More on Transgender Socialization

Connie responded to the Cyrsti’s Condo post on transgender socialization with a look of her own:

“It’s true, at least in my case, that living a gender-dichotomous life has required a different sort of socialization. My experiences have been three decades ahead of Ms Tanenbaum’s, and, as such, included even more of a self-induced socialization – especially during my formative years. Society was largely black and white on gender in the 50s and 60s. In those days, if one displayed behaviors that did not strictly adhere to society’s expectations, they would probably be labeled homosexual. As much as I wished I were a girl, I was more afraid of being seen as a gay boy. From what little I knew (or thought I knew) of gay people at the time, I was absolutely certain that I didn’t fit that mold – certain most of the time, that is. I often contemplated the possibility that I was, but would dismiss it because I was attracted to girls. But, then, I would wonder whether I were only attracted to girls because I wanted to be like them, or that I wanted to be “with” them.

Perhaps, the bigger question would be: If I were like them, would they still want to be “with” me? In real life, I was socialized male by default. In my own secret fairy tale life, I was astute enough to the socialization of the girls that I could appropriate femininity any time my male-self was not in demand.

There were so many times that I would come home dead-tired from football practice, but become completely regenerated by the chance to express my feminine-self when I knew nobody else would be home for an hour or two. Looking back on it, football was my release, while abandoning all male expectation in favor of my female-self was my relief.

Eventually, long after my football days, it was becoming dead-tired of just meeting male socialized expectations, at all, that led me to a more-feminine socialized existence. Inasmuch as “trans socialization” is being used as an argument against certain feminists’ accusations that male socialization invalidates a trans woman’s actual womanhood, I’m not sure it’s enough to change their minds. 

Personally, I’m not really concerned, anyway. For those who would judge me more by how I got here than by who I am now, I have no time for wasting. I had already wasted enough valuable time judging myself the same way.”

Thanks for the comment!

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