Monday, July 25, 2011

"What's in Your Pants?"

One of the challenges that a lot of trans folks (writers, speakers, friends) have voiced loud and clear is that they are sick of getting asked (directly or indirectly) what is in their pants. Most of the people who ask, ask gently, from a place of curiosity or an attempt to show open-mindedness. But no matter the intent, it can leave transgender people feeling exposed, like an oddity for public consumption, or just simply embarrassed. How many non-trans people have to deal with people asking them to explain or affirm their genitals?

Yet one trans fellow, Nick Krieger has been voicing that heck, he doesn't mind. Here's how he explains his position in "Proud of My Junk", one of his articles on Original Plumbing:
"I have no interest in deflecting questions about my body. Sometimes I wonder if we stopped hiding what’s going on down there, removed the big yellow caution banner that says 'Top Secret,' the rest of society would stop caring so much. I understand our argument that we don’t ask cisgender (non-trans) folks about their stuff, so they have no right to ask about ours, but we also know more about theirs. I mean, we may not know whether theirs bows left or right, or if theirs were a flower what flower it would be, but there is a general awareness. Most cisgender people have no idea about the awesomeness behind our zippers. And I often think that if more people knew, my dating pool would actually increase, people would be less afraid of accidentally offending me (something I hear regularly), and there’d be less anxiety about some unknown mystery meat in my pants."
A friend tipped me off to Nick's work (illustration taken from the Original Plumbing post quoted above). He recently completed a book and does guest blogging for a few sites, including the awesome Original Plumbing (OP). OP is a quarterly magazine by and for transmen (FTM), but it's well written and instructive for everyone interested in learning more about transgender lives and issues.

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