An Irish Lesbian's thoughts and observations…

I’m posting this for two reasons. 1. To show my support for the trans* community. 2. To share my recent and one of my first experiences of ignorance towards what it means to be trans.

I was having a group conversation with some people recently when someone from our area who is transitioning was brought up. This individual is undergoing hormone treatment and is transitioning from male to female. This individual has also had surgery to get the breasts she’s always dreamed of having. Anyway, the people I was talking to said this woman was a man pretending to be a woman and that he was dressing as a woman for attention and kept emphasising that because this woman still has a penis she is definitely a man. The worst thing was I don’t even think that these people fully realised how ignorant, damaging and almost cruel their statements were. I told this group that gender is in your mind and doesn’t require the individual to have genitalia that perfectly match their preferred gender. I tried to explain that not every trans person will have bottom surgery and that’s okay because they are still their true gender and should be referred to as such. The fact that someone can transition from being male to female, still have a penis and be referred to as a woman completely baffled these people and I think they still walked away thinking that it couldn’t be true and that if you have a penis you must be a man regardless of how you present yourself.

The conversation then extended to either trans people should tell people what genitalia they have before dating them. This, again, divided opinions. I think this is completely up to each trans person and how comfortable they feel disclosing that information.

I tried to appeal to these people by asking them to imagine what it would feel like to be born into the wrong body. I also asked them to imagine how devastating it would be to be presenting as the woman you always knew you are while taking hormones and after undergoing surgery just to still be called a man. This still didn’t really work.

This conversation gave me a very small taste of what it’s really like to be trans and it opened my eyes to how judgemental people really can be. I know it may not sound like it but this group of people are generally quite open minded yet when their idea of what it means to be male or female was challenged they completely closed the doors of their minds and almost refused to even consider any new information. I truly empathise with the trans community and am furious that people who think this way are out there. Maybe it’s simply a lack of education or maybe it’s blatant transphobia. I walked away from that conversation still angry that people could put down another human being so easily. Just know that you all have an ally in me.

Comments on: "What It Means To Be Trans*" (8)

  1. adjustremembered said:

    Exactly, im not a woman because i have a vagina, im a woman because I feel like a woman on the inside. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gertrut said:

    It’s a good thing to be open to other people and cherish them. 🙂
    Since you’re a lesbian, would you date a trans woman with a penis yourself?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure if I would but I can honestly say that I would be happy to remain in a relationship with my civil partner if she wanted to have a sex change.


  3. Great post. While society is becoming more accepting of gays and lesbians, it’s still a long way from opening up to discussions on transgender people. I do believe it’s the lack of knowledge on the subject, but hopefully over time, things will improve. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      Yes, it really is a lack of education. As a member of the LGBT community I took it upon myself to educate myself about trans* issues and, while I admit that I may not be as informed as I should be, I still believe that we are all fighting the same fight and that’s a foght for equality.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. georgiakevin said:

    Your post is kindly and beautifully written. It takes a compassionate person to try and walk or at the very least stand in another’s shoes, even then most people can’t. You did. Just because something isn’t in our point of reference doesn’t mean it’s not real. An analogy would be though not to the degree trans folks are one who has TBI faces all kinds of challenges from memory loss to difficulty sleeping, to speech problems to your sense of smell being effected. If one has never experienced TBI then it could be said that the symptoms of TBI are made up which of course is not true.

    Your post is soo worht reading, thank you for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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