How Manly is Man Enough?

“These pains you feel are messengers, listen to them.”


No doubt my body has changed but testosterone will never completely eradicate my insecurities nor will it give anybody the ideal, perfect male physique.  Testosterone will never narrow my wide hips that developed during puberty.  Fat redistribution was more subtle than I envisioned prior to starting testosterone so accepting a more feminine body shape is still a daily intention. 

At the time of writing this, I have been on testosterone for a year and 8 months.

My voice never got as deep as I hoped. Tall is something I’m not and correct male parts are a dream.  All these things lead to a nagging insecurity that I am not “man enough”. 

Weight lifting has been the 1 thing that I can control.  Subconsciously I operate under the belief that the more muscular I am, the sexier my body and in part, that makes up for the “manly things” I lack.  Needless to say, I have been very psychologically attached to my weight lifting routine.  When I don’t go, my confidence in how I present myself as a man wanes- if I skip workouts, I’ll lose my gains and be less of a man, I fear- or so says the voice in my head.

Our culture values muscular men more than skinny men, or at least conveys them as more attractive in the media.  We are bombarded with positive images of super muscular men and the attention of the googly-eyed women around them.  Commercials and advertisements of weight lifting supplements, testosterone boosters, and hyper masculinity infiltrate our psyche.  

There’s more.  As a society and a culture, we value physical appearance so much more than the inner body.  We are obsessed with beauty, youth, and bodily perfection.  Lately, in the gym, I have become disillusioned with this obsession with the superficial body.  I see people killing themselves- pushing their bodies past their limits, trying to outdo the next guy, praising the latest fad diet, flaunting their tiny shorts and big packages.  My spirt has been wanting to remove myself from this superficial atmosphere and the reluctance and internal battle that ensues goes to show how deeply engrained society’s values are within me.

Being trans has gifted me a greater opportunity to choose every day what kind of person I want to be. Turns out, I have complete control over what thoughts I choose to believe.

End judgement.  The “looks” of the outer body only serve to house the spirit, the soul and the invisible, miraculous workings of our bodily systems that give us life.  The fact that I (in part) reduce my self-worth to how manly (or not) I look, begs me to question everything about myself and the society in which I live; my heart wants to shun this superficial importance on beauty and youth.

There is so much suffering in the world and so many people who are immensely less fortunate than me.  I choose that my spiritual energy goes to helping others rather than worrying about a perfect body or living up to society’s ideals.  I challenge myself to let go of society’s pressures of beauty and my own subconscious demons to follow this pull towards more spiritual living.  By accepting my body as a unique work of art, I refuse to contribute to the epidemic of obsession with idealistic beauty.  With bold brush strokes, I decorate this human masterpiece on a canvas of androgyny that the universe so graciously gifted me.

Published by Christian

I am a Certified Life Coach at Out and Proud Life Coaching, LLC. I started out helping transgender individuals and their parents through all stages of transition. As a master of change, I have now expanded to also work with people who have a nagging feeling that they want something more out of life but are hindered by fear of change, transition, or difficult decisions. Please visit to subscribe to my newsletter or sign up for a free 30-minutes session so you can experience what coaching feels like!

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