Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a wonderful author who writes about feminism and visibility, was recently under fire for her discussion of trans women. I accept each person will have different reactions to what she said, but coming from my own experience as a FTM trans man, I think her idea has merit.
She said, “I don’t think it’s a good thing to talk about women’s issue being exactly the same as the issues of trans women.” I understand how some people can feel hurt by what she said, as it is apparent that she’s not entirely used to talking about trans* identities.
There’s no real way to be a perfect ally; sooner or later, you’re going to screw up.
Whether it’s a family member or a distant acquaintance, it takes time to adjust to the name and pronouns of someone you know. Though it’s frustrating to be misgendered and misnamed (I’m not personally a fan of the phrase “dead name”), I think it’s safe to say that most trans* people expect it at first. So, while you’re learning the basics, what are other ways you can be a good ally to a trans*-identifying person? Continue reading
So, what is the Trans* Experience?
The well-circulated narratives of trans* stories, whether fictitious or not, generally follow a person’s tragic backstory and fear-inducing moments throughout their transition. Judging from what movies and tv shows alone tell us, it seems like trans* folks simply don’t lead happy lives, which just isn’t true.
Each person’s experience of the world is complex and varies based on factors such as identity and location. No one trans* person will have the same experience because no one person is the same. Some go through Hormone Replacement Therapy, some don’t. Some will have multiple surgeries, some might have none.