Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Mangina Man's Story Deepens

Remember when I blogged about Xtube's Mangina Man? Well, ever since he posted a small video clip from MSNBC about his transition, I had been searching for more information, but to no avail. I had to admit I had some doubts that I tried to cast away. The main pictures provided were either of a clothed chest or one in a harness that conveniently covered the area under the pecs, where most transmen have their masectomy/breast removal scars. His profile proudly paints him as a man born male-bodied, who chose to get penile inversion surgery to create a vagina/mangina, because well, he wanted it. I wanted to believe, but the naggling skeptic in the back of my mind wondered if we had a transman here, trying, perhaps, in internalized self-hatred and transphobia, to erase his female-bodied past.

Then, today, I found Mangina Man had posted the direct link to this MSNBC documentary "Born In The Wrong Body: A Change Of Heart", and, after some watching, the pieces started coming together. His tale is actually a lot deeper and more nuanced than some dude getting a pussy on a whim.

The Mangina Man was raised male and he did get penile inversion surgery. But in fact, he was born intersexed and underwent infantile surgery to remove his ambiguous genitalia. Later in life, he would change his sex as part of your average MtF transition to female. And he spent 20 years living as a woman before realizing he wanted to be male once again. Looking back, there are no lies up on his page, but this big chunk does seem to be missing. Not that I can blame him. It's hard enough explaining one's transsexuality to your average layperson. Try explaining your transition to the opposite gender, and then your transition back again to a person unfamiliar with transsexuality or intersexuality.

So if you thought Mangina Man's story was unique before, this makes him probably the most unique guy, ever. (Well, not that unique- the documentary includes another guy who went through the exact same changes). I don't know what kept/keeps his Xtube profile somewhat ambiguous- curbing stupid and hateful comments and questions? Keeping the mystery alive or wanting to share such deep and personal history with individuals you are interested in getting to know (and not just the whole word)? Is it shame?

All I can say is- there's nothing to be ashamed about. I'm still in awe of you, Mangina Man, even more than ever. I think trans people are amazing for being who they are despite what the world tells them. I can't imagine the criticism and fights you went up against in being who you are a second time, this time perhaps from both cisgender and transgender communities. I think it's amazing you shared your story in so many places- perhaps providing the information and example to those who have transitioned and felt regret, but were told it was normal, that they ought forget those twinges, and that transitioning back would be crazy and wrong. You're incredible.

You can also watch a little bit of his story in Tom Murray's documentary "Almost Myself", and, if you're lucky enough, the Murray Povich show's reruns.

The documentary "A Change Of Heart" is truly interesting, regardless of who you are and whether you care about Mangina Man- I suggest everyone give it a watch.

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