22 August, 2009

ex-transgender

check out this article on pfox (parents and friends of ex-gays and gays)

this "article" simply baffles me. i most often view other peoples' life choices as choices that they have made to suit their interests/needs...and that because they are the person who should know themselves the best in turn the choice they have made is what is best for them at that moment in time or for that circumstance. though, after reading this article it seems like this person did not fully consider what his choices would mean for his future (sure the article is short, but this person never really stated that they felt like a trans person...). overall i think there was a lot missing from this story and that it was pretty badly written. to me, it seems to serve no other purpose than to send the message that if your life is really fucked up, some higher power can save you.

for me making the choice to transition, in any and every aspect, was something that i thought about long and hard. i educated myself on trans issues and considered how each part of my life would change because of one choice i would make. while it was very difficult to constantly question myself and my identity, i am happy i took the time to reflect on possible future changes. i hope that those in a position now where they are contemplating transition will also take time to reflect on how our choices will and can effect the rest of our lives.

of course i am in no way saying that people who chose to "de-transition" are unintelligent or make bad choices - i'm sure there are a variety of reasons why people decide to "de-transition", those of which i could only speculate about - family, love-life, religion, well-being...(the process of "de-transitioning" is actually something i'd like to look further into...anyone have any neutral resources?).

anyone want to comment?
-what advice would you give to someone who was beginning to think of themselves as trans and contemplating transitioning (social/medical/legal...)?

just thought i'd share some perspectives. peace.

5 comments:

Jenna said...

FYI... the link is broken. This one worked for me:

http://www.pfox.org/Former_Transgender_Tells_His_Story.html

Peace,
Jenna

MgS said...

Hi Luke,

PFOX is notorious for getting the whole transgender issue right. I've commented on how badly they've mangled things on my own blog before.

I'm sympathetic to the poor soul that wrote the narrative on PFOX's website - it's a terrifying example of how awry a transition can go if one is not thoughtful and introspective in the process.

Transition is not a "one way" process. It can be very important to give yourself the opportunity to step back - and possibly detransition entirely. Just as there are no "handbooks" on transition, there are no seeming rules on detransitioning either - each of us must find our own best path. Hopefully, we have the good fortune to have access to a support network.

If I have ever had a piece of advice that meant a lot to me, it was and is "take your time". Although the drive to transition is intense and often overwhelming, there is always time to stop and smell the flowers.

Luke said...

Thanks for this. Yes, I'd agree that taking your time is a great piece of advice and am glad I've only followed my own timeline during my transition and also taken time to reflect.

MgS said...

PFOX is notorious for getting the whole transgender issue right.

Oops - not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that!

PFOX gets transgender - and in particular transsexual - issues wrong - very wrong.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the troll who says "maybe he wasn't really transsexual", but his story doesn't sound anything like any of the hundred more or so stories by trans people I've read, and it doesn't resonate with my own experience, either. Who is this guy? Is he transgendered and/or, say, of a low IQ with some kind of actual personality disturbance? Or what? I can't figure it out. This story just seems sad and like this guy has about half the introspection I normally hear from other trans people.



Stuff like,
"just like my transgender friends", which makes it seem like he'd never even considered transitioning before he met a trans person. It sure makes it seem like his intentions were to fit in with a certain crowd. But why? If he was really just a young gay man (as his sexuality is the FIRST thing he mentions, kind of makes it seem like gender identity, expression, and sexuality are all the same thing, or else why bring it up first?

A lot of the transgendered stories I read start a little something like this: 'Ever since I was about 4 or 5, I knew I was different. I didn't know what a transsexual was, and though I liked playing princesses, dolls, trucks and getting dirty, I felt very secretly and ashamedly upset when other people would fail to see me as a girl/boy. As I got older, I felt like a freak and learned to hate myself,' and so on. There's a sense of struggle, of waiting and agonizing over decisions, of learning to live around it, of being unsatisfied with what they see in the mirror, crying or not being able to cry, or feelings of dissociation from their bodies and sex lives. What you don't read a lot of is what this guy is writing. For PFOX to put in the old, "all my transgendered friends were doing it" line is a particularly sick instance of trans shaming and the inculcation of transphobia, don't you think?

If he was really that easily swayed by the first transgendered person he met to become a woman, it seems he could easily be convinced out of it. But you have no idea, since his life story starts at the age of 13 with the acknowledgment that he liked men.
Hence perpetuating the old, "transgendered people just can't handle the fact that they're gay" dead, ever-flogged horse.

It's just in there to scare cis people away from associating with trans* people. Transphobia had to start somewhere, pals - I think we're getting a red alert over here with PFOX. No derh.

"As the years went by ... I was never able to be happy or find true love ... After many letdowns (emphasis mine) like this, I wanted to change my life. "
But wow, if you're not really transgendered (whatever that means), how do you go for YEARS living as wrong sex? I'd think it'd become pretty apparent after the first week whether or not hormones would work for you. If you were "really not a woman", don't you think you would have stopped after you figured out estrogen wasn't right for you? Not go on to get silicone injections in some dude's basement!

Not to mention what I see as the irresponsibility of this person's self-reported use of estrogen, this story is just too extreme for me to think that there might not be some underlying personality issues either in isolation from or in addition to transsexuality or being transgendered. I'm just not buying it. This guy doesn't seem to even understand that someone might find him to be less than level-headed.

I want to give first person stories the credibility they deserve, but it looks like this was written to scare Xtians and get people oppressed.