A space for sharing stories, ideas, and concerns for the SUNY LGBTQ2AI community.
“The first thing we are taught about gender is what we can’t be. Often, while I was growing up, I heard, “No, boys don’t wear dresses. No, boys can’t wear makeup. No, boys play with different toys than girls.” I knew my heart was feminine at the age of four, but society repeatedly told me that I couldn’t show the world the person I felt myself to be. If I did, I was going to get beat up—even though I was growing up in liberal Southern California. But after 30 years of modulating myself for those around me, I needed to start the transition to the person I’d always felt was inside, or walk through the rest of my life feeling dead.
“To be transgender is to know deeply that the traditional gender roles assigned by the body parts you’re born with don’t fit, and that you have to move beyond what society typically thinks of as a “man” or a “woman.” To transition to the gender that we feel is inside of us, many transgender people choose to get surgery or take hormones, but many others do not. It’s more about living in the world as a particular gender. Medical history is irrelevant—and a private matter, as it is for all Americans.
“For me, transitioning meant I had to peel off the years of socialization as a man, no longer hiding in transgender and gay bars, and inviting all 30 family members from both sides over for a meeting, where my parents went through the trouble of translating what I said into Chinese for those family members that didn’t comprehend English.”
Read More: Natalie Yeh