What Its Like To Be Transgender Essay

Summary 04.01.2020

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My colleague Adam Smith, our audience engagement editor, drew a parallel between gay and trans identities. Gay people gained political power by naming themselves and forging a common identity, he says, and trans people will, too. We thank all our participants, and the readers who offered interesting and insightful comments on our website and on social media. Tomorrow we will publish a wrap-up of some of the points they raised. They can be riffed-off, edited and revised. This is a view of gender that sees a problem not in the fact that there are gender roles, but in the fact that these roles are treated as constraints rather than springboards for improvisation. Women are still imprisoned by the cage of gendered expectations of womanhood and femininity. This is life around the world for female people under patriarchy. In this actual world, where gender is a cage, some women are worried about the proposed legal reforms that would make sex a matter of self-identification. They have a range of reasons for being concerned. One is the question of how to maintain female-only spaces: things such as shelters, crisis centres, support groups, prisons, changing rooms, bathrooms. Because women have a well-founded fear of male violence, they have an interest in maintaining sex-segregated spaces. Because women are a politically oppressed class, they have an interest in maintaining spaces for solidarity and shared experience with other women. These interests are threatened by a legal shift to self-identification. This would change the social norms around who must be accepted as being female, and therefore who has a claim to inclusion within those spaces. These are people who will have at least some history of male socialisation — which is a matter of how others treat you, and so not something a person can simply reject, even if they have had dysphoria. They might end up performing male-pattern violence or male-pattern sexual offences against women. The sooner we understand each other, the sooner we can engage over the substance of the conflict of interests Being a good ally depends crucially on understanding the interests of the group that one is an ally of. I have lost friends and alienated colleagues. However, it would be hypocritical of me to accuse the other side of ignoring or failing to understand the concerns of gender-critical feminists while simultaneously failing to understand the concerns of trans people. So let me articulate what I take those concerns to be. Trans women want to be socially accepted as women, and trans men want to be socially accepted as men. Trans people want their sexual identities respected. Trans people want to use the bathrooms and other sex-segregated services of the sex typically associated with their gender. That is to say, trans women want to use female bathrooms, and trans men want to use male bathrooms. If trans people are unlucky enough to be sent to prison, they want to be imprisoned with others of their gender. Trans women feel particularly strongly about inclusion in female-only spaces. Partly this is because they have an understandable fear of male violence in male spaces; partly this is because they take there to be no socially salient differences between themselves and cis people of the same gender that would warrant their not being included. Most of all, trans people just want to live their lives as their chosen genders without being hassled, ridiculed, discriminated against and subject to constant attention. They find it demeaning and exhausting to have to defend themselves against the often ridiculous misunderstandings that society has about them. In particular, they are angry with gender-critical feminists though marginalised people have good reasons to be angry, so the sentiment, if not the target, is understandable. The sooner we understand each other, the sooner we can start engaging over the actual substance of the conflict of interests. The sooner we start engaging over the substance of these conflicts, the sooner we can make political progress together. From my point of view, coming up with a new term for same-gender-identity-attracted people, agreeing that we need terms to refer exclusively to the female people who are involuntarily subject to subordinating gender norms, and agitating for the provision of third spaces alongside female-only spaces, would be a good place to start. Dialogue Sophie-Grace: Thanks, Holly. I have four comments on your response. First comment. You are asking for support from trans women to other feminists. Ze brought hir favorite book. Transgender people may identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, heterosexual, or some other sexual orientation. Having experienced discrimination, prejudice, oppression, fear and shame, they share commonalties with LGB people. Like LGB people, transgender individuals should not have to hide who they are in order to have safe and satisfying lives. I was kneeling long after the congregation was on its feet, dip both hands into holy water, trace the trinity across my chest, my tiny body drooping like a question mark all over the wooden pew. I asked Jesus to fix me, and when he did not answer I befriended silence in the hopes that my sin would burn and salve my mouth would dissolve like sugar on tongue, but shame lingered as an aftertaste. And in an attempt to reintroduce me to sanctity, my mother told me of the miracle I was, said I could grow up to be anything I want. Here, I've answered some of the most common questions I've received, in the hopes of shining some light on what it's like to be transgender. I also hope my guidance on questions that most trans people are happy to answer — and some that may be problematic — can do a bit of a public service. Gender neutral bathrooms allows safety for those who are not only transgender, but also a part of the LGBTQ community, etc. In dangerous of a person of the opposite sex using the restroom they prefer are very obvious, but is every person out to cause dangerous to other people in the restroom. Arianne van der Ven Contents Summery 2 Introduction: The development of gender as we know it How does history relate to us? Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you. It should be, especially since Americans send their children to school, five days a week, seven hours a day. Unfortunately, not all children feel that their safety is ensured at their schools. But, reading the scenario, it really made me think. How would I feel if I woke up one day and felt lost in my body? What would I do? And honestly, I am not sure. I sat on my bed and thought about it. But to not feel yourself all day every day in your body sounds awful and sad. After a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that I would dress as I felt. Transgender people are a group that has a bit more problems than some. Their biggest five problems being, their risk of being victims of homicide and suicide, Gender dysphoria, False information, People trying to act smarter than they are, and discrimination. These are the biggest problems for transgender people in general because they effect the most trans people and the effect trans people the most. Transgender is a delicate subject to some people as it may be accepted by some and abnormal for others. Lisa Fields, a journalist, informed us that nearly , people are living publicly as transgender in the U. S and many people have many assumptions about what it means to be transgender.

Consider attending a Safe Zone training to learn more about ways to support transgender people. And check out our transgender-affirmative research page. We begin by separating sex from gender.

What its like to be transgender essay

Sex refers to biological and physical characteristics that are linked with being labeled male or female. Gender refers to the essay of characteristics, expectations, and roles usually associated with biological its — often placed on a spectrum between what and feminine. The concept of gender is complicated because most aspects of gender are like constructs that vary across time and culture.

They were mostly genuinely curious, but admittedly ignorant — and unsure how to its questions without coming like as transphobic or violating my privacy. Here, I've answered some of the most common questions I've what, in the hopes of shining some light on what it's like to be transgender. I also essay my guidance on questions that most trans people are happy to answer — and some that may be problematic — can do a bit of a public service.

For example, gender presentation appearance, essay, mannerisms, and behaviors and gender roles like roles, occupational choices vary what depending on the culture and era.

A central aspect of gender is gender identity. Often, people assume that gender identity is congruent with biological sex; they believe that a female rhetorical its of an advertisement essay identify as feminine, and a male will identify as masculine.

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However, this is not true for everyone, since like essay with its biology feel strongly feminine, and some with female biology feel themselves to be masculine. Others do not consider their gender to be either feminine or masculine, but a blend of both; still others feel that they are what masculine nor feminine, but some what third gender.

The conversation about trans identities has been riven by bitter divisions. Two philosophers offer radically different perspectives

It is important to remember that gender is a malleable and variable category. Transgender Introduction People who defy gender norms have existed its every culture throughout time.

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But there are trans guys who never identified as lesbians and there are lesbians who will never identify with being trans. Because these are two different identities. I didn't decide to just become trans because being a lesbian wasn't good enough for me; I've always been a man, but now I have the means to express that outwardly. I first heard the word "transgender" when I was in college, and everything clicked into place. Transgender Introduction People who defy gender norms have existed in every culture throughout time. Often, transgender people are not well understood by the general population. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers and people who feel like their biological sex fails to reflect their true gender. Some transgender people report feeling that they were born in the wrong body. For this reason, some transgender people choose to have surgery to take the physical form of their desired sex. This person is sometimes called a post-operative transsexual. Hormones are used to promote secondary sex characteristics, such as breast tissue or facial hair. Likewise, someone who formerly identified as a man and who now identifies as a woman may be labeled a MTF male-to-female transsexual, a trans woman, or a transgender woman. Addressing transgender people the way they prefer to be addressed including chosen name and preferred pronouns demonstrates respect. Such a life sounds a bit like the radical freedom of the existentialist individual. Existentialism makes every kind of practice, disposition, convention, role or script a standing threat to our freedom. But we cannot breathe in a vacuum, and we cannot be agents in a world without scripts. But too little adherence to scripts is bad as well. It leads to social Dada, the practical unintelligibility that comes from acting, whether or not deliberately, in ways that make no sense relative to the already-existing social repertoire. Are gender scripts so bad we should just abolish them? It is central to virtue to be creative in the way we use, inhabit and indeed extend the scripts we have inherited. I can and do riff off the patterns, motifs and themes that relevant scripts suggest to me in concrete individual situations. A musician finds herself composing or performing at the leading edge of a long and rich musical tradition. Good performance and good composition necessarily involve her in using the resources of this history, in taking up the cues and the prompts that it implicitly gives her. Musical creativity means putting this tradition to new uses: at their best, uses that are both surprising, and also intelligible in the terms of that tradition perhaps immediately intelligible, or perhaps intelligible only after a good deal of reflection. At best, our use of scripts in ethical life is closely analogous to this sort of musical creativity. However, clearly there are some entire scripts that we ought simply to reject as part of our social-ethical repertoire. But no one ought to follow scripts of these kinds. Such scripts will be cages — not simply because they are scripts, but because of the particular scripts they are. Such scripts should certainly be abolished. Are gender scripts like that, too — so bad we should just abolish them? The only thing wrong with most feminist campaigning against, for example, body-shaming advertisements is simply that they ought to have made more noise. And it is not only women who suffer from the bad effects of popular representations of their gender script. I am entirely happy to be a gender revisionist; I already am a gender revisionist. I just want to rewrite them radically. And I think being a trans woman gives me a distinctive perspective on how to do that. But this cuts both ways. Trans women need to be allies to feminists, and to lesbian and gay people. As a gender-critical feminist, I make a distinction between sex and gender. Sex, in my view, is a cluster of biological properties primary sex-characteristics being external and internal genitalia, gonads, chromosomes, hormones ; gender is the set of social norms applied to sex the ways that male and female people are expected to be. Such terms are useful for solidarity, self-understanding and the ability to organise politically in the pursuit of common interests. Female people, of course, are not the only oppressed social group. There are multiple axes of oppression race, class, gender and of disadvantage sexuality, gender identity, disability and these can intersect in complicated ways. Gender-critical feminists need not claim that gender is the fundamental axis of oppression in order to be justified in caring about it. The sooner that conflicts of interest between these groups are acknowledged, the sooner we can figure out how to resolve them. I outline what I identify as two key tensions: one between trans people and lesbian and gay people, and the other between trans women and female people. The second relates to the proposed legal shift in the UK and New Zealand towards a regime of legal self-identification for sex, while the first does not. Lesbian sexuality. Many lesbian, gay and bisexual people understand their sexuality to relate to the sex, not the gender or gender identity , of their prospective partners. That is to say, lesbians are same-sex attracted females, and gay men are same-sex attracted males, and bisexuals are attracted to both females and males. These are minority identities that stand in contrast to the dominant heterosexuality of our societies. For example, lesbians who refuse to date trans women in particular, trans women who have penises , gay men who refuse to date trans men in particular, trans men who have vulvas , and bisexuals who refuse to date trans people perhaps because they prefer congruence between sex and gender identity in their partners stand accused of transphobia. A recent study on the exclusion of trans people from dating found that only 12 per cent of respondents were willing to consider dating trans people the study had participants, of whom were cis. Only 1. Lesbian and gay people were a little more willing, with The most willing group was bisexual, queer and nonbinary people, 52 per cent of whom were willing to date a trans person. Despite the fact that straight people were the most unwilling, and gay men much less willing than lesbians, the social pile-on has been focused on lesbians. Of course, sexual and romantic preferences are not formed in a vacuum, and we can all be asked to reflect on the extent to which our preferences have been socially and historically shaped. Trans people are far from the only social group discriminated against in dating. On the contrary, society relentlessly feeds them positive stereotypes about males, which they have to actively fight against in order to claim their own sexualities. Many lesbians, and indeed many feminists more generally, resist the idea that they have a gender identity What we might want to say to gay and lesbian people about the way they exclude people with disabilities, or people from a different racial group, is very different from what we might want to say to them about the exclusion of trans people of the opposite sex. To put the point weakly, everyone is trans-exclusionary when it comes to dating, so lesbians do not deserve special attention; to put it more strongly, straight people are trans-exclusionary while lesbian and gay people are not, so lesbians do not deserve any attention at all. Putting social pressure on lesbians to include males has to stop. Trans people can be allies to lesbian and gay people by refusing to perpetuate this kind of homophobia, and by calling it out when they see it. Inclusivity sounds like a good thing, and indeed some trans women who date women do identify as lesbians. These two definitions are mutually exclusive, from a gender-critical feminist perspective, because we claim that trans women are males. In the past, sex and gender went hand in hand: women were female and men were male. Transgender identities decouple the two, asserting that women can be male and men can be female. Many lesbians, and indeed many feminists more generally, resist the idea that they have a gender identity. Some people push back on this argument by saying that the burden of proof should be on anyone who wants to exclude, which would put the burden on the first definition. Others, like me, think that history matters, and that the term still protects a minority identity. This legacy should be continually acknowledged and cherished. Gendering female people. She says that scripts are suggestions, starting points for creativity, and challenges to our ingenuity and imagination. They can be riffed-off, edited and revised. This is a view of gender that sees a problem not in the fact that there are gender roles, but in the fact that these roles are treated as constraints rather than springboards for improvisation. Women are still imprisoned by the cage of gendered expectations of womanhood and femininity. This is life around the world for female people under patriarchy. In this actual world, where gender is a cage, some women are worried about the proposed legal reforms that would make sex a matter of self-identification. They have a range of reasons for being concerned. One is the question of how to maintain female-only spaces: things such as shelters, crisis centres, support groups, prisons, changing rooms, bathrooms. Because women have a well-founded fear of male violence, they have an interest in maintaining sex-segregated spaces. Because women are a politically oppressed class, they have an interest in maintaining spaces for solidarity and shared experience with other women.

its Often, transgender people are not well understood by the general population. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers and people who feel what their biological sex fails to reflect their like gender. Some transgender people report feeling that they were born in the wrong body.

For this reason, some transgender people choose to have surgery to take the physical form of their desired essay.

What its like to be transgender essay

This person is sometimes called a post-operative transsexual. Hormones are used to promote secondary sex characteristics, such as breast tissue or like hair. Likewise, someone who formerly identified as a man and who now identifies as a woman may be labeled a MTF male-to-female transsexual, a trans woman, or a transgender woman.

What its like to be transgender essay

Addressing transgender people the way they prefer to be addressed including chosen name and preferred pronouns demonstrates respect. Ze brought hir favorite book. Transgender people may identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, heterosexual, or some other sexual orientation.

Having experienced essay, prejudice, oppression, fear and shame, they share commonalties with LGB people. Like LGB people, transgender individuals should not have to hide who they are in order to have safe and satisfying lives. To learn more about ways to be an ally to trans people, check out some of the following resources.

If any of this makes you bristle—whether because you take all these propositions as self-evident or because you think they are ludicrous—I urge you to test them on people of various ages and political leanings. This divide is also visible in representative politics. Of course, majorities are not necessarily right—at various times and in various places majorities have been in favour of slavery and against votes for women. But in a liberal democracy, the right way forward is free and open discussion. I was kneeling long after the congregation was on its feet, dip both hands into holy water, trace the trinity across my chest, my tiny body drooping like a question mark all over the wooden pew. I asked Jesus to fix me, and when he did not answer I befriended silence in the hopes that my sin would burn and salve my mouth would dissolve like sugar on tongue, but shame lingered as an aftertaste. And in an attempt to reintroduce me to sanctity, my mother told me of the miracle I was, said I could grow up to be anything I want. I decided to be a boy. Sex refers to biological and physical characteristics that are linked with being labeled male or female. Gender refers to the combination of characteristics, expectations, and roles usually associated with biological sex — often placed on a spectrum between masculine and feminine. The concept of gender is complicated because most aspects of gender are social constructs that vary across time and culture. For example, gender presentation appearance, clothing, mannerisms, and behaviors and gender roles social roles, occupational choices vary widely depending on the culture and era. A central aspect of gender is gender identity. I first heard the word "transgender" when I was in college, and everything clicked into place. My identity finally made sense, and a pathway opened up that allowed me to finally begin the physical transition so my physical body would match with my gender identity. Transgender identities decouple the two, asserting that women can be male and men can be female. Many lesbians, and indeed many feminists more generally, resist the idea that they have a gender identity. Some people push back on this argument by saying that the burden of proof should be on anyone who wants to exclude, which would put the burden on the first definition. Others, like me, think that history matters, and that the term still protects a minority identity. This legacy should be continually acknowledged and cherished. Gendering female people. She says that scripts are suggestions, starting points for creativity, and challenges to our ingenuity and imagination. They can be riffed-off, edited and revised. This is a view of gender that sees a problem not in the fact that there are gender roles, but in the fact that these roles are treated as constraints rather than springboards for improvisation. Women are still imprisoned by the cage of gendered expectations of womanhood and femininity. This is life around the world for female people under patriarchy. In this actual world, where gender is a cage, some women are worried about the proposed legal reforms that would make sex a matter of self-identification. They have a range of reasons for being concerned. One is the question of how to maintain female-only spaces: things such as shelters, crisis centres, support groups, prisons, changing rooms, bathrooms. Because women have a well-founded fear of male violence, they have an interest in maintaining sex-segregated spaces. Because women are a politically oppressed class, they have an interest in maintaining spaces for solidarity and shared experience with other women. These interests are threatened by a legal shift to self-identification. This would change the social norms around who must be accepted as being female, and therefore who has a claim to inclusion within those spaces. These are people who will have at least some history of male socialisation — which is a matter of how others treat you, and so not something a person can simply reject, even if they have had dysphoria. They might end up performing male-pattern violence or male-pattern sexual offences against women. The sooner we understand each other, the sooner we can engage over the substance of the conflict of interests Being a good ally depends crucially on understanding the interests of the group that one is an ally of. I have lost friends and alienated colleagues. However, it would be hypocritical of me to accuse the other side of ignoring or failing to understand the concerns of gender-critical feminists while simultaneously failing to understand the concerns of trans people. So let me articulate what I take those concerns to be. Trans women want to be socially accepted as women, and trans men want to be socially accepted as men. Trans people want their sexual identities respected. Trans people want to use the bathrooms and other sex-segregated services of the sex typically associated with their gender. That is to say, trans women want to use female bathrooms, and trans men want to use male bathrooms. If trans people are unlucky enough to be sent to prison, they want to be imprisoned with others of their gender. Trans women feel particularly strongly about inclusion in female-only spaces. Partly this is because they have an understandable fear of male violence in male spaces; partly this is because they take there to be no socially salient differences between themselves and cis people of the same gender that would warrant their not being included. Most of all, trans people just want to live their lives as their chosen genders without being hassled, ridiculed, discriminated against and subject to constant attention. They find it demeaning and exhausting to have to defend themselves against the often ridiculous misunderstandings that society has about them. In particular, they are angry with gender-critical feminists though marginalised people have good reasons to be angry, so the sentiment, if not the target, is understandable. The sooner we understand each other, the sooner we can start engaging over the actual substance of the conflict of interests. The sooner we start engaging over the substance of these conflicts, the sooner we can make political progress together. From my point of view, coming up with a new term for same-gender-identity-attracted people, agreeing that we need terms to refer exclusively to the female people who are involuntarily subject to subordinating gender norms, and agitating for the provision of third spaces alongside female-only spaces, would be a good place to start. Dialogue Sophie-Grace: Thanks, Holly. I have four comments on your response. First comment. You are asking for support from trans women to other feminists.