One of the biggest frustrations I have so commonly experienced since transitioning is the conversation about genitals. So often people for lack of better words “forget their boundaries” when speaking to transgender individuals. Things you wouldn’t ask any other cis person suddenly seems like a good idea to some. This is inappropriate on so many levels and yet most are oblivious to this fact until informed otherwise. I tend not to get angry with the person when this happens, that is until they fail to be respectful after being informed. I will kindly correct them and remind the person that I am a human being and asking about my genitals is not okay. If you have been scolded for making this mistake I sincerely hope you learned from it.
I get to choose whom I am comfortable with to talk about surgeries and other matters dealing with my private parts. I am a pretty open and laid back person and I sometimes find myself talking about it with friends that I’m not all that close to even. Sometimes I’m the one who brings it up but that’s not always the case. I try my best to keep myself in check when these situations occur just so the person knows that even though I was open about it that doesn’t mean it is ok to ask. Education seems to be the only way to nip this problem in the butt. It’s easy to get nervous and not want to speak up but it’s important to be vocal when this topic comes up. It’s good enough just to say “would you ask anyone else about their private parts?”
As I continue to meet people and resume opening up about being trans I have noticed that one of the first things people ask me upon finding out I am trans is what I have down below. This happens especially amongst people I have literally just met. Having a stranger ask me if I have a penis or a vagina is extremely uncomfortable and the confused look I receive when correcting these folks is even more awkward. They stare at me like I have just insulted them even though I’m the one being insulted. They act like this even though the majority of them would never even consider asking someone who is cisgender these invasive questions. This is one major example of the lack of humanity there is for transgender people. Even with all the progress we are making trans people are still sexualized and treated as something less than human.
We have so much work ahead of us if we are ever going to prevent issues like this from occurring everywhere. I’m not the only one facing this problem. There are thousands of trans people out there facing this issue daily. I am a member of many trans groups on social networks and I see this being a problem, which is brought up daily for people. We need everyone to speak up and to teach others how to treat trans people as human beings, not sex objects, or someone undeserving of your respect. We are people too!