Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

Happy Fucking Transgender Remembrance

Candle

Happy Fucking Transgender Remembrance 14.11.17

Trans Remembrance, that white, middle class thing that I do. I guess that could be your perception, for I am white, in a slightly Celtic-looking way, whatever that means. Last year I organized a screening of Tangerine, about African-American prostitutes in LA, a film I grow to love more and more with time. But was this me being intersectional or tokenistic? Where's the line? It's the thing I hate most with organizing this event. I am trans, and white, and middle-class, and I know I haven't suffered in the way that others have.

I know that these things matter. The more unfamiliar your society is with notions of transgender, the more you'll want to – need to – fit into one of two gender identities. The more you'll need to pass; it's a life-or-death kind of decision. Without surgery or hormones or facial-hair removal, transitioning is what, exactly? To walk homophobic streets as a woman with a five o'clock shadow, where people can get lynched, like in Uganda or Afghanistan, or dare I say it, even close to home.

I'm already presuming. Did you notice that I only mentioned the dangers as a trans woman? What about the trans man? They get killed as well.

I read an online newspaper every day and click on the transgender stories when they appear. The stories are often uplifting. The comments afterwards, written by the readers, drain all hope from me. I tell myself it takes a certain kind of person to click onto a transgender article, and then leave comments saying how unnatural it is. Or if not how unnatural it is, one of these:

I don't want a man, wearing a dress, in the women's toilets.

Just because you call yourself something, doesn't mean you are that thing.

I think forcing small children to have sex change operations is absurd.

These are the kind of things that appear in their hundreds in the comments section. What to say? The third one is easiest to respond to, because it doesn't happen. I believe you have to be 18 in the UK to have gender reassignment surgery, not that it ever seems to stop people in right-wing papers ranting and raving against it.

But the first and second objections? What am I supposed to say? What's the black-and-white factual answer, the one you can give in a single sentence? If a woman finds it objectionable that I enter the public bathroom, how tough am I supposed to be? Do you want my real, cowardly answer? I don't enter the ladies'. I always go for non-binary or the disabled. I'm too scared. That look of horror or revulsion, I can't bear to face it.

And on calling myself a woman? How often does the opportunity arise? I have an F on my passport – for Female, not for Fail. All my documents attest to my self-identifying gender. The letters from the bank refer to me as Ms. These are nice moments. When I'm in a group of women, we get addressed as 'Ladies!' I get referred to with she/her. It is nice. It makes me sad that people have a problem with this. It gets their goat, you can tell. It's easy to imagine when they're at home talking about trans-related stuff. They may in fact get puce in the face. Pace back and forth, explaining that just because all these trans people were killed in Latin America doesn't mean anything because the murder rate is high there anyway, you can't prove they died because they're trans THOSE BLOODY TRANSGENDER PEOPLE HAVE NO RIGHT TO GRIEVE for the ones who fall. Trans Remembrance? There's no such thing as Trans! Only men! Bang, goes the fist against the writing table. And women! Bang goes that fist again.

Ah well. At least no one's trying to kill me. Here's to Trans Remembrance.
Trans Remembrance 2017
Is Tintin Transgender?
 

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Saturday, 28 March 2020

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