Good Intentions


I´m sure you noticed that I have difficulty dealing with life now and then. Things that may seem small to others have an enormous impact on my life, emotionally and psychologically. Fortunately I have many good friends, and a supportive family, not taking my parents into account.*

These good friends and family often try to give me advice that is given with the best of intentions, but does not necessarily make me feel better. This is unfortunate because I know they are making a deliberate effort to help me. The problem mainly resides that in their effort, cis friends and family recur to comparison and relativism.

Being transgender, and having gender dysphoria, cannot be compared to cisgender ailments. You can´t say,  I broke my foot once, and it was terrible, but eventually it healed and then all was fine. Because breaking your foot does not contradict your identity. It does not threaten your sense of who you are.

When I tell people that I´d like to go swimming but can´t because I am pre-op, some of my family and cisgender friends tell me that I should just get over it. Some people are skinny, some people are fat, and some people are men with boobs, they say. Except there is no similarity here. I am trans, not a cisguy with manboobs.

If I were a cisguy with manboobs, I would go to the beach. Manboobs may be a shitty thing to live with (I know all about it), but people don´t stare at you and think “oh my god, that´s really a woman dressed in men´s clothes.”  Again, it does not pose a threat to your identity, and does not provoke the same amount of anxiety.

While well-intended, these comparisons frequently make me feel as though I have no legitimate reason to feel anxious.  Man, being trans is no big deal, I should just chillax, and shelve my dysphoria for the time being. But I can´t just shelve my gender dysphoria. That´s the difference.

It isn´t as though it´s impossible to make me feel better or give me advice. I´ll write a post about that next time.


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