Question: about my penis

Jen asks…

I don’t hate my penis, I’m just indifferent to it. Does that make me less of a woman?

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on November 21st, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 26 comments »

26 Responses to “Question: about my penis”

  1. Anonymous

    I know just what you mean…I am cool with my vagina; however, if I were to have a different sex, that’d be cool too. I think it might be a little annoying at this point, because I’ve spent so much time getting to know the body I’ve got, but still…not a huge deal.


  2. Nicholas

    While I don’t identify as a woman, I know what you mean. My penis has been part of me for such a long time that I can’t imagine changing it. My perfect sex would be the option to change between male, female, and how I am now, at any time, but I know that we’ll never make that possible, so I’m happy with my penis. It doesn’t negatively impact my broad gender identity.


  3. Ash

    Your body doesn’t define you, nor does how you feel about it dictate gender.

    I’m a man with a vagina, I don’t mind it… It’s just kinda there. I’m still a man, I’m just okay with what I’ve got. How you feel about whatever parts you have (or don’t) doesn’t make your gender any less valid.


  4. Pax

    Not at all. :) You just have a really big clit. :D


  5. ben

    Ditto to what Pax said.

    also, it reminded me of an eddie izzard riff on the subject.


  6. Jessica

    I suppose if I had a magic lamp with three wishes, I’d change my body some, but I’d want lasting good health first. I don’t think I’d be satisfied with the results of surgery, even fairly miraculous surgery. And it’s answering a problem I haven’t got anyway.

    I’d be much more likely to want everyone else to get surgery – attitude surgery so they can accept me as I am and not want me to conform to societal “norms.”


    sam replied:

    this is so awesome.


  7. Shawn


    you are who you feel you are. do you feel like a woman? then you are a woman. NOBODY gets to say if you are more or less of a woman for any reason at all.


    Simon replied:

    Yes to this x1000000.


  8. Anonymous

    I wish I had both.


  9. Samson

    I wrote this down from Kate Bornstein’s “Gender Outlaws” (the first edition) when I was reading it because it rang true for me: “We don’t hate any part of our bodies we weren’t taught to hate. We’re taught to hate parts of our bodies that aren’t ‘natural’—like a penis on a woman, or a vagina on a man…”


    Anonymous replied:

    I don’t know that I’d want to be so categorical about dismissing the experiences of those who do have really intense body dysphoria.


    Anonymous replied:

    That is not what Samson is saying here. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you have “severe” body dysphoria. If you weren’t taught that it’s wrong to have those parts, whether by society or in your own viewpoint of what should be there or not, you wouldn’t hate it.

    How about not dismissing the power of a person’s mind? I’m not saying that body dysphoria doesn’t exist- I’ve had it for years and will probably leave this Earth with it. What I am saying is, don’t look for offense where there was NONE.

    Just because there are people out there who are fine with their bodies and want to be loved for who they are- WITH those bodies, regardless of how they ID… it doesn’t mean those folks who hate their bodies are automatically inferior or dealing with less. All that mind-set does is encourage being a victim, instead of encouraging people to make their own choices and deal with what they’ve got. Changing it all is fine, but don’t blame other people if your life isn’t going the way you want it to. Change it. If you need help changing it, get help. If not… leave it alone and remain a “victim.”


    Samson replied:

    I certainly don’t mean to dismiss it–I struggle with body dysphoria as well. That’s part of why I said it rings true -for me-, because I know some people don’t feel that way. I was just glad, as a genderqueer person, to read something by a “real trans person” (not enough scare-quotes in the world for that) that agreed with how I felt.

    Part of my experience was realizing that my body dysphoria got a LOT worse when I started going to a trans support group (supposedly genderqueer-inclusive). The people there were mostly intent on “fully transitioning,” and their attitudes about their bodies–identifying as masculine-of-center, why would anyone EVER feel comfortable with breasts? why would anyone NOT take testosterone?–made me feel bad. Society perceives me incorrectly in a female body–but that part of the trans community taught me to actually hate my body, and I’m very sad for that.

    I think it depends on your individual experience of trans-ness… I don’t see my gender identity as incongruous with my body, in theory, because I no longer see gender identity as attached to physical sex. (Yet despite all my theoretical philosophizing, I still can’t shake the dysphoria).

    Anyway–I mean no offense, and no dismissal, at all–I’d be dismissing my own experiences too. I just personally experience the root of body dysphoria as being others–because from the day we’re born, society tells us things about people with penises and people with vaginas and what they are like and not like, and we deeply internalize that.

    Agreed: that dysphoria exists, and it sucks, and having an opinion about where it comes from doesn’t make it go away.


    Jessica replied:

    Samson, I could not agree with you more that seeking counseling, be it from a support group or a trained counselor, is a two edged sword. It can be extraordinarily helpful and life-changing, or it can lead your seriously astray. I have also struggled with the concept of “fully transitioning” and found it not a good fit for me. I wish you could come over for dinner or a bottle of wine (or two) sometime and we could talk until dawn.

  10. Nikki

    well, mine doesn’t do much more than just sit there, and I’ve never felt so much a woman as I do now. No use in hating what we have, I’ve always been thankful for having a life that weaves between genders because my empathy for others has done nothing but improve. If I wasn’t born with a penis, I would have never had that. So I’m a woman who is very thankful that I have my penis. but… it has taught me all I can learn from a dick and I’m ready to lop it off!


  11. Isaac

    I’m a guy with boobs and a vagina and I don’t hate either of those either. I just regret that they’re attached to me, and that I didn’t get a penis instead. I have some flat-chested friends who would be a lot more grateful to have my 36C’s if only I could give them away.

    It’s kind of like if I won a car. I have a horrible fear of driving so it won’t do me any good, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a nice car and I couldn’t give it to someone else who can use it better than I could.


    Cammy replied:

    As a non-driver (public transit!) and someone who feels that my genes wasted a nice pair of boobs on me, I like your analogy. If I won a car I would probably drive it once every few months – if that – and eventually sell it because of the hassle of insurance, gas, actually getting a proper license (I had a first-stage learner’s permit for two years and it took me five months to notice that it had expired), etc.


    Meike replied:

    “…someone who feels that my genes wasted a nice pair of boobs on me….”

    I think that it the best description I’ve ever seen, I seriously love you for this comment. I feel the same way too. I appreciate the offer, really I do, but honestly–I would rather ride a bike than a super nice car. People might think it looks pretty, but I’m fine with just the basics. In all honesty I would rather give it away to someone who really wants it, because all it’s going to do is sit there under a tarp, hidden in the depths of my garage.


    Jessica replied:

    I have good genes that have done me well, except for my feet. I don’t feel that the problem is in me, as many others do, and I can understand that. But I do feel fortunate to live at a time when I can be more of less truthful and not hide the greater part of myself – as I would need to if I lived in 1810 or present day Uganda.

  12. Rich

    Being non-op (or pre-op/post-op) does not change your gender identity. As long as you’re happy with who you are, that’s all that matters.


  13. A.

    Being a woman has everything to do with your mind and nothing to do with your body. You can be just as much a woman with a penis as without. So no, even if you loved your penis, it wouldn’t make you any less of a woman. :)


  14. Alex

    I’m similar. I’m a genderqueer transboy with no desire to go on hormones or change my body in any way. I don’t even bind all that often. My body has absolutely nothing to do with my gender, is my reasoning — I’d be the same regardless of which body parts I have.


  15. June

    I can’t believe there are others like me. I’ve thought I was a transgender female, and even started on Estrogen HRT.. but after a few weeks, it dawned on me that I don’t need to change my body. I’m currently a genderqueer transwoman who stopped her HRT.

    I know who I am- I am a woman. Why do I need to change my body? My body is just what it is, a house of flesh and bone. My gender should be able to transcend it imo. :)

    I remember when I was 4 years old, I looked down at my penis, all poking out and shriveled. It looks nasty, it’s not supposed to be on me. Oh well. Atleast a lot of girls like it.


  16. Vanessa

    I love this post so much. It pretty much describes my thoughts on the deal. Most people who learn about my gender identity shoot right to the big question “Are you getting it chopped off?”

    No… I’m not. People on the street have no business knowing what I’m packing under my skirt or in my pants, unless I’m in some sort of relationship with that person, and being intimate


    Jessica replied:

    James Stockdale almost got it right when he said:
    “I believe that a woman owns her own body, and what she does with it is her own business, period.”

    A person owns their own body and what they do with it is their own business, period.


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