How to Know if You're TransI see these questions sometimes, about "how can you be sure you're trans?" I see the sentiment often in articles that claim to "question" transsexuality, from well-meaning but pain-in-the-ass bystanders, and so on. A lot of it gives me a migraine the size of a T-Rex behind my right eye, so I thought I might help clear up some of the confusion.How to Know if You're Trans4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
There is only one way to "know" you're trans. And that's because you feel you are. Does this answer seem vague to you? It should, because it is. As much as others would like to tell you otherwise, there is no "test" for being trans. There is no criteria that if you check enough boxes, congratulations, you're transgendered. I ID very strongly as trans, but I fail nearly every single criteria required for Aetna's insurance coverage of trans care. In Aetna's eyes, I'm not a "true transsexual,"
The Gated Trans CommunityI hate the concept of identity as gated community.The Gated Trans Community4 years ago in Editorial More Like This
I've been seeing this in trans circles lately, this idea that you can't just have anybody identifying as trans, or the next thing you know, the bums will take over the whole neighborhood! You'll have those giggly yaoi fangirls who want to be bishounen because bishounen are hawt, and those creepy guys who want to be girls just so they can have sex with lesbians, and they will poison the community.
To which I wonder, poison with what? I'm serious here, how exactly will they harm the community?
If they're creepy, fetishistic people, well, that's certainly not a province solely for the cis. I've met creepy asshole trans people before, and I avoid them for being creepy assholes.
But that's not what you're really worried about. Because you're not talking about poisoning our community with creepiness and assholery. You're talking about our community being poisoned with
Social and Body DysphoriaThere seem to be at least two forms of dysphoria, when it comes to trans shit: social and body.Social and Body Dysphoria4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Social dysphoria is the dysphoria that comes from how others treat you. It's when I get called 'ma'am' by the waiter, or by everyone on the phone, or how I can not fit into any article of clothing in the shop that I want.
My social dysphoria is pretty minor. It's annoying, but it very rarely spurs me into rage. Sexism exacerbates social dysphoria, but it doesn't create it. People can be perfectly kind and polite and still cause social dysphoria--think of all those well-intentioned people who tell me what a pretty girl I am.
Some people want to pass or transition to ease social dysphoria. In my case, I do not; I have enough folks around me who treat me properly that I don't mind. Also, it's never been my huge issue.
My issue tends to be more body dysphoria. It's quite basic: parts or traits of my body are wrong.
Words program our minds"My breasts are sore."Words program our minds4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
"My vagina [anything]."
"[x] thinks I am crazy because I 'think I am a man'."
"Ah, on my period again."
"I need to see the doctor for [enter gynecological condition here]."
Self talk damages. Messages like the ones above are reinforcing ownership of the wrong body. Not only is there the rest of the world telling us by action, word, and glance that we are the wrong gender, thoughts like the above are also telling us the same straight to our subconscious.
I try to say "the breasts," "the vagina," and the like, thus not reinforcing the message of ownership. I recently said that "[x person] is telling people that I am crazy because I 'think I am a man'," which, as hard as I try to find a way to reframe this, I cannot. I cannot reframe ownership of the female body in that one.
This process has gotten me thinking about words and how powerful they are, how damaging they can be, how, through words, we program ourselves.
Normal"This isn't normal, is it?" I asked.Normal4 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
He looked up.
"Normal people don't have to do this, do they?" I asked. "Normal people don't get thrown out of places because they exist. Do they?"
He sighed. His eyes were tired. "No, baby."
"They don't have trouble finding somewhere to live. They don't worry about losing their jobs. They don't lose their parents." I said, trying to make them sound like statements, not questions. "Not because they exist."
He shook his head.
I nodded. "I'd forgotten. It's been so long since I was normal, I'd forgotten."
He looked at me for a moment, then stood and held me until the shock passed.