*cassette tape noise* *beep* ♪ Here we meet again ♪ [ Acoustic song plays ] *beep* The next, like, 60 seconds of this video aren’t really part of this video It’s just a cute minute-montage of all the precious human beings I met in Ireland so… enjoy that, and then we’ll get on to what we’re really talking about. *beep* ♪ it hasn’t been too long ago ♪ [ acoustic guitar ] ♪ my worst enemy ♪ [ acoustic guitar ] ♪ seems to become my closest friend ♪ [ acoustic guitar ] ♪ oh, dysphoria ♪ [ acoustic guitar ] ♪ please, don’t come again ♪ [ soft guitar and violin ] * cassette tape rewinding * Do I have to do the introduction? Yes! Do you know how this works‽ Yeah, you get too anxious to film the introduction with a clap ’cause you don’t know what to say. Boom! True fan! I cannot remember the word for… [Irish] There we are. -Duh. -Duh. Did you do it? -Yeah! Oh! [laughter] I don’t know! Today, Jackson and I are going to be talking about toxic masculinity. For any of yous who don’t know Irish… Hi, I’m Jackson, or Jackson Milo, on YouTube. I’m almost 17, and, if you did not know, Ash is in Ireland. I identify as trans FTM, but I’m completely comfortable with they/them or he/him pronouns. So, my first question for you is: How would you personally define toxic masculinity? Well, growing up with two brothers who are quite masculine, I’d kind of say the definition, to me, of toxic masculinity is kind of forcing people into gender stereotypes. So that would be like, say if I identified as male; I should play sport, I should wear certain clothes, I should speak a certain way, I should walk a certain way, talk a certain way, you know? It’s it’s it’s a lot of toxicness. If that’s even a word. I asked this question on Twitter though, and there was a lot of confusion. I don’t think a lot of people are actually familiar with what it is. It doesn’t mean that masculinity is inherently bad in any way at all. What toxic masculinity is, is it forces men, or masculine people, into certain very rigid, stereotypical gender roles. These gender roles are usually: “violent” and “harmful” and “sexually aggressive”. It’s not just like, “Big muscles” …is not toxic masculinity. Like, your personality being affected. How you should treat certain people, how you should present yourself. Yeah! And toxic masculinity says that this is the only way to be a man. -Exactly, yeah. And if you aren’t like this, then you’re not a man; then you’re a wimp, then you’re a fairy, then you’re a pussy, then you’re gay… It makes you feel invalid as… even if you were a cis male. Like for me, being a trans male, it’s that bit worse because people think that I “want to be a man” so, in order for me to “want to be a man” I need to act the way a grown man would act, or a “true man”, “real man” would act. But but even for cis males, if they don’t act that way, they’re still not seen as a true man, or straight away people jump to the thing: “Oh, they’re gay. Obviously.” ‘Cause yeah, toxic masculinity can affect cis men, it can affect trans people, it can affect women; toxic masculinity can affect anyone. But how does it specifically kind of interact with trans identities? For me, people think that I’m not really trans, because I act extremely feminine, because that’s the way I’m most comfortable acting. Like, my girlfriend is sitting, like, 2 feet away from me, and people are so shocked when I say that I have a girlfriend. I remember I was talking to my mom one time and I was like “Mam, I’m kind of scared to start testosterone.” And she was like “Why, are you having, like, doubts?” and I was like “No…” I’m scared that when I start it I’m gonna be expected to act like a “man” and I won’t be able to, you know, like, skip around the house, where I normally skip. Or walk in and be like [effeminately] “Hello!” ‘Cause I know that even if I do have a deep voice, I will probably still sound what would be known as “gay” but I’m completely comfortable with that. I remember a quote from– you know Tyler Turner? -Yes. He said people in his work… he said that everybody thought he was a gay guy, but he said the thing that he took out of it was they thought he was a gay GUY. -Yeah! And not, you know, anything else. And that’s exactly like me, I’m like, once people respect my identity I don’t care what they think of me. Because I know who I am. I have this personality, it might be “effeminate” or it might be I don’t know “flamboyant” or “emotional” or whatever. It’s my personality, though. It doesn’t have anything to do with my gender. Exactly. Literally, we went to see “The Greatest Showman” last night. Honestly, if you have not seen it, it’s THE best movie ever. I was, like, crying! And I don’t care. Like if I find something cute or adorable I’m like “Oh my god, it’s so cute!” and Kate, like she just, like, laughs with it. She doesn’t expect me to act any way manly, and that’s what I like about my relationship as well, is that I finally found somebody who doesn’t expect me to ACT like a man. She’s completely fine with me being me, and that’s what you need. I love that. That’s so cute. They’re adorable, by the way. *laughs* Another way that it affects transmasculine or trans men specifically is it kind of creates this one route for transition. -Definitely So, like what would and toxic masculinity say is the only way to transition? Like my brother, he’s very kind of you know, like “masculine” kind of traits. Maybe for him, or for other masculine people, they kind of expect me to maybe go to the gym, what we know as “go out with the lads”, cat-calling a woman, maybe, or… Yeah, because, again: toxic masculinity is sexually aggressive, so… -Definitely I even watched a movie the other night where two women were cat-calling a man and it still annoyed me because… -Oh yeah, that’s not okay. Yeah, it’s not okay either. When I start, like, testosterone, or start going through my transition, people kind of expect me not to wear nail polish, or makeup, or, you know, do my hair a certain way, or let my… actually, I’m letting my hair grow out right now ’cause I wanted to have, kind of like, curls and little locks ’cause ughh, I got a hair cut and I just hated it. It’s very luscious, I like it. I got it done, because when I first started dating Kate I thought she wanted a masculine boyfriend -Ooooh! -So I cut my hair extremely short. So you had, like like some internalised “isht” goin’ on. …Afterwards, she was like “I don’t care about your hair!” -Awwww but I was like “I thought you wanted a masculine boyfriend with a short, tight haircut…” …a short, tight haircut, and, you know, like, presenting masculine ’cause I actually had quite long hair. – Mmm-hmm – But… Presenting and identification are two different things to me, so like… – Absolutely. Clothes and haircut does not equal gender. My friend Kenzi says that men should definitely be allowed, socially-accebtably, to wear crop tops. I completely agree with this. -Sure! I would wear a crop top if it was socially acceptable, and if I had top surgery. I think I would be more comfortable to wear a crop top after Top surgery than before. Yeah, after top surgery I would be completely comfortable, but right now I think it’d be too much for my binder. Do all trans guys have to have top surgery? No. Of course not. Right! Do all trans guys have to go on testosterone? No, definitely not. The one thing I say is that there IS one choice about being transgender. So people are like “Transgender is a choice!” and I’m like “no”. Transgender is not a choice, but transitioning is. Mmm-hmm! Everybody has a totally different transition route. I for one want I get on testosterone, and top surgery. Some people want to get testosterone and no surgery. Some people don’t want testosterone, and want to get surgery. You know? Just like when people are like “Oh my god, you have to get the surgeries to be a man.” You’re like “No, no you don’t.” And I know some trans guys who are totally binary guys, and they’re pretty macho guys. They work out, they have really big muscles, and they don’t have nor do they want top surgery. – Exactly. Like, for me, ’cause I’m not on testosterone, I’d say if I did go on testosterone soon enough and started building, I probably would have a small enough chest. If I can build my chest enough… You can make ’em look like pecs! -Exactly! -Yeah! If I build my chest enough and I can get them to look like pecs, I won’t get top surgery because it’s a lot of money. But if I can’t get to that stage, I will get it. Even if somebody couldn’t get them to look like pecs and they just still wanted to do nothing about their chest… That’s completely fine. -They’re still trans. Yeah, exactly. -But these are things like toxic masculinity says “No, that’s not right. That’s not true.” “This is how you trans.” One thing that actually was really negative toward me was actually I was out with Kate for dinner today, and we’d just come out the cinema and we were waiting at the bus stop and I was just hugging her and everything was fine, and this group of people walked up to me and they stood beside me and Kate and they were like “Are yous two together?” and we’re like “Yeah.” And because I go to an all-girl school, which is another shitty thing… they were like “Oh, yous two must be lesbians” and I was like “No, I’m actually a trans guy.” and they were like “Haha” like “What is that?” and I explained very briefly what trans was didn’t need to to go into a full explanation about it because it was basically none their business They went out the way to ask me in front of a bus stop full of people “Haha, do you have a dick?” Like>Do you have a dick

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