(Approximate reading time: 7 minutes)
Essay: Definition Part 1. Accepting a definition. The choice is yours?
The definition is:
Description of transsexual – American Heritage® Dictionary
NOUN: 1. One who wishes to be considered by society as a member of the opposite sex.
So does that make me a transsexual? Only if I accept your definition -for myself.
I was raised a little boy, and to me, that was a mistake. I always knew I wasn’t a boy. But, given that there were only boys and girls in the culture – well, I was stereotyped a boy. And yet, with only the choices of boy or girl being offered culturally, then in truth, I felt I was really a girl. So I came to believe, I was a girl. But society kept insisting I was a boy. So then, I came to believe that I was a girl – within a boy’s body. So my sense of self, was very early realized – a spiritual self, feeling like the soul of a girl within a boy’s body.
Unfortunately, I fell prey to the cultural mandate of binary gender rule, males, and females. And for a long time had to suppress my sense of spiritual self – because a little boy is not allowed to believe to really be a little girl. And yet, regardless of society’s cultural mandate for boys to be boys and girls to be girls – and boys to grow up and be men and girls to grow up to be women – here I am. One who truly was never a little boy, and never a little girl; and never a man, and never a woman. I truly am something other.
But, society still insists on defining me only by male or female, and I realize neither one is offered as a true choice but rather a requirement -and so I have had to again confine myself.
And yet, now as a culturally stereotyped transsexual, branded by the male and female regime; I again feel that I have had to accept the rule of male and female and conform myself to an act of gender; one that required transition – emerging from the cultural stereotype of a boy and into a girl. Male to Female. Or rather a man into a woman, and thus being stereotyped a transsexual woman. Or even a transsexual man.
Again against, my will – regardless of how I feel inside or look outside; society has demanded that I conform, that I acknowledge only the existence of men and women. And so I have had to declare myself, a man who wanted to be a woman. It is absurd!
And so, despite all the cultural conditioning and insistence that, “boys are boys” and “girls are girls” and “boys can only grow up to be men”, and “girls can only grow up to be women” yet, somehow, here I am, living the absurdity – but I try to do it with a little grace, and a pretty face.
But sometimes it still bothers me, that to just be myself – I have had to endure a denial of my gender; and then endure a complete schism of my gender – and go from one gender extreme into another – as a culturally stereotyped transsexual.
And yet to accept that definition: as being born a male, who is becoming a female, “a male to female – transsexual” although in a magical alchemist way that briefly entertains my imagination; still it immediately alienates the truth of my own sense of identity. Because I really cannot be a “male to female transsexual” because, I never was a “male” to begin with; and I never had to “become a female” in any way that I wasn’t already.
But society, unfortunately just doesn’t seem to be able at large to imagine that there truly are other ways of being – besides male or female.
But I know, the fact that I was born yes, with a penis does not mean that I was truly born a boy or male. And I think that is the hardest thing for people to understand; especially, people who are so safely within the prescription of being male and female, people who easily accept that gender prescription without question since their birth. People who accept that simply by the stereotype of their infant genitalia – assume that it is the only normal set of gender; and the only possibility. For such people, I am the enigma. Impossible to believe.
But, I believe if there are truly only males and female in the world – then I was a girl born with a penis and as such – mistakenly raised as a boy. But again, for some people, that again is too impossible to believe. But, I honestly do not believe that there are only two genders in the world. And I do not feel I have ever been either a male or a female. I have never been a “boy who wanted to be a girl” even though to outsiders it may have seemed like that was the case with me, and even if I may have used that description at one point to try to explain who I am and how I felt.
Likewise, I have never been a “girl trapped in a boy’s body” even though again, it may have seemed like that to outsiders; and again even if I may have used that description at one point to try to explain who I am and how I felt.
And yes, because of the absolute pervasive rule of only “male and female” identity being permissible in society – I have had to accept those kinds of gender expressions as my way of defining myself at various times in my life; but still, that does not make either of those statements true – to the reflection of truly what my sense of my natural state of gender being is.
I truly believe I am a genuine gender, one that is as innate as males and females – but one that is not male and is not female – I simply belong to another gender. But again so many people disregard this – disregard me.
At most they will allow me to define myself as one of them, only I am somehow damaged – believing I am a gender I am not. And they might even suppose that I have a kind of congenital disability. Or at worst, describe me as suffering a kind of identity crisis – even insanity.
But I refuse such ill treatment. I do not believe that my gender is a birth defect, or in any other way some form of identity crisis, or disorder, or mistake. I simply am another expression of the potential of the human being physically and spiritually; with yes attributes naturally that of both of which males and females consider to be exclusive to their own gender identities be it physically, mentally, spiritually.
So even though I now live culturally conditioned to the binary rules of male and female stereotypes genders, in order to function in a society that insists on only accepting one of those identities – in very limited and defined ways in order to have basic legal representation, access to employment, housing, and any other enumerable measures of life in society – including the potentials of a romantic relationship; and even using a public restroom…
In all of these ways, I have been forced to undergo a social transition from one exclusive gender stereotype into another, and I have done so as necessary and yet, still, I persevere that the truth of myself is contrary to this insistence.
I feel as if I remember who I truly am before the rules of gender conditioned me to doubt myself and demanded conformity to a stereotype.
So yes, I will go on having to live my life as a transsexual socially and using that term as a means to at least introduce the possibility of what my life experience has been to people; but in all honesty, I really feel transsexual is something men and women in their vie for a separate but equal rule of the world have created… but it is not me. I reject your definition.
I decide who I am, what I am.
I am not a man, and I am not a woman. And believe me, when I say, I am not a man who wanted to be a woman; or a woman trapped in the body of man… I truly am another.