This post is part of a series on Debunking the 10 (+1) Lies About Trans People.
Myth #10: Transgender people are weird
Many people are resistant to the unknown. As we grow older, most people form set ideas about the way the world works. Often the older we get, the more entrenched these ideas become as they are reinforced by year after year of consistent experience. Even when we experience something that doesn’t perfectly line up with how we see the world, we generally try to find a way to explain it in such a way that it will fit more cleanly into the worldview we have constructed.
Transgenderism lies far outside most peoples’ experience and/or worldview. For most, they have only experienced (or known about) people whose gender identities are congruent with their natal sex, and for them transgenderism is a shock. It threatens their lifelong idea of the sexes. It denies their instinct that male = man = masculine and female = woman = feminine in all cases.
Personally I believe that in almost every case the above equivocations are true. Most males are men and more or less “masculine,” and that’s fine. Most females are women and on the feminine side of the spectrum, and that’s awesome. However, if that’s the rule, there are always exceptions to the rule! People can be afraid of the exceptions because they feel they threaten the rule, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
The modern evil, we have said, greatly turns on this: that
people do not see that the exception proves the rule.
– G. K. Chesterton
Transgenderism may be different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be strange or chaotic. The transgender experience is something very unique, and this is something we should celebrate! Transgender people provide a unique point of view that can inform and enlighten others. We see a side of reality that probably no one else can see. In fact, many cultures throughout history have held transgender people in high esteem and ascribed to them special spiritual insight.
Different can be an awesome thing! Sure, we trans don’t fit in most peoples’ boxes, but that’s okay. Not only is it okay, it’s probably good. It’s very easy for us to get in the habit of fitting other people into the limiting box of our thinking or interests and refusing to see them on their own terms as unique individuals that ought to be loved. Transgender people teach the world that those limiting boxes don’t represent the reality of the full individual. We prove the fact that each and every human being is more than what s/he seems. We are a lesson that there is always more beneath the surface than meets the eye.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- 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.