An FTM with an adam’s apple

After a delightful massage with Yonik, I gave him my California earthquake kit and a realization that I was bidding him a farewell. After all, he had moved to Los Angeles, he was excited about the new life he was embarking on there doing photography, training and massage. He’d gotten his hair colored and cut. He seemed more assured and less sensitive than when I first met him two years ago.

But I got curious. Was Yonik is real name? So, I started sleuthing starting with his phone number. I got on a web site (and promptly got off of it after paying a fee with the credit card) and found a name, Alex Budin attached to the phone number. It listed people I didn’t recognize as family members so I wasn’t sure if he was the one. Then I found a web site attached to the phone number that listed masseurs in the Scottsdale area. Lo and behold, his profile popped up. There was the red flag “Visiting in the area” and a recent photo. I clicked on the photo and was genuinely startled to read that he states he is a “FTM transgender.” Really? I looked at the photos of him. He has a pronounced adam’s apple. How is that possible? Besides the nipping and tucking that goes on in the gender re-assignment surgery, do they throw in an adam’s apple to boot? Color me skeptical.

I googled Alex Budin and found his facebook profile. Why I can’t find friends on facebook via my profile eludes me. Anyway, there he was in living color. One of his friends is listed has having four mutual friends with me. I clicked on his profile and he pops up with people I know in Long Beach. There’s a passing reference to transgenderism, but otherwise, he shows a large number of hunky, muscular men working out at a local LA gym. Alex is definitely a fun-loving guy, obviously a man who knows his way around the social media and technology of the 21st century. He’s not the shy, eastern european refugee one might make him out to be. Pensive, yes, (a trait that eastern european men seem to favor) but it’s just an act.

Of course there were a whole string of favorable reviews about him in his Phoenix and Scottsdale massage profiles. One reviewer called him Alex in his review. I also found David’s profile I had to chuckle at his profile and the reviews. One reviewer called him Frankie which made me realize that these masseurs seem to have a host of aliases that they go by. One guy I’ve had I know as Joe in a 12 step program, but online he’s known as Jack.

So, this revelation that Alex is an FTM has me unnerved. Do I have a prejudice against transgenders? I think so. Why? I guess it’s the confusion (for me) about one’s gender, how one is presenting oneself. I mean, straight up: are you a man or a woman? Obviously Alex/Yonik must have been so troubled about being born with female genitalia that she devoted a great deal of time and money to turn herself into an amazing specimen of manhood. Boy, the coming out to one’s family on that score must have been really tense. I can see why she/he had to leave Crimea.

I guess, and it’s no fault of Alex, that I’m angry. I feel I was deceived. True, the person who has presented himself to me each time for a massage has been (in my mind) a man. Last time when he took off his shirt I admired his physique. To have found out that he built his body on the frame of what once was that of a female body…. I know, it doesn’t make sense to be distressed about it but I am bothered. I need to mull this one over some more.

It’s the adam’s apple I can’t reconcile.

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