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Discussion with a transsexual

(223 Posts)
PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 10:43:25

Hi; I'm a transsexual (mtf).
I came out quietly in 1990 and slowly more people got to know at a pace I was comfortable with. In 2002 I had gender reassignment surgery, in January 2006 I got my GRC (it was my earliest opportunity to do so).

Recently it's come to my attention that here and elsewhere TRAs are shutting down debate and discussion and I want to be a part of opening that up.
So if you have any questions or anything you want to discuss here I am.
Please do keep it respectful I won't insult anyone so would appreciate not being insulted (not that asking questions or disagreeing is insulting please don't be worried about that).
So, here I am.

Yellowshadeofgreen Sat 24-Feb-18 10:52:18

Hi Peanut,

Welcome. I know one other transsexual person who lives locally to me. She lives in a small rural town in Ireland and she lives a quiet life getting on with being herself. I have nothing but huge admiration for her because the Ireland she came out in was nothing if not close minded at the time. I do not recognise her in the transgender narrative I read on here. I am always reluctant to get involved in conversations on here because while I am very gender critical I am conscious of the people behind the debate,

I hope you don’t get too upset by comments on here. Feelings are running high on this issue as women feel that their protections are coming under attack in a world that is still pretty hostile to females.

Best of luck,


tectonicplates Sat 24-Feb-18 10:57:26

Hi OP. Do you feel that there are "real" transsexuals and then other people who are doing it to be cool? Can you usually tell the difference?

PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 11:00:35


I know Ireland can be v conservative so I have utmost respect for anyone not in the narrow traditional/conservative view of people (and that goes for all kinds of people!). Props to your friend.

I know emotions are running high right now but I hope with sensible discussion something can be done in the long term. But right now it seems a lot of debate is being stifled with cries of transphobia and that is not on at all (unless the person is actually being transphobic but I've never seen that during debate - I'm sure it happens though).

I think there is an array of types of trans people.
Some of which are unfortunately trying to jump on the bandwagon right now. So yes I do think that.
But I also think there are many confused kids and teenagers being taught the wrong things in schools (I'll try to find some examples online but I have seen shocking stuff) that may well confuse them particularly young LGB people. It worries me that children may end up damaging themselves irreversibly because they were misinformed, pushed into a decision or confused.

Transitioning damages your body and should be taken extremely seriously.

PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 11:02:29

And to answer your other question yes it is obvious a lot of the time that someone is misinformed or confused, enjoying the attention/just trying to make people uncomfortable or they think it is very cool and special. you can very much tell the difference between them all when you know a bit about it and have been through it

tectonicplates Sat 24-Feb-18 11:04:11

Also, what exactly did you have to go through, legally speaking, in order to get your gender recognition certificate? How much time and stress was involved? Do you think it was the right amount? How do you feel about this proposed change in the law that would make it easier for people to legally change?

UpstartCrow Sat 24-Feb-18 11:07:38

Hello PeanutButterSquash!
Drop in and say hello on the Feminism Chat board, you'll be very welcome smile

ScreamingValenta Sat 24-Feb-18 11:10:37

Hello Peanut

Thank you for opening yourself up to questions! I hope mine is one you don't mind answering.

You might have seen the thread on here ('a man shouted at me in the street) about harassment of women mainly, but not exclusively, by men. I wondered how much difference you have noticed in the way you are treated since transitioning. If you've suffered harassment of this kind since transitioning, has it been directed at you as a woman, or more generally as a trans individual? Do you feel you are taken less seriously by men since you transitioned?

I'd be interested to hear the perspective of someone who has 'seen both sides' of living as a man and as a woman.

SteelyPip Sat 24-Feb-18 11:12:41

I wanted to say hi and welcome smile
I admire and thank you for doing this. flowers

worita Sat 24-Feb-18 11:14:16

Out of interest, at what point does someone "become" a transwoman to you?

Do you think that there's some form of difference (however difficult or uncomfortable it is to define) between transwomen and women because of their socialisation and biology?

If so, should those differences affect what services they should be able to access? (Eg, single sex scholarships, sports, schools, prisons, swimming pools, etc).

greenmagpie Sat 24-Feb-18 11:14:44

I think the thing I'm most interested in is did you feel you were in the 'wrong' body, what sort of feelings did you have and why did you think transitioning would help (and did it?)

I don't have a particularly womanly body for a woman, but have never really felt like I 'have to be' a woman anyway (like do gender stereotypical things -have often felt I'd be just as happy as a male) - obviously not trying to compare myself to you but interested in your experience.

How much is the difference to you between wanting to have a female body and wanting to 'just' pass/ be read as female? I think this is an interesting/important point that I don't see discussed enough.

PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 11:16:25

I'm no expert on every case but for me it was quite difficult.
Namely because the GRC act came in in 2004 wasn't officially rolled out until 2005 so when I applied (late 2005) for my GRC it was very much in its infancy.
Some of the evidence they wanted me to supply for proving I'd lived as a woman for 2+ years were things like...
Passport, drivers license. With my sex listed as female. But I was told I could not change those things when I did attempt to. I did legally change my name and this was recorded but I was
"Sally smith, male" (example name) and no one could tell me if this was accepted or not. It was very confusing for me and nobody seemed to know much about it...
Iirc, I also got a letter from my employer, landlord (also a friend) stating they knew me as a woman and I wrote a stat declaration.
In the end I was allowed to apply under a different stream (for those who have had surgery) - which I proved with medical records.
But I imagine proving it otherwise would've been really quite tough.
I was able to change my passport and documents once I had the GRC.

I think this is fine and anybody who cannot cope with this application process should probably get psychiatric help first. I don't think the stress involved is an excuse for self ID. It is an inherently stressful process and should be.

PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 11:27:17

I have had street harassment (and no it wasn't particularly nice despite the recent article written by a transwoman). I'm honestly not sure if that was because I'm trans or because they saw me as a woman. But it did not happen before I started presenting as female.
I have had abuse from men in my life (co workers and such as well as friends) but I quickly cut them out as much as I can. I have also suffered financially for it and been passed by for promotions or additional training because of it.

I think there is a difference between transwomen and women, and how that is managed should be case by case.
I don't think transwomen should compete against women, but I don't think transwomen (and I mean transwomen with a GRC, not under self ID) should be banned from your local leisure centre... case by case.

I felt disgusted with my body. Not for not being thin/fat/curvy whatever enough. But because it was male.
I hated my penis (and wanted it off).
I hated not being female and I hated every male thing about myself (including my name).
External factors like dressing in a feminine way was very much secondary to that. And I didn't feel like having a curvy body would help, it was other things iykwim? I'm not great with words but I'm trying to explain as best I can...
I do want to pass though (and I believe I do but I also understand people may not wish to offend me) because I just want to live my life normally I don't want to be seen as others (though as I said upthread with sports and stuff I do recognise sometimes those differences are very important and should be managed carefully.)

ScreamingValenta Sat 24-Feb-18 11:37:08

Sorry (but unsurprised) to hear you have suffered harassment and detrimental treatment. I suppose there is a potential for you to be vulnerable twice - as a woman, from everyday sexism, and as a transwoman, from transphobic individuals. I'm glad to hear you have cut your toxic friends from your life flowers.

thethoughtfox Sat 24-Feb-18 11:52:51

Hi Op, this is an awesome thing you are doing.

worita Sat 24-Feb-18 12:00:08

You see, that's what I figure most real transpeople would feel (that it should take some effort, that there is a difference and it means some exceptions in how you live).

The problem is that the modern transactivist movement would shut that thinking down as being transphobic, and call you a TERF. Do you ever feel anger at the group currently pushing for change in "your" name on these things?

May I also ask if you have any opinions on the likes of Lily Madigan - or if not Lily specifically, then people who take key positions intended to offer some equality to women? (Also the group Mermaids, if you happen to have heard of them?)

PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 12:39:40


Yes, I do feel angry. Especially when people think they are being oh so liberal (by shutting down debate and calling everyone bigots and pushing for self ID). But they aren't.
I've actually had so called "TRA's" (that have never actually transitioned into anything and don't seem to want to) tell me how I should be feeling as a Transwoman. They do not get to decide how I feel.

As for lily madigan... god. I just... ugh.
At best, they are a very confused teenager who has been gifted a lot of power and is using it in the way they think is best.

At worst... and I'm swinging more towards this... lily is a woman hating asshole.
It's amazing if transwomen can be involved in politics, and I'm sure they can support many great female causes. I'm also sure that despite having a "passable" vagina, I can't push a baby out of it. So I have no business being in a position where I speak for those who can as womens officer. What the fuck do I know about maternity care, breastfeeding, PND, cervical smears and so on? Why would I choose to be in a role to represent women in that capacity?

Maybe I could represent you as a book club leader.
But as womens officer no I can't and I wouldn't presume to try. I also find it disgusting that lily has made comments about being disappointed when they see "cis"women on TV/in media/politics. Because they could do "so much better". Someone who is saying these things has no business representing women, at all.!

I find it very disturbing that all of a sudden women are ciswomen but transwomen are women. I don't get that, at all. I've tried but I can't get my head around it.

Yellowshadeofgreen Sat 24-Feb-18 12:43:58

I know Ireland can be v conservative so I have utmost respect for anyone not in the narrow traditional/conservative view of people (and that goes for all kinds of people!)

I am not sure that it is as conservative anymore springing mainly from the CSA scandals and their handling by the Catholic Church. However this trans woman transitioned about 20 years ago so in a very different country.

I will say though that she has been completely unlike the trans women I have seen on Twitter (however I do not accept that twitter represents a microcosm of humanity) in that she has been happy to be accepted (which she has been) rather than demanding of it iyswim. However that acceptance has not developed into couple relationships and I imagine that must be very lonely for her.

PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 12:48:37

I have the (perhaps false) impression that Ireland is more conservative than say, England, Wales or Scotland is. And it is in some regards (particularly when it comes to women's rights).
But I can say without doubt 20yrs ago that would've been difficult for her to do particularly in Ireland and she has my utmost respect for that, props to her.

TopBitchoftheWitches Sat 24-Feb-18 12:54:40

Hi OP,

I saw a tweet from Lily the other day where she actually said she didn't represent women.
I assume she meant she only represents trans women.

Thanks for doing this x

PeanutButterSquash Sat 24-Feb-18 12:56:13

If she does not represent women she should not be allowed within 500ft of the role "women's officer".
No problem. smile

OldPony Sat 24-Feb-18 13:00:47

Big respect to you Peanut for coming to talk to us. I have been fairly vocal on this issue and to be honest is because I feel scared for the future. And I don't want to be hurt again.

That said, I don't feel remotely scared of you. I really wish you all the very best.

brainache78 Sat 24-Feb-18 13:01:06

Hi Peanut,
Lovely to meet you. Thank you for coming on here and answering questions.

It is hard for us, as women, to explain that our problems with self ID do not stem from bigotry or issues with trans people who are just going about their lives without undue fuss. We will often talk about how this legislation will damage people like you too, but that is conveniently not listened to.

What I would like to ask is to what extent you are happier/more at peace with yourself now and how much of that is due to 'passing'. How important to you is it to be validated externally?
Or is it more about what you feel about yourself when you look at yourself?

AlpacaLypse Sat 24-Feb-18 13:01:40

Hi Peanut, I wish I didn't have to go out right now, so this is a placemark for later. Thanks for coming on, looking forward to joining the conversation when I have finished work!

Ohforfoxsakereturns Sat 24-Feb-18 13:02:47

Thank you peanutbuttersquash it’s too easy to ground down on the echo chamber that is Twitter. You starting this thread and having the opportunity for discussion is refreshing. The vast majority of us concerned about Self-Id do so as we are worrying of the impact on women’s and children’s safety and representation, and are not the ‘TERFs’ we are labelled as. This is exactly the debate we need to be having, not being silenced and forced to accept ideology based on fantasy.
I applaud you. More of this kind of thing! 😄

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