This message should be pretty self-explanatory.

The premise that some who need it but don’t transition because that is best for them is understandable, but ultimately a false premise.  A person does stop needing treatment simply because there are obstacles or contraindications to treatment.  I find that too few trans women and men really question where these concepts, obstacles and premises come from.  That is what needs highlight, not the fallacy of “one size fits all treatments”.  True, every persons independent and unique needs should be considered, but that isn’t the problem either.  The problem is that many people need it but society makes as many obstacles to that as humanly possible.  Society and culture (specifically Westernized Cultures) both adore and abhor individuation and uniqueness, and it creates a conflict with in people in those cultures.

In cultures accepting of gender identity one doesn’t need to face the same obstacles to transition.  That is where our true mission should be, to change culture into one that doesn’t exacerbate the nature of our conditions, and to help those like us overcome obstacles to that.  It’s the only fair way we can do it.  People who need it but don’t transition are trapped within the confines of cultural expectations, whether those cultural artifacts be our wives, husbands, children, pastors, friends or family.  It’s culture that makes trans women especially but trans men as well, into suicide statistics, not transition, not regret, not depression, not family issues, or marriage troubles…  In a culture of understanding those things evaporate.  So any discussion geared towards people accomplishing their transition should be geared, both on an independent basis, and by helping that person find their level of needed transition in spite of the obstacles, not bowing to those obstacles.

If a person can reasonably fore-go a level of transition therapy to reach a compromise with their environment, that is fine.  However, our goal should be to reduce those obstacles, not to tell people “Transition sucks, don’t do it unless you really, really, really, really, really want it.”  We should cheerleader each other, not help each others doubts.  By facilitating doubt we do the work of cissexism.  There are ways that we can each help each other overcome those obstacles and we should honor every path, not just the one we are on.  The real key is this… If it hurts, then don’t do it.  If there is an obstacle to ending that pain find a way around it.  It’s only in helping each other overcome those obstacles that we truly find happiness, not in the placation of unreasonable expectations.

The pain we feel isn't something that we should be required to keep inside unnecessarily. It's something that we should fight against, and we should work against those obstacles to allow us to ease that pain.

A person should always be willing to take a step back and evaluate themselves to make sure that transition is the right course of action for them, but they should also be free to “preview” that step to imagine whether or not that step is right for them.  I understand the sentiment and spirit of Jennifer Finney Boylan‘s post, but I do agree with many of you that the premise of it seems flawed.  What we should be doing is to not try to make ourselves “gatekeepers” to transition, and work to create networks of information and stories of trans people that show that it is possible, to enable and empower, and not restrain and contradict.  If you suffer from a condition that suffering is only made worse by giving into doubt and fear.  The ultimate ends of all this is to show people the water, but in the end it is up to them to drink.  We should always support our friends in their decisions, but when they are suffering we should also give them the tools they need to over come those obstacles that make their lives seem desperate.

We should work to transcend, not placate gender norms for our culture because of their demonstrably harmful effects on all people, not just trans people.  That is true regardless of what level of transition you need, or whether one needs to express their true sexuality and be openly gay, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, asexual, et cetera.  The evidence speaks for itself, failure to transition is the #1 killer of trans people, just as internalized homophobia is the #1 killer of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.  Repression is not the way, and we can clearly see this if we listen to reason, and to the cold hard evidence that tells us it is true. Repression should only be used as a measure to prevent harm to others, but being transsexual or homosexual does not harm others.

In the end, it was only my true self I set free. It wasn't about doing what people told me to do, it wasn't even about what options there was. In the end it was just want I needed and once I had decided that I made sure I worked through it. I don't do it blindly, I constantly evaluate myself. However, I validated who I truly am and that is what really counts.

The harm principle can be an excellent guide to finding morality.  To quote,”…the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” – John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)  In this regards, I consider “doubt fueling”, and “For the sake of X” arguments to be doing the job of the cultural paternalists who view being openly and actively gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer to be “harmful to ourselves”, and thus an “obligation to them” to protect us from ourselves.  There are still others who create arguments of “harm” when there is none.  We don’t need to do it to ourselves, culture does it enough for all of us.  I am sure that I speak for many, but certainly not all the GLBT community in this.

We should all fight for our right to exist, and not constantly conceding to the masses.  We should show pathways to overcoming the obstacles, and not allowing each other to give into them.  That is the point I feel we should be driving home like the nail in the coffin of Gender Binary nonsense.  Then and only then can we truly be free when we destroy or change the system which confines us all.  Sure, being trans is hard, just as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, non-binary, sexually liberated, and many, many others.  However, that doesn’t make compromising your needs valid on that basis alone.

Advertisements