05/14/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Does one have to be transsexual in order to need to have sex reassignment? I know that sounds like one really loaded question, and it probably is. The problem is that I have never considered myself transsexual. In fact, I loathe thinking of myself in that way. Many of my friends and family insist that they’re all but positive that I am, somehow, intersexed at some level but I cannot afford to find out just yet and the doctors do not always too a good job of listening to those suggestions.
Growing up, I had no male identity, and was never pushed to form one. It was as if everything around me was inverted. I was a girl being treated as a boy. I wore boys clothing, but never dropped any of the female body language. It was as if I was living in a mirror. Somehow, I was Alice and I had jumped through the Looking Glass.
I often feel as if I am suppose to embrace my “fellow transpeople”, and yet, I often do not find myself comfortable doing so. Part of that comes from the fact that I have rarely gotten along with any of them. I tend to hold views which are stridently feminist and many transpeople seem more offended by my views than welcoming. It does not help that I have a strong dislike of men and anything to do with them sexually. “Strong dislike” is, of course, rather an understatement of how I feel. Several people have noted a fairly strong anti-male flavor to my writing without ever wanting to come out and actually state outright that I hate men. Unfortunately, so many transwomen I have known tend to push the idea that I should be open to sex with men, either now or after the surgeries, and that I may end up liking men once all is said and done without respecting me when I say ‘that is what I’ve heard and I doubt it will happen to me at all’. I still get pushed in that direction. It is always worse when I get pushed to have sex as a man. Both ideas are repulsive to say the least, yet have no doubt that someone, somewhere will type out a comment about it possibly happening. No matter how well meaning your intentions are- don’t. Right now, I am restraining my language I doubt I will in a comment.
This, unfortunately, leave me in a bind. I feel compelled to apologize to every woman I know for the fact that I was born in a male body and, at the same time, call myself a transsexual even though I do not and have never felt as if I was one. Doing so always makes me feel worse about my self identity. I end up feeling as if I have to apologize for not being born in what feels to me a state of perfection while I am also having to apologize to all those people who call themselves transsexuals and transpeople because I am not part of their group either and that I may not be as open to writing about their issues as a transperson might be.
I am not sure that I will be continuing these columns. I have been told I should keep them going, but I feel so lost when it comes to trans-issues. I understand what it means to be a lesbian. I know what it means to be a woman. I do not understand what it means to be transsexual. I am not sure what to do at this point, or how to really put it all into words. This is a start, obviously, but it is not the end of this.
For a long time, I have used the labels transsexual and transwoman to browbeat people who complain about our coverage of transgender issues. After all, how can you claim that someone who is ‘transsexual’ doesn’t know anything about this. For that I do apologize. I will not be doing that any more, I believe.
That is where I am. I do not know what to do. All I want at this point is to stop having use the labels transsexual and transwoman and just consider myself a woman from this point on.
I hope everyone understand that I feel as if I have been placed in this identity and that it does not fit how I feel or how I see myself.