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How does a trans person know their new gender is the right one?

(47 Posts)
ShotsFired Thu 27-Apr-17 13:34:20

Forgive me if this comes out a bit garbled, I am trying to understand my own thoughts as well as get others' input and opinions. I read many of the trans threads with interest but so much of it baffles me.

So the basis of Trans-ism is that the person feels they are the wrong gender? i.e. a person born with a penis feels like they should have been born with a vagina, and vice versa, right [and live the life that that brings with it]? This leads to them thinking they should be/want to be classed as a woman/man accordingly, irrespective of what genitalia they were born with.

But how do you know that (a) you feel like you should have been born with different genitals; and (b) that that other sex is what you are "missing"?

I mean, I will never know what it feels like to be a man, because I don't know/can't define what it feels like to be a woman - it just is what it is - leaving aside social constructs and issues. Sometimes I feel happy, sometimes angry, sometimes sad, sometimes confused etc etc - but I don't know if that is because of my sex or just because I am a sentient human being.

So how can you possibly know that if you were the other sex, that that would make everything right?

And how do you know, once you have made this choice, that you are feeling the same/"correctly" as your chosen gender (if in fact it is even possible that all woman or all men experience, or are aware of, their existence in the same way, which seems unlikely).

We can't measure feelings and emotions scientifically, so what if we are all just feeling the same human ways about our existence and that is just how it is? One person's tortured soul at feeling wrong is "the same" to another person's "life's fine"

Datun Thu 27-Apr-17 13:45:01

But how do you know that (a) you feel like you should have been born with different genitals; and (b) that that other sex is what you are "missing"?

Even articulate, educated people find this impossible to answer. They all say they just know.

The only way to make any sense of it all is to read about detransitioners.

www.transgendertrend.com/detransition/

It's far easier to understand why women transition. They are transitioning to escape the way society objectifies them. I think with men it's more complicated but there is an element of that too.

vesuvia Thu 27-Apr-17 13:56:55

ShotsFired wrote - "what if we are all just feeling the same human ways about our existence and that is just how it is? One person's tortured soul at feeling wrong is "the same" to another person's "life's fine"".

The dominant variety of current transgenderism ideology insists (wrongly, in my opinion) that gender identity is biological, innate, constant and not about personality.

HmmOkay Thu 27-Apr-17 14:10:17

I've thought that.

What if you go through all that and it isn't the crock gold at the end of the rainbow like you thought?

Before transition at least you had the anonymity of being 'just' a man or a woman. Now everybody knows you are trans. You are not anonymous any more. And you still have most of the same problems you had before, and added a few new ones also.

The first male prisoner to have a sex change during incarceration in the UK, John Pilley, has changed his mind. He had the first operation and was transferred to a female prison. He then had a second operation and returned to a male prison. Clearly he realised that being a woman isn't all it was cracked up to be.

Finding a sexual partner must be difficult. Most people are only attracted to biological women or biological men and so if you are trans then you are going to struggle to attract someone, purely because there will be much fewer people looking for a trans partner. Particularly if you live in a conservative area.

ShotsFired Fri 28-Apr-17 10:11:18

Detransitioning - interesting read thanks @Datun, I'd not heard of it before.

I still don't get how you can "know" that the other gender is what you want/will be the fulfilment you crave/the missing link. What if it is something else entirely - where do you go with that? At what point do you just say enough is enough and get on with life? (back to my point about maybe feeling they way you do is normal for all of us, we just feel it differently?)

It all seems so nebulous but the only option to check if what you are thinking is what you want is so concrete.

Datun Fri 28-Apr-17 10:52:12

ShotsFired

This one is from a man suffering from gender dysphoria. He is talking about how he's come to terms with it.

De-transitioners are vilified by the trans community. It undermines the entire credibility of the 'born in the wrong body' narrative.

thirdwaytrans.com/2014/12/07/dysphoria-is-very-ordinary/

Bambambini Tue 02-May-17 10:13:44

I followed a young TW on twitter recently who was gender critical and had alienated themselves from the main vocal trans activist community because of their views on gender and trans issuse.

They went through bottom surgery and posted online their recovery and feelings on it. It was incredibly sad. They hated what they had done, they recognised how "crazy" it was and realised they had serious mental health issues. Their obviously crippling dysphoria meant they felt that they had to go through with the op, unfortunately they also hated that they did go through with it.

They disappeared off twitter or closed/changed accounts. It's some time after now and i hope they are in a much better place now and accepting and happy with their new body.

Youngmalenonfeminist123 Tue 02-May-17 10:21:10

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LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 02-May-17 10:24:32

Honestly? I think many trans people find their new gender isn't all its cracked up to be. Suicide rates, mental health issues etc are huge issues for the trans community and I haven't noticed a trend of them magically clearing up once the person starts living life in the opposite gender.

(disclaimer: gender critical feminist posting)

Xenophile Tue 02-May-17 10:24:42

Gosh! Thank you for that inightful post young male. It's all now crystal clear to me where everything has gone wrong.

hmm

HmmOkay Tue 02-May-17 10:27:32

Please choose your character gender.

Is it a bit like Live Action Role Play, isn't it?

Oh. End of.

Of course.

ImAFeminNazi Tue 02-May-17 10:42:27

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VestalVirgin Tue 02-May-17 12:23:08

Is it a bit like Live Action Role Play, isn't it?

Ha, actually, playing the other sex in LARP is kinda frowned upon where I live. I mean, you can do it. You can also play an elf if you're fat, or a dwarf if you're two metres tall. But you should be prepared for people treating you like a human of your real sex.

It is more a thing for Pen&Paper roleplaying. wink

JaxingJump Tue 02-May-17 12:30:07

I doubt anyone can answer that except the individual themselves and even they will unlikely be able to put words to it that could ever be understood by someone who is not experiencing it.

I have hope that in years to come all this will be understood better and I suspect that it will turn out to be something very real. They will look back at us belittling trans people and trying to rationalise away their existence and think we were truly cruel.

VestalVirgin Tue 02-May-17 12:37:00

I have hope that in years to come all this will be understood better and I suspect that it will turn out to be something very real. They will look back at us belittling trans people and trying to rationalise away their existence and think we were truly cruel.

No one questions that it is real. For some, no doubt it is as real as anorexia. Or this disorder where people think that parts of their body don't belong to them.

And I never questioned at all that women can suffer, and suffer a lot, from having to live in a female body while oppressed under patriarchy. Of course it is real. It's as real as severe depression.

But we already have scientific proof that while it is a real disorder, no one who identifies as trans is actually the other sex. It is just fucking obvious.

And also, there is no doubt that there's a lot of autogynephiliac men who aren't at all uncomfortable with their male body and still demand access to women's spaces.

This is all already known.

The only thing we can hope for is that people will wake up to the reality and give women back their rights to privacy from males.

Bambambini Tue 02-May-17 13:39:32

Yes, i try to keep an open mind that their is a brain chemistry or hormonal imbalance that possibly causes folk to not feel right in their body or sex. I still don't think this means that a male who feels like is actually female or can actually change sex. I don't think saying you identify as something just makes it so. Being transgender these days also covers so much more than the old style dysphoric transsexual.

Datun Tue 02-May-17 13:46:54

Frankly, I would be delighted if they discover the cause. Whether for gender dysphoria, or just 'I feel wrong'.

Everyone could get tested and a treatment could be researched.

Gender dysphoria must be unimaginably distressing.

It still means, though, that you have a male body and penis. That can never change. A biological mistake, or neurological blip should not mean people who are male get ceded all females' rights, irrespective.

Having a scientific reason to feel trans does not in the slightest way remove women's discomfort or need to protect their boundaries.

Dervel Tue 02-May-17 13:50:47

I cannot really fathom how can argue a thing out of existence in order to make a claim that you are the thing you are claiming doesn't really exist. The whole argument self-refutes itself!

Xenophile Tue 02-May-17 14:17:38

I have hope that in years to come all this will be understood better and I suspect that it will turn out to be something very real. They will look back at us belittling trans people and trying to rationalise away their existence and think we were truly cruel.

Body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria are real. The distress suffered by people who have these conditions is awful to hear. The lengths people who have these conditions will go to to "correct" what they see as "wrong" with them are often bloody and painful. They are disorders that can lead to death, whether through starvation, self mutilation or suicide. The suggestion that anyone is "belittling" the people who suffer from these acute mental health problems is false and frankly, disgusting.

I've never seen anyone try and deny the existence of trans people, or rationalise them away. They exist. The only people I find belittling people with BD or GID are people who deny they exist and try and have their pain dissociated from their feelings. And they are almost exclusively trans people or their apologists.

BlueSunGreenMoon Tue 02-May-17 15:41:46

I have hope that in years to come all this will be understood better and I suspect that it will turn out to be something very real. They will look back at us belittling trans people and trying to rationalise away their existence and think we were truly cruel.

I find this a very odd statement. I have many concerns about the possibility that self-declaration of gender could be passed into law, and concerns that young children, autistic people and homosexuals, especially young lesbians, are in some cases being lead towards the path of transition. I am not belittling anyone, nor am I rationalising away their existence.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 02-May-17 18:14:35

I've been pondering this very thing lately. Sparked by an unconnected-to-trans article in the Observer - Everyone feels like an outsider. It’s not just you…

I'm just talking about teenagers here, not adults or children.

So my thinking goes - when we're teenagers, we all (or a large proportion of us) feel that we are an outsider. When I was a teenager there was punk and goth to hide in, to express the outsiderishness; or we could just fake self-confidence and get on with it. Most of us just faked it.

Nowadays, there is an external pressure on you that plays on that sense of being the outsider. That tells you that it's real and that you have to do something about it. Trans is presented as The Answer to your feelings of being the outsider - an explanation, one that says you are an outsider, but if you transition then you won't be. And since everyone knows that they are gender-nonconforming - because nobody can possibly be that sterotypical - the 'you're really trans' idea grows inside your head.

So I'm not even sure that a lot of the teens do actually feel they are the wrong gender. They feel 'wrong' in a general sense, and they don't realise that at their age (and beyond), everyone feels 'wrong'. There's a host of information whispering in their ear that yes, they are 'wrong', but transition and you'll feel 'right'.

It is so cruel sad.

And once the transition has started, it's very hard to stop. Because there will be the sense that 'I don't feel right yet because I haven't got there yet' driving you on. Sunken Costs Fallacy, alas. You would want to believe that this will make everything better, so it would be very hard to back out.

JaxingJump Tue 02-May-17 19:55:51

So basically your stance whereyouleftit is that most will grow out of it?

I really do think that there is a big difference in the teenage feeling of 'everything about me feels wrong' and 'I am certain I am the other gender'.

This is what I meant by belittling trans people and how they feel. We just can't possibly understand it unless we experience it but we can respect it. And people speculating about the root of their transgenderism or the realness of it would break me if I was transgender.

Bambambini Tue 02-May-17 19:59:38

What like gender fluid, non binary etc - you know these folk are transgender.

venusinscorpio Tue 02-May-17 20:05:16

And people speculating about the root of their transgenderism or the realness of it would break me if I was transgender.

Well I'm terribly sorry but they don't exist in a vacuum. Not everything is about them and policy is being made and women's rights are under attack because of feelings. Yet no one gives a shit about ours. I'm a rape survivor who has been in two abusive relationships. This gaslighting of women to accept lies and having to walk on eggshells around male feelings, including me, feels incredibly similar. It's bullying. It's about power. But you don't give a fuck about my feelings, do you?

fakenamefornow Tue 02-May-17 20:12:40

So basically your stance whereyouleftit is that most will grow out of it

I believe it is the case that most children/teens do 'grow out of it' though. I know somebody with a trans child under the care of the Taverstock, they have told her 90%+ do just that.

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