*This is a very, very, very long post plus a rant at the end. It is best to read on the computer;)* If you find it too long to read in this format, you can also use this link to: Read on Google Docs
This post has been on my mind for a long, long time; mainly because this has affected me a lot and I want to make my views on this (controversial) topic known.
I’ve never really told this to anyone, and am slightly nervous of telling this, so I guess the best place to start is telling this to the public, with my blog;)
Today at school, there was one of those jokes again. As I walked to my chemistry class with two of my friends in tow, one male and one female, my male friend said something meant to be funny. I forget what the context was, but he turned to the girl and told her, “You’re Rose.” Then, he turned to me and said, “And you, C., can be Jack.”
I didn’t think anything of it at first, but the girl gave him a look, as in, stop it. That hurt me more than what he said, as it seemed as if they’d talked about me before from their body language and tone- many people have, so it wouldn’t be surprising.
Yet another transgender joke.
I don’t think he meant to say that I was transgender; but my female friend is simply more “feminine” than I am, so it simply made sense to him, and wasn’t intended to be an insult or anything.
If he didn’t mean it, many others have.
Two boys in separate classes of mine have made the same joke, twice each. “You’re the man,” one told me as I passed him a sheet of binder paper that he’d needed. I just looked at him.
The next day, “You’re a good man, c.” he told me again, with more emphasis. this time He stared straight at me and I stared straight back; I wasn’t about to look away.
When he turned around, I had a sudden urge to punch him on the back of his exposed neck. He thought he was so cool, and thought that he’d “exposed” my secret. Either that or made a terrible insult.
Summoned by his words, anxiety drifted out of its resting place inside of me and roosted itself in my mind. “A good man, c. A good man, a good man, a good man” swirled in my thoughts.
In a different class, a month later, the boyfriend of one of my friends told me as he passed me something, “Here you go, man,” his eyes glinting. I didn’t care, as I was too tired and knew that he was just being stupid, so I simply glared at him and moved on.
They didn’t hurt me, but before it would’ve.
If you haven’t realized by now, I am not transgender. I am just ugly- ugly in the sense of societal standards, ugly in the sense that I look like a boy, ugly in the sense that I’m not very feminine, ugly in the sense that I have strongly hewed features and muscles.
I don’t think I’m ugly. I think I’m beautiful. But in society, no, not at all.
I started to look like a boy probably when I was around the 4th to 5th grades (ages 9-12). I didn’t know what “transgender” meant then, so I was absolutely confused when people shot me dirty glances or whispered behind my back, especially in the restroom.
The first time someone thought I was transgender, I was in an airport restroom, just doing my own thing, looking at the mirror. A mom and her daughter walked in behind me, and the mom looked startled and frightened to see me. “That’s a boy,” she conspicuously whispered to her daughter, continually throwing frightened glances at me. “Then why are they in here?” her daughter asked. “I don’t know,” the mom said, and with a final cautious glance, she locked herself with her daughter into a stall.
I looked back at myself and saw what they saw- I looked hideous; because I’d been on a plane for six hours, because I’d thrown up, because my big round genderless face was mine. And I felt awful; I felt sick. As soon as my mom and sister emerged from their bathroom stalls, I dashed outside, blinking to hide my tears.
In a different airport, a year later, someone remarked, “Oh, look. Someone’s gay.” It was a teenager, hanging out with a friend.
At a waterpark, a little boy loudly discussed with his friend in front of me, “Is it a boy or is it a girl? I think it’s a girl.” “No, it’s a boy.” “I don’t know!” But did it matter?
All of this contributed to my social anxiety and my awareness that I was incurably ugly. Whenever someone laughed nearby, my heart pounded as I wondered if they were laughing at me. Whenever someone whispered, I thought that they were saying bad things about me, or whispering about how ugly I was, or debating if I were transgender or not. Over time, I grew accustomed to hearing the dreaded tr- and s- of transgender, and I’d look up expectantly to see people staring at me, sometimes glaring or whispering. I got into the habit of wearing girly clothes expected of girls in today’s society.
People have a right to be who they are, however they want, whenever they want. Nobody has a right to act so antagonistically, or aggressively, or rudely to someone they perceive as different, especially if that person would be a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Nobody has the right to treat other people as sub-human. They are people. And unless you are dating that person, there is no reason to care about their sexuality. Who cares if that person walking down the street is gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or queer? They’re not doing any harm by simply existing as themselves.
And for bathrooms, we’ve all probably been to the toilet with transgender people in the same bathroom; we just don’t realize it. Bathroom laws are unenforceable and discriminatory. If someone took that law seriously, I could very possibly be ejected from every other public bathroom I enter. Bathroom laws do not work. They allow open discrimination against people who haven’t done anything wrong. And how the hell can you know if someone is transgender? What if they’re someone like me?
If we want to fight against rape and sexual harassment, which is prevalent in our society, the bathroom isn’t the place to do it.
Why is there such a big deal about purported rape in bathrooms and not in colleges?
Statistically speaking, women are much more likely to be raped at college than in a bathroom. Why aren’t people as outraged by this as they are outraged by the LGBT+ community, which hasn’t done anything wrong?
Excluding people from bathrooms have nothing to do with the issue of safety, and everything to do with discrimination. If someone really wanted to enter a bathroom and rape someone, they could do that even now. All that they’d need is a disguise. And what about the dangers transgender women could face if they used men’s bathrooms?
Transgender people haven’t done anything wrong. Gay, lesbian, bisexual people aren’t bad people. It’s all about our negative perception of the LGBT+ community that is wrong.
I’m not even transgender, but people have hurt me so much over this. Imagine what it would be like for someone who’s actually transgender! No wonder their rates of anxiety and depression are much higher than the average person’s.
I believe that members of the LGBTQ+ community, to come out and be themselves, knowing that they face open discrimination, harassment, hatred, and bullying, are among the most courageous “ordinary” people that exist. To go against all of the unwritten societal rules, and embrace who they truly are, and go about unabashedly is something that takes strength.
Well, rant over. That is my perspective on this question of transgender people and the LGBTQ+ community. I understand that many people will disagree with this, but that’s simply how I feel. People don’t have the right to discriminate against people different from them, period. If someone doesn’t like the idea of transgender, then they shouldn’t become transgender and just go on with their lives; there are far more pressing things to worry about.
I do not mind if you do not agree with my point of view; I simply ask that all please be respectful in the comments and in real life as well. I respect your opinions as much as I hope you would respect mine.
To tell you the absolute truth, I was terrified of publishing this because I know that some people won’t take my opinion well, but that is simply it- my opinion- and I would like to share it along with my story.
on the flip side of things, if you would like to address me by a proper name instead of just “c”, Cate is the name to use!