Why Are There Different Ways for a Trans Woman to Be Called a Transgender?
A trans woman is someone who was assigned female at birth but has since identified as a male. Most trans women will undergo some degree of transgender therapy, which may include hormone replacement therapy or, more commonly, sex re-assignment surgery, which may bring welcome relief and resolution to feelings of gender dysphoric disorder. But what of the man who prefers the company of a trans woman? Is he not trans?
Not necessarily. While many in the trans community would like to downplay the physical differences between a trans woman (who was born with the female genitalia) and a trans man (who was assigned the male sex at birth but identifies as a woman), these differences still exist. There are obvious physical differences: breasts, voice, height, etc. But there are also underlying psychological differences, too. A transgender woman is still a male to her fullest potential, but it may be more complicated than simply being attracted to members of the opposite sex that share her biological sex.
In the case of transgender woman, those attractions are triggered by an internal sense of gender identity that doesn’t match the one she has been assigned at birth, even though she may live, love and have committed herself to her chosen gender identity. When we assign the word “woman” to an individual, we are effectively telling them that they are something they are not. To live as a woman means to live with a different set of rules, and that’s just not okay. So why does a trans woman sometimes feel that it’s the wrong thing to be?
For starters, many young people nowadays have very little concept of the concepts of right and wrong. Many just see things as black and white, right and wrong. While this is very helpful when you’re dealing with real life problems like teenage pregnancy or sexual assault, it’s much more difficult to learn how to deal with trans issues when you’re in the midst of a big city. That’s where transgender issues come into play. The trans woman often has to pick and choose between her identity as a cis woman and her identity as a trans woman.
Those who have chosen to transition between genders often feel that they have no choice but to live as a trans woman. This is because, deep down, she’s still a male. This is why so many transgender teens turn to cross-dressing as a way to hide their true gender identity from friends and family. It’s also why a lot of trans women feel so trapped at adolescence when it seems that the world wants them to adapt to the binary “man” identity.
However, when you look deeper, it turns out that it’s the cis woman’s perspective that’s really controlling. After all, the trans people might be attracted to the idea of being gender diverse, but the world is setting that example right there in front of them. The trans woman feels like she has to hide her gender identity just to fit in and be accepted by everyone else. It makes sense that when a trans woman enters adulthood, those same circumstances that made her transition into a trans woman will make her feel invalidated and useless.
Now, the problem isn’t so much the rejection of a trans woman as it is the way that her present is judged by society. It would be refreshing if people treated trans people with respect. However, we live in a cissexist culture which treats all trans people as intersex people. Trans women are seen as women trapped in men’s bodies, and intersex people are often seen as men trapped in women’s bodies.
It may seem like a simplistic argument, but it’s a fundamental part of understanding gender diversity. As long as we continue to insist on the binary forms, there will always be trans people who feel invalidated and unwanted. Sadly, many trans women have to deal with violence, discrimination, violence, and other transphobic crimes every day. There is help out there for those who are struggling, and we need to keep pushing for more help. By celebrating trans individuality, we are also helping to create an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding that benefit not only the trans community but all gender and sexual diversity journeys.