20 Trans People Reveal The One Thing They Wish Non-Trans People Understood.
Transgender people on Reddit were asked: "What do you wish everyone else knew/understood?" These are some of the best answers.
1/20 I wish everyone understood, from a distance, what dysphoria feels like. It would stop a lot of "but you're pretty the way you are!" and "once you talk it through, you'll learn to love it" and "you don't need to have surgery, just be happy"
2/20 I find some people who meet me are oddly surprised by the fact that I'm actually just a regular girl. I think people are expecting a crazy over the top drag queen and really I just go to work, play video games or guitar and wear jeans and a t-shirt most days. Being transgender is not really a huge part of my life rarely gets mentioned anywhere...
3/20 Being trans is not an extension of homosexuality. There's this odd belief that it's just being really, REALLY gay, like a man who likes dick so much he decides that he doesn't want to have one any more. Which makes no sense at all when you think about it. There hasn't been much academic research done into transgender issues, but from what I've seen sexuality is far more diverse among trans people - something like 40% gay, 40% straight, 10% bi and 10% other. Oh, and gay in this case refers to liking the gender you identify as, not the one you were born into.
4/20 No it's not about wanting to wear dresses and play with barbies. Or wanting to wear pants and play with tonka trucks. It is first and foremost a discomfort with one's body, not the gender role assigned to you. There are plenty of MtF people who don't much like girly things and would rather watch superhero movies than chick flicks (that's me) and plenty of FtM people who like pink and think fast cars and football are stupid. I've seen the sentiment that strict gender roles are responsible for the existence of trans people and that we could help all these people so they don't have to suffer by erasing the oppressive gender roles, and that's a nice idea but it simply isn't true. My brain's wired to expect a female body and it gets really, really upset if it doesn't find one.
5/20 I wish that people would realize that I'm still a person. Staring at me while I'm doing my grocery shopping and saying mean things while I stand in line isn't a very good feeling. It's the kind of stuff that makes you want to go home and cry.
6/20 Honestly, I just wish people would realize I'm not broken. I can't come out and transition to a female lifestyle until I become financially independent because of this, my parents would likely kick me out or disown me if I came out to them. For f*cks sake, I'm not super gay or a cross-dresser, I just was born into the wrong body. I'm a normal person with feelings and emotions. I watch the same shows you do and listen to the same music and play the same games. I enjoy life. Stop looking at me like I am broken.
7/20 I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to discuss with you when I first knew I wasn't a woman or why I've waited to medically transition or who I like to have sex with or what my family thinks. I don't want to answer your questions about trans* anything or listen to you wax poetic about your boyfriend's teacher's brothers son who turned out to really be a girl or have you solicit my opinion on the endless conversations that mostly transpire online about pronouns, identity, who is trans* and who is not.I don't want to hear about how you like butch women and therefore we should get together or how you're into trans* guys, but only ones who have not had chest surgery. Also, do not ask me, again, what the f*ck I think of Chaz Bono or if I've heard what happened to Brandon Teena.
The worst part of my experience of being transgender is other people who expect me to be a walking, talking, smiling-and-nodding educator and sounding board for their wibbly-wobbly experiences with gender variant people in the past and their need to process their feelings about my gender. Dealing with other people is one of a few reasons I delayed a medical transition for a very long time. People seem to think that if you change your gender, you are suddenly a public resource on all things trans*.
8/20 I wish people knew that saying "oh but you're already hot!" doesn't mean anything. I despise the way I look and want to change it, I don't just want to have some validation that I look fine already.
If someone was getting a prosthetic leg, you wouldn't just go up to them and say "Oh but the stump makes you look bada**! You should totally walk around in crutches or use a wheelchair for the rest of your life." don't do it to me either.
Not that I obviously don't speak for everyone. Some pre-transition trans people probably still feel happy for being called hot or whatever.
9/20 I'm just a guy. I have a family and a past and a story just like any other guy. My story is probably quite different from yours in some ways, but I have had painful breakups and I have had embarrassing drunken incidents and sh*tty jobs - we probably have more in common that we are different.
10/20 I'm actually really happy. I'm not a tortured soul - I've been through the worst year of my life and that all took place long before I told the world that I'm transsexual. I'm happy with who and what I' am. I'm just waiting patiently for the physical stuff to catch up with the rest of my life now.
I don't feel brave. I love it when people say they think I'm brave, but it makes me feel awkward, because for me this is normal. This is just my life. I mean, don't stop telling me I'm awesome - I love it - but forgive me if I'm a little awkward.
11/20 I wish people understood that gender stereotypes are stupid to have. I've gotten so much sh*t for being too feminine all because I was suffering with bad depression. Apparently I'm not a "real man" because I cried a lot and I honestly wanted to die. I have had people completely invalidate my thoughts on further transition because apparently I'm not a real guy if I don't lift weights 24/7 and be anything other than an emotionless rock.
12/20 I hope that people understand that we are not all like the SRS "die cis scum" feminazi type. I am currently going through transition and I find it so odd and annoying that loads of extreme feminists get so offended on my behalf and think that they're automatically best buds with me because we're all "non-binary". The most ridiculous thing that has happened is some of them getting angry with my own friends when they refer to me as "he". Even if they explain that "he doesn't mind what pronouns we currently use," they don't listen and instead get all high and mighty. Geez.
I honestly believe that the meaning and sentiment behind words are more important than the words themselves. Obviously if someone calls me "tranny" with the intent of genuinely insulting or hurting me, I wouldn't like that, but my friends can freely call me "tranny" just in the same way I jokingly insult them. Meaning > Literal meaning.
F*ck trans people who use their situation to gain leverage over others by taking offence where none should be taken.
13/20 That body dysphoria is a real thing. It's not just something I can "get over".
14/20 One of my pet peeves is when people ask me when I decided to be a guy/why I want to be a man/ etc. It implies that I had a choice when it came down to all this. I just wish that people understood that this isn't a choice. Think about it why would someone voluntarily spend so much money and time trying to get srs. Not to mention all the discrimination we face. It's not logical and we had as much a choice in this as a person who got cancer. When you understand that you can see how we're all just human on the inside trying to struggle with a medical condition. We're not a bunch of freaks.
15/20 I just want to be left alone. I don't want the stares, questions harassment, weird arse "look how much of an ally I am" rants people have. I don't want you to comment on my appearance (positive or negative), I don't want you to try and introduce me to your trans friends. I just want to not think about my body, block out the agony I live in and do my science in peace.
Just ignore me please. I don't want your non committal bullsh*t "compassion" and "understanding" or your curiosity or your hate. If you want to make a difference in my life you're decades too late, if you want less suffering work towards and educated society. Just leave me alone.
16/20 Although this may be a personal pet peeve, I wish the rest of the world could understand that being transgender means a multitude of things, but many of those things do not apply to every single one of us, or in every situation.
I, myself, consider myself transgender. I don't crossdress, I don't take hormones, and ultimately I have no desire to go through with sexual reassignment surgery. In all manners outside of my personal life I seem no different than most of my coworkers or casual acquaintances; but I still very much consider myself mentally and emotionally a female. I find avenues in which to feel comfortable in my own body and with those I care for and love without the conventional means of coping with being transgender, and I know some who approach the issue in a similar fashion.
Is it confusing? Absolutely. Does it make me any less of a transperson because I don't do some of the things that others do? I don't think so in the slightest.
I'm fortunate enough to have an very understanding and loving boyfriend who supports me and accepts me for who I am; he's never considered me anything more or less than his girlfriend, despite how others would view or label me.
17/20 I was not born in the wrong body. This is my body, I was born with it, I have lived with it, feed it, washed it, harmed it, and cared for it. It has carried me where I need to go and I do not hate it. I love my body and care for it, it's just a little deformed, but it's fixable.
People often stop taking me seriously when I answer no to "So you feel like you where born in the body?" But the majority of the time they are really surprised at my reason and tell me they never thought of it that way. I've even been congratulated for having such a healthy attitude toward it, whatever that means.
18/20 When people say "you're still a man" because of DNA or chromosomes or some other microscopic thing they're really missing the forest for a single tree. If someone lives as a woman, is treated like a woman, or acts like a woman and thinks like a woman (not that those two things are easily definable), such a thing as DNA becomes completely irrelevant. I don't know why people put all their stock in such an irrelevant detail. I wish people understood how little these things have impact on us at the end of the day.
19/20 That in the LGBTQ community, the T is kinda tacked on. It's not about who we love or are sexually attracted to, it's about our "self" trying to experience the physical world in a form that makes sense. Not that many of us don't fall into other consonants in lgbtq, but we're kinda the odd group out imo.
20/20 I wish people would realize that I'm not putting myself through invasive medical procedures so that I can say "I used to be a woman". I have never been a woman and I'm only "becoming a man" in an outward, aesthetic sense, for my own approval and no one else's.
The only people who will ever know that I was born into a female body are the people who knew me before I came out, because I am not, was not, nor will I ever be the woman my parents were expecting I would mature into. Why would I ever tell anybody otherwise?
Those of us who live in New York live this truth on a daily basis.
Sometimes, you just meet a person who isn't quite all there. It's hard to tell at first, but then you talk with them for a little while and it just becomes abundantly clear if they're two eggs short of an omelette.
The stories of how you find out are so interesting. But yet, they teach us to look for clues when we interact with others.