So, I usually don't go on rants about this. But I wanted to address an issue with the traditional trans narrative after reading an article that spoke to me.
The article is here: http://www.dailynebraskan.com/news/transgend…
So, my personal narrative is that I didn't know until I was 21. I didn't know what I felt, how I should feel, or even what trans was until I was older. I didn't have an inkling I was a a trans-man until I met my first FTM friend in College several years ago. Until that point, I didn't know that trans-men existed. The only narrative that I had ever heard was of the trans-woman who had always known she was a woman. And it wasn't until I spent time in Russia, a place with incredibly strict gender roles, that I fully realized that I was transgender. Literally, I broke down in the middle of a run on Leninski Prospekt and realized I was trans and started crying. The night before I had been refused entry into a club because I insisted on wearing a suit instead of a dress.
Have I transitioned? No. I can't right now. I'm not emotionally ready. I am not financially ready. My career takes precedence, because me being a civil rights lawyer is more important to me than my gender identity. For a lot of the trans community and others, the fact that I haven't spent my adult life focusing on my gender transition is a problem. I've had support groups tell me I couldn't join them because I wasn't on testosterone yet.
Does taking my time to transition make me less trans? Fuck no. I know who I am. I know who I want to be. I know what I need to accomplish before I can medically transition. And not everyone medically transitions or knows what they want to do right now. And that's OK.
This is the thing. Every person transitions on their own time, and in their own way. Sometimes they may choose not to legally or medically transition. And that's OK too. This is about the person, and respecting them as a person. Use their pronouns. The pronouns they ask you to use. If they're scared to be out , then find out why, and help them if you can. Sometimes that means just letting them vent every once and a while. Don't judge a friend for being scared to use their preferred pronouns at work or in public. Coming out as trans is terrifying. It doesn't make them less trans.
I am incredibly happy that Marc Woodman came out with his story. Because there are a lot of us that didn't know until we were older. We aren't less members of the community. We just needed more time to find ourselves. There are a lot of kids out there who can't express their gender identity right now. There are a lot of kids who aren't allowed, or never had the chance, to find out what trans even is. And I for one, don't think they should be punished for coming out later. We are trans. We just took a little bit longer.
(PS. If this ever gets mainpaged, I'd prefer to have my username made anonymous. Thanks. )