I know that some transsexual people feel very alienated from the body in which they were born and, once they have physically transitioned, wish to be as distant from their past as a member of the undesired sex as possible. While I understand why this may be the case for some people, it isn’t mine. Unfortunately, I’ve had a few people assume that I think being male is somehow better than being female or that I’m ashamed of or disgusted by being female-bodied.
Although I’ve never felt that this body suited me, I don’t see anything wrong with being female. I also don’t see being male as being inherently better than being female. I know that there will be things about having a more masculine body that will displease me and things about having a more feminine body that I will miss. It’s just not about that. It’s like wearing clothes that don’t fit – you might really like the outfit but it just. does. not. fit. You walk around with clothes that’s way too big or way too small and you feel uncomfortable. You spend years making yourself miserable trying to fit into the outfit but to no avail. Eventually, you realise that it’s time to wear clothes that fits.
About being female: I have to say, after much reflection, that I’m proud and honoured to have been born into a female body and to have lived as a female for 34 years. I’m glad that I got to experience things that I could only experience with a female body, ranging from extremely unpleasant things that I won’t go into here to beautiful life changing things like giving birth and nursing a baby. I’m glad that I know what it’s like to be a woman in a patriarchal society, not being taken as seriously as men, not being heard over their louder voices, being dismissed when you’re angry because it’s probably just PMS, etc. I think that this experience will make me a better guy than I would have been had I been born in a male body . . . I needed those lessons. I would not be the guy that I am/will be without having been the girl that I was.
If I need and want to modify my body now to make it match who I am inside, it’s not because I want to escape female oppression or obtain male privilege. I’m actually putting myself at higher risk for oppression and marginalisation by locating myself as a transsexual. No, if it’s time for change it’s because I feel I’ve learned what I needed to learn from being female. It’s time for me to take those lessons and apply them and I will be able to do that more effectively with the greater self-confidence, self-assurance and self-love that will come with having a body that fits. Having my outside reflect my inside will enable me to walk through the world, not with more *power* but with more *empowerment* and this will make me a more cohesive and balanced person. Part of maintaining that cohesion and balance, for me, will always involve remembering who I was and what I learned from being female.
And, no matter what, I will always be a mother. I will never remove my child’s right to call me “Mommy”.