People who are comfortable with their gender, and with the sex they were born, might find it difficult to understand how trans people feel. They might not understand why anyone would do that. I’ve heard more than a few cis people saying that they think being a trans person is a kind of mental illness. This definitely makes the struggle more difficult.
The world is changing for gays and lesbians in a big way. But trans acceptance is moving at a much slower rate. It used to be that coming out as homosexual or trans was a sure way to lose your family, your job, and make your life miserable. Gays and lesbians fought hard and now the momentum towards equality cannot be stopped. There are still tough times ahead, but things are getting better all the time.
For trans people, though, there is still a long struggle ahead. One thing cis people can do to help and accept those who want to transition is acknowledge that the struggle is real. Even if you don’t get why a trans person feels the way they do, you need to get that their feelings are real to them. They need to outwardly express the gender they feel inside is legitimate and natural. Their feelings are important to them, even if you don’t understand them.
It is not a mental illness because people who change genders are perfectly capable of functioning and working, regardless of how they dress, or what sex organs they pack. Perfect evidence of this is a site like “Transgender Lives: Your Stories.” Here you can read scores of first person accounts of people who are much happier now that they are living openly as the gender they want to be.
All the supposedly scientific and logical discourse piled up against transgender people is undone by these stories. Regardless of how much mainstream society chooses to reject trans people and ignore their feelings, their feelings remain real. “Transgender Lives” is a wonderful resource for people who are still confused or afraid to express their true selves to the world.
The New York Times is a major publication, so acceptance at this level is a very encouraging development. Archives of stories have always been a powerful way to overcome dominant narratives, because storytelling is so often rejected as a good source of information by people who collect data and compile statistics. I hope that you find whatever makes you happy, dear reader. It’s out there.
Meet beautiful trans women now at TSmeet.com!