Do you fully understand what being Transgender is all about?

Sadly, so few people when thinking about dating a Transgender person, seem to understand what being Transgender is really all about. In fact, there are cynics within both the general population and even within the Trans community who say that even some Transgender people don’t really understand themselves!

If I take myself as an example, I know that being Transgender can be an emotional roller coaster; whilst the certainty that I am a Trans woman is forever there, there are some days when I find it harder to maintain my resolve and determination to live my life the way I have to. Yet the reality is, I have to live as a female for my sanity and my overall well-being.

When I ask some of my Transgender friends they say the same thing: being Transsexual is something we know that we are born with, something that is impossible to change. This is undeniable and easy to understand—for us in the T-community at least!

Yet, as I implied above, there are aspects of being Transgender which, even for us to whom it is personal, are hard to get to grips with. So, let me explain some of the easier points to explain or get across:

What is being Transgender all about?

  • Trans people are born with a mis-match of their brains and their bodies; that is, a person may look male in appearance (ie have male genitalia, the standard by which most babies are assigned a gender at birth) but their brains and psyche may be that of a female; in other words, the hardware is male, but the software is female;

  • some Transsexuals don’t always become aware of this difference from birth as they may have already been assigned a male role in society. Or are being brought up by their parents to fulfil such a role. However, more and more younger children, especially as society as a whole becomes more liberal, are realising from an early age that their bodies are not in harmony with their minds and they have a conflict both emotionally and physically.

  • It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that being Transgender is not a new phenomenon by any means, with evidence of people with such gender issues dating back thousands of years—and some men have dated, and often preferred to date, Trans women since the beginning of time!

  • it’s important to appreciate that Transgender people have an eternal struggle with their identity and the way they live their lives. Even if they are sure they wish to transition to their confirmed gender not only is there the arduous, expensive and painful process of matching mind and body but there are associated issues such as how such changes will impact upon the lives of themselves and their immediate family, their careers and so on.

Some families and spouses or partners are supportive but, sadly, most are not. Many people are aghast when their son or boyfriend or husband announces that he will now be known as she and will present and live his life as her. This can be especially hard for Transgender people in the more conservative areas of the US or Europe.

In addition, there is the question of being able to get a job during or post-transition or retain a job whilst transitioning; unfortunately, the careers of many Trans girls take a nose dive once they come-out or start showing signs of changing gender;

Sexual orientation of Transgender people may vary widely

  • do you know that the sexual orientation of Transgender people may vary widely? Some male to female T people want to date men, some wish to date women; others don’t mind what gender their partner is as long as they find love. I accept that this can all be very confusing (sometimes even for the T themselves) but, at the end of the day, it is not really the business of anyone but the T person concerned;

  • another major point which society at large need to understand about Transgender people: Ladyboys from Thailand or The Philippines, or Transwomen from Europe, the US or wherever, are simply not interested in attacking women and/or children in bathrooms or any where else for that matter. We are too concerned with living our lives as best we can, avoiding being picked on or discriminated against and being able to relieve ourselves in comfort when the need to use a bathroom calls.

  • The fact that many Transgender women are undetectable from genetic females when out and behave and appear as “normal” women, just imagine if they started using the male bathrooms as required by some legislators? We’d have a dramatic increase in the number of attacks on T-people, maybe even murders (which already are at a far too high percentage when compared with the rest of the population);

  • finally, just ask yourself what is really wrong with some men being feminine or wanting to wear a dress or skirt and top? We don’t have the same outcry or prejudices against genetic women dressing in a masculine way or forever wearing trousers, do we?

Unfortunately, by and large Trans people get comparatively bad publicity, when compared to other minorities such as gay people, with, as mentioned above, many misconceptions abounding. So, next time you meet a Transgender person, show them some empathy. It can be a hard life without some support!