Transgender community, for some definitions of the word Community

I posted this to mu Tumblr today, and the husband thought I should post it here.

Can we talk about community? When I first came out as transgender, I expected the hate, and lack of compassion from the world at large. I expected the possibility of losing my husband, my job, and my home. I was prepared to lead my life, with an eye on possible assailants who wanted to literally beat me to death.

What I was not prepared for was some of the vitriol and bile that comes from one transgender person to another. I’m not talking about the community at large, but I have to say the most intensely hateful comments and attacks I have had, have always come from other transgender people.

There were the transgender men who seemed to take absolute glee in telling me that I wasn’t really transgender in my early transition because my experiences didn’t include crippling dysphoria. There was also the transgender woman that completely unprompted literally screamed, “Shrimpy dick! That’s all you are! You will never be a real man because you will never have a real dick!” because I prefer to be open with my sexual partners before I let them touch me. The discussion was about my experiences, so I felt it was fine to talk about how I have approached my sexual partners. Apparently not?

It’s true that the only thing that binds us together as a community is the fact that we are transgender, and even that is a wide range of experiences as some of us transition late in life, and some of us as children. We range in politics, religion, and culture widely, beyond just being transgender.

What I don’t get is why some of the worst haters come from within the transgender community. I make it a policy to try and be understanding of other transgender folks, and give them the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard when you watch someone attack a kid just because they experience being transgender differently.

I had a gal hunt me down in the comments of a news article yesterday, to lob some really personal attacks. I asked her why she chose me to attack, and she never answered. It was a comments section filled with hateful transmysoginists denying we exist that I was arguing with, but I guess she felt safe lashing out at me, instead. (I did check, and she is a part of our community.)

That’s when I started to wonder why we attack our own so much. You see it with transition videos, and blogs by prominent trans people in our community. They have other transgender folks that just jump in, and say brutal nasty things to them. I’ve seen amazing people shut down their blogs and videos because of these attacks.

I guess I am not ivory tower enough to really understand. I just know the world is often against us, and I think we should back each other, instead of fighting each other.

I know, for myself, I don’t care how shitty another transgender person is to me, I’m still going to fight for them. Even if the only thing that binds us is that we are transgender, the rest of the world sees us as an other. I guess my life experiences have pushed me to fighting the big guys, not the little guys right next to me.

About Wolsey

I am a middle aged man. I am an author and a maker.
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