What is “trans”? Trans is short for transgender, an umbrella term for all people who violate social norms around gender and gender identity. I’m one of them.
Is transgender the same as transsexual? No. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term. Many transgender people do not identify as transsexual and prefer the word transgender. The term transsexual originated in the medical and psychological communities and has nothing to do with sex or sexual preferences. It is all about an individuals self experienced gender or gender identity.
So, are you a guy or a girl? Actually, I’m neither. I was assigned female gender at birth and grew up seen as a girl. Today when I have to choose between male or female, male is the least wrong. Confused? Many people view gender as a binary “either you are this or you must be that” and If you are asking this question, you might be one of them. In that case – have you thought about what makes you a man or a woman? Is it about body parts or more about how you feel about yourself? How does it affect you to be what you are, is it liberating or limiting?
What are you then? I think of myself as non binary or trans person/transgender. Often I choose to simplify things by stating that I’m a transgender guy, a trans man.
“Transitioning”, what does it mean? Transitioning is the process of changing one’s gender presentation to accord with one’s internal sense of gender. Transitioning is a process, not an event. What it means to transition in terms of how you do it is very individual.
Why do we talk about this? It does not matter to me what gender you are or how you present yourself, it’s your own business. I’m glad that you find it so simple! However it is important to talk about gender variety and gender identity issues as a means to stop marginalisation and discrimination of transgender people.
How would you like to be spoken to and talked about? You can call me Emil. “He” is a good pronoun.
What happens if I use the wrong name or pronoun? Nothing. You don’t need to feel bad or apologize for making a mistake. Just go on in the conversation. Change is difficult and takes time.
Do you have a dick? How do you have sex? Do you frequently ask other people about their genitals? If you and I really want to have sex with each other I’m absolutely confident that we will solve the technical bits, you need not worry at all.
Will you have the surgery? I feel that my integrity is more important than your curiosity in this matter, but you should know that there is no “THE surgery” but many and that it is in no way mandatory to change anything about ones body just because you are transgender.
What’s so bad about being a girl? There is plenty of problems about being a girl in a patriarchy, but there is nothing bad with being a girl in general. It just doesn’t work for me. I dislike the whole binary system with two genders, I would rather not be in on it at all.
How long have you known that you’re not a girl? I’ve felt this way as long as I can remember but as I grow older, it becomes more apparent. When I grew up, I knew nothing about gender identity, but I knew all about how breaking norms around gender was a huge social no-no. “Men dressed as women” was commonly ridiculed in everyday media. I felt different early on and distanced myself from anything adults considered feminine. I knew that was just not for me and often stated that “I’m not really a girl”.
Isn’t this extremely hard? Yes! It is. But I don’t feel that I have a choice, we are who we are.
Ok, I get it. How can I help? I’m so glad to have your support! I’ve listed 7 things to think of, If you want to learn more about how be a god friend and ally. And not that I don’t trust you, but just to make it easier, I’ve also collected some common mistakes here.
…Still want to know more?