It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and a lot has really happened during this time. I’ll get into that some other time. But I recently came across a Reddit post which asked a great question, and is getting some fantastic answers.
For those unfamiliar with Reddit, it is a social media site where “Redditors” can post things to any of a large number of subreddits (think of them as groups). The whole system is anonymous (unless you share too much personally identifiable information, but that’s your choice), but has some controls in place to help keep from descending into anarchy and chaos. First, subreddits have admins who can monitor and moderate conversations and posts. Next, Reddit uses a voting system which helps ensure that pertinent and useful posts and comments are more visible, and bad ones are weeded out (this is called upvoting, for good posts and comments, and downvoting, for bad ones). One of the subreddits is called asktransgender, and is a place for both trans and cis people (and anyone who is questioning their gender) can come and ask genuine, well-meaning questions.
Recently, redditor MageMasterMoon asked the question:
Wow! There are a lot of misconceptions about what being trans is like, about how it feels, why people are transgender, and so many other things! I’m sharing below some of the replies that other redditors have provided, and will include my commentary and explanations occasionally.
That I’m a woman. I’m not a “special kind of woman”, and I’m not a “trans woman” or a “woman with a penis”, I’m a woman. All three of those statements might be true but they don’t at all explain my experience. My desire in life, as well as many other trans people, is to just live our lives as our gender without it being a political statement, an act of bravery, or an affront to God. We’re literally just living our lives as anyone else would, except for the fact that anatomy got screwed up and put the wrong brain in the wrong body. When you really think about it, it’s not that big of a deal if you’re not that person. It certainly doesn’t tell you anything about personality, political position, or anything, really.
We just want to pee/poo in peace and get on with our day. Just like everyone else.
horpsichord (DFAB Male):
That we weren’t “born a woman” (or a man) and are not “becoming a man” (or whatever gender you are), we were born as the gender we identify as and the idea that we’re changing our gender is really frustrating, because when you think of it like that it sounds like we’re choosing to be another gender. We are just figuring ourselves out, just like anyone else. Just like gay people didn’t “turn gay”, I didn’t “become a man”. I just was and didn’t know it before because all my documents and friends and parents said I was female.
whatname2pick (Trans Lesbian):
It’s not that we want to be/become a different gender, but that we are to begin with.
We don’t just wake up one day and feel like this, it’s something we’re born with. Some obviously deeper buried then others and leading to a life that would otherwise seem cis.
I’m.. just tired of hearing cis people thinking we just wake up and choose to do this, why on Earth would we choose to misgender our brains from our bodies?
My transness has no effect on your life, aside from maybe asking you to use different words to address me if we interact regularly. If my body weirds you out, I don’t really want to hear about it because it often weirds me out too.
I’m going to cheat and add a second one. Being trans is really difficult, and it’s almost entirely because of the way cis people treat us. Yeah, there’s dysphoria, but a lot of that comes from cis people insisting on classifying people so strictly. If they could stop being dicks for like ten minutes and help, life would be better for everyone.
Childhood sexual abuse doesn’t make us trans. I’m sure it can definitely influence how our identity develops and our relationship to it, but those of us who were abused would not be cis had they not been abused.
I got that shit at the hair salon last night.
We’re not some ungodly “other”. We are sane, naturally born people. One aspect about us is just less common. Left handed people aren’t unnatural freaks just because they aren’t right handed. Not chooses to be left handed, they are born that way. We, too, are born this way. It’s who we are, not some choice we make along the way.
If there was just one thing that could be cleared up and accepted as truth, I want it to be that.
Dysphoria being [distress] from being the wrong gender doesn’t mean people who have it feel like they’re the wrong gender.
I was dyphoric for years without a fucking clue what was going on despite a billion red flags. (Including god damn wishing I was a girl from 13 on)
Literally didn’t click till I was in my twenties that yes, I could be trans, and yes, that’s OK.
This is very true. Dysphoria doesn’t mean I feel like I’m the wrong gender. My gender is my gender. My body doesn’t match my gender. I can’t change my gender, but I can change my body. And you can feel dysphoria without understanding what it is. I did for most of my life!
That it’s some kind of trend or form of attention seeking. Gender and sexual orientation variances has existed in species long before humans, maybe even since the beginning of intelligent reproductive life. Also, how is living as your genuine self “trying to seek attention.” Considering the amount of discrimination trans people get, I don’t think one would try to stand out as being “cool” or “hip” just to be a highly visible target for people to throw their hate at.
I’ve never once heard any trans person actually claim the were “born in the wrong body.” I hate that phrase. I don’t want a different body – this is my body! I’m a girl who had a medical problem which is in the process of being healed, but wrong body? No. Someone who has any other issues at birth aren’t in the wrong body – if I had been born w/out an arm, I wouldn’t be born in the wrong body. The only difference is that I can actually obtain the parts I’m missing.
No, you can’t “always tell” when someone is trans.
Probably that it’s a choice. Because it’s so not. Who the fuck would choose this?
That I’m not a freaking trap. Fuck off with that shit.
I’m the same person I always was. You don’t have to treat me differently.
That being nonbinary isn’t trans
Nonbinary people are by definition trans. It’s alright that some choose not to identify with the label. But don’t go on telling me that because I’m not binary or on hormones that I’m not trans. That’s just not true. I’m also not a special snowflake*, thank you very much.
Also C. Jenner is not representative of anything LGBTQ. She’s just her own special snowflake*.
*Please know that the term “special snowflake” is used as a slur against transgender people (along with many other groups), and should be used very carefully, if ever.
That it’s a choice.
poroburger (genderfluid: transmasc agender):
there’s no only one way to be trans, a.k.a not each and every trans person is mtf /a trans woman. trans men, nonbinary folks exist too!
(sadly this misconception/assumption- that being mtf is the default – is not restricted to cis people. i’ve had so many uncomfortable and/or awkward moments within trans communities, groups as well as everywhere else. pushing afab people back into the “you’re just a confused tomboy woman!” pit… this shit gets tiring.)
Just because I’m kinky as hell doesn’t mean my gender identity is a kink. I’m not a cross-dresser, I’m not a sissy, I’m not dressing like this or acting like this as part of a sexual fetish, I’m just a girl (who is kinky).
We are not predominantly kids, nor do all of us know out of the womb that we are in the wrong body. I am so tired of seeing little representation of trans adults on TV vs trans kids.
That is a choice made on a silly whim.
There is something that is subconscious about this and it causes all kinds of strange uncomfortable distressing feelings that I have no control over, other than to take transitioning steps that seem to provide relief. I’d rather just continue being a guy but burying the deep subconscious desire to be a for just makes the distress that much worse.
So true. Being trans is hard, and at times miserable and lonely. I don’t know anyone who is trans who wants to be trans.
Sexuality and gender are two separate things.
Trans women don’t transition just to date or sleep with men. Gay and lesbian trans people exist.
Trans people don’t identify with, we are our genders.
Pronouns aren’t preferred, they’re fucking mandatory.
That I enjoy being traditionally femme because I am kowtowing to society’s definition of what it means to be female. I like makeup. I like dresses. I’m still a woman, not a man who likes makeup and dresses and is transitioning because of that. I really just want to be able to enjoy my life and to me part of it is getting to explore this entire world that I felt was denied to me for so long.
Not telling someone I’m trans doesn’t make me a liar, doesn’t mean I’m manipulating, and certainly doesn’t mean I forced them into any situation they wouldn’t have been in with me if I wasn’t trans.
I’m a fucking girl like every other cis girl is, I just fucking HAPPEN to have [a] TOTALLY SHITTY PHYSICAL medical condition.
Bathroom rights are important, but our physical safety and access to good affordable health care are the real major battles for trans rights.
That it’s a choice
DOA_FANSI (Transgender Woman):
That I am not transitioning because I want to be feminine. I hate femininity, but I have a strong desire to be a woman. I want to be (and am) a gender non-comforming woman, but still, a woman.
- I didn’t choose this
- Sex is not the same thing as gender
I am not a man who wants to be a woman, I’m a woman who wants to have the body of a woman.
We are not mentally ill!
That having sex with a FAAB transman makes a gay man straight. It’s so fucking offensive that it makes me see white.
It’s not something we just decide to do, one day.
We are not like Caitlyn Jenner. […]
She does not represent us. Yet often a misguided or uninformed person will ask if we are “like Caitlyn Jenner.” Her experience is vastly different than most trans experiences.
I’m not brave for wanting to try and enjoy my FUCKING LIFE.
Seriously. Just give me good Healthcare and have it help pay for corrective surgeries and hormones and leave me the fuck alone I just want to be myself
That transition corresponds in any way to courage. There are cowards and heroes among people who have transitioned, like any other group. For some people transitioning takes more courage than they have, and for some not transitioning would take more courage than they have.
I’m not trans because I want to have sex with guys. I swing the complete other way. (My parents thought this.)
That being attracted to me doesn’t make you gay (unless you’re female) and you don’t need to start talking to me by saying “I’m straight but…”
People aren’t transgender because they want to fit a gender role better.
I’m not mentally ill. Dysphoria can often result in depression and/or anxiety, but I am not mentally ill. It’s not a disease either.
In a similar vein, I have mental illnesses but that does NOT make my trans identity any less valid. I’m not mentally ill because I’m trans. I’m not trans because I’m mentally ill. They’re separate things that happen to exist in the same brain.
That sex is a binary just because the majority of people have one of two common chromosome configurations.
We’re not some kind of Super Gay.
But some of us are, in fact, super gay.
Dating me doesn’t make you gay. Dudes are attracted to me because of my feminine face, curves, boobs. (And my bubbly, smart personality. Not to mention my amazing puns).
Also, almost invariably “genital preference” is just a cover for straight-up transphobia. If people examined why they have a stronger preference for one set of genitals, I think in many cases is would come down to homophobia/transphobia.
I’ll be writing about transphobia in a future post.
- Transman=man & transwoman=woman. Period.
- gender≠genitals. There are women with penis and men with vulva.
- gender>male|female. Gender = ∞
we don’t just take some pills from the doctor and wake up the next day on the cover of vogue. transition timelines are fun to scroll through, but, someone had to live their life going through that over a period of months or years to get where they are at the end. it’s a crazy amazing ride, but it can be hard when people judge you on how you are at a point in time in transition, not where you’ll be in the future.
Despite how passable some of us are, it doesn’t really do shit for dysphoria until your brain gets used to it.
AstorReinhardt (<span class=”flair flair-trans-ainbow” title=”FTM-Gay, Feminine crossdresser FTM-Gay):
That we have equality for FTM and MTF…we don’t…FTM is lacking in a lot of options and just…everything. You hear about MTF all the time and it ticks me off.
This is true. For instance, while Genital Confirming Surgery for MTF people is fairly advanced (and can produce results which gynecologists have difficulty recognizing as anything different than someone born with a vagina), surgery for FTM is still pretty poor and has results which wouldn’t be noticeably different in appearance from someone who was born with a penis. And media coverage of trans topics tends to focus on MTF transgender people – the Caitlyn Jenners, the Chelsea Mannings. One trans man mentioned to me that before he came out and started to get involved in transgender groups, he thought that only MTF transgender people existed. The numbers of MTF and FTM transgender people are a lot closer to even, and when you look at the trans spectrum, a therapist once told me that it breaks down to around roughly 30% FTM, 30% MTF, and 40% non-binary/genderqueer/etc.
I am a human fully deserving of my rights and trying to live my life to the best of my ability
My sexuality doesn’t invalidate me. Trans men can like men. Trans women can like women. You can be trans and gay. Or trans and bi. Or trans and ace. Gender and sexuality are separate, and no, I can’t “just be a straight girl.”
I’m still transgender regardless of my hormone surgery status I’m not a “fake trans” for being unwilling or unable to take hormones/get surgery. And if a trans person has to/choses to quit taking hormones they don’t stop being their gender
That it’s not a choice.
There’s so many misconceptions, and I think some of them feed into that one. Understanding that is probably the first step to understanding at all.
That I wasn’t ever “a guy”.
I just want to live my boring, shitty life like everyone else without other people making it shittier.
Trans women aren’t crossdressers, drag queens, or [insert fetish name here]. We’re women, period.
Hopefully, this has been eye-opening for you. While I’m transgender, I learned a lot from the responses I saw to this question. Every trans person is different, and our journeys are different, too, so while I have experienced many of these misconceptions myself, I had a few misconceptions about some other trans people that have been cleared up by their answers.
Until next time,
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