• Member Since 22nd Sep, 2014
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Just a cat pretending to be a human pretending to be a cat on the internet.


My name is Vinyl Scratch, I'm a guy, and I DJ for a living.

My name is Vinyl Scratch, I'm a guy, and I have the awesomest marefriend in the world.

My name is Vinyl Scratch, and nopony knows that I'm trans.

Cover by me (stock image source.)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 47 )

I've no idea where the downvotes are coming from. This reads really in-character, and it's very genuine. My favourite line is:

Am I a kind of? Is that it? And, more importantly, did I want to be a kind of for the rest of my life?

Very accurate.

Thank you! I'm glad you like it.

Transphobes, would be my guess? They have to get bored eventually, so whatever. Thank you for the comment though, it feels really, really good to know at least some people appreaciate my story! :twilightsmile:

Now, this was sweet. As for the horde of downvoters who are transaphobic, screw them. They don't know what they're missing in this truly great story.

Comment posted by Silver Screen deleted May 24th, 2017

Good story. Have a like.

I like to pretend that there are no transphobes in this fandom, but I know they exist. It just that seems impossible that such a great show about the value of friendship and accepting people's differences could have fans that hate strangers for their identity, you know?

Thank you very much!

You know what they say: there are no good fandoms, there are only good friends. You are a friend. Those haters are not. Very simple.

That's right, thank you, I appreciate it!

Ashes #9 · May 24th, 2017 · · 7 ·

As a transsexual myself, I understand where a lot of the feelings come from. However as a biologist, and with several friends in medicine, I do have one issue with the recent concept of doctors assigning gender at birth. This just doesn't happen. The doctor will see what genitals the baby has, and say it's a boy or girl, accordingly. The vast majority of the time the child will grow up and their gender identity will correlate with their sex. Sometimes it doesn't work out that way and then you're trans, but as there is no way to predict this doctors simply are saying, "hey this is what you're dealing with on a physical level, plan accordingly." It's not written in stone, QED trans people.

And yes I'm aware that intersex people throw a wrench in the works, unfortunately they will probably have a rough go of life no matter what happens in the delivery room. I've only heard stories about intersex people though so I really don't know, but I would imagine that early life must be tough for them.

I know I'll probably get some hate for this, but whatever. Other than that bit I understand some of the struggle of Vinyl in the story. Although I will also say that I wish there was a bit more understanding and self awareness about the fact that at the beginning of the story no one else knew and Vinly presented as a female, so of course you'd be referred to as female. If you make no effort to change people's perceptions of your gender, or to correct them in any way, it's a bit silly to get mad at them, since they can't read your mind.

I know it's tough being trans, but try to understand how it looks from the point of view of the people you're interacting with as well. Be understanding that since it's not part of their everyday lives like it might be for a trans person, that they might not know everything, there might be questions, and there will probably be an adjustment period for the people who have known you longer (I'm glad this was brought up).

Well, sorry for that ramble, it got a bit longer than I expected. But I had some thoughts as far as these kinds of things went and felt like offering my perspective.

I hope everyone has a good day.

8186426 I bet people would like to see a bounus chapter or a sequal where it is vinyl as a stallion and how his relationship with octavia has gone.

Hey its a parallel universe to scotchtavia

I have a friend who's a 'trans' who'd probably appreciate this story (though, she doesn't really like that term).

That, and the fact you have a beautiful cat as your avatar earned you an upvote... :raritywink:

D'aaaw, this is such a sweet story! Why in Tartarus has it gotten so many downvotes? It's so eloquently written, an accurate representation (from what this random cis dude on the internet can understand) of what gender dysphoria is like, and a beautiful romance story as a whole. This is a model relationship for trans people!

Going to share the hell out of this. It needs WAY more upvotes :).

This was very sweet! I'm sorry for all the downvotes, they are thoroughly undeserved.

I love how it as a bunch of downvotes, and people who praised it have people who downvoted their comment, but nobody's left a comment saying why they think it sucks.

Okay, so it seems this story takes on a subject often ignored. Where's the buttrage coming from?

8186613 No hate here! I don't necessarily have to agree with you to appreciate you taking the time to formulate an elaborate and very polite comment.

I do not have an interest in starting an argument about this, so let me just say this: the narrative of this story is that of Vinyl, it's about how she perceives being trans, which is based on a mixture of my own experiences and what I learned from other people over the years. It does, of course, not represent the experience of every trans person in the world, that would be impossible.

Declaring an infant as male of female based on genitalia is exactly what assigning a gender at birth means. That's the language generally used today (at least among the trans people I know), and it's the language Vinyl uses in this story. You may talk or think about it in different terms.

I will consider the criticism on how I portrayed his interactions with the outside world, thank you for your thoughts.

8186688 I haven't thought that far, to be honest. It's not impossible I do that one day, but it's not planned right now so no guarantees.

8186695 Heh, I guess it sort of is. Definitely one of the better trans pony stories I read.

8186790 Yay, kitty points for me :yay:

Okay ... I'm not mad at you, but it feels a little condescending being told how hard it is for the majority of people to sympathise or understand gender dysphoria. Because, y'know, we know that. It's kind of impossible not to realize that if you're trans and have to interact with your non-trans loved ones every day. Frankly, I don't understand why you think you need to tell us that. Do you think we haven't had slightly awkward conversations exactly like the one in the end of this fic that amount to 'Okay ... I'm going to try to help you, but I really don't get it.' We have. You could ask almost any trans person and they've had a conversation like that; you're hardly the only one.

I know, right? I seriously just came back to see if anyone had left an actual negative comment yet, and they haven't! Just wordless downvotes. Rather annoying.

8187112 Seems more like they're upset with the notion of a transexual, which is humorous considering all the gay shipping stories. I'll check the story despite me hating romance and drama and see if it's anything about it.

Quick read through provides the conclusion that my previous assessment is the correct one.

Pacing is good. Spelling is good. Some comparisons feel like purple prose, but they're short enough to skim along that water surface without completely breaking it. Nothing of note to warrant the downvotes.

8187029 I was wondering how accessible the story is to cis people, so that's good to hear. Thanks!

8187047 That's alright, as long as I have people like you to keep me company in this comment section I can't be too bummed. Thank you!

8187067 I can kind of comprehend why one would hate-downvote stories, even though I am strongly opposed to it, but downvoting all the positive comments as well? Now that's its own level of pathetic.


Where's the buttrage coming from?

If I knew an exact answer to that, I should probably be out there fixing the world instead of writing stories about small cartoon horses.

Anyway, yes, I am guilty of having a lot of fun with the imagery in Vinyl's POV. Thank you for the comment though, it was helpful!

8187110 Just a suggestion. You do what you want. :twilightsmile:


I'm aware that my opinion on this isn't popular in the trans community. It just seems to me that a few years ago we had a lot of discussions on how to convey the difference between sex and gender when trying to explain our situation to others, yet now suddenly the terms are being used interchangeably, and I don't know what happened. So, fair enough, your explanation about how language is today is solid, I guess it's just my own bias in not particularly agreeing with the direction it's evolved in recently.


It wasn't meant to tell other trans people how hard it is to be trans, of course they know. In fact I'm well aware that many have much tougher lives than I do, it was meant as a criticism on our community as a whole to try to be a little more patient with those who aren't living the issues every day. If you aren't someone who blows a gasket every time someone accidentally misgenders you, then it wasn't about you and you don't need to worry about it. I only say this because of many people I see lately who make it out like it's the worst possible thing (no one I know personally feels this way, but examples can be found readily online). Maybe most of us aren't going to make a big deal out of such things, and that makes me optimistic that what I see is a vocal minority.

Anyway, as I don't want to keep dragging the comments down with hge responses maybe any further discussion should be taken to pm'ing, I do enjoy talking about these things (maybe a little too much :twilightsmile:), but if we're going to have a back and forth I'd rather not drag it on in the comment section here.

I'm not going to pretend that some (if not most) of your downvotes are from transphobics, but this story needs work. There are major expositional and descriptive errors. Your syntax is more or less fine—we could all us some work in that area, however—but that's not the only thing that matters in a story.

You see, your fic has major expositional errors. It reads more like a sermon than a story. By this, I mean you're having real problems in the show vs. tell department. Instead of telling us that Vinyl is angry/frustrated about her(his?) constant misrepresentation, show us. Let me provide you with an example of what I mean:

You wrote:

I didn’t witness her falling asleep or waking up. When I opened my eyes after what felt like, and might as well have been, thirteen hours of sleep, she was up and about, polishing her cello and sorting sheet music and stuffing cookies into herself. Despite her preoccupation she noticed me and paused her bustling to plant a peck on my nose.

(The second sentence is also a perfect example of a run-on sentence, by the way.)

I might recommend an approach like this:

I woke to the sound of shuffling papers. That was interesting in and of itself, since I didn't even remember falling asleep in the first place. Heck, I didn't even remember going to bed. Was I even in a bed?

My legs were numb and heavy. Trying to move them was like trying to hoist fallen logs, but my muscles sang to me as they stretched and my hooves pressed into a soft, silky blanket.

"Mmm..." I groaned, finally opening my eyes. It was bright in the hotel room. Much too bright to be very early in the morning. A quick glance at the clock made me both cringe and smile.

Well, I thought with a chuckle. Nopony ever said I didn't get enough sleep.

I could see Tavi by the desk, glowing in the light of the sun. She held her cello between her legs, humming softly as she rubbed an oiled cloth along the neck. She paused for a moment to pop a cookie from the tin on the desk into her mouth, then the humming returned—even happier this time.

I could have watched her all day, but a yawn forced its way up my throat, and Tavi's eyes flicked over to me.

"Ah," she said, tittering. "Good morning, love. Did you sleep well?"

By this time, my legs felt less like driftwood, and more like jelly, so I hoisted myself up. "Like a rock," I answered, swaying a little.

Tavi smiled and crossed the room in a couple of steps. "Of course you did." She shook her head and kissed my nose, making it tingle. "You've been asleep nearly twelve hours."

I think I got a little carried away there, but do you see how much easier it is to slip yourself into the character's (horse)shoes when you show what they feel, see, hear, smell and want, rather than tell it all? It's very hard to connect to your Vinyl for thks reason. The whole thing feels like an endless cycle of "poor me," capped off with a pamphlet on gender dysphoria.

Speaking of which, you bring up "feeling dysphoric" several times in the story, but rarely broach what this means. I don't mean in the literal sense—we all know the definition of dysphoria—I mean in the emotional sense: balled fists, clenches teeth, pounding hearts, flashes of anger or mind-spinning confusion. This ties back into tje whole show vs tell thing, though, so I'll stop here.

The ending is rather . . . weak. I'm sure there are people that can take this news in stride in the word. In fact, I count muself among them. However, Octavia seems to go from confusion to acceptance jarringly fast. She's known Vinyl for three years and been in a relationship woth him(her?) for how long, and suddenly this comes out? I'm not saying that you need to inject melodrama, but don't shy away from the awkwardness—the confusion, denial, frustration or even self-directed anger that can come with a complete upheaval of a person's established status quo. The story is not about Octavia, of course, but her world quite literally just got rocked, and she takes it wothout so much as an "are you sure?"

This is by no means a terrible story. I might not even say it's bad. I understand what you were trying to do with it, and you come close, but it comes off as stale proselytizing, rather than as a story that can stand on its own. Personally, I won't downvote it, but it definitely needs work. If you're looking for ways to improve, I highly recommend Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate, by Brian McDonald, and On Writing, by Stephen King.

You have potential as a writer; I hope to see more from you—on this site, or in the bookstore.

The downvotes are possibly people who have political issues with the presentation, but dare not say anything because the label "insert buzzword here-phobe" is thrown around these days like boys being diagnosed with ADHD. It's so common to be dismissed as evil for having questions or objections folks have lost all desire to bother. Which I know, so many people think is good, because yea, silence works out so well, all the time. There's a long positive history of what happens when your opposition goes silent and you have no idea what they're thinking.

The story was decent, and I wish it could open a dialog. But even I'm hesitant to discuss anything, as yes, I'm a person who has issues with transgenerism. Really its sad that only the radicals ever seem to discuss this stuff honestly.

I'm glad I read this; the down votes are really unjustified. It was well written.

I was pointed to the story receiving downvotes by a Facebook post, so I came to read it. It's not normally something I'd read, not because of distaste for the subject but mire because I tend toward adventure stories.
I have a few friends who are trans, so I have a passing familiarity with situations and terms, as well as a broad idea from a cis male perspective of some of what's involved. This story was a good little snapshot into that world. It was brief, but it didn't need to.necessarily linger to show a short period in time, and present another perspective.
I don't get the downvotes, there are literally hundreds of alternative universe stories, alternative takes on characters and alternative concepts all over this site and there are many, many stories I would find offensive compared to something as wholesome and relevant as this story is.
Perhaps the writing is a little lacking, but it's far from bad. Thanks for writing something different and unique. I enjoyed it, and it was a good take on a familiar ship.

Lovely story, at its core, but as pointed out the flow and narrative are indeed rushed and awkward in places. You are squeezing this down to the barest of bare events, with no background or scene-setting—in fact, no scenes as such at all. It reads like someone's journal of a few days with all the fluff taken out.

As for the topic: I love showing the different shades of the gender spectrum, and have now tentatively poked at nearly all of them. Vinyl "Vinny" Scratch is one of my favorites, and I have actually written a story about their (yes, I use that pronoun specifically) having gender dysphoria in the past, although that was related to them being bigender. It is good to see Vinyl get a little more work.

Mechanics: Gender changing is impossible, spell wise, in Equestria. This has been stated on the show in no uncertain terms. That isn't to say there aren't creatures that can do it, or even a princess or pony with a particular cutie mark that has a special talent for it. Something to explore if you wished to do something else.

I can certainly sympathize with Vinyl (and the gender dysphoric community) the problems she is facing, I myself cannot fathom coming out (IRL) about my gender (agender) or alignment (asexual).

8186613 I would ask that you not consider all people who don't consider their birth sex to be their gender as "trans." There are others in the spectrum, and it does your otherwise well spoken self an injustice to think that way.


Okay now this is where the 'evolution of language' thing comes into play. I was under the impression as of late that that was the basic definition of falling under the umbrella of transgenderism. Honestly it's a bit difficult to keep up sometimes and there is also a lot of contradicting or vague information. If you want to elaborate on what you mean I like hearing viewpoints and trying to learn so I'd like to hear it. If you're referring to the agender thing, I've even heard of that referred to as trans recently, so if that is what you mean then I apologize for not knowing that distinction.

Also thank you for the compliment.

8187934 No probs. I have not heard of agender being referred to as trans, hence my reaction. It is absolutely amazing all the words that are made up and invented to classify what is basically a huge spectrum of "senses of self," to the point where a lot of people who are considered by mainstream opinion to be "odd" will point their finger in shock when someone wants to be called agender, bigender, or genderfluid.

The compliment was well deserved, it is refreshing to have somewhere that can support well-spoken opinions on gender and sexuality without more than a handful of thumbs-down. :twilightsmile:

As a transgender person myself, god I wish humans acted like Tavi in this :/ Empathy is such a rare trait in humans when it comes to anything outside one's personal experiences.

Also, good job portraying the thoughts of a gender dysphoric person.

8187934 8187937 What the LGBT+ community realy needs to do is sit down, define terms and then STICK to them. We keep redefining things for no justifiable reason, which makes it impossible to follow. We also change things from accurate descriptors to nonsense.

Example; I hate the term transgender. I dont want to change my gender. I want to change my sex. Gender is a collection of behaviors. If I wanted to change them, I could do so almost instantly, just by deciding to act differently. Sex is the actual configuration of your reproductive organs, whcih is what I want to/have partially swap(ed). Thus, I am transsexual not transgender.

But noooo! Using that term is offensive, because I guess terms which actually mean the definitions of the words they use are offensive or something?

I can accept that kind of dumb because hey, we're humans if things we did made sense we'd have a WAY different history as a species than we do. But what I can't accept is the fact that 2 years from now I'll be forces to change terms AGAIN when we inevitably decide "Transgender is an offensive term. From now on it's booplesnooted." (Note: I'm actually cool with booplesnooted. I hereby nominate it as the inevitable unnecessary replacement term. If we're going to be inaccurate and constantly rotating terms, lets have them at least be fun ones.)

We need to just define basic umbrella terms, cement them for all time just like the terms male and female, and stop worrying about hurt feelings over terminology and stop trying to label each and every part of a spectrum. You can slice a spectrum at any point. There's an infinite number of dots on a line segment. That's sort of the defining feature of a spectrum... Are we realy going to make infinite terms for the infinite number of sexuality, gender, and sex combinations? I dont think so.

We realy only need four terms for orientation. Strait, Bi, Gay, asexual. We only need two terms for sex. Cis and trans. As for gender... Probably best to just not use that as a guide and just go with what you like to do durring sex instead. IE give, take, switch.

That's a total of 9 terms that are completely necessary to describe the full umbrella of possibilities. Let's look at just how many ways there are to arrange those 9 terms. After all each group of three terms would be an important category, right?

There's 362,880 ways to arrange those 9 terms into distinct different groups. This means that there's 362,880 basic genders (at least if you define a gender as the combination of one's orientation, self identification, and desired roll in social situations.). I dont think anyone could even keep 1% of those strait. Cuz 1% of the total possible logical genders is 3,628.

This is why coming up with names to describe sexuality is stupid. Just use the basic terms and if someone's more interested, how about a sentence? Good old sentences. Basic terms arranged to create greater meaning. Everyone fluent in a language can understand a sentence, unlike a constantly changing set of terms that only like 7% of the population even have need to use on a regular basis. Gotta love sentances!

8187444 I will have to consider the things you mentioned at a later time when have a bit more distance to look back onto the text. I hope you understand that. For now, thank you for your feedback, you gave me a few things to think about with here.

That being said, if you want to, you actually can read more of me. Muffins for Luna has been quite well-received; if you can appreciate cute fluffly shipping stories that might be a good place to start :twilightsmile:

Thank you! I'm glad you like it.

Huh, I didn't know this was on fb, that's cool. Thank you!

If you don't like that term, then I hope you will understand that I don't appreciate others pushing their terms on me either. I'm not angry at Ashes for labeling herself as transsexual. She can do that, and so can you, even though I stay a mile away from that word myself.

So, I would prefer if you did not try to tell "the LGBT+ community" what to do and which words they are allowed to use as if you own those spaces. Please be respectful to other trans people, and please stop calling people's identities dumb, as that can be very insulting.

I'm still glad you enjoyed the story, so thank you for the compliment.

Part of this has been said already, but some agender and other nonbinary people like to identify as trans, while others don't. Technically those identities falls under the label trans as it is defined today by most people, as Ashes so kindly pointed out.

As for the actual point of the comment, thank you for the input!

8188255 Ironically, we're making the same point about identity politics :P


As you said. What I disliked about this story is that it came off as more using Vinyl as a mouthpiece for the author's screed than an authentic take on a transgender version of the character.

Surprisingly this somehow seemed a worse take on addressing gender identity questions than Fecundity, which admits it is a pregnancy fetish fic.

Want to actually ask your questions? Maybe someone will be mad about how you phrase it, but if you really want answers or honest discussion, it’s worth it. Are you really going to stop seeking answers the moment someone calls you a transphobe? If anything, that’s an opportunity to ask further questions. Trust me, we’ve heard intentional transphobia so much that if someone comes off that way at first, but then actually listens to whatever we found hurtful and seems to be receptive, chances are good we’ll be grateful enough to answer.

Or PM me if you’re really concerned about the public forum. I’m not very easily offended, you don’t need to worry about talking to me.

Okay, but remember, you ask for an open mind, you have to have one of your own.
Since it’s a topic of this story, let’s start with transitional operations. Here are the objections:
They are extremely painful, for instance, in the case of a transitional vagina, it’s actually a wound that has to be forced open regularly from what I understand. Doubt that’s a pleasant experience.
Like all surgeries, they are prone to cause infection
Unlike most non-nip-tuck like procedures, transitional operations do nothing to save life or limb, all results are, realistically, superficial
The transition, like just stated, is superficial, the body of a man cannot become pregnant and too much estrogen can be lethal to a male body. A female’s body can also only change so much, it can only have so much upper body muscle mass, can only have so much testosterone, and the penis is, for all practical purposes, fake.
My understanding is that the psychological benefits of a person with gender dysphoria receiving this operation are iffy, sometimes it helps, sometimes it does nothing... seems like a lot of pain and mutilation to go through for a “maybe”.
In most cultures and circumstances world over, sterilization and barrenness are considered basically disabilities. They are absolutely guaranteed and permanent if you transition. So basically a doctor is being paid to not only inflict what would appear to be completely unnecessary pain on you, but to permanently disfigure your body to the point of disabling you for life.

Basically, here’s a parable.

You find yourself on a strange island. On this island, you find a young girl. She says she is part rabbit and she has bunny ears sowed over where her human ears were, which were obviously removed. She believes she can now hear better than before, because she has been told by her doctor that her dream of being partially an animal has been fulfilled by his surgical prowess. She believes she now has the hearing of a rabbit.
However, it’s obvious to you she’s actually going deaf and the illusions of hearing things she never has before is actually manifestations of the damage done to her ears. It’s probably only a matter of time before she can never hear again. There is also extreme pain that she suffers any time someone touches those ears.
Now tell me, what do you think of what was done to bunny girl? Me, I would pity her. As to what I would tell her... I have to admit, I’m just not certain. I would assume only the very disturbed would be swayed to follow in her path... but then that kind of behavior can’t be normalized so... but telling her the truth would not benefit her in the least, and possibly unsettle her mind even more. I know one thing. I would be furious with that doctor.

So there you go. Condemn me away, after all, concern and pity are the same thing as hate right? Or so I’ve been told I’m trans-phobic many times by my friend who claims to be a third gender. By the way, yes, we’re still very close friends, basically like the label is little more than a descriptor. “They” have extreme anxiety disorders, are basically incoherent on issues of race and gender and has trouble with empathy. “They” care about other people, but “they’re” head is stuffed so full of social justice bull crap, they believe they need to be afraid of me because I’m a white male, and they’re uncertain how important any issues I might have are, based solely on my race, gender and orientation. I believe “they” are genuine in their beliefs, but sorry, I don’t see those ideas as beneficial, nor normal, nor something that as HER friend, I shouldn’t desire to help HER get past. Essentially, these ideas are insanity and yes, I’m afraid for her.

CONTENT WARNING: I’m going to talk about genitals. A lot.

Okay. I’ve heard those arguments before. I think what you’re saying is that medical transition can be dangerous and the benefits won’t necessarily be worth it. As someone who has begun my hormone replacement therapy, looked into surgery results for operations I may some day choose to have, and spoken to many people who’ve had them, I’d like to offer my perspective on their efficacy.

Let’s begin with HRT. It’s not nearly as harmful as you seem to believe. We have to go through a lot of screening just to get hormones. First our psychiatrists have to say it’s okay, which depending on the country, could mean months of therapy to be certain the person is sincere and committed to their path, and possibly what’s called a ‘Real Life Experience Requirement’, which I’ve been told range from a year to a few years of mandatory waiting (luckily, my own was only months because I’d been socially transitioned for three years before that). Then you get your prescription, but hormones are still a long way off, because then the endocrinologist does one, maybe two blood tests, and depending on those results it can take months to actually get your T.

And in order to keep your prescription, you have to continue to be monitored by your endo and keep doing blood tests with them to be sure there’s no problems. They don’t allow you to begin if you have high cholesterol, drink excessively, or smoke. Now, I’m not going to say that HRT is perfectly safe; in my case, FtM, I am at a higher risk of high cholesterol and polycythemia now that I’m on T, which I know because my doctors have been telling me that for the last few years and I had to sign papers declaring that I understood the risks. However, according to the specialists, those risks aren’t significantly greater for me than they are for natal men. Testosterone just comes with increased risk of heart and blood problems whether you were born with it or not. In fact, I would argue that I’m safer from those things than most men, because of the aforementioned tests and precautions. If I start getting high blood pressure, there’s someone who will notice right away. I won’t be one of the many people who don’t even know there’s something wrong until their first heart attack.

 too much estrogen can be lethal to a male body.

This is technically true and also a meaningless statement. Here’s a few other things that too much of can be lethal to a male body, or a human body:
Hot dogs
Do I need to continue, or have I made that point? In constantly monitoring my blood results and only ever increasing my dosage very gradually and with specific need, the chances that I am at risk for dying of testosterone overdose is lower than my chances of overdosing on the Tylenol when I get a migraine.

Onto surgery. Much of the same spiel about enforced waiting, mental and bodily assessment and regular check-ups apply in these cases, as well. And yes, complications can happen. Believe me, I worry about that a lot. However, the rates of complication are getting lower, as are options for fixing the common problems. What you need to remember is that these aren’t uniquely dangerous surgeries; these operations were pioneered decades ago, it’s not as though they’re untested or done by inexperienced people. In the case of top surgery for FtMs, something I will almost certainly pursue, that’s actually just a mastectomy; they’ve been doing them on breast cancer patients long enough for it to be considered routine. Surgery is never risk-free, on trans people or otherwise. There’s always some danger in making alterations to the human body, but that hardly means we stop doing it altogether.

Your understanding of bottom surgery results is simply not accurate. A transwoman who’s had a vaginoplasty isn’t in constant pain, her vagina isn’t an open wound, nor is a transman in pain whether we’re talking metoidioplasty or phalloplasty. Are you aware that after these procedures, their human bodies perform a function called ‘healing’? That’s a condescending tone to take with you and that may be uncalled for, but I’m genuinely confused. Of course it heals afterward. Then we can have sex with them! And contrary to common myth, those modified organs do have erotic sensation and we can still orgasm (yes, even phalloplasty; I can’t tell you how many people don’t know that). Sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s important to know that those who elect to have these things done aren’t giving up their ability to have pleasurable sex.

You are correct, however, in that they are giving up their ability to make babies, and that my tackle (whether the silicone one I wear in my boxers now or my hypothetical future bottom surgery) will never produce sperm. I know I’ll never be able to inseminate a woman and get her pregnant. It’s kind of sad for me to think about, but I’m not denying that. What I don’t understand is why you feel it matters so much; we have other options should we want children, the foster system is certainly crying out for more adoptive families. So what is so pitiable to you about being disabled in this way? I’m not remotely sad at the fact that HRT will stop my body producing eggs and make it impossible for me to get pregnant; I’m quite happy about that, due to my deep fear of that ever happening. I wasn’t going to make use of my uterus even if it did still perform its function, it’s no loss to me at all.

But I haven’t addressed your other main point, which was why we choose to pursue any of this in the first place, and if it’s really worth the risk.

Unlike most non-nip-tuck like procedures, transitional operations do nothing to save life or limb, all results are, realistically, superficial ... My understanding is that the psychological benefits of a person with gender dysphoria receiving this operation are iffy, sometimes it helps, sometimes it does nothing... seems like a lot of pain and mutilation to go through for a “maybe”.

(‘Mutilation’ is a little dramatic when what you’re talking about is surgery, but anyway ...)

That’s a pessimistic view of the mental benefits, to the point of inaccuracy. Most people are satisfied with their results; I know this from polls, from sociological research, and anecdotally. Most of my experience is talking to guys who’ve had meta, because that’s the bottom procedure I’m most interested in. Believe me, everyone I’ve spoken to is glad they had it done; they don’t care that it’s smaller than average, because they’ve finally addressed their bottom dysphoria in a way that lasts. It’s a measured risk to take for statistically likely improvement in their bodily comfort. (Fun fact, there are ‘meta extenders’ you buy that are meant to be worn over your new penis that make it look around average length if it really bothers you that your dick’s not very big, so there’s even that option if meta’s not as satisfying as you hoped. They’re also used by natal men with micropenises; a lot of users speak very well of them.)

And we can’t talk about any of this without talking about the constant bodily discomfort, the dysphoria, that is our primary motivation when pursuing transition of any kind, medical or otherwise. This is where it gets painful to discuss, but I’ll try to keep it clear. Dysphoria is a mental illness; it means that we’re distressed, anxious, and find it difficult to be comfortable in our skin. Not in the way that everyone experiences that passes in a few days; I am talking about a persistent, potentially severe problem that can seriously impact our ability to function. Keep in mind that everyone is different and few things I say can be applied across the board, but there are thousands, hundreds of thousands at least in the USA alone, of people for whom transition is necessary. From my own experience, I was in a very unhealthy place before I socially transitioned and during the years I spent waiting for an understaffed gender clinic to begin assessing me for HRT. I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that I couldn’t handle a lot of daily life and I was a danger to myself. And that’s actually an uncommonly positive story when compared to a lot of trans people I’ve met, because I never got to the point of attempting suicide.

These operations don’t save life or limb? I can link you to dozens of personal stories, including my own, and WPATH research that say that assertion is wrong. Treating dysphoria isn’t something we do on a whim, easily, just because we want to. It’s something that takes many years of our lives and can be difficult, but that those of us who can stick with because we need to. Transition certainly does save lives.

You may be skeptical about whether surgery can really help us, you may believe some myths about it being more dangerous, painful or unsatisfying than it actually is, and you may still think of a transgender person as their gender assigned at birth. And you know what, that’s all fine. You could look into some medically accurate information about these surgeries, but you hardly need to know as much on the subject as I do; after all, you’ll never get them. And maybe you don’t think I’m a ‘real’ man. Fine. That’s insulting, but I can’t make everyone see me how I want. After all, you weren’t a dick about it, and that’s more than I can say for most people with that opinion. But what I’m not fine with, what I do think you ought to be called transphobic for, is your implication throughout that we aren’t mentally competent enough to make our own decisions about our bodies.

Setting aside the ways in which your parable is a false equivalency based on your misconceptions about bottom surgery, it was also just straight-up insulting to be compared to someone deluded, who doesn’t understand what her surgery means or how it’s affected her. Excuse me, but we know what we’re doing. You’re talking about people who have researched these procedures and reached out to people who’ve had them to find out exactly what happens and what the results are like. And why wouldn’t we? I’ve been dreaming about having a penis since I was ten, you think I haven’t looked into my options? Even if someone did start out wanting surgery but knowing nothing about it, we’re quite literally not allowed to rush into any of this without learning about it backwards and forwards first. You can’t just go get it all done one day; do I need to talk about the sessions with your doctors, mandatory waiting periods and consent forms again?

HRT and surgery might be dangerous. I know, and not as dangerous as you think.
Having these things done may not relieve my dysphoria. I know, but I’m willing to try them and after all my research, I can make the safe assumption that they will at least help. In fact, I’m already much improved.
Transitioning medically will sterilize me. I know, and losing my ability to make babies is worth it to me if I can be happy.

Put simply, I’m making an informed decision about my own life, and it is disrespectful of you not to trust any of us to know what’s best for ourselves. That condescension is what makes people mad at you; I don’t know if you mean to come off that way, but you do. If you think of us as pitiable and misguided, it implies that you think you know more about our mental illness and all its potential treatments than we do. But seeing as you don’t have that illness, this isn’t your life, and you haven’t researched these treatments as much as we have, why do you think you understand them better than the average transgender person?

Maybe you’re not a bad guy, maybe you’d never say any of this if I hadn’t prodded you. Maybe you really don’t think that you understand a trans person’s life better than a trans person. I’m just saying that it kind of pisses people off to be equated to pathetic, wounded people who don’t even know enough about their own bodies to notice they’re losing a sense. And you’re making that comparison because we’re pursuing informed treatment for our illness to improve our quality of life?

Sorry for the text wall, Leo Skogkatt. I can take this to PMs if you want.

You misread a bunch of what I said didn’t you? I said it was risky like all surgeries, never did I say it was above and beyond. The testosterone thing was to point out the body chemistry CAN’T be the same between a man and a trans man, as that would be lethal to a female body, plain and simple, another point in the transition being artificial. And perhaps my understanding of artificial vaginas is off, but I would still readily believe that the scar does not just heal naturally as a large penis sized hole without at least repeated operations with great pain being likely, is that much wrong? Also, bunny girl was a parable, not meant to be a one to one comparison. It was more to put you in my shoes, but I notice the important thing with social justice type thinking, is to demand others do that for you, but never so it for them. How do you think I feel? If my feelings don’t matter to you, discussing them is basically talking to the wind. Its interesting, but if one would talk to me long enough, I would even, eventually, have to try to empathize with someone like say, a Black Hebrew Israelite (some of the most anti-white racists alive), if I ever expected to get anywhere. To beat an enemy with force, you need only hit harder, but to win otherwise, you have to listen and understand where they’re coming from.

Here, before you ask, I will try to empathize with you a little.
Another parable. And stick with me, you’ll see where this is going if you push past the initial thought to be offended by the premise.

What if, when I was little, I fantasized about being a dog? And then, what if that fantasy never went away and the desire only grew as I grew, until finally I started to loath being human. What if someone came to me, was honest at least enough to tell me they couldn’t really turn me into a functional dog, but they could make me look like one. It’s the life long dream that maybe I shouldn’t have, but I want so bad. The feelings would be so conflicting like:
“This isn’t natural... no other species does this... it feels so wrong...”
“Who am I honestly hurting? No one! So then how is it really wrong?”
“This is what I honestly want!”
“Yes its superficial but and permanent damage will be done but... it’s the best I can get!”
“Yes some studies say it’s iffy, but some say it works. I would rather take a chance, roll the dice and do something, rather than sit here, yearning to be something with no relief in sight and slowly go mad!”
Finally, “I see your concerns, and to be fair, they might even be mine in your shoes, but don’t you see, I have to do this for myself!”

Sound accurate?

I’m not 100% against transition. However I am for being cautious and realistic. Maybe, just maybe, bunny girl’s doctor had no alternative. Maybe the knife was in her hand to end her life, and to save her life, he did the only thing he could think of. She wanted to be something and it drove her to something that sounds insane to me, but objectively, is her life not worth more than my sensibilities? Maybe he didn’t lie to her, rather she’s telling herself she can hear better, because that’s part of her fantasy and it just won’t leave her alone. I still wouldn’t know how to respond and I would still be skeptical as the story just sounds so unlikely to be so black and white. I’m sorry, but no, you can’t just erase the implications of something. You’re having a surgery to make you LOOK like a male of the human species, but functionally you will not be such. You will not be able to spread sperm, your hormones will not have the same balance because that would probably kill you... even now, because this IS your situation, I’m not sure what to say. Nothing I say will make it better or different. i know that. All I can do is, perhaps, be a little balance, making you more seriously consider the other side. What you’re talking about is permanent and don’t be so naive as to assume you fully understand all of the consequences right now. I’m not so naive as to assume I fully understand what you’re going through, even if empathy can be a thing.

And yes, that last statement of my own parable: “Yes some studies say it’s iffy, but some say it works. I would rather take a chance, roll the dice and do something, rather than sit here, yearning to be something with no relief in sight and slowly going mad!”
I don’t know how to respond to that. You could want to be a T.Rex, but if that’s your reasoning, if that’s where you are, how can I really argue? But if I care about you as a person, I would still have to be a voice to say, “be careful.”.

But, I already doubt there’s a point in this conversation continuing.

Your parable did not come off as a simple plea for caution, it was a deeply condescending portrayal and did indeed suggest that transition was automatically wrong and inherently dangerous. But, now that you’ve explained that isn’t what you meant, I am sorry I thought of you that way.

“This isn’t natural... no other species does this... it feels so wrong...”
“Who am I honestly hurting? No one! So then how is it really wrong?”
“This is what I honestly want!”
“Yes its superficial but and permanent damage will be done but... it’s the best I can get!”
“Yes some studies say it’s iffy, but some say it works. I would rather take a chance, roll the dice and do something, rather than sit here, yearning to be something with no relief in sight and slowly go mad!”
Finally, “I see your concerns, and to be fair, they might even be mine in your shoes, but don’t you see, I have to do this for myself!”

Sound accurate?

Yes. That’s pretty much what it feels like. Thank you.

I’m not 100% against transition.

Good, cool. You didn’t come off that way initially.

However I am for being cautious and realistic.

We literally cannot be anything else short of doing it illegally. Going through the proper channels means doing it so slowly and so carefully, with waiting lists so long, that some people don’t make it. Just for my own example, my name was on my clinic’s list for two and a half years before anyone could even talk to me. I survived that wait, but if I hadn’t had the support that I did, I really might not have. These wait times are very long for people with these kinds of emotional problems, they’re not easy; when you ask for trans people to be careful, that’s what you’re asking them to do.

So ... don’t worry about us rushing into things. We’re careful. We have no choice but to be. If you’re worried about a trans person, I’d be more concerned about whether they’re losing their will to live than if their surgery might have a difficult recovery. I know this looks scary and extreme. I get that, I’m not saying it isn’t permanent or a big deal. I’m saying people need it to live. The danger of medical problems are statistically far less than the dangers of leaving dysphoria untreated.

I didn’t say you shouldn’t worry about the possible complications, although bottom surgery isn’t the nightmare you’re describing. It’s fine to be worried; Luna knows my parents worry about me. If that’s all you’re saying, then there’s nothing wrong with that.

That... you surprised me. I was waiting for more insistence of my “phobia”, which, credit where it’s due, you avoided any buzz words even when we were misunderstanding each other. Yes, that negative attitude is normal for people on my side about those on yours. You not sure why?

If I were to tell you there was a riot on a college campus today, with fires and assault being involved, would I REALLY have to tell you what the politics of the protestors would be? Yes, I know that’s unfair, but you can’t escape it. Guilt by association, fair or not, does exist.

Heck, I’m an MRA myself, and I guess that means I just have to accept some people will assume I’m a misogynist without even listening, because of the 4-chan freaks.

I have to admit I’m curious, if you’re willing to say in this forum, what is it about becoming a man that’s so attractive to you? (Please don’t tell me you’re convinced you’ll get “male privilege”.)


If I were to tell you there was a riot on a college campus today, with fires and assault being involved, would I REALLY have to tell you what the politics of the protestors would be? Yes, I know that’s unfair, but you can’t escape it. Guilt by association, fair or not, does exist.

You would have to tell me, actually. Human beings have the capacity to be violent, regardless of their politics, and I have heard enough stories of people rioting both on sides of issues I agree with and sides that I don’t; I wouldn’t assume either way if I could remember not to.

I have to admit I’m curious, if you’re willing to say in this forum, what is it about becoming a man that’s so attractive to you? (Please don’t tell me you’re convinced you’ll get “male privilege”.)

I would get male privilege if I reach the point of consistently passing because that is a real thing (whole other topic, we don’t need to discuss it if you don’t want.). However, that has nothing to do with why I want transition so badly. We’ve actually already covered the reason, and it is because I don’t want to live with severe gender dysphoria for the rest of my life. It may never go away completely, but if I can ease it, that’ll be enough. What you need to remember is, to me, I’m not ‘becoming’ a man. In my mind, I am already a man; that’s how I see myself, it’s as normal to me as your own male identity feels to you. But here I am, in not only a body but a life that doesn’t reflect that. It feels like what I was born into doesn’t belong to me. And let me tell you, it’s practically impossible to shake that; try going about your daily affairs, taking pleasure in your existence when there’s a constant, cloying sense that it isn’t your real life and you aren’t yourself. Pursuing my transition is putting something right that has been wrong from day one. And it would certainly be nice to look in the mirror and actually like what I see.

Nice story. My only issue is that realistically, 95% of people wouldn't have reacted as normally as Octavia did. I don't think of myself as a transphobic person, but I can tell you that If I was in a relationship with a woman who ended up revealing herself to have been born a man, I would be pretty weirded out. Don't really understand where all the dislikes are coming from, though.

Well, this fic is ironic (and fitting), considering the recent news that has come out.

That Dj-Pon3’s de facto voice actor came out as trans man?

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