Things Everyday Transgender People Everywhere Want You To Know
August 04, 2015 at 10:13 PM
The issue of Transgender Rights (or lack of which), as well as far too frequent cases of Assault, Rape, and Murder of Trans* individuals, has recently been getting a bit of media attention. Although, this 'Media Spotlight' would equate to an LED Keychain Flashlight.
Why do I start off with such a (possibly bold) statement? Well, it may seem like a new or recent issue, because society at large is just now hearing about it, but Trans* rights and discrimination issues have been plaguing the Trans* community ever since, well, ever.
Why do people want to rape and/or murder us so badly?
Let's start off by defining a few terms, as these things can be less than obvious, or even confusing, to the uninformed.
'The Genderbread Person' Explains the difference between Sex, Gender, Orientation, and Expression. The biggest mistake people often make is thinking Sex and Gender are the same thing.
Gender and Orientation are often confused, too. But, again it is not linked. You can be a transgender person and be straight, gay, lebian, bi, pan, etc. Your orientation can remain the same pre and post transition, or it can change. There are no 'rules' in regards to this, everyone is different.
Trans* Man = Someone born biologically female who identifies as male.
Trans* Female = Someone born biologically male who identifies as female.
Ok, what about the negative terms? What shouldn't we use? Hopefully this idea doesn't seem unreasonable, and it really shouldn't. We wouldn't call a gay man a "faggot" in this day and age, just the same as we should not call a Transgender person a "Tranny".
Alright, we've now covered the core basics to get everyone to the same page. But now let's talk to some regular, everyday Trans* men and women, and see what they have to say to society at large. We asked them to tell us what they'd like you to know, or what problems they have encountered in their life simply from being Trans*.
"My Genitals do not define me." [...] "Transgender people are not transitioning into something that they are not, but rather taking off the facade that they were born with." - Julian Bingham
"We are people. We put our pants on every day just like cis people, one leg at a time. The biggest misconception I've heard is that gender is connected to sexuality. I've been asked "why would you want to be a boy just to like boys?" Sexuality and gender are not connected in any way, I am a bisexual boy, just like cis bisexual boys. I do not "want" to be a boy, I am a boy. Just like ciswomen are women and cismen are men. You just are.
Also, when someone tells you they are trans, your first question should be "what is your name and pronouns?" (And please try hard to use that name and those pronouns) Not "what's in your pants?" Or "are you planning on changing your parts?" But overall...we're just people, and we deserve respect just like every other human being on this planet...." - Elliot
Elliot, what problems have you had to face in life as a result of being Trans*?
"I am a pre-everything, recently out trans male...So I've gone through a lot...I'm a dancer and every time I compete I have to go by my birth name and put on a dress and makeup, which is one of the hardest things I've ever done. My mother will not allow me to leave my house dressed in male or even gender neutral clothes, so I do not pass at all and therefore get misgendered 24/7 and have to misgender myself by introducing myself as my birth name and not correcting people when they use female pronouns, because, you can clearly see my curves, and my crotch, so it's easier to let them misgender me than correct them...people don't believe me...
They tell me I act too much like a girl to be a boy. Hello! I'm bi! Haven't you ever seen a bi guy act feminine? Just because someone doesn't act or dress the way you think males or females should act and dress, does not in any way make them any less of the gender they say they are. " - Elliot
"I don't ask people to like who I am, only that they accept the fact that it is who I am. I could not pretend to be this "man" anymore. It's not a choice, it's a reality." - Kisa
"I'm a trans woman, growing up I was always taught that its what's on the inside that matters most, so gender should be no different, people should see trans people for the gender they are on the inside not their bodies, and with that be aloud to use the restroom as their inner gender as well.. We aren't perverts for wanting to use the bathroom marked as the gender as we identify as. we want to because we need to use the bathroom. Having to go in the ones marked as the gender we were assigned at birth, is dehumanizing and makes you feel out of place, and like you don't belong..[...]
I've seen people comment on the subject that they don't want their kid exposed to it, they wouldn't know unless they were peeking in the stalls. And people say it's too confusing for kids, I have nieces and they understand just fine and they call me aunt and everything, and one's 4, the other is 6. Kids understand more than given credit for." - Scarlet
"We are people, not punchlines." - Christy
"We live in a society that constantly tells us that girls should look a certain way and boys should look a certain way, and the fact of the matter is that both men and women's genetics (cisgender or otherwise) have different combinations of "masculine" and "feminine" qualities naturally. I feel like people having an opinion on my expression of gender, would be the equivalent of society having an opinion on how you live your life.
Furthermore, my genitals are only necessarily discussed in two situations:
1.) Appointments with my doctor.
2.) Person(s) that I may be intimate with. Other than that, I refuse to see what my genitals have to do with buying groceries or bodily functions that HAVE to happen due to the biological functions of every living being's body (using public bathrooms).
If there is anything I have learned in my 28 years of life it is that expectations are the leading cause of failure, and if you're constantly putting everyone trans or otherwise in a box and expect them to fit; then be prepared to be let down." - Lakin
"Transgender is not a fad. It's not a game. It's not a joke. It's not the new "Emo" etc. You have the pretenders, and then you have the people who are dead serious about it and are jumping through all the hoops to make it happen." - Abelee
"Something I want society to be aware of is that some of the questions we get asked are HIGHLY inappropriate. Like, we are human too. Would you expect me to walk up to you and ask, "hey have you gotten a breast enlargement yet?" Or "I know you want to be called Sam, but what's your real name?" ...It's just not okay.
Unless a transgender person says to you that they are okay with you asking them anything, don't be a rude, pardon my language, asshole. Have respect for our private lives. That's why they're private." - Sebastian
"I'd like society to know that it's not a choice to be this way. Yes it's my choice to come out about it but it's only due to how trapped I feel in the body I was born into. I can't help how I feel and I'm only searching and working toward my happiness.
As for struggles... I'd have to say pronouns are a big issue for me. I've recently been coming out to friends of mine and I only have a couple of them calling me by the correct name and pronouns. It can be hard sometimes to hear "she" or "her" used toward me. I've always hated being misgendered even though I've yet to began my own transition." - Chevelle
"As a trans person, I'm constantly asked if I'm a lesbian or if I'm a boy or a girl and it's just getting ridiculous. Unless you're planning to date me, my gender and sexuality is none of your business." - Evan
"I am in a relationship with someone who is Transgender. I was with them before they were 'out' as Trans*, and I can say with certainty that they are still the same person, after being 'out' and transitioning. The process of transitioning didn't put any hardship on our relationship, it's just as strong now as ever.
The only changes that I feel have happened in the relationship is the effects from the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that she (my gf) is undergoing. If you're in a relationship with someone underoing HRT, you have to be understanding, as it will affect and change a lot about them.
Mood swings, physical changes, sexual changes, and in my personal situation, waiting hours for them to 'get ready' to go out lol. Just be there for them, you may feel like it's a lot to take on, but it's nothing compared to what they are going through inside and out." - Lorrene (Girlfriend of a Trans* girl)
"When we hear about people being stoned to death in the middle east for having an affair, or people in Africa being murdered because they are albino, we say 'Wow, that's crazy!' but we feel glad that something like that could NEVER happen here, because we're Civilized, right? We know better, don't we?
Not really, no. Some of us don't. In fact, it seems many of us don't. We see wave after wave of different groups of people who are being mistreated or marginalized. If you look in past decades we see the amazing progress that has been made for Women's Rights, African American Rights, more recently, Gay Rights. Transgender Rights are the next hurdle to overcome. I feel the people who are doing all this hating, are the same people against every group. Someone who is violent against Gays is (in my opinion) just as likely to be violent against a Trans* person, or so forth.
The hate is alive, it's merely shifting targets over time. But, you know the old phrase; 'Knowing is half the battle'. And now you know.
To victory." - Emily Valrite
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