Monday, February 18, 2013

Gender Transitioning

Annika Penelope , a Transgendered Blogger and Activist, has written an interesting piece for Huffington Post in which she describes many things she wishes she’d understood more before going through her gender transition.
Annika after undergoing the transition from male to female was surprised by several things, such as “Say Goodbye to Male Privilege”. She faced a much harsher “audience” in the public square as a female than she’d ever faced as a male. 

“If, like me, you presented as a normative guy before transitioning, you probably didn't realize just how many privileges you were about to give up. I took so many little things for granted, like being able to walk outside or go to a bar without random men feeling the need to comment on my appearance. Sexual harassment is such a routine thing now that I can't even remember what life was like without it.”

Also surprising to her was the expense…

“Transitioning is really expensive. Currently only a handful of insurance companies offer trans*-inclusive health care benefits, which means that many people have to pay for medications, lab tests and doctor's visits out of pocket. Laser hair removal and electrolysis are also quite pricey and are never covered by insurance, because they are considered "cosmetic" procedures. Changing your legal name and gender in California will set you back at least another $500. And buying an entirely new wardrobe isn't cheap, either. Bottom line: Start saving now. Your future self will thank you for it.”

She also wrongly assumed that a gender transition would solve all her problems…

“…transitioning is not a panacea; it won't solve all your problems. If you were prone to anxiety before coming out, you'll probably still have to deal with it afterwards. I still sometimes get in stupid arguments with my girlfriend for no good reason, just like I did two years ago. I'm still addicted to caffeine, and I sometimes forget to turn the lights off when I leave my apartment in the morning. At some point in my transition, I came to terms with the fact that living as my true gender wouldn't magically fix everything. And it felt really good to let go of that impossible expectation.” 

It’s a fascinating article that brings up a lot of issues involved in a gender transition.

Read the full article HERE

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