I’m Here, I Really Am…

This is something I posted on my Tumblr blog this morning which, to all intents and purposes, is really for thoughts and ideas that crop up and I want to share. PTSoL is more for this type of post….

When I read the comments sections of various articles about trans people, I always wonder why so many people comment on a subject they obviously know little about. Opinions are always welcome, be they positive or negative, and can sometimes be useful but, please, please, please, let them be informed opinions.

It takes very little in the way of searching online to find massive amounts of information on trans people, the various processes involved in transition, blogs describing individual transitions and much, much more. Really, there is no excuse for anyone not to know at least the basics.

Why, then, do so many people display such a high level of ignorance about trans issues? After all, its not like we’re invisible, or figments of someone’s imagination, although, according to some posts I’ve read, we don’t exist at all, which means that you cannot possibly be reading this. Think about that for a minute. This is one of the more common opinions floating around, along with the arguments, mainly aimed at trans women, that we are autogynophiles, gay men in denial or men simply trying to invade women’s spaces (which is laughable when you consider the physical and verbal abuse that most trans women suffer in their daily lives would make most men go pale and run and hide, not dress up to get into a ladies loo).

However, we do exist, are real and are not pretending. We walk among you, some known, some unknown but, we are here.

Other comments I’ve read seem to imply that we’re looking for ‘special’ rights, some come out and openly state it. Others have an air of disapproval, an implication that we need to ask permission to live.

We’re not seeking, nor do we need, anyone’s approval or approbation, nor are we asking for any rights over and above those accorded to every other person in society. We just want to be able to walk down the street without being harassed, to be able to go to the loo without our right to do so being questioned, and to live our lives without having to worry if we’re going to be fired, evicted or even imprisoned, simply for being who we are.

I think the problem lies in that our existence doesn’t fit in to some people’s immensely narrow world view and, rather than broaden their horizons and expand their view of the world, rather than use a little effort in educating themselves and admit we exist, they tie themselves in knots cherry picking bible verses, referencing tenuously relevant and totally irrelevant news items, and use every logical fallacy and straw-man argument they can muster to bolster their nebulous assertions that deny our existence, amusingly expending far more energy in this pursuit of ethereal contradiction rather than simply admitting we exist and are real.

I no longer bother trying to talk to people like this.

After all, there’s no point in arguing with someone who is denying your very existence when you are refuting every one of their arguments simply by sitting there, smiling. 

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Hmmmm

Many years ago, I used to wonder if my Nan would die, and if she did, would my grandfather take over the house? At the same time I was worried that Thomas Covenant would fail to defeat Lord Foul. On top of those worries, I was worried that, being brought up as a male, I would never become the woman I knew I was.

Funny that, innit? Knowing that you are being brought up as a man and yet, wanting to give all that up, give it away, to lose all that privilege, to be the woman you always knew yourself to be.

Yet, that is what I did. And I did it gladly. I didn’t do it to gain entry to toilets. to have some sort of power, to have “energy”. I did it because it was the right thing for me. I wasn’t male, despite my physical appearance. And, yes, I was born male. According to society. I had physical characteristics of a male, on the outside, and I had a male upbringing. Well, as male as one can get when you are trying to be female.

No, much to my regret, I didn’t go through menstruation, but then, neither did a lot of women. I don’t have XX chromosomes, but then, neither do a lot of other women. I’ve not suffered from a lot of things that many women have suffered from . Then again, neither have most women these days.

Now, you may start thinking that I haven’t had the upbringing that all women have. I was lucky. I had two wonderful parents and a wonderful  brother. I had what should have been an amazing life. Unfortunately, there was a problem, and that problem was that I was trans (although I didn’t know it at the time, I just knew I was different). Amazingly, despite my best efforts over the years, I didn’t manage to kill myself (and, believe me, I tried, it’s not easy). So, no, most trans women don’t have a ‘typically female’ upbringing. Nor do we have a ‘typically male’ upbringing.

If your idea of me having “male privilege” is having grown up in a male body then, I must say, you are sadly mistaken. I spent most of my life scared of even leaving the house, just in case someone realised I was trans. When I did finally come out, I was so scared of going outside that my partner offered to get people off the street to come and see me, just so I wouldn’t feel alone.

This thing you call “male privilege”, is only effective if you are secure as a male. It does not work for trans women. It never has, and it never will do. Growing up male never worked either.

So, you may call us “male”. you may say we have “male privilege”, you may say we re not women but, in each of those, you will be wrong.

 

Oh, think on this: Even if there was no such thing as gender, no binary “male” or “female”, my body would have still been wrong (considering I knew it was wrong before I’d even heard of these terms).

How Many Times Does This Have To Be Said?

I’m a trans woman.

I’m a woman with a trans past.

I may be a trans woman with XY chromosones.

I may be a trans woman with XX chromosones,

I may have xxy, xyy, xxx, xyx, or other chromosones.

Does it matter?

Does it really matter?

I live. I breathe.

I enjoy.

I care.

I worry about politics.

I worry about life.

What do you worry about?

Where I go to the toilet?

Where I walk on the street?

Why do you worry if I exist?

I don’t worry if you exist!

I really don’t care where you walk.

I don’t care where you live.

I don’t care.

So, why should you?

Does my existence hurt you that much?