I have never completely accepted the "Trapped In The Wrong Body" narrative for myself. I have been given this one body and mind and overall they have worked well together plus served me well; (the old knock-on-wood thing). However, I do understand that one can feel a state of dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is defined this way:
"The condition of feeling one's emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one's biological sex."
I have always been able to function fully and worked with my transgender state compartmentalized. Early on, I was too busy to think of much else outside of raising and supporting my family. There was little time for much else. Brief escapes and stolen moments provided ever so needed interludes. I believe that my story is very similar to many in our community.
Janet Mock is a very articulate member of our community. She has written several powerful books on her transgender experience and I find her truths to be very compelling. Here is one comment on the “born in the wrong body” narrative from her blog.
To me, “trapped in the wrong body” is a blanket statement that makes trans people’s varying journeys and narratives palatable to the masses. It’s helped cis masses understand our plight – to a certain extent. It’s basically a soundbite of struggle, “I was a girl (boy) trapped in a boy’s (girl’s) body,” which aims to humanize trans folks, who are often seen as alien, as freaks, as less-than-human and other.
In several classroom discussions over the years, I had the statement/question put to me, “Oh, you were born in the wrong body? I get it.” This narrative helps the uninformed to process how one could want to present as a different gender. To many, the body is where gender is displayed with specific clothing. The visual thing.
There is more to being transgender than just wearing gender specific clothes or even having confirming body surgery. Being transgender is learning to accept oneself, limits and all, and to live a full productive life.
Everyone’s transgender journey is different. Do not let yourself be influenced by others' needs or paths. "Transitions" need to be what is best for you. A simple narrative does not fit all.
Let us get past the simplistic platitudes and accept ourselves as “whole persons”.
Rhonda, I've only been following you for a few weeks, and today's post has to be one of the best things I've ever read about how each of us on this transgender journey has a different view and destination. O certainly do not believe I am "trapped", but I am more than "just" a CD. It's taken me many years to accept that this is me, but now I want to be able to show ME.ReplyDelete
We are not pantyhose, on size does not fit all.ReplyDelete
In the 80’s and 90’s clinicians and gatekeepers required transgender women, one to hate their body, be unable to function in their assigned gender, get little joy or satisfaction out of crossdressing, and be attracted men
In the terminology of the day that made you a “true transsexual”
I remember a friend proudly announcing that her therapist has diagnosed her as a “transsexual”
I remember feeling even more isolated and depressed, not only did I not fit in with traditional societal roles. I was relegated to the maligned caste of “only a crossdresser” or some say even a fetishist.
All my life I wanted to be a girl, that’s never changed. Some will counter you “are” a girl.
I don’t feel that way, I am physically male and was coached to live a traditional male role, so to many that’s not with-in the political dictum that’s put forward, and it makes me even more of an outcast and makes feel denigrated by a group of people with whom I should find support and comfort.
Transition did not exist in the 1970’s.
I adapted best I could, denial, over compensation, managing best I could my unusual problem. I busied myself with a family and career and suppressed my feelings.
I never fit that outdated gatekeepers’ definition, I liked dressing up as a girl, enjoyed and sometimes even got a thrill from crossdressing. I didn’t hate my body but sure would prefer a female one. Life as a man was okay at times and I did enjoy some traditional male activities. I enjoyed an active sex life in marriage, however I often switched places and imagined what it would be like. For the past 60 years I have always admired and envied woman and wanted to be one. There has never been a doubt that I could live and thrive as one.
That’s me a pair of Irregular pantyhose.
While I certainly do not have the body I would like (few do), I have never felt trapped in it. What I have found to be the trap is the society and culture with which I must coexist. For just about as long as I can remember (well over sixty years) I have seen myself as one who was born to fit into this world as a woman; if not in body, definitely in mind and spirit. I found ways to get along, and kept my secret for most of my life. Like a rat in a maze, I learned how to negotiate through life, but the reward at the end was like cheese-bait. Working through the maze was never enough, and so I also had to learn to nibble at the cheese without springing the trap on my neck.ReplyDelete
Years of compartmentalizing eventually became too much for me. I laugh at that word now, thinking how it involves much more mentalizing than compart - where mentalizing means to make mental in nature and compart means to divide or separate. I began slicing my pie into increasingly larger pieces that expressed my feminine-self, until there was only a sliver left of the man others saw me to be. What I finally realized, though, was that the filling of the pie was still my feminine-self. Ha! Maybe I'm really a tart, instead. :-)
My life is still a maze; now it's also a-mazing!
Thanks Connie for the comment - Great way to explain it.....Delete
I am happy that Rhonda feels so good about herself and her body. I am also impressed how so many feel the same way.ReplyDelete
At the same time l think what many forget is that for a very tiny minority, being "trapped in the wrong body" is exactly how we felt.
We do not expect you to understand how we once felt before we were able to bring our body into congruence with our mind. All we ask is to be left alone to live our lives as the women, (or men) that we actually are, without being dragged against our will, into the politically incompatible transgender agenda.
I am happy for you, Anonymous, that you were able to bring your body into congruence with your mind. I have not been immune to the dysphoria that would lead me to seek and find that congruence for myself. My truth is that I simply can't afford to make that happen. I'm not saying that I couldn't somehow swing it financially (although it is a major expense), but I have a health issue with blood clots that precludes even HRT, let alone GRS. Still, I have found a way to to the best I can with what I have (both the wanted and the unwanted things I have). I live every day as the woman I am in spite of my disadvantages, and there is no drag on me in any direction, but the one I choose to go (my "drag" comes with pun intended:)Delete