Lately I’ve found exploring blogs, forums and articles written for transsexuals by other transsexuals a dispiriting and even angering experience. So many basic human flaws on never-ending display: Elitism, groupthink, factionalization. Then there are even more basic mammalian tendencies on equally proud display: marginalization of undesirables, alpha assertion, and dominance displays. These same sort of places seemed full of good advice and support back when I was looking forward to transition. Now they seem to be more full of harm rather than good. I’m sure this is more a result of my own transformation than theirs, but I feel the need to address it all the same.
Transsexual transition is a dramatic example of a life journey toward self-acceptance and self-realization. At some point the “transsexual” part becomes less important than the “self-acceptance and self-realization” part. And, as I am now discovering, in some cases the “transsexual” part inhibits the “self-acceptance and self-realization” part, and would be better discarded.
Our lives are just like other lives after a certain point. We all – trans and non-trans alike – seek to live authentically and honestly. Once the transition bugaboo is largely licked, why should we assume trans people have any special insight beyond what other people in similar situations can provide?
In way of illustration, here’s my transsexual life story writ in general terms:
I grew up under severe pressure to repress my self identity. I had to play a role which never felt like myself. I never thought anyone could ever love me if I showed them the person I truly was inside. As a result I was incredibly lonely and isolated, despite any appearances to the contrary. Learning to stop playing that role meant embracing my greatest phobia – being truly vulnerable. I was almost willing to die rather than ever do that. Learning to live another way has been rewarding and terrifying in equal measures. But I could never go back to living as before.
That paragraph above applies to a hell of a lot more people than the trans community. I’ve been encouraged learning about other individuals and groups who deal with this sort of thing better than anything I’ve seen within the trans community.
It helps when you start from the simple assumption that we are all worthy beings deserving of love and respect. We make mistakes. We’re not perfect. And still… we’re worthy of love and respect. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong and ought to be disregarded.