The Side of Being Transgender That Nobody Wants You To Know About


At the beginning of your transition, it's likely that the very first thing you do is enough research to make your English teacher squeal with delight. I remember staying up late at night to learn everything I could from Google searches, Reddit posts, Instagram, Facebook, and even movies. I stored so much information in my tiny brain that I felt like I had become an expert overnight. I realize now, four years later, just how wrong I was.

When you do research on being transgender, you come across a few common topics. Those are:

  • Binding and how to bind safely

  • How to come out to ______

  • Some hate crime that has been committed to or by a trans person

It all seems very bland. You learn that you are probably going to be hurt at one point, that you need to look a certain way to pass, and that coming out to people is very difficult. No matter where you go, these three topics are cycled through, with the occasional news story about someone who successfully fully transitioned. What the media doesn't talk about is how absolutely hilarious it can be to be transgender.

This may sound like a strange thing to say, but I'm sure my fellow trans friends who are also later in their transitions will agree that being transgender can invite some very funny experiences.

Just like the time I dropped my STP (stand to pee) device under a stall door and the man next door kicked it back over saying I dropped my dong.

Or the time I was working in a coffee shop earlier in my transition and a man approached me and said, "Excuse me m'am, I mean sir, I mean.... Look I'm old okay."

Or every single time I've sacked myself on a handrail while skateboarding only to get up and say, "It's okay, my testicles are at home."

Or when you pick a foreign name and hear people try to correct themselves only to butcher your new name completely (this is probably my favorite).

Or better yet, when I was working in retail and heard a woman tell her child to "Say goodbye to the nice lady," only for her kid to look around confused before waving at her.

Or when someone misgenders you, but the moment you begin speaking they correct themselves, red-faced, because your voice helps you pass.

These small moments can make your whole week, and not just because they're funny. They restore some of your faith in humanity when you hear them, because in those moments you are laughing together, not at each other. There is no judgment. We need more of that in our world.

Sure, when you're just starting out in your transition you won't get many of these moments. But they exist. You just need to hang on long enough to experience them. Believe me, it's worth it.

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

Thanks for this lovely remark. As a transwoman, I have gotten the odd Ma'am, um sir" stuff too. Funny thing is my voice has feminized so well (thanks car karaoke) that I pass 100% on the phone. I was in Hobby Lobby shopping one day needed help finding some stuff, and an associate answered "Ma'am, oh I'm sorry sir" (she must have seen my 5 oclock shadow) and I answered in the most effimenent voice possible, "you had it right the first time." And my shape is definitely developing. I've lost 60 pounds and despite my massive masculine frame, I am starting to pass more frequently.

But I have found it is infinitely better living as openly trans, even in the deep south, as opposed to trying to conceal my identity or going to great lengths to "pass." I work 8-5 blue collar job. I don't have time to spend 2 hours putting on make up, or change clothes in a gas station bathroom just to shop after work.

Just be yourself and people accept you as a human. If they don't, they are not your friends.

Sally Stone
Sally Stone

I think you show such a healthy attitude about the rest humanity and how their reactions to us are funny. I wish more people would just laugh about uncomfortable moments instead of becoming incensed because they were misunderstood or mis-gendered. Yes, being trans can be difficult, but if we can laugh at the situations surrounding our transness, transition and our lives would be so much more enjoyable.

Trans Central Station