Two years ago, if you’d asked me about my views on gender in general, then I would have said that there were three: female, male, and transgender people who’d yet to take hormones and become the gender that they were born to be.
I don’t agree with that any longer. Since I was a child, I was always wondering why I felt different when it came to gender, and indeed why I felt so intrigued by my mother’s catalogues featuring big-chested women despite never having a sexual attraction to them — even today. I figured out what my attraction to them was: I wanted to be them.
So I do feel as though I should expand upon this actually very short – but what felt like a cathartic – blog post.
You guys have been great. Twitter was great. But going into this I knew that I was confused; that, in actual fact, I may still be a man. The strangest thing happened after that. I watched a YouTube video from a chap who strongly believes in the gender spectrum. He was giving a talk on whether you know you’re trans. He said that if you are constantly asking yourself that question, then the answer is obviously yes, and it just depends on where on the spectrum you lie.
This applies to sexual orientation and to be perfectly honest makes sense in the realms of sex. If we are talking about nature here, over 400 species see homosexuality but homophobia is found in 1. The theories for transgender and and homosexuality and bisexuality relate to hormonal exposure in the womb.
This wouldn’t surprise me. I’ve seen the confusion within adults of families and also attraction when I’ve been talking to people.
I would say that I am transfemme. Transfemme is to say that I would like a feminised body but I do not wish to present as a female nor be called a female in mainstream scenarios. Some may say that this is a bit of a cop-out, and it may in fact be. Remember when I said that in a few months I’d turn my back on all of this? Well, perhaps it’s that.
In fact, it may also be me saying that pursuing this may not be worth it. What I do in the privacy of my own home for comfort purposes is my business; going out dressed is another matter. The violence against trans people is unbelievable.
I am trans femme. That means that I would like a feminised body. I do not, to be graphic, wish to have gender confirmation surgery or anything of that order. In that sense, I am not “classically trans”. I am not sure that this also means that I identify as a woman: I happen to be certain of it now that such a thing as the gender spectrum exists. I feel foolish as to not believing this research (in addition to social movements) to begin with: I’ve always been someone at the front of these things. I am sure you can see what cognitive distortions and emotive reasoning left me to be either ignorant or annoyed at such concepts. I am still ashamed of that.
I need to make clear at this point that I have always been a fierce advocate of trans rights. That is, back when I was in politics, the mainstream T of the LGBT was transgendered people. As a hardened and some would say unfair sceptic, I took issue with the 44 genders. I still do. I think that people can want to have attributes of the opposite sex and not necessarily have “two twins” living within them. The latter, I am afraid, on reading it, suggests to me that it is a sign of a psychiatric condition which needs treatment as psychosis or mania is affecting that person. This is not my bigotry talking (I hope). I studied the mind.
We need to build on everything that we have done as a community to stand up for our rights. You guys and gals inspired me for years, not months. Your courage was, and is, incredible.
Transgender people have the highest suicide rate of every single demographic. Autistics are second, if my maths and tables haven’t changed. The two are intertwined, with research suggesting that many high-functioning autistics experience problems with gender that require pharmaceutical and surgical interventions. I would never suggest for a second that I am abandoning anyone who feels like this: In fact, quite the opposite. But I am not qualified beyond a BSc in Counselling Psychology. I can give you advice as a “friend” for nothing — just get in touch.
In any case, this has been a painful road to date. I came out as trans, because for years, that’s what I thought I was. I was rejected by some close family and accepted with open arms by others. I will never forget those who did, and did not, stand by me – including friends.
And for every questioning person out there, don’t stop. This is not to dissuade anyone; in fact, it is to encourage them. You might be wrong at the end of it, but who cares? It’s your life, and nobody else’s.
And to Luke T and his trans friends who’ve helped me try to figure this out, thank you. I have put only initials of their first name below.
AAAACCCDDEEILLMRSSW & supportive Twitter