My Journal / Trans Info

A list of common MtF transgender traits

This is a list of common TS traits I found in the forums of susans.org. I combined it with some other lists or descriptions of trans people I found. While everyone is obviously different, and this particular list is probably more geared toward those trans people who are closeted/repressed until after puberty, it’s kinda fun to see how you fit the stereotype. Apparently I’m incredibly unoriginal. :/

Common TS Traits: 

  1. We primarily cope with the condition by shutting down all emotions - YES
  2. We have an inability to discuss deep feelings with others – NO, if anything the opposite
  3. We are insecure – YES, I am starved for affirmation
  4. We have very few, if any, close friends, and prefer to spend time alone – NO, I have more close friends than most people, probably because I’m open about my emotions 
  5. We exhibit extreme shyness at times – YES
  6. We have a hatred of (and inattention to) our appearance – YES, although this has changed
  7. We avoid pictures and videos of ourselves – SOMETIMES
  8. We often have inattention to health issues – YES, although this has also changed
  9. We have extreme modesty about our sexuality and partial and full nudity – YES, especially now
  10. We often take on dangerous jobs or activities – NO
  11. We often have well above average intelligence – YES, or so I’ve been told
  12. We immerse ourselves in activities or jobs that require intense concentration and highly technical vocations. – YES, film is one of the most demanding/technical professions out there
  13. We enjoy intense or escapist hobbies such as complex puzzles, video games, highly technical vocations, creative projects, “nerdy” pastimes, roleplaying games – YES, all the above (including game modding, D&D, film editing, inventing card games and board games, collaging, drawing, writing…)
  14. We are extremely competitive or extremely non-competitive with no middle ground – YES, I used to be extremely (insecurely) competitive when I was still trying to be macho, and now I loath competition 
  15. We are very imaginative daydreamers – YES
  16. We possess a tolerance for others, very unlikely to be racist, homophobic etc. – YES
  17. We are anti-war and anti death penalty - YES
  18. We have the need for more than usual privacy in our  lives – YES
  19. We are very unlikely to fight or have a physical confrontation – I DON’T KNOW
  20. We have deep seated hatred of authority – YES, rules are made to be broken, although I’ve always attributed this trait to being Sicilian, not to being trans 
  21. We have on and off battles with clinical depression - YES
  22. We are easily able to place people by the sounds of their voice – YES
  23. We are able to easily read peoples emotions – YES, when I get out of my head and pay attention
  24. We excel in reading and writing at an early age but have difficulty with mathematics – YES
  25. We often have suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts - YES
  26. We sometimes have a delayed puberty – SORT OF: physically I was ON SCHEDULE, but sexually I was probably a few years behind
  27. We obsess over informing others about trans issues and changing peoples’ minds on the subject – YES, dear Lord I’m a nuisance!
  28. We have a sense of detachment, confusion, or being a ‘blank slate’ in childhood – YES
  29. As children we were often sickly. Before transitioning we struggle with chronic health problems like asthma, bronchitis, acid reflux, ulcers, fatigue, and headaches – YES, all the above except headaches
  30. We go through a stage of denial in which we become homophobic, transphobic, and/or misogynistic – YES, God forgive me
  31. We take on masculine/macho professions, or professions where there is a definite glass ceiling for women – YES, philosophy is almost all guys, and the film industry has a really horrible glass ceiling despite the often superior talent of women filmmakers. During the summer I’ve always worked really manly physical jobs like roofing and landscaping.  
  32. We become addicted, absorbed, or professionally tied to computer activities, whether it is online role-playing, blogging, video editing, graphic design, or something related to computer science – YES
  33. As children we prefer solo-play (books, legos, drawing) to competitive/group activities - YES
  34. Before coming out, we often think marriage to a woman will cure our dysphoria – YES
  35. We make many efforts to appear normal – YES

I wonder if there are any trans girls who just don’t fit any of these descriptions. The fact that these characteristics line up so well with my life & personality makes me a believer. Again, obviously everyone is different, but even just talking to other trans people online has made me realize how powerful an effect gender dysphoria has on development. We all have unique personalities that shine through, but we also all seem to have many of the same coping mechanisms up our sleeve.

Just food for thought.

I love lists like this way too much.

4 thoughts on “A list of common MtF transgender traits

  1. I think you gave me too much food for thought :P I was looking at some of items on the list and thought I could make a post just on that item and my thoughts on it I’ll post the list on my blog and give my answers. :)

    I agree there are similar coping mechanisms comparing how you answered to what I feel and what I have read elsewhere in regards to gender dysphoria but at the same time there are differences. Which is good because we can relate to what we feel and cope with it. Just need to be careful not to assume that we are all the same and cope with it the same on everything.

    Now I have some writing to do :P LOL

    • Oh yeah, I’d definitely not want to assume anything about anyone. I mean, with traits 2 and 4 I’ve coped the exact opposite of the stereotype and am actually usually TOO vulnerable.

      The one that really struck me was about having a sickly childhood. My life has been dominated by chronic illness, and hearing stories of how some trans people were similar and all their symptoms went away after transitioning because there was no more social anxiety really really impacted me. As in: my life finally makes sense.

      Mostly I find the list strangely comforting, but it can also be troubling. Like, I wonder if I would have been an extrovert if I wasn’t trans.

      • I wonder sometimes when I type that about assumptions if I’m talking to myself when I write it. It is so easy to make assumptions and I find myself doing the same thing at times.

        That was one that struck me also about the sickly childhood. That it does make sense to me why I was that way. The more I am accepting of myself and hear what other trans people go through the more at ease I am with myself now and how I felt in the past. I no longer feel alone in how I coped and what I went through. That in itself is a great relief.

        You wonder those same things also? But I think that its a case of if we had more people around us that where accepting of us then maybe I would be more extrovert. I don’t think its trans that keeps us from being extroverts its the people that don’t accept us. Then its natural to be introverted and not want to be around people in that case. Well any way its a theory :P

        • Yeah, I think its about social acceptance, not about anything inherent to being trans except the social obligations that are put on us because we are identified a certain way at birth. And I think this list mostly applies to people who are pre-transition. While I am proud of how being trans has formed me as a person (like allowing me to see both sides of most issues because I’ve spent my whole life with a foot in both the male and female world), I also hope that if I can be in a life situation where I can truly be myself to the fullest, that I’ll break out of the repressed trans mold and let the full range of my personality express itself.

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