Accepting my

masculinity

I'm really elated. I finally feel like I could be a man, like it's
not solely a culture that I hate, like nobody can say "men don't do that!"
about something that I do or am. It's okay now for me to be trans without
betraying myself. 

Dear Ms. Magazine,

Due greatly to your magazine's existence over the past 25 years, I was lucky enough to grow up with the strongest feminist identity of any eight-year-old -- or forty-year-old -- on my block. I knew that women were wonderful. I loved that fish didn't need bicycles. I grew to love lesbian culture long before realizing I was gay. By the time I was a teenager, I could deconstruct mass media with the best of them. It was a good way to grow up.

As I Iearned about lesbians, and then about bisexuality, and then about transgendered people, I recognized that perhaps I was more of a byke (bi-identified dyke - let's just say a 4.5 on the Richter, I mean Kinsey, scale) and that I struck myself as being a bit transgendered.

While I think it's a bit easier to be female-to-male transgendered in our society than male-to-female (it's more acceptable and easier to "pass"), I found myself hopelessly confused by one thing. How could I ever be part of a culture I hated so much? The radical queer activist in me had trouble finding any man who hadn't been socialized into some degree of sexism or unaware male privilege, and male mass culture seems to be even worse. How could I ever leave the sex-positive, queer-friendly, socially conscious, progressive feminist culture I'd found and wrapped myself in, and become that which I hated?

Ms. to the rescue! In the checkout line at my Berkeley grocery store, I spotted your "Do Men Get It?" cover story. Part of me was afraid the answer would be "no!" but I grabbed it anyway. I needed something to tell me feminism was winning. And you did. "Man Talk: Listening in while seven men discuss women, feminism, fatherhood and masculinity" told me that I was okay - that at least some men are aware, and particularly that even men talking to other men could not define masculinity, "Real Men Join the Movement" gave me lots of options for what kind of man to be. Now I know that it's okay for me to be myself without violating some essnetial boundary that will let people try yet again to define my gender for me. Women have had to put up with that for millennia, and still do; I know I can't escape it, but now I can defend myself.

Who ever thought that an anniversary issue of Ms. magazine where men "take their own pulses" would teach one of its women readers to accept herself as a man?

							With Love, 
						Danica/Aidan Nuccitelli