“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.