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5 Ways to Affirm Yourself as a Trans Man

5 Ways to Affirm Yourself as a Trans Man

5 Ways to Affirm Yourself as a Trans Man

Everyone needs self-affirmation regardless of their identity, background, or gender. Affirming your genuine self means taking action to meet your needs; expressing who you really are; thinking positive thoughts and doing what you need to do to get what you really want.

Trans folks are somewhat unseen in mainstream society. And, as a trans man, I only have a trans masculine experience. Like eating or sleeping, self-affirmation is something I do daily for my sanity. Here are five awesome ways trans men can affirm themselves in a cis-gender world.

1. Self Love Is Never Ending

If you hate men, it’s going to be really hard to love yourself as a man. I hate patriarchy but equated patriarchy to men in general. I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself to have a better relationship with men, other masculine folks, and my own maleness so I can love myself more.

Transgender people often feel the pressure to arrive at an end point in our transition. While our transitions are important and often life-saving, our confidence can’t depend on how far along we are in our transitions or how we decide to transition. So, love yourself now and at all the stops on the way in your gender journey.

2. Make Self Care No. 1

Sometimes, we have a tendency to think of self care as something we only do when we’ve reached a difficult place. I also see trans guys who rely on their partners to take care of them (which is misogynistic behavior in the form of emotional labor). Instead of waiting for a crisis or relying on a partner, make a commitment to consistent self care.

The burden of oppression and transphobia can be an endless, whether it comes from the media, our society, or our birth families. In order thrive in life, it’s important to make self-care of top importance, regardless of where we are in our lives or how we’re feeling on a certain day. 

3. We're Here, We're Brave

How often do we hear a cis person say, “you’re so brave”, in reference to transitioning? While that’s kind of dismissive because we are just being true to ourselves. But, it's true, we are brave. We live in a society where trans people are often forgotten. Fuck that — we exist!

Take a moment to reflect on all the ways — major or minor — that you have been courageous. Don’t let those moments go unappreciated or unnoticed. You might surprise yourself.

4. Self-Talk

Recently, I noticed I'm constantly seeking acceptance from others. But, another person's opinion doesn't define my worth. To remind myself, I say "I am loveable," out loud repeatedly until I'm convinced. Before me, my partner dated cisgender men.

Occasionally, I experience bottom dysphoria in bed, so I self-affirm my worth in our relationship. I'll think, "She likes me. She's turned on. My body is fine." and breathe deeply until I am present again.

5. F*ck Embodiment

I've found a lot of affirmation is connecting with my body. Some guys do this by working out. Some men do this by getting tattoos. I do this in a few ways. I practice yoga in my bedroom, meditate, and I am intentionally present when I touch my body.

Before I got top surgery I used to touch my chest when I had a binder on and I currently caress my chest now in an effort to feel proud of my male presentation. In the last year, I've also challenged myself to be present and feel my body when I masturbate (which is not something I did for most of my life). Both of these touching actions are a nice reminder that I am here, I am sexy, and I'm real. 

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