The sentence fragment you object to in my piece is very much taken out of context. Here’s that fragment in context:

The exact configuration of most people’s bodies, especially genitals and gonads, is rarely made explicit in casual social situations even if romantic or sexual relationships are contemplated. (Again, we make assumptions about people’s biological sex on the basis on their gender presentation; even more so in gay male spaces). In the absence of contrary information, it’s probably not unreasonable to assume that transmen have female bodies with female-typical genitals and gonads.

It should be clear from this paragraph, and the ones that preceded it, that I am referring to assumptions about genitals and gonads, not secondary sex characteristics. You might want to live in a world where people don’t make assumptions about a person’s sex on the basis of their gender presentation, but you don’t. Neither do I. That’s why I wrote that “it’s not unreasonable” to assume that’s what people do. It’s what we’ve all been socialized to do. But that doesn’t mean our assumptions are accurate, as you rightly point out.

But I do agree with you: hormone therapy can significantly alter a person’s secondary sex characteristics. But they don’t turn ovaries and a clitoris (female-typical genitals and gonads) into testicles and an ejaculating penis (male-typical genitals and gonads).

Finally, I want to be very clear that I am not claiming genitals and gonads are the essence or foundation of a person’s gender or gender identity. I am explicitly not arguing that transmen are “basically women,” as you seem to accuse. That’s a claim about transmen’s gender, not their sex. I agree with you that making such a claim “is not just transphobic; it’s factually incorrect.”

Which is why I didn’t make it.

I support the argument that transmen (who are living, presenting, and identifying as men) are men. But I don’t support any suggestion that transmen have male-typical bodies especially their genes, genitals, and gonads. Ultimately, it’s the dis-junction between transmen’s gender presentation as men and certain parts of their biological sex (that are particularly salient in gay male culture) that forms the basis of some gay men’s reluctance to enter romantic or sexual relationships with transmen.

And that’s the argument I made in my piece.

Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

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