Surgery

IMAG8404If you like my generally upbeat tone, you’re not going to like this post. The gist of it is:

In no way am I implying there’s anything wrong with being a guy or looking like a guy. But for a girl to look like a guy is not fun and not something I’d wish on my worst enemy. Or on second thoughts, maybe I do. That’s be the most cruel punishment I can imagine.

Many t-girls call themselves cross-dressers instead because they don’t look feminine enough or haven’t had any surgery yet. I disagree with their self-classification. My premise: “It’s not about how you look. It’s about how your brain is wired. If you’re born a girl, you’re a girl. Period. It doesn’t matter if you look like a male prizefighter.”

A wonderful t-girl friend of mine summed it up by saying, in effect, “I’m an ugly woman, but I’m a woman.”

The premise that surgery is “required” to be a transgender girl is a popular and messy misconception.

But, my concerns runs deeper yet. The whole idea of it being a conditional, chooseable status is problematic, not least because

a) That clashes with the best available scientific evidence
b) It makes the issue open to moral judgment.

As to the latter: Granted, hating someone because she’s a t-girl is unreasonable even if that were an informed choice that someone had consciously made — as to preferring to have female thinking as opposed to male thinking, even if, um, anatomically male. And even if the criticism were to go beyond her mind and to focus on her looks or style, then hating her for that makes no sense either.

She’s within her rights to look and dress and move how she chooses. If we wanna go editorialize on people’s life choices there’s a lot that I could go pick apart in the lives of many of the guys who are mean to t-girls. However, the premise that it’s a birth condition makes the entire issue moot. Being a t-girl (or t-guy) is amoral.

It’s neither good nor bad. It just “is” like having been born with blue eyes or not. There are practical consequences to being born in any particular configuration, t-girls included, but that’s all above moral judgement in a rational society. We’re hopefully beyond the mindset where one-half of twins gets thrown in the fire at birth, albinos are put to death, etc. At least much of US culture has attained that level, anyway.

As that point becomes understood in popular culture, it dissolves the basic intellectual premise on which much negativity towards t-girls is based, with vast benefits as to treating t-girls fairly. Intellectual battles are won on fundamental points, and this is one such.

So, okay, if you were born a t-girl, you’re a t-girl. So, why would a t-girl seek out surgical options to transition visually and functionally?

To answer that question, let’s think ourselves into the position of a t-girl about to enter puberty, and follow along.

T-girls become self-aware as such introspectively. It’s all we have. If we’re highly repressed and in denial then someone else’s insights might be spot-on based on observation too, but for the most part a t-girl knows she’s a t-girl because regardless of what she’s pressured to feel or think, she thinks and feels like a girl. As humans, we crave integrity. We like to live in a way consistent with who we are. So, being a girl means that there’s the desire to look like one.

Imagine: a pretty young girl gets cursed by a witch and her body becomes misshapen in a way that utterly destroys her femininity. Her nose and forehead become large, her skin gets thick, coarse hair starts growing everywhere on her body, her pretty voice is destroyed and replaced with something deep, her throat is misshapen, her neck gets thick, her hands and feet get big, even her very bones get misshapen to make her body taller than she’d have been as a girl.

Instead of the curvy butt that other girls her age have, she has a flat, hairy butt. Instead of the curvy chest that other girls her age have, she has a flat, hairy chest. Instead of the curvy hips that other girls have, she has flat hips. Instead of the pretty flat forehead that other girls her age have, she has bulges even when she’s not frowning. As to the facial situation, it gets worse. Coarse, thick hair starts growing everywhere. Eventually that gets so bad that even if she shaves it off in the morning, by 5 p.m. there’s already a shadow starting again. There’s even a name for that, it’s so prevalent. Her jaw and chin change shape too.

Her male-shaped genitals, which for the most part have been the only visible male-shaped aspect before puberty, increases vastly in size. And it’s erect often. There’s no ignoring it, any more.

For a guy, looking more like a guy during puberty is a source of pride. For a t-girl, puberty is the sort of tragedy that is the stuff of nightmare horror stories. When she wants to scream in frustration and revulsion as to the process, she’s told there’s no stopping it; the curse will run its course so it’s not the sort of curse by which the witch waves her wand and the next moment the girl looks like I described. It’s slow torture, over years. The t-girl gets to see this happen, every miserable day. And every day she looks worse. In the scope of her knowledge, there is no antidote. She’s doomed.

Any gesture or act by which she attempts to grab and hold onto who she is mentally, in spite of the grotesque facade, becomes a social and physical danger to her, subject to censorship, criticism, ridicule, threats, violence, and in some cultures, expulsion from the parental home, torture and/or death.

If she tries to work out to look better, she puts on weight in the wrong places and she looks less feminine yet.

If she tries to put on weight, or is just depressed and lets herself go, she puts on fat in all the wrong places and she looks less feminine yet.

Typically, she doesn’t understand what’s going on. That’s part of the nightmare. She seriously considers that she’s mentally insane, and hides her femininity for fear of being stigmatized as a nut case, or locked up. Other people who look like guys seem and are perfectly happy with that. Why not her? Is she even a “her?” Nobody else thinks so.

If she’s straight and is attracted to guys, she’s accused of being gay and whoever she’s enthused about don’t see her as a woman. So, straight guys are not an option.

The only guys who might be attracted to her based on her looks would be gay guys wanting other gay guys, a dynamic in which there is absolutely no femininity and it’s the exact opposite of what she wants and who she is, yet in confused desperation she often tries that out even so, so she can at least have some sexual interaction in which she’s not expected to be in the male active role. Pretty soon the masculinity of the dynamic repulses her and she realizes the experience of sex in a passive capacity is what she likes and yet something was also very wrong in the dynamic psychologically. So, gay gays are not an option.

As to other girls: if they’re straight, they’ll want to be with a guy. She’s not a guy. She might try to behave like one. That tends to end badly. If the starts a relationship with a girl, then without the other girl realizing it, perhaps without either of them realizing it, they’re in a girl-girl sexual relationship and the hetero dynamic that the other girl craves just isn’t there. So straight girls are not an option.

As to lesbian girls: if a girl is gay, she’ll want to be with another girl. And ideally she’d like that girl to look like a girl, not a guy. So lesbian girls are not an option.

The only good choices as to her love life are people with a very open or unusual sexuality. That’s a very small pool.

Over time, the physical situation gets worse. The t-girl’s voice gets deeper. She gets enmeshed in a work and social environment in which her femininity is problematic, so she hides it. She dresses as a girl secretly sometimes, as an outlet. If caught, she’s accused of being a cross-dresser, which she’s not. She’s not a male doing this for arousal. She’s a girl doing this for relief.

Her hair, her last possible symbol of gender-neutral femininity if she can keep it long, starts vanishing. Her hairline recedes in a way that makes her look less feminine yet. It’s not just hair loss but the way it happens. She hates it.

Her nose gets bigger, her ears too. As she ages, she starts having health issues with parts she didn’t ever want to have in the first place, the parts that (she now knows) made the hormones that distorted her body.

These parts continue to pump out testosterone, and she’s angry more often and intensely than she likes to be. Anger and testosterone seem to go together. She hates that part of her mind-set, and perhaps she doesn’t even know it’s hormone-induced. As a consolation, her life is so frustrating there’s much opportunity for anger.

She typically makes the worst possible career choice, something macho to hide her embarrassment and maybe force her to suddenly think like a guy or at least behave like one well enough to not be in danger of being beat up or worse, for being a sissy.

As she ages, her web of secrecy ties her down more and more. Coming out has more and more repercussions. She might lose her children, her job, her parents, her family, a safe place to live, her money, her friends, perhaps her freedom and her life.

So, that’s the life of a t-girl who doesn’t switch to the right hormones before puberty.

Why would she seek out surgical options to transition? Every fiber of her being reaches towards wanting to undo as much of the puberty-time damage as possible. So certainly a t-girl’s desperate need for surgery is probably more understandable now.

And unlike other ladies who might want to look better in a particular way, for a t-girl it’s not a “want.” It’s a need, a hunger, a desperation.