I can't be the only trans-person who gets fed up with people who say we have choice in being transgender.
I'm reminded on an almost daily basis when I look at any of the LGBTQ news websites, of people coming out and speaking against transgender issues.
"Trans women aren't women, Trans men are women, I'm a feminist and because of this I won't accept trans women".
The list goes on and I could qoute the people who I have read this from, heard this from or worse still have said it on television and have a public forum to opine in such a biggoted way. But have you ever wanted to hear a trans-persons point of view?
Ok... For one. I didn't choose to be transgender.
My life would be far easier; I would have far more privilege (as a heterosexual CIS Male) and I would be able to walk the streets far easier if I wasn't a transgender-woman who is also a lesbian.
I have strangers telling me I'm not a woman - bullies shouting abuse from their cars driving passed me. Strangers attacking me on my on social media feeds telling me I can't be a woman. Feminists telling me because I wasn't born with a womb I can't be a female. People giving me evils in the toilets when they "read me" (trans term for guessing I'm trans).
And that's the tip of the iceburg.
Imagine wanting to do a simple thing like buy some clothes. Imagine not knowing if you are going to be able to go into the fitting rooms to try them on, because someone might take against you and not let you into the rooms of your chosen gender.
Imagine not feeling safe to go and use the toilet in a public place - due to a perceived idea that you're going to be shouted at - or worse assualted. Just for wanting to go and have a pee.
Or calling your bank to make a transfer or payment on your account - only for them to freeze it because your voice doesn't match the gender marker they have for you on your account.
Or going on a date and having to wonder when you tell someone about your past?
This is the tip of the iceberg. I could go on - and that's just the external stuff.
Psychologically it's far worse.
There's the perception that no matter what you do, you will never be accepted.
There's the coming to terms with having a body that doesn't match what your brain is telling you are. If you've had to go through puberty prior to coming to terms with being transgender, then there's the having to go through your body changing into something that you absolutely cannot stand.
And I'm only speaking here of someone who wishes to transition surgically. What about the non-binary transgender people? People who don't fit the society ideals of what gender and sexuality really are?
I've seen people struggle with mental health issues - suicide (I've tried that myself once) - eating disorders (again I had one) - self harming - all because their gender doesn't match their identity.
On top of this you have all of the other life pressures: work, dating, sex, friendships, trying to fit in.
I'm not trying to paint a picture of doom and gloom. I can honestly say that transitioning is one the best decisions I've ever made.
But when someone tells me that I choose this life? I wish they could live as a trans-person for a week, a month or even a year. To see how much we have to go through; how much turmoil, hatred and judgement from complete strangers we have to put up with.
I reckon 99.9% of them would change their views within a week.