Friday, August 27, 2010

The "Choice" To Transition

DISCLAIMER: I will try to present this argument in a way that is not inflammatory but the very nature of this subject can ignite passions and beliefs that I cannot control. This does not mean I will not call stupidity stupidity, I just do not wish to single out any groups or play the blame game.

Let me say first and foremost that from my personal experience my gender identity is not a choice. I cannot change who I am no more then anyone else can. Also, I wish I could, but I don't expect to change the minds of people who disagree because I am unsure if that is even possible.... So what is the point of this post... Read on.

It is my belief that reason people are resistant or refuse to change their mind on this issue is rooted in the arguments they try to use to prove their points.

For instance when disusing this topic and presenting the fact that gender identity and sexuality begin developing long before we are able to make choices and that neither are changeable aspects of one's personality, proponents of the choice theory will resort to countering with seemingly illogical arguments like, "I could wake up tomorrow and be a [gay, trans, etc.] but I choose not to." Really... I'd like to see that. I would like one person who says this to actually do it and write up their experience...

I have also heard the following logic, "You choose to put on a dress and a bra everyday" Like dresses and bras are what defines womanhood. Not only is this illogical but it is also blatantly sexist. It is funny as well because this was said to me by a woman!

Another common comment I have heard multiple times from multiple people is that, "You are what you were born with."... Umm... What sex are people who are not born with genitals or born with male and female genitals?

I have even heard this comment that just left me absolutely speechless, "I made a choice to be transsexual I just didn't realize it." What??? Did that even make sense to the person saying it? If I was the one who made this choice shouldn't I be acutely aware of the fact that I made it? Just say'in...

In reality I can't call these people stupid or insult their intelligence... All of these comments and many more that we hear share a common thread and that thread is that they don't need to make sense to the person saying them. They are reactionary and are simply attempts to rectify their moral judgment with the facts that contradict them.

Now I stated before that I do not believe many of these people want to change but that does not mean we shouldn't try. The question I have is that with this conflict of thought and why it comes about, what do wee need to do as a community to help people understand that we are not a threat to their personal morals.

Maybe, we need to explain that we do in fact make choices and are still making them every day...

  • I chose to pick myself up at the darkest hour of my life, accept myself and love myself.
  • I choose not to lie to my family and friends about who I am.
  • I choose to be there for my kids.
  • I choose to stand up for myself and what I believe in.
  • I choose to express myself in a way that fits my personality.
  • I choose to be the person I want to be.

I can say all of these things with 100% confidence and not one points to me choosing to be a woman or choosing not to be a man... To the contrary, I made these choices as a result of those facts, not in spite of them. The fact is that I was pretending for 31 years to be a man because that was what society says I was.

When it comes down to it, I am the only person who knows how I feel deep down in my core and I alone know what my heart says. No one has the right to tell any other person that what they know about themselves is wrong for any reason, moral or otherwise. NO ONE! Not me, not you, not any one of us.

This isn't even about your morals, my morals, femininity, masculinity or even choices... It is about facts that are as indisputable as the orbit of the planets and the inevitability of our own death. The fact is I need no justification or approval for who I am... I have the right to be myself and to enjoy my life as I see fit, choice or no choice. If I identify as a woman and want to live my life as such no one has the right to tell me I cannot regardless if they disapprove or don't believe my intentions. I get to say who I am!

People who see gender identity and sexuality all as a choice seem to forget this. They don't she that it isn't even the choice (or absence of one) that matters; after all, using their same logic do they not also choose to be the people they are? Of course from their perceptive that is supposed to be simply accepted. This assumed acceptance is because they base their beliefs on their own moral compass and on their own sense what is right and wrong. Furthermore, having no internal conflict with their sexuality or gender identity this all points to one logical conclusion for them; their life is a model of what they see as normal and right.

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