Hi Martita,

I don't usually reply to messages because my goal isn't to encroach on the opinions people have formed, good or bad, and I'm familiar enough with ego that you will never likely change the mind of someone who has made theirs up.

But you're question was so compelling and so entirely valid that it would be a privilege to share my thought and my gratitude that you trusted me enough to ask for my input.

Of course, a small disclaimer, my views represent only myself, I'm sure others may feel differently.

You have brought up some powerful talking points here that deserve attention- and unfortunately in the war of ideologies, these answers are rarely given because the questions asked are done with hostility- an predetermined intention to invalidate the individual they're asking. Thus, both sides only receive white noise. An endless static i which nothing delivered is received, and often for good reason. A lot of people with an anti-trans bias want trans women to be "trapped" - the inquiry is designed, typically, with the person looking for a "gotcha" moment, not an answer. More often than not, no answer can satisfy the one asking.

Most trans women I know- myself included, do differentiate ourselves from those assigned female at birth. We acknowledge our biological scaffolding is different; our anatomy demands different needs, medically our needs are different. One would be hard pressed to deny that, I doubt anyone would. But, we often don't talk about transgender women in tandem with women.. we instead see a dialog that pits trans women against women assigned that role from birth. It becomes a war of words wit trans women trying to validate our existence vs. a minority of people who believe we do not... the science is ignored, the personal stories, the experiences and hardships are overlooked because the primary focus is for our detractors to go on the attack, and by virtue of that, keep us on the defensive.

Not being assigned female at birth doesn't negate a trans woman from being allowed her proper gender. In a situation where a child's mental mapping (her gender) betrays her biological sex by no fault of her own creates a very difficult, very intimate emotional trauma that women whose gender matches their birth assigned sex do not, fortunately ever have to understand. In the same way that trans women do not share the experience of giving birth, getting their first period in 7th grade and having to go through tremendous physical adjustments so their brain functions inc complete alignment with their body. So we do have distinctly different experiences with womanhood, but one is no less than the other... just different, much in how you described different queer experiences of those having had unique journeys.

The battle trans women are locked into isn't over these issues however, and the opposition to transgender women simply doesn't listen. No one- not a single trans woman wants to erase the identities or experiences exclusive to those assigned female at birth. We understand the differences between sex- that being your presenting anatomy- and gender. Gender is defined in the brain before the biological sex is formed. We all start as women as we take shape in the womb.

So, you likely won't find many transgender women who want to erase the lived experiences of women whose gender was unobstructed since their design fell into perfect alignment with their physical sex.

Of course, anti-trans activists don't want you to know that this is so, because it's much easier to vilify trans women if we are posed as ignorant to these things, or have deluded ourselves to the point of rejecting our own reality. We're a self-aware community, but rarely do we get to talk about it with our detractors because they cannot hear us... and when an exchange occurs and they take a seat at the table, we're deemed threats to women, men in dresses, pedophiles, rapists, fetishists and mentally ill- no meaningful conversation can come from that aggressive posturing.

Sorry so long winded, you'll likely find a lot of us agree that there are notable differences in sex and experience, but it doesn't mean trans women aren't women... just that we are living across the diverse scope of womanhood and would hope that, one day, it will stop being weaponized against us.

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store