The general public has many, sometimes disturbing, ideas floating around about transgender people that are simply not true. The opponents to transgender acceptance have done a great job of seeding many of the myths that I will present to you below. I will present you with the truth and I will also ask that if you want to know more about any of these myths, do the research and prepare to see transgender people in a truthful light.
You can always tell – A lot of transgender people fit seamlessly into society and for a good number of us you would never be able to tell unless we confide in you. This is especially true for people who transitioned earlier in age. A transgender person who has the fortune of avoiding puberty is absolutely undetectable i most cases.
He is just gay – Some people believe a male to female (m2f) transgender person is just a gay guy who doesn’t want to live with the stigma of being perceived as a gay male. This is absolutely false because gender and sexuality have nothing in common. There are many m2f individuals that identify as gay women and these transgender people would, as a result, prefer women.
Bathroom attacks – Some people would like for you to believe that transgender people are stalking the bathrooms looking for victims, such as women and children, to prey on. This is the furthest from the truth. Transgender people go to the bathroom for two main reasons. Number one or number two. There has never been a recorded case of transgender people attacking anyone in the bathroom. There have been cases of non-transgender people attacking transgender people in bathrooms. By putting a transgender woman in the men’s room you are basically begging for violence.
Anything and Everything you learned on Jerry Springer – That show is one of the most damaging shows in the history of television for spreading transphobia. We are not tricking men, stealing boyfriends, and hitting people with little provocation. Most of us are not anything like the portrayal that show painted of us. Quite honestly, their portrayal was based simply in what would resonate with their target audience and the truth was not a factor in that decision.
It’s a mental disorder – The transgender condition was once considered to be a mental disorder. This was before science had a chance to better understand it. Today, science knows that the transgender condition is caused by physical brain changes that occur during fetal development. The opponents of transgender rights certainly do everything they can to hide this fact from the general population.
It’s a choice – Like the previous point, this is simply not true. Transgender people do not choose a life that will possibly bar them from employment; risk losing their family and friends; invite them to constant ridicule; and welcome violence into their lives that can include being the victim of murder. Once again, the changes in the transgender brain do not give us a choice.
But you’re not a real woman/man – Gender identity is set in the brain and despite the exterior, if your brain identifies as a boy or a girl then you are legitimately a boy or girl. The body argument gets silly because if we look at a m2f transgender person and claim they are not a real woman because they lack a female body then we should also be discounting women who are missing parts. She had a hysterectomy so she is only 75% woman. Oh that girl lost her legs, say goodbye to 33% of your womanhood. That idea is just as ludicrous as it is to deny a transgender woman her “real” woman status. It also promotes discrimination.
Gender Confirmation Surgery is elective – In many cases the surgery is very necessary and can prevent the transgender person from living in severe depression that can often result in a suicide attempt. This is a surgery that needs to be covered as essential by private and government health care plans. The transgender person, just by the luck of their birth, is already on a playing field that will see poverty as a very real possibility. Expecting them to somehow come up with tens of thousands of dollars for surgery is unrealistic and in some cases can force some desperate folks into the sex trade or even crime. Let’s fund this, it is the right thing to do.