Since the #MeToo movement took off in October, the world has started to seriously question the way we think about masculinity. Are we raising boys to believe that women are objects, that women owe them deference and sex? Has mainstream masculinity become toxic?
This issue has been further complicated by the fact that some men have been coming out with their own #MeToo stories (even though it’s at much lower rates than women, men do experience sexual assault). More often than not, these stories have been a welcomed part of the conversation and have helped to push back against traditional notions of masculinity.
One question society hasn’t really unpacked: Where do transgender men and gender non-conforming (GNC) people who present masculine fit into all of this? Their experiences of sexual harassment and violence are certainly different from cisgender (meaning: not transgender) men and women. Not to mention, many trans people who were assigned female at birth (afab) grew up learning the same rigid lessons about masculinity and femininity as everyone else. So, when they came out as trans or gender non-conforming, many of them had to unlearn society’s expectations of masculinity and build their own version of it.
Given that, we spoke with five trans men and GNC people to hear what they really think about the #MeToo movement, and how they’ve factored current events into their own masculinity.
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