First off, I am not transgender and so I cannot speak from that perspective. Secondly, I recognise that this is an emotional topic and I apologise for any errors that I make. I have no intention of hurting any person, so please, if I get something wrong and you feel comfortable, drop me a comment or a message (trishacornelius at gmail dot com) and I will do my best to rectify it, and now onwards.
On names and gendering: I strongly believe that it is a person’s right to be called by a name of their choosing and whatever pronouns make them feel comfortable. I acknowledge that some people are uncomfortable with adapting to additional pronouns in the English language. But, part of the beauty of language is that it evolves. And people’s feelings of love and belonging and acceptance are for more important than the temporary discomfort of adapting to some new words, like ze or e, or the unfamiliar use of they, their or them. Stephen Fry makes this argument far more eloquently I can, so over to you, Mr Fry
On living as a trans person: It is an act of courage to live in a way that is true to who you are. Brene Brown talks eloquently about this in her book, Daring Greatly. It takes extra courage to live in a way that is true to yourself when large parts of the world are actively hostile towards you and dangerous for you.
Some of these thoughts have been blundering around my mind for a bit, and when I watched a YouTube clip that features one of my doctor’s, I decided that it was time to write. The clip is mostly in Afrikaans, and if you don’t understand it, and want to know what was said, leave a comment and I will translate:
There are a few things that I believe are especially worthy of being highlighted from this clip:
- As Dr Rudolph emphasizes, there is nothing mentally wrong with a trans person. Trans women are women who were born in a man’s body and trans men are men who are born in a woman’s body. The higher incidence of mental illness including depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies are the result of how society treats trans people rather than anything inherently being wrong with a trans person.
- The act of transitioning is a process of becoming who you are.
- A person who discovers that they are transgender can benefit from psychotherapy, not because there is anything wrong with them but because support when going through a journey of self-awareness and discovery is generally beneficial. If the psychologist says that being trans is wrong, they are not the right psychologist.
- I love these words that Bianca Minaar shares “Find your heart, be human again, love unconditionally”
I am glad that the world is changing and moving towards becoming more accepting. I hope that I will love to see the day when the idea of being hostile towards trans people is a thing of the past. But for now, to my trans friends, remember that I love you and I salute your bravery in living in a way that is true to yourself.
Love and acceptance,