Lachlan was born with a vagina. His is the story of how a boy learned to be a girl, then learned to be invisible, then a lesbian, before learning that he could just be who he was all along, except that it’s still … complicated.

In this super-sized episode…

Lachlan is a 41-year-old transgender man. He describes himself as white, straight-ish, monogamish and single. He describes his body as a round, cuddly bear.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)

LEAH: Hey friends. 2020 has been such a challenging year and I got to tell you, I am exhausted. So I’ve decided to take the next few weeks off. Don’t worry. We’ll be back with new episodes in January but until then, I hope you have a very happy and healthy holiday season and as my gift to you, enjoy this extra long conversation with Lachlan. I’ll talk to you soon.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I’m sex educator and sexual communication coach Leah Carey and this is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experienced. I have faith in your ability to deal with things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Hey friends. You know I love all of the interviews that I do for this podcast. And then, once in a while, a kind of kismet happens, an interview that feels like a special gift. There’s a different kind of energy between me and the guest that feels electric. Today, this is one of those. In fact, it’s so good that you may have noticed that it’s twice as long as a regular episode. That’s because there is absolutely no piece of this interview that I wanted to cut or even split out for Patreon. It’s just that good!

So Protip, if you need to split your listening over several sessions to digest it all, do it! Okay. Let’s dive in.

Lachlan is a listener to the show and let me know that he would be interested in doing an interview. Lachlan was born with a vagina, was socialized as a little girl, and lived as a lesbian woman. He always felt like he was in the wrong body but had little exposure to the idea that transgender was a thing or would be an option for him.

At age 29, he began transitioning to become the transgender man he is today. He came out to his family, did the counseling required for gender transition, started testosterone, and had top surgery. Today, twelve years later, he presents fully male and said that he passes as a cisgender male a hundred percent of the time.

In this conversation, we cover everything. The feelings he had as a child about being a little girl, his first sexual experiences in college and how they felt to him, identifying as a butch lesbian in his twenties and everything that has happened since transitioning, including having to rediscover how to have sex. We also talk about what it’s like to go into a men’s public bathroom, how he thinks his life would have been different if he’d been able to go on to hormonal blockers before hitting puberty, and so much more.

Lachlan is a forty-one year old transgender man. He describes himself as white, straight-ish, monoga-mish, and single. He describes his body as a round cuddly bear. I am so pleased to introduce Lachlan!

Thank you so much for being with me today. I’m really excited to have this conversation with you.

LACHLAN: Thanks for having me. I’m excited but also nervous.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That is entirely appropriate.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So just to sort of give people a little background, you are a listener to the show and I always love it when listeners come forward to be interviewed. You are also a transgender man and so I want to just let people know before we even get into this conversation that you have given me permission to ask you some really personal questions that in general are not appropriate to ask of our trans friends without their consent and explicit permission.

LACHLAN: Yes, for sure.

LEAH: Okay.

LACHLAN: I’m more on the line that, this is my personal opinion, I want people to ask me questions because I would rather have the information come from me than have somebody go to Google and google “transgender” and get some possibly false or damaging information.

LEAH: Sure. Yeah. I think that’s really generous and kind of you and I also want to be really clear with listeners who don’t necessarily have the same exposure to a community of transgender people that not everyone feels the way that you do. So it’s important to know before you ask questions whether those questions are welcome or not.

LACHLAN: Yes. Thank you so much for saying that. That is very true.

LEAH: Okay. All right, well let’s dive in! So the first question that I ask everyone is what is your first memory of sexual desire?

LACHLAN: This is a hard question for me to answer. For me, sexual desire has always been wrapped up in gender. And I knew from a very young age that the gender that I was born with, which is female, is not something that I felt that that was appropriate or that was accurate for what I felt inside. And I knew from a very young age that I was attracted to other little girls.

LEAH: When you say very young age, how young are we talking?

LACHLAN: I mean, I remember the first sort of crush that I had on a girl was elementary school. So seven, eight, nine, somewhere in there. A feeling that, “Oh, I really like this!” Her name was Faith.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: You got to have some faith.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: And I just remember wanting to always stand near her. In elementary school, you have to line up and I just remember, “Oh, I want to stand right behind her and be close to her!” And feeling what I guess now you would label as attraction. Of course when you’re that young, you don’t really understand what that means. And I also understood that that was probably not normal. That was not appropriate.

Growing up in that age there was no term for those kinds of feelings. “Gay” was not really a term, “lesbian” was not even a term, let alone “transgender”. I mean that was not even anywhere in my sphere of that even being something that was a term.

LEAH: Sure. I think the term that we had where I grew up in New England was “fag”. That was the only thing and I don’t even think the kids really understood what the word “fag” meant. They just knew it was an insult.

LACHLAN: Yeah. I would agree with that. I almost think “sissy” was probably another term that got kind of banded around. But I didn’t really understand that that is sort of what the feelings I had were associated with that, but knowing that the feelings that I had were not appropriate.

LEAH: How was your gender expressed as a small child? Were you dressing yourself up or being dressed up in really girly clothes or more in “tomboyish” clothes and your activities and all of that?

LACHLAN: Yeah. I was very much a tomboy. When I was in elementary school and younger, I hung out with a lot of guys. I honestly thought I was one of the guys. I went through a phase of where I tried to pee standing up. So every time I would go to the bathroom in our house, I’d try to stand over and I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do it. I didn’t understand that I didn’t have a penis like that was something that I didn’t have. I sort of thought, “Oh. I’ll grow into it.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Oh, wow. And where did you even know? Like did you have male siblings who you learned what penis was from them?

LACHLAN: No. So I have an older sister and I feel like I learned it from those kinds of male friends, little boys that I hung out with. I just remember we were going to a birthday party and it was all little boys and me, and we were like climbing trees and out in the woods and doing all these, I guess now, very masculine things, but not understanding at the time that I was the only girl there. And at one point, they all went to the edge of the woods to pee. So they all stood at the edge, opened their flies, took out their penises and peed. And I was like, “That’s weird. I don’t do that.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: And not understanding that I didn’t have the same parts that they had.

LEAH: It’s so interesting what you just said caught me a little bit. I now understand that those were boy activities but they’re only boy activities because we gender our children so hard on such a binary. Why is climbing things not a cool girl activity? And it’s because we expect different things from our little girls.

LACHLAN: Absolutely. I have to say my parents though I never felt a lot of pressure from them at that age that I needed to conform. They never had to put me in dresses if I didn’t want to. They allowed me to sort of explore that tomboy phase but I always think, again, from where we grew up, being trans was never even a thought in anybody’s mind. You were just a tomboy like that was the acceptable line of where you could go for gender and still be a little girl.

I will say that changed for me at one particular birthday party. This was my maybe eighth or ninth birthday and we had a big party at my house. My birthday is in June. It’s a summer party, so it’s in the summer and all your relatives come to your house and I remember dressing up in this white button up shirt and I had a very short hair cut and I put a little bow tie on.

I felt so handsome. I felt like, “Great! It’s my birthday. I’m dressed exactly how I want and I’m so handsome!” And people showed up and one of my aunts showed up and she said hi to me and she did not recognize me at all. So she didn’t say happy birthday to me. She just had no recognition except when my mom was like, “Oh, this is, you know, me.” And she was like, “Oh.” And the look on her face was devastating. She said, “Why are you dressed like that? That is not how little girls dress.” And then she turned to my mom and like, “Why are you letting her dress like this?” And that was devastating.

LEAH: Yeah. Did you stay dressed like that or did you go up and change?

LACHLAN: I remember I left. I went to my room and I just remember crying about it and not really understanding why I was so devastated. I honestly don’t have any memory about if I changed after that or what happened but I just remember feeling a lot of shame and that really affected how I interacted after that. I really understood that there’s a very clear line with gender that if I’m going to be a girl, if I’m going to present as a girl, I now have to figure out what that means to pass in society as a girl.

LEAH: And so what did you figure out? What did you do in order to “pass as a little girl”?

LACHLAN: So that’s where I grew my hair out long even though I did not want long hair. I was never a dress wearer so I never went really feminine but I certainly went to where I stopped wearing more boyish clothes. I stopped shopping in the boys’ sections in stores and started shopping in the girls’ section. I remember going from wearing t-shirts. In high school, I bought some blouses. I have to say blouses are not even a thing anymore but back in the day, that’s what girls wore.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: That’s what it was.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I’ve already dated myself just by saying blouse.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: Yeah. So that was sort of suppressing any feelings I had towards other women.

LEAH: So I want to go back and pick up one thing and this is not exactly a question for you but it’s something I want to explain for people who may not be familiar with this kind of conversation. A moment ago you said, your mother came in the room and said, “This is-“and I saw you pause for a second and you said, “Me.” And it’s because at that point in your life, I assume you had a female gendered name that you no longer use. And I guess the question is do you even relate to that person anymore? I imagine that that name might come with some pain for you. Does that feel like a completely different person or is it still really clearly you?

LACHLAN: It still feels very clearly like it’s me but not that name anymore. So there’s a time when you start to transition and you change your name. Hearing that name in public even if it’s not directed towards me, just hearing that name out in public, you still have a reaction to it because it’s the name you’ve been called for a very long time.

I transitioned when I was twenty-nine, thirty was when I started. And we have our own conditioning to do even though I never felt necessarily like that name which was feminine was me, it still was the name that you’re used to. We have some own conditioning to do to kind of get used to be called something else.

LEAH: Yeah. Okay. So I just jumped us way ahead in the timeline.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So let’s back up. So sounds like maybe in your tween years, you’re buying blouses.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And at what point did you in here did you discover masturbation? Did you discover your own body and what was that like for you?

LACHLAN: No, I did not. I feel like in that sort of high school, maybe middle school, high school age, their hormones are starting to kick up and they’re making choices to start pairing off. I was a little bit interested in that where I remember going to a dance with a boy but never feeling like this is right. It never felt like this is what I really want to be doing. It was just what I’m doing because it is expected of me.

And around that time, I didn’t understand the gender stuff but I knew that I really only wanted to date women, which wasn’t in my mind allowed at that point, and I really wanted a penis, which I did not have. For me, sex was pretty much off the table. I pretty much decided that I would live the rest of my life never having sex. And the way I dealt with that was that I had a very active fantasy life, a very active inner fantasy world that I had created around being somebody else.

LEAH: And that was a male person who had a penis?

LACHLAN: Yeah, very much. So I had created this whole, I would term it now an avatar. That’s not what I would have thought of it as but that’s basically what it is. I created a whole avatar for myself in this fantasy world that was completely my inner world so I was male. I was handsome. I was tall. I had a penis. I was outgoing. I played football. I had all of these ideal things that I wanted that I put in this avatar and I lived in that fantasy world.

LEAH: So you talked about sort of the physical characteristics that this avatar had. What were his personality characteristics? Was he aggressive? Was he sweet? Where did he fall in that spectrum?

LACHLAN: I’ll give you an example of who I would model him after.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: This is going to be sort of a 80s, 90s reference for people. Do you know MacGyver? Did you ever watch that show MacGyver ?

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah.

LACHLAN: So that was sort of the model I feel like I would have. Somebody that was resourceful and knowledgeable and took charge but also was not only confident, empathetic was not quite the word, but sweet, nice, helpful. Those things as well where people really looked up to him and he was the person getting shit done.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. I love that.

LACHLAN: So that was sort of the model that I have.

LEAH: So in your fantasy life, you are living, presenting as a masculine take charge kind of guy. In your “real life”, how were you presenting? What was the personality that you were showing to the world? What was the gendered expression that you were showing to the world?

LACHLAN: I was basically trying to be as invisible as possible in the real world. I was trying to be as neutral as possible but more on the feminine side of neutral than anything. So I was never really feminine. I also tried not doing anything that was very masculine. So I was very much a people pleaser.

I would very much walk in to any room and really read the room about how I needed to act so that nobody would question anything. I just remember being very much on guard. It’s also why I never drank or did any drugs when I was younger. I mean I didn’t even have a sip of alcohol until I was in college and that was because I knew deep down that I had a very large secret that I did not want anybody to know.

LEAH: Had you put a term on it yet or had you just think, “I’m weird and crazy and not normal”?

LACHLAN: I didn’t have a term for it. I mean transgender was not even a term that came into my life until very, very late. What I knew was in my fantasies, when I was male, that’s what I really wanted. But I also knew that I could never be that. And so that was something that I could never tell anybody because I just knew deep down that that was not right because there was nobody in my life. I didn’t have any examples whether it’s media, real life, any sort of example of what this could be.

LEAH: It sounds like an incredibly painful way to live.

LACHLAN: It was really lonely. And I struggle with that still now. I mean having to live most of my childhood and most of my formative years just being alone.

LEAH: That has long term effects.

LACHLAN: Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. I’m sorry. So it sounds like you did not interact with your genitals at all. Is that correct?

LACHLAN: Yeah. That’s correct like I had no interest.

LEAH: At what point did you? Did it not happen until after transition?

LACHLAN: No. It happened when I got together with my first girlfriend so that was the first time that I started exploring those things. I was twenty one and she was the person who actually introduced me to masturbation.

LEAH: Oh, really?

LACHLAN: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: It just didn’t occur to me that the genitals that I had could give me any pleasure.

LEAH: Wow.

LACHLAN: Yeah.

LEAH: And so when you discovered masturbation, what was that for you? Were you like, “Oh, I have a new toy and I want to play with it all the time!” or was it like, “Yeah. Okay. That’s a thing.”?

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: No, it wasn’t, “Oh, I have a new toy and I want to play with it all the time.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I feel like I had years to make up for it.

LEAH: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Okay. So I’m going to ask you an explicit question which you can choose to answer or not. When you discovered masturbation, was it an entirely external thing or did you also enjoy internal sensations?

LACHLAN: It was only external. Yeah. So it was sort of the way I think my mind could tolerate it. It was sort of the way that I am stimulating the clit. It could get a little bit bigger so it felt like that sort of like it could grow. I will also say something more explicit if you don’t mind.

LEAH: Yeah. Please do.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: So also with this girlfriend, once we started actually having sex and started that. A couple of sessions into having sex kind of for the first times, I didn’t actually know because I’d never masturbated what an orgasm would be. And this also again was the time before the Internet where you could just have easy access to porn and what an orgasm in the female body would look like. The only thing I knew is male orgasms where when you orgasm, something comes out like you have that ejaculate that comes out.

So maybe the second time that we had sex, in my mind, to have an orgasm, you have to ejaculate. And so as I approached my orgasm, in my mind, okay this is happening, and that sort of buildup of that orgasm. And what I know now is that I squirted. And neither of us knew what it was.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So how did you respond to that? I mean I’m imagining for you maybe it was like, “Yes! I can do the thing!” but what was it like for her?

LACHLAN: Yeah, really, so for me I was like, “Yes! I did the thing where I ejaculated like the thing that I really wanted to do. It happened!” But neither of us knew what had happened like we both thought I had peed. We both thought it was urine, but it didn’t smell like urine. So then you have this moment like, “What’s going on?” And it happened again. It happened maybe two or three times and she kept on having a weird reaction to it and so I realized again, “Oh. That’s not normal.”

LEAH: Yeah. Oh, God.

LACHLAN: Whatever reason, mentally, I stopped doing it and now, I actually don’t do it anymore.

LEAH: Do you miss it?

LACHLAN: I honestly don’t have an idea.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: Yeah. I don’t know.

LEAH: So, okay. How the hell do I ask this question? So it sounds like you didn’t have a lot of exposure to what sex was or what it looked like in general, then you put two female bodies together and you wished you had a penis. What was sex between the two of you like how did the two of you have sex?

LACHLAN: Yeah, it was confusing for me at first.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: Because I couldn’t have sex the way that I really wanted to have sex. So I wanted to penetrate because that’s how I’ve always wanted to have sex. So we explored. I would also say that this girlfriend had a very traumatic sexual history that also affected our sex life and how we had sex as well. And so we were navigating her history and my complete inexperience and having no idea what even options are.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: So it was definitely a little bit confusing at first and tricky and we tried playing with some dildos. We never played with strap-ons. And we tried where she would penetrate me and I did not like it. I didn’t feel anything. It’s not like I felt. My body just completely didn’t feel anything at all.

LEAH: Wow. So it’s like your body, your brain shut off access to that feeling of sensation?

LACHLAN: Yeah.

LEAH: And what if she stimulated you externally?

LACHLAN: It would feel good but I could only come to an orgasm by me stimulating myself.

[MUSIC]

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[MUSIC]

LEAH: How long did this relationship go on?

LACHLAN: We were dating for about two years.

LEAH: That’s a long time.

LACHLAN: Yeah. I would say a long-term relationship.

LEAH: And did she ever, at any point, have any knowledge of your fantasy life?

LACHLAN: No. I never disclose that. I also never disclose any thoughts that I might even be having about gender like that wasn’t really even in my own consciousness. It was just something that was just there but never really acknowledged.

LEAH: Yeah. So at this point had you taken on the sort of self-identification of lesbian?

LACHLAN: Yes, very much. So this was pretty much, once I’ve identified as a lesbian, I would call myself a butch dyke.  I went into that realm because that gave me access to present more masculine in a safer environment where in that label of lesbian, you can be found, you can be butch, there was more gender play. And I very much went into that to the point where I went to a store and if somebody from behind me called me “Sir”, I was like super happy.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: This reminds me of, this was a long time ago probably back in the 90s, reading a book that I think as called Stone Butch, something like that. And it was a butch dyke who, I think it was a novel I don’t think that it was a memoir, in the story this person never wanted to have her genitals interacted with at all. She only wanted to give pleasure to her partner and at the time, I remember thinking, “Oh, is that what lesbians are like?” Because at this point I knew I was interested in women but I never had any specific experience myself and so I thought, “Oh, maybe this was what lesbians do.” One of them gives and one of them receives the end. And it’s only now that I’m beginning to realize, “Oh. She maybe was a transgender person who didn’t have access to that language or that lifestyle or any of it.” Because at that point, it wasn’t available.

LACHLAN: Wow. That is just so my story as well.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: After we finished this conversation, I looked up the book I mentioned. It’s been many years since I read it so I had some of the details wrong. The novel was titled Stone Butch Blues and the author Leslie Feinberg. While it does explore the “stone butch” lesbian identity, it also explores themes and actions that we would today associate with transgender identity and transitioning. I remember it being a difficult book to read, but it has also stuck with me for over twenty years so I am inclined to go back and read it again at some point soon. Leslie Feinberg passed away in 2014 but before her death, she made a free PDF available at https://www.lesliefeinberg.net/

I’ll put that link on the show notes. And now let’s go back to the interview.

LACHLAN: After that first girlfriend, my second girlfriend, which was very soon right after that first one, she did not identify as a lesbian before we got together. And so, it became acceptable that she didn’t touch me sexually at all. She never touched my genitals. It was always me giving to her and I was completely fine with that because at that time, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want people touching my genitals.

LEAH: So we’ve talked a lot about your genitals, what about your breasts?

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I had absolutely no thoughts. Well actually, I had no positive thoughts about my breasts. Unfortunately, I had very large breasts. I had double D’s which was probably more like triple D’s or F’s. So they were large but they were, “Ugh.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: They got in the way a lot.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: They got in the way a lot. I used to think when I didn’t know what trans was, I had a thought that if I could only have breast reduction, I would be okay. Again, I kept on looking for these things that would be acceptable like normal for a girl to do, a woman to do, that society would still accept that but that would get me closer I think to where I wanted to be. So I always had this thought in my mind of when I got a bit older or when I got a little bit more money, then I would have this breast reduction and that would be okay.

LEAH: What do you think about that now? If you had gotten a breast reduction, how would that have gone over for you?

LACHLAN: This is what’s interesting. This is actually the thing that pushed me over the edge is that there was this time where I lost a lot of weight and so I’ve always been overweight. So I lost a lot of weight and my breast size did reduce and I was still unhappy with them and it was at that point that pushed me to realize this is more than just, “Oh. I’m unhappy about my body. I’m unhappy about my breasts.” This is the thing that pushed me that it was literally about my gender.

LEAH: How old were you when that happened?

LACHLAN: So that was when I was twenty-eight.

LEAH: Had you at that point been exposed to the idea of transgender or did you have to go out and look for it?

LACHLAN: So I’ve been exposed to it and I had rejected it. It was one of those things where it was too real for me at that point. I just didn’t think I could ever do it.

LEAH: When you heard there’s the possibility of living as a man presenting as a man, what did you think it was going to entail and is it what you actually experienced or is there a lot of mythology in there?

LACHLAN: Well I think the first time that I was exposed to it was right after college. So I had come out even as a lesbian at that point at twenty one and then I graduated. I was living in Burlington, Vermont, which is more progressive. I don’t know if you know that area, that progressive beautiful area. And I was at this gay bar with some really good friends and her friend, or person she knew, came up looking right in that middle between masculine and feminine. And they were really happy talking about some drug that they had just started and I wasn’t really sure about what they were talking about and I very particularly remember them saying, “Look. I’m starting to get chin hair.” And really pointing out their chin hair. And when they left, my friend was like, “Oh, yeah. He’s really happy. He’s started transition.” And I was like, “What? That’s not even a thing. That’s not even possible.” And I remember it freaking me out so much because they didn’t look masculine enough to me.

LEAH: Oh, because they had just started their transition.

LACHLAN: Exactly.

LEAH: Wow. So this was sort of your marker of what a transperson looks like?

LACHLAN: Yes.

LEAH: Interesting.

LACHLAN: And I started getting exposed to, from going to gay clubs, drag queens and that was the other thought in my mind of what trans meant at that point. Again, trans wasn’t even the vocabulary that was used. That wasn’t even the vocabulary available at that point, but looking at somebody who moved genders, or played with gender norms. All I saw were those extremes so drag queens especially and then being exposed to a person who was very early transitioning and so both of those options weren’t viable for me at the time.

LEAH: So now you’re in your late 20s. You’ve lived seven, eight, nine years as a lesbian and you come to the moment where you’re like, “Oh. This is a gender thing, not a sexuality thing.” What happens in your brain around that? Was that really scary or did it feel like a relief?

LACHLAN: I think the realization was a relief. Having to tell people in my life and actually acknowledge it to other people was what was really scary. I think this happens with a lot of transpeople and people that are coming out as well but for me especially, before I came out to my parents, I had come out to friends. I had actually started transitioning before I told my parents. And when I told them, the reason that I told them was because I had made peace with the fact that I might not ever speak to them again. I had to come to terms with the fact that I would probably lose my entire family.

LEAH: Wow. And how did they respond?

LACHLAN: My parents were still together. My dad has passed but they were together that whole time but my dad and I never had a good relationship so I chose to tell my sister and my mom. And I had called them and said, “I need to tell you something. I don’t want dad to be there so he like needs to leave the house.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: So clearly, it was like a big thing. They knew something was coming. So I go over there and my mom was there. My sister wasn’t there yet. She was on her way. And so my mom knows something is coming so she starts guessing. And so she’s guessing and I was with a girlfriend at that time. I was in a serious relationship we were living together so her guesses started being, “Are you getting married? Are you pregnant? Is she pregnant? Did one of you decide to have a baby?” And then she paused and she looked at me and she said, “Do you think that you’re a boy?” She just knew. If you really looked at my history, the signs are there. So I didn’t really have a chance. I had written this letter, right? Like I’m going to read them this thing.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I didn’t even have the chance to do that because she had just guessed it. So she immediately just started crying. She was really, really upset. And she asked me to leave, which was really difficult. Because my mom, when I came out as a lesbian to my mom, she cried a little bit but she just was like, “Oh. I knew I’m just worried about you.” This was definitely a much stronger reaction when she asked me to leave.

LEAH: How did it feel, not the part about leaving because that would be devastating, but how did it feel to just have that honesty with her finally?

LACHLAN: It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And it’s something that needed to be done but at that time, I did not feel good about it. I felt like I pulled the rug out from under them.

LEAH: And what about your sister? How did she respond?

LACHLAN: At that moment when my mom was just crying and asked me to leave and she left. My sister was just in shock and didn’t have any response at that point.

LEAH: So at that point makes it sound like there were further developments.

LACHLAN: My mom called me the next day and said, “I’m sorry about that reaction. It just really took me by surprise and I love you and I support you no matter what.” And so we talked about this later but she’s mourning the loss of the daughter.

LEAH: Sure. Which I have to say as profoundly difficult as that would be, your position also makes sense to me like we experience people in a certain way. As much as we want to pretend that we live without expectations, that’s crap. None of us do. And so we do have to go through that process of re-adjusting our expectation and re-understanding things. And that’s hard and we don’t always handle it well.

LACHLAN: Yeah and that’s the thing I so realize, especially for her, is you have to have that sort of mourning period like that is okay to have that. That’s okay to feel grief about feeling this loss. This is the thing about gender. We so put expectations on gender and so I feel like a lot of the grief is wrapped up in those expectations of what having a daughter means. Because I haven’t changed, I mean, yes, I’ve changed but the core of me hasn’t changed.

LEAH: I assume your father found out at some point.

LACHLAN: He did. My mom told him that night because she had to because my mom is not a crier like that. She’s a very positive, optimistic person. She hardly gets flustered or in a state like that. So when he came home and she was devastated, she had to tell him why. She couldn’t just be like, “Oh. It’s nothing.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: He passed away five or six years ago. We never had a discussion about me being trans. I actually never said to him that I was trans.

LEAH: Even as you started to present in a masculine way?

LACHLAN: Yeah.

LEAH: Wow. That’s a lot. So let’s talk about the actual transition itself. What was the first thing that you did? What does transition actually look like for you?

LACHLAN: Yeah, so transition usually is that you start therapy first.

LEAH: By that you mean like talk therapy not drug therapy?

LACHLAN: Correct. Yeah. Back then, you had to be in therapy for a certain amount of time before you could start any physical or medication transition. So that’s where I started finding a therapist and talking to them.

LEAH: And was that a positive experience for you?

LACHLAN: I would say it was positive but it felt like at that point I had already made up my mind. I had already knew that this was what I wanted so, I hate to say this but at the time, it felt like a gatekeeper. It felt like I had to jump through all of these hoops just to prove to somebody that I was who I was. I felt like I had to be really careful about what I said because they were dangling this note that I needed to get for me to actually start medically transitioning.

LEAH: So when you started medically transitioning, hormones were first?

LACHLAN: Yes. So that’s the first thing I started was testosterone.

LEAH: And what was that like for you?

LACHLAN: It was amazing!

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yay!

LACHLAN: I always joke that I have two birthdays. So I have my birthday that I was born and I have my birthday when I started testosterone because I really felt like this was my second birth. When you start, there are things that happen quicker than others. And each of those milestones are, “Yay! Something has happened!”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So what were some of those milestones and how long did they take?

LACHLAN: So one of the first things that happened for me is that it stops your period, so it stops your menstruation. So testosterone will override your estrogen, which was amazing!

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: Amazing!

LEAH: And this is something that we hadn’t talked about. How was getting your period for you because that’s such a visible tangible reminder of your “femaleness”? How was that for you?

LACHLAN: Oh, it was terrible. Terrrible. Terrible. I used to get pretty intense cramps but it also is just, “Ugh.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: In a way, it felt like this was not my body.

LEAH: Yeah. All right. So it stops your periods. Whoohoo!

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: That was one very amazing time.

LEAH: Nice. What happened next?

LACHLAN: Then for me, I started getting a little bit of hair growth. So I started getting a little bit of sideburns. They’re the first ones that came in. Then your voice starts to drop. And so people think you have a cold because your voice gets a little bit deeper and I started testosterone before I told my parents and before my family knew and I had gone home. So I also started binding. They actually had binders, but wearing a binder around my chest so that it would flatten my breasts so that I would have a more kind of flat profile. So I went home to a family party and I wore the binder and my voice started to drop and I just remember at that part everybody kept asking me if I had a cold.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: And I kept on having to say, “Yes. I’m getting over a cold.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Wow. Were you working during this time?

LACHLAN: I was.

LEAH: And did they know that you were transitioning?

LACHLAN: Yes. I was actually a massage therapist at the time. I had just started working at a new place. And so I had to go to my boss and tell her that I’m transitioning, that we also need to tell clients that I’m transitioning, and she was amazing about it.  Probably the best boss I could have had for that process.

LEAH: That’s wonderful.

LACHLAN: Yeah. She was like, “Let’s put together a letter. I want to have my friend who works at [unintelligible] – 52:09 look at it to make sure that the wording is really good.”

LEAH: Oh, wow.

LACHLAN: Yeah. It was really amazing.

LEAH: Awesome. I’m really glad that you had that support. That’s incredible.

LACHLAN: That felt very supportive, helpful. I mean, it was just really nice.

LEAH: Yeah. So going back to the guy who you had met in the bar ten years earlier who had his little chin whiskers that were coming in, how long did it take for you to get the facial hair that you felt really marked you as masculine or male?

LACHLAN: Well full facial hair takes a long time. So your listeners can’t see me but I do have a full beard and mustache. That takes a while to sort of really grow in. Basically, you’re going through puberty. So think of just a teenage boy going through puberty, right?

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: Patchy mustache, patchy sideburns, patchy chin hair like that all happens. You get the acne because you’re going through puberty again so all of that. Your sex drive gets increased.

LEAH: That’s what I was going to ask. I think you said when you started transitioning, you were in a relationship. How supportive was your partner of you transitioning?

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: She was really supportive of me but she really identified as a lesbian. And so she really struggled with what that would mean with me transitioning and us being out in public and what that would look like. So she would no longer look like a lesbian. And we did not have the communication skills to navigate that. So she would say things to me like, “Okay. You’re transitioning. Great. I’m so happy for you but I don’t want you to have facial hair.” And I’m like, “But that’s what I really want.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I really want facial hair.

LEAH: Yeah. So how long did that relationship last?

LACHLAN: Once I started transitioning, only about maybe nine or ten months after I started transitioning.

LEAH: So during those nine or ten months when you were still together and you were transitioning, did it affect your sex life? Did it affect how you experienced your body and interacted with your body?

LACHLAN: Yes and no. So yes in the sense that testosterone really can increase your sex drive. For me, it did. But I also had that dysphoria of I didn’t still have the parts that I want to have to have sex. We explored once with me wearing a blindfold and her touching my body and stimulating my clit. I actually call it my dick. Not to confuse people.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: No, I want to know what you call it. I think that’s important. Yeah.

LACHLAN: So I call it my dick and have her stimulate that and give me essentially a blowjob and I could let go a little bit. So it was sort of the best that I could let go, but it still wasn’t ideal. And before I got my breast removed, so top surgery, I would never take my shirt off to have sex because that was just not something I was interested in doing.

LEAH: My understanding is that when you start taking testosterone, the clit, the dick, whatever it is that you refer to it, does become enlarged. Is that correct?

LACHLAN: It does. Yes. So basically that can grow and again depending on the person as to how much that can grow. So that was helpful to get some of that but it’s still not the average dick size.

LEAH: I understand that there is bottom surgery for a transman available but I also understand, or my understanding is, that like you said, it’s not going to give you “average sized penis.” Have you had bottom surgery? Do you want to have bottom surgery? What’s your thinking there?

LACHLAN: So bottom surgery for transmen. There are two options. For me, neither of them are ideal and so, I have not had bottom surgery. I have recently started to think about, “Do I want it?” So one of the surgeries is they go in. So the clitoris is how it sits up in the hood is that there’s a ligament there. So they go in and they cut that so that it drops your existing genitalia out more. So that’s how you get it to be a little bit longer. And they can also reroute your urethra so that it goes through that and so you can pee standing up.

LEAH: When they cut those things, does that compromise the sensation that you have?

LACHLAN: With this one, that surgery, no. And so that’s why a lot of transmen will do that. However, some people maybe can get three inches but that’s like large. We’re talking one to two inches that you can get, which is if you want to penetrate somebody, that’s very difficult to penetrate with. So it’s still not ideal.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Because I’ve included the whole interview in this episode, there aren’t any deeper cuts at Patreon. However, because the episode is so long as it is, I have not included any of the lowdown questions. So you can get the full lowdown over at Patreon.com/GoodGirlsTalkAboutSex

In the lowdown, we learned about how Lachlan has learned how to use a strap-on and his recent realization that he might actually want to explore a sexual interaction with someone who has a penis. Audio extras are free to all at Patreon.com regardless of whether you are a financial contributor. If you have a few dollars to pledge in support of my work each month, I will gratefully accept. But if you don’t, I completely understand and I honor you for taking care of yourself. Remember, you can access the audio extras at Patreon.com/GoodGirlsTalkAboutSex

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And remember, if your finances are tight, but you still want to support the show, please tell a friend to listen. Send them your favorite episode and invite them to chat about it with you. Use this show as a jumping off point to deepen your own conversations around intimacy and sex. Now, let’s get back to Lachlan.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: You were about to start to talk about the second type of surgery.

LACHLAN: Yes. So the second type of surgery they actually make the shaft of your penis from other skin. So they either take it from your forearm or the inside of your thigh or the side of your ribcage essentially. And they take that skin off. First they put expanders underneath essentially to make your skin grow a little bit more and then they cut that part out and then they make a tube out of it. So they’re making a penis. Then that is large because I’ve seen some guys get like seven or eight inches long. And so they take that and they attach it. Usually for most guys, they want to embed the clitoris inside that. So they put it kind of like right on top of it.

However, it’s not erectile tissue, right? So it can’t get hard. You can’t actually penetrate with it without having more surgeries where they implant a device, basically a pump. You also get fashioned balls. So the outside of your vagina, the labia lips, they make those essentially into balls and then they implant. They kind of put a pump inside one of your balls, so you’re like pumping it up.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: This implant is actually really funny. It’s not made for transmen. It’s actually made for cis men that are impotent.

LEAH: Okay. So many questions.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I’m just going to turn on one of the which is you said that they fashion the labia into balls, so does that mean you no longer have a vaginal opening?

LACHLAN: That is also an option. It depends on the trans man if they want to do that or not. If you’re going to have, it’s called a vaginoplasty, if you’re going to have that you need to have all your reproductive organs taken out. So you need to have a full hysterectomy because once they close that opening, there’s no way for them to internally check the health of those organs. So you have to have all of that removed.

LEAH: So have you had a hysterectomy or do you still have all of your internal parts?

LACHLAN: I still have all of them, but it is something that I am, right now, considering that I really want to have that surgery.

LEAH: For gender reasons or for other health reasons?

LACHLAN: No. I’m having cramping. I’ve still had what I would consider period cramping sporadically but now it’s happening a little bit more. And so I also have to just for kind of health reasons. I also have a pap smear every two years because I still have those parts.

LEAH: And is that the only type of penetration that you have?

LACHLAN: Yes.

LEAH: And is that really difficult? I mean, it’s not pleasant for any of us.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But I imagine there might be an extra level of unpleasantness for you.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: Yeah. The first couple of times that I had it, I sort of grinned and bared it. Physically it hurt but also mentally, that was just really mentally exhausting to have to sit down like that and spread your legs on those stirrups. It felt very uncomfortable and very traumatizing.

The last time I had it done I ended up having a different doctor. I told her I don’t have penetrative sex. The last time that I’ve had it done it was very uncomfortable because I just think the speculum might have been too large, I’m not really sure. And so I said to her very explicitly like, “It hurts. I don’t have penetration. Is there a way to be more gentle?” And she was. I don’t know what she did different but it actually was fine.

LEAH: Okay. So let me tell you my quick story which is that pap smears were such a heinous experience. So horrible. I would often end up crying in the office until I went to a new doctor and this was a while. It was probably fifteen years ago. But I went to a new doctor and she was like, “Are you nervous?” I was like, “Uh-huh” because she could see me.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And I said, “Yeah. This is awful. This is so awful for me.” And she’s like, “Do you want me to use the baby speculum?” I was like, “The what?”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: “I’m sorry. The what?” Apparently, there is a much, much smaller speculum and I don’t know if they call it the baby one because it just looks so much smaller or if they actually use it on babies. I don’t know what technical terms are there but why the fuck are they not giving us all baby speculums? Because that shit fucking hurts.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And it’s so much better and now whenever I go to a new OBGYN, I’m like, “Give me the fucking baby speculum.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: Exactly. Like part of me can’t tell if I’m just so reactive to it because it is really traumatizing for me and so when I said that to her and she’s like, “Yeah. Let’s try something else.” I was like, “Oh, there’s something else to try?”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I just thought she was going to be like, “You just have to lay back and just shut up.” That’s what’s really great about it.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Fucking speculums.

[LACHLAN]

LEAH: That shit was created by a cisgender man.

LACHLAN: Yeah. Right. Exactly.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Oh, God. Okay. Moving on, so what does your sex life look like today in terms of mechanics? Not in terms of relationship, we’ll get to that. When you have sex today, what does sex look like for you?

LACHLAN: So I will say that I had a period when I broke up with my girlfriend that I was with when I transitioned that I was celibate eight, almost nine years because I reverted to that thought that nobody would want to have sex with me. I was trans, I was overweight, like I just felt very unattractive. So that girlfriend when I transitioned, we did try playing with a strap-on so that sort of came into my life where she was much more knowledgeable about sex toys and she was like, “Let’s try you using a strap-on” because that sort of stimulates having a penis. And I put it on and using it made me really angry. Instead of feeling happy, I actually felt angry.

LEAH: Because you didn’t have the real thing?

LACHLAN: Yeah because I couldn’t feel what I wanted to feel. And so, fast forward, me celibate for eight or nine years. I started a relationship with a woman and she had never been with a transperson, transman or a transperson, in either regard. And so, having to navigate, figuring out that stuff again made me really nervous because of my reaction to the last time I sort of tried.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: But what I found is this time was really different. The sex this time was much more affirming. I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed my body and she was just so patient with me about, “If you’re not ready for me to touch you, that’s great. We can do all these other stuff. It doesn’t have to involve me touching you” or her stimulating me in any way. She was so patient with us figuring that out that I just had never encountered that before with any of my other partners who are willing to just be that patient about it.

LEAH: Yeah. So it sounds like it was primarily you touching her?

LACHLAN: Yes like genital contact, yes. In the beginning, yes, for sure.

LEAH: You’ve had top surgery. So your breasts have been removed. Do you enjoy having people touch your chest?

LACHLAN: I enjoy them touching my chest a lot but one of the problems, I don’t want to say problem, one of the complications with having top surgery is that you lose sensation, so I have lost sensation where the scars are. It’s basically like mastectomy scars because they take all of that and I don’t have any nipple sensation. So I like having my chest touched very much but I don’t get any sexual sensation from it because I can’t feel it.

LEAH: So you enjoy having it touched very much, what is that enjoyment?

LACHLAN: So the line for me is she would lick my nipple. And unless I was actually looking at it I have no idea because I can’t feel that. But like putting pressure, not like light touch but putting pressure, stroking across the whole chest, I love that because it’s so masculine to have a flat chest.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Got you.

LACHLAN: Like I would just want her to like rub my chest a lot because that to me, having that flat option was just amazing. But unless I was actually looking at what she was doing, especially with nipple stuff, I can’t feel that.

LEAH: Okay. So you enjoy being touched waist up. Sounds like you’re still not so much into experiencing genital touch, is that correct?

LACHLAN: With this partner, that’s what we really explored, so that’s what I really explored with her is getting comfortable with that and she was very willing to explore that with me and go at the pace that I felt comfortable. And if at any point we were doing something, she would stop doing that. It wasn’t a big deal. She was just like, “Okay.  Let’s do something else. Let’s move on.” It wasn’t like, “That’s it. We’re done with this sexual encounter” because I was done with her touching me. It just wasn’t ever like that.

LEAH: We should all have partners like that.

LACHLAN: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Communication is really the key. And even if you don’t know what you want, but if you can just articulate, “You know what, I’m not sure what I want now. Can we try this thing? And if I’m not into it or if it’s not comfortable, let’s try something else.” That is the key to keep communicating with that.

LEAH: So you’ve been talking about her in the past tense. Are the two of you not still together?

LACHLAN: Correct. Yes. We are not together.

LEAH: And are you dating? What’s your current status?

LACHLAN: Our relationship just ended as the pandemic started.

LEAH: So it’s pretty recent.

LACHLAN: Yeah. So I’m not dating. I’m also completely fucking devastated by this breakup so I’m not even emotionally into dating anybody.

LEAH: I’m sorry.

LACHLAN: Thank you.

LEAH: What are your hopes for the future at some time you are ready to do something else? What are your hopes for the future?

LACHLAN: Are you taking in regards to relationships, in regards to sex?

LEAH: Relationships, sex, all of it. Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I really want a partner that is patient with my body needs and what I need to do to feel comfortable with my body. And I’d love to find a person to spend my life with. A lot of areas of my life is going really well, so I really like where I’m at right now, but I would really like to be sharing my life with somebody.

LEAH: Listeners can’t see you, but I am looking at you so I can tell them that you present like a completely masculine cisgender man. How do you move in the world? Do people tend to know that you’re trans or is that something you keep close to the chest?

LACHLAN: Well, thank you very much.

LEAH: Well, you’re very welcome.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: I would say that I pass as a hundred percent. So unless you actually knew my history, you wouldn’t know that I was trans. For me, it’s still an interesting balancing act when I meet somebody new where I’m not announcing myself like, “Hi, I’m Lachlan and I’m trans.” That’s not a thing that you would say, right?

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: But I really have to navigate when we start talking about past history when I start to talk about my past, who I’m with will dictate what I say. Very clear example of this is when people start talking about, “Oh, I played a certain sport in high school.” Well, I played softball in high school and I love softball. Softball is not a masculine sport. That’s only a feminine sport. So if I say to somebody, “I played softball.” That’s a clear indication that there is something that’s a little bit off. Depending on the person who I’m with, I change that to, “I played baseball.”

Once I start having to do that stuff that makes me also feel like I’m not being authentic again. I’ve had to hide myself for a large portion of my life because I didn’t want people to know that I’m trans and now that I’ve transitioned, I’m still careful about what I say because I still don’t want some people to know that I’m trans just out of pure safety reasons.

LEAH: And what does that do to your dating life? Obviously, you said you were not actively looking right now but as such time as you are, do you go on the apps and if you do, do you say right away upfront I’m trans? Do you wait until you’re a few days in? How do you navigate that? For safety as much as anything else.

LACHLAN: Yeah. It’s difficult. I have made the choice for myself and for other transpeople, they do not make this choice, they make other choices. But I explicitly say that I am trans for two reasons. One because I pass a hundred percent, I am worried about someone’s reaction once I tell them that I’m trans if we’ve already had some conversations and I don’t know. This happened to me several years ago when I was sort of in my celibate period and I started doing some online dating.

I brought my profile up and I did not say I was trans and this woman and I were conversing and it was going really well. We’re just conversing online. And then she sent me an e-mail that said, “Hey. I went and looked in your Facebook page and I have noticed that you have said some things about transitions and having that stuff on your page and I just want you to know that I’m really supportive of transpeople but that is just not going to work for me because I need an actual penis for sex, to have sex with, because a strap-on just doesn’t work for me.” And I was like, “Whoa.”

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: That really took me aback. I mean thank you, I was glad that she was honest with me, but it was such a weird thing that it only comes down to the genitals.

LEAH: Yeah. There is so much goddamn hoopla about transpeople and bathrooms and most, if not all of that conversation, is focused on transwomen going into female bathrooms. What is it like for you as a transman going into male bathrooms? Are you nervous? Does it create any trauma for you?

LACHLAN: Yes. It makes me nervous even passing a hundred percent. I’ve literally never had an instance of somebody outing me but didn’t know who I was. But I very much still have a fear of using public restrooms. It’s definitely my biggest fear. It changes your behavior. I’m really cautious about if I’m going to go out and do some errands that I have to limit my water intake because I don’t really want to use public restrooms, especially if I’m going somewhere where I know the restroom is probably going to be terrible that I really monitor those situations. Or if I’m out in the store and I have to use the restroom, I really don’t feel safe, that I’ve really just put my stuff down and left so that I could make it to my house.

But I have to say, I absolutely recognize my privilege in the fact that I pass a hundred percent that the only way you would know in the restroom is if you were literally coming into the stall with me. But I also have that fear that I have to sit down to pee. I don’t have a penis. I can’t use the urinal. I have to sit down and that to me is such a red flag because I didn’t grow up using men’s restrooms. I don’t know what is normal or common. And in the U.S., the restroom, the gaps in the restroom stalls are the most ridiculous things. I don’t even understand.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: It’s like, “For Christ’s sake.” And I recognize my privilege in that all these bills are mostly aimed at transwomen. Transmen are completely invisible to these lawmakers. We don’t even exist because for the most part, once you start testosterone, if you want to you can pass really well without having any other surgeries.

LEAH: So something that I’ve heard is that there’s sort of a pros and cons thing between transmen and transwomen that for transwomen, surgery can be extremely effective but hormones are else effective because they still have to deal with all the hair that came in during puberty and you can’t make the voice go higher simply by removing testosterone. On the other hand, for transmen, the hormones are extremely effective but the surgery is less effective. Does that ring true to you?

LACHLAN: Yeah, very much. So my roommate is a transwomen so we talk about this a lot.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: For transmen, testosterone is really powerful so much so that once you start, your hair grows, your voice drops, you stop your period and your jaw structure will widen, so you grow more bone in your jaw, in your cheeks. Your facial structure gets wider. It becomes very masculine. Those you can’t undo so for transwomen going through puberty and going through that testosterone phase, you can’t come back from that. Like you said, taking estrogen and progesterone, your voice can’t go higher. Once it has dropped, it has dropped. Once you grow facial hair, you can’t stop that without having other procedures done. Once your face widens, once your bones grows wide, you can’t lose that growth.

[LAUGHTER]

LACHLAN: However, for transwomen, the bottom surgery can be very affirming because you can actually make a vaginal canal. It can feel very realistic. But for transmen, you can have all of these other stuff that goes really well and we can pass a hundred percent. But the bottom surgery to actually have a working, functioning penis is not great.

LEAH: Yeah. I think for a long time I’ve heard, “Well. I’ve never met a transperson.” Someone else will say, “That you know of.” And for a long time, because I had no knowing experience about transpeople, I was like, “Yeah. I think I would know.” And now that I have transpeople in my world and in my life, I actually know that that’s true, that there are a lot of transpeople who pass a hundred percent and that if they didn’t pull their pants down in front of you, you wouldn’t actually know.

LACHLAN: Yeah, exactly.

LEAH: And that is true for both transmen and transwomen. We’re talking now about how effective testosterone is for transmen but I’ve met transwomen, who when I met them, I had absolutely no idea until they outed themselves to me. When you hear about little kids who have identified themselves as transgender at very young ages, three, four, five, six, and please, God, have affirming parents, what are your thoughts in allowing kids to have hormone blockers as they reach the age of puberty?

LACHLAN: The other question that gets implied with that that I hear a lot is how can you trust that they know who they are? How can kids know? One answer I usually say to that is how did you know? How did you know the gender that you were? This comes a lot with if you’re gay or lesbian. You can’t know that when you’re a kid. And I turn that back to them and I said, “How do you know you’re straight? How did you know that you were a woman or you were a man?” Right?

Now for kids that young, my personal belief, if their parents are affirming, what blockers are doing is just delaying puberty, right? That is reversible. You can stop blockers and go through puberty with whatever way you want. But the trauma of going through a trauma and a gender that you do not think is yours is very high. That’s very traumatic. If I could go back and not go through having my breasts grow and having a period, I would do that. My childhood would have been a lot happier.

LEAH: Lachlan, we’ve done it. Thank you so much. This has been such a wonderful conversation. I’m really grateful to you for showing up and be willing to be so honest.

LACHLAN: Thank you very much and for doing this podcast. I think it’s very brave to step out and not only make a podcast, but make a podcast like this that feels so relevant right now that we can hear more voices like this.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you. I imagine there are some of you listening who have children who have identified themselves as transgender or non-binary. I hope that it’s been helpful to hear from a man who has been through the fire and is still standing. For those of you who are trans or non-binary yourselves, I want you to know that I see you. You matter to me. I may not have gone through the things you’ve experienced, but if there are ways that I can support you, I’m here for it.

And I also want to introduce you to another trans masculine friend of mine, Mason Luke. He runs an online sex toy shop at masonluke.com that specifically highlights toys for the trans and non-binary communities. At my request, he has set up a page for Good Girls Talk About Sex listeners that features his favorite products for transmen.

That’s at masonluke.com/GoodGirls.html

I’ll put that link on the show notes. So that’s it for today. Good Girls Talk About Sex is produced by me, Leah Carey, and edited by Gretchen Kilby. I have additional administrative support from Lara O’Connor and Magnolia Afable. And I’m incredibly grateful for the financial support from Good Girls Talk About Sex community members at Patreon. If you want to support me in telling these stories and answering your questions, head over to Patreon.com/GoodGirlsTalkAboutSex

To ask a question about your sex life, your desires or anything else to do with female sexuality, call and leave a message at 720-GOOD-SEX. You will remain completely anonymous and you won’t have to talk to a real person. Just leave a voicemail. I promise.

Before we go, I want to remind you that the things that you’ve probably heard about your sexuality aren’t true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken. I work with women just like you to reflect their true sexual nature back to them without the judgment, shame or fear that can get in the way of them seeing it for themselves. As a coach and PJ party hostess, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours, no matter what it looks like. I’m here to help you sink so deeply into your true sexuality that the version of yourself that was scared to speak up for her own needs feels like a mirage from another lifetime. Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!

[MUSIC]

 

BOOKMARK MOMENTS:

6:33 – Lachlan shares the complications around early sexual desire for him, because he knew he was attracted to other little girls.

11:11 – Lachlan’s parents don’t pressure him to gender conform as a kid, though trans isn’t a known thing back then. Until, a birthday party. He learns about “passing” and blouses, and struggles through his teens.

18:21 – He talks about his rich fantasy life as a teen, in which he is a tall handsome football-playing penis-bearing male vaguely modeled on Macguyver.

23:08 – Lachlan’s first sexual experience of any kind is at age 21 with his first girlfriend, who teaches him to masturbate. He squirts!

35:37 – The concept of transgender comes into his awareness.

40:49 – Lachlan comes out, despite fearing he will lose his entire family.

46:44 – After the news is broken to his father (by his mother) it is never spoken of between them again.

47:18 – Lachlan shares outward steps of transition; therapy, hormones, telling people you work with, growing facial hair.

53:36 – Becoming a man complicates his lesbian relationship.

55:05 – Lachlan details how sexuality transitions along with transitioning: the impacts of testosterone, top and bottom surgical options, the discomfort of still having to get a pap smear, etc.

1:08:14 – Lachlan talks about the mechanics around having sex in present day.

1:11:28 – Top surgery has enhanced appearance but decreased sensation.

1:14:45 – Heartbreak and pandemic create time alone.

1:16:12 – Lachlan passes fully as a male, and decides if and when disclosure comes, in normal life as well as dating.

1:20:28 – He opens the door on bathroom talk.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg – download a free PDF of the book at https://www.lesliefeinberg.net

THE LOWDOWN:

The entire Lowdown Q&A is on Patreon this week because this episode was already SO long!!!  Don’t forget – ALL audio extras are FREE at Patreon!

PATREON:

As of July 2020, all Good Girls Talk About Sex audio extras are now FREE!  They can be accessed at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex

I’ve done this because not everyone has the means to pay for access, and I know this additional material can be deeply important for some listeners. But creating this show isn’t free, so if you’d like to support the work I do, I am grateful for your contributions at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.

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EPISODE CREDITS:

Host / Producer – Leah Carey (email)
Audio Editor – Gretchen Kilby
Administrative Support – Lara O’Connor, Maria Franco
Music – Nazar Rybak