I was born a female. I have XX chromosomes. I am in possession of a set of ovaries and a uterus. In addition to that, I live as a woman. People use she/her pronouns for me, and I wear makeup and women’s clothes.
Some might say that if I was born a woman and I live as a woman, I cannot be transgender. I wish that were true, because it sure would be easier for me!
The truth is: I’ve always been a boy. This is not something that is based on my sex organs or how I look to you today. It’s based on my brain.
This is why being transsexual is complicated.
Biological sex is already complicated. I have XX chromosomes, which made fetus-me develop female sex organs. However, that isn’t what makes someone a woman. There are women who don’t have female sex organs. Transgender women, for example, don’t possess a uterus or ovaries. They are still women. My mother had a complete hysterectomy of all her female organs including her ovaries. She’s still a woman. It’s not the uterus that makes the female. And more than that, intersex people can have both sex organs or neither, so sex was never even binary on a physical level to begin with.
Meanwhile, gender (which is different than sex) is currently determined based on arbitrary stereotypes. People think that men must be aggressive and violent. They think women must be patient and nurturing. Those are obviously just constructs created to subjugate women. So, the idea of gender is pretty much fake. It’s all made up.
For me personally, the reason that I know that I am a guy is because I am attracted to women, and when I have sex with them, I experience extreme gender dysphoria. Somewhere deep in my soul, I feel like I belong in a male body, and like I should be able to have sex with women in the same way as a man. Not with a strap-on. But, with my own body parts.
Everyone has instincts. Couples used to be told before their wedding night that they shouldn’t worry because “sex is all instinct.” This rings true.
For me, my instincts are to peruse and have sex with women in the way that a biologically male human can. It’s weird to know on an intellectual level that something is impossible, but still feel the instinct pulling on your consciousness. I like to compare it to the Call of the Void. When a person stands on a ledge, they often feel an odd urge to jump which comes from somewhere deep inside of them. Their conscious mind tells them that such an instinct is crazy, and tries to push the feeling away.
That is what it feels like to me when I have sex with a woman. It feels like something deep inside of me is male, and trying to process the experience with male instincts. A deeply ingrained voice tells me “Put your dick in her!” And I brush it away because I live in a female body and I can’t do that.
I also experience an odd sensation when people assign female stereotypes to me. It’s best described as offense on a cellular level. Somewhere deep inside of me I feel taken aback that someone would ask me for makeup advice or assume that I would know about tights. It’s like my body is offended that anything stereotypically female would be placed upon it, because such a thing wouldn’t fit.
Intellectually, I know that gender is a social construct and that there are no male or female things. Working on cars is for everyone. Cooking is for everyone. Makeup is for everyone. There’s no activity that is truly related to sex organs except for sex.
However, when someone places a female stereotype on me, the offense is really just about them not recognizing that I am not female. This is stupid, since I choose to live as female (for a variety of reasons- but mostly because science can’t give me a real penis so what would be the point of transitioning?) If you present as female, you shouldn’t be offended if people think you are female and use female pronouns to address you. That said, my conscious mind understands many things which my unconscious mind refuses to accept. My subconscious mind knows that my brain is male and it gets offended, even though my conscious mind knows that I live in a female body and have no right to be offended.
It’s very confusing for me, so I can only imagine how hard it is for others.
The point is: Not all transgender people choose to transition. Some of us just live with dysphoria and feel uncomfortable about it, but don’t think that the alternative is better.
With all of that out of the way, I’d like to thank the people who just see me as I am even though I wear a women-skin. I have a few friends who just gave me an odd look upon meetings me and said: “Wait a second- you’re a guy.” And, they weren’t implying that I am too tall or that I have 5 o’clock shadow (because -again- I have XX chromosomes and it shows.) They just saw past my exterior and into my soul, and they realized that I was actually a boy on the inside. I’m so grateful that some people can do that.
You might ask: “If you are a guy, then why are you always going on and on about feminism?”
It’s not a terribly fair question since men can be feminists too, but let’s address it in terms of me personally (everyone has a different reason for being a feminist, and all I can give you is mine.)
The reason is that -to some extent- form dictates behavior. That is to say; we don’t realize that a lot of what our brain is telling us is just based on our physical experience of living in a body. I live in a female body. It has impacted my life very severely in nearly every interaction I have ever had with other humans.
Living in a female body means I had to go through puberty as a female. I had to watch all my friends (I always had male friends growing up) turn on me. I went -in the span of a summer- from a friend to an object (because men objectify women.) I lost my social group and everything that mattered to me, and had to experience old men suddenly groping me in public and calling me “Sweetheart.” (By the way, as a man trapped in a women’s body, being molested by an old guy is so many layers of gross and confusing for a 12-year-old.)
Living in a female body also meant having to get a period. This is a terrifying responsibility that includes birth control, pregnancy scares, and being part of the half of the species that is expected to make all the new humans. It’s not okay. Seriously, it’s way too much responsibility and also it’s like a shoe that doesn’t fit. I always wanted to be a dad, so why was I constantly in danger of becoming a mom? There is no overstating how much the reproductive responsibility weighs on you.
Being the XX chromosome holder also means living on a hormone roller-coaster. It means having to be tougher than those who don’t have ovaries. Non-ovary people claim that they are stoic, but they only think they are. They don’t know what it’s like to act totally normal while your insides are on fire and blood is running out of you. Nothing is more hardcore, and no one has ever had to be more stoic than a person on their period.
Being a “woman” (a word used here to denote having to bear the burden of reproduction because no other word exists for this concept) means having to be way more responsible than the non-ovary having people. It’s much harder, and it’s completely unfair.
That’s why I am a feminist.
It doesn’t matter that my mind is male. My body is female, and I know first-hand that being female is much harder, comes with tons of disadvantages and basically no advantages, and is just shitty as fuck. It’s awful. I don’t say that because of the dysphoria. I say that objectively after a fair comparison. Women have less rights, are treated worse, are expected to shoulder more burdens, and are told to shut the fuck up about it.
As a man with a vagina, I find this offensive.
It’s an insult to my brain to live in this body, but it’s more of an insult that this body is given a lower standing in the world than a male one would be. I’m offended by how society treats “women.”
This can mean things like lower wages and a lack of respect given (which transgender women experience.) It can also mean things like less access to healthcare and period discrimination (which is more of a cisgender women or pre-op trans man thing.)
Yes, it is confusing. There are not nearly enough words to describe all these ideas. I am furious when I want to complain about having periods and worrying about pregnancy and abortion rights, because the only words I’m allowed to say to describe that are: “I hate being a woman.” And obviously, those words are inaccurate. They are wrong for me because inside I am not a woman. They are also wrong for transgender men who take testosterone and live as men, but who haven’t had bottom surgery. They’re not women either, but they also have the period-and-pregnancy-problem. And, it’s discriminatory against XX women who have had a hysterectomy or women who are MTF trans, because they are also women but do not have the period-and-pregnancy-problem.
And when I say, “I need a separate word for the period-and-pregnancy problem” (because “women” doesn’t work) people tell me I shouldn’t even be allowed to ask for a word for my experiences because it “excludes some women.” Which, like, of course it does. I’m not talking about being a women. That’s literally the point.
You can’t even talk about being transgender without offending basically everyone. Even other transgender people are offended when I call myself transgender since I live as the sex that I was born. You can’t ever make everyone happy on this topic, because someone will always find a way to twist something you said into an insult against someone else. And yet, no amount of offense can change the facts. I’m a guy. I live in a girl’s body. I even wear makeup. And although I was born a girl and I live as a girl, I’m still transgender because I experience gender dysphoria.
I hope you got something out of this explanation, because I think these are conversations we need to be having. I mean, at dinner parties no one can ever grasp me explaining that “I use female pronouns but I’m the husband,” while my other half says “I use male pronouns and I’m the wife.” It shouldn’t be that hard. Honestly. Just refer to me as she/her and treat me like the husband. Refer to him as he/him and treat him like the wife. Done. (It’s just a preference that makes us comfortable with you, after all.)
People really pretend that it’s much harder in practice than it is.
One final thing: It should be clear that all of this has nothing at all to do with our kink roles. I happen to be the Domme and also the husband, but I am not the Domme because I am the husband. He happens to be the submissive and the wife, but he’s not the submissive because he’s the wife. Kink roles are not related to gender at all, nor should they be.