Winning the Transgender Lottery
by Mila Madison
High cheekbones, full lips, small hands, no adam’s apple or wide hips. These are just a few things some of us trans girls may already be lucky to have before we even transition. For trans guys it might be that they are tall, flat chested or muscular. Any one of these things might make the experience just a little bit easier. Some call it winning the genetic lottery, or in our case the transgender lottery.
“WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF A MILLION PRIVILEGES IF YOUR GENES OR BLOODLINE WORK IN YOUR FAVOR.”
We live in a world of a million privileges if your genes or bloodline work in your favor. Yes some may be physical features that may help you pass better, but not everyone cares about that. We all have a different outlook when it comes to our journey. Privilege can also go beyond the physical. It can be having enough money or the right insurance coverage for reassignment surgery. There are so many things that can be looked at as a privilege depending on who is looking. Yes we all could find an example where we won the transgender lottery if we look hard enough, but does it really matter?
We all have different needs and aspirations, just like the rest of society. Many of the things we worry about are the same things cisgender people worry about. There are cisgender women out there who have big hands and feet. You have cisgender men who are short or may not be able to grow facial hair. All human beings have their shortcomings and insecurities depending on the perspective, even the models we see in photos and the movie stars we see on the big screen. What complicates matters for us is things like dysphoria and discrimination. Often our perceived shortcomings, whether in our minds or reality, can trigger dysphoria or make us fearful of being clocked or even discriminated against.
“WE LIVE IN A SENSATIONALIZED SOCIETY AND WE ARE CONSTANTLY BOMBARDED WITH A BINARY VIEW OF WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD LOOK LIKE.”
We live in a sensationalized society and we are constantly bombarded with a binary view of what everyone should look like. We see it represented in our pop culture. We even see it within our own community. I often hear some backlash when we celebrate the likes of Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono or Andreja Pejic, where people say they do not represent what it is really like to be transgender because of the privileges they receive. The truth is that most people in the limelight are not being truly represented whether they are transgender or not. You have top photographers with the best lighting choosing the best out of a 100 pictures. They next add some Photoshop and you have the perfect image. The same goes with movies.
Human beings come in all shapes and sizes. We all play the genetic lottery in some shape or form. Genetics are the reason that we are transgender in the first place. If you are a trans girl and you are worried about your weight, size, looks or whatever then welcome to womanhood. You now get to deal with all the same pressures from society that every woman has. The same goes for trans guys. Being insecure about your body or height is a perfectly normal thing for a guy. In the end it is our choice whether we want to conform to gender roles or just go our own way. There is no right or wrong way to be transgender. We each have our own journey and we need to support each other regardless of what privileges one may or may not have. We need to accept each other before we can expect the world to accept us. After all, we are all in this together.
Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us!
Love and peace,