I’ve been living in my target gender and sex approximation for over five years now. The transgender side of me is so blasé that I hardly think about it any more. Granted, I am privileged in that I sound and appear physically as a member of the sex I am approximating and that I have privilege in social status as well. These privileges help this facet of my life take such a secondary role that many impoverished or less “convincing” transgenderists would love to have. However, it is not about the finished product. I may be lucky with how my transition ended, but the transition itself is always unconvincing for anyone that decides to act on gender dysphoria in such a way. To further abuse the overused butterfly analogy, we must go through that ‘cocoon’ stage to get where we wish to head.
I won’t mince words: the transitionary stage is repulsive and disgusting. Seeing such a mess of seemingly patchwork choices of male and female components is not only troubling to the outsider, it is troubling to the sojourner as well. Like most things in life, gender and sex come in shades of grey. We are repulsed by that which does not fit in the boxes we lay out and I am no different on this front. Even having gone through that uncomfortable physical state myself, I am still repulsed by other transgenderists that do not ‘pass’ entirely. This does trouble me to an extent as it strongly disconnects with the respect I have of the overall condition. However, I will not delude myself into believe I am above what I am not.
However, I don’t think this mindset of repulsion that I have over mixed traditional genders and sexes is that different from those repulsions others have over other incompletions. I just believe that I am more honest with these observations because I am not wrapped up in the underlying morality of it. How many of you are uncomfortable being surrounded by the mentally deficient? How many of you look at a person who has had a limb or two amputated and wince because of the ‘inhumanity’ of the picture in front of you? We want to see perfection and membership of a characteristic that we find pleasant. In this post, that picture we want to see is that of a ‘true’ male or female according to both sex and gender.
That is why we transgenderists turn to a form of deception at all times. We will never be the sex we wish to approximate; we must make that approximation as convincing as possible. We have cosmetics and breast binders. We have voice therapy and we study the mannerisms, quite intently, of the cisgendered. I think the butterfly analogy is flawed. The butterfly once it breaks free of the cocoon is a true butterfly; it cannot be anything but. The transgenderist who finishes their transition is merely at a state where they are, more or less, completely convincing to others as a member of the sex they so greatly wish to be a member of. They are not a member of that sex. There may be ethical reasons to treat them as such, but biology ultimately does not change. We simply enter a cocoon we can never break free of.