While I might not look it today, I used to be as transmisic as any TERF or anti-trans person you’d find on social media. I had a severe hatred for trans people, especially trans women, for most of my adult life and it took a lot for me to realize why.
As stated in my article, Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is Pseudoscientific Woo, even though I knew I was trans at a young age, I repressed my gender and who I was for multiple years. My internal struggle and pain began to manifest in ways I could never expect and that included developing a hatred for people who were open about being transgender.
I would see trans women going about their daily lives and feel this intense anger. At the time I associated it with the struggles I was dealing with living as a woman, how these people were really just men who wanted to take the easy way out. They were tired of being men, so they wanted society to cater to them. They were buying into the culture that removed the agency from women, taking advantage of a society that viewed women as the sex that needed protecting.
I hated these people, believing that they were men with male privilege who were invading women’s spaces. I hated them because I felt like they were using male privilege to talk over other women, how they were pushing their views of womanhood on those who had lived and struggled since day one as women.
I hated them for not having to deal with what I’d dealt with all my life, for not having to deal with periods, or pregnancy scares, or being called a liar when coming forward about being raped, or being expected to take care of domestic work as well as hold down a job. I felt they were cheating the system and it made me angry.
Every stereotype thrown against trans women, I believed. I joined in on pushing to have a trans woman kicked from the women’s bathroom where I worked because I saw her one time standing to pee. I didn’t even think that I was being nosy or that I was in the wrong looking at foot placement under the stalls, I believed I was helping protect women!
Trans men didn’t really exist for me because well, they were actually just butch women who were masquerading as men when they could so that they could be taken more seriously…but they were always women.
Even after it finally clicked in my head that I was trans, many of these feelings lingered and I still to this day struggle with them when I deal with someone who is highly antagonistic.
What I hadn’t realized back then was I was projecting my anger onto these people. People who didn’t know what I was dealing with and who didn’t deserve the hatred I was throwing at them. They didn’t know the internal struggle that was boiling just below my consciousness.
Looking back I realize that every time I saw a trans woman going about her business, I wasn’t upset due to the reasons I’d bought into, I was angry that she was happy. How dare she be happy and able to be who she is while I’m forced to remain in the closet? How dare she be able to accept and be happy with herself and her life while I’m miserable?
My own pain and frustration was what led me to buying into the stereotypes and anti-trans beliefs.
Even though I’ve been out since 2014 and have spent much of my time educating myself as well as others, I can still feel the remnants of that anger just under the surface at times. I feel shame in knowing that I was a trans person who played along with the anti-trans bigotry and hatred, I helped further the narrative against trans people through my own self hatred and transmisia.
Today when I see the arguments being made against trans people by TERFs and other anti-trans people I feel like I’m looking at a past version of myself, someone who was screaming into the void to deal with their own pain and anger. While it hurts to remember what I’ve done, I find solace in knowing how far I have come.