If I Had the Option to be Born Cisgender, Would I Take It?
This question was posed a few weeks ago among a group of friends (mostly trans and gender nonconforming individuals), and we failed to come to a consensus. So, I decided to break it down into pros and cons (or trans/cisgender perks), and finally answer the question.
The “No” Argument – Transgender Perks
I fully embrace my “transness”. My journey has been such an amazing and eye-opening experience, and I really value that.
Perspective. The perspective that I have today is exponentially broader and more informed than where I was a year or two ago. Since living as Kayden, I have opened my eyes to so many realities, battles, and inequalities. Previously, I ran around town touting my liberal, fair, and open-minded beliefes, but I was so blind to so much that exists in the world, and had no idea how close-minded I actually was. I have also learned to recognize by privilege.
Despite genuine efforts by our cisgender siblings, there is only so much perspective that can be gained without witnessing and experiencing things first hand.
Community. The social network that I’ve been welcomed into is invaluable. The LGBQ+ and transgender community is made up of some of the most humble, open, and kind human beings. We get it – we understand each other’s struggles and we support each other. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll always have your sour apples, but as a whole, the community is great.
Pride. A buddy of mine mentioned this just the other day – the night and day difference in how I carry myself is crystal clear. This confidence and pride has given me the balls to pursue some really great opportunities; I took a leap on a challenging job, I bought a house, I spoke about my journey at a conference, I got onto a number of other stages in front of complete strangers. Previously, I was never one for being bold, taking chances, or speaking in front of people.
I have taken my identity and turned it into something I’m proud of, something I can stand behind, and it has opened so many doors. I can’t say whether or not I’d have the same sense of confidence and pride if I were living as a cis-man, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to risk losing it.
Opportunity. I also consider my identity an opportunity; my chance to make an impact. Had I been born cisgender, I’m not sure that I would feel so passionately about a cause. Change the world might be a little aggressive, but if I can help to change the narrative just a bit, I’d call that a win.
The “Yes” Argument – Cisgender Perks
Okay, I love where I’m at now, but obviously there are solid arguments for resetting the clock and being born cisgender.
Sex. I think this one speaks for itself. I am also electing not to elaborate here because this is something that I’ve really been struggling with lately.
Peeing. Being able to walk into a bathroom without having to think about it: priceless. Using the bathroom outside of my house is still an event for me every single day. Plus, peeing in bushes and in the woods when you’re in full snowboard gear would be quite advantageous.
Clothes & Shoes. Oh my god. To have clothes and shoes that fit the way they’re supposed to. Side note: I believe there are a couple companies out there working on this for the asexual/transgender community… suggestions, anyone? If not, let’s start one.
School. I know school sucks for everyone, but it was exceptionally sucky dealing with all of the normally sucky things on top of trying to fit into this totally incorrect female role, and truly believing that there was something wrong with me. I was completely miserable, and I wasted so much time and energy being unhappy over this.
This also could’ve been resolved had there been more support, resources, and visibility for the community when I was young (that’s a whole ‘nother blog post), but being born cisgender would definitely do the job, and would’ve allowed me to expend my mental energy on the important teenage things like who’s dating who, my next prom date, who’s hosting the party tonight, and my obvious role as the starting quarterback.
Money. Doctor bills, prescriptions, binders, top surgery, name/gender markers. All of this costs money. ‘Nuff said.
The Final Score
I’m a little reluctant to say this because my gut is telling me that I’m doing myself and my community a disservice… plus, I would seriously miss the amazing people that I have in my life, and I’d risk losing everything I’ve worked for (although, I wouldn’t actually miss them in this scenario because I wouldn’t know them, and that makes my head hurt).
But I would take it.
Does that make me a terrible human?