“When people say something like that, it’s pretty nasty.”
These folks are witty, insightful, and they’re not holding back from the truth – you’ve got to check out what they have to say to common questions.
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
Speaker 1: It’s such a stupid question.
Speaker 2: When people say something like that, it’s pretty nasty isn’t it.
Speaker 3: Get a slap.
Speaker 4: Really?
Speaker 3: Rolled my eyes so hard.
Speaker 5: When did you decide to be transgender?
Speaker 4: When did you decide to be a human being?
Speaker 1: Well, I think I just woke up one day in 2008 and thought oh this will be a laugh.
Speaker 2: I don’t think you decide to be transgender, do you?
Speaker 5: It’s there you know, you discover it.
Speaker 4: My whole childhood was just basically, you’re a boy, you can’t play with that. You’re a boy you can’t do that. You’re a boy, no, no, no. Every night I would go to bed, and be like, God why don’t they understand that I’m not a boy.
Speaker 1: You know being gay isn’t quite extreme enough. I’ll just be transgender. I don’t know you don’t decide to be transgender.
Speaker 6: Have you had the OP?
Speaker 2: Have you had the OP?
Speaker 7: Daily, daily people ask you that. All the time.
Speaker 5: Well I’ve had quite a few of them, which are we referring to?
Speaker 2: Exactly that’s the thing, those old tropes, that they have in the media about, sex work, sex OP, the surgery. I mean if you talk to any trans person, or even if you Google it, you’ll know that there’s no just 1 surgery to have.
Speaker 6: It’s actually a series of 5 operations, for guys. The OP is so decades ago now.
Speaker 5: When people ask me, so when are you getting it? Then I’m like, you know what, I can do it tomorrow, give me the money. Give me the money let’s do it.
Speaker 3: If it’s not have you had the OP, it’s when are you having the OP, or have you thought about the OP. What about the OP?
Speaker 5: It’s expensive you know, and for me I am trying to pay for everything myself. I don’t want help from the government. Here in England I can ask for it, and it’s amazing, I appreciate it. If I can I want to pay for it myself.
Speaker 1: Which bathroom do you use?
Speaker 2: Which bathroom do you use? That’s funny.
Speaker 5: The clean one.
Speaker 7: Oh my god, if I had to go into the men’s bathroom I would die.
Speaker 6: I’ve recently at Westminster had to fight for about a year to try to get gender neutral toilets.
Speaker 4: Was that you?
Speaker 6: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 4: High five, well done.
Speaker 3: There is a debate going on at the moment, which is completely ludicrous, because you can’t expect a girl to walk into the guy’s, or a guy to walk into the girl’s. It’s just, I think it’s really dehumanizing.
Speaker 7: It really is.
Speaker 6: After having a bad experience in SoHo where I got turned away from male toilets, I tend to just use my own at home. Which is gender neutral.
Speaker 2: I think my mom was worried about my safety in the toilets as well.
Speaker 6: I don’t go to toilet when I’m out, in public, at all.
Speaker 1: By law you are entitled to use which ever toilet you want to.
Speaker 7: You don’t want to see us at the urinal next to you.
Speaker 5: How do you have sex?
Speaker 6: What do you do in bed? Oh my god.
Speaker 1: How do you have sex? Fabulously.
Speaker 3: What do you do in bed? You know, it’s all [horses courses 00:03:07]
Speaker 7: Sleep. Sleep.
Speaker 3: Well mostly, eat ice cream.
Speaker 7: I sleep a lot. The crème from my whole lot of rich cheese.
Speaker 3: Sexy.
Speaker 7: Yeah.
Speaker 2: I don’t generally want to have that conversation with someone, if I’m not considering sleeping with them, or having them as a partner.
Speaker 5: Yeah.
Speaker 6: I don’t go around asking strangers what they do in bed, with other people. Why do they think they have [the sense 00:03:25] to ask me.
Speaker 7: Okay go.
Speaker 3: Are you a drag queen?
Speaker 7: No.
Speaker 1: Are you a drag queen? Well nobody’s paying me.
Speaker 4: There’s a definite difference between a transvestite, and a transsexual.
Speaker 1: Transvestites, that’s somebody who maybe dresses up in the clothes that are associated with the other gender. Many a boy who likes dressing up in girls clothes.
Speaker 4: But they don’t feel they are that gender.
Speaker 1: Drag queens, who are very glamorous, and it’s usually more of a performance.
Speaker 4: Where as a transsexual person, transgender person …
Speaker 6: Actually are that gender.
Speaker 4: Yeah.
Speaker 7: People also, automatically assume, that you know a lot about the drag scene. They’re like, oh my god I’ve seen, I don’t know RuPaul.
Speaker 3: Yeah, completely.
Speaker 7: Okay well done.
Speaker 3: Some people just think it’s like a super deluxe version of a drag queen.
Speaker 7: We’re upgrades, yeah, no.
Speaker 5: Next one is, are you sure you aren’t just gay?
Speaker 1: Are you sure you just aren’t gay? Oh god I wish, wouldn’t it be fabulous just to be gay.
Speaker 3: I think this links to whether or not sexuality is linked to gender. They have nothing to do with each other. I’m bisexual, and she’s metrosexual.
Speaker 2: When it comes to gender versus sexuality, I think you recognize your gender much sooner than you recognize your sexuality anyway.
Speaker 6: Can I see a picture of you before? Oh my god.
Speaker 5: Can I see a picture of you before?
Speaker 1: No, just no.
Speaker 7: I would never just be like, oh yeah here I am, here’s who I was.
Speaker 3: Don’t really have those pictures handy.
Speaker 6: When I came to university, and I came out to my halls, friends. One of them said to me, oh I just went on your old Facebook, and saw a [caprom 00:05:09] of you. You look so pretty then, I was just like, why would you say that.
Speaker 5: I’ve looked at my pictures from before.
Speaker 2: Are you happy to share them?
Speaker 5: Yeah, because look how ugly I was, now you know why.
Speaker 2: Tada!
Speaker 7: Oh my god, we spoke about this. Can I feel your boobs?
Speaker 1: Wow.
Speaker 5: Can I feel your boobs, penis, or just grabbing them?
Speaker 2: Sure.
Speaker 5: Sure go for it.
Speaker 6: No, that’s harassment. Go away.
Speaker 3: Who goes up to someone and says can I feel your tits?
Speaker 7: No they just do it.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Do they, just like.
Speaker 7: You could have just done it to me.
Speaker 3: Okay spare.
Speaker 1: It’s hard to be [butted 00:05:50] up, like literally sexually assault you, and grab your breasts, or literally go to put their hands between your legs.
Speaker 7: I think they see it like, do you know if you know a guy, and he starts going to the gym, and he gets really big arms off of going to the gym. You go like oh my god, you’re getting really muscly. I think they see it like that, but it’s like no don’t touch me.
Speaker 5: It’s happened to me, it happened to me. That somebody just, then I just grab their dicks, and pull them up, and I’m like do it again and I’ll break your fucking hand.
Speaker 7: You’re going to go crazy at this, okay. I can tell that you used to be a man.
Speaker 2: I can tell that you used to be a man/woman.
Speaker 4: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 1: No you can’t.
Speaker 2: It’s a bit insulting to hear that from someone. It’s almost like they’re trying to claim, or kind of remember you before you transitioned.
Speaker 6: I’d feel quite hurt if someone said that to me. But if they have a problem with it, it’s their problem.
Speaker 7: I never know what to call them.
Speaker 2: I never know what to call them, he, she, they.
Speaker 3: You call that person how ever they are presenting themselves. However they decide to be presented.
Speaker 2: Why don’t you just ask?
Speaker 1: Ask the person, trust me, they will not be offended. They shouldn’t be offended because we’d much rather that you ask us politely than you say the wrong thing. If you do say the wrong thing, you make a mistake, just apologize, very quickly, very briefly, and then just move on.
Speaker 4: Do you think you’ll ever go back?
Speaker 6: I need to go forward first.
Speaker 3: Do you think you’ll ever go back?
Speaker 7: Hell no.
Speaker 1: Look at me, of course I’m not going to go back, go back to what, being a boy. No, no that’s definitely not going to happen, I’m not going to go back to being depressed, no.
Speaker 3: I think because they see the physical changes, they think that you’ve gone somewhere, but you haven’t. You’re just adjusting how you’ve always felt on the inside.
Speaker 1: I think I know one person, who’s had a bit of a wobble, and gone back. They’ve been on breakfast television, they’ve been on all the newspapers, and all the rest of it. I think that this idea that people change their minds, they really don’t. It’s so, so, so rare.
Speaker 4: I am out, I am proud of being trans TRANS, I’m trans, get over it.
To learn more about this topic, check out:
- 3 Common Feminist Phrases That (Unintentionally) Marginalize Trans Women
- Why the Feminist Movement Must Be Trans-Inclusive