Not feeling entirely comfortable in a man’s body—being male, masculine—is probably more common than we think. Even those of us who’ve never questioned whether or not we ‘are’ or want to be a man have probably had moments where the associated expectations, the collection of behaviours, responsibilities and social norms men are expected to perform and embody, are just a bit of a fucking drag.
This episode on the podcast, we speak with Shoeb Ahmad, a father, musician and sound technician, who after a period of prolonged reflection on this kind of experienced discomfort, decided that identifying as male was no longer right for her. Shoeb now identifies as female or gender non-binary, a move that reflects a desire to re-engage with elements of her person that were stifled and repressed.
As she says herself, however, there are still key symbols of maleness and masculinity that are important to her. Shoeb is still a father, for example. Shoeb’s family, too, has yet to fully understand and accept the change in her. “Blood’s thicker than water,” Shoeb says at one point in the podcast, “but how thick is blood?” The question of why a person leaves maleness and masculinity, then, and what challenges they face in doing so, as seen through Shoeb’s eyes, are the subject of today’s podcast.