Knowing you are trans

I am sailing close to the wind on that facebook group. I asked them how does being a woman differ from being a man? What does it mean that a trans woman is really a woman? What does it mean to be a woman? I feel that is different from knowing that transition is right for me: I have found a role I want to play, but do not have the essence of a woman. To say that I am a woman, I first have to say what a woman is.

A difference: not every woman can have children, but every woman deals with issues around female reproduction. A similarity: every woman has the experience of men coming on to her and not taking no for an answer: that is about fucking not romantic attraction. Mentally disabled women suffer more sexual violence than the general population. Trans women have that experience, and it is horrible, though it would be worse aged 13. We have the experience of being heard and respected less, and also the experience of being suspected of male violence, and potential victims of it- when someone says “I would never hit a woman” I can’t know he applies that to me.

That is seeing “being a woman” from a particular feminist perspective, in terms of restrictions. In terms of positives, we might think of being adored, Cat-called, Beautified, Idealized, but that does not happen to every woman and is less likely for us. Beauty is a lot of work, rather than a pleasant state, for most.

Someone said “Read Whipping Girl by Julia Serano” and others said don’t play the TERFs’ game.

People talked of hating breasts or of feeling that they ought to have breasts. That is trans as body dysmorphia. One said what it means to be a woman differs by culture. We can’t say what it means to be a woman, just be the best we can be. Women may have any human characteristic or quality.

My feeling is that the desire for bodily alteration arises from desire for the cultural role. That means that the desire for bodily alteration or hatred of ones body as it is does not indicate that I am a woman, but that my way of being is wrongfully despised.

I knew. I was in Russel Reid’s consulting rooms when he said I should have the Operation. I remember the delight I felt. It is one of my memories of intense happiness, relief, joy, affirmation.

I had intended to transition in September 2002. That was the date I had fixed on in 2000, when I decided to transition. I wanted to prepare. Then in March 2002 I woke in the night thinking how much I envied Vicky, who had multiple sclerosis without remission, and less than two years after diagnosis needed help to move from her wheelchair to a chair. I am thinking of a horrible struggle I saw, of two people failing to get her from her wheelchair onto a stair lift. I don’t know whether the look on her face was pain or mortification. It was not my place to interfere. I don’t know how long she survived after that, we were never close, I knew her as a volunteer at work.

I would have swapped lives with her! No-one doubted that she was a woman! I realised I had to transition as soon as I could.

So, there was the absolute conviction, and intensity of desire, which others now say is proof they are trans, or even proof they are women, and now I have changed my mind and concluded it was about social roles, and valuing my qualities, not about being a woman or even being trans. It was only about doing trans, as the best route I could see to self-acceptance.

That facebook group has just expelled someone for making transphobic statements. Any posts that deny the validity of transgender itself are not accepted in this group. I am close to that line. Trans is about roles, or culture, and not about essence. I acknowledge it exists, even that with the culture as it is that it is necessary. I wish that it didn’t.

4 thoughts on “Knowing you are trans

  1. “and now I have changed my mind and concluded it was about social roles, and valuing my qualities, not about being a woman or even being trans. It was only about doing trans, as the best route I could see to self-acceptance.” – Acceptance. Yes, I believe you are spot on there, because the options open to those who don’t feel they fit the specific gender roles set out in black and white – woman, man, trans, are so limited – those who aren’t happy being the first two ‘must’ therefore wear the latter label and therefore must still be either a woman or a man ultimately.

    This is absolutely fine for some, but the gloves do not fit all. The gradients are too varied between gender in real life and pressures therefore remain just as much in groups set up to help people who are searching for that acceptance. Society is so fucking backwards. As though there’s no pleasing some folks, when one shouldn’t have to please any one else at all. Just live, grow and see where your path leads you. Minus all the judgement and demands hundreds upon thousands of people would have lives they’d be content and comfortable to live.

    Pardon my French. I blame Mr Pink.

    Esme sitting with Clare looking at the stars slowly crossing the sky upon the Cloud

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    • French would be La société est foutrement en arrière. Oui, c’est vrai. But all the judgment, or so much of it that the additional judgment does not matter, is in me. I drank it down as a child and am working out of it too slowly for my liking. Get child-rearing right and we would be so much closer to a sane world.

      Ooh, I have learned something. Baiser means kiss, but also means screw (from my pocket Oxford French dictionary). So goggle translate goes with “We’re screwed”. I don’t trust it with swear words: Baisée for fucked up? It always reduces them. You need a French person to tell you which is stronger, and they could baiser with you.

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  2. I used to speak French quite well, and visited Paris a few decades ago. Now my mind doesn’t hold information well enough to keep anything much of use in there for very long – it has all dimmed. I do recall ‘fou’ meant mad, not angry, but crazy. That and baguette remain with me, so I can always be sure of a disturbed sandwich I suppose.

    I love the following lyrics, I have a story written attached to the song, and its interesting how wonderfully well a song can work even when you don’t understand the language – you still still feel the singers heart pulsing through and the beauty within. Translations are always someone else’s version of the original and wildly differ at times, which is strange. Acceptance of the original . . . is wonderful place to sit a while smiles

    http://lyricstranslate.com/en/la-vie-en-rose-la-vie-en-rose.html-2

    Esme humming along upon the fou Cloud

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    • My French was always bad and now is rusted to immobility, but that translation is execrable. I thought it computer generated, then noticed there was a translator credited. “Fou” in Scots means drunk. (Many Scots dialect words relate to drinking and fighting for some strange reason). Love the song, though. I drop my eyes before another’s sometimes, but it rarely works for me.

      At least he did not say “I see a red mist”.

      Duw, pronounced Dieu, and eglwys, pronounced église, are Welsh homonyms.

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