So just because I’ve seen random things posted on this topic over the past few days…
One of the more ridiculous things I hear spewed forth from people’s’ mouths these days is this ridiculous notion that I have the power to de-legitimize their very being. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would like to have that kind of power… but it’s patently absurd. Why would you even want to grant another person that kind of power over you?
Here’s the thing… if you were born with a penis, but you feel like you are actually a woman… I’m perfectly okay with that. I believe you that you feel like you are a woman. But I do not believe that you are actually a woman. My believing that does not affect you in any way, except insofar as I am not willing to sleep with, date, or marry you.. but there are plenty of women who were born with vaginas that I would not be willing to sleep with, date, or marry either, albeit for different reasons.
What I would say to anyone who identifies as transgender is this: Don’t worry about what other people believe about you. If someone is being an asshole to you, that’s one thing. But if they are perfectly kind to you but just don’t agree you aren’t the gender that you were born with the genitalia of, who really cares? Do you need everyone to agree with everything that you believe about yourself to be validated? If you think you’re a good writer, and I say your writing sucks, does that invalidate your writing? I recognize that your gender is more personal and central to you than your writing ability, but the point remains that what I believe about you has no bearing on.. well… anything, other than my own perception of you.
No matter who you are, I will be kind to you (unless you are a jerk to me, in which case I will still try to be kind to you, but may fail in that endeavor). If I am aware that you view yourself as a gender different from what I perceive you to be, I will refer to you as that gender out of respect for your wishes. And here’s the thing… when it comes to people who I don’t know personally, all you have to do is effectively present yourself as that gender… and I probably won’t even know. If I see someone who’s dressed as a man but looks a little feminine, or dressed as a woman but looks a little masculine, I’m not going to question that. You do you, and don’t worry about what other people believe about you.
You can demand that people treat you with respect and kindness, but you absolutely cannot demand that people believe particular things about you.
Just my 2 cents.