Becoming a Visible Man
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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I first met Jamison Green in 1990 while I was doing research for my second book, FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society. James had only been living as a man for a few years at that time. Lou Sullivan was still alive and had not yet...
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Acknowledgments are due to all the transsexual men and women who have provided shelter in my travels around the world, and encouraged me along the way—they are many strong, amazing people with rich stories of their own, especially Aaron, Adam, Alejandro, Alex, Alison, Andrew, Andy, Armand...
Chapter 1 How Do You Know?
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Y ou all know what sex you are, right?” That’s how I like to start. To most students I look like a professor, a psychologist, or a businessman. I am short, athletically built, with a full, trimmed beard, a balding head, and a deep voice...
Chapter 2 Initiation
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T hrough the decade of the 1990s I directed a great deal of energy toward improving the quality of life for transsexual people around the world. Much of that effort has been very basic: convincing people that female-to-male transgendered...
Chapter 3 A Vision of Community
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My first foray into what might be called a community of transsexual men and their loved ones in 1988 introduced me to a paraculture of people who were decidedly apolitical, which was just fine by me. In those days, the few people I met who wanted to transition from female to male were concerned...
Chapter 4 Body of Knowledge
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Surgery is not what transsexualism is ultimately about. Transsexualism is about life. It’s about relationships, and not just intimate ones. Being a transsexual is not something we do in the privacy of our own bedrooms; it affects every aspect of our lives, from our driver’s licenses to our work...
Chapter 5 Transparent Feelings
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I forbid it,” my mother sputtered, slamming her tiny fist against the arm of her easy chair. It was a warm Saturday in the spring of 1988, and I had just told her I intended to apply to a medically supervised program for surgical sex reassignment. I’d only seen her this angry a few times before: when I told...
Chapter 6 Consummate Presence
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When I was growing up, there was virtually no discussion within my family about sexuality. My brother and I were taught respect for the autonomous physical space of others, and that our bodies were private and not to be violated. We were left to infer what violation meant. I learned about sexuality...
Chapter 7 Visibility
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When Billy Tipton died in Spokane, Washington on January 21, 1989, the phenomenon of a female-bodied man did not generate much discussion of transsexualism outside of the transsexual community. Because he had not had any hormones or surgery, it was easy for his story to be adopted by...
Chapter 8 Willful Destiny
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For the first two years of my transition I did not communicate with my out-of-state relatives. To avoid embarrassing my mother, I would arrive at my childhood home on fortnightly visits in the evening when neighbors would be busy having dinner, not looking out their windows. I hurried in from...
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