To be both transgender and psychopathic is to wear two masks. Adjusting the fit of one automatically makes the other fit more snugly. The reason for this is that, regardless of intent, both traits require deception. I would argue that, in most cases, there is only amoral and self-serving intent driving either condition and the deception required of it. However, deception is deception. Society is distrustful of those that live in deception and, possibly, rightfully so. As such there is great stigma being associated with either transgenderism or psychopathy. This trilogy of posts will explore the stigma of each condition and will conclude with the reasons that such stigma is unnecessary.
Transgenderism is a trait that is felt differently for the transgenderist than the people he interacts with. Whereas he feels that he is being true to himself and expressing himself thusly, the outsider may feel that he is no more than a con man invading spaces that do not belong to him. Many in society are abhorred by transgenderists for varying reasons. Some of these are rational, some of these are not. Most are not. Fears of transgenderists being rapists and iconoclasts abound. Irrational fears of interacting with transgenderists in shower rooms or bathrooms are prevalent. OH GOD THAT WOMAN IS UNDRESSING AND I BET SHE CAN ONLY BENCH 35 POUNDS BUT SHE HAS A 3/4 INCH COCK AND HE’S OBVIOUSLY GOING TO RAPE ME LIKE THAT SCENE FROM OZ. The female transgenderist is no more likely to be a rapist than the neighbor on the corner. Your four year-old is infinitely more likely to make pissing more awkward with his ‘how do I do this dad? Dad, seriously I don’t get it!’ than the transgender male who never uses the urinal. By necessity, transgenderists must resort to hiding in the shadows and deceiving those around them in order to avoid this kind of irrational malice. For them to shed that deception and disclose is very risky for their own health. Regardless of what many want to believe, the transgender person, sitting behind her mask, is not a bringer of the red death.
It is not just that transgender persons are seen as less than male or female. It is not just that transgenderists are seen as frauds. It is not that we remind you of that weird wet dream you had involving Grimace and a keg of Ecto Cooler. It goes deeper than that. Transgenderists are seen as less than human (sound familiar?). A male-sexed person adopting a female gender is seen as a pervert and a fetishist. A female-sexed individual adopting a male gender is seen as shirking womanly duties. OH GOD THEY ARE CHANGING THEIR BODIES JUST SO THEY CAN LEGALLY LOVE AND GET BENEFITS AND RUIN THE SANCTITY OF MY SIXTH REDNECK MARRIAGE (oh wait: see Iran). It gets more warped, however. Even intellectually sound people stigmatize the transgender. A female transgenderist may be seen as invading the hallowed space reserved by feminists much as some blacks abhor white people invading ‘their’ spaces. A male transgenderist may also be loathed by feminists for seeking to gain privilege. People, cisgender or not, psychopathic or not, often come up with ridiculous narratives to justify their disdain for a group of people.
Transgenderists in some ways face harsher stigma than psychopaths because the transgenderist is forced to reveal themselves at some points in their life if they want to live authentically – through deception, ironically – at all times. Their change of name will forever be a record. If they are employed, at least one employer is likely to see them transition on the job. If they have any friends or family, they must reveal or fake their own deaths. The transition especially, for those transgenderists that pursue hormone replacement therapy, is troubling for many. Seeing one morph their bodies from one sex to an approximation of another invokes, for many, feelings similar to that of seeing a futbol player have bone stick through flesh after a horrendous collision. The sickness felt in the stomachs of many watching from the outside fuels this stigma. I remember when I came out, before I started work in my current field, as so many of my friends and family were horrified at the implications of what I was doing. They left in droves, wished that I was an aborted fetus, that I would bleed out if I ever had SRS (sex reassignment surgery – which is such an inaccurate term), and left me more or less alone with the stigma. My work at the time ended up treating me as a freakshow as many were disgusted that they had to, should they like their money and their benefits, share the same place in time and space with a person like me. It was like they were before forced to watch any of the Transformers movies with toothpicks holding their eyes open. It is true, such changes were not designed by nature, but are absolutely necessary for the mental health of many.
The reasons for the stigma associated with transgenderism are many and drive most transgenderists to wear masks. They masks they wear are really no different than that of the psychopath. Maybe the degree of immorality or morality in wearing that mask gravitates toward the moral for most transgenderists than for most psychopaths, but nonetheless it is still a mask. Whereas the psychopath will wear a mask more for manipulation than for escaping stigma, the transgenderist tends to do it for self-preservation. We will see, however, that the psychopath also faces extraordinary stigma and that transgenderists are not alone on this front. The psychopathic transgenderist, such as myself, faces even more pressure to hide. I wear two different masks, but as I wrote at the beginning of this post, adjusting the fit of one makes the other more snug because of the inter-relatedness of the techniques being used to fit in and/or achieve personal gain. My reasons for wearing such masks may just be more necessary, yet duplicitous, than most.