"Hurt us so bad we can’t stand to be present in our bodies. " The body I changed through transition IS my body. I live in it, I fought hard for it. Like you, we want to live in our skin with integrity, and you act like we're selfish/delusional. We fight for transition because doctors told us we were "just mentally ill" for decades, and used that to justify making a lot of us suffer with what we were born with. MOST people think "changing your body" is undesirable/deviant on principle.
Of course your body doesn’t stop being your body if you transition or otherwise change it. It’s always going to be your body no matter what. I was referring to not feeling present in one’s body as one of the distinctive experiences of being dysphoric and saying that this can be caused by trauma and sexism.
I know from firsthand experience that transitioning can relieve dysphoria but I don’t think that it’s only treatment or the best one. Both times I took t, it made me feel significantly more present and connected in my body. So much so that I came to believe I must have a biological condition. Eventually though, I found other ways to be present in my body and these methods brought me more peace and healing, more than I actually realized was possible. I had found some relief and happiness taking t but nothing like I’ve found accepting myself as female. For years I didn’t believe I could ever accept my body as is and didn’t even think of her as female. I was shocked by how good I felt when I finally accepted myself as a woman because that possibility had been unthinkable for so long.
A lot of trans people like to talk about gatekeeping and how bad it was in the past but I personally haven’t met a single trans person who had a hard time accessing transition as long as they had the financial resources. I lived in a major city were the local LGBT clinic would give out hormones at a significant discount so anyone one who wanted them could afford them. I’ve heard of other clinics that give them out for free. It took me all of two therapy sessions to get my letter the first time I started and I just had to tell my provider I wanted to go back on to get it the second time. It has only gotten easier to get hormones over time. Over the last ten years I’ve watched more and more people transition at younger and younger ages. This is becoming an established market and as long as this demand remains high and continues to grow, I see no signs of our capitalistic society cutting off the flow.
I see very little threat of doctors trying to restrict who transitions because, like I pointed out in my last post, I don’t see why they’d really want to. They may have been more conservative in the past when transitioning was more stigmatized but now that the trans movement has become a celebrated cause among progressives, they can sell their products and look like good liberals at the same time. They have more incentive to stifle criticism of transition than to stop people from doing it. There now many professionals whose careers are based on providing counseling, hormones and surgeries to dysphoric people. Why would they want to decrease their consumer base? I don’t see the medical industry in general as being out to actually help people. In the end it’s just another industry trying to make as much money as possible.
And while we’re on the subject, there are multiple billion-dollar industries devoted to changing the form and appearance of people’s bodies, ranging from dieting, working out, tattoos and piercing, cosmetic surgery, and make-up.
It’s a lot easier to find people with modified bodies than people
without so in that way I’d say trans people are pretty normal overall.
Sure, plenty of people freak out about how other people change their
bodies but chances are they’ve changed their own at some point in their
When trans people care about having access to transition so much that they disregard those who’ve been harmed by it, yeah, they are being selfish. Putting your desires ahead of other people’s well-being is selfish. It’s perfectly possible to work for having access to transition and acknowledge it’s not the only way to deal with dysphoria and that sometimes people are harmed by transition. Instead, a lot of trans people work to silence any criticism of transition and any alternative explanations for dysphoria or how to treat it. I would consider insisting, as many trans people do, that transition is the only true way to treat dysphoria as silencing and erasing other treatment options.
I have been personally hurt by trans culture and discourse and so have other women I know. I was a part of the trans community for most of my adult life and now I’m reflecting on my time there and how it affected me and the decisions I ended up making. And what I’ve been realizing is that a lot of the prevailing ideas hurt me. In some cases I could probably go back and find the books or the websites where I first picked those ideas up. I can name some of the people who influenced me. A lot of what I was encouraged to think by trans discourse kept me trapped in my damage. It got in the way of me working through my trauma, it did not help me heal. My life has improved a lot since I start thinking about and interpreting my reality outside of a trans framework.
You can talk all you want about how transitioning helped you and I can talk about how it hurt me and how the trans community and medical establishment are implicated in harming me and other women. I may have decided to take t but I would’ve never had access to it without a clinic willing to provide me with a prescription and take my money. I wouldn’t have interpreted my feelings as proving I was trans and needed to change my body without trans culture and community influencing my perceptions. And, just so as
not to forget the root cause, I would have never felt
dissociated from my body, would never have felt like I couldn’t really
be female or a woman, would never have acted out my hatred of myself as a woman and a lesbian on my body if I hadn’t grown up in a violent, mindfucking, life-hating patriarchy.