I recently came across a blog post somewhere on the vast reaches of the Internet that actually talked about the positive aspects of being trans, and it struck me as a good idea to write up my own little blog post about that topic.
See, pretty much everywhere you read, it’s mostly negative things about being trans. And yeah, there are a lot of negative things. But we shouldn’t forget that there are a lot of positive things, too!
Here is my list:
I like to equate this one to my experience living as a minority abroad. I grew up as a straight white male in the United States, arguably one of the more privileged of combinations (although I did receive my fair share of bullying and hatred). My first encounter with greater understanding was when I came to live in Japan and I discovered what it was like to live as a minority. I gained a greater awareness towards racism and discrimination, and felt as though I grew as a person.
The same thing has happened now that I have come to terms with myself and have come out as trans. Now I have also lived my life as both a male and a female, and it has been an eye-opening experience so far. I now have a greater understanding of issues on both (not to get caught up in the binary) sides of gender issues in society and feel like I am a better person for it. This has definitely been a positive change since coming out.
With greater understanding of gender issues I also find myself better able to express myself. Before, I felt trapped in a prison built by society for me. Feelings I wanted to express were kept locked away, emotions suppressed, actions falsified and just overall conformity to a set of standards I felt completely alienated by. Now I no longer feel imprisoned to either side of the binary which opens up a full range of self-expression for myself. If I like something that is stereotypically ”male”, that’s fine. If I like something that is stereotypically “female”, that’s fine too. I know who I am now and that self-discovery is something I think anyone who is trans can relate to.
This does not apply to everyone who is trans, but I’m sure there are others like me around. For myself, I have decided never to fully align myself with one side of the binary or the other. I (mostly) live as a female and completely identify as female, but I still retain my option to live as a guy when I want to. I find this to be extremely interesting, exciting, and advantageous. I feel much, much more comfortable going out as a girl than I do as a boy, but I love knowing that I have the option to transcend the boundaries put out there by society whenever I feel like it if I choose to do so, and that in itself is empowering to me.
So, those are just a few of the positive things I have experienced since beginning my transition. Of course, I won’t lie, all of this has made me fall into a state of depression many, many times. But, overall the insight, wisdom, and happiness it has brought me is many times greater. I only wish I had not been so scared to face this side of myself years ago, but I still have (hopefully) many years left to enjoy myself as I truly am and not as an actor pretending to be something that they are not. :)
And so, another week of crazy comes to an end.
I’m not going to go into the details of why my life is so messed up, but let’s just say there are a lot of factors. It’s basically been a rollercoaster for the past I don’t know how many months, and since last week was extremely good I should have known that this week would be bad.
But, in the end I made it through the week and all seems to be settling back into normality until it is inevitably disrupted again. At least I’m still here, I suppose… and at least I had a fun day today.
I know nobody cares about this personal stuff, but this is just for me to organize my own thoughts so anyone reading can just ignore it. :)
Not sure why, but Bob Ross pictures are very relevant to my life recently. >.<
This weekend was pretty crazy, and not in a good way. This gif is the best way I can explain how I feel.
So I was on reddit today, as I always am, and I notice there is a transgender question thread on the front page.
I knew it was a bad idea, but I decided to look at the comments anyway.
All I can say is, we really have a long way to go until people understand us. There were a lot of good comments too, of course, it’s just that I did not really enjoy seeing an entire thread of literally 50+ comments debating on whether or not being trans* is a mental illness.
“Ohhhh, but it’s different from being gay because you are literally changing who you are completely.”
No, no it isn’t.
And yeah, I know there are a lot of people who still think being gay is unnatural too, but a lot of progress has made in the gay/lesbian/bi community to humanize them and make it known that it is natural and normal and nothing to be afraid of, but unfortunately we in the trans* community have not been so lucky. I mean, the fact that there is effectively no education or awareness about trans* issues is the reason why I repressed and ignored every feeling I ever had about myself for 27 years.
That is part of the reason why I wanted to write this blog, because even though there are literally mountains upon mountains of trans* blogs out there, there obviously is still not enough information readily available because the number of people in that reddit thread saying how they wished they knew more about trans* issues but don’t was through the roof. So, I know people won’t find this blog unless they actively seek it, but if I put it here then it will remain a part of the internet for as long as tumblr is around, so it is a contribution nonetheless and I almost feel like it is my obligation to do so.
Anyway, just wanted to rant… If anyone is interested and wants to spread some actual helpful knowledge instead of ignorance, here is the thread in question (http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/wgt57/transgender_people_of_reddit_i_have_some/).