Debunking Myth #9: Transgender people are fake

This post is part of a series on Debunking the 10 (+1) Lies About Trans People

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

2011-Barbie-and-Ken-CoupleThis myth can get very vicious. People, especially family members of trans individuals, are often ‘certain’ that transwomen are faking at being women and transmen are faking at being men.

As Katy Kreitler says in the original article that inspired this series of posts:

This is probably the most hurtful myth of all.  It tells us that transgender people are somehow less human because of their gender identification.  It is proof that they do not have a place in proper society. It is hateful and unacceptable.

First of all, what is womanhood and manhood? It is something you become. A little girl might remain emotionally or spiritually adolescent forever if she never grows into her own womanhood. A man can remain a boy forever if he never matures. Womanhood and manhood is a matter of maturity, growth, and inner energy channeled into the world around us. Womanhood flows from an inner core of femaleness, whereas manhood rises from an inner core of maleness. As I detail elsewhere, a transgender person is someone whose core is the opposite of what you would expect given their physical sex. It seems to me that since a transwoman’s core is female, if she ever gets the courage to grow up and express from her innermost energy, she will become a woman. The same is true for transmen: it seems that for them, maturity makes them men.

It is true: I’ll never know what it’s like to be born and raised as a biological female. Admittedly I was socialized as a man. However, this is where the nature vs. nurture debate comes in. I strongly feel that although I have been nurtured/socialized toward masculinity, that doesn’t change the nature of my inner femininity – it just represses it. For a more personal account of this particular myth, read my journal entry here. For another transwoman’s convictions, watch this video.

Think of it this way: if a girl is raised as a boy because her parents wanted a son, is she unable to grow into womanhood? If a boy is infertile, is he unable to grow into manhood? If a girl has a problem with her menstrual cycle and doesn’t experience the bodily rhythms of female puberty, does she lose her right to female maturity?

I think the best medicine for this myth is talking to trans people or listening to them speak. Seeing the beautiful adult women that transwomen often become is… undeniable.

Back to Debunking the 10 (+1) Lies About Trans People.

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