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  • Writer's picturetatebholden

My Identifiers and Being a Feminist

What’s My Name And How’d I Choose It

Tate Bellamy Holden

It’s simple really. Not all that exciting. I don’t know anyone by the name of Tate or Bellamy so they have no negative connotations for me. And I've never heard these names used to reference a person of ill repute as I have with my birth name. Every time I hear my birth name on TV or in movies it is someone who is a stripper, prostitute, or just generally slutty. I knew I didn’t want a popular name or a biblical name. I had heard both in different shows/movies; not really shows I’m a huge fan of, and liked the sound of them. Bellamy is my absolute favorite, but it is unisex. I've been advised by other transgender individuals to avoid ambiguously gendered first names because it can cause confusion if you are not clearly your desired gender. To me they both sound dignified without being snooty. Tate means "cheerful" and Bellamy means "fine friend." That sounds pleasant enough. I also like the sound of a short first name, I guess because my birth name was pretty short. And it can’t be shortened any farther. That’s not to say I don’t have nicknames. My friends have for a long time called me Hambone or Ham. And now I guess I can be Tater, too. Ham and taters, a whole meal. *wink


My Preferred Pronouns

He/Him

It still sounds weird, and I’m sure it feels weird for others to say it, because I’m still so obviously female in appearance. But eventually, hopefully, it will make more sense to use these pronouns, like after I grow a beard and have the tatas removed.


My Gender

Trans masc, trans male, trans man. Any of that works. I know I will never be a “real” man, and I’m pretty queer or gender fluid. I will be alright with the idea of always identifying with a third gender. I have no delusions of grandeur.


My Sex

As far as I know I’m just your average XX woman. Though I’ve often thought of getting my genes parsed to know for sure, and to find out more about potential health susceptibilities. Someone wanna give me $200 to get that done?


My Orientation

I guess I’m pansexual. That's similar to bisexual, but has a more descriptive definition. It means I'm attracted to people regardless of their sex OR gender. I don’t really think about a person’s plumbing or gender when I’m trying to decide if I think they are attractive or if I think I could love them. I don’t see what the big deal is. I could be attracted to gay men, straight women, a queer trans person, whatever. And, myth busting time, being pansexual does not mean I’m promiscuous and will sleep with anyone. I’ve only ever been with two people in my whole life and both of them were long term partners, one for almost eight years and the other for three years and currently. I’m 34. That’s a miracle.


Because I am so early in the transition process I don’t really anticipate people using these identifiers much. However, in about four or five months, my voice should be dropping, hopefully I will have top surgery and I will be getting the paperwork necessary to change everything legally.


Does being a trans man mean I’m not a feminist?

So, I’m turning my back on my assigned gender, seeking out male hormones so I can pass as male, and having my chest cushions extracted. I must not think highly of women, hu? Wrong. I’m not anti-feminist. I love women and fight for their rights. No, I am not trying to escape the difficulties that come along with being a woman. No, I don’t think men are better. Besides it’s much more difficult to be trans than female. I mean at some point in the transition process every transgender person is going to be female. Then add to that all the hate people have for trans people, the legal difficulties, the fear of being discovered. You’re welcome to disagree. I invite your comments on the matter.

How do you know you won’t become misogynist?

I don’t THINK I suffer from toxic masculinity, which can very easily be a problem for trans men, surprisingly enough. I will admit it that I don’t like seeing women reduce their bodies to a form of currency. It makes me distrust them, think less of them. I think that actually proves that I am a feminist, though I shouldn’t be looking down on them. It’s not their fault. I am infuriated by the fact that society has taught women that if they want love and security they have to make their reproductive organs available and the whole package perfect. It’s disgusting. And I’m not innocent. There was a brief time in my life when I believed my only value was my sex, and it wreaked havoc on my health, mentally and physically.

Time Magazine did a very insightful piece about the sexism that trans men are witness to. Becoming trans helped them see the discrepancies in the workplace and allowed them to see other men in ways that they would not if a woman was present. Check it out here.

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