With an estimated 1% of the world’s population experiencing some kind of gender dysphoria, being trans, it is amazing to me how in a twist our knickers have become as a society. In both the UK and the US, trans political issues have become a proverbial football, and a way for conservative and liberal politicians to establish their bona fides.
My own experience of trans has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with a gut-wrenching, lifelong feeling of discomfort about my body, my identity, my values, how I see the world, how I perceive everything, especially human interaction, and how I relate to men and women in our society. This is not happy. This is not kinky. This is not a fetish or a fad.
I was born in a male body. Nothing more. I don’t like it. When I was young, the discussions we can have today, the resources that are available, simply didn’t exist. Would I have taken the difficult step of changing sex were the resources and knowledge of today available back then? I don’t know. Would I have been happier as a result? I don’t know.
But I do know that I have spent a life teetering on the edge of suicide, teetering on the edge of depression, teetering on the edge of serious dysfunction because I hate being male. Hate it. HATE it.
I don’t know if other people feel as I do. But what I do know is that the cacophony of political hysteria that surrounds this issue is not helpful, is not positive. As a parent, I would want silence for a child that is coping with this issue. I would want the chance for a child to learn about how they felt themselves about their bodies, their psyche, what they wanted in life. Silence, so that they could decide.
Reading websites online you would think that people who are trans are evil, that they are out to pervert nature, to pervert society, and are the causes of violence, sex abuse, and all kinds of reprehensible things. The anti-trans lobby is very powerful. I don’t get it. Why is this such a big deal?
The trans world I know, the trans people I know, the trans agenda I know is one of vulnerability. How hurt we are, how dangerous it is, how discriminated against we are, how transitioning is an act of economic and relationship self-damage…there are obstacles enough, real ones, but society and people who have politicised our bodies, are making things much, much worse.
Why is 1% so threatening? Why do you care so much if it isn’t your body? Has it occurred to you that those who regret transition or de-transition might be doing so because of the very hate that the anti-trans lobby throws out? We have so many people who have no clue what it feels like to be trans, to know what it feels like to have your sense of gender identity totally unmoored, and just how hard that is. Walk in my shoes. Please listen. There isn’t a day of my life that I can remember since I was a small child, that I didn’t wish I was a girl. Not one. Some days it isn’t so bad, maybe there were lot’s of distractions, I got lot’s of exercise and couldn’t think, but on most days it’s always there. Always. Just think about that for a second if you don’t experience it. Just imagine for a moment that every hour, of every day, of every year of your life, for 30 seconds you felt intense sadness because your gender was wrong. Take out the politics. Take out the solutions. Just imagine how awful that might feel. Especially for the 99% of people who never think for a second about what their gender is in the first place. Just think. Or at least try. It is beyond unsettling.
I do not regret my life, or my decisions. I married, I have children, and I devoted every ounce of my soul and psyche to be present in my kid’s lives. I took 10 years off of work to be there, and to help ground them, so that they would never feel what I felt. I will always be their father, and I hope that they will always be happy, and never feel what I feel or have felt. But I also feel that I took the easy way. I betrayed myself, and hewed to what was expected of me.
Would I have been happier if I had transitioned before puberty? Without doubt. Would I have missed the children I would have never had, and the most beautiful life partner that anyone could ever ask for as my SO had I done that? I believe so, even though technically impossible, but spiritually yes. I have achieved a happiness in spite of my dysphoria. Thank goodness.
But if I have to die in a male body, I’ll metaphorically shoot myself. I’ve done my part. Should I have the good fortune of living to a ripe old age, I hope to do so in a changed body. I don’t want to die a man. I’ve spent too much time living for other people, too much time being something I hate…
But don’t crush the spirit of the next generation. Give them the options that I never felt I had Let them be. Let them take puberty blockers, let them decide for themselves in an apolitical way. And in the meantime, let’s the rest of us try to be good, non-judgemental parents, parents who love their children unconditionally, how can accept them no matter what they are, or how they turn out…because that’s what’s missing from this whole debate.
Gender can be fluid. So, too, with time, will sex. It is just a matter of time before an MTF can carry a baby. I hope that I live to see it…and if there is anything in the world that would make me cry and cry, it is that I am not born after such things are possible.