LGBT Community Forum - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered & Drag Network > Transgender > Issues > Want to ask the BIG question
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|Good day, everyone!
I wanted to seek out a forum to ask the Trans community about their perspective. A quick Google search of "LGBT forum" led me here. This is going to be a lengthy post, but I wholeheartedly appreciate those who will be taking the time to read and comment back.
A quick caveat: I believe in full legal rights for the entire LGBT community, including Trans rights. The questions I want to raise are about my personal opinion, and I want to establish early on that I am fully aware that my personal opinions, whatever they are, do/should NOT affect your legal rights.
Ok, so on to my question (again, sorry for the length):
As the issue of Transgender people becomes more front-and-center, we hear more stories about children who have self-identified as another gender. (We also hear some great stories about supportive parents, which is wonderful.) I think about my own four-year-old son, and what would happen if he self-identified as a female later on. I know that I would be fully supportive if he decided he was gay or bi. I would struggle with a self-identification as Trans, though.
You see, to me, it seems that to self-identify as a different gender reinforces existing gender stereotypes. So if my son comes up to me in a few years and says, "Daddy, I think I'm a girl", then I am going to wonder what that means. From the very few Trans people I have talked to, it seems that that would mean "I feel like I'm a woman. I have more feminine traits than masculine." In other words, what my son would be saying would be "I am nurturing/I like dolls/I don't like sports" or one of many other gender-based stereotypes. (To my knowledge, Trans people don't just reject having specific genitalia for its own sake.)
So I struggle seeing Trans as a positive thing. It seems to me to be dangerously close to two unhealthy things: First, a rejection of one's own body. Second, a reinforcing of existing gender stereotypes that I believe should be dissolved.
Now onto why I am here. As much as I believe the above, I also don't believe that I am right and you are wrong. I'm not Trans, and I am trying not to be so arrogant as to believe that I have all the answers of what it's like. I'd like to be able to say I am an Ally 100%, but right now I am having difficulty (as you can tell) with the "T" in "LGBT". I would humbly ask that, if any of you feel comfortable, would you please correct my reasoning where you feel it is in error. Please know that I am asking this with the highest personal respect.
(To end this post on a humorous note: I don't anticipate hearing this from my son anytime soon. He informed his mother and I last night at dinner that, "I'm not a person! I'm a boy!" I almost choked on my food.)
|Hi Dave - I'm sorta curious why this subject has become important to you right now.
I'm not a transgender authority - but I think your comment that a transgender person is "rejecting their body" is in a sense right on. They identify fully as the complete and opposite sex of what there body physically is. It is difficult for them to be in their body.
Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up tomorrow in a woman's body.
I'm a gay guy and I have been suck since I was 8. I was always attracted to males and had no interest in women. I never wanted to be a girl/woman myself. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that female gender is inferior or something but I love being a guy. I am a man, and I like being with man.
All my life I was out of sports, more interested in Broadway shows, more understanding female psychology than male. Though with years I start to understand men as well because I enter into relationship with them.
I can't imagine my life if I were a girl. From my childhood I was always happy with my gender, loved being a boy. If I were born as a female there is a very high possibility that I would have wanted to change my gender. So I do understand those who want to change their gender.
BTW gender identity disorder is decided by a psychiatrist prior doing any sex changes.
And if we speak about stereotypes than we should say that orientation and gender identification are absolutely different things. Orientation is about who you want to be with, whereas gender identification is all about who you want to be yourself. Being feminine doesn't mean being gay, trasvestile or transgender. Those are different things. Your boy (he is only 4 and you have no idea what can happen) may be feminine (if it's the case), but be straight or gay. May have interest in wearing female cloths (transvestite) regardless of his orientation. And there is a possibility of being transgender (regardless of orientation and clothing choice).
Overall I think you have to understand that transgender is not about the love towards somebody. It's all about how do we want to see us to be able to accept ourselves and love ourselves.
And I think you are looking into matters too early. He's only 4. He has no idea who he wants to be, who he want to be with or anything. And I think he has made his statement already: that he is a boy!
And I want to thank you for being such a great parent. I wish more people could be understanding and looking for answers where they don't know the answers. Wish you all the luck with parenting.
Hi Dave - I'm sorta curious why this subject has become important to you right now.
This has been something I have been thinking about for a while. I am a huge proponent of gay rights, but I've never been able to get past these personal issues when it comes to the "T" in LGBT.
I guess I feel like rejecting one's own body is/can be a type of self-hatred. I would worry that encouraging a trans person to identify as the opposite sex would encourage that self-hatred.
Again, just to be clear, I didn't come onto this board to try and convert or convince anyone! I promise I am only stating my views so that you might be able to answer my questions. I am really only here to learn.
Thanks for your reply!
Thanks for the reply, mate!
I should mention that I am not actually worried about this issue as a parent. I just brought up my son in the original post because, to me, the most important thing is to recognize that when we talk and LGBT rights and lifestyles, we're talking about REAL people. It's helpful, and even vital, that the conversation begin with this acknowledgement. For me, one of the best ways to do that is to remember what kind of parent I'd want to me to my son. (I hope that makes sense.)
I'm glad you brought up that gender identity disorder is determined prior to any sex changes. I suppose that helps me clarify my question a bit. You see, I don't think any intelligent person would ever identify being gay as a disorder. Sexual orientation is just a difference between people, not a disorder.
On the other hand, gender identity disorder IS apparently defined as such.
So while I ABHOR conversion "therapy" for gay people, it seems like something that is a disorder (like gender identity disorder) would be something we would want to find a way to treat. It strikes me that if we change the way we identify a person (by doing anything from changing the pronouns we use to doing a sex change), then we are indulging a disorder.
But again, I think I'm wrong here. That's why I am posting on this forum. After all, given the choice that either I'm right or thousands of Trans people are right, I think the odds aren't in my favor. There is something Trans folks know that I don't see or understand yet.
I'm really, really grateful that you all are letting me ask these questions, and that you understand that I am not trying to attack anyone's identity or rights.
Thanks again for your response!
i rarely get involved in such things due to opinions like this.
first a disclaimer - you will get as many "expert" opinions on what it is to be trans* transgender transexual as there are people on the planet (possibly more). what I will say here applies to me and only those who read it and say "me too".
my coercive birth declaration differs from who I am, this is a fact not my opinion. I know that I am female the same as I know I am human and it is not up for argument. This fact has cost me every member of my genetic family (my mom died not accepting me 30 years after transition).
I do not reject my body - nor is my body male, I am female and therefore my body is a female body even if people get weirded out when they look at me naked (a man who attempted to rape me decided instead to try to kill me once he got my clothes off). my body grew into the stereotypical phenotype that is designated male. Society has this obsession with stating that who you are as a person is entirely determined by what they think your body says. In future years I seriously hope this view is seen as being as antiquated as intelligence being able to be determined by the amount of melanin in your skin.
Nor do I hate myself. I "hate" (strong word) the way society insists that I behave because it chooses to define me by what a doctor checked off on the day I was born. I celebrate who I have become in life despite of what people have tried to do to ruin my life or even kill me. I am a strong woman and a staunch feminist. I live by very few social stereotypes. I wear no makeup, don't wear a bra (despite many people saying it is necessary or that it is too provocative for me not to wear one) (and yes I have obvious breasts), I don't shave at all (mildly hairy legs and pretty good tufts under each arm) so to claim my living as the woman I really am enforces social sexual stereotypes is ridiculous.
I just want to be "allowed" to live as the person I know I am, I am not hurting anyone by it so living my life as I am should be no ones business but mine and my doctors (they are the only ones who know, people in my regular life do not know that my birth declaration differs from who I am and how I live) (by the way this is called living stealth)