Denial teaches us about ourselves. Denial happens when something is and you just can’t accept it. It’s best to dispense with rationalism here, because human beings do not adhere to strict unspoken ‘rules’ about who/what they are and there is nothing good in human life that makes enough logical sense to pigeon hole, divide, categorise or stigmatise. I don’t want to patronise you, but there are various forms of denial, like grief, grandiosity and phobia. In gender dysphoria (a thing I believe everybody, cis or trans experiences on some level at some point and probably fails to notice it) denial is different to how it’s understood in other circumstances, since transgender people are not common somehow in the public eye which itself may be a more pathological and insane issue than any individual around you. I guess what that means is that denial helps you to comprehend that you were once a herd animal because after you’ve come through it you realise society hasn’t even started to think of it. Transition, then, is clearly your road to higher self-worth not normally understood by life. Denial is really a deep, deep thing.
In line with that I’ve noticed two common types of gender denial and they change us forever when we experience them on a transgender dimension. Imagine that your identity can be transformed… Not everyone needs counselling for this, so it’s really not fair to have the same conversation about sanity and denial every time a break with normality/social stereotypes happens… My best advice is that you catch yourself in the act. Trust me, everybody does it, even cis everybody.
Transphobia is a term that contains two meanings. One is derogatory (hate) and the other is existential (self-actualising).
1) Transphobia describes the experience of fear/hatred some (especially cis) people may have about or towards people who are transgender. I guess we gays say ‘homophobia’ in a similar guise, even though the homophobia ideology is said to be different when transgender people are treated by psychiatrists with a lot of medicine and gays are not, or should I say can’t – shouldn’t be. I actually think the medical use of ‘transgender’ is as contentious as ‘homosexual’ was in the 1960s and still, the abuse of terms is an important one to escape!
2) The second meaning describes when transgender people first realise they are transgender and don’t fully understand how it is possible to transition from one gender to another and as a result believe that other transgender people are stupid or lame. I liken it to a spoiled brat hating work and therefore all adults who work only to discover later on that work has some kind of worthwhile purpose. This lame type of ideology stems from the belief that you’re absolutely cursed (before you truly experience the extent of this horror) and that if the role had been reversed from the beginning (and the body the same), i.e. had you been born transgender, but accepted and treated as your true gender from early childhood onwards, the gender dysphoria would be just as intense. This type of denial is like an endgame. It doesn’t describe fear or abjection, only an appalled, woeful unwillingness to deal with your denial, since denial in this instance is the stupour and not the ‘phobia’ it’s designed to stink the shit out of.
- “Overthrowing Transphobia!”
It’s just generally not seen as socially and morally acceptable to have a sex change. Bppfghhh! My genitals are turning in their grave, guys! That badly needs to change!
1) I’m so sorry. Transphobia needs to be given awareness (duh!). Scumbag countries and the scumbags that dominate the public eye need to stop murdering transgender people and starting fights with us, likened to aggressive transphobic attacks. This type of moral code needs to never raise its head! Gay reparative therapy needs to stop masturbating, people need to accept science, etc., etc. Change itself is not a contentious thing, but it’s presented as being contentious and that makes no sense. Anyway.
2) Phobia is lame. You have to turn into a patient person overnight. You have to reassess the real possibilities of transitioning as opposed to judging other trans people. Bite your fat tongue and know your place. Your bitterness will fade naturally with time and believe it or not the time spent in denial serves a survival purpose. The heart of the matter is not how you look, but rather how it might be possible to become and more importantly be who you really are.
- “Overthrowing Transphobia!”
- “The Rush”
‘The rush’ describes when a transgender person begins to get to grips with the fact they are transgender and begins to deny that their ‘gender of birth’ played any role in their current gender identity, even before they have fully transitioned because they need to experience the liberation of their real gender so badly (‘in a rush’). This happens because we don’t yet comprehend the full meaning of ‘transitioning’, because we haven’t yet gained access to the euphoria tower. That is not to say that we are not ‘in transition’. We are, but that it is not to say that we can’t choke on the goldfish, or that the being in transition is a linear process. It really isn’t! The denial in this situation does not stem from the fact that our assigned gender at birth played an important and grounding role in our current gender identity (it really didn’t somehow! Realise that!), but rather from the fact that we can’t replace our biography and life story with our correct gender information at a pace that matches our general transitioning process. These people are sick, man! If you’re on this kind of rush you will eventually fail, people crash, their mind kind of ticks over itself and they miss something important (i.e. the thing they are denying in the first place). The stress of this experience and the inevitable inability to constantly distract eventually comes at a cost to your sanity and for some people, gender denial probably remains the truancy headache for the rest of their lives.
- “Relearning Former Gender Roles”
Erasing certain things from your identity by treating them as meaningless to your new identity is unhelpful. This is all you actually need to know about denial. You will catch up on yourself as you realise more things about yourself and all that unhelpful stuff about ‘who you really are’ really ceases to matter that much. Although the discovery of your true gender is absolutely earth-shattering and beautiful at the same time you have to survive this break up. Your excitement needs to change. The great difficulty with transitioning is that it’s actually impossible to learn to be your true gender and fight to reject your old gender and experience the essential freedom with your new gender all at the same time. This is far too intense, difficult and frankly impossible for everybody. Learn that transitioning is less about changing your physical sex characteristics (although this is an important aspect for many transgender people), than discovering how to replace your former ways of gender and self-expression with the ones you are comfortable with.
- “Relearning Former Gender Roles”