Disagreeable

Transpeople, the ones who emerge anyway, mostly live a disagreeable life.

This doesn’t mean that we are not pleasant or don’t have a pleasant life.   Instead, it means on the Agreeableness scale of the Five Factor Model we fall towards the disagreeable end.   Instead of going along with the crowd, we are willing and able to disagree with conventional thought, to stand up for our own knowledge and beliefs.

I proved how disagreeable I was trained to be when I stood up to Miss Hansen, my fifth grade teacher.   I challenged one of her scientific explanations, so instead of checking, she had the class vote on if I was right or she was.  I lost, of course, 24-1, but even after she brought in the biggest gun she had against a 10 year old, I still wouldn’t back down.  I was right.

In his book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcolm Gladwell talks about how being different can be an advantage in the market.   He tells of people who have gone against convention in powerful ways, taking heat for doing what others declared unthinkable, and succeeded in astonishing and lasting ways.   Their disagreeableness saved lives and changed the world.

I have said before that I am double queer; a transwoman who loves women.  I also seem to be double disagreeable; a transwoman who disagreed with the founding myths she was issued (the Benjamin & Prince models at first, and then Second Wave Feminism Oppression theory) and struck out to find her own.

The power to stand for what is right, and then to keep standing up for that even as people challenge, threaten or resist us, that  is the power of being disagreeable,

Some men see things as they are and ask why.
Others dream things that never were and ask why not.
—  George Bernard Shaw

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world;
the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
— George Bernard Shaw

Without the power to be disagreeable, where would bold change ever come from?

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