Transgender Socialization

There is a collection of LGBTQ posts called “Medium” which I have recently been exposed to. Since after a few visits, it becomes a paid site, I was too strapped financially to explore it further. However, through another person’s blog I follow, I was able to explore another post concerning being socialized as transgender from Theresa Jean Tanenbaum.

Following my decades long attempt to fit into a male world (and failing), I have given too much thought to the fitting in process, or the lack of. I never really considered the process as being socialized as such. Until I read Theresa’s post.

Here is part of it:

“I’ve been a girl my whole life, but I didn’t always know it. As a result, many of my childhood experiences were defined by cognitive dissonance. Growing up as a trans girl is like being gaslit by the whole world and still finding the strength and confidence to say “No! THIS is who I am!” After all, no other girls are subjected to the same degree of toxic masculinity as trans girls. No other girls are forced into boys locker rooms, or men’s restrooms, or all-male prep schools. No other girls are told to “man up!” or “don’t be a sissy”. No other girls are asked to prove they are girls again and again, by people who can’t themselves clearly explain what standard of proof they require, short of direct inspection of their genitals.

Trans girls are sent into male spaces, like canaries in coal mines, often not knowing why we don’t fit it. Not knowing why we are uncomfortable. When we express discomfort with the bullying we frequently experience at the hands of boys, we’re told that “that’s just how boys are” so we’d better get used to it. My failure to properly participate in male tribal behaviors made me a target for male aggression throughout my childhood. Boys who had been taught to “never hit a girl” had no problem starting a fight with someone they perceived as a boy, who acted, talked, and responded like a girl.

For my entire childhood I thought that it was normal to feel sick and nervous around other kids. 

To feel like the other kids were following some script that I couldn’t read. Fearing that if I got a line wrong they’d turn on me. Interacting with boys always made me feel like a rabbit sneaking through a den of lions….one misstep and I’d be devoured. Boys radiated danger to me. “

There is more and you can read it here.

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