No, I am not happy that I am transgender.
I know folks who are okay with their being trans. The following strictly belongs to me, though almost all trans folks share some or a lot of it.
I continually get the impression that people like Matt Walsh, the blogger with whom I took exception last week, think that all of us trans women and men are happy to be this way. To quote him, we are fulfilling sexual proclivities or fetishes (or are mentally ill), the driving forces behind our living in a gender with which we were not identified at birth, which does not correspond with our DNA.
I was foolish enough to post my blog link to Walsh’s column, one among over 300 comments. Did anyone ask a question, to learn more? Did anyone demonstrate concern that this is a terrible burden? Did anyone recognize what a horrible thing it has been never to be able to escape this a single day of my life?
No, of those who commented—all of which appear to be Christians—all I got was condemnation.
There is a mindset that people get when confronted with people of whom they know nothing, and the proclivity (!) for hardening their hearts and digging in bigoted heals rears its ugly head.
• For them, all inner city African American males only care to cultivate criminal behavior.
• For them, all Muslims are terrorists.
• For them, all people out of work or on disability are lazy and only want to suck off the system.
• For them, all gays and lesbians are immoral, unethical people seeking to wickedly influence young people.
• For them, all transgender people love getting their jollies by masquerading as, to use Walsh’s term, people they are not.
Because trans-haters harden their hearts, they do not have a clue how hard people like me worked not to transition, how desperate we were to remain in the sex with which we were identified at birth, how suicide was a very real and present danger, and the many reasons we fought not to transition.
• For Christians like me, having serious concern that transitioning might be sinning, and not wanting to offend fellow Christians.
• Not wanting to upset or possibly lose a marriage.
• Fearing how bad you will freak out your children and siblings and parents and others, and losing them from your life.
• Losing a job. (I had to retire from the job of my life, and it crushed me.)
• Losing income.
• Losing housing.
• Losing your good name.
• Adding discrimination.
• Adding the serious possibility of being physically harmed.
• Adding the absolute possibility of being ridiculed, mocked, and hated.
• Adding many doctors and specialists to your life.
• Adding huge expenses.
I said to Julie last week, as I have said to her so many times, “I hate being transgender.”
If I hate being this way, then why am I transitioning? Ask a cancer patient why she undergoes chemotherapy. Our answers will sounds strikingly similar.
I am transitioning because I want to feel better, and I am feeling better. I finally do not have two people battling for my brain. For the first time in my life, the dis-ease aspect of my gender dysphoria is gone and my mind is at peace.
But the cost!
If I could just be a regular guy, how easy my life would be. If I could just be a regular gal, how easy my life would be. If I could just be regular . . .
If I had a pizza for every time, the past three years, that I said, “I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want anyone to hate me.” I always spoke those two sentences together. Always in that order. Always with bitter tears. Always followed by, “But I need to be only one person. Being two people doesn’t work. I don’t care which I am—a man or a woman—just let me be only one person.”
I have never been a trouble-maker. I always was the happy-go-lucky one, the one who got along with everyone, the one who was the life of the party, the one with a quick joke, the one with a big smile for everyone.
I’m still that person, but now I can’t be that person for everyone because of the ones I’ve hurt and the ones who hate me—well, perhaps they don’t hate me, but they don’t know how to deal with me so they no longer are in my life. And I wonder how many feel the way Matt Walsh speaks, considering the likes of me a non-person, a sexual fetishist, a nut case.
I hate being transgender. I did not choose this. This is not a “lifestyle,” as detractors love to throw at us trans folks. Because of the disruption to my endocrine system, which I experienced in the womb, I am an intersex person. As I cannot alter my being Caucasian, or of German heritage, or an American, or left handed, or an Eilers, I cannot alter that I am intersex.
And, now I have to admit, I wouldn’t.
I know, that sounds like a non sequitur. It doesn’t follow that I hate being transgender but I would not change it. Here is why I would not change it.
With all of the other things of which I am made that I cannot change, I cannot arbitrarily decide to change one of them without upsetting the entire cart of my life.
To quote that great philosopher, Popeye, I yam what I yam. To change one thing would squash what I yam. And, do you want to know the neatest thing? I am tremendously, marvelously pleased with what I yam.
I cannot locate another person on earth, not in the history of the world, who can claim a more rich, more blessed life than I have experienced in my first nearly fifty-nine years. Every good thing that life has to offer, I have enjoyed. Some of the unique, challenging, wonderful things in life, which few get to enjoy, or by which they have the opportunity to grow as a person, I have enjoyed.
I sit here, often troubled at my being transgender, and ponder my life, and I am dazzled.
I am dazzled at what the Lord Jesus has done for me, has given me, through which He has blessed and strengthened me. The things He has put into my hands that I might have use of them, to mold and shape them, and utilize them to show my love for Him and to serve my neighbor in His name.
If I were not the sum total of these parts, I would not be what I yam, and I don’t know what yam that different person would be.
So, I will continue to hate that I am transgender, just as I hate that I sin daily and fall short of the mark the Lord has set for me, and I will continue to use the many gifts with which He has blessed me so that I might enjoy this marvelous gift of life, serve my family and community, and work for good in this world.