Transgender: How do you know?: Transwer me this
I can’t tell you if you are transgender. Might as well get that out of the way upfront so you’re not expecting some sort of quiz at the end of this book that will sort it all out for you. Sorry. I also can’t tell you if the person close to you about whom you’ve been wondering is either.
I am no expert in transgender diagnosis any more than I am an expert on breathing. Transgender is something I am, something I’m being and something that ‘happened’ to me. Transitioning was not a choice but it was a decision I made, kind of in the same way a person who is diagnosed with cancer ‘decides’ to have chemo.
To every trans person it can mean something different. To me, being transgender is nothing more than a birth defect, but it is one that is costly in so many ways. The great news is that it can be ‘fixed’ to allow you to live a life happier than you ever thought possible. That’s if you want to transition, of course. Plenty of trans people don’t and that’s their choice and indicative of nothing.
Fixed. That makes it sound like trans people are broken and I’m not supposed to say stuff like that. So let’s put it this way – I felt broken, and so I fixed myself. How others feel is not my place to say.
So are you transgender? Realisations and acceptance
Dealing with fear
Gender dysphoria and euphoria
Why transitioning is about so much more than just genitals
What if I make a mistake?
It’s pretty much impossible to write on this subject without offending someone, at the very least accidentally. That’s not my intention but I don’t feel adding qualifiers every two sentences will make for a book that reads very well so let’s get that stuff out of the way.
I’m writing from my own personal experience and, occasionally, those of people I’ve met along the way who have been kind enough to share their thoughts and feelings about their own journeys.
I know that being transgender is different for guys compared to gals, and that those who identify as non-binary often get forgotten altogether.
I’m a heterosexual transgender guy (who lived as a cis lesbian for 36 years). I’m white and grew up in a protestant community in Northern Ireland although my politics lean more towards the other ‘side’.
When I write, I bring all that baggage and privilege to the page with me. When you read, you should know that and, hopefully, make allowances where appropriate and challenge me when necessary.