Man Mourning Loss Of Close Friendships After Transitioning Shows How Lonely It Is To Be A Man

Expressing his sense of loneliness was a brave and vulnerable act.

James on TikTok & two men laughing together wearemanenough / TikTok; Mental Health America / Pexels

A TikTok post displayed by the “We Are Man Enough” platform illuminated the complex challenges men face when trying to create lasting emotional connections with other men.

We Are Man Enough defines itself as “a movement founded on the belief that by undefining traditional roles and traits of masculinity, men will be able to realize their potential as humans and their capacity for connection.” The video they posted featured a public speaker and transition coach named James, who shares his experiences as a trans man on his own TikTok account.


James expressed how deeply he mourned the loss of having close friendships after transitioning, showing how isolating it is to be a man.

The post that James recorded was a stitched video, opening with footage of a group of women in a public bathroom and overlaid with the statement, “Knowing that men will never experience the girls’ bathroom.”

In the post, James tearfully stated, “Nobody told me how lonely being a man is.”



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“I have had closer friendships with random women I met in the bathroom, before I transitioned, at clubs, because of how open women are, than I’ve had in my eight years of transitioning. Because women are so much more vulnerable and deep,” he stated.

He described how he felt a certain kind of isolation, one that stemmed from the stark differences in how men and women are socialized to relate to those around them.

“I think a lot of trans men feel this, is [that] we knew what that depth felt like before we transitioned,” James said. “We knew what it felt like, to have people want to hug us and to have people want to talk to us. And have a community. And then, you transition and you’re just a guy, walking down the street, that people cross the street so that they’re not near you.”

James acknowledged that his loneliness doesn’t negate the reality that men can cause harm to the people around them.


trans man explains why it's so isolating and lonely to be a manPhoto: Armin Rimoldi / Pexels

As he explained, “Friendships are so much harder to build. And people are colder. And what’s hard is, none of this invalidates how real and raw women and people who are in marginalized groups feel about cis, white men. All of that’s valid.”

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By expressing vulnerability and articulating his sense of isolation, James voiced a vital truth, showing how rigid definitions of masculinity harm all of us.

“I also now understand why the suicide rate is so much higher in men,” he said. “Because this s–-t is lonely. And I’m an emotionally mature man. I know how to build friendships and it is still really, really hard.”

He ended his post with a gentle call to action, wondering if there are ways “how you can, in your small little community, where you feel safe, can reach out to the men in your life and just help them maybe feel seen for a moment, or do little conversations to help their emotional maturity, so that they can reach out to people and have deeper guy friendships.”

The video received over 9,000 comments, revealing how deeply James’ experience resonated with others. One person exclaimed, “This is peak masculinity — vulnerability, openness, compassion, and integrity.”

Someone else commented, “I feel like cis folks like me don’t appreciate the wisdom our trans peers contain about the human experience.”


trans man explains why it's so isolating and lonely to be a manPhoto: Nicholas Swatz / Pexels

“I’ve been crying about the same thing lately,” said another person. “I miss the camaraderie. But going back to pretending would still be more painful than this, so it’s hard.”

One man shared that seeing James so openly express how lonely he feels helped him realize how valuable it is to openly discuss those feelings. He said, “I’ve grown up convincing myself that this loneliness was either invalid and/or unimportant for the peace of mind of folks around me. Thank you for this.”


James’ expression of such complicated and nuanced emotions offered other men space to be emotionally vulnerable, too.

The caption beneath the TikTok post read, “This pride month, let’s remember the importance of meaningful connection and building community.” By giving voice to his loneliness, James is already doing the necessary work involved in cultivating deeper levels of intimacy.

RELATED: 10 Ways Guys Can Meet Real Friends & Stave Off The Loneliness Epidemic

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers issues related to the queer community, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.