Trans Tropes: Born in the Wrong Body

There is probably no more common trope of trans people than the idea that we were simply ‘born in the wrong body’ or ‘trapped in x (gender) body’. The problem with both of these concepts it that it ignores the fundamentally complex nature of both gender identity and the discovery of one’s gender.

Accepting this narrative however, assumes that all trans people want the same thing, or that our journeys are all the same. Even if the destination is similar, the path is almost never the same.days_Tuesday

Growing up, I always knew I preferred things traditionally considered ‘girly’ toys, including Barbies that my cousin had, and an Easy Bake Oven that I had, but I also had race cars that I loved, and an RC truck that I got for Christmas one year that I adored. I loved to play dress up but it was one of those things that certain members of my family seemed to take issue with, and so I knew I couldn’t wear skirts or dresses all the time. And eventually I got over it, either because of fear (because in spite of what the whole Christian thing might have you believe, the bullying in Catholic school was far worse than when I ended up in public school for high school) or simply because I pushed it back, I can’t really say, but I always knew that more often than not the way I saw myself in the head was often female. It wasn’t really until I was finally out to everyone in my life as gay in my senior year of high school that I started to find those feelings returning.

The realization that actually wanting to be seen as and treated like a woman was not something that gay men wanted made me feel sort of alienated from my community, and even though I knew what trans was, what I had seen of them didn’t ever resonate with me in any kind of meaningful way. In fact it wasn’t until almost three years later meeting a trans friend that I was able to fully realize who I was, and that’s the point. The journey is often complicated. It can take months or years or a lifetime to figure out who you are, but to suggest that somehow you were born into the wrong body is a simplistic view, and one that needs to be evaluated.

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