Guest Author Amanda Grimes discusses trans activism and the risks it may present for young people.
This article is a collection of my own thoughts and opinions, formed from my experience as a transsexual woman who transitioned over 30 years ago. In that time I have experienced life, as a woman, with few, if any, knowing about my past. I am married to a man and have had a long and very successful professional career. I transitioned at a time when the world was not quite the fluffy accepting place it appears to be today and in reality while laws have changed, society, especially the behaviours of the genders within it is not really that different now than it was then.
There currently is what seems to be an inexorable move towards the acceptance of “Transgender” people within Western societies. So much so that there is almost an air of hysteria around the condition, which seems almost cult like in some quarters, and has led to the blind acceptance of anyone who presents the slightest non-conformity with their traditional gender role as being transgender.
While tolerance of different people and their lifestyles is to be welcomed and applauded there are traps and dangers which lay just below the surface of this glistening ocean of acceptance and there are those within the “transgender community” who will fall victim to these if criticism and the dissemination of scientific truths is suppressed or silenced as seems to be happening at present. To varying degrees those at most risk are Transsexuals and Gender Non-conforming individuals (especially those who may also be homosexual).
There exists today an almost rabid fervour amongst the LGBTQ movement to include anyone who presents themselves as believing they are transgender for whatever reason. In this drive to accept whatever this person says as being valid, in a constant attempt to value the individual, scientific reality and all examination of the person’s pathology, motives and circumstances are mercilessly forbidden and suppressed. Such is this modernistic need for inclusion that anybody who does not conform to the gender norm, however minor the behavioural variance may be or ridiculous the claim may be, it is to be accepted at face value and never questioned and all other considerations must fall victim to it.
The main reasons for this are, in my opinion, twofold. The trans community and those who hold politically motivated positions within it is primarily made up of those who cannot fit in to wider society as the gender they present as. These are almost exclusively Autogynephilic Transsexuals (AGPs) This inevitably leads to a form of understandable resentment amongst this group, when all they seek should, in reality, be tolerance and inclusion. Well, misery loves company and these politically motivated forces have done all they can to entice, bully or shame other transsexuals who could otherwise integrate into society into joining their politicised movement and outing themselves as martyrs to the cause.
The second reason is tactical. Like a typical smokescreen being used to distract attention from an attacking force’s real intent, the widening of the descriptors of what makes a person trans, by removing the requirements for clinical diagnosis and affirmation, and by removing the possibility of being questioned as to the validity of the claim to be “trans” by accusing those who dare to question it of hate. They hide themselves and remove the possibility of the weaknesses of their own positions being exposed. Denial, suppression and obstruction of the truth is the hallmark of these groups and they will mercilessly attack anyone who dares challenge their version of it.
This presents dangers to two specific groups, Gender nonconformists and Homosexual Transsexuals (HSTS).
The first, the gender nonconformists, are more vulnerable than the other type, especially where they are born female. Why these individuals believe themselves to be trans often stems from a general misunderstanding of what Gender Dysphoria actually is and it is a misunderstanding deliberately supported and campaigned for by amongst others the trans activists. Gender Dysphoria is in reality, as a very cursory description, a feeling of intense unhappiness or dissatisfaction which arises from the condition of Gender Identity Disorder (GID). There are various reasons and theories as to why someone would develop or be born with GID, which we will not cover in this text as they are eloquently covered in other articles on this site. GID is a profound and persistent conviction that one is the wrong sex (Biological Sex not Gender) and an inability to accept one’s own biological sex as being correct. From this condition, sufferers can experience Gender Dysphoria, which can in turn lead to Body Dysmorphia (a disassociation with one’s body or parts of it). This linear sequence is important because transsexualism only occurs in that order and never the other way around, unlike other conditions which can lead to a mistaken presumption of transsexualism.
Lots of young women dislike their bodies, especially their secondary sex characteristics or reproductive functions and this can lead to unhappiness and feelings of dissociation with those body parts and functions, but not liking one’s body in isolation does not make one transsexual. They may also struggle with coming to terms with sexual advances of males which their bodies attract. Such women, especially if they are lesbian, can mistakenly believe that this means they are trans and can lead them to seek out medical transition. This is far from the case and in fact, many such women simply need time or counselling to help them come to terms their body or with their sexuality. The current politically motivated trans movement would stifle and deny anyone proffering such assistance or advice amid cries of “conversion therapy”.
Medical professionals in the trans medical field live in fear of suggesting such treatment programs for justifiable reason, often their positions and livelihood will be removed because of trans activist pressure. This unfortunate state of affairs will continue to result in a growing number of extremely unhappy de-transitioned women who come to realise only too late, that they had mistakenly assumed themselves to be trans and, who have been failed by the medical professionals who should have been there to protect them from themselves as opposed to simply enabling them.
The second group, the HSTS face a different danger. The vast majority of HSTS can, following transition, integrate into society unnoticed should they choose to. They can have a home life, friends and career with the fact that they are transsexual going unnoticed by the wider world. However in recent years so many are being enticed into believing it is better to be “out and proud” by the popular trans movement and by social media platforms populated by AGPs that they are forsaking this chance of anonymity and with it any chance of future security.
It is easy to see the attraction to the young of being rebellious and to want to be part of a movement which espouses equality and social equity, hell that’s what it means to be young. It is also possible to understand why they may want to seek out the company of others who they feel are like them, when they have felt isolated for some years by their GID. But these desires have to be tempered and weighed against potential for their detrimental effect upon their future lives. Many are ignoring this and do so at their peril.
HSTS need to be brutally honest with themselves and ask why they sought out medical transition in the first place? Did they want to be women and live in the female role in society? Or, did they specifically set out to be a Trans Woman? Separate and identified as such and treated as such by all in society, the good and the bad. There is again a linear condition to these two states of Woman and Trans Woman, especially in this information age. One can be living as a woman and be outed (voluntarily or by others) and then continue life as a trans woman, however it all but impossible to do the reverse.
There have always been those who were “out” and intentionally publicly visible (the “Professional Tranny” we used to refer to them as). They were invariably AGP, but occasionally an HSTS would be “outed” and then have little choice but to make the best of a bad situation and face down those who had outed them (usually the tabloid press). In the UK it was these outed HSTS who historically campaigned through the European courts over many years and won the rights enjoyed by trans people today and I and other transsexuals owe them a considerable debt.
Before deciding to be out and proud a transsexual needs to consider the effect upon their future life. Fame and unless it is profound, infamy, are fleeting. Being famous or infamous for being trans is extremely unlikely to provide sufficient financial security for life, or a base upon which to build an enduring career.
Trust me, as an ageing transwoman, financial security is of paramount importance. When I transitioned at 23 my mother said something which I found particularly profound. “This is all well and good while you are young and pretty and men want you, but one day you will have to get old and be an old woman”. I contemplated this very carefully before facing the fact that I had no choice, but it factored highly in my prioritising my life path.
Older women are not valued in Western society, especially childless women. Sure, everybody loves their granny, but one need only think how many more derogatory terms there are for old women than there are for old men to understand the engrained prejudices there are towards them. You can be assured that an old trans woman will fair less well. Women’s power in the West comes from sexuality and their attractiveness to others and that wanes with age (faster than you would think!). That power can only be compensated for as time progresses with wealth. I am not talking about fortunes but simply being able to live in society without reliance on another. In building a career or a life which will provide you this security, being out and trans is most certainly not an advantage.
Which leads me onto relationships.
There is no shortage of men who are attracted to trans women and seek them out specifically when they know them to be trans. However these men invariably are attracted to young attractive trans girls, it’s unfortunate but that is how male sexuality works. If one hopes to attract a life partner and bond with them it is best done while young but it is unlikely that there is a pool of heterosexual males who are going to be keen to start a relationship with a publicly visible trans woman. If you are to successfully pair bond with a man in order to bring you the emotional and potentially financial security for life, it is far more likely that he will prefer a wife who is integrated into the wider society he shares with his contemporaries. Being trans is your issue not his and you can be assured that other men are likely to be much more antagonistic to him about his choice of partner than they are to you about your being trans.
Until the last few years, most HSTS, once they had transitioned, simply disappeared into their new life and lived “stealth” as it is now termed. Invariably they lived long happy lives, without suffering any of the social prejudices suffered by AGPs. They never formed part of the statistics used to calculate suicide rates because nobody knew they were there and so those who criticise surgical transition as being unsuccessful in 40% of cases do so from a false position.
This current ethos that these HSTS should sacrifice their anonymity on the trans altar for the sake of the “trans community” is going to deny them these opportunities and a chance for the life they really desired, that of a woman. I appreciate the difficulty most young people raised in an era of social media have as so much of their lives are public, but if you are HSTS, I would urge you to consider carefully the risks and potential pitfalls before taking this option.
Amanda Grimes is a Guest Author at Rod Fleming’s World. She has been living as a woman for three decades. The opinions expressed in the piece are the author’s.