It seems like over the past few years transitioning in America has escalated in acceptance and acknowledgement at an amazing rate. When I was transitioning, and not that long ago I might add, the plethora of information that is easily accessible to those struggling with gender was not yet available, and peers and mentors were scarce if not unheard of. Now, this flood of information is bringing forth misinformation and myths that have little to do with the reality of how and why someone makes this life altering choice.
The term transgender is not one I use to describe myself. I feel the term transgender has been hijacked and has become this umbrella term for everything from crossdressing and to gender fluidity. I am a transsexual, and as such, I find that many people identify as transsexual when they couldn’t be further from it. This is not a game of dress up. This is a permanent irrevocable decision that will change your body and life forever.
Case in point, I was approached by a male recently who expressed a desire to transition. He said he was a transsexual and began chatting me up about where he might get operations and hormones. I asked had he seen a psychiatrist or physician yet and what steps had he made to insure this was his correct move. He replied that he liked being pretty and dressing up behind clothes doors , putting on make-up, wearing high heels and the like. I asked how long he had been living as a female and he said he hadn’t, it was too scary for him. Up went the red flag! How could this person even begin to think about shots and surgeries, without having lived one single day as a woman at the very least. He seemed more excited about the multiple plastic surgeries he would receive than the fact that he wouldn’t have to live with an exterior that did not match his interior any longer. I advised this young man to pursue a flirtation with Drag and maybe lay off the hospital path.
First, let me say I think everyone should pursue everything under the transgender sun if it makes them happy or secure image wise, but being transsexual is not a trend or a flavor of the month. The behavior of this individual upsets and offends me deeply, as I’m sure it does all suffering from gender dysphoria. The discomfort I felt in my own skin every day was what drove me to the surgical option. I assure you, it was not because I wanted to look bitchin’ in a low cut dress and heels. The matter of transition is long, serious business and although it was my answer I certainly don’t advocate doing it just to either stand out or fit in.
It just makes me think that this fresh, new generation of trans females in particular have the wrong idea about transitioning. I truly question how many people there are on hormones and getting surgeries that they have no rational reason to have. I feel people such as Carmen Carrera would not be the most suitable role model for a person looking to transition. Transitioning should be empowering, yes, but those who move from Drag to transitioning to capitalize on fame and garner attention are simply reckless. Superficiality, materialism, and conformity provide no infrastructure for a healthy livelihood nor sustainable happiness. These individuals cut out a dicey path to follow for those confused and struggling with their sexuality and their place in American society.
I will always speak my mind and advocate on this matter and give fair, measured guidance. So, if this is an issue you are dealing with my shorthand advice is this. Talk to a therapist and find out if you really have gender dysphoria or if you are just grappling with your sexuality. You can’t begin to even consider this practically without proper counsel. Stay away from shady doctors and hormone websites, you have no idea if these are safe options. Transition is just that, a gradual change. It won’t happen overnight, and it’s not something you can decide in a day. No matter what decision you make, let it be a well informed, safe one and not a fast quick fix.