How does a person define and demonstrate their gender identity? What does a “man” or “woman” think and feel? Aside from media precepts and sexual preferences, what defines man and woman in our society?
The more I read about 50 kinds of Gender Dysphoria, the less I see how people are so sure they are a specific type of person. What does it mean to “feel like a woman trapped in a man’s body?” Sounds dissatisfied to me. What about a woman’s body and lifestyle do they miss and want? What about a man’s body and way of life are in the way and undesirable? How do they want other people to treat or not treat them?
The latest descriptions of transgender include completely internal “identification.” That means, no physical change to the body one is born with, but just feeling and acting like the gender you are/want. Images of what is a man and what is a woman are stereotypes. Trading and asserting stereotypes is a mental, emotional exercise that some people feel driven to do to prove who they are. If a male wants to love another male, we have come to accept that; likewise, if a woman wants to love another woman. Why not see this “trans” mindset for what it is: changing costumes and characters. Hormones and surgery are the costume change; name changes and voice training are the new role. Why are they so important?
When I was a child, I loved to pretend I was a pirate, a cowboy, a soldier, a fireman by changing hats and voices. I used to make an admiral’s hat by folding a newspaper. When I put on this hat, and picked up the stick that was my sword, I was that admiral; ordering my men to fight off the pirates. I did not insist on a real costume or a real sword; I was what I wanted to be. After I grew up, I dubbed this the “paper hat syndrome.” People believe they are what they portray, even when the obvious says otherwise. I still see people using this same mental trick to “be” what they want to be at work or with friends.
“Transitioning” is expensive; tens of thousands of dollars and physical trauma for surgery, lawyers, hormones, and therapy. After all that, some men do not make attractive women; and some women do not become convincing men. But as long they are satisfied, I am glad for them. I hope they are not disappointed when they do not feel as different as they expected; that could be very depressing. It might be worth some therapy to support living the way you want with the body you already have; leave the paper hat at home.