G. L. Balend

My transition journey as a middle-aged transgender man

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Photo by @felipepelaquim on Unsplash

You can’t look up information on transgender people these days without coming across stories from those who have detransitioned. These are people who at one time identified as transgender, began their medical transition, and for a variety of reasons decided to stop moving forward with their transition.

At first, I came out as genderqueer in 2017 at the age of forty-five, which is when I began my transition journey. I started by socially transitioning and going to therapy. I cut my hair, changed how I dressed, and began wearing a binder. …

Prejudice against marginalized groups is not a point-of-view

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

This year has shown us the deep divide between people that we still need to overcome. Racism is still rampant and rearing its ugly head all over the world, especially in the United States. Misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia are equally on display.

Too often I’ve had people tell me I should look past others’ difference of opinion and not call people out on their bigotry. They expect me to continue to associate with people who either are or openly support prejudiced bigots because of some other merits they might possess.

Human rights are not open for debate

Opinions are for whether pineapples go on pizza. (In my opinion, pineapple absolutely belongs on pizza). In all seriousness, opinions are for debating diverse topics, from literature to economic policy. …

Avoid these common mistakes

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Photo by Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

It is always uplifting to see allies stand up and defend transgender people, both online and off. While I know they mean well, many make these common mistakes. Here are some tips to help you better support the transgender community.

Don’t dread offending us

Yes, there may be times you say or ask something that may offend a transgender person. However, it impedes communication if you flinch anytime you want to ask a transgender person anything. Most of us are reasonable people and as long as what you’re asking isn’t offensive in polite company, then go ahead and ask.

I know many transgender people don’t want to be seen as encyclopedias, but I also know that a lot of information about transgender people online is confusing or downright conflicting. Sometimes the best way to clear up something is to ask us. …

Coming to this realization isn’t a simple decision

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Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

Recently I had an unfortunate altercation with a distant family member. She had kept her silence regarding my transition until some drama bubbled to the surface regarding another hot button topic. That’s when she revealed her genuine feelings and accused me of being unable to decide which gender I am.

The fact I am a transgender man is neither a decision nor a choice I made. It’s something I have always been, even if I could not articulate it until recently. …

Navigating the world as a transgender man

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Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

I’m now perceived as male most of the time, both online and in public. Because of this, I have come to realize that I can no longer interact with others in the same way I used to. I’ve had to pause when responding to people and weigh my words, especially if I’m in a position where I either don’t want or shouldn’t out myself.

Geeking out on pop-culture

This may seem trivial, but when people discuss their crushes, especially celebrities, I never had to give a second thought about admitting mine. …

A Transgender Man’s Perspective

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I will be honest and say that Joe Biden was not my first choice when it came to a candidate for President of the United States. My personal pick was Pete Buttigieg, not because he’s a fellow member of the LGBTQ community, but because of his youthful zeal paired with a moderate approach to government. I’ve always been a moderate independent voter and Mayor Pete’s stance on several issues appealed to me.

However, Pete Buttigieg did not win the nomination, and I will be voting for Joe Biden this coming November. This is not the year for voting for a third-party candidate, as I have done many times in the past. My rights are slowly being trampled on and stripped away as a transgender person, and I fear what another four years under the Trump administration might bring. …

Debunking the Transmedicalist Rhetoric

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Photo by Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash

There is a section of the transgender population who refer to themselves as transmedicalists. They insist that anyone who does not suffer from gender dysphoria and/or does not plan to transition medically cannot claim to be transgender.

As a transgender person who has not suffered from gender dysphoria, I wanted to write about my personal experience and observations. This debate really boils down to an issue of semantics and shows that there is a need to reevaluate some of the labels we’re using within the trans community.

What is gender dysphoria?

The definitions for gender dysphoria vary wildly. …

Societal expectations on gender expression and identity

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Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash

When I first came out as a transgender man, some people seemed surprised. They pointed out that I occasionally wore skirts, dresses, and even makeup. What they didn’t understand was whenever I dressed feminine, for me it was like putting on a costume. Sometimes it was fun to dress-up as something else for an evening, but it wasn’t an accurate expression of who I was.

Conforming and cosplaying

For most of my life, before I understood what being transgender meant, I identified as a tomboy. When I expressed my authentic self, it was through masculine or gender-neutral clothing. However, there were times I was expected to dress and present myself as the female I was born as. …

Gender critical feminists now find inclusionary words like ‘people’ offensive

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Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

After the recent tweets from JK Rowling, I engaged in a discussion online regarding the use of the phrase people who menstruate. What struck me was how some people were offended by that phrase. They claimed that by using the term, women were being excluded or even erased.

Using the term people does not exclude women

Let me first preface this by explaining the intention behind the phrase people who menstruate. The phrase is meant to include all people who menstruate, not only cisgender women. …

The fallacy behind the that’s not natural argument

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Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Often the argument against the LGBTQIA community is that being gay, or transgender is going against nature or unnatural.

Being born LBGTQIA is not unnatural

While most of the human population is straight and cisgender, being gay, bisexual, or transgender is not unnatural. Being gay happens often in nature, and same-sex intercourse has been observed in at least 1,500 distinct species worldwide. This shows that homosexuality and bisexuality are completely natural. There is nothing unnatural with people engaging in same-sex relationships.

There are also many examples of species who exhibit intersex traits, but it’s more difficult to find other species who may be transgender. …


G. L. Balend

Transgender writer and author. Posting weekly on a variety of LGBTQ and health related topics. http://glbalend.com/

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