If at all possible, you should avoid being trans in this world. Being trans is just a real pain in the ass that creates lots of challenging problems.
I suspect that truth is obvious to most people. Trans may be liberating and transcendent, but it is easy to understand that the downsides are not simple to negotiate. Now, that is much less true than it was in my day, liberation having come a a long way, but trust me, it is still plenty tough.
If everybody knows that avoiding being trans is the best plan if you can at all manage it, then why are some people still publicly, actively transgender in the world?
The answer is simple. People who are out as trans, even if they don’t want to be out as trans, can’t find a way to avoid being trans in the world.
You can pretty well bet that they did try to find a way to avoid being trans in the world, tried to avoid having to be out and visible as trans. We have each tried on lots of different roles, working hard to fine tune them with rationalizations, defences and performance tricks that avoid having to be seen as trans in the world.
What we have found is that as many problems as being trans creates in building relationships in the world, making other people less than comfortable around us and making us feel unsafe around other people, trying to hide our transgender nature, trying to hide the true shape of our heart causes even more problems.
We learned that entering the baffling, uncertain and breathtaking terrain of transgender is, in the end, easier and better than avoiding it. The truth is out there and skirting around it just to try and make life simpler doesn’t change that truth.
The people you see as trans in the world are trans in the world because we couldn’t seem to find a way to avoid being trans. You can say that we should have tried harder, then, but in the end, though, that choice is not up to you.
The most wearing part about being trans is negotiating the thicket of terrors and boobytraps and internalized fears and social pitfalls that are all designed to make it easier to avoid transgender than to engage it.
Being truthful, authentic, integrated and living with integrity is actually easier, better and more fun than learning how to hide and deny your own heart. Trying to explain that to people who would rather you just shut the fuck up about it, rather you just agree to leave the nice solid barriers they set in their life unchallenged, well, that is a real pain in the ass.
The ultimate trans surgery is pulling the stick out of your own ass. “Ooh, that sounds painful!” remarked one gay bartender who heard me say that. “Yeah,” I agreed, “but it’s much worse leaving it in there.” He took my point.
While removing that stick is hard because we have to do it ourselves, the real question is how the broom stick got there in the first place. How did we end up getting all jammed up, stiffened and constrained, twisted and uncomfortable, and then how did we learn just to accept that rod as part of our everyday experience of life?
It’s easy. We were taught that if at all possible, you should avoid being trans in this world. Being trans is just a real pain in the ass that creates lots of challenging problems. Better the pain the ass that yow accept on your own than one that others end up surprising and beating you with.
There is no transperson in the world who cannot supply you with a long, accurate and tragic list about how being trans in the world is a real pain in the ass. There is no transperson in the world who cannot show you a map of real scars they have from feeling their transgender nature exposed.
There is also no transperson in the world who cannot tell you about moments of bliss, joy and integration, where all the pieces line up and they feel the bounding freedom of letting their heart be seen in the world. Trans is about desire, about the heart wanting what it wants, about the way our creator made us.
The challenge is, of course, how to get more of the good, wholesome bits of transgender expression while avoiding the pounding stigma that always threatens to leave us feel ashamed of who we really are.
We have learned that no matter how much we have been told to avoid being trans we can never run away from our own heart. Our nature is within us, and is not something that we can make go away, no matter how much we try and wall it up. We aren’t stupid. If we could avoid being trans, we would do it, but we have tried and failed to amputate our heart and our history.
Instead, we have to learn to avoid beating ourselves up over being trans, stop listening to the bear in the closet, that internal policeman who wants to shame us into self-loathing in an attempt to keep our heart hidden and keep us playing small.
If you can avoid being trans, great. But if you can’t, if the very attempt to avoid your own trans nature twists you into knots and blows holes in your potential, well, then stop trying to avoid being trans and boldly enter your own nature. Your happiness is not in how you sacrifice yourself to fit in, your happiness is in how you show your beautiful heart to attract the best to you.
It should be obvious that killing your own nature to satisfy other people’s comfort, to play to the fears and unhealed parts of those around you is not the way to create a full, righteous and happy life, not the way to honour the gifts your creator gave you.
I know the costs of showing trans in the world. They can hurt, yes.
But the costs of hating your own heart, well, in the end, they are much, much greater.