Am I Trans?

This document is intended to question societal gender norms and help shed light on the struggles many suffer within their own identities, young and old people alike, and hopefully to help those with these struggles understand themselves better.

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Am I Trans?

This document is intended to question societal gender norms and help shed light on the struggles many suffer within their own identities, young and old people alike, and hopefully to help those with these struggles understand themselves better.

LGBT, trans, sex, gender

Am I Trans?

This document is intended to question societal gender norms and help shed light on the struggles many suffer within their own identities, young and old people alike, and hopefully to help those with these struggles understand themselves better.

Please be mindful that this is not a study. It is not supposed to completely define transness or give out You’re Trans Now! certificates. This is a document that collects information, research, studies, and anecdotal experiences from many trans people into one place to hopefully help guide people who may not feel like the gender assigned to them at birth is a good fit.

If you are curious, I hope this sheds some light into what it is, feels, and means to be transgender.

If you think you might be transgender, I hope this helps you find yourself.

If you are a concerned parent, welcome! The intention here is to inform and educate, you are welcome to read through it and access the articles and studies linked as well.

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Table of contents:

Table of contents:

Intro — the Trans, the Sex, the Gender

What is Transgender?

But aren’t humans just male and female?

How does the existence of intersex people affect gender?

If gender doesn’t matter, why even be trans?

Questioning

General feelings of transness

If you are assigned female

If you are assigned male

Transitioning - what does it mean to be trans?

What does it mean to transition?

How does one transition?

“But I don’t hate my body”

“But I don’t want to throw away my past”

“But I’m too old”

“But what about transtrenders?”

Decolonizing and radicalising Trans

Trans Through Time

Make it up

Detransition

The D word

Why do detransitioners exist?

Do most trans people give up?

What if I change my mind?

In the end…

Why is this so important?

So… am I trans?

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Intro — the Trans, the Sex, the Gender

What is Transgender?

The word transgender was used first in 1965 by Dr John Oliven, who had the “all consuming belief that [transsexuals] are women who by some incredible error were given the bodies of men.” His intention was to replace the word transsexual, which was often associated with transvestites, a term used for crossdressers. While crossdressers, Drag Queens/Kings, and transvestites have an extremely strong association with the trans community, and while we are all queer and there is certainly some overlap between trans people experimenting with clothing and Drag, crossdressing is different from being transgender.

Transgender is an adjective, with trans meaning across, through, over, beyond, or outside of gender. Cis is also an adjective, meaning on this side of, to define people who stay fully and solely connected with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Being transgender means not associating comfortably with your assigned gender at birth, either fully or partially, or simply finding another gender or gender expression, identity, or definition that fits you better than the one you were given at birth— discomfort with your assigned gender (which is what we call gender dysphoria) may not necessarily be present at all times. Some trans people take on different genders and distance themselves completely from their assigned genders, others still feel some connection to their assigned gender, but not fully. “It just doesn’t feel right” is an emotion that often surfaces as trans people grow up when they are called by gendered pronouns and words, such as “she,” “girl,” “lady,” “he,” “boy,” “mister,” etc. This feeling of discomfort can be mild or cause extreme distress, and it can happen in all stages of life, associated with a strong sense of “I’m different”— from early childhood to late into retirement.

But aren’t humans just male and female?

Humans are tricky, is what we are.

A lot of people (even trans people) share the idea that there is a “male” and a “female” brain, which is not only fake science but it also perpetuates extremely sexist ideas that men and women are fundamentally different, which is simply not true. Even physically, humans all start as female in the womb, only later on in gestation developing male characteristics (such as penis and scrotum), many of which are, in fact, a differently developed version of female characteristics— the scrotum is an external set of ovaries, the penis is a larger clitoris, etc. This works for a lot of animals, mammals especially— our bodies are extremely similar. Even our skeletons aren't a foolproof way to determine sex, and anthropologists themselves have been labeling skeletons as "indeterminate" more and more often, due to how difficult it can be to accurately determine sex through bones alone (and with no bias involved).

Chromosomes don’t make things easier either. We are taught in our early years that men have XY chromosomes and women have XX chromosomes, but the makeup of female and male sexual traits is much more complicated, and a discrepancy in sexual traits (their chromosomes, hormones, gonads, or genitals) is something that happens in a lot of people, as much as 2% of the population— for reference, about 1.9% of the population has red hair, and about 2% of the population has green eyes. These numbers seem small, but with the current population of over 7 billion, 2% is 140 million people. That’s 140 million people who might have intersex traits, such as men who have XX chromosomes, women who have XY chromosomes, men with uteruses, women with internal scrotums, men with high levels of estrogen, women with high levels of testosterone, and so many other traits who show a discrepancy between external sexual traits, internal sexual traits, hormones, physical appearance, and so much more of what is considered to make men men and women women.

This is a lot of fancy words to say: no, humans aren’t just male and female. Even when we are male or female, it’s not as cut and dry as most people think. Science is discovering every day how similar men and women are, as well as how complex our sexes actually can be.

How does the existence of intersex people affect gender?

In many ways!

Intersex people existing means many things: firstly, that you can be one and not even know it, that you likely know intersex people and you just aren’t aware of it, that you definitely have met someone in your life, even in passing, who was intersex; and, most importantly for this document: that if sex isn’t as defined as we think it is, both scientifically and biologically, then gender is even less so.

Gender is widely accepted as a social construct, in every culture and times throughout history gender roles have been widely different. The idea that women are demure, subservient, and must stay home to raise the family while men are authoritative breadwinners is actually rooted in West European colonialism, and both women and men were seen in a much different lens in different cultures, especially native ones.

If gender isn’t strictly defined and it can be widely different from one culture to another, then it makes sense that some people simply do not feel like they line up with the gender they were assigned at birth, along with its perceived role, expectations, expression, names, and pronouns.

If gender doesn’t matter, why even be trans?

One of the main questions that seem to be brought up by a lot of well-meaning people is that if gender is a human construct and can change depending on what culture, age, community, and even just family you are born into, then why does it matter that we feel we’re assigned “the wrong gender?”

Just like everything else about humans, it’s complicated.

Gender is a construct, that is very true, but it’s also an inescapable part of our lives. Humans have complicated the Male and the Female by giving us roles, tasks, and expectations based on our genitals when we’re born, so even if we want to completely ignore gender, the society around us won’t. It’s important to also keep in mind that humans are famous for naming things that don’t need to be named, and complicating things that are simple— we name pets, we make music, we put wheels on the bottoms of our shoes, we put a deep importance on grandma’s mac & cheese recipe, and we write poetry. A lot of human nature can very well be nonsensical to other animals but complexity is what makes us human, so it only makes sense that by complicating gender we inevitably make it our own, and make it part of us all.

It’s a very poetic answer, but it’s difficult to put into words how much humans have complicated gender. We have many instances of animals performing their opposite sex-related roles being documented, but animals still fail to explore gender with the same complexity that humans do, which makes it so that gender becomes not only inescapable, but intrinsic. And just like every other intrinsically human part of our lives, a vast majority of us find importance and deep connection with it.

So gender “doesn’t matter,” technically, in a general sense, because it really is just a very human made-up construct, but at the same time it matters to us as individuals— just as it matters to name your pet, or to only buy blue pillows to match the living room walls, or to go out every saturday for coffee with your partner, and so on.

You might find yourself using that as an argument against your own gender questioning as well, and that’s okay— if you find that gender doesn’t actually matter to you, it doesn’t have to matter, and you’re the only one who gets to decide what that means for you.

Questioning

There are different ways people can question their gender, many of them are associated closely with culture (your role as a woman/man in society) and others with one’s body (what makes you a woman/man). It’s also important to keep in mind that if you check a few boxes in this list, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re trans, and if you check no boxes, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re cis. A lot of these factors

Am I Trans?
Info
Tags LGBT, Trans, Sex, Gender
Type Google Doc
Published 20/01/2023, 02:22:46

Resources

Maddie's Trans Girl Romances List