I have spent the week commuting up and down to London. Four hours a day sat on a train has given me a lot of thinking time, and the opportunity to observe all sorts of people going about their daily business. As a new entrant into the shirt-and-tie club, I enjoy looking at other men, and seeing how they are dressed, and what I can emulate. Unfortunately, this observation usually results in feelings of inadequacy and jealousy.

There is no doubt in my mind that I am male, that I have every right to walk tall with the men I meet, and that my masculinity is just as potent as theirs. But they seem to have it so EASY. I watch other men, bio-men, lounging in their suits, complacent in their masculinity, thoughtlessly easy in their movements.

I am envious of bio-men’s smooth chests, unfettered by layers of greying nylon, lungs free of the choking constriction that binding brings. I am envious of the testosterone that is born within, not applied from a sachet. I am envious of their physical strength, and presence – that ‘maleness’ that is exuded by just about every bio-man I have ever met, and which no-one seems to have been able to bottle. I am envious of their social treatment – the assumptions that are made of men, but not yet of me.

Perhaps most of all I am envious of their ability to connect with other men on a level that I simply cannot manage, mainly due to their embarrassment at my perceived gender status. Despite my name and the way I dress, other men still do not look at me and see a man. I have 39 years of conditioning as a woman behind me, influencing the way I move, respond and react, which,  coupled with my still-so-feminine looks, means that I have to work hard to take up my place with the boys.

I know my time will come. I know that bio-men too have their inadequacies and struggles. But envy is rarely logical.

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