Last week, the door on the school bus slam shut with my leg still half in and out of it. Hurt like hell and I was screaming not because of the pain, but forgetting that the car door can do that in the right circumstances. My knee looks worse than it actually is with this nasty bruise on the side of it where the car door hit it. But it doesn’t bother me unless I touch it in the right spot. That is a good analogy for something that happen tonight.
There are things in my life that I am sensitive about. Most people don’t know about them, because they never touch those sensitive spots like the bruise on my knee. But when it does get touch in that spot, it really hurts. I want to cry out in pain and angry.
That is what I was thinking of doing tonight when writing this post. Do like I did in the past and rant on about the pain I feel. In a way, it seem fine to do that because unlike the past, there is probably noone to read this post so it doesn’t matter if I go off the deep end. But that is not the way I like to do things, instead I will talk about why this particular thing bothers me in a mature and calm manner.
It caught me totally by surprise. I didn’t think what I would read would bother me. After all it was a website devoted to web design not an LGBT site. But the first article on the web site was addressing how to design web sites with transgenders in mind. Well of course that sucked me in, before I had a chance to even think about not doing it. Big mistake, it was like poking that bruise on my knee. It hurt.
The reason why it hurt was the assumptions in the article in regards to transgenders. Now for those of you reading and don’t know, I am transgender. I can tell you those assumptions about transgenders don’t apply to me. In fact if you knew me and went by those assumptions, you would have a hard time believing I was transgender. But I am and that is why I hate those assumptions and hurts reading them.
That is why I disconnected myself from the LGBT community and rarely mention that I am transgender. It was bad enough growing up with expectations of me based on my physical sex, I certainly don’t need them based on my gender or that I am transgender. Enough about that, if I keep on that train of thought I will derail this post into a rant.
Instead let me do something different. Let me discuss me and what transgender means to me so you get to know me more as a person instead of a member of a group.
Michelle Kelly’s Transgender FAQ
Disclaimer: What is presented here only applies to Michelle Kelly and should not be applied to other transgenders or other groups of people.
- What does transgender mean to you? The quick answer would be that the sex of my body and my gender are not the same. My sex is male and my gender is female.
- Does that mean you would like to change your body to be female: yes and No. Yes in that I feel that if I was born with a female body then things might be easier. That people would see me as I see myself and make it easier that way. I get tired sometimes of people thinking I am weird or abnormal because I should act in a masculine manner and don’t do it. That is not me at all. No in that what good would come out of getting hormones and surgery to make my body at least appear female. In my opinion, it wouldn’t help anything at all. It wouldn’t solve the conflicts in my mind about being born male. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think anything would change in that regard if I was born female.
- What do you mean these conflicts in your mind? Well I have a strong maternal instinct. That my greatest desire in my life would be to be pregnant, give birth and raise kids. As a male I can raise children, but I certainly cannot become pregnant or give birth. Deep down that is why I curse my male body. But at the same time, I have to be realistic about things. If everything in my life stayed the same and I was born female, then I don’t think even then I would allow myself to give birth and raise children. To understand why, then you would need to understand how being sexually abused as a young child affected me deep down. Something I am in the process of writing about now for this blog.
- Since you don’t want to transition, does that mean you don’t suffer from gender dysphoria? There is what I call the “big lie” that the only solution to gender dysphoria is to transition your body to match your gender. I don’t believe that for a second. I think like a lot of things that people deal with, there is no solution to gender dysphoria. What a person can do is deal with it in a manner that it doesn’t rule their life anymore. I found a way to do that with gender dysphoria without changing my body. Doesn’t mean I no longer suffer from gender dysphoria. It will always be there. That like anyone else I have good and bad days. Good days in that I don’t think about it at all and bad days where I am depressed and angry over having a male body. It just life.
- How do you deal with gender dysphoria? By accepting that I can be myself regardless of the sex of my body. That took a while to realize how that could be for me. That other things like my maternal instinct can be used in other ways other than raising children. That I see as the same for other people dealing with their shortcomings, faults and being human, you find a way that works for you instead of cursing and wishing you where different.
- What pronouns or name should I call you? Well to be honest, I could care less. As long as I know you are referring to me then what does it matter. Online I am knows as Michelle and go with female pronouns because that is who I am. But IRL people see me as male, know me by my masculine birth name and that is fine with me. Regardless of the situation, the names and pronouns are about identifying me as a person not really a reflection of my sex or gender.
- Should I act or treat you any different because you are transgender? Well if you do then I would feel insulted and see it as disrespectful. Regardless of being transgender, I am a person just like any other person. Treat me in the same way as any other person.
Those are the questions that came into my mind as I was typing this the first time. Later on maybe I will add other questions and answers as they come to me. Like I said, don’t use what I wrote here as a reflection on other transgenders. It is just my attempt to present how I am as a transgender and a person most of all.