Love, truth and trans

Love without truth is… It is such a tempting rhetorical formula that there have been several tries. Love without truth is sentimentality, hypocrisy, cowardly self-indulgence. Truth without love is either brutality, harshness or perhaps imperious self-righteousness. Evangelical Christians, who think Love may be tough, aimed at correction, not sparing the rod, might say Love needs grace as well as truth. The balance of love and truth is the conflict between liberal and conservative Christians, who emphasize one or the other.

Possibly over-influenced by the company I keep, I am nearly able to use the term the “trans cult” for trans theorists, in anger and blaming, but not quite. I am persuaded that humans are divided into two different sexes, but that gender is cultural. Patriarchy devalues some aspects of humanity and projects them onto women. Jung said the man must recognise his anima, the female soul within, and the woman her animus- for the qualities are not divided between feminine and masculine, but all human. The answer is to cherish the qualities of each individual. That is the minimum for love, respect, the I-Thou relationship treating all people as ends not means… there is no truth without love, for only love really sees.

Trans fits people in society as we are now. No, I am not a woman: I am a trans woman, a product of the culture, trying to find my way as best I can, find peace, find a place I might fit. Some people make a success of it: after a period of drifting they transition and make their way in the world. I don’t think it should involve surgery, perhaps not even hormone treatment. I see no point in surgery. It makes us infertile, and if it makes us more acceptable to others it is by proving we are sincere rather than proving we are women, or proving we have the doctors’ confirmation, which I don’t think we should need. Surgery seems the final stage of transition, the Holy Grail. It holds out hopes to at once make you a woman, win acceptance from others, and complete the transition journey. Your life will be wonderful. It is a thing to celebrate: we send each other cards marked “It’s a Girl!” Yet it’s still you with your same problems, and the problems of dilation and recovery from surgery as well.

While trans people have surgery, we will want surgery. Of course some of us will be able to make a go of life post-op, and some might even imagine it’s because of the op. But it does not do anything for you. A woman with a penis makes no sense, but me with a penis does. You are born in your own body. We will want surgery the more if we are aware of hostility in society, because we will want to prove ourselves. But genital surgery is only a symbol. If you want to wear a swimming costume or tight jeans, tuck.

Top surgery for trans men is quite different. It means you can stop binding- breathe freely, free of discomfort- and is essential for passing. I do not criticise any trans man for wanting top surgery.

Yet, we exist. Trying to live with my gifts and characteristics, I find presenting female more congenial. The qualities patriarchy devalues and projects onto women, I have. I have no wish to revert. I am a trans woman. So trans women should be treated and accepted as women.

That’s too subtle for many. If, as the Labour party asserts, trans women are women, we should be accepted and treated as women. If we are not, then we should not.

To avoid surgery and hormone treatment, trans women should be treated as women. We have transitioned. We are not dangerous, and should be treated as individuals, not blamed for each others’ wrongdoing.

Cross-dressing and gender queering should be welcomed, to subvert gender expectations, which harm both sexes. When someone wants to transition permanently they should be helped to value all that they are, for everything that is, is holy. Perhaps then transition will not seem necessary. This is the opposite of conversion therapy. The only problem with all this is feminism and the rights of women- and the wrongs women suffer from others.

4 thoughts on “Love, truth and trans

  1. It certainly does not have to involve surgery or hormone treatment in order to transition. I believe I have been transitioning successfully without either. My problem is that either of those things may well lead to my death, and I’m not willing to risk dying, especially now that I feel I have finally been able to really live. It’s not that I may not desire to experience the changes that surgery and hormones would bring, but I’ve accepted my own reality that I can still be the person I was born to become without those changes. Lord knows, there are enough other changes with which I must be concerned.

    Simply tucking, in order to wear clothing that would be revealing otherwise, is not really so simple on a day-to-day basis. It can be a hygienic nightmare and uncomfortable to have one’s bits (that’s what you call them, right?) all tucked away 16 hours a day. I remember hearing Caitlyn Jenner say in an interview that she was going to have the surgery for those very reasons. Although I agree with her in part (all the parts, really:-), I thought it to be gauche to say so to the media. I would hope she had other reasons, as well, but I can understand the sentiment, nonetheless. Were my health to allow it and I my finances the same as Ms. Jenner’s, I believe I would have gone the same route. I don’t think I would be living with regrets, had I done it, but one can never know until she’s gone through all that it entails.

    Am I fortunate that my fate has led me to not even having to consider the physical transition? Maybe so, as I simply don’t have those things on my bucket list. I know that some people just assume that I have undergone everything they think it takes to transition. I will allow them to keep thinking and assuming, if that’s what they need to believe in order to accept me as a woman. I may be a mere illusion to them, anyway. I know my own truth, however, and all I want is to live whatever time I have left in that realm. Whether others accept me for who I am or who they perceive me to be is not as important as my own self-acceptance. When I reached that self-acceptance, I noticed that others began accepting me, as well.

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    • Bits, junk, meat and potatoes, there are lots of words for those. Just like anything embarrassing.

      So we live our lives and accept and find maybe the road not taken might not be as good. Yeah.

      I am glad you have self-acceptance, and glad you can share so generously here. Thank you.

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