No, this isn’t another post about my dealings with conversion therapy. ”Losing my religion” is an old Southern phrase meaning to go batshit crazy. In this case, shedding more prior notions I’ve had.

In the last 2-3 weeks since moving out, I have felt extensive emotional catharsis:

  • I can have my own thoughts without others trying to shove their conservative or reactionary ones down my throat, not wanting to hear countering ideas.
  • I no longer tolerate others challengeing my manhood (my “gender identity”)—the reason why I am writing this update.
  • I can date whom I want without putting up with input from racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or other forms of bigotry.
  • I can enjoy the social scene and not have to tolerate people talking down at me—I can leave if I am not treated as an equal, without having to tolerate backlash.
  • I can live my life on my own terms (within reason!), and not have to live in (semi-)stealth anymore…I can live as an out and proud trans man. (I still advocate for stealth when it’s necessary, usually for one’s safety. I just choose not to let others tell me I ”have to” anymore. If, tho, I sense danger in being out, I’ll keep quiet unless I need to out myse;f, or it’s okay to disclose things.)
I still have a lot to catch up on, but I make no regret putting off certain milestones so I could undergo gender affirmative therapy. Living on my own will allow me to finally live authentically, and think for myself.

I was at a social event this past weekend, and a member of our party pointed out a shortcoming in one of my old thoughts. I was okay dating a ”lesbian”, but if I were to date a man and he didn’t call himself bi or gay, I would break it off. Maybe we could have our different labels, but if my female partner didn’t see our relationship as straight or a man didn’t see it as gay/queer … I was selling myself short. If the girl I was dating insisted she was a lesbian, I’m selling myself short as a man. If a man I was dating insisted he was just experimenting or we weren’t a gay couple, again selling myself short. Labels are important, yes, but both (or all) parties involved in a relationship are equal; yes, some compromise must be made, but I shouldn’t have to sacrifice myself as a man so my partner can keep their label.

Some people will dump me over my lack of a penis. Yes, some people will dump me because I “reject” their labels if they try to elevate it above my entitlement to living life as a man, all that I have worked, bled, spent for.

I won’t tolerate religionists and theists who insist they can use their ”right to religion” to deny me my ability to live as a man. There is no more tolerance to ”agree to disagree”—you are no longer entitled to practice your beliefs if they interfere with my ability to be a productive member of society. I understand the role religious freedom plays in our country’s history, but it’s the right to practice your religion yourself without fear of persecution, not the right to force others to follow your way of life. If you can’t accept—not just tolerate, accept—me as equally a man as any other guy, bug fucking off. I can always take my business elsewhere, I don’t need haters for friends, and if other people can take me seriously and you couldn’t, ciao, bello!

I still commit to keeping an open mind to hearing certain opposing points of view. Things like gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration, and diversity will no longer be on that list. I know enough of my and other views to fight for our rights. Our rights are not up for debate!!

I make no apologies if the first thing you tell me is you’re a—“Protestant”—Christian (even a progressive one) and I throw up a wall first thing. Too many have tried to harm me, and too many ”progressive” ones are LGB friendly, but hesitate towards trans people. Churches can be good with charity when they truly care about helping regardless of your life or situation, but I have have been dealt too many bad hands with Christians to easily open up. (I have found Catholics, Jews, and Muslims way more accepting than non-Catholic Christians.)

I am a man; I am trans; I am a trans man. My life is an intersection of gender roles, sexuality, socioeconomics. I am no longer walking on a fine line on the edge of two worlds that seem incompatible. I walk down a road with both feet firmly upon terra firma in one world.

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