Until recently, my life didn’t really have any kind of future. To be perfectly honest, I never even expected to make it this far. I am pretty surprised. I always thought that living a lie would be the end of me. Even after accepting yourself, not knowing how the world will accept you is a big thing. You end up latching onto things that you see and use it to protect yourself. Little white lies for the sake of self-preservation. The biggest lie for me was that the world would hate who I am. Lies kept me from doing what I needed to do. Lies, which were based on prejudice, hate and misunderstanding that existed in society around me. Lies which ultimately controlled my world.
Since coming out, I’ve realised the world has changed. A lot. Not just between me admitting to the world that I’m transgender and present day…I mean over the past few years. I was telling myself the world would hate and reject me but that hasn’t been the case entirely. If anything, some people have seen me as a token friend…something I’m not a fan of at all, but that’s another story. Overall, it’s not been as bad as I thought. I’m glad I was able to eventually rip the plaster off and just get it over with. Yeh, there are still complete twats that will judge, laugh and stare. Every society has a cancerous growth. Like cancer, it takes time to find a cure. As somebody on Twitter pointed out, this acceptance is largely due to those who came out before us. They paved the way and took the bullets for us in doing so. We have a responsibility to keep the momentum going. There’s still so much more that can be done – especially by making sure there are no more lies.
There have been stories of more people identifying as transgender recently, with cynical or small-minded people saying it’s down to political correctness gone wrong or brainwashing. Is it fuck!! The simple truth is that people feel more comfortable about coming out these days. There’s no ulterior motive nor is there a secret plot to destroy the human race. Don’t worry!! This article by Rosa Zambonini sums things up pretty well following The Mirror’s article about transgender children. Look, we’re not hurting anybody or doing anything other than what the haters or ignorant people are already doing: living. We just want to exist. To be able to live our lives, in the way we want, without fear of being judged or having lies or fake news spread about us. It’s difficult enough battling with dysphoria inside our own heads, let alone the added stress and negativity from people around us. Why is that too much to ask for? Tabloids are the worst offenders. Sensationalising something trivial or turning something positive into a negative just for the sake of selling papers. One particular article that pissed me off recently was also in The Mirror (surprise, surprise) about a transgender woman who froze her sperm before transitioning, so she could eventually still have a biological child. This isn’t a shocking story, nor is it a devious act on her part. If anything, she’s a fucking genius for coming up with the idea and planning ahead!! Papers could use this as an opportunity to be positive or help promote equality. But nooooooooo. To be honest, they can’t even be bothered to be accurate. In the article, they wrote “she also wanted to be transgender.” Nobody wakes up and thinks “I think I’ll be transgender!!” You are or you aren’t. It’s not something you can switch off, choose or strive to be. It may not seem like much, but careless wording can create influence. Misleading influence.
It also struck me the amount of people who will post Instagram photos with contradictory hashtags eg “#Transgender #Tranny #Crossdresser #Fetish”. Which is it? You do know they’re different right?! I even saw 1 person use those hashtags in their posts when they were clearly not any of them. They wanted people to find them. Why? Who knows!! Crossdressing is not the same as being transgender. Crossdressing isn’t synonymous with gender identity. Nearly all crossdressers do it as a way to explore their feminine or masculine selves. Their feminine side exists in conjunction with their male side, living side by side. Some do it for the sexual kick. But it’s ultimately something that can almost be switched on or off. I’m aware that this isn’t the case for everyone, I’m just generalising here. Being transgender, however, isn’t a choice. You can’t stop the fact that you feel so trapped in the wrong body to the point where you’re suicidal or it affects your quality of life. It’s an overwhelming need to be your true self 24/7. I identify as female, therefore wearing a dress isn’t actually wearing the clothing of the opposite sex. It’s just wearing clothes. Unlike the creepy guy who messaged me about what he’d wear if he got tattooed. I know hashtags are a way to get your image out there and to connect with others etc but at least make them accurate. To me, it almost cheapens what it means to be transgender, dragging it into the realms of fetishism, sexual or sinister. I know some people will disagree with what I’ve just written, but it’s how I feel. I have no problem with crossdressing or whatever fetish people may have. Each to their own. It just seems totally counterproductive for those who are trying to correct or improve society’s views on being transgender when generic hashtags are liberally being used.
Accuracy over lies or waffle. That’s where it’s at people!! Communication and learning. You know the best way to talk to somebody that’s transgender? Just like you would any other person. It’s that simple. If you want to know or understand more, then just ask. In a polite way, obviously. You wouldn’t stop somebody in the street and ask them how long they last in bed, would you? In the same way, don’t ask if somebody who is transgender whether they still have their bits, or any other crappy or disrespectful question. As with talking to anyone, regardless of who they are or their background: be respectful!! Somebody recently messaged me asking about being transgender. What it meant, what it involved and why. I wasn’t shocked or annoyed. I don’t know how I felt to be honest, but it certainly wasn’t a negative feeling. It was nice that somebody took the time to find out and ask questions. These days, so many people assume and/or don’t get all the facts first. Such a shame, considering we’re supposed to be quite advanced.
Featured image: via Google
Featured video: “The Stage” by Avenged Sevenfold (via Avenged Sevenfold’s YouTube channel)