A Quick Message to Transgender People

Photo by Lena Balk on Unsplash

If gender is a social construct, then transgenderism is a psychological construct, as it occurs only in the mind of the transgender. Therefore, to insist that a male is a female or that a female is a male simply because they think they are is nonsense. And herein lies the problem with the transgender argument: you can’t force people to live according to your thoughts or to believe what you believe about yourself, especially when your thoughts and beliefs contradict people’s experience; if you look, sound, act, and reproduce like a man, then you’re a man, and demanding that people declare you otherwise is demanding that they lie. And they will not lie — especially not for those who attempt to compel them. Insisting that people regard you as the opposite of what they know you are is like insisting that nonbelievers worship God just because you do. In other words, good luck persuading them without a miracle.

All states and qualities must exist in opposition, for so they exist: you can’t be happy unless you can also be sad; rich, poor; alive, dead. Qualities are relative, and states are absolute. For example, you can be degrees of happy or sad, but you can’t be degrees of alive or dead. Male and female are states of being and as such are absolute — meaning, you can be either male or female but not both or something else. Further, both male and female exist only because the other does; if you remove one, the other disappears with it, and what’s left is, not you, but nothing.

Thus, if you are male, then you are not female, and if you are female, then you are not male, and you therefore may not declare yourself as such and expect to be treated accordingly. Instead, if you are to declare anything, you must declare that you are the one but believe yourself to be the other and then allow people to make of this information what they will. And you must allow them to do this, for they are free to choose for themselves.

If you want to be treated with dignity and respect, and if you want to be counted among your community, then just be a good person, do good work, and make good things. If you’re kind and competent, nobody will care that you’re transgender; your transgenderism will simply become an aspect of you like any other, and you will be known by those who encounter you, without ever having to describe yourself to them or otherwise declare yourself alive.

Your life is your responsibility, your identity is yours to reconcile, your dissonance is yours to resolve, and your frustration is yours to quell. You can’t make your problems everyone else’s problems; you must own them. You can’t change people; you must inspire them to change themselves. You can’t demand respect; you must earn it. You can’t force people to love you; you must love yourself. Just as an artist doesn’t get to decide whether their work is good, you don’t get to decide whether you matter. You don’t get to be seen, heard, valued, validated, respected, or loved — nobody does; we just get to be us. And the rest is up to everyone else.

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Editor | mitchellferrin.com

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Mitchell Ferrin

Mitchell Ferrin

Editor | mitchellferrin.com

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