My mom recently told me that she “knows for a fact” I’m not a woman on the inside. As an anonymous transwoman’s mother said to her child, she (the transwoman) cannot be a woman because she hasn’t grown up as a girl and experienced the unique and challenging life of being female from birth. It is insulting to womanhood, the mother said, that her trans child thought of herself as a woman.
I hear these concerns loud and clear. It is true that I don’t know what it’s like to be biologically female. I’ll never fully know in this life, even if I transition. I wasn’t raised or socialized among women as a girl. My experience of life has been in the male world. However, does that really un-authenticate me? Yes, I’m missing that wealth of experience, but there are plenty of natal women who are also denied the fullness of a female experience. What about girls whose parents wanted a boy and therefore raise their daughter as a son? Can that girl not grow into womanhood? Is it too late for her just because she is missing particular experiences? Sure, she may have to try harder than other girls, but isn’t she still able to enter the world of Woman?
When my mom told me she “knows for a fact” I’m not a woman, she meant more than just this. She also meant that my core isn’t female in the first place. I can’t really argue with her because people have to either trust me about my own inner life or not, and I can’t control whether they believe me or not. What is hurtful is that she assumes that my transgenderism is her son wants to be a girl. I don’t want to “become” a girl. I don’t want to be anything except myself! I don’t want to “crossdress” – I want to dress, in clothes that I actually like. I don’t want to “make” my personality more feminine – I want to let the femininity that’s already there express itself! Some transgender people would disagree with me, but I feel that being transsexual doesn’t mean “making” yourself into the person you want to be – I feel that it is becoming the person you already are.
I could be wrong. After all, I’m still in the process of looking to God to tell me who I am. However, I strongly believe that my inner gender identity is truly female. Maybe God could change it to male, but in the meantime I have a core that will grow into a woman if I allow it to flourish.