I wrote this post up in late November, and decided not to post it because I thought it might be too abrasive.
However, I changed my mind, after watching the mirror of InternetAristocrat's video "Cis-Scum".
The female brony blogger that Oleg Volk sometimes links to has come out as a man. Well, actually, it's all very complicated, so read about it yourself, I guess.
My immediate reaction to this comes in three parts, followed by a larger monologue on exactly what in the hell I think is going on here:
1. While I don't recognize the condition, I don't hate "transgendered" people (those who feel they are actually a member of the opposite sex; this post does not concern people with ambiguous genitalia) or feel repulsed by what they think about themselves. What does disturb me is when I see someone who has mutilated their body in a failed attempt to convince others that they're not really the sex they are, but it's much the same feeling as seeing someone who's been horrifically burned or who is grotesquely fat. Not to insult burn victims, of course. This is a natural reaction that possesses me against my will. My opinions on the matter are entirely separate.
2. You want to go by the name "Erin" online, be my guest. I go by a pseudonym, too.
3. Just because I think (you'll see) that transgenders are most likely deluded doesn't mean it can't hurt. On the contrary, delusion can be one of the most damaging conditions. I am sympathetic.
In the interests of getting inside your head a little, I will play your game. OK, I wake up and, just like Tom Hanks in Big, I find myself staring back at someone I don't recognize. How do I handle this? Well that would be fairly extraordinary. I might inquire to a professional about it. Or perhaps a wise-looking black man with a salt-and-pepper beard.
Did you wake up and suddenly not recognize yourself, though? I suspect not. I suspect, like me, you woke up one day when you were in middle school with a dark hair or two growing on your face. Hardly a blue-furred facelift. You looked much the same as you always did.
Maybe you didn't look the way you wanted to, or your mental image and reflection didn't match up. Loads of people have this little quirk of psychology, very few of them write extended blog posts about it. When I think of myself, it doesn't match very closely with how I actually look. Big deal.
You're disgusted with your own looks? Lots of people have this problem. Even if there's such a thing as having a female psychology and a male physiology, the fact that you find your body repulsive probably has little to do with it. After all, do you find other men repulsive? I don't mean in an intimate sense, but rather walking down the street, if you pass a bearded fellow wearing shorts, a t-shirt and a wristwatch, do you want to shy away in revulsion as if they had some gross deformity? I reserve suspicion that you do not.
It would not shock me to learn that you have BDD. Looking at yourself in the mirror and wanting to vomit isn't normal, and that must have been a helluva time growing up. Regarding your own name as something fake and unworthy is a sign of underlying distress (one of my girlfriends goes by a male name, and functions normally). I sympathize, sincerely, I do.
Finally, are you really psychologically a woman? You like guns and comic books and you
get a feeling in your loins when you see a woman (strange, most of the transgendered M-t-Fs I've seen are "lesbians"). Maybe you're a bit effeminate, but that does not a condition make.
You are a man, not a woman, and whatever psychological issues you have, it's up to you to fight through them, not to indulge them by playing pretend. Do you think that, in the long run, getting your friends to act as though you were something you're not will help you overcome your issues? Why do you think that shunning your birth name and saying you're a woman on the inside fixes the problem? The problem isn't you having the wrong name or body, it's the revulsion you have for yourself.
You said that you don't want to mutilate yourself through surgery. This is good. This is sane. You have the body you were born with, and however you feel, you should work with it. Others will, though. I've seen people that have gone under the knife, and they didn't transform themselves into something beautiful and accepted, they made it worse; they actually turned themselves into monsters. What if it's a delusion? What if you are male to the core, and you just have a body image problem? What if all transgendered people are? Are we as a culture encouraging people to mutilate themselves in service to neuroses? How horrifying is that thought?
Finally, Erin, though I don't expect we'll meet, I will not treat you as if you're a woman. I will call you "Erin" if you like, but only the same as you might call me "Wilhelm". The pronoun set I use for you is "he/him/his". I might say, "that Erin fellow is a good man, and good company, besides." I will expect you to act much the same as I would expect any man. If there's a draft, you will go to war (oh, wait, I guess that's bi-gender now. What a silly time we live in.) If there's a vote, I expect you to vote (wait, that too?). Hold on. Chivalry's dead? Men don't pay the bills? Well, shit, I guess in this day and age, I'm to treat women and men much the same, save for the pronouns I use.
Society's clearly disintegrating before me, I don't have time for delusional men who wish they were gay women!