How to Explain?

TheParrishism TheParrishism
How do you explain your trans identity to those who don't know what it is/what it means right away?
04/07/2012
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kmilly kmilly
birth defect. if i don't start the conversation off like that, they shut their ears down and judge. "I was born with a birth defect that with a female body, even though my mind is male. If you woke up tomorrow in a girl body, you'd want to get out of it, right? That's what it's like for me. I know who I am. My body just didn't seem to pick up on it when I was in the womb, but I'm correcting the problem now."

if you don't reason with people, they make assumptions and go into religious tirades. science is usually enough to convince otherwise unaccepting people.
04/08/2012
hatman hatman
I've been struggling with this myself, because I want to come out to /everyone/ soon. See, where I live it's conservative and people here are still in the process of digesting the gay/lesbian thing. Luckily, the people I've come out to have been accepting even thought they don't /really/ understand. Because I know the whole trans* thing is a foreign concept, I try to keep it simple and I try to explain that while I was born with a female body, I don't feel female. I'm not even comfortable being a masculine female. I feel like a dude.
It usually does the trick.

I don't agree with saying it's a "birth defect". My body is not a problem, it's my body; the only one I've got. I'm just different, not defective.
But to each their own /shrug
04/08/2012
MasonM MasonM
Quote:
Originally posted by TheParrishism
How do you explain your trans identity to those who don't know what it is/what it means right away?
I'm struggling with this myself as I come out to people more and more.

With real life friends I've been taking them aside one at a time, asking them if they know what a transgender is and explaining if not. Then, once I see that they understand, I explain that I am one. It's worked well for me so far.

How I came out to my friends online was via a large post. Up until then, they always knew me as male.

Here's the post:

Once upon a time there was a little boy. And he thought that he was like all the other little boys. He wrestled and played and told his mother that he wanted to grow up to be just like daddy. And his mother smiled and patted him on the head and told him to go and play with his brother. But as he got older, more often she would say ‘That’s not proper’ when he played, and make him come to sit beside her and read and be quiet. And he didn’t understand why all the other little boys could wrestle and play, but he couldn’t. And he didn’t understand why the other little boys got to wear suits that looked like what their father wore, but he had to wear a dress when they went to church. And why, when he asked his room be painted green, his mother painted it pink.

And as he got older, he realized that no, he wasn’t like the other little boys. He was different. And so he tried to be the sort of way that people wanted him to be, even if it never felt right. He wore what they told him to wear and sat and read instead of wrestling and went, slowly, from being a happy, cheerful little boy into a sad, quiet one that did things to himself that he didn’t like.

He cut himself. He tried to kill himself. He avoided people. And he never understood why, because he didn’t want to do those things, but sometimes when he did, they made him feel a tiny bit better.

When the little boy was eighteen and in college, he got very bad headaches. They sent him to have an MRI to try and find out why, but they never did. Instead, they told him that he had what he’d always known, which was a perfectly normal boy’s brain. But the doctors fussed and somehow he never told his parents. They would fuss, too.

So the little boy kept living the way that he had always been told to live, even if it didn’t feel right. He got married and had children, two little boys, and he worked to raise them. But inside he was sad all the time, no matter how hard he tried to be happy.

And he made a pair of friends and they knew him the way that everybody else knew him, and that made him sad. So one day he finally told them who he really was and one hugged him with open arms, but the other told him no and called him horrible things. They told others horrible things about him as well. And so he didn’t like to tell people the truth about himself.

He made new friends, but they never saw him, since they were all over the computer. He didn’t like to leave the house if he could help it. And his friends knew who he was, even if they never saw him, and that made him happy.

But the little boy, who was a man now, was sad, because he couldn’t tell them everything, and sometimes he had to lie to keep them from knowing the thing about him that had made his friend turn on him. And he knew that lying was wrong and he hated it, which made it worse.

Until one day, he couldn’t take it anymore, and he wrote about how scared he was and sent it to a place anonymously. And then, several days later, he decided to tell everyone the truth and he wrote a long story and this time it wasn’t anonymous.

Hi. My name is Mason. And this is my story.
04/08/2012
Schattenstern Schattenstern
I really try to get it across that it's not something I chose. And I usually bring up like "what if you looked down right now and you had a (opposite sex genitals)?" that usually makes people understand more.
04/19/2012
Bex1331 Bex1331
Quote:
Originally posted by kmilly
birth defect. if i don't start the conversation off like that, they shut their ears down and judge. "I was born with a birth defect that with a female body, even though my mind is male. If you woke up tomorrow in a girl body, you'd want ... More
love the way you phrased this
04/19/2012
Bex1331 Bex1331
Quote:
Originally posted by MasonM
I'm struggling with this myself as I come out to people more and more.

With real life friends I've been taking them aside one at a time, asking them if they know what a transgender is and explaining if not. Then, once I see that they ... More
04/19/2012
TheParrishism TheParrishism
Sometimes I say I have a hormone disorder, because I feel like trans scares people away.
04/21/2012
eroticmutt eroticmutt
Quote:
Originally posted by TheParrishism
Sometimes I say I have a hormone disorder, because I feel like trans scares people away.
Hmm that's actually a really good idea on how to explain to people, while also being accurate and better-understood by most so they would keep an open mind to hear what kind of disorder and be more in "listening mode" so they're more likely to hear or understand instead of getting phobic and hateful.
04/22/2012
smc3115 smc3115
Quote:
Originally posted by TheParrishism
How do you explain your trans identity to those who don't know what it is/what it means right away?
If I had a choice I wouldn't. It is a pain. When I disclosed the information to family around 10 years ago I printed out information as to what that meant (at the time I made sure I had the financial backings in case things went south). I said I am doing this with my life, call me by this name now. I told friends hey.. I am transitioning, call me by this name now. All parties were quite receptive in my early transitioning phases. Now the only time it comes up is with dating. I casually weave it into conversation in the "getting to know you" phase.

The best advice I can give is that if you make it sound like a huge deal people will think it is; if you make it sound like it is as casual as enjoying walking on the beach people are much more receptive. If you get intense about it the other party will become intense about it. If you play it off as something completely normal the other party will be at ease and not think of it as a big deal. Basic psychology.

As to the actual explanation: why do I owe the other party that? I am me. They can either accept me or not. If the party doesn't understand what it is I might send them information about what being trans is. If they care enough they will just look it up for themselves. Without knowing any other information about your situation, all I can say is it is all about how you play it off.
04/28/2012
Rhiulan Rhiulan
I told my close friends so far and they were Ll pretty cool with it and got the general idea, my roommates currently helping me try to pick out some male names. Howeve I know how you feel, I'm absolutely dreading telling my girlfriend because she's pretty sheltered in these kind of topics and I just feel like it makes it much harder to come out as trans when you have to explain what that is afterwards. Best I can recommend is getting well versed in explaining what it is to be trans and hoe you feel personally, and even if they don't understand what it means at first I'm sure they can empathize with how you're feeling and they'll take time to learn more about it. Good luck!
04/29/2012
Rey Rey
Quote:
Originally posted by kmilly
birth defect. if i don't start the conversation off like that, they shut their ears down and judge. "I was born with a birth defect that with a female body, even though my mind is male. If you woke up tomorrow in a girl body, you'd want ... More
hey that's a really great way to explain
06/04/2012
vitriolicvertigo vitriolicvertigo
I don't explain it to cis people unless they already know some stuff about trans* issues.
Not worth my time.
06/05/2012
Total posts: 13
Unique posters: 11