A transgender man has gained attention on the internet for his heartfelt admission about how hard it is to be a man. James Barnes, who transitioned eight years ago, wept as he explained to online users how difficult it is to make friends since living as a man.
Being a Man Can Be Lonely
Life coach James, who lives with his wife Courtney, confessed, “‘No one told me how lonely being a man is.” He says that, while he is happy with his transition, he did not think making friends would be a challenge. His work as a life coach involves helping others work through similar challenges, particularly loneliness.
It Was Easier to Make Friends as a Woman
James told viewers of his viral video, “I had closer friendships with random women I met in the bathroom at clubs before I transitioned because of how open women are than I’ve had in my eight years of transitioning because women are just so much more vulnerable and deep than men.”
People Crossed The Street to Avoid Speaking to Him
With tears streaming from his face, James gave insight into his life, saying ‘when you transition, you’re just a guy walking down the street that people cross so they’re not near you. And friendships are so much harder to build, and people are colder.”
High Rates of Male Suicide
James pondered how lonely it feels to be a man and wondered whether this is why suicide rates are higher in men. He said ”I am an emotionally mature man, I know how to build friendships, and it’s still really, really hard.’ According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate for males in the United States was 28.7 per 100,000 in 2020. This means that for every 100,000 males, 28.7 died by suicide. This is more than three times the suicide rate for females in the United States, which was 8.7 per 100,000 in 2020.
He Understands Why Some Women are Afraid of Men
James also talks about how “’Women and marginalized groups have every right to feel cautious with men. There are terrible and dangerous men we have to stop.” He said, “Also, men are human and are not immune to the coldness or lack of empathy, and those who are not dangerous have to pick up the broken pieces often alone.”
Empathy in Men
Men are often socialized to suppress their emotions and to avoid appearing vulnerable. This can make it difficult for them to empathize with others, especially women, who are more likely to express their emotions openly. This could explain how James finds it difficult to connect with his male peers. Coming from a place of being surrounded by supportive women means that things have been complicated for James. He says, “’I had the gift of being raised in a society that thought I was female, so I was taught emotional maturity, and this is still difficult to work through.”
James Has No Regrets
While his video speaks of difficulties, James insists that he “has never regretted transitioning.” This is the case for many other men who struggle with some aspects of transition. Many people who transition to male experience social isolation before and after their transition. This can make it challenging to meet new people and form friendships.
People Applauded James
One person responded to James’ post, saying the video was “’The most real ftm [male to female transitioning] post I’ve ever seen.” Another person said,” I feel like all men deal with loneliness at some point, regardless of whether or not they were born a biological female. “
James Wants Other Men to Feel Supported
James has an avid following of fans on his Instagram page (@thetranscoach) who follow his videos that discuss all issues regarding transition, empowerment, stress, overcoming barriers, and much more. His intention for the video was to “’bridge some gaps for people to check on the strong men in their lives who might be silently struggling.”
Barnes is a passionate advocate for transgender rights. He believes everyone should have the right to live authentically, and he is committed to helping others achieve their goals. Barnes meets with clients one-on-one to help them develop a personalized plan for their transition. He can help them choose a name and pronoun to find clothes and makeup that make them feel comfortable. He also carries out group work and delivers workshops on various transition-related topics, such as coming out to family and friends, dealing with discrimination, and finding a job.
Lots of Work to Be Done
James’ video has triggered lots of discussion around men’s difficulties and the long struggle ahead. One person said, “’This is a compelling video. A woman tries to become a man but then discovers the profound isolation many men in modern society experience. Another glumly said, “ It is truly a tragic tale, but so much is revealed about our culture. None of it good.”
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