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9 Reasons Transgender Isn’t a Choice


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!


About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

24 responses »

  1. 2011年には、ヨーロッパでは他に類をみない素晴らしいモンブラン山へのオマージュとして『Tribute to the Monblanc』を発表。

  2. Actually, one of the reasons I’m going through with this is to get *out* of the Lonely Hearts Club. I’ll be a niche dating category within a minority of a minority of a minority, but there are plenty of pansexual, bisexual, and lesbian women who are willing to date us. Some even seek us out. I spent, like, 30 years totally alone (I mean, plenty of friends, but not that special someone), unable to date, have a girlfriend, or even just have casual sex, because I wasn’t going to trick a poor straight girl into a relationship with me, especially when sex itself would be a serious problem, and I didn’t have the right equipment to have a lesbian relationship. Several lesbians have lamented on websites I frequent about the severe shortage of butch-presenting trans women. I intend to present as a tomboy femme, jeans and sneakers, plaid shirts, and so on. Close enough? Maybe if I keep my hair short. *wink*

    • Hi Amy! I love the way you are looking at this. I can very much relate as I had the same problems with sex and relationships, but unfortunately can’t make the same claim about not hurting a straight girl in the process. It was a perfect storm of long distance, lack of privacy, low sex drives across the board, and an indefinable compatibility. I will never claim I would have been better off not marrying her, but I do regret not being able to see the truth, or communicate what little of it I did understand. Thanks so much for commenting!

      • A bisexual woman on FB asked me out and we’ve been dating a couple of months now. She’s asked me to present more feminine as she fell for me in spite of my dressing butch rather than because of it. It’s thanks to her that I’ve come out and am starting to present publicly far ahead of schedule. My life’s changing fast!

  3. Pingback: 9 Reasons Transgender Isn’t a Choice « Pasupatidasi's Blog

  4. None of this was ever a choice & it never would have mattered what it took to be happier then I ever thought possible

  5. One of the things you didn’t mention is all the family and friends you lose after you tell them the truth about who you really are. I went down the road as a transgender for a good many years alone (since the age of six). I know that it only takes three to four years if the money is there to complete the transition, but that is not something that grows on trees. Only the last two years have I actually found friends that accept me for me. I am happy being me but it took a long time to be comfortable around naysayers that only look out for their interests.

  6. I sit here early sunday morning, Inspired by the witty way that the pain we live in and through is so aptly written for others to see a glimpse of. Ni actually I have to explain to some that I did not wake up one morning and say Hmmm what can I do today for fun, then jump Headfirst into transition to free myself from a prison from birth. Thank you for the post.

  7. As I start down the road toward transition myself I can think of 500 good reasons not to go there. None of that stops me.


  8. Do you mean “transgender” or “transition”? Would make a big difference.

    • I did actually mean transition, but I chose ‘transgender’ for the title as more cisgender folks know what it means. I try to make this space accessible to them insofar as I can as one of my goals is to have as many people as possible ‘get’ it. 🙂


  9. Very well put! This is NOT a choice. It is what should have been but for some unknown reason wasn’t. I hid this for years and years. I’m sad that it took me so long to admit it to myself, but I am SO much happier now that I am becoming who I was MEANT to be! I have a long ways to go, but so far I am enjoying the ride! Don’t give in to what everybody else thinks you should be and just be yourself. Thank you for this post!

    • Thanks Stephanie! Ugh, the years of hiding, hoping it wasn’t true… weird times, weird times. 🙂 It’s not easy, but the ride is way better than being in line for it, right?


  10. Jet Alexis Armstrong

    Why choose an easy life when every day can be a challenge xxxxxxx

  11. I love this post, well said.

  12. Oh, I don’t know. I think all things considered, who wouldn’t want to be trans? I mean, there’s something wonderful about living on the fringe of society, don’t you think? And the pain is delightful and wondering if someone has clocked you in the bathroom and mentally preparing an escape plan makes peeing like an action movie…so very exciting. Yes, indeed. Life was far too easy before. Who wouldn’t choose to be Job?

  13. Hiya Sis,

    Well said. Whether you list 9 reasons or 900, it still boils down to no rational human being would choose to do this for fun. We are here because we ran out of all the options that didn’t include transition.

    Love ya, and I’ll share your soup with you any day. 🙂



    • Love ya sis! I’ll bring some of my famous split pea next time I drop by. 🙂 Seriously though, making my way over there to visit sometime is on my bucket list. I’m not 100% what a ‘bucket list’ is specifically, but if it’s something one intends on doing, then I think it’s pretty apt. Talk this weekend?




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