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“How does one know they are in the wrong body?”

Growing up in my household, my sisters and I were in a privileged position. Why because our house was a lot more liberal than most. Whatever we felt we knew that our mother was willing to have the conversation. But I have been hearing throughout my life how so many are growing up in situations where they can’t talk to their parents. This was odd to me given my nurturing background. The topic today is how hard it is for members of the LGBT community to come out to family. But there is a more centralized focus and that is transgender men and women expressing how they feel.

Living in New York City, you’re exposed to a wide range of people. Whether it’s sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic, etc. But especially when it comes to sexual preferences. When I first moved to NYC I was offset by the number of openly gay relationships there were. Don’t get me wrong it’s in the Midwest, but to the degree of openness like here, not so much so. But through working in theatre you come in contact with members of the gay community and realize it’s not a big of a deal as it might have been in your previous environment. Then you hear about transgender, and I draw a blank. What does it mean? How do you know you were born in the wrong body? It is a normal biological response or is it mental illness?

As an adult, I’ve heard people say things like, “My family refuse to speak to me.” “They have disowned me.” Me personally, I don’t understand why a man would want to become a woman or a woman would want to become a man, but let’s have the conversation. Let’s first look at my life. Like I said earlier, I grew up in a very progressive household. Had I have been one of these men who felt he was born in the wrong body of course there would be questions and a discussion. But disowning me, I think not. So I guess my upbringing would be the envy of most of these men and women. Then what is it?

I love waking up everyday being a man. Thinking like a man, talking the way I do, having the genitalia that I do. But what would make a man go I don’t want this and live a happier life after it’s removed. Knowing what we are as men, my first response is why. The next would be, how do you know? What is it internally that makes you feel you’re in the wrong body? Then here are the critics who say I am thinking into the matter too much. They have a mental illness Faheem, and that’s all there is to it. But do they really? Me, I can’t say for sure because I am not in that position.

I don’t know the feeling of being depressed because you look it the mirror and wish you were something else. I don’t know what it’s like to look at my new genitalia and feel accomplishment by the new me. But my reaction to the people who are the critics is have you wondered why. Or better yet, have you ever attempted to sit down and converse with a person before judging. It’s easy to attack, it’s a lot harder to put yourself in the know. Hard because we all like having our views and sticking to them.

So in the end, to me, I don’t get it. But what’s funny is that it’s not your place to get anything. It’s not our jobs to figure out why they want to do it. You actually are not entitled to embrace an individual’s lifestyle. But you should respect people with the respect you would want for yourself.  Are they a threat to society, no. And that’s all we really need to know.


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