about it here in this new article I wrote:
Without this one thing, he won’t understand why but he’ll find his desire for you shrinking…
And he’ll always feel like he’s missing something…
But if he feels it, it’ll make him want to pursue you, love you, and give you the relationship you’ve always wanted.
You’ll become “The One” he’s been looking for his entire life!
By Lucille Sorella in Voice 166 Comments
There’s more to speaking like a woman than the sound of your voice.
The words you use (and how you use them) are just as important!
It doesn’t matter how good you look or how “passable” your feminine voice might be…
If you speak like a guy, you’re going to send mixed messages to people.
Here are the main differences between guy-speak and girl-speak:
- Men tend to be more direct and task-oriented in their communication. They use their words for the purpose of achieving results.
- Women tend to be more “circular” and detail-oriented in their communication. They use their words for the purpose of forming relationships.
So what’s the secret to achieving a distinctly feminine style of communication?
Here are 3 tips for speaking like a woman:
1. Feminize your vocabulary
Men and women have very different vocabularies, so it’s critical to incorporate feminine words into your speech. Here are some key distinctions:
- Women tend to use more descriptive adjectives. A woman wouldn’t tell you about the “pink dress” she just bought. She’d tell you about the “adorable fuchsia Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress” she just maxed out her credit card on.
- Men and women use different words for the same thing. For example, a guy might call the lower abdomen the “gut” or “belly”, whereas a woman would be more likely to call it the “tummy” or “abdomen”.
To expand your feminine vocabulary, listen to women in real life, on TV, and in movies. Read women’s magazines. Look and listen for words you don’t use and incorporate a few new words or descriptive phrases into your vocabulary each week.
2. Talk more
Studies show that women speak three times as much a men. While this isn’t a universal truth (my fiancé DEFINITELY outtalks me), it’s something to consider.
Are you one of those people who answers questions with one word? If so, practice expanding on your answers. Include more details and/or how you feel about the situation. (Yes, talk about your feelings, girlfriend!)
Of course, this does NOT mean you should drone on and on about yourself. Women are also typically good listeners, so make sure you listen as much as you speak.
3. Ask more questions
Finally, since women use their words to form relationships, they tend to ask more questions. Men tend to tell rather than ask. If a man asks a question, it’s to get down to the point.
Practice asking more questions the next time you have a conversation with somebody. Not only is this more feminine, it makes the other person feel validated because you’re showing interest in them.
Want to learn more about the differences between masculine and feminine communication? Check out the video below to dive deeper into this topic.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts…
How important is feminine communication to you? Do you struggle with this or have you mastered the art of girl talk?
This post seemed a little unusual in that most feminine guys falsely believe it will benefit them with women because that’s what they’ve been told. Open up, show your feelings, get rid of that “toxic” masculinity, and women will love it. Of course, that’s not true. This guy at least knows better than that:
What does a man have to do to get a reasonable proportion of women to not impose gender roles and expectations in a relationship?
Now, anyone who has known me, know that I loathe both traditional and modern male gender roles. I mean, I really hate them. I hate leading, I hate acting dominant, I hate financially supporting a dependant unless its my kid, and Id rather not do it myself. And I dont want to be an island, Im not a stoic at heart and Id rather be honest about my feelings to my partner but I also dont expect them to be my mother. I also aim to work part time and help with childcare if I had kid with a woman. Id like to have time with myself to devote for hobbies and fitness, so being a cog in a machine primary breadwinner isnt going to sit well with me. I would like to work as much as a potential partner.
In most of my relationships, Ive done them all, I played the Man, and despite being good at it, I hated nearly every moment of it. It stressed me out, and made me unhappy. And when I did what came natural to me, I was mostly shamed for it. Im sure there are a large minority of men who dislike role playing narrow male gender role, and are willing to embrace some female roles, to liberate themselves from the grind of being a primary male breadwinner and dominant, with all its burdens and expectations. but probably to a lesser extent than myself. Ill admit, Im probably at the extreme. Btw, Im not effiminate but I am fiercely egalitarian, and I think Im masculine in my own unique way.
But clearly, most women dont see it that way. Which is fine, but I just want to know what men like myself should do to increase our chances in the dating pool, and which areas we should compromise because the proportion of women who may tolerate gender role flexibility for their potential SO may not be so willing to cede ground in some areas?
These men are finding it difficult to reach a middleground between being able to compromise for the average woman, and maintaining their principles and life goals, so they dont just end up with a tiny dating pool, and lesser chances of actually meeting someone and having a relationship or compromising too much and being trapped by gender roles and expectations.
He doesn’t want to be a breadwinner, dominant, or fulfill a masculine role in the relationship. He wants to embrace female roles and be emotional. So, how does he get more average women to give him a shot?
The honest answer is that he doesn’t (well, unless he becomes a rock star). Why? Because the further outside of accepted norms you get, the tougher a time you’re going to have. It’s like the “bad time” ski instructor from South Park.
You are a diehard Republican looking to date in an area that’s 95% liberal? You’re going to have a bad time. Are you a muscular, masculine woman who dresses like a guy who’s on a dating app? You’re going to have a bad time. Are you a guy who aspires to be a house hubby that cries when sappy commercials make him sad that wants to date? You’re going to have a bad time.
I will grant you that I have seen less than masculine men like this that end up with more masculine, ballbusting women. The problem with that is the woman inevitably becomes bored and unhappy. Then it’s either divorce or a marriage that’s so miserable that even a brutal divorce starts to look good.
Why is that? Because a woman naturally wants to be feminine and if her man is so weak that she feels compelled to be masculine, she’s going to feel like something important is missing from her life… and it will be. Incidentally, it’s the same for a guy. If you show me a guy who tells you that he doesn’t want to be masculine, I’d say something is broken inside of him. Maybe he was hit with anti-male propaganda from a young age by a single mother. Maybe his dad was a huge jerk and he associated his bad qualities with “masculinity.” Maybe he was always surrounded by women who told him how awful “masculinity” was and encourage him to be more like a woman. Ultimately, a man who rejects masculine roles is going to struggle because he’s moving away from something that should be as natural as breathing for him. You’re not going to find a bird that’s happy despite the fact he can’t fly or a lion that’s happy without being able to hunt or a fish that loves life despite not being able to swim.
So, what this guy should really be doing isn’t looking for women that don’t want him to be masculine. Instead, he should be examing himself to try to find out why he doesn’t want to be masculine in the first place. If he fixes that root cause and can become more masculine, the problem he’s worried about today will go away.