Would you believe even today, widespread belief exists that people actively choose a homosexual lifestyle or gender transition? Of the former, there is plenty of dialog, so I’m not going to bother going there. Trans people face this level of malarkey just as frequently, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to put together a few talking points. This shouldn’t be too hard, because seriously, who in the world would do this if they didn’t have to? Yes, I’m going to focus on the MtF side of things for the moment, but I would love to encourage any trans guys to weigh in with their reasons.
1. Lookie-Lou’s: I suppose there are a few odd ducks out there who don’t mind a smidge making their way through the mall gauntlet of “what the hell are you supposed to be anyway?” stares. Yes, yes, we all like to claim it doesn’t bother us, but really, wouldn’t you be way more comfortable ordering the venti frappachino knowing for sure no one was going to holler at you when the time came to send it on to its final destination? This is why we are willing to go through hellacious expensive procedures to achieve the maximum level of passability. If it didn’t suck, many less would bother.
2. Ka-Ching!: Yes, there are many other expensive ailments out there that can leave you a financial ruin. Many of them, however, include a significant chance you aren’t going to make it and therefore not have to worry about the bills rolling in. If you do make it, heaven help you. No one ever accuses ol’ Uncle Barney of developing that tumor just to be different or to fuck with the family a little bit because the personal and monetary cost is just too prohibitive. Yeah, pretty much the same thing here, which is why only the well heeled and trans populations are willing to pay for complex plastic surgery.
3. Effective Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People: The vast majority of the population wants to do well and achieve some measure of success whether it be in the service industry or the board room. People go back to school, work extra hard, kiss much ass, and read books with titles much like that of the title of this reason. The day you start showing up in a dress, pay close attention to the crane installing a glass ceiling measured to be right about your height. That’s if they keep you of course. In many instances you are looking at dozens of uncomfortable job interviews where they politely try to figure out if this is a joke or not.
4. You Got Some ‘Splainin’ To Do: You know what sucks worse than telling people you have a terminal illness? Telling people you are trans. With the former you get that sympathetic look and maybe a gratifying tear or two. With us it’s more of a deer in the headlights kind of thing as they struggle to comprehend and react. Sometimes the reaction is really bad. Sometimes it starts good, but then turns bad after they had a chance to think about it. While the telling itself is enough of a deterrent to dissuade anyone, the not knowing if the relationship exists or not is the icing on the cake. In a world where no one gives bad news unless they absolutely have to, this falls well within the field of unavoidable.
5. Have You Heard?: The number one reason people give for not doing something that they really want to is, “I would love to, but I really don’t want to have to hear about it.”. People hate hearing about it, and do anything they can to avoid it. On the flip side, it’s a highly effective means of controlling what someone else does. When you transition, you will hear about it. A lot. People think that in making you constantly hear about it, you might “come to your senses” or realize what you are doing is not worth the business you are getting as a result. It changes nothing of course, but dear lord how they try. For that reason alone, no one would do this.
6. Reasonable Alternatives Denied: When faced with having to do something insanely difficult, people often try to scare up some reasonable alternatives to save themselves the pain. By the time we transition, we have typically gone though the whole gamut and are left with the last final option other than suicide, which 47% opt to try. People often like to approach us, usually under the auspices of #5, to see if they can fix this issue real quick. Have you thought about just “doing this” on the weekends? What about therapy? Can’t you just be happy with what you have and make the best of it? Yes thank you, I never thought of these things I’ve been doing for decades in that light before. If I’m spending my lunch hour shopping for another goddamn pair of pantyhose because a dog put a run in them, I’ve pretty much exhausted all other options.
7. Congratulations! Your Travel Arrangements Have Been Downgraded: Looking for ways to make the world a harder, scarier place where you have less rights, options, and safety? Be a woman! Want to work harder for less pay and less respect with fewer prospects? Be a woman! MtF transition is like rising from your comfy reclining seat in first class, poking the flight attendant, and asking for the middle seat way back by the rear bathroom. As someone who has flown enough to win treasured Platinum status, I can say for certain that I’ve never, ever seen this happen.
8. Campbell’s Soup For One: By and large, it’s a very prevalent part of the human condition to want to partner up. Security, love, shared times, and even sex. Sure there are problems, but the rewards are incentive enough to keep this kind of business going for the foreseeable future. If you ever want to see a big group of lonely single people, simply go to a transgender support meeting. People into women generally prefer the variety that came that way out of the box. “Oh, reconditioned? Yeah, I’ll pass.” Sure, there are tranny chasers out there, but I think there are more of us than them, and many appear to have specialized interests that often make us uncomfortable. No one buys the lifetime membership to the Lonely Hearts Club unless there is no other choice.
9. De Pain Boss, De Pain: Take one of your nose or beard hairs and pluck it out with tweezers. Fun, yes? Now imagine the same thing with electricity 70 to 100 thousand times over the course of a year and a half. Then imagine the prospect of doing the same thing downstairs on any skin that is going to be on the inside (some nice surgeons spare you this and will cauterize it for you). I think even the most adamant ‘Choicer’ out there would have to pause on this one. Going once, sure, but going back again and again and again knowing exactly what kind of torture you are in for? Even the most hearty masochist would give this a pass.
Well, I was going to do ten, but you know, nine is way cooler and I don’t feel like I’m aping Dave Letterman’s schtick. If you have more, feel free to add in the comments!