Boys Do Cry

This special series focuses on intersectional issues of violence facing transgender men and other transmasculine people. It strives to elevate the voices of transmasculine survivors of violence, whether from self-inflicted harm, state-sanctioned violence in the criminal justice system, or emotional and cultural violence that stems from the silencing effect that can accompany masculinity.

The Advocate July 13th, 2015

Op-ed: Why We Must (Sometimes) Talk About Violence Against Trans Men


Boys Do Cry: While we must continue putting violence against trans women in the forefront, trans male survivors also need space to speak out.


There was a time in my life when I considered violence against trans men trivial: too rare, a negligible statistic of little matter to the trans rights movement. And then I became a news reporter.

I’ll never forget when I heard about Ky Peterson. When I first got the email about Ky — a black trans man who’s currently serving 20 years in a Georgia prison for killing his rapist in self-defense — I felt like lightning struck me. I sat up straighter in my chair. The feeling was, in one sense, a reporter’s tic: This is a good lead. But for me, it was also something more: This is a story about a trans man I’ve never heard before.

Read The Full Article Here

The Advocate July 13, 2015

Surviving Alleged Abuse, Suicide Attempt, Ky Peterson Won’t Stay Silent



The black trans man tells The Advocate how alleged neglect and mistreatment by Georgia prison staff led to him nearly dying while held in isolation.

Ky Peterson, the 23-year-old black Georgia trans man imprisoned for killing his rapist, survived taking a lethal dose of seizure medication Tegretol June 3, while held in an isolated “segregation” cell at Pulaski State Prison, an all-female facility in Hawkinsville, Ga.

It’s a frightening turn in a story filled with years of seeming institutional disregard for Peterson’s well-being that The Advocate has been covering since releasing an April investigative report on his case, “This Black Trans Man Is in Prison for Killing His Rapist.”

Read The Full Article Here

The Advocate July 14, 2015

Op-ed: Learning to Love My Trans Male Body After Years of Violence


 BY Nicholas Ballou

If I’d started a list at age 13 of all the things I hated about my body, I’d probably still be writing it now, a decade later. I was a short, chunky trans boy who despised my curves. Plus my hair was too blond, nails too round, fingers too slim, shoulders too narrow, thighs too thick — you get the idea.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I’ve never thought about all the things right with my body. The fact that my heart beats and my lungs breathe and my immune system functions like no other. And even while my body shape is not necessarily exactly where I want it to be, I figure I have to start appreciating it for what it is: mine. Whether or not it meets all of the social standards for manhood.

Read the Full Article Here

The Advocate July 15th, 2015

Op-ed: Why Do Transmasculine People Tend to Stay in Abusive Relationships? 

By Joe Ippolito


As a trans man in his late 30s — 38 to be exact — I found dating came with a set of challenges. I had been single for close to four years and was ready to meet someone new. While there were definitely aspects of being single that I enjoyed, I also desired love, intimacy, and partnership, and so in January 2007 I set out to find it.

Read The Full Article Here

The Advocate July 16, 2015

Op-ed: How LGBT Communities Can Better Listen to Trans Male Violence Survivors

By Lucas Silveira

I’ve found that LGBT communities are not always a safe space to have conversations, though we don’t like to admit it. I’ve been quiet for years over one issue because of this, but its importance has trumped my fears. We need to talk about something:

Trans men face pain and struggles every day for being who they are, but many feel pressure to remain silent about it.

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The Advocate July 17, 2015

Op-ed: Breaking My Silence as a Trans Man Who Attempted Suicide

By SGT. Shane Ortega

A huge percentage of transgender people (41 percent in the U.S.) attempt suicide, and suicidal thoughts dot the storyboards of many of our lives. We trans rights advocates talk often about how to end this epidemic, but nonetheless a certain shadowy silence prevails.

A cultural taboo about feeling the desire to die keeps many suicide survivors from ever discussing their experiences, much less doing so publicly. But I believe that for those of us who feel able and willing, telling the stories of our attempts can provide a segue into a conversation for healing — for us survivors as well as the entire community.

Read the Full Article Here

The Advocate July 17, 2015

Op-ed: Violence Against Trans Men Will Lessen If We Address Trans Women’s Oppression

By Max Thorton


When I was first coming to terms with the idea that I might be a transgender man, I wondered if instead I just harbored a lot of internalized misogyny. What if I wasn’t really trans? What if I was just a woman who had so completely absorbed the sexism of our society, both subtle and overt, that I subconsciously hated women and that was why I couldn’t bear to be one?

I know now that that isn’t the case, but still, I worried. And the false “trans men are just self-hating women” claim is still one that’s lodged against trans men by many who don’t really understand trans people.

Read the Full Article Here

The Advocate July 21, 2015

Op-ed: When Homeless Trans Men Face Violence, There Are No Places to Turn



I started my journey toward living as the man I am at 12. I had always been a masculine kid. And nearly from birth, I’d gone from foster care to living on both sides of my abusive parents’ and stepparents’ families. Every place I landed, there was more emotional abuse — or worse, sexual abuse — heaped on me. It was inescapable.

By the time I was a pre-teen, it led me to the streets. I was free, I thought. But the shift simply opened up a new world I had to learn to survive in. The little help I got from the state threw me into half-assed therapy sessions, where the therapist tried to convince me I should meet my foster parents’ needs. Thankfully I ended up with a social worker whose supervisor was a butch lesbian; she was the only one who really understood what I was dealing with. She saved my life, and I’ll never forget her for that.

Read the Full Article Here

The Advocate July 23, 2015 

Op-ed: Trans Men Experience Far More Violence Than Most People Assume

By Loree Cook-Daniels


Violence against transmasculine folks is an issue that is currently very much underdiscussed. Part of this invisibility problem stems from the current focus on just one aspect of violence against trans people: hate violence that results in death. But there are other kinds of violence we need to be taking into account to get a full picture, including sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.

Read the Full Article Here

The Advocate August 20, 2015

Op-ed: Entering Manhood With Zero Male Role Models

By Basil Soper


I’ve thought a lot about when the exact point in my childhood was that life became unmanageable. A few months before my 11th birthday, out of the blue, my parents, three siblings, and I had to up and move from New Jersey to South Carolina. My father, it seemed, had gotten in too deep with a small-time Italian Mafia gang. He had become involved at first to score cocaine for himself and my mother, but the situation progressed to the point that it seemed he needed to leave and take the whole family with him.

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The Advocate February 16, 2016

Making Sense Out of the Murders of Trans Men

By Mich Kellaway


Three weeks ago, the body of trans man F. Hilário was found on an isolated road in Paraná, Brazil. The 20-year-old was discovered deceased, with apparent head injuries, by a passerby. The location, according to local newspaper Parana, is notorious among local residents as a dumping ground for murder victims; Hilário had been reported missing a day before.

The man who found Hilário’s body called the police to report that a boy was murdered. Official reports initially described Hilário as a male murder victim, leading Parana to correctly refer to Hilário as a boy. But the newspaper explains in a note that an “expert” later informed reporters Hilário was “a girl.” The paper’s article was updated to use female pronouns, and still currently misgenders the young trans man.

Read the Full Article Here

The Advocate February 17,2016

6 Ways to Combat Fatal Violence Against Trans Men

By Mitch Kellaway


As an introductory consideration to the issue of fatal violence against trans men — particularly through the cases of Kayden Clarke, F. Hilário, Yoshi Tsuchida, Evon Young, and Brandon Teena — my observations yesterday in “Making Sense Out of the Murders of Trans Men” were hardly exhaustive. I hope, at the very least, they indicate one thing: There’s much about this topic that we just don’t know yet.

Read the Full Article Here

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