Understanding Doesn’t Guarantee Acceptance

Opportunities arise everyday for transgender people to go and educate cisgender people on the transgender community in the classroom, at LGBT panels or even in training seminars.  Transgender education serves a range of purposes from striving to be accommodating of transgender students in school to making the workplace safe and friendly for transgender employees. We do it hoping that the world will understand us and hopefully welcome us with open arms in the future.

However, we must understand that education doesn’t always translate to acceptance.

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Before Fixing Society, Let’s Fix Ourselves First

“You don’t seem masculine enough.”

“You’ll always be <insert birth name> to me.”

“You could just stay female and be lesbian.”

The world has so many questions for us and many unwarranted comments to say about our transition and can’t help but judge us for experiences they can’t understand. While there has been much progress in many fronts where you see more transgender representation from all walks of life and occupations, gender neutral bathrooms cropping up in schools across the country and the staff at schools/hospitals/workplaces being more trans inclusive in their policies, the world is still not very open to us and we can only hope this will change with time, education and more positive media exposure.

Until we reach that point, transgender lives are still very much at risk of transphobic crime and suicide. Even families who should be warm and loving can provide a toxic environment for the transgender child. Remember Leelah Alcorn?
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I Don’t Need to Explain Why I’m Trans

I used to wonder why society had a narrow minded view of transgender men (transmen representation are predominantly white, athletic, tend to have full beards, handsome, etc.) but then I realized that the narratives of transmen in the spotlight that you find covered on online websites or published in memoirs are deliberately trying to convince cisgender folks that they are valid. I remember feeling dysphoric when I saw these stories and it delayed me in getting that lightbulb moment where I said to myself that I’m still a man even if I’m not very masculine. On the note of well-known transmen, I had no one to relate to as transmen of color were nonexistent when I started testosterone (October 2014) and so I felt alone on Tumblr which added to my earlier insecurity as a man. Having no one to relate to made me feel like a fish out of water and I found myself in the face of unexpected situations that very little people in the transmasculine community can relate to. Getting followed in a store is an uncomfortable experience.
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Why I Don’t Regret Being Transgender

Disclaimer: My experiences and narrative are mine and mine alone. Every transgender person is different and this should not be taken as a universal truth.  I don’t shame anyone for being part of the gender binary or being outside of it. Respect, love and understanding is key.

Being transgender is not easy we didn’t choose this life. I certainly didn’t and I’ve definitely had times where I thought about calling it quits and going back to who I used to be.

Having been through all the ups and downs, do I wish that I was born a man? NO.

Let me explain why that is…
Continue reading “Why I Don’t Regret Being Transgender”