I've had this discussion before. Sometimes more than once with the same buddy. Am I really a man if I'm not packing down there? Do I stuff my shorts to pass more easily? When is it safe to use the Guy's John?

Penises are a hot issue with all guys. Though most bio guys won't admit it, we too worry about how much of Johnson we have, how it looks and will a prospective love/trick pass us by if it's not impressive enough.

I want to state for the record that I do not believe that you need a penis to be a man. I have one, it's part of the original equipment I was born with. It's not ginormous, no one has yet gasped, pulling his wrists to his chest and begged me to put that monster away. No one. Not even one guy has pretended for the sake of my ego. But I'm not bitter.

About a decade and a half ago the first of my transbuddies, (named Jay) informed me "You don't have to have a penis to be a man." At the time, I'll admit here that I wasn't born enlightened about trans issues, I had to really think about it. Because to me, that's what made you a guy, right? I mean… it's a penis. It's your best friend, you take him everywhere. Jay, though, was patient and only punched me in the arm about six times until I agreed with him. Loudly.

But I soon saw the truth in his statement, and it was a big shift in understanding gender for me. Jay, wherever you are today, I want to thank you publicly for wisdom.

Each of my buddies who's worked to claim his true gender talks to me about his cock. This is also how I learned about the engorged clit. For those of you who don't know, when a guy starts T(esterone) often the Clit gets bigger.

For the record let me just say after having seen the Vagina Monologues, I was really jealous not to have one of those. They sound fabulously sensitive.

Lesson learned from another buddy, don't skip those T shots, because your newly enbiggened thing down there may lose a little mass, and it won't regain it. So keep those shots regular dudes.

What makes a man is his spirit.

A man is gentle and generous. He cares for others. He is not afraid to cry at sad movies. While some of these characteristics may sound femmy at first, let me assure that any man who is secure in his maleness can and does do these things. And it makes him all the manlier because he can do them. They are signs on strength, my friends.

Men, whatever body parts they have, possess a core of strength. They operate from that strength. This strength is what allows them to tough it out, to be strong, to "man-up." But it also allows him to nurture, to teach and to be vulnerable in love.

Strength makes a man.

Not just, or perhaps even, what his bicep can lift. Not a love of cars and football.


When a man is strong in his humble belief in himself, every person he encounters is strengthened and comforted by his presence.

This gentle strength is what every man should strive for. Think how much safer our world would be if all men, even those who didn't have to work to become men, practiced a gentle strength, a sharing strength, a nurturing masculinity.

The bulge, or lack of bulge, is the least of what makes a man.

His heart is what makes a man. His Spirit.

Keep these always in your mind: Strength, Spirit, Heart. Use these ideals to guide your actions, reactions and interactions with others, and you will always be a man honored by others.

Salaam, Shalom, en fe la paz, and Amen.

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