I’m going to take a break from social media for a bit.
like a week to a month long break
I’m going to take a break from social media for a bit.
like a week to a month long break
with pride month just around the corner i’d like to remind everyone that the q in lgbtq+ not only stands for queer but also questioning! if you’re not sure if what your gender or sexual/romantic orientation is you have every right to celebrate pride just like the rest of us
so are yall ready to have the conversation about how fat men have no positive representation in the media yet or what.
bc the only representation of fat men that I see in the mainstream media are creepy, perverted and rapey men who don’t know how to interact with women normally and are ostracised as a result, and are either aware or unaware of this ostracisation, and react inappropriately if they are aware of it.
even feminism and body positivity isn’t exempt from this criticism. body positivity, and correct me if I’m wrong, but does not have a space for fat men at ALL. when fashion companies tout their body inclusivity, all I ever see are fat women but never fat men. the movement centers around normalising the bodies of fat women, and normalising these bodies is not bad. we all know the statistics for eating disorders amongst afab people, and we know exactly what causes it. what IS wrong is that there is no space for fat men at all.
imagine growing up as a fat boy, seeing no representation of yourself except for creepy rapey men, and upon the body positivity movement beginning, hoping to see some real representation, and seeing absolutely NONE, and if you do speak up about this, being attacked for trying to discuss your experience as a fat person because you’re ‘silencing women’.
(we’re not even ready to begin thinking about the exclusion of non-binary people from these spaces or modelling in general, nor the lumping in of nonbinary people with 'female’ spaces. or this stereotype’s effect on men of colour especially black men who are already portrayed as aggressive and threatening. or trans people. or disabled people. because where the fuck is their representation?)
also I’m not fat, I’m middle sized, so please do speak up if you’re a fat man or masc-aligned. also feel free to correct me on any inclusivity language I want to make sure Im being as inclusive as possible :)
not-fat people do NOT clown on this post I will not hesitate to block you
i meant het
we’ve all gone through friendless periods in our lives. don’t fall into the trap of thinking there’s something intrinsically wrong with you - that is a) untrue and b) a belief that will make your isolation grow and cause feelings of worthlessness that will prevent you from accepting people into your life because you feel like you’re not deserving of their friendship
Oh that’s great! There are many pictures of this type of lock around, but when it comes to locks, you need a video/gif to illustrate how it works, right?
This is ye olde pin tumbler lock, an Egyptian (c.2000 BCE) improvement of an older Assyrian (c.4000 BCE) design:
It spread out from Egypt and it was used for thousands of years. The modern ubiquitous Yale lock is also called a pin tumbler, since it’s an elaborate (and tubular) version of the same basic concept.
I love this because I can immediately see at least two different ways to get past it without a key.
I love that observation, too, because it puts front and center the social elements of developing technology, which too often get lost.
There’s no such thing as a perfect lock, and in our modern high-tech age it’s easy to get lost in that point, and either pursuing perfection or dismissing locking things because all locks can be cicumvented, when really, the point of a lock isn’t even now to make a door impossible to get through. Just very inconvenient.
Because when it takes planning and complex tool use to enter a space, you can’t do it casually anymore. You can’t just stroll in.
Which means firstly, that a majority of potential intruders are going to not bother, now that it takes effort. And that the ones willing to make an effort still have a lot longer to think about things like ‘what happens to thieves who get caught,’ and a wider window of effort-making where they can get spotted clearly opening a door they aren’t authorized to open.
And even once someone has gotten the door open and stolen your things without being caught in the act, the fact that it was behind a locked door means that if you track them down later drinking out of your mom’s favorite vase or eating your personal cheese or wearing your earrings they can’t say ‘oh I was just passing through and I thought no one wanted it/was very hungry/thought it was mine’ or something like that.
Nowadays we take for granted the strict delineation of public and various types of private spaces, and the fact that trespassing in off-limits areas is supposed to be hard and if you do it by accident someone else messed up, but there’s a lot of physical and social technology supporting these things that had to be developed over time.
I think it was @findingfeather who once wrote about a famous burglar(?) who… cut through walls. And how easy that IS in most places, how even buildings with good solid doors and quality locks often have flimsy walls and if you can just access the next room…
But how people don’t DO that, most of us don’t even think of it as a possibility, because of how we’ve been raised to think around private/enclosed spaces.
This highlights a fundamental principle of all security (physical and online): there is almost nothing that someone who is skilled enough and/or unworried enough about leaving evidence can’t break into. As an individual, the best thing you can do is make sure the barrier to entry is high enough to discourage opportunists, because the risk that someone is going to make a targeted attack against you personally is low. Average modern house locks are, actually, relatively easy to break or pick. That isn’t the point. The point is that having and using them raises burglary from the level of ‘impulse’ to ‘deliberate action’.
[ID: Reed Erickson, a trans man with styled hair, wearing a dark suit and posing with his hands folded. END ID.]
Reed Erickson (1917–1992)
Excerpts from the podcast Making Gay History, S04E07: Reed Erickson.
“He was really accepted in society, both for his relationships with women and his transition, which is really interesting when you think about the 1960s. There were very few people who could so openly and publicly transition, let alone maintain multiple marriages.”
“The influence of the Erickson Educational Foundation cannot be stressed enough. We today would not have trans health care, period, without the funding and the information provided by the Erickson Educational Foundation.”
“It was the first organisation in the world that actually provided support and information to trans people, both through its newsletters and publications as well as an in-person office where people could call or drop in to receive information.”
“Essentially, the framework that trans rights organisations use today in terms of collecting resources by area and distributing them to trans people in need, is based off the work of the Erickson Educational Foundation. So without that, the modern trans movement as we know it would not exist.”
[ID: Three photos of Reed Erickson. In the first, he is standing with his girlfriend Daisy Harriman, wearing a dark suit while she wears a pink dress. In the second, he is posing shirtless, with his top surgery scars visible and obvious facial hair. In the third, he is posing with his wife Ailene and their daughter, in the late 1960s. END ID.]
Trans history involves a fabric of people across generations and cultures. Many trans stories have been erased, particularly trans male contributions, in favour of the myth that Stonewall rioting was the single galvanising event responsible for all progress.
Trans men have always existed, and have always been involved in the fight for trans rights.
Stonewall was vitally important, but LGBT+ activism existed before then, too. To think otherwise is to erase the hard work done by the full spectrum of LGBT+ people.
Erasing trans male history further isolates modern-day trans men, and perpetuates the myth that we have never been involved with our own communities. Erasing cis gay and lesbian history perpetuates the myth that our communities have never overlapped, or acted as allies to one another. If you’re passionate about Stonewall, for example, I suggest you educate yourself about Stormé DeLarverie, AKA “the gay community’s Rosa Parks”. She instigated the uprising.
There is not one single person, or one single event, which is responsible for all progress.
This surprise and excitement warms my heart! But also makes me kinda depressed! Because, if our community actually knew its history, this wouldn’t be shocking at all!
I love helping people connect with our history, and I love reminding people that trans men have always been here, but it depresses me that such an effort is necessary. Imagine what things would be like if the true timeline of trans activism was realised. Imagine how many transmasculine lives would be improved, and even saved, if we weren’t constantly being sent the message that we are irrelevant to progress and history.
Hey yeah, if people could reblog this, I’d be really fucking thankful.
Trans men have always been around.
Trans men have always contributed to progress.
Trans men are not a footnote.
If you think trans women were the only ones fighting for trans lives, you don’t know your history. Additionally, Erickson is an exception: many trans men throughout history have been persecuted, impoverished, harassed, and assaulted. Very few trans people have been shielded from difficulty in the same way Erickson was.
Yes, I’m so glad to see people talking about Erickson! He’s such a crucial part of our past. I’d like to add a few more details, both on Erickson and earlier transmasculine history. (Historical note: many of the primary sources in the next few paragraphs use the term “transvestite.” Please recognize that language has evolved significantly over the past 100 years, and what is today a pejorative term began as a word that trans people identified with and built community around).
Erickson was able to fund medical research of transition after inheriting his father’s highly successful lead-smelting company, Schuylkill Industries, in 1962. He began his transition immediately after receiving this inheritance, and reached out to Dr. Harry Benjamin in 1963 for medical care. In the following years, Erickson both directly funded Benjamin’s research and provided funding for research programs at major universities, including UCLA, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford, that would focus on the study of trans health. Furthermore, he provided critical funding for the National Transsexual Counseling Unit (NTCU), an organization that fielded letters from around the world, provided walk-in counseling, and performed on-the-street outreach work. His interest in the NTCU sparked from discussions with Dr. Benjamin, who was directly connected to the trans scene at NTCU’s San Francisco headquarters.
Dr. Benjamin actually studied trans healthcare under the man who coined much of the language and conceptualization of trans identity that we use today: Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. In 1911(!), Hirschfeld defined der Transvestit (the transvestite) as any individual “faced with the strong drive to live in the clothing of that sex that does not belong to the relative build of the body.” He pulled the word from the latin words trans, meaning opposite, and vestis, meaning clothing. His recommended treatment for this “drive,” as he called it? To aid the patient in presenting as the gender they understood themselves as– a radical departure from existing “treatments” which aimed to shunt the trans patient back into their birth sex, Hirschfeld’s approach centered the happiness and comfort of his trans patients. As he describes it in The Transvestites:
In the apparel of their own sex the feel confined, bound up, oppressed; they percieve [the clothing] as something strange, something that does not fit them, does not belong to them; on the other hand, they cannot find enough words to describe the feeling of peace, security and exaltation, happiness and well-being that overcomes them when in the clothing of the other sex
Now, as a historian of trans life in the early 20th century, I do want to contest Making Gay History’s argument that the EEF was “the first organization in the world” to provide support for trans people in the form of newsletters and in-person consultations. While it was certainly one of the earliest organizations of this nature in the U.S., the trans community is much older– and geographically speaking, much broader– than this.
There were multiple trans-inclusive and even trans-centered magazines in Europe through the 1920s, including Die Freundin, Garconne, and Das Dritte Geschlecht, to name a few. Weimar-era Berlin alone had a thriving trans community: der Internationaler Transvestiten-Bund (International League of Transvestites) was a prominent trans-rights activist organization, and it was common to see ads for trans social clubs in the gay magazines of the time. See for example, the weekly meetings held at der Zauberflöte (the Magic Flute, a gay bar) for “women living as men,” or the Transvestiten-Gruppe (transvestite’s group) lead by the transmasculine lesbian bar-owner Lotte/Lothar Hahm).
As for more medically-focused support, Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for the Study of Sexuality) provided jobs and therapy to trans people from 1919-1933, and conducted medical research that was foundational to developing the hormone therapy and surgical techniques used today. Unfortunately, large swaths of this research was lost when Hirschfeld’s institute was burned by the Nazis, primarily due to Hirschfeld himself being both a Jewish man and a staunch civil rights activist for both gay and trans communities.
I recognize that I’ve veered away from Erickson himself a bit, but I really want to showcase how far back the trans past stretches– even the pieces of history I’ve centered on today have focused on Western Europe in the 20th c, when the truth is that there is evidence of trans life stretching back thousands of years, across many other parts of the world (Southeast Asia comes to mind, as do the Cree and Ojibwe tribes of North America; honestly, anywhere you look, you’ll find trans people). I also send you one-thousand heart emojis for your specific focus on trans men, as too often I see our stories sidelined.
Die Freundin. April 9, 1930.
Hirschfeld, Magnus. Transvestites, trans. Michael Lombardi-Nash (New York: Prometheus Books, 1991): 124-125.
Stryker, Susan. Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution. (New York: Seal Press, 2017): 56, 63-64, 100-105. (note: in my opinion, this book serves largely as a history of white trans women in America. however, you can find some useful leads on trans men if you’re willing to dig).
Recommended reading for more transmasculine history:
Hirschfeld, Magnus. The Sexual History of the World War. trans. Andreas Gaspar et al. (New York: Falstaff Press, 1937). See chapter 6.
Skidmore, Emily. True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the End of the 20th Century. (New York: NYU Press, 2017).
Smith, Brice. Lou Sullivan: Daring to Be a Man Among Men. (Oakland: Transgress Press, 2018).
Sullivan, Louis. From Female to Male: The Life of Jack Bee Garland. (New York: Alyson Books, 1990)
Plus a long list of books written about FTM experience, by transmasc authors. Mostly memoirs, but there’s a few historical pieces in there too. I’m also gonna throw in a translation I did of an magazine article on trans men in history…. written in 1930! It’s kinda sad, but a really interesting read (note: I preserved all pronouns exactly as they were presented in the original German)
Oh my god!! Please don’t apologise for one word of this wonderful update!! Thank you so much for educating me more about my own community!! I hope you are having a fantastic day!!
I have a lot of medical expenses because of a hospitalization from gastroparesis caused by an undiagnosed inflammatory process . this is just one. if anyone could help me even just pay them down even a little it would help me a lot
my Venmo: @Morgen-Hickey
my cash app: $Morgenhickey