When friends come out.
Yesterday a close friend of came out as trans.
Honestly I was a little shocked, I’ve known her for a long time and never suspected a thing.
She’s got support for her parents, her girlfriend, as well as some of her friends.
But this isn’t about her, this gave me a bit of a shock.
I had assumed little behaviours just meant she was a ‘bit femmy’ and put down her quirks like me to her autism.
You build up this image of somebody and then they still manage to surprise you.
The human race is remarkable that way, well I’m being fully supportive of her and her goals in life.
She will still be my friend, if anything we have more in common now.
It often makes me wonder why people freak out when friends transition, I’ve done a lot of gender theory hell one of my old partners is trans. But I never reacted negativity the first time, what drives family members or friends to push away people when they transition?
I imagine being their Mother would take its toll even a little, deep down if you raised this person, spent hours in labour to see their face. Raised them from a tiny baby to a strong empowered adult.
When you assume they are one gender and raise them as such you get overwhelmed by their desire to be another.
On the other side of the coin though, it would give you time to get to know that person better and better to see all the little pieces add up, put together the signs. Thankfully the latter is what happened for my friend.
Imagine if it had been the former, imagine if she had been kicked out of her house or shunned and abused like so many others.
Where does transpanic come from?
I’m not talking about, the OMG YOUR A WHAT murder that happens when guys attack trans women.
I’m talking about parents and friends.
Why would you push away somebody you care about when you learn something new about them?
Is it really all about built up perceptions of that person or is it something deeper?
Society in general doesn’t like it when gender barriers are blurred or crossed.
Sure we can provide equality between men and women, even pay gaps, crack the glass ceiling (go Julia), but when people genuinely decide to cross those barriers society explodes. The reasons behind this are numerous , but the most important one is that of power.
Men are given in general more empowered positions in life, they are seen as more headstrong, tougher, capable, they get payed more, and are seen as breadwinners. Women are considered to be child bearers, housewives, we are payed less and generally find it harder to get through life without a man to help.
Men and women are considered to hold different kinds of power, in this instance though only one kind of power matters.
And that is the power of self expression.
Now it’s easy for a girl to wear men’s clothes and not get shit, hell I wear baggy jeans every day, boys t-shirts, and have a lot of hobbies that are considered ‘guyish’, but if anyone of you know me I’m far from Male.
However, for a man to wear women’s clothing is a HUGE act of rebellion, it’s considered a complete deviation and something to be shunned. Why you ask?
This has everything to do with femininity and and masculinity.
Mainly how femininity is something of a scapegoat in today’s society, another word for ‘powerless’.
(check out Julia Serrano’s book for more on this)
When a man expresses femininity he is putting himself into a position of relative ‘dis-empowerment’
By shedding masculinity or exploring feminine behaviour, a man is considered to be a ‘pussy’ and stripping himself of power and status.
He becomes weak. Because society can’t stand femininity and any possible expression of it.
You can use the biological deterministic argument and say that, men are simply stronger and better equipped to deal with the harsh challenges of todays world. Now of course that’s a load of rubbish, neither sex these days is that much stronger than the other, and if they are they generally make up for it in other ways.
So what of sociological reasons, what of societies desire to crush femininity?
Is it wrapped up in a Patriarchal fear of of being ‘less than a man’, being ‘feminine?’ or being Female.
Does the reason so many trans women are alienated stem from Patriarchal fear of the feminine? of the female.
Food for thought.