A Little of Countering Transphobia

“So I’m trans but my parents don’t know and Every Time the topic comes up they say some horrible stuff that makes me afraid and anxious. It even causes me doubt about if I’m trans They say a lot of trans people are not trans since there’s a lot more than back when they were young so they say it’s just a fad. They keep pushing that the internet is turning people trans and it makes me anxious they might be right and that ‘the internet made me trans’. Another thing they’ve said is that for most trans people it’s just a fetish to get them off. Finally one of the most hurtful is that they constantly say trans people can never be happy since they are not their true genders. I know I’m trans but this keeps me feeling depressed and afraid[.]”

This was a post I came across on a website I check out. It struck me that each of her parents arguments could not hold water. So, I decide to post a reply. They graciously allowed me to share what they wrote, and it is in quotes above. I will provide my response, initially addressed directly to them.

I will show how every single one of those arguments their parents has told them is false.

[Note – My response is presented with as little editing as possible. The editing I did do was to make my arguments clearer. I decided to leave all of the “you” language as I was writing to them, as I fear to mess up the flow of what was written.]

“. . . a lot of trans people are not trans since there’s a lot more than back when they were young so they say it’s just a fad.” This is skew because of the difficulties of transitioning back then, so they remained in the closet. That is why your find a lot of transgender people have transitioned so late in life. Also, the internet now provides a lot of information on transitioning. Google it a you can find a lot of about being a transgender person. This information helps someone transition, which was not available, so it is only natural that more transgender persons come out to transition today, then when your mom was young. Personally, I had no frame of reference when I was young. I began transitioning at 59.

“. . . that the internet is turning people trans and it makes me anxious they might be right and that ‘the internet made me trans’.” There are webpages that provide all the necessary steps. Some are “feminization” sites, which gives the false impression that they are turning you into a femme person, but in reality they still can provide a lot of information on skin care, shaving, makeup, and dressing tips. But, overwhelmingly, there are many more sites that leave that feminization bit out, so one never has to visit these sites unless that is your forte (even then it is a good chance that you are a transfeminine individual). These other sites can provide the same and better guidance. And, there are a good deal of sites that provide all the information on medical treatments available, so one can make informed decisions. This is from a transfeminine perspective, but I would bet there is an equal amount of information going the other way or something in between.

“. . . is that for most trans people it’s just a fetish to get them off.” Do you get off every time you dress? Do you think of dressing when your not, and does that always get you excite? Yes, a good amount of transgender people do get off when dressed or that is the first phase of their exploration of their femininity. To get sexually excited is a natural by product of being human. After all it is new, and it is sexy (usually). But, there comes a time when one is thinking that they have a different gender than their assigned sex (some come to dressing up already recognizing they have a female gender at an earlier age, and then its about exploring their gender expression, and that’s not primarily about getting off). For many these gender feelings occur when your not even dressed, and often unbidden. And eventually there comes a time when you no longer get off at all. Doesn’t mean you don’t get off, but then that’s what is the main event not the dress up. You begin to feel it deep deep down, and when your transitioning starts the sexual part falls by the wayside in connection with your gender. Sure you may still think of sex, who doesn’t, and to experiment. By the way, this was basically my experience, and I defy anybody to tell me I am not a woman. It is all so natural for me now.

“. . . that they constantly say trans people can never be happy since they are not their true genders.” My existence proves them false. I am extremely happy as a transgender woman. I am more like myself than I ever been (notice by others as well). And, I bet I am not the only one. In fact I know there are others that I have communicate with over the internet or in Zoom support groups. I am not saying it is not hard. For some it is very hard, even very very hard. I admit I had an easier time of it transitioning than most. But, again from personal connections I know there are many that struggle, but when they finally overcome their obstacles in their way, they are basically happy. But I will admit life is a struggle in itself. These do not go away upon successful transitioning. I will add that most of the unhappiness involved with transitioning is the outside negativity transgender persons encounter by others, the medical community, and our legal system.

I am sorry your parents presented you with false information and a skewed perception. I see it as most unkind. I feel it is wrong when parent continually provides false information. It could be consider a form of abuse. Parents have the responsibility to give their children accurate information about life; your parents are not doing that in this case. I believe they are harming you. That’s abusive. This is so even when they did not intend to harm you. Sometimes all the good intentions in the world does not undo a persons actual behavior. Whether it is abuse or not, I still feel deep down in my bones that it is wrong for parents to give false information to their children, if it harms their child.

I do hope that someday you will be able to live in the gender that you feel is right for you. No one has the right to question another’s gender. Good luck.

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