(Preface: When I use the term "Transgender" I specifically am referring to Transsexuals. I dislike the term Transsexual, and what is implied by the term, as it is woefully inaccurate(there is no sexual motivation; moreover we don't change our sex, we change our gender). I understand the common use is to use it as an umbrella term, however, when I use it, I mean what is typically called 'Transsexual".)
I was recently talking with a trans friend, who's going to a wedding shortly. Her mother asked her "So, are you going to wear a suit? or...."
This was indicative of a lack of understanding of trans issues, and it's one I wish to tackle head-on. All too commonly, people remain ignorant of how all-encompassing being transgender is. People often latch on to superficial ideas while missing the core issues present.
The core of being transgender is personal identity. It is who we are, fundamentally. It is not what we wear, who we date, or how we act. It is our personal identity. We seek not to 'wear women's clothes' or 'act feminine'. We seek to be ourselves, whether that means wearing a flower print skirt and matching top, or if it means a tank top and skinny jeans. We seek to be recognized as our gender, not our sex.
We want to be ourselves.
When we say we're transgender, or say, we're transitioning to female for instance... that doesn't mean "We like guys" nor does it mean "We want to wear flowery skirts" nor does it mean "we want to act feminine". We want to have the freedom to better express who we are.
This is all encompassing.
It is not a single aspect of our life, nor is it an issue we will hide. The comment that spurned on this article is indicative of a person who falsely believes being transgender is about crossdressing in private. That is the definition of someone who is a transvestite, but not someone who is Transgender.
Being transgender means that your gender is in conflict with your physical sex. It is not the kind of thing that is solved by crossdressing on the weekends, away from the eyes of the public.
It is about, fundamentally, the freedom to be ourselves, and being ourselves involves crossing gender barriers.
Being ourselves doesn't mean "being ourselves when it's convenient for you". It means, in everything we do, being who we are unashamed, and living our lives in a way that will make us happy and bring us fulfillment. It means being able to live without fear of discrimination for simply being who we are.
(Regarding the question about the divide between MtF and FtM, I do not see such a divide, nor have I ever experienced such a thing. I've encountered three trans men in my life, all of them were well-spoken, and we got along fantastically. I would write this for you, but it would all be assumptions, and they fly in the face of my personal experience, so I chose to not write on this)
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