I need not to care

“Am I a ‘woman’? Yes if your definition includes me; no if it doesn’t.” I might have to speak about trans in front of a partly hostile audience, and I thought of saying that. It is necessary for me not to care what people think, and saying that makes it clearer. I have said that people considering transition need to believe that they are women, in order to pluck up the courage to transition, but after transition I could be depressed for weeks by one fool abusing me in the street, and it was a huge release not to care. Jan Morris, challenged on the radio about asserting she was a woman, said she was probably something in between. Transition exists. People do it. Therefore it is acceptable.

Others try to argue we transition because we are perverts, or because we are really women. I want to be accepted because I am human, doing what humans do. I hate the arguments, even that we are really women- saying that means it needs to be said. I don’t want to be argued about.

“Are you a woman?”

Oh, god. I dunno. Or, why are you asking. Or, what do you think. Or, shut up and go away. Or, a blank stare, which is a mixture of depression, lack of motivation, and revulsion. I do not want to say “Yes”, because that confers some legitimacy on the question, on the questioner’s right to ask it. Saying yes means it is a question that can be asked.

Here we are. We are mostly harmless, and should be judged as individuals, not as a group threat because some of us are criminals. Harold Shipman was a serial murderer, but people still trust their doctors.

When I lay on my floor weeping, “I am not a man,” that was important to me. Then being able not to care when someone told me “I find you profoundly masculine” was important to me. So I constructed a narrative- people who transition need to assert that they are women. I don’t need anyone else to believe that, and so I am free.

I need not to care what other people think, or their doubts will depress me. My narrative said that recent transitioners with a fragile sense of their womanhood needed to assert it: their position came from their psychological need. Now it seems my own position comes from my psychological need.

Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still

To care- enough to stand up and speak the truth, to act where action is needed. Not to care- not to be worried by the opposition, even if they seem to be gaining ground, for what I must do is the same even if they are gaining ground. The ability to speak and act is affected by depression.

The truth of the argument does not change. My ability to put it does. I feel able to put different arguments to different groups.

To the gender critical, I want to put the specific argument that gender stereotypes will be reinforced if transition becomes impossible. I don’t want to simply exclude them as wrong for wanting to exclude me, I want to persuade them that excluding me is wrong so that they stop, and we can all be one inclusive accepting group. That argument is polarising, which depresses me.

5 thoughts on “I need not to care

  1. My self-label is that I’m a transgender woman. I am proud of who I am and adding trans as an adjective speaks to the journey we take as trans people.

    I have a trans friend who adamantly labels herself as a woman; I’m okay with that. Who am I to judge?

    I agree, what “is” a woman and, for that matter, what “is” a man? I knew I was inauthentic trying to be a man, that’s certain. But does that now make me a woman?

    Another way to think about it goes like this: if I see a red car and you see the same car we both call it red. Fine, but we will never know if the red I see is the same that you see. Isn’t the same true for gender?

    Regardless we have men and women labels in society. We all know that the definitions of these labels are very broad. The same is true for me, a trans woman.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry to hear this. It’s wise to have awareness that her hurt and yours aren’t related. Easy to say, hard to appreciate in the moment.

        I experienced something in this category some weeks back that hurt me deeply. I’m well aware that the aggressor is coming from her own hurts and, like you, I don’t forgive her but if I run into her again I’ll know that I hold the higher moral ground. I lost another friend in the process, which remains a cloud on my memory. She has her own baggage to be sure which I acknowledged. And yet she remains distant despite her awareness of the hurt I experienced. I guess we were never as close as I’d thought.

        On a brighter note it helps me to remember that the world is large and there are many others I’ve yet to meet. Some will be like those I described above but there are also gems. I’m cultivating for them and treasure each one.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Clare,

    I’m glad you don’t want to argue and you hate the arguments. I think you are spot on about being just you, not shades of this or that – and I increasingly believe that people hold opinions about others – of all sorts – because they need to believe something about themselves.

    Someone reminded me that from a more … pleasing perspective, forgiveness is not the aim, since forgiveness implies some sort of judgement – eg, you have thought or done something that requires my forgiveness…therefore, you have been wrong, which is a judgement. We move beyond that towards acceptance, which is where I try to stay, now.

    You are clear about what you choose, and you choose that. Nothing else is necessary to either define or dispute. Thanks for that.

    Fran xxxx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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