Wednesday, December 06, 2017

We Talk About What Not To Say To A Trans Person

But we are constantly asking questions of our selves. I think trans people are the most self-reflecting, introspective group of people, we are always asking questions to ourselves, which is probably a good thing.

I came across this article on Facebook,
5 Totally Normal Questions Transgender People May Be Afraid to Ask, Answered
Everyday Feminism
By Sam Dylan Finch
February 17, 2016

One of my favorite concepts that I’ve encountered as an activist is the idea of “holding space.”

To break it down further, “holding space” is about making room for certain experiences, feelings, or perspectives to be acknowledged and affirmed that may otherwise be pushed aside or invalidated.

Holding space can be powerful. I’m a big believer in giving people the space to open up – and in doing so, building greater understandings of where someone is coming from. A little affirmation can go a long way in making someone feel whole.
[…]
So let’s talk – and I mean really talk – about some of the questions many transgender people are thinking about, but might be afraid to ask. And together, let’s hold space for all of the complicated feelings that arise as we explore them.

1. Am I Really Trans? What If I’m Making This Up?

Confession: I ask myself this a lot.

“Wait, Sam,” you might be saying. “You write publicly about your identity! You’re active in the community! You’re even taking hormones! And you mean to tell me that you’re unsure if you’re trans?”

Yes, that’s precisely what I’m saying.

In fact, I can assure you from firsthand experience that many, many transgender people grapple with this question – even years into their transition.

And I have some theories as to why, too – if it helps.

If someone told you your whole life that you were a terrible dancer and suddenly you received a first prize trophy for a dance competition, you’d probably feel like an imposter, right? Similarly, when society tells us we’re cisgender (and that being cis is the only option), it can take years and years before we feel secure in ourselves as trans.
I think that introspective is good, I think forging ahead without stopping to take inventory of our goals and our future is a healthy. I think society questioning our existence is wrong, they cannot know how we feel; we are the only ones who know our souls.

This I thought about long and hard before I transitioned, many hours I spent crying myself to sleep over this.

This is another biggie,
3. What If I Regret My Medical Transition?

So it’s important to first say that not all transgender people will medically transition. That’s a completely valid choice; medical interventions do not make someone more or less trans.

But for those of us who do pursue some form of medical transition, it’s unbelievably common to worry about regret.

Because our validity as trans people is always coming under fire, it doesn’t surprise me that we question our choices – especially when these choices involve some form of permanent or semi-permanent change.
There are many reasons why people choose not to medically transition, the main one is medically. Some trans people cannot take hormones of susceptibility to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), heart conditions, or other medical problems. Some do not medically transition because of their spouse.

The important thing to remember is that the goal is to end gender dysphoria and if society transitioning does the trick why force someone to undergo risky medical intervention?
5. If This Is My Truth, Why Do I Feel So Ashamed?

The hardest thing about being trans, for me, has been coming face-to-face with the fact that I deal with shame and guilt around being transgender.

When you grow up with the idea that there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to do gender, it’s a perfectly reasonable response to suppress or resist who we are or who we want to be in favor of what feels safer or more socially acceptable.
Ah yes, we are so self-centered that we don’t care about our spouse, family or other. It is all our fault that your father had a heart attack. We get laid with a guilt trips all the time.

Then there is from our own community… you don’t dress feminine enough! Which is what I hear a lot because my usual dress is jeans and sneakers. Or you can’t be trans because you are taking too long to transition, we are supposed to say “we want surgery NOW!”

Many trans people do not “get” gender neutral or gender variant or gender non-conforming people, but when you stop and think about it makes sense. If you think of gender as a spectrum or a continuum as a opposed to a binary then there must be people who identify in the middle.

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