Scott Turner: One lady followed me around a supermarket because she was sure I was Ellen DeGeneres. I was like, that’s flattering. I’m a guy, you know?
Buck Angel: Hi, my name is Buck Angel.
Pat Manuel: My name is Pat Manuel.
Scott Turner: My name is Scott Turner Scolfield.
Rocco: My name is Rocco, and I identify as a man with a transgender history.
Scott Turner: Masculinty is an energy. It has nothing to do with your chromosomes.
Pat Manuel: When I was still identifying as female-bodied, like, I was definitely masculine. There has never been a point in my life where I haven’t identified as masculine.
Buck Angel: My masculinity defines my maleness. It just does.
Rocco: There are just situations that I’m more masculine, and there are other situations that I am more feminine, but I’m always a man.
Buck Angel: My parents really just thought of me as their son, and I really believe that.
Rocco: I honestly didn’t understand that I wasn’t male until puberty.
Pat Manuel: I was always involved in stereotypical rough housing. My sister and I used to get into fist fights on our roller blades playing hockey.
Scott Turner: I would play with my friends, and we would play Barbies, and I would always play Ken.
Rocco: There was a “Shave with Daddy” kit that was like this fake little razor and a fake shaving cream bottle, and I would stand in the mirror next to my dad and pretend to shave everyday.
Scott Turner: The other day, I saw myself and I said “I’ve become Ken.” Be careful what you wish for, okay? Age eleven was when my best guy friend sat me down and said if you don’t start acting like a girl, I’m not going to be able to stop what happens to you.
Buck Angel: Bad things started happen to me. I just wasn’t comfortable with myself.
Rocco: I fell into a bit of depression. I stopped going to school, and I had been in honors classes.
Scott Turner: You have the adolescent part, where you’re struggling to say, “Look, I know who I am. It’s not a phase. It’s not weird. It just is what it is. Why do I have to go through this lie?”
Rocco: It took me finding out that there was an option to align my brain and my body to feel comfortable.
Pat Manuel: I became involved in boxing as way to kind of craft an image of myself that I had in my head, but didn’t know how to get out. Boxing was basically my gateway to my queer identity.
Buck Angel: So my transition was really the catalyst for me to be able to finally feel like myself in the world.
Rocco: All of the negativity that I felt and that baggage that I’d been carrying with me for, you know, a decade-plus, fell away as soon as I looked the way I always felt.
Scott Turner: I don’t like to shave my face because that’s when people start calling me ma’am.
Rocco: I’m constantly conscious of how am I a man. How much space am I taking up? How am I making people uncomfortable?
Pat Manuel: Now that I walk through this world looking to people as a black man, the hostility has increased. I definitely started experiencing being pulled over by police a lot more often. I was like, “Oh, what am I getting pulled over for?” I’m not being able to talk myself out of the ticket like my mom was able to.
Scott Turner: My experience as a transgender person has been one of self-acceptance. My entire life, I was not accepted.
Buck Angel: Trans men talking to cisgender men can really let them understand that, you know, it’s okay just to become the kind of man that you want to be, not the kind of man that you’ve been taught to be.
Scott Turner: What I say to everybody, I think just fits, you know. Forget gender. How do you be you?