I learned a lot of useful words when I was studying. They were mostly words that described abstract processes, borrowed from sociology – and unfortunately I forgot most of them, just because regular people never go to a bar and say; “hey, do you ever wonder whether voting is an act of agency or of structure?“. It´s too bad, though. I really could use those words when I wanted to sound incredibly important.
What I wanted to describe today is the social process by which affairs become day to day practice. They become so engrained in society, that after a while they go by unnoticed; they start to be seen as the natural order of things – such as heteronormativity used to be, and such as the gender binary still is, to an extent. Normalization is often related to privilege, meaning that a straight cismale would probably not feel it.
Half a year ago, when people asked me how long it would take for me to start hormones, I´d explain to them that first there´d be a six month wait, and then I would speak to professionals (another rather vague term) who would then assess whether I was truly transgender or not. Proof that I am really transgender would then be extracted from a series of observations that are based on a binary dichotomy.
So if I drink a load of beer, watch sports, and drive a monstertruck with hot babes on the mudflaps, I should get a couple of bonus points for that male category. This way of thinking obviously just crawled out of last century, pulling on our sleeves, begging us to stay. Worse is that certain national gender clinics pretend to be operating on a basis of informed consent, meaning that the patient is an adult and understands the risks.
If said adult has made their decision, and provided informed consent, then the idea of submitting them to a sixteen month, binary observation period until actual treatment is provided is absurd. Trans* patients who are new to the process but also new to their rights, are not aware of the options they have and therefore they just stick to whatever is available, buying into the idea that it is completely sensible.
By regarding the process as something that is awful, but natural, there won´t be any real change anytime soon. So instead of waiting around, I suggest call your transgender information line. Write to your gender clinic and tell them what you think is going well and what isn´t. Write to your General Practicioner and inform them about transgender issues. You decide whether something is normal for you, and you decide what kind of care gets normalized.