To Anyone Who Thinks I 'Chose' To Be Transgender, It Wasn't My Choice

To Anyone Who Thinks I 'Chose' To Be Transgender, It Wasn't My Choice

One of the most frustrating things I've encountered on my journey of transitioning is the mindset from some individuals that I chose this life, I chose to be transgender.

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One of the most frustrating things I've encountered on my journey of transitioning is the mindset from some individuals that I chose this life, I chose to be transgender. I cannot tell you how wrong that statement is, the people that preach we chose to be transgender could not be farther from the truth.

Being transgender, with no question or hesitation, is the single hardest thing I've ever endured throughout my life. The obstacles and struggles, both internal and external, that come along with it far too often make living my everyday life feel like hell on Earth. Don't get me wrong, my journey has been extremely rewarding and so far beyond worth it, but it brings pain and demons that I wouldn't wish upon my worth enemy.

Why would I choose to live a life with body dysmorphia that can sometimes be so crippling it makes me physically ill just looking in the mirror or catching a glimpse of my reflection? Why would I choose to feel like a stranger in my own body, the one place I should be able to find peace and solitude?

Why would I choose to be something that puts a negative preconceived idea in the mind of strangers? It's not that I'm ashamed to be transgender, I take so much pride in it, but when people learn I'm transgender I feel as if I'm no longer seen as a "real" person. In society, being transgender is often followed with negative connotations such as the whole "bathroom sexual assaults" issue, why would I choose to be something that inevitably ties me to that? I completely freak out whenever I have to get bloodwork done. You would have better luck wrestling an angry bear into a tutu than getting me, a 21-year-old, to sit and be calm while I get any type of shot or bloodwork done.

So why on earth would I ever choose to be transgender, knowing I have to give myself a shot of testosterone once a week for the rest of my life? Why would I voluntarily pay 8 thousand dollars out of my own pocket for a surgery that would connect my troubled mind to my body? Do you know how many tattoos I could get with 8 grand? I'm sure they would be much more beautiful on my body than the elongated scars that span across my chest making me look like I got tore open by a lion. Why would I choose to be known and mocked for being the "guy without a penis"?

How embarrassing and belittling. Why would I ever choose to be ostracized and isolated by friends and even family who didn't agree with the life I was starting to take control of? Why would I choose to be harassed, threatened, and even physically shoved around for just existing? I can't tell you how many times I've received death threats for being the "tranny freak mistake" or "excuse for a human being."

I can't tell you the number of times I've been confronted and threatened to get beat up just for using a men's restroom or locker room. Above all, why would I ever choose a life that also makes those closest to me prone to harassment? There is no pain worse than knowing the people I love the most also face ignorance and negativity in regards to my life. My poor mom having to be known as the only mother in our small town with a freak for a child, my best friends for being associated with me, and my girlfriend for being the girl choosing to date a "less than" or a fake man. Why on Earth would I ever choose to live a life that entails that? Life is so damn hard enough without all of this piled on top.

I was born this way, just like you were born with the color eyes you have. I did not choose to be transgender, the decision I made was what to do about it. I physically and mentally couldn't fight it anymore. I spent 19 years forcing myself to try to be what the world saw me on the outside as and what the world told me I had to be until I literally could not take it anymore. Those years were dark and torturous.

Those years were filled with anxiety, depression, isolation, shame, and self-loathing because all along I had known the world was wrong but I forced myself into its ideal mold anyway. I was lucky enough to be one of the transgender individuals that survive those years, not all of us do. The pain that comes along with being transgender can be so overwhelming and unbearable that we try to end the pain by turning our own lights off.

The only "choice" about being transgender is what to do about it. I chose to put myself first for the first time in my life, ignoring what the rest of the world thought I should be. I risked the discrimination, the violence, the social rejection, so I could stay true to myself and finally get to live my life as my authentic self. I chose to start my medical transition in hopes to finally align my mind to my body. As much as I dread and fear needles, hormone replacement therapy was the best thing to ever happen to me, mind, body, and soul. I chose to have my top surgery to literally carve relief from body dysphoria and as much as I complain about having to pay for that myself, I would've spent any amount of money for the feeling of freedom it gives me every single day.

All these risks I took for the potential of a better future far outweighs the torment of living and dealing with body dysphoria, a daily battle that drained me completely and left me with the scariest mindset I've ever struggled through. Starting my transition was the scariest plunge I've ever taken, but what's even scarier is the thought of having to live my life as someone I wasn't. Had I not transitioned, I don't think I could've made it, I wasn't strong enough to go on, and transitioning gave me that strength. Being transgender is just what I am, my only choice was how to tackle it.

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Whether You Like It Or Not, Folks, There Are Only 2 Genders

You're either a male or female, and that's all there is to it.
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Regardless of what your opinion is... there are truly only TWO genders. Male and female, and that's how it has always been. Gender is not any different than sex, and in agreeance with Ben Shapiro "I'm not going to modify basic biology because it threatens your subjunctive sense of what you think you are." Gender is the state of being male or female, and there is no other option.

You are born as a male or as a female and there is no other option. There is no third, fourth, or fifth gender. It does not exist. You shouldn't be able to identify as whatever you please. The set of chromosomes that you are born with, either XX or XY is what dictates your gender. Your gender is determined far before the development of the fetus begins, and that's all there is to it.

With that being said, you cannot wake up one day and decide that you want to be a fish, can you? You cannot decide that you are going to grow scales, breathe underwater, and live as a fish for the rest of your life, can you? Could you legally register yourself as a fish? No, you can not do that. You also can't randomly decide that you want to be 21. You aren't allowed to wake up and say I feel 21 today if your real age is 18, and then go buy alcohol. It should be the same exact way with "gender reassignment."

Gender Dysphoria (which used to be called gender identity disorder, but is now an offensive term) directly correlates with depression and anxiety, which are both mental disorders. Although the two of those are mental disorders, we as a society are not allowed to call Gender Dysphoria a mental disorder. Follow this carefully: according to Daniel Payne, the transgender suicide rate is 40%. A massive part of the population says that this is because of the discrimination against transgenders. You cannot attribute the transgender suicide rate to discrimination because if that was the case, the suicide rate for blacks would be higher than it is due to the amount of discrimination they face. The black suicide rate is lower than the white suicide rate, and that alone destroys Gender Dysphoria not being a mental disorder... this is a prime example of society ignoring facts and the truth while conforming to the trans-society.

While reading on planedparenthood.org I learned about the names transgender people want to be called and do not want to be called. Some of the terms they want to be called or associated with are a crossdresser, drag king, drag queen, gender dysphoria, gender fluidity, non-binary, genderqueer, intersex, trans, a transgender man, a transgender woman, Ze, Zie, Xe, and (singular) they.

There are also multiple terms that are now considered "offensive" or "outdated," because it's 2017. Some of those terms are gender identity disorder, hermaphrodite, sex change operation, shemale, tranny, and transsexual.

This never affected me in any way, until people started getting upset about what I was calling them (when they clearly look like a male or female but aren't.) This never had an impact on me until a man dressed as a woman who claimed to be transgender went into a woman's bathroom and allegedly sexually assaulted a little girl. This never bothered me until a group of people challenged my freedom of speech, and said that they MUST be referred to as one of the "acceptable" terms. I will not redefine our terms just to please someone who feels like the opposite of what they biologically are.

As Ben Shapiro says, "It's not a matter of being open-minded and accepting..." It's about the truth, and not defying it or sugarcoating it so that a group of men and women can feel more comfortable. We as a society cannot crumble and conform to people trying to change their biological properties because that is when it starts to affect others outside of the trans-society.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

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I'm Proud That Transgenders Are Being Protected  In The South

Transgenders are human also!

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Having Gender Dysphoria isn't something that we take lightly and it can be a scary thing to deal with. The Transgender Community doesn't need hate on top of the treatments that they are doing through their doctor. The treatments that a Transgender person take will last for the rest of their lives if they continue the transition. I'm so thankful that Tennessee became the first state to implement protections for Transgender people. This is a win for the stereotypes surrounding southern people as well. This shows that southern people can be progressive.

Being Transgender isn't an easy journey for a lot of the community. They have to go through treatments for the rest of their lives and that can be a pain. My Husband, who is transgender, is one of the strongest MEN I know. The fact that Tennesse implemented protections for his community is amazing and inspires us to leave Florida for traveling purposes. This would be the beginning of dissuading people from attacking people because they are who they are. With these protections in place, the next step to continue to educate those who are ignorant. It truly puts a damper on things when they get attacked on top of doing their treatments.

Tennessee doesn't have an exclusive "hate crime" charge but there are factors when sentencing individuals who've committed crimes based on race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry. They added gender to the list just recently in order to extend protection to those of the transgender community as well as the cisgender community. This is a big win for the community because it adds protects and inspires tolerance. The fact that we keep attacking those based off of physical attributes shows that we are still backward in thinking.

I'm sure the majority of us have an idea of stereotypes surrounding southerners and the south. Most people think we homey, traditionalist and backward folk that drinks sweet tea and eats BBQ every day. Growing up in Florida with my family, I had the best of both worlds. I had a forward-thinking mindset but traditional southern values. The fact that Tennessee being progressive with their protections of the Transgender Community brings the south more into progressive thinking. Mind you, Tennessee has been progressive for a while now but this puts the icing on the cake.

The fact that the south is becoming not the homey traditionalist region that it used to be is a cause for celebration. There are transgenders in every part of this country and we should protect them. They are human and deserve to be 100% themselves. Tennessee doesn't have an exclusive "hate crime" charge but there are factors when sentencing individuals who've committed crimes based on race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry. It inspires my husband and me to continue to travel in places that he wouldn't be generally accepted and it's a blessing. Traveling to Tennessee is now on my husband and I's bucket list.

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