Transgender Losses

Photo from
the Jessie 
Hart Collection

 One of the main transphobic arguments I read is we transgender persons have a choice to live as we do.

No one ever mentions all the things we have to give up to exist as our authentic selves. Just a few of the things we often have to give up is contact with immediate family, employment and friends. The older we start our transitions, often the it is the more we have accumulated in life and have to give up. Being placed between the gender rock and the hard place leads to terrible problems. Problems no one would accept if they didn't need to, just to live. In no way was it ever a choice. 

If you have gone through a transgender transition, I am sure you have losses you have undergone. I am an example in that specifically I have lost all contact with my only brother and his family when I came out to him. I would have lost more than my brother if I had it to lose. By the time I completed my MtF gender transition in my early sixties, I had sadly lost (to death) my second wife of twenty five years, nearly all of my close male friends (which I had very few of) and employment, since I was nearly old enough to retire on Social Security. As you can tell I did not have that much to lose once I made the choice to transition. Seemingly destiny had intervened and doors were being opened wide for me to go through. So wide, it was even about same time the Veterans' Administration health care system approved administering hormone replacement therapy for transgender veterans which I was one of. 

All in all, I feel I experienced an easier time during my later in life transition than most others. During the decades before I considered myself transgender, I described myself as a "serious" cross dresser. Being a serious cross dresser enabled me to come closer to learning the fine art of feminine dressing and makeup. I even survived the cross dressing teen years when I tried to dress too sexy which turned out to be too trashy. Having all of that behind me really helped my survival rate when I needed it the most as I was seriously out in the public's eye as a transgender woman. 

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the loss of all the male privileges I went through. All of a sudden I seemingly lost part of my intelligence. Even to the point of not being listened to when my car stalled out one day and I needed to call a tow truck. When I did, the driver, along with a sheriff who had stopped to help me huddled (without me) to map out the easiest route back to my house. Like I didn't know? I learned the hard way perhaps the biggest privilege I lost when I began to live fulltime as a transgender woman was my own personal safety. I was lucky in a couple circumstances when I exposed myself to danger by placing myself in situations which could have led to problems. I had to learn the hard way what every other woman knows about not going into dark places with no potential escape routes. 

Even though my transgender losses may have been less than others, I still lost enough to know transitioning was more than a choice for me. I had to do it or take my own life.