Find Me Some Body to Love

By Janae Marie Kroczaleski with Lenville O’Donnell

There are aspects of my personality I fear losing as I transition from male to female. I was a world champion powerlifter and bodybuilder as a man, on the surface a pure alpha male. During the part of my transition depicted in the documentary Transformer, you see how I faced this dilemma. In one sense it seems ridiculous because no matter what changes I undergo physically I am still the same person I have always been — or am I?

Having lived as gender fluid for several years, I have been able to see the differences in my personality and behaviour when I express myself as a woman compared to a man. I have to admit there are aspects of my male personality that I am afraid of losing.

Leaving the Man Behind

Giving up male privilege (believe me, it exists, and there are big advantages!) and being treated with less respect as a woman are two significant losses. As a male, I have greater confidence, a stronger presence, and an aura of fearlessness. As a woman, these aspects of my personality seem to diminish. Even though I am conscious of it, I feel powerless to control it.

There is a difference in how I carry myself and how I feel as a woman that appears to be inherent. I am less aggressive and less assertive. Why is this? I believe it is different for every transgender or gender fluid person. I fear losing important facets of my identity I have worked for decades to achieve. I love being strong and heavily muscled. The big challenge for me is how can I incorporate that into the person I am becoming?

NOTE: This video contains strong language.

The Struggle With Intimacy

Intimacy is the area that is the most difficult to come to grips with. In relationships, playing a male role consistent with the powerful, assertive, alpha-male personality side of me has always felt foreign. I avoided dating, dances, and relationships growing up, not because of a lack of interest in sexual relationships, but because I felt a profound sense of  “wrongness” that would make me nervous and uncomfortable when faced with intimacy.

MORE:
Losing It: The physical transformation from Matt to Janae
“Trans-Parenting:” Raising a transgender child

These feelings confused and frustrated me for decades. It wasn’t until I finally started dealing with my transgender nature that I understood why. I have never been able to relax and enjoy an intimate relationship without constantly having to think about how I am supposed to act. What is expected of me? What do I expect of myself? I am still between one place and another.

Being in the body and identity that is right for me will allow me to feel free and just to be myself. This is probably the one thing I am most looking forward to as I continue my transition. Soon!

Watch Transformer.

 

 

Produced with additional funding from: