Oh Kat… I know it’s hard. But don’t wish it away. Being trans is a difficult thing, for sure. But there’s great joy and privilege in it too. You and I have had to search our souls in a way few people do. We have had to understand ourselves from the ground up. After all when that first utterance ‘it’s a boy’ was wrong, what else could we know about ourselves without examining thoroughly. That self-knowledge is difficult in itself. It’s hard work and takes an age. But we can emerge from it with a self-assurance, a profound knowledge of who we are that most cis people are never challenged to find.
And then there’s the huge privilege of knowing the differences in the genders that cis people so seldom engage. Why would they? It’s a function of unearned privilege, cis privilege, in this case that so much is assumed. We were born for a different path and especially as we transitioned later in life we know full well what the ‘man handbook’ expects of our assigned gender. But with transition, and embracing who we really are, we’ve been able to relax into a ruleset, a way of being that comes more naturally. So we know both sides intimately. And that allows us to be deeply empathetic towards the grievances of both men and women.
Women emphatically have things worse in our societies as a whole. But it’s been my experience that men listen a little more to women like us who they KNOW have had the same pressures laid on our shoulders in the past. Even when we’re saying the same things women have for decades, centuries, they can’t discount what we say because ‘you women wouldn’t get it’. Likewise I’ve found I can show my girlfriends how the pressures of being a man, and of how we raise boys cause them to behave and relate in the ways they do.
I’ve had both men and women thankful for the insight I’ve provided. Insight that’s purely down to being trans.
We’re special, my love. Never lose sight of that, just because this world is slow to understand and quick to hate.