A Trans Coming Out Story, from Philosophy Tube

The struggle for trans rights has, at the rhetorical and PR level, revolved around finding ways to get the cis, heteronormative majority to allow trans people to simply live their lives. Since it may not go without saying (yet), I want to emphasize that this effort, which is what most cis folks see, rarely actually gets at the depths of science, philosophy, and other forms of analysis that surround the experience of being trans. It’s merely the part that’s brought to the attention of the majority, as part of the effort to survive, and to thrive. In making the case for the need for medical transition, a lot of the focus has been on the suffering addressed by that treatment. This has been successful in increasing public awareness and acceptance of that need, but it has also given an incomplete picture of what being trans is like.

So I think this is an important video to watch. As with everything on Philosophy Tube, the video is interesting and informative, and I think it presents thoughts and perspectives that may be unfamiliar to many of my fellow cis folks.


  1. says

    If you go to the video on youtube itself (https://youtu.be/AITRzvm0Xtg) and click on the ellipses to the right of the “save” option, it pulls up another couple options, one of which should be “read transcript”.

    Let me know if that doesn’t solve your problem, and I’ll look into it further

  2. billseymour says

    I’m an old, white, cis, straight male who found the video instructive.  Thanks for posting it.

  3. Allison says

    Thanks, that worked. (I don’t get information from videos very well.)

    The way she describes it is pretty much how it was and is for me.

    One thing is that, for a lot of us, it doesn’t occur to us that our existential misery is due to having to live out the “guy” role. We just know life just seems really hard and maybe not worth the effort. I know I just thought that that was what being alive felt like. (See the web comic The Seasick Squid) I got by mostly by accepting that I’d always be an outsider (sort of like E.T., but not cute) and dissociating whenever it got too bad and I could get away with it. It never occurred to me that any other life was a possibility.

    The people who love you say, “Wow! You really seem like you’re in a much better place. I’m really happy for you!”

    Would you believe that that’s pretty much what the bank officer at my bank said a few months after I transitioned? Yeah, life got a whole lot better after I transitioned. (Now I just have to deal with the PTSD.)

  4. says

    Yeah, life got a whole lot better after I transitioned. (Now I just have to deal with the PTSD.)

    I’m glad life has gotten better. That’s pretty much the universal experience I’ve observed in all of my trans friends and acquaintances. If you don’t mind my asking, would you say that improvement has helped in dealing with the PTSD?

  5. Allison says

    If you don’t mind my asking, would you say that improvement has helped in dealing with the PTSD?

    I am making more progress in dealing with the PTSD since I transitioned. But as I see it, the real change came when I resolved to stop trying to be what other people had been telling me to be and believing what other people said I was (and what was supposedly wrong with me) and to start figuring out who I am inside. I think this led to both my transitioning and my getting a better grip on the PTSD. The guy role is just one aspect of all the mishegoss they tried to brainwash me with.

    Also, there’s far more awareness of trauma issues in the trans community (and maybe the entire LGBTQ community) than in the public at large, and a lot of what I know about trauma I learned from other trans people. I don’t know if there is more trauma in the queer community or if it’s just that most non-queer people can choose to not deal with it and pretend everything is normal, whereas we queer folks are people who couldn’t pretend any more. And once you stop pretending in one area, it gets a lot harder to keep pretending in other areas.

  6. Allison says

    I feel obligated to remind people that trans people aren’t all: (a) women, (b) white, and (c) well-off, like I am (and I suspect Abigail, is, too.) Black people and poor people are frequently ignored in all the discussions about trans-ness, as are trans men (and non-binary people), and even when we hear about them, we mostly hear what other people have to say about them, rather than their own voices.

    This isn’t a criticism of Abigail’s video, though. It’s a criticism of the racism and sexism and classism of Western society, which treats the lives of people of color and AFAB people as negligible. I wonder what kind of a story a trans Audre Lorde might tell….

  7. says

    I believe she is well off currently, given her patron count.

    And your point is well made. I think part of it may be a reaction to the way bigots tend to obsess over trans women, and a desire to “rebut” that. It’s an impulse I should be on guard against.

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