Trans Segment #31: The Positive Aspects of Transitioning
When we discuss trans issues, we generally find ourselves talking about things in our lives that are difficult, stressful, and unjust. And so we should be! We need to be able to talk about all of that. But I also like it when we talk about the parts of our lives and our transitions that are positive and that bring happiness and insight to us. After all, if it were all bad, no one would ever transition.
At Perpetual Transition, we had a meeting some time back about the positive aspects of transitioning. It was one of our more popular meetings, and people had lots of great commentary. For this post, I’ll share my own list of positives.
1. I get to be happier in my body now, which makes me much more relaxed, confident, stable, and well adjusted. My self-image is far more positive and honest than before. I am much less depressed these days.
2. Transitioning opened my eyes to the systemic nature of privilege/disprivilege and how our social positions are not static. Specifically, it made me able to grasp sexism in a more visceral, concrete way, and it made me develop more empathy towards and be more critical of various forms of marginalization other than the ones I have experienced. These insights have been invaluable to my work in advocacy and social justice.
3. a) I will never have to study for a biology exam when the subject is reproductive/sexual systems.
b) I finally learned why athletes who abuse anabolic steroids have breast development and shrinking testicles. Mystery solved!
4. I learned who my real friends and supporters were and who it was better to sever ties with. I learned how amazing my family has been in having my back on this. I also learned to not write off family members who initially are unsupportive. They may turn out to be on your side later!
5. I have a much better sense of how to advocate for myself in a variety of settings, particularly with bureaucrats and doctors.
6. It is far easier to be whole, real, and fully present in my relationships with other people.
7. I have made many truly great friends through trans communities, including (non-ironically) several of my best friends.
I also really enjoyed Natalie Reed’s perspective on the matter: