If I may put my own question in, however ignorant it may seem. How many trans people decide (mainly once they consider their transition complete) that they would rather not be referred to as trans and just by male/female? As in, a man transitions to female and once she is comfortable with herself decides to discontinue referring to herself as trans, and wishes for others to do the same. Is this common or a rarity? From what I gather most tend to embrace it, but there are probably those that are not active in the community who go unnoticed, likely because their reasoning is keeping it to themselves.
It’s not an uncommon perspective to take. As Sharon noted, the term is “stealth.” For some trans people this is viewed as the ultimate end goal of transition. This also dovetails with another term: transmedicalism, which is a perspective which sees transness as strictly a medical issue which you treat by physically altering your body to become the other gender. It’s not uncommon under this perspective to view transness as an affliction: a source of shame to be treated and overcome, rather than embraced and celebrated. I don’t really have data, but based on my experience, I would say the perspective is more common among older trans people. I think that’s at least in part down to culture and experience - in the past there was a lot more stigma around transness, and stealthing was broadly necessary as a simple safety measure. A lot of the argumentation during the push for public awareness was about medical treatments for medical conditions, and alongside that is a perspective that visible queerness or taking pride in transness per se will cast a pall of unseriousness on our community that will make us harder to accept.
Personally the above was a perspective I had in the early stages of my transition. What I wanted more than anything was to be able to push a button and be literally reborn as a cis woman. Transition was the vehicle to get to a place where I could *just be a cis woman.* As I started connecting with the trans community on discord and twitter, I came into contact with a number of trans people within my age cohort but several years ahead of me in transition timeline who embraced the trans component of trans woman. They had no interest in things like gcs which to that point I had seen as the end goal, and they said things like that their ultimate desire was to be seen as beautiful, but not cis. For a long time I didn’t really understand what that meant, at least I. The context of being a trans woman or trans man. Nowadays I understand it much more. There is a beauty to transness qua transness that is to be embraced and celebrated, distinct from cisfeminine beauty.
But I can also freely recognize that I come from a position of profound privilege in that. I’m white and so more likely to be perceived as feminine than black trans women, my features, even pretransition, were not very masculine - I could never really grow much more than a patchy mustache, I don’t have body hair really, I’m skinny with narrow shoulders - I am financially independent, I live in a progressive city with a lot of trans people, meaning my risk of violence or discrimination is comparatively low.
For a great many trans people, stealthing and passing are simply a matter of safety. I don’t really begrudge any queer person pursuing their truth. I have less sympathy and patience for those who achieve total passing status and then turn around and pull the ladder up on other trans people. This is the broad perspective of a lot of the more conservative trans people, e.g. Blair White or Buck Angel (or honestly Nathalie Wynn too at this point). All the other queer communities have this same discourse in parallel btw.
weird question, and phrased very strangely but we've seen a few prominent transitions online, and maybe it's just confirmation bias, but do you have any thoughts on this? like,
contrapoints was there from the start i guess
philosophy tube transitioned
james stephanie sterling transitioned
shammy (minor youtuber but a gal with a cult following) also transitioned
there's also a lot of transitions on this site recently.
so, the thoughts i'm curious about - it's just something i've thought over, since so many people in media i enjoy (breadtube and bread adjacent tube) and so many of my acquaintances here on cfc have transitioned. so maybe it's just happenstance or anecdotical, maybe more people are trans than the stats say, maybe it's partly social (which if were the case would be fine and i hate that some people make the hypothetical an issue).
(i really want to underline: even if it's just some form of "transtrending", something that increasingly happens socially - which i don't think it is - i'd like to note that i think there's no moral weight there. since y'know. there's no internal harm in transitioning, the problems are purely external as to society's handling of it.)
so those are my collected thoughts, here's my questions as to my experience: so this has happened a lot recently in circles i'm in. so:
- do you think it's just random/just me?
- do you think the stats underreport how many trans people there are?
- do you think likeminded people gather first and then transition later? (i tend to just immediately connect with mentally ill people more than regulars, later learning they have some diagnosis adjacent to mine - not that transgenderedness is a mental illness, i think you know the comparison)
- do you think it's because transgendered people are more prone to being critical of society for obvious reasons, meaning that the media i enjoy here, breadtube stuff, naturally will have a bunch of trans voices? (even the trans people i know irl are usually very inclined to introspection about the ailments of society)
- in extension of the latter, why so many people on cfc?
So I’ll see if I can get these in one diatribe, but let me know if you want a more itemized answer. I do think the number of trans people is underreported. I think especially that as broad acceptance and understanding of trans people, coupled with the clinical switch to gender affirming care and gender dysphoria, and shifted the way trans people relate to their transness, and their likelihood to recognize and accept it. I know for me the big switch was the realization, from encountering trans people on Twitter and youtube (and here), that transition was more substantial and possible than I thought. I had lived with the internalized transphobic image of a clockable “man” in a dress for most of my life, and had put my desire to be and be seen as a woman into an “only in fantasy worlds with magic” box. So seeing trans posters saying things like “every man has a genetically encoded cup size which they’ll never know unless they take female hormones,” and seeing others celebrating their transition timelines that confirmed those meme posts totally shifted my perspective on what was possible. They didn’t make me trans, but they allowed me to finally see myself in a trans light. That stuff simply did not exist before outside of niche online subcommunities that you very specifically and intentionally had to seek out. The shift in clinical practice that made access to hrt way way easier to access and less gatekept or relegated to black markets also really affected things.
As to the other side of this question, I think it’s not accident that left-aligned creators come out as trans. I think accepting your trans is a process of sufficient knowledge and perspective to accept your identity. To see yourself as trans you first have to recognize it as possible to change your gender, and studying left theory confronts you with a lot of questions that put you there. Additionally, as an oppressed population, trans people skew very left, and if you run in left circles you are going to be put in contact with trans people, which again gives you the perspective that gets you to that “trans is possible” position. Neurodivergence is also very common in trans circles, and it poses an interesting chicken-or-egg question that is endlessly debated: does a neurodivergent perspective cause you to be trans, or were you trans first, and neurodivergence makes you more likely to see it and go for it?
Trans people are very common within nerd and geek subcultures. There are endless endless memes about computer engineers all being trans (e.g. amazon recommending thigh high trans flag socks as a frequent purchase with programming books), and the entire architecture of the internet being run and managed by trans people. The Matrix is very apropos on this, the anonymity and infinite space of the internet is very alluring to us. It’s a world where we get to choose our name and choose how we look, and things we say to others are taken at face value. Games provide an escape from a real world which is usually very painful, especially when in the closet. Like in The Matrix, when running in hacker subcultures, you start to see the term “the Matrix” (transgender or transition) crop up a lot, and the internal drive to of seek out what it is, brings you into contact with runner (trans) communities and causes you to realize that you yourself are a runner and eventually accept the offer to be unplugged (take your Premarin and transition).
Conservatives and JAQ-offers wring their hands a lot about trans ideology as a social contagion, and it’s mostly a load of rubbish, save I think for the grain of truth that seeing trans people causes you to question your own identity. And if you’re trans, you’ll eventually arrive at that truth, in addition to a sympathetic ear that you know you can trust and turn to. Think about how many of the bios in here have hatchings that descend directly from emzie’s original ask a thread. That thread was the first time where I got my first cracks in the egg, and gave me the terminology to finally begin to process my internal feelings. And when, several years later I was standing on the precipice, all but ready to jump, emzie was there to give me the last firm push I needed to finally claim the word for myself.
Does that cover everything?