In plain words, I am transgender. Most of my classmates know. Most, nearly all, of my friends know. My family knows. Certain people in the school faculty know. My boyfriend knows this as well. 0.3% of US adults are also transgender. That is a minority in statistics alone, as applying that (admittedly, American) statistic worldwide, it is a rather large minority. A population of 7 billion; that means 210 million people are transgender. 46% of transgender men have attempted suicide, and 42% of transgender women have as well. Transgender people who don’t pass (if someone is passing that means they look like they were born the gender they identify as) also have a large suicide attempt rate. More than 50% of transgender people have also experienced some sort of discrimination, violence, or rejection.
Here’s an Alaskan Malamute pupper to lighten the mood!
It’s a hard thing to understand. Everyone generally assumes things, unless they flat out know that they know nothing. The layman would like to think they have an okay understanding of transgender people. Spoiler alert: they really don’t. Even among trained psychologists and therapists and doctors, I would be very confident in saying they don’t understand anything. Even a lot of transgender might not understand themselves, and especially not well enough to describe why they feel transgender. If I were to tell you to picture it, you’d imagine wanting to be the opposite sex. Of course, you can’t really understand that. I want you to imagine being the opposite sex every day of your life. I want you to imagine every bit of fun you’ve ever had in your life. Now I want you to imagine what would have happened if you were the opposite sex. Trying to wrestle with other kids, or trying to play dress up with your friends, if I can use stereotypes for a second. Even as an adult, or as a teenager, imagine everything you’ve ever done and how it would have changed if you were the wrong gender. Asking out a cute girl, or a hot guy. It’s honestly humiliating. In public, dressed as a guy, I feel uncomfortable everywhere. Maybe the clothes I feel comfortable in I only do because of gender roles in society. Even so, I still like those clothes. To sympathise with transgender people, don’t imagine wanting to be the opposite sex. Imagine being the opposite sex and wanting to be your current sex. If you’re a guy, imagine being pressured by society to grow your hair, to learn makeup, to wear a dress, to smile at strangers, expected to be pretty, and all the things society says girls should do. If you’re a girl, imagine being a transgender girl. You need your hair cut, you’re expected to grow a beard, your shoulders are broad as a barn, your hips and chest are flat and aligned, you’re expected to know everything and to be as stoic as a brick wall. Now imagine that wanting to be as you are meant to be had you labelled as weird, and imagine the time it would take to be put onto the correct path, that is, not being Gay Camp’d cisgender, but rather starting the long process of getting hormones and changing school documents, uniforms, and government documents.
Again I’d recommend taking a break for a sec,
maybe watch some Good Mythical Morning!
For me, I don’t “want to be a girl” so I can wear dresses. I am a girl. I want to get the correct hormones so I can stop wanting to die, hurt myself, or hurt others (I wanted to stab Mr. Barton with my pen when he grouped Me, Callum, Liam, and Jon as “boys”, even if he was unaware that what he was doing hurt me). I even just want to do it so I can be happy with how I am and how I look. Please note the distinct absence of “showing kids my willy in the locker rooms” or “invading women’s spaces”. This is solely about me, and about setting my life on a status-quo of normality. Right now, I don’t have that normality, the hormones my brain requires to function are not being delivered. I am being hurt by what my body naturally does, like when shrapnel is pushed closer and closer to organs in the wake of healing flesh. I want to correct this, I don’t care about the societal privileges or pitfalls this transition brings. My main concerns are my body, my brain, and my emotions.
My number one concern is still about how many
people know the Incredible String Band
You may be wondering exactly what I am protesting, then.
Ignorance. Willful ignorance can’t be helped, and if you want to see some great examples of it look up TERFs (Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminists, although they consider that a slur and are offended by the “Trans-Exclusionary” part. Personally, I think they should be more offended people mistake their bigotry for feminism). I’m not trying to change hearts and minds all around the globe. Realistically, this 965 word essay will have no effect. It won’t change how excruciating the processes are to even begin transition, it won’t stop many transgender people being killed, raped, or harassed. It won’t stop people being transgender in the first place. As people in my position are bound to say, as long as I can change one person’s mind, I’ll be happy. My time is near worthless. Right now I’d be playing Dark Souls, with not a real care about life. Even a single person being given understanding by what I have done is of infinite value relative to the worth of my time. Regardless of if your time has value, or it’s just as value-less as mine, thank you for spending it on reading this.