Today I was leaning over the sink and shaving part of my face (I currently have muttonchops or what Jello calls office chops because I don’t let it grow very long). It dawned on me that it was weird I hadn’t shaved it off yet.
I sometimes have facial hair so it hides my chin/throat area (I am a bigger guy, and sometimes get anxious about the neck fat, yes yes I have body issues). However, a lot of the time I have grown facial hair out either because I was annoyed and wanted to maybe look a little more intimidating for upcoming audit meetings, or for random passing fancy (I suspect sometimes it is because of gender identity issues I have, but that is a different post).
To give you a little background, I have been the far more masculine looking between Jello and I. For 22 years he appeared feminine and honestly even for the last 18 of 24 months I have appeared far more masculine then he was during his transition.
This includes the fact that Jello has always had more hardcore tattoos then I (up until four years ago he had far more, now I probably have more actual ink, but his is more visible). He always had more piercings, harder hair styles, etc. Yet through all of that I still was obviously the more masculine.
This fits in with the fact I grew up around hard men, who all appeared hard to “normal citizens”. They might have been softies, but they generally looked like intimidating versions of modern day vikings (some might call them bikers). That has always been my example of masculine appearance growing up.
I used to have a goatee for over a decade in the 90s. That went away (and is verboten by Jello because it is a really outdated look). Since then I occaisionally grow out a beard (close trimmed because I itch) or muttonchops. Either way I rarely keep the facial hair longer then 2-3 weeks. It gets itchy and too warm (I have really sensitive skin). Either way I haven’t had facial hair longer than a month for close to 15 years.
I noticed this last time (as I leaned over the sink) that I have had my mutton chops for almost two months. I do think it looks good, but it is itchy and I sometimes have to quash the urge to shave it off. This is way longer than I normally keep facial hair.
Now, you might think it is weird that I am posting here about this. However, it dawned on me that this is the first time I have grown out any masculine facial hair since Jello has fully transitioned (barring top surgery which we talk to surgeon on Monday). Jello is very masculine looking (and the tattoos and hair style he has now is far more masculine then what I have). This is perhaps the first time in our relationship, that the details indicate he is more masculine then me in appearance except for facial hair.
Pretty much the only thing that puts me in the “more masculine” appearance with Jello is my beard. I don’t think that is the only reason for my keeping the chops, but I think it might be a big reason. I had to think about this for a day or two. It is the only difference between now and 25 years of growing and shaving beards. I knew I was competitive but I hadn’t thought it would go that far.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Jello is hot, I am attracted to him and I am glad to be here. However, I am going to have to be ok with Jello sometimes looking harder and more masculine than me.
I am used to the “harder” part when it comes to tattoos and piercings, but the more masculine part is new and I think it worried me subconsciously. I have thought about it a lot, and I am definitely ok with it. I just sort of feel guilty that it snuck up on me and I didn’t realize it earlier.