Today I read a discussion elsewhere that attempted to rationalize the decision to not transition when someone clearly wanted to transition. Excuses included relationships with people who could not accept the truth. This specific argument bothered me greatly.
The argument that “I can’t transition because [insert family member here] can’t accept it” is a rationalization. It marks someone who is in a dependent relationship, not a healthy relationship. It also marks someone who knows very well that they are not loved unconditionally as a human being but instead is “loved” very conditionally. This is called being in a codependent relationship. It’s not healthy.
I experienced all this and looking back on it, it was pure and utter nonsense. How do I know this? How would these same family members react if I said I had cancer? Well, I know the answer to that question because I had and beat cancer eighteen years ago. And for that medical problem, people constantly urged me forward, to not give up, to have hope, to get well. The exact same people who today openly, viciously, and cruelly condemn me for addressing this health issue supported me when it wasn’t a health issue that challenged their own world view.
And you see, that is the height of selfishness.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognises infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one’s neighbour that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he? If he can think, he will probably think differently. If he cannot think, it is monstrous to require thought of any kind from him. A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man and Prison Writings
Oscar Wilde’s comments ring true today too.
It’s not the person transitioning who is selfish. That person is simply addressing a verified medical condition as per the American Medical Association and American Psychological Association. Transgender people aren’t mentally ill. It’s a treatable medical condition.
And yet the exact same people who urged me forward, who supported me as I sought treatment for cancer to become well again, have treated me with deliberate, cruel, vicious disdain for seeking treatment for gender dysphoria caused by an accident of birth.
I do not question those who choose to not transition out of fear of reactions of “loved” ones. I understand that fear all too well. But what I would question is whether those people truly love you or whether you are a mere convenience in your current form for them who would become an inconvenience in another form.
Because, having lived this, it sure looks to me like a lot of people who claim to “love” their transgender relatives do nothing of the kind and instead are selfish individuals who are using their transgender relative for their own purposes, whatever those might be and who fear losing whatever convenience that relative currently provides.
Those of you who are trans need to ask yourselves whether you are really loved or whether you are just being used. I suspect that you’ll find that you’re just being used. I certainly discovered that sad truth and I sacrificed hugely for what turned out to be nothing in the end.