I’m a trans woman in my 30s. I transitioned in my late teens and spent too many years buying into the belief that being a trans woman meant that my gender was inferior and something to be ashamed of.
My life is not unusual. I’ve had boyfriends and girlfriends, I’ve had to hunt for jobs and housing. I’ve had to struggle with the fact that I’m a lesbian and come to terms with that. I love Buffy, Firefly, Angel, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, and of all things, Life. I play video games. I have nieces I love dearly. I have to shop at Wal-Mart because I can’t afford anything more expensive, and I do kinda hate myself because of that. I love to wear black and green. Sometimes I dye my hair. Sometimes I feel butch, and sometimes I feel femme, but I mostly identify as femme. I love school and usually hate my jobs.
I’m not an exceptional person. My life isn’t unusual or dramatic or a political statement.
For the past several years, I’ve had run-ins with radical feminists, with gay men and lesbians, with men, with women, all of whom tell me that I’m wrong, that my existence is depraved, and that my choice to transition is bad. I found under most circumstances that I wasn’t able to respond, or that I didn’t feel safe responding, or just felt that response was futile. In a lot of ways, I just didn’t really know how to frame my objections clearly. Once I read Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl, I decided that I should say something.
Just as a point of order: I’ve been labeled transsexual because I sought hormones and surgery. I’ve been labeled transgender because the word has taken on broader meanings over the years. I identify myself as a trans woman because I talk about the oppressions that trans people experience. I am a woman; I do not “identify as a woman.” My sex assigned at birth is not relevant to any conversation that I am a part of. My chromosomes are not relevant to any conversation that I am a part of. The shape of my crotch is not relevant to any conversation that I am a part of. If you say that I am transgender-identified, you are mistaken. If you say I am transsexual-identified, you are mistaken. If you think that every time you refer to me, you need to describe me as a trans woman, you’re mistaken.
If you need to contact me, my e-mail address is qt dot lisah at gmail dot com.