How much do you know about transgender people?
Most of us know very little or know only stereotypes when it comes to them.
So even people who are transgender friendly are often transgender ignorant.
So let’s share with you the single most important thing to know about transgender people.
Transgender People Are People Too
That’s the big secret. Behind this big myth of how bizarre, confused, and just wrong transgender people are, the truth is they’re people too.
They do people things just like you and me. They eat, sleep, work, and love.
They want what we all want. They want to be true to themselves, love and be loved, and lead full, free lives.
They’re different from most people just because they’re assigned one sex but feel they are the other. Some people who are assigned the male gender feel like women and girls on the inside and some people who are assigned the female gender feel they’re men and boys on the inside.
Over time, they claim the other gender for themselves and adapt their appearance to reflect the gender they identify with.
But Our Society Tries To Not Acknowledge They’re Human Beings Too
What makes being transgender really different from other people is not that they feel they were assigned the wrong gender.
What makes being transgender so different is how much hatred, judgement, discrimination, and fear society has for them.
They have to deal with a level of social rejection, persecution, and ignorance that’s unimaginable to most of us – just to be able to show who they really are on the inside.
But in some ways, that’s not that different from the rest of us actually.
What We Have in Common With Transgender People
Without a doubt, transgender people face a much bigger battle in society to freely express who they are than most people.
But in many ways, they fight a similar battle that many other people fight as well.
- Do you believe you shouldn’t be judged for how you look?
- Do you struggle with believing you’re good enough because your body doesn’t match the social ideal?
- Do people try to put you in a box because of your gender, sexual orientation, race, class, religion, age, etc?
- Has the fear of other people laughing at you and thinking something’s wrong with you ever made you want to hide a part of who you are?
- Have you ever struggled to accept something about yourself that others thought was wrong?
- Do you want to stand up and show the world who you really are, how beautiful you are inside?
If you said yes to any of these questions, then we’re all in the fight against a society that tells us to fit a certain mold. Or else.
And this is what needs to change.
We need to change our society so everyone, including transgender people, can walk down the street without fear of ridicule and attack.
Where we can look in the mirror and not wish we looked different because of what others will say.
Where people’s right to determine who they are is respected and encouraged.
Just like you need support and understanding as you find your true voice.
Sandra Kim is the Founder & Editor of Everyday Feminism. She brings together her personal and professional experience with trauma, personal transformation, and social change and gives it all a feminist twist.