39f31629acbdc4de03823f1e4c31cc02da58b813 — Kiera Akagi 23 days ago e20431e
add what am i post so far
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title: "what am i?"
date: 2021-10-28T20:44:24+01:00
draft: true
summary: "a commentary on the perception, treatment, and lived experiences of transgender and non-binary individuals"
categories: [philosophy]
tags: [transgender, gender, freedom, identity, experiences]

[content warnings: suicide, self harm, themes of violence and sexual harrassment]

when the world feels like it's turning against you and there's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide... what would *you* do?

{{< toc >}}

the history of trans and non-binary people is, frankly, horrific - a fragmented, bloodied, and burnt tapestry of pure suffering. the experience of going through life so brutally misunderstood, viciously hated, barely able to trust a single person, and enduring an endless stream of subtle torture produced by your very own body... it does things to people. it really fucking does.

while many people nowadays attribute our experiences to a so-called "gender ideology," what they fail to understand is that we are real people with real experiences. i quite literally ran away from my parents and ceased all contact with them at the age of 17 just for of the hope that maybe i'd finally be able to express and *be* myself. after that i had to resort to extremely dodgy online pharmacies to let me buy the hormones i need because the healthcare system in my country doesn't believe that the treatments i depend on deserve funding and reform - hell, they still consider half of it to be "purely cosmetic." i didn't do all of these things because some evil leftist supervillain infected me with Mad Trans Disease, i did it because if i didn't i would be dead by now. i would've literally killed myself. i had thought about doing it time and time again, and nothing else i tried would help me. you'd think that maybe if i took a series of drastic actions like this and stated very clearly that if i didn't i'd be dead, people would start taking me, my experiences and my needs seriously, but of course they don't.

the truth is this: if you were male, and you were completely confident in and happy with your masculinity, and you were forced to take estrogen (the primary female sex hormone) and present as a woman, you would probably be extremely upset. you might even be so pained, so depressed, so embarrassed and so humiliated that you'd go and throw yourself infront of a moving train. (by the way, [this has actually happened before](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer)) the experience of my life has been exactly the reverse. i am a woman. my body produces a large quantity of testosterone (the primary male sex hormone), and i am occasionally forced or pressured to present in a masculine way to conform to societal expectations, all of which leaves me measurably depressed to an extreme degree. while i'm sure you think "just don't be depressed" is a very helpful suggestion, it doesn't seem to work. believe me, i wish i could be less upset about this - but unsurprisingly, i can't, because i'm not a man.

if you want to empathize with trans people and understand their struggles, don't imagine changing your gender - imagine what life would be like if nobody believed you're the gender you are. imagine being a woman and waking up one morning and suddenly everyone keeps insulting you and pretending you're a man because you briefly spoke with a low pitch, or because you didn't wear a skirt one day. what do we call that? misogyny. imagine being a man, waking up one day, and all of sudden nobody believes you're a man because you developed [gynaecomastia](https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/mens-health/what-is-gynaecomastia/), or because you don't have enough facial hair. what is that? misandry and toxic masculinity. hell, imagine being non-binary and suddenly everyone around you keeps trying to fit you within the categories of male and female because it's easier, and if you don't comply you get called a fucking freak. imagine living like all of these people. imagine the sheer level of discrimination, abuse and trauma these people need to suffer through just to exist. [is it starting to sink in yet](https://akagi.moe/cis.xhtml)?

# some people still don't get it

there are a lot of people out there who don't understand trans people and brand it as an "ideology" not because they genuinely can't grasp it but because they don't *want* to understand it - all because understanding it would invalidate *their* ideological views of normality.

a few days ago i stumbled upon this tweet:
![a twitter user attempting to discredit trans people by claiming that removing a male dog's testicles does not turn him into a woman](/images/posts/trans/dave.png "truly boomer humour at this point")

it's funny, because it highlights the fact that transphobes really don't know what they're even upset about. the person who retweeted this tweet (thus drawing my attention to it) had originally told me that they believed being transgender is impossible because there is no gender - "the brain adapts to the body, and there is nothing other than sex." but this meme they're retweeting - for the sake of hurting trans people - is quite literally a direct contradiction to their argument. they're trying to say that removing a trans woman's genitals doesn't make them a "real woman" but in reality they're accidentally proving that gender is a very real thing, even in other species. if you find a male dog and do *anything* to their body, it doesn't make them any less male, because they're male. in the same vein, a woman is a woman, and being born with a penis doesn't make a woman any less of a woman. the whole point is that your gender identity is how *you* identify, not something anyone else can really externally measure, and if we truly believe in freedom then we should admit that an individual is what and who they say they are. characteristics such as genitals only really matter in a medical context.

deeper still, genitals aren't even the only thing to consider when we talk about sex here. hormones are super important. while we typically associate XY and XX chromosomes with male and female, the vast majority of bodily functions are actually hormone-sensitive, not chromosome-sensitive. ever heard of [de la Chapelle syndrome](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XX_male_syndrome)? that's right - you can have XX chromosomes (female) and be born with a fully functional penis that produces testosterone, and live your life entirely just like a normal male; this is generally due to the SRY gene[^1], which triggers the development of the testes, which produce testosterone. after that point, testosterone does pretty much all of the sex development-related work. this is the same reason a person assigned female at birth can take testosterone artificially and grow something akin to a micropenis from the clitoris, and the same reason a person assigned male at birth can take estrogen artificially, causing their penis to behave in a feminine manner.

hell, did you know that a trans woman can grow fully functional, fully sensate boobs, and even have the ability to actually lactate[^2]? yes, we even get period-like symptoms[^3] (without the bleeding, of course). so much more depends on hormones than genes that a lot of the time genes aren't even worth mentioning. there are so many possible configurations of the human body that it doesn't make sense to base one's entire identity on it.

[^1]: [Wikipedia - Testis-determining factor](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testis-determining_factor)
[^2]: [Case Report: Induced Lactation in a Transgender Woman](https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/trgh.2017.0044)
[^3]: [Cycle Dynamics - Why Trans Women Can Have Periods](https://curvyandtrans.com/p/C4BD87/cycle-dynamics/)

## "i refuse to understand because you are crazy"

transphobic rhetoric is often actually quite smart - not because they're making good arguments, because they're not - but because of the way they're actually changing people's minds. a good chunk of a transphobe's time is spent spreading the message that trans people are just insane, unreasonable, and *abnormal*. why? well, it's a pretty common bully tactic, actually. it has three major effects:
* it convinces people that the victim cannot be trusted, that anything they say in response is inherently delusional.
* it turns the victim into a source of entertainment. by making the victim appear absurd and abnormal, we can poke *fun* at them, which reinforces the belief that the victim is an outsider.
* it leaves the victim to internalize this treatment, causing them to believe that they truly are worthless, abnormal, a mistake. it achieves the perpetrator's goal - causing the victim to eventually destroy themselves in self-hatred.

so, by doing all of this, transphobes achieve two things - they deeply wound trans people, and they convince others to do the same because they turn it into something that *feels good.* it's *entertainment.* hurting people... can become a deeply alluring activity. it can be truly satisfying to watch someone *crumble*, to demonize them and treat them like *clowns.* and the best part? it prevents all debate.

pushing the narrative that an entire group of people is too unreasonable to even be worth listening to is a massive achievement. whenever someone encounters a trans person for the first time, their brain effectively shuts down and is reduced to nothing but "haha! the person infront of me must be fucking crazy!" - that's why transphobes refuse to understand - they've effectively built up an immune system against healthy dialogue. they see the world as nothing but an army of strawmen, they repeat endless mantras of strawman arguments (e.g "attack helicopter" jokes) and their views effectively become immutable. it's too comfortable, too entertaining to stop acting like this. worst of all, the people who act like this tend to seek out and reside within communities that behave the same way; they are absorbed into the breeding grounds of hatred, and at that stage there's really not much you can do to help them. the only real way to prevent this from happening is to expose someone to the experiences of trans people before the existing transphobes get to them. a transphobe will almost never realise that they're actually hurting real people, but you can always expose them to the concept of trans people being real, actual, normal human beings before they become transphobes.

of course, an existing transphobe would call this "infecting kids with gender ideology" or whatever, but the truth is that all you're doing is showing people that trans people and non-binary people are human too, and that their struggles are real. nobody is "infecting" kids - we are not a threat, we are a group of people who just want to fucking live our lives in peace. we literally just want people to be happy. please leave us alone.

## "you're a threat to our family values!"

that's another thing - portraying trans people as a threat. transphobes love doing that. we've been branded rapists[^4], psychotic murders[^5], and straight up fucking threats to national security[^6]. it really is a wild ride. people love generalizing, of course. call one trans person a rapist, keep repeating that it's specifically because they're trans, and suddenly all of us are rapists apparently. what's that? you're a perfectly normal person, all snuggled up and playing Minecraft with your wife on a cold, snowy winter day... but you're trans? well that makes you a *rapist*!

this kind of treatment is really common. the media used to (and occasionally still does) do this to gay people, for example. of course, transgender rapists, transgender murders, etc all exist, just like gay rapists, gay murders, etc are all people who probably exist. nobody is denying that - and a lot of transphobes will argue that by being upset about articles talking about trans rapists, we're invalidating the people who have been raped by trans people. but that's... not what we're doing. the point is that your articles repeatedly keep making reference to the fact that the perpetrator happened to be transgender. you're trying to spread fear and distrust. the reason why you keep saying over and over again that this particular rapist happened to be gay or trans or non-binary or whatever else... is because you're trying to portray us specifically as a threat. you didn't write those articles to raise awareness for the person who got raped, you wrote those articles specifically to create an atmosphere of fear towards a specific group.

why? probably because scapegoating entire groups of people, blaming them for the world's problems and turning them into a source of entertainment is *profitable.* there's a reason why media outlets have suddenly started publishing literally thousands of articles on trans people per year - sometimes one per day per outlet[^7] - it's because it's divisive, it's anger-inducing, it's entertaining, and people want to see *more.* it makes fuckloads of money.

[^4]: [BBC News - 'We're being pressured into sex by some trans women'](https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-57853385)
[^5]: [Horror Movies are Demonizing the Transgender Community](https://www.ihorror.com/misrepresenting-transgender-community-in-horror-movies/)
[^6]: [Transgender Hacker Arrested For Stealing Data From 100 Million Capital One Customers In Mass Hack](https://mfi-miami.com/2019/07/transgender-hacker/)
[^7]: [CNN - "Anti-trans rhetoric is rife in the British media. Little is being done to extinguish the flames"](https://archive.ph/cqtCa)

## all the money in the world

another weird thing transphobes love doing is accusing us of weilding some sort of significant power - as if we're infiltrating governments or whatever and taking over the world. of course, this is just a conspiracy theory. in reality, i'm living off of welfare in a home i'm not really sure i belong in, buying the £3 Morrisons meal deal every now and then before college just to keep myself from going hungry. do i look rich and famous to you? like, damn, that's flattering and all, but all i do right now is run a shitty blog nobody reads. hell, i'm one of the *lucky* ones. trans people are at a much, much higher risk of going completely homeless and sleeping rough - one in five of the transgender community is considered to have unstable housing[^8] and you're out here claiming we rule the world.

talk about scapegoating - this is outright punching down and then pretending you didn't.

transphobes are so determined to pretend transgender lizards control the world that they outright spread conspiracy theories that powerful people they don't like are secretly trans because one of their fingers is too long and that anyone with a short neck is secretly female:
![a twitter user, Bevvie112, claiming that two rich/powerful people are secretly transgender because of their neck length](/images/posts/trans/bevvie112.png "okay, seriously, this twitter account is gold. it's literally just an endless stream of stuff like this. she spends her entire life staring at the crotches of famous people (and occasionally photos of random people she took during the few times she manages to get outside) and it's amazing to watch. please take a look at her twitter account if you can stomach it, it's actually amazing.")

![more insane drivel from bevvie112, checking the finger length ratios of celebrities, checking their shoulders, teeth and walking gait, all because she's desperate to see her so-called "trans agenda" everywhere](/images/posts/trans/bevvie112i2.png "she really doesn't stop. literally all of her tweets are like this. she's so determined to see gender ideology infecting everything that she'll spend her entire life trawling through random photos (and any of the ones that look normal to her she claims are 'manipulated') and trying to prove that random people are secretly trans. it really is a sight to behold.")

of course, going to all of this effort to somehow "prove" that transgender and non-binary people are secretly running the world and worshipping satan is... a bit over the top, right? i kinda see where it's coming from though. a lot of corporations pretend to support LGBTQ+ people and host pride events and stuff, and that can make these people feel threatened, as if we're somehow winning against their oppression - but those corporations don't really care. like i said, they really are just pretending. it's a PR thing. by doing stuff like that, they get attention from transphobes who promptly cry about it on twitter, and attention from *some* trans rights activists who engage with the transphobes crying about it, further boosting the company's popularity. hell, some transphobes will go out of their way to buy the company's product just to destroy it on twitter, which is exactly what those corporations want, because it gives them money *and* popularity, *and* makes trans people seem like a threat, all at the same time!

why do i say those corporations are just pretending to be pro-LGBTQ+? because despite their PR, they're supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ+ politicians, policies, and violence behind the scenes[^9] and we're well aware of it. the only people who really believe these corporations actually support us are the people who see us as a threat... and that's the point. *all* of this is engineered specifically to make us the perfect scapegoat. with an adequate scapegoat, you can deflect all of the problems of the world onto an unrelated group, ensuring those problems are never solved, and the people who actually are behind them are never held accountable, giving those same people a decent chunk of money in the process. it's the perfect crime.

[^8]: [Transgender Homelessness](https://transpirehelp.org/transgender-homelessness/)
[^9]: [25 corporations marking Pride donated over $10m to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians – study](https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/14/corporations-anti-lgbtq-politicians-donations-study)

## a recent thing, huh?

another way transphobes try to pretend there's some kind of "gender ideology" or "trans agenda" is by pretending it's only a recent thing. i've even seen some quite funny tweets saying things like "oh, if trans people are really suffering, then how did so-called trans people in the 15th century survive?" and although transphobes don't want to admit it, the obvious answer is that we didn't survive. it's a well known fact that trans people who don't get the treatment and care they need do a little something known as "suicide"[^10] (hard for a straight white cis middle-upper class twitter user to visualise, i know).

we have been doing serious research into the topic of gender as far back as 1919 with the [Institut für Sexualwissenschaft](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institut_f%C3%BCr_Sexualwissenschaft) in Weimar Germany (and of course the Nazis decided to attack, murder and burn all of it 1933, undoing possibly the most promising research into the subject at the time). in fact, that organization was responsible for the very first gender reassignment surgery, performed on [Dora Richter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dora_Richter), who was also likely murdered during the attacks on the institute by the [Deutsche Studentenschaft](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Student_Union) and the Nazi SA.

there's actually so much history of trans people even before this that [Wikipedia has an entire article on it](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_history). you can go back 100 years, 3700 years, 4500 years, 9000 years, and even further... and you'll always find examples of trans people - why? because it's not an ideology, it's something that actually happens to people. when the human body is as complex as it is, issues like this are *expected.* you can't pretend everyone is perfect. the human body is never, ever, going to be perfectly "normal" - there will always be things that make us different and unique, and gender is no exclusion. you can't just persuade us to magically be happy with our bodies. you can't just leave us to die because you're not willing to consider our needs "important." we are real. we are struggling, and we need *help.*

[^10]: [Preventing suicide among trans young people](https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/417707/Trans_suicide_Prevention_Toolkit_Final_26032015.pdf)

## free as in freedom

the reason why trans and non-binary issues are so prevalent today is not because of some evil cultural subversion, it's because people are finally realising they can be *free.* there is no "normal" - one of the greatest things the internet's connectivity and anonymity showed us is that people are so much more colourful and *real* when there are no societal and cultural expectations pressuring them not to be. people always were and always will be unique and special, and finally they're getting the freedom to express that.

no matter how much we are accused of being a part of some dictatorial, totalitarian regime by transphobes, we were the ones arguing for freedom all along. there's a reason why there are so many trans and non-binary software developers writing free and open source software for stuff like decentralised and open communication. it's because we actually care about freedom. we care about allowing people to express themselves. we want a world where people can finally be safe and happy being who they are.

if you spend your whole time being bogged down by what is "normal" and how people are "supposed" to act, then *you* are the one who perpetuates an authoritarian regime - because you are trying to become an authority on how "normal people" are supposed to behave. you are trying to make the identity and behaviour of humans homogenous - and every time we've tried that, people really *do not* enjoy it.

thanks to tools such as the internet, people are aware, now more than ever, that everyone is different, and everyone has their own unique quirks. we are finally becoming free to be ourselves, and that is beautiful. 

# non-binary lives matter

i haven't mentioned non-binary individuals anywhere near as much as i should've so far, which sucks, because they tend to have things even rougher than trans men and women do. of course, this is because i don't have as much personal experience with the subject, as i am only a trans woman - but luckily i do have very close friends who are non-binary, and i have consulted them for advice and proofreading on sections such as these.

considering the existence of trans men and women, we understand that gender may be more complex than the drastically simplified model we are taught in kindergarten/nursery or primary/elementary school. as we know the human body and brain are extremely complicated structures, it is feasible to consider that gender may not even be binary. it is highly unlikely for it to be determined entirely by a single boolean variable. thus, there exists the non-binary individual. we have seen evidence of some cultural understanding of non-binary people for centuries, such as ancient Hindu texts from 400 BCE[^11] [^12] that reference the existence of people in their culture that are neither male or female.

there are many possible non-binary identities, possibly too many labels to enumerate here, but they include androgynous people, agender people, bigender people, genderfluid people, and *many* more. unfortunately, this mere fact has lead plenty of ignorant people to simply claim that all of this "isn't *normal*" or "isn't natural" in an effort to portray the non-binary community as absurd, crazy and evil. of course, this is yet another instance of those who are free being derided by those who are not.

[^11]: [The History and Identity of Trans and Non-binary People in Non-western Communities](https://azmagazine.co.uk/the-history-and-identity-of-trans-and-non-binary-people-in-non-western-communities/)
[^12]: [Tritiya Prakriti: the hidden third gender in Hinduism](https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/03/06/tritiya-prakriti-hinduism-hijras/)

# gender critical gender ignorant

## misogyny against trans women hurts cis women

## what is a woman?

// can't measure, it's just what you say you are, self-declared

### "you all just think womanhood means being submissive"

// talk about the way cis people degrade trans people, raping and killing them, etc
// talk about asexual trans people, trans people who objectively aren't submissive, whatever else

## erasing the woman word

### transphobia hurts healthcare

// trans man who died from ovarian cancer due to refusal to treat him

# what do we actually want?

// talk about what rights actually are, and how societal pressures change things
// just leave us alone

## the healthcare nightmare

## legal identity

## no more discrimination

## just a normal girl

// treat me like a girl, not a trans girl

## do your research

// publish more studies

## normalize

// tv presence, etc

# hopelessness

// life is so hard
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