Trans* 242: Advanced Theory7 July, 2013
This is an addition I would add to the article: Not Your Mom’s Trans* 101.
As a transsexual there is something I really want cis people to understand, though keep in mind that I do not speak for all transsexuals, much less the entirity of the trans* community. I am not “MtF,” “Male to Female,” “a woman trapped in a man’s body,” or someone who had a “sex change.” These are all terms invented by cis, male doctors and psychiatrists for pigeonholeing trans* folk into a gender normative category. They are, also, wrong. They presume I was male because of a single, immediately observable characteristic. But I am not now, nor was I ever male. This is what I so desperately want to convey to people: I am not a boy who wants to be a girl or a man who became a woman; I am a girl who spent thirty years desperately trying to be a boy, desperately trying to become a man, because everyone believed I was and because I would disappoint and hurt so many people, if I wasn’t. In the end I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be a man because I was never male and the physical and emotional damage done to me from trying litteraly crippled me and nearly killed me. You see, I discovered that for me gender is immutable. I tried for thirty years to change mine, to become male, and I couldn’t do it. I am now and always have been female.
This means certain things had to be done, corrections through hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and “transition,” to help me live in and be comfortable with my body. These corrections were not done for anyone other than me and solely for the purpose of easeing my dysphoria and anxiety, which was crippling. That does not, however, mean I had a male body. I am female, this is my body, therefore it is a female body. There was a single, immediately observable characteristic that led to my assignment as male. Secondary sex characteristics don’t develop until puberty, my chromosones were not checked (otherwise they would have known from the start I had a chromosomal anomally, as my specialists–who have tested me–describe it), and no one ran my hormone levels (if they had they would have discovered my androgen insensitivity). Clearly, sex is not a simple penis equals male and no penis equals not male, dichtomy.
I’m not suggesting we dismantle a system that works 90+% of the time, but there needs to be some space and alternatives for those times it doesn’t work, for those people like me who are gendered and sexed in ways other than anticipated.