It was the 1980’s (oh crap I am old, ha ha ha) when I started to have issues with who I was, or as I say A+B to me did not equal C. Puberty was a nightmare and there was no one to talk to. There were no answers.
Forward years later and all I have heard over and over again is that it is a choice. That parents and doctors are indoctrinating the children. That it is a mental health issue. Though for years the medical community somewhat agreed and did nothing until a few voices started to question, why? With that change, others followed and now these answers are showing up. But we did not have anyone willing to tell the whole truth about Why. The problem with that is that despite all the questions asking why and answers being understood. We still cannot solve the issue of A+B does not equal C without people saying “Are you sure”. Which in some ways is healthy unless we reject the answers every time they appear.
You might have seen the Tiktok video of the young person clapping their hands and talking about research types. It was mainly a clap back at people who say they have done their own research on a topic and do not understand their biased approach to the given subject. The person does it in a way to say that people are not really doing research. Which in some way is correct but not telling the whole story. There are mainly two types of research done Pure and Strategic. I look at this website as a Strategic approach. As I grew up I needed to know why I am the way I am. I needed to know why I am Transgender and how this could have happened to me. I just needed to know and with the rise of the information that is available, I focused on finding the answer.
To me of all people… You see I was born into a textbook American family. Dad had a great job my mom stayed at home. We were a close family with good friends. Even though that was an illusion and behind closed doors was something different. We were however the typical middle-class family. We were all healthy and lived well enough to say we lived in our means. But out of my siblings, I drew the unlucky card of having multiple health problems that still impact my life today. Most of them I cannot figure out why I have them but some I can be at ease with. Such as my Dyslexia I don’t know a time without having it so I am okay with having it as I learned how to work with it. My Chronic pain is something that I have not learned to deal well with. I am scared shitless of the future as my body continues to be in pain. The same thing can be said but in a different way being Transgender is an itch that I cannot scratch. I have spent countless hours reading anything I can get my hands on. I have asked questions of the research to dig deeper than just reading it. As I needed to know why A+B did not equal C for me.
I started to see all the Murders, Hatemongers, Religious Cults, Politicians, Authors, Movie Stars, etc all trying to put their opinions on the issues. To say that a lot of them are filled with misinformation, personal choices, and unconscious bias towards the subject. I was left wondering what could I do to remove the chaos that is being created by these sources. I started with this site in hopes that others could see firsthand what it is like being a Transwoman. But as time grew and so did my dive into the reasons why. I needed to change the direction of this website. I started to think about what could be done with all the research that I was doing to answer my own question of A+B. Even with all that research I still come to the only answer is that it is an unknown variable equaling X.
I even came to the idea that this answer was more than just the unknown. It is the fact that my biology is saying one thing while it does not make sense to the conscious side of being me which says something else. I could never know what it is like to be born in the correct body. I could never know what it is like to be able to give birth. Or even the fear of being pregnant. Yes, there is a myriad of things I could and will never experience that those born into the correct body will and do. But creating this website is a passion of love from the bottom of my heart. I know where my comfort lies and where I can find peace within my own self. I hope by creating this website others both Trans and Cis might be able to use my strategic research. Thus leading them to the answers that are needed to help them find peace. I remain firm that you cannot change another person’s beliefs they must do that on their own. But they can only do that if proper information is provided to them. Yes, I say I am a Transwoman I hope that some respect is afforded me as this was not a choice that I made. It was after all thrust upon me before my birth. I can only live with the direct results of it. Making the most of my life.
I hope this answers the purpose of this site for those who are wondering.
Great post, Aleana. You tell it straight and that is usually the best thing to do. It makes things more believable to others.
Not all of what you wrote fits my experience. I have to admit this “are you sure?” questioning never appeared when I came out to anyone. Not my partner, not my therapist, not my psychiatrist, not my primary care provider, not anyone at the mental health program I attend, neighbors, other friends, and where I might have really expected it, my parents. I was really anticipating this kind of inquiry, but it never happened once. For some I did provide at my own prompting some background on how I figured out I was a woman, but never did anyone question if I was sure of my gender.
Scientific research, which is good, does not tell the full story, especially with our current state of knowledge. Genetics certainly plays a role. Hormonal exposure in the womb is a plausible, but would be hard to prove in a controlled manner (the gold standard of scientific research, especially studying people). I am a little more skeptical of the brain scan evidence. I am concerned on how it is carried out. Are there any pre and post-hormonal treatment scans. Without these it could result from the hormones taken. The brain is high in neuroplasticity, so it is well within believability that changes could be related to this. There are also peer-reviewed articles critiquing such studies. And, when it comes to environmental influences you enter a realm which is hard to control for. My best solution is to except what people say of their own gender. I worry that these scans or genetic evidence will lead to testing of transgender people. It is never ethical to ask or set criteria of whether or not one is “trans enough.”
I feel that most transphobic comments should be ignored as not to call attention to them. They would than most likely fall into oblivion.. One exception here is those claiming what they are saying is scientific. One should rebut these. I am willing to entertain that I could be wrong in this. As you might guess I don’t go looking for these kinds postings. If I get a personal transphobic attack I would say it is a pretty good chance they are trying to bait me. I give no reply. My reply is delete and block.
I also never felt I was born into the wrong body. My body is what gave me my life, and directed me to where I am at today. This is not to say I don’t have body issues, but so do others. A man with erectile dysfunction will seek a doctor to be put on drugs that help men sexually perform. Well, I did the opposite. I took drugs so it wouldn’t work. For those that would want to see a more sustained look at my thoughts on this subject see two of my blog posts (https://stephiegurl.home.blog/2019/11/03/i-am-not-in-the-wrong-body/ and https://stephiegurl.home.blog/2020/09/14/gender-dysphoria-vs-body-dysphora/).
Keep doing what your doing. The best way to reach people is to share our own story. Thank you for sharing yours, Aleana.
All the best, Stephie