Debunking Myths: The 10 (+1) Lies About Trans People


Transgenderism is not the sort of topic that comes up in polite conversation. Even in locker rooms, the most it ever elicits is an uncomfortable snicker and  a joke about “she-males” or a reference to that one song by The Kinks. When it finally enters serious conversation – that is, when a transgender person comes out to family and friends – all the misconceptions that have been fed to us by modern Western mythology crawl out of the woodwork. Transgenderism is something like Jesuits or my tuna fish pasta: it seems obvious what it’s all about, but most people know nothin’.

Obviously this needs to change. It is difficult for me to defend my own feelings when every misunderstanding possible stands between trans people and the universe. Well, the best defense is a good offense – or so I’ve been told – so allow me to begin on a soap box. There are 11 household myths about transgenderism that need to die, and I’m here with the guillotine.

I want to thank Katy Kreitler’s article “Top 10 Myths About Transgender People” for providing the foundation of this post. She identified the first 10 myths for me; I’m here to expound on the good work she began and add one more to the list. Katy, don’t sue me for plagiarism (pretty please) .

Since each of these fables deserves its own MythBusters episode, I’m going to treat each one in detail in its own special post. (As I complete the post for each myth, I will link to it from this page.)

Here are the 10 (+1) unholy myths that plague people of the trans persuasion:

Myth #1: Transgender people live crazy lives.

Myth #2: Transgender people are confused.

Myth #3: Transgender people are mentally disturbed.

Myth #4: Transgender people are gay.

Myth #5: Transgender people are radical liberals with crazy ideas.

Myth #6: Transgender people hate their bodies.

Myth #7: Transgender people perform in drag shows.

Myth #8: You can tell someone is transgender just by looking at them.

Myth #9: Transgender people aren’t “real” men or women.

Myth #10: Transgender people are weird.

Myth #11: Sex and gender are straightforward.

Alright, let’s bust some myths!

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