You know those sci-fi film shots where you, the viewer, is somewhere in the universe and then you zoom through various levels of space and get to planet earth, where the story actually begins? That's what I aim to do here with all things trans. I can't guarantee when we land you'll have that reassured, grounded feeling the above imposes on a viewer. Either way, we have to start zoomed all the way out to where the mainstream narative is:
Let's break down this acronym that has come to be a catch all for various disperate people and experiences.
Everyone knows what the L, G, and B, are. Well, we did until the last decade when the Q and much of the T joined forces to change that. So here goes:
L: Lesbians are people we formerly understood to be homosexual women.
G: This letter stands for gay and used to denote homosexual men.
B: Bisexuals are those attracted to both men and women. Underachieving ‘pansexuals’ if you will.
T: This used to stand for transsexual or transgender, refering to women or men who suffer from gender dysphoria and transition to appear as the opposite sex to relieve that dysphoria. Now it also means someone who dies their hair a vibrant color. We can blame this conflation on...
Q: No one knows what this letter represents, other than it serves to render all of the previous as either meaningless or hateful. Many of the Ts agree with this stance.
Okay so T. Transgender. Transsexual. Trans. These mean different things depending on who you ask. There's essentially two different schools of thought on all things trans, and they conflict at the root.
A lot of younger people define transgender or 'trans' as simply gender non-conformity, but even that isn't a requirement. Trans is often simply regarded as an identity anyone can claim. It's seen as a sort of moral cause or crusade to destroy, challenge, or 'queer' the gender binary. These folx are the Qs, often mistaken for the Ts. And in large part they seem to be lonely young people with the very normal psychological need for community and shared morality. I just really wish they would find it elsewhere.
Transsexual on the other hand means someone of one sex who experiences gender dysphoria to such a degree that they medically alter their physical body to present and ideally 'pass' as the opposite sex. It exists by default within the gender binary. These folks are who the T originally represented.
You can see these two things are not only unrelated, they conflict at their foundation and are essentially paradoxical. Naturally conflating these two only serves to make the issues at the root more confusing and contentious.
The madness doens't stop there. Let's take gender dysphoria. Team transsexual (AKA transmedicalist, AKA truscum), posits gender dysphoria is a necessity to claim a trans identity. To which team transgender (AKA tucute, AKA Qs) reply, "you can't gatekeep transness, you cis-adjacent, transphobic, gatekeeping, bigot!"
But none of this paradoxical squabling matters or even means anything because gender dysphoria doesn't exist in any concrete, tangible way. It's a subjective feeling, that presents differently in different people, and has inumerable causes. And even if one didn't already experience gender dysphoria, it's easy to develop. If you want to know what gender dysphoria feels like just ruminate, fixate, and obsess about your sexed body and it's associated social engagements in a negative way.
The question shouldn't be why so many teenagers think they're trans, the question should be why is it that every teenager who ever existed isn't trans?
Let's explore transsexuality specifically in closer detail.
Some men are so feminine, especially while young, that they come to identify with girls rather than boys. These boys normally grow up to be gay men, but some are unable to shake the feeling that they were supposed to women and ultimately decide to physically transition to live as such. The same can be observed in women who were classic tomboys in childhood and then grow up to be lesbian. For some, gender dysphoria follows the entire trajectory and transitioning to live as men is a welcome relief. These two examples are what people outside the alphabet soup generally assume transsexuals to be. But we're far from done.
It's time for everyone's favorite subject: Autogynephilia (or AGP). AGP is a heterosexual male's sexual attraction to the idea of himself as a woman. It's remarkably common. In fact, AGP is potentially more common in males than homosexuality. Now, AGP, like any other sexual orientation, cannot be altered or unlearned. As time progresses, that sexual fixation on being a woman along with a body at odds with that fixation, can cause real distress (AKA dysphoria). This usually happens in middle age after the blossoming trans woman has had a career and started a family as a man.
Hold on, we're about to take a dark turn in this space exploration.
Another side of this transsexual coin is female survivors of sexual abuse, who have come to resent their bodies and the unwanted sexual attention that follows them. Not only can sexual abuse cause a very standard, clinical case of gender dysphoria, transition also promises these young women an escape from the male gaze and potential further assualt. Then there's the autistic girls who make up a disproportionate number of trans men. Female socialization can seem like an incomprehensible maze to a girl with autism, whereas all things male are much easier to navigate.
All of these very different experiences and causes of gender dysphoria are all neatly tucked into the category of transsexual. As if they're the same 'medical condition'. There are more variations and causations but those are the major players. And this doesn't even include or account for all the self-identified queers and non-binary trans folx who, as far as I can tell, desparetly need Jesus. Or any god, or religion, or social club, or hobby. Something. Anything.
All of these trans people, be it classic transsexuals, men adopting female sexual objectigication, girls fleeing sexual objectification, or people in need of a personality pin, have blurred the definitions of both homosexuality and heterosexuality. Most trans people, like most people in general, are hetersexual. However, the ideology dictates once transitioned to, or simply identified as, the opposite sex, that person then becomes homosexual. But that’s not how sexuality actually works. Gay men and especially lesbians have rightfully had enough of this appropriation and space invasion. By which I mean they’re clearly transphobes who are trying to usher in a trans genocide.
And we're landed! You made it. That's trans. The T in LGBTQ+. One community.