Another reason for my self-loathing? Politics.
“The transgender” issue has become big news in recent years, and everyone has very strong opinions about it. In my area, I think it is safe to say, those opinions are pretty overwhelmingly negative. This is a Bible-belt red state, after all.
The strange thing is how sudden it was, because transgender folk have existed since long before ~4 years ago.
My feelings on this recent publicity are mixed, so I’ll start with the negative. First, I hate the idea that someone might think that I am simply following a “trend”; I’m not. Moreover, if ever I do decide to come out as a transwoman, I’ll be “the one” that people refer to, being the only one they know closely. I’ll be a symbol for everything that’s “wrong” in this country.
I have social anxiety, and live by a pretty “live and let live” standard. I mean, if you’re hurting someone, you deserve to be stopped, but otherwise, keep out of my business, and I’ll keep out of yours.
I won’t be able to do that anymore if I come out. I’ll be a piece of gossip, on the lips of people who only see me as a political symbol for whichever side they take on the issue. That kills me.
And this goes for those who mean well, too. I can’t express what any amount of support would mean to me, but please don’t see or use me as a political device. I’m not.
All that said, I do realize that the only way real progress can be made on this issue is if it is brought to public attention. Civil rights have never been achieved in this country though silence.
Things have changed so much for transgender folk since I first began reading up on the topic, sometime in the early 2000s. At the time, I didn’t even know there was a word to describe people like me, I just had to Google (actually, Yahoo!, at the time) “I want to be a girl.” That usually got me somewhere. I would wager that most adolescents of comparable age today know the word “transgender,” whether they are or not. There is certainly something to be said for that.
Things would definitely be different for me if I had grown up in a world which was more accepting of people like me. I was still going through puberty when I began to seriously research HRT and SRS. If I had known that I would’ve been supported, If I had known I could do it, I would’ve done what I could to stop the progress of my male puberty. But I couldn’t. I was afraid, and bullied enough already. I kept telling myself “just one more year, and I’ll say something to someone.”
And now here I am, some 15 years later, very nearly 27.
So even though I generally hate politics, and resist being a part of them, it’s not really all bad. Maybe it’ll help someone out who is in the same age I was back then.