A transgender double-bind

There is no right time to come out as transgender.

I mean, in general the right time is whenever you feel ready, or whenever being in the closet starts feeling like it’s going to kill you, whichever comes first.

What I’m talking about today is cis people’s perspectives on the right time to come out. I’m pretty sure that no matter who you are or when in your life you come out or decide to start a gender transition, you will have one or more people giving you one the following two responses:

  1. “You’re too young to know!” (i.e. you’re doing this too early in life and so I choose not to believe you)
  2. “If you really are transgender, why hasn’t this come up before now?” (i.e. you’re doing this too late in life and so I choose not to believe you)

(Side-note: I’d actually be really curious to hear if there’s anyone out there who managed to come out in some sort of temporal sweet spot that meant they dealt with both these responses from different people.)

Because there’s definitely not a clear line between what ages you’ll be told you’re too young, and at what age you become too old. They almost certainly overlap from person to person, which means that there is definitely no age at which a person can declare that their gender is something other than what their doctors and/or parents guessed it was going to be when they were born and have people in general just accept it.

I am so fucking tired of these absurd excuses, because they are one of many things that actually cause some trans people to delay their coming out, because they are afraid of just these kinds of responses, which can’t be refuted, because they’re carefully designed to be irrefutable. If someone thinks that at your age you can’t possibly know you are transgender, there is nothing you can do to prove them wrong. And if they think that if you really were transgender, they would have, of necessity, seen evidence by now, you can’t prove that wrong either.

And so people delay coming out because they don’t want to deal with this shit (along with all kinds of other often even awfuller shit, of course). And the more they do that, the more the weight of how long they’ve waited can weigh on them and make it even harder, and make it more certain that they will face age-related push-back. It’s an inescapable spiral. And it’s a giant pile of bullshit.

I have nothing more of value add, other than yet another:

Fuck. That. Noise.

One comment

  1. I became a spouse and parent when I was 19, and put my family’s needs above mine. I wouldn’t start gender transition until I was about 40. I was told that if I had been truly trans, my family’s needs would not have trumped my own. Apparently, being a deadbeat parent would have been key to being a True Transsexual(TM).

    –Connie

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