Didn’t “Try Self-Love Hard Enough:” Transition Reactions p4


Guys, why can’t people ever just be regular wrong? No, they always have to be fractally wrong. *defeated sigh*

Content Notice for all the usual cissexist shit, plus some naturalistic fallacy and aggressive ableism.

Your transition displays a lack of self gratitude and/or is unnatural.

Yes, people have said this to me. This is actually transphobia occurring on the far left. The far right sometimes invokes “natural order” nonsense too, but there’s a special brand of transphobia that is present among otherwise left-leaning cis people: a sort of condescending and ableist pity, where trans folk are understood to transition because they, and I quote an actual chat I’ve had, “failed at loving themselves as they are.”

Gee, that horse is awfully high. How’s the weather up there?

So, let’s address the shepherd’s pie of bullshit made by our high-and-mighty White Cis Saviour. Typical disclaimer: My transition reactions series only addresses my experience of transphobia and gender dysphoria on a more-or-less anecdotal basis and does not constitute some kind of monolithic commentary on gender variance in general.

“You didn’t try hard enough to love yourself as you were.”

Or as I like to call it, “telling someone with a gun shot injury their problems would go away if they had a better attitude.”

I absolutely adore the assumption that I haven’t already tried addressing the symptoms of gender dysphoria. (That’s sarcasm, btw)

I spent the first 20 years of my life questioning on a daily basis why I felt this way. And the entire reason that the treatment for the symptoms of dysphoria–that would be the depression, anxiety, self-esteem problems, etc.–didn’t “stick” effectively, is that the root cause was not being addressed.

Pro-trans healthcare regiments generally advocate for the treatment of the consequences of dysphoria to be alongside and in addition to gender transitioning, not instead of it. My therapy for those problems didn’t make much headway until I: 1) asserted a different gender identity; 2) found therapists who would facilitate that, in addition to their treatment of the problematic symptom. Therapy is always recommended as concurring with some sort of action taken, some sort of change, be it breaking off an abusive relationship or leaving a stressful job.

In other words, you don’t just treat a person with a broken limb for pain. You also set their bone and make a cast for it. Therapy is the painkiller; transitioning is the cast that sets my bones for healing. You don’t pump a person fill of painkillers and make them walk on their broken bone, asshat. That’s how you render a limb dysfunctional, if it even heals at all.

So, what proponents of this horseshit don’t realize is that my transition has been the most potent form of self-care I have ever engaged in. Y’all had me walking on a broken leg, and I finally said “I really ought to have a cast.”

“Transitioning is unnatural.”

The following occurs in nature without human intervention: Arsenic, uranium, hemlock, HIV, salmonella, snake venom, small pox, famine, drought, and people.

Yes, in addition to assuming all things occurring in nature are somehow better, there is always an element of human exceptionalism in these arguments.

The assumption that synthetic products are bad because they were made by humans stems from the assumption that humans and the materials they use are not a part of nature.

So I counter: the entirety of medicine, being a human invention, is indeed natural, because humanity is as every bit as accidental as the forests we pave over. Medicine is an entirely natural consequence of having a problem-solving brain selected for in evolution, combined with the problem of “golly, I can die to a lot of things and I don’t like dying.”

And transitioning is medicine, folks. Dysphoria might not be common, but it does have a body count, and that body count is either: 1) unaffected by the “love yourself” status quo types (and therefore ineffective treatment); 2) actively increased by aversion therapy (and therefore criminal abuse). Look at the numbers. Getting a trans person’s mental health indicators to fall in line with the general population means facilitating transition and addressing dysphoria symptoms hand-in-hand.

Or I suppose you could go on proposing “attitude adjustments” for people with gunshot wounds.




  1. Vivec says

    Ugh, that is the worst. My parents refused to let me transition in any way since I first brought up my dysphoria (like 13 or so) with the argument that transitioning is permanent but therapy is easy, so it’d be better to just get used to my body and get therapy to mitigate my dysphoria.

  2. says

    “You didn’t try hard enough to love yourself as you were.”

    “Transitioning is unnatural.”

    I can easily picture the same sort of person saying the first to someone who left an abusive relationship or has/had depression. And saying the second to someone who got a divorce.