Polyamorous. Transgender. Feminist. DIY Punk.
Portland, OR - Tampa, FL
I recently made a survey entitled “Anonymous Survey about Madison and Transgenderism” and I extended it exclusively to my friends on Facebook. I have a total of 872 friends on Facebook from all walks of life; some I know from being in a touring band, some I know from competitive gaming, some I know from being active in the transgender or feminist communities, some are personal friends or friends of friends or people I used to date or work with. Out of these 872 Facebook friends, 117 of them (13.4%) filled out this anonymous survey.
What I wanted was to see what the people around me think of both myself personally and transgender people in general. Some of the questions specifically ask about me and some ask more broadly about transgender people in general, but all of the questions about transgender people apply to me and some of the questions about me could apply to other transgender people. I was curious; what do the people who call me a friend or acquaintance actually think of me? Who am I surrounding myself with?
I made this 21-question survey in one night with no background in surveying or statistics. The questions and results aren’t scientific. I give tons and tons of opinion between questions and if you don’t like my opinions, we’re probably not a good match and I have no idea why we’re friends or acquaintances.
Enough with the introduction; on to the survey results!
1 - Do you consider Madison to be a man or a woman?
- man - 6/117 (5.1%)
- woman - 107/117 (91.5%)
- neither - 4/117 (3.4%)
2 - Do you consider Madison to be male or female?
- male - 15/117 (12.8%)
- female - 101/117 (86.3%)
- neither - 1/117 (0.9%)
3 - If Madison told you that she is female, you would:
- agree with this statement as true because you believe it as true. - 94/117 (80.3%)
- agree with this statement as true, but only to be polite as you really believe it is false. - 16/117 (13.7%)
- disagree with this statement as false. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: She’s transgender. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Refuse to answer. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: unsure - 1/117( 0.9%)
- OTHER: Does not matter. - 1/117 (0.9%)
These first three questions are similar: The first asks about my gender, the second asks about my sex, and the third asks if you would respect my sex if I tell you that it’s female. Gender includes the terms “man” and “woman,” while sex includes the terms “male” and “female.” Gender is typically referred to as the way someone identifies (hence “gender identity”) and sex typically refers to one’s body (primary sexual characteristics [including sexual organs], secondary sexual characteristics [including breasts, body and facial hair, etc], hormones, and chromosomes). Essentially, one has a gender identity (identifies as a man, woman, neither, both) and a sex (male, female, intersex).
So, how do I identify? I identify as a woman. What does this mean? It means I’m a woman. That’s all there is to gender and gender identity. I identify as a woman, therefore I am a woman. Easy-peasy.
How about my sex? Sex is supposedly based upon strict rules that correspond with your body, but it’s so much more complicated than your ninth-grade biology class may have led you to believe. Because I asked specifically about what you consider my personal sex to be, I’ll use myself (in my current state) as an example: I have a penis and testes, which are considered male primary sex characteristics. I have breasts, which is considered a female secondary sex characteristic. I have hormone levels in the average female range due to hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, which in my case are in the form of pills that I take every morning and night. I do not know what my chromosomal configuration is for sure as I have not had a karyotype test taken (have you?) but I could assume (with the possibility of making an ass out of both of us) that I have a typical male XY.
Basically, my sex is currently all over the place. (This sentence made Lennox laugh, presumably because he is reading “sex” to mean “sexual intercourse.” Comedy gold.) So what does that mean? Well, fuck if I could tell you, and fuck if you could tell me (unless you’re a scientist specifically working in the field of sex, and even then, your best hypothesis isn’t fact). What I’m getting at is the average person (you) tends to believe in “science” but has their own personal definition of it. Some people will say that your sex is determined by all of the things I listed previously. Some will say that it’s determined only by current genital configuration, and therefore reassignment surgery is necessary to change one’s sex. Some will say that it’s determined only by genital configuration at birth, and therefore reassignment surgery doesn’t change one’s sex at all. Some will say that chromosomes are the only way of determining sex as they cannot change. Some will say that hormones are the key, and then consider you one sex or another based on whether they view HRT as “real hormones” or not.
Well, guess what: The scientific definition doesn’t matter much anyways. It was created by people so that we could easily categorize ourselves. The categories are actually much more complicated than that one kid in Kindergarten Cop would have us believe (“Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina!”), but still, we’re assigned one of the two binary sexes at birth (and for intersex people, are many times surgically changed to best represent one of the two binary sexes).
I suppose that leads me to the third question in which I ask how you would respond and feel if I told you that I were female. I phrased this question this way because even though I’m not down-the-line male or female, and even though my genitalia currently represents typical male genitalia, I still identify as female. How can I identify as female, you ask, after I’ve told you that sex is a scientific assessment of one’s body? Well, my sex is currently a mish-mash of both male and female, and because I identify as a woman, I take the liberty of identifying as female. After all, the things that I’m changing are “male” characteristics and I’m replacing them with “female” characteristics, because, you know, that’s who I am and how I identify. Therefore, I personally identify as female. Here are a couple of articles that go in to this view a little bit more: http://skepchick.org/2011/12/bilaterally-gynandromorphic-chickens-and-why-im-not-scientifically-male/ and http://jazmeister.tumblr.com/post/41181606843/
Now that I’ve given a pretty thorough explanation of gender, sex, and my feelings on how sex is defined, let’s talk about the results a bit. First off, I asked about gender, and 91.5% of survey respondents consider me to be a woman. That’s good, because I’m a woman. However, 5.1% of respondents consider me to be a man and 3.4% consider me to be neither a man nor a woman. Even though those numbers are relatively small (only 8.5% of those who took the survey don’t consider me a woman), that’s still roughly 1/11th of those who know me and took the survey that question my gender. Consider what it would be like to be around friends and acquaintances and have 1 out of every 11 of them not believe you’re really your own gender, but rather, think you made it up. Consider that it’s like that 100% of the time you’re around them. Consider that you don’t even know which people you’re surrounding yourself with who feel this way about you; it could be anyone. They may not tell you directly and they may lie to your face about their feelings because they don’t want to hurt you, but they don’t really believe you. Pretty fucking weird, right?
The next question was about sex, and I honestly didn’t know what the results would look like on this one, considering the “Gender is in your head / Sex is in your pants”-type mantras that you tend to hear in an effort to simplify it (and really, that greatly over-simplifies it). It turns out that 86.3% of respondents don’t care what’s in my pants when it comes to my sex, which I personally think is pretty swell. 12.8% of respondents still consider me male, which I would guess is mostly because I was assigned-male-at-birth and that never changes and chromosomes and whatever. I think it’s worth noting that the one person who marked “neither” (and also marked “neither” for gender) is the same person who refused to answer many of the questions because they didn’t like the survey (and expressed that pretty much anywhere there was a blank). I probably should have thrown out their results completely, but well, I didn’t. Whatever. So really, no one in all likeliness really considers me neither male nor female who filled out this survey, but rather, I made someone disgruntled with my question questions of questioning. Again, whatever.
It’s also definitely worth noting that because “man” and “woman” refer to gender and “male” and “female” refer to sex, it would only make sense to either consider me “woman and female,” “woman and male,” or “man and male.” If you selected both “man” and “female” (or “neither” and “female”), what that says to me is that you don’t actually understand the way that gender identity and sex works and yet you’re still making the call on what someone else must be, and not only that, the call you’re making isn’t the one that the person identifies as. Six people who filled this survey out answered like this.
The final question in this set is the one in which I want to know what you would do and how you would feel if I told you that I identify as female (which you now know that I certainly do). 80.3% of respondents know me to be female and therefore would call me female. That leaves 19.7% who do not. Well, only 13.7% didn’t consider me female in question two, but now here, 19.7% don’t. What happened between questions two and three for the 6% who apparently changed your mind? Well, again, whatever. 13.7% of respondents don’t think I’m female but would be polite to me. Again, it’s that weird feeling of ‘who thinks I’m not really who I say I am?’ I do want to say that if you don’t actually believe me to be female, this is the correct answer as there is never a reason to be rude to someone for who they are, but I also just want to say that it’s a strange and terrible feeling to have people not believe you because they know you better than you do, and you don’t know who those people are. 2.6% of respondents would just tell me that I’m wrong. Thanks y’all and here’s the finger. One person believes that me being transgender trumps sex for some reason, one refused to answer (because they refused to answer mostly everything and suck at life, or at the very least, filling out surveys), one was unsure, and one says that it doesn’t matter. That’s an interesting one to quickly acknowledge; someone says that it doesn’t matter. I just want to state that to me, it does matter, even if only a bit. It matters to me that I’m female.
Still with me? Let’s move on.
4 - Would you ever date or consider dating a transgender person who identifies as a gender that you are attracted to?
- yes - 83/117 (70.9%)
- no - 34/117 (29.1%)
This is the first question that moves away from being personally about myself and towards transgender people as a whole. The word “transgender” refers to anyone who does not identify with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. This could be someone who was assigned male and identifies as female, someone who was assigned female and identifies as male, someone who was assigned female and identifies as neither male nor female, someone who was assigned male and identifies as male sometimes and female others, etc.
Taking a look at the way this question is worded, it asks whether you would ever date or even simply consider dating a transgender person who identifies specifically as a gender that you’re attracted to. So if you’re a heterosexual man, it’s asking if you’d date or consider dating a transgender woman. 70.9% of respondents said yes, they’d at least consider this. 29.1% of respondents said no. Whether or not everyone truly understood that consideration was all that was necessary for a yes; I don’t know. Do I think 100% of respondents should have checked yes? Yes. Yes yes yes. By checking no, this basically amounts to someone who would refuse to consider dating a transgender person even if this person has undergone successful genital reconstructive surgery and has indistinguishable genitalia from other people of their gender. It basically amounts to the thought of someone being transgender, or having to hear them talk about their past, being too much for one to even consider.
5 - Can you always “just tell” when someone is transgender by looking at them?
- yes - 14/117 (12%)
- no - 103/117 (88%)
12% of respondents believe that they can always tell if someone is transgender by looking at them. Let me clue you in on something. Come closer. A little closer. Just a taaaaaaaad closer…
Some people think that they always know when someone is trans, as if there is always a defining characteristic of their birth that sticks out when you see them. Not only is this not the case, but there are many people who aren’t trans who have “defining characteristics” of the opposite sex. There honestly aren’t “absolute defining characteristics,” and you’ve very very very likely passed transgender people walking by during your day-to-day life and had no idea. Some people think they always know because they can point out those that are somewhat visible. I feel as though I’m in that category. I haven’t had facial feminization surgery or a tracheal shave, and I don’t have any current plans to either. I lean towards the tall side for women, though I’m not that tall (I’m 5’8”). If you think you can always identify transgender people because you could identify me as transgender in public, well, you’re simply being presumptuous. There are many transgender people who live what is commonly referred to as “stealth,” which is when they don’t tell people that they’re transgender and it doesn’t come up because nobody knows unless that person is specifically going to let them know. Not only that; if you’re playing the guessing game of “I see you and I know you’re trans,” you’ve more-than-likely labeled some people as trans who aren’t.
You may think you have this gift, but you don’t.
6 - I identify as:
- transgender. - 29/117 (24.8%)
- cisgender. - 48/117 (41%)
- I don’t know what cisgender means but I’m a normal person and I’m not transgender. - 22/117 (18.8%)
- OTHER: unsure - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: a soul trapped inside a female body - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: male - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: genderqueer - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: masculine - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: human - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: I don’t know what cisgender means and I’m not transgender but I don’t see transgender people as abnormal. - 4/117 (3.4%)
- OTHER: Confused about question wording. - 1/117 (0.9%)
The word “cisgender” refers to those who identify with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. If you have an M on your birth certificate and you identify as a man, you’re cisgender. Likewise, an F on the birth certificate and identifying as a woman means you’re cisgender as well. Basically, it means that you’re not transgender. This refers to the majority of people of who live on this planet. This means that the 18.8% of people who answered “I don’t know what cisgender means but I’m a normal person and I’m not transgender,” are in all likeliness cisgender. This would bring the total of cisgender respondents up to about 59.8%, as compared to transgender respondents at 24.8%, making it somewhat over twice as many cisgender people as transgender. As far as the “other” answers, a couple were just unsure (possibly questioning, possibly unsure of who the question as asking about), one identifies as a soul, three as male, two as genderqueer specifically (genderqueer can fall under the transgender umbrella, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to because it’s your identity), one as masculine, three as human, and one specified that they didn’t know if the question was asking about them or me. Four people wanted to specify that they didn’t know what cisgender meant but that they didn’t like the wording of the similar answer because it used the word “normal.” This is main reason that the word cisgender exists; rather than have “normal” people and transgender people, we have cisgender people and transgender people. Instead of the goal of normalizing transgender people by being more “normal” like those “normal” people, we normalize transgender people by having distinct groups on an equal playing field. Think of it like heterosexual people and homosexual people rather than “normal” people and homosexual people. Those who are gay aren’t abnormal even though there are less people who are gay than straight.
7 - A transgender woman is dating a transgender man. I find this:
- to be a straight and/or heterosexual relationship. - 87/117 (74.4%)
- to be a gay and/or homosexual relationship. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- to be a really gay and/or very homosexual relationship, like, it’s double gay. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- to be just weird. - 0/117 (0%)
- OTHER: Supportive without labeling relationship. - 7/117 (6%)
- OTHER: Neutral without labeling relationship. - 9/117 (7.7%)
- OTHER: Normal - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: Double gay cancels out and becomes straight again. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: unsure - 4/117 (3.4%)
- OTHER: Probably at least a 1 or 2 on the kinsey scale - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: ‘Just don’t transition’ - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Double Straight - 1/117 (0.9%)
As a transgender woman who is dating a transgender man, I consider my relationship to be a heterosexual relationship. I’m a woman and he’s a man. Neither the fact that we’re trans nor the fact that I identify as pansexual makes me believe otherwise.
What I didn’t think of when making this survey, though, is that some people in relationships such as this don’t actually view their own relationship this way. Some people would define it as simply a queer relationship, and some would define it in their own ways. For those the 13.7% of respondents who decided not to label the relationship because it’s not their own, that’s a good way of looking at it as well. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the only reason for not labeling it; perhaps some of these people were too timid to give it a label simply because it involves trans people; I can’t say for sure.
Props to all of the respondents for a 0% response of “just weird.”
Two respondents believe that it’s a homosexual relationship, and another two believes that it’s “like double gay.” Believe me, I wouldn’t have included that as an answer if I hadn’t of heard it more than once. It’s interesting that some people would find a relationship between a transgender man and a transgender woman to be a homosexual relationship, because even if one didn’t believe that transgender people are really the gender they identify as, it’d still be a heterosexual relationship. I believe that some people think of it as homosexual simply because it involves transgender people, which is different than the “normal” relationship, and therefore it must be homosexual because that’s also different from the “normal” heterosexual relationship.
Two respondents actually wrote in the word “normal.” Four were unsure. One person thinks that relationships or a relationship between transgender people belongs on the Kinsey Scale for some reason and finds it to be predominantly heterosexual but also a little homosexual. Two people gave unique, cute answers for why it’s straight, such as the homosexuality canceling out or that it’s double straight.
One respondent gave a response that basically came down to ‘Just don’t transition.’ They wondered why a transgender man and a transgender woman would both transition if they’re just going to end up dating each other, and they figure that it would be easier if they just didn’t transition. Well, here’s why: Transition isn’t about other people; it’s about yourself. Transgender people don’t transition because of either sexual or romantic attraction; transgender people transition because they need to do it for themselves, for their own comfort and happiness. Sexual / Romantic attraction and gender identity are not the same thing.
8 - Do you believe that a transgender person is actually just delusional when it comes to their gender and/or sex?
- yes - 1/117 (0.9%)
- no - 116/117 (99.1%)
9 - Do you believe that it is the duty of people to treat a transgender woman as a woman simply to feed her delusions?
- Yes; transgender women are actually men, but we should be nice to them and make them feel like they are women. - 0/117 (0%)
- Yes; transgender women are actually different from both men and women, but we should be nice to them and make them feel like they are real women. - 6/117 (5.1%)
- No; transgender women are not delusional and I am being accurate when addressing them as women. - 102/117 (87.2%)
- No; transgender women do not deserve to be addressed as women but rather should be addressed as men because that’s what they really are. 1/117 - (0.9%)
- OTHER: Did not answer. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Delusional is not the correct word, but transgender women are actually men. We should be nice to them and make them feel like they are women. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Transgender women should be addressed however they want, but aren’t complete women like cisgender women are. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Transgender women should be addressed however they want regardless of your opinion. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: unsure - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Did not like answer choices. - 1/117 (0.9%)
Only one person answered “yes” to question 8. This person is a transphobic jerk. Let’s not be friends.
To the other 99.1% of you who answered “no” but also answered that I’m a “man” on question one: What gives? This is the answer that’s not transphobic, yes. This is the answer which I won’t hate you for picking, yes. But what about all of you who said that I’m a man? Even though you think I’m a man and I know I’m a woman, you answer no to this? I suppose the word “delusional” just seems too harsh for some people; if you think I’m a man even though I know I’m a woman, what would it be if not a delusion?
Question 9 is in the same vein, using the word “delusions,” but asks specifically about not only what the respondents think but also the actions they would take. 87.2% think transgender women are women, which is the “correct” answer, if correct means “not transphobic.” 5.1% say that transgender women are neither men nor women, but that people should be nice to them and refer to them as women. My concern: Where were you on the previous question? A transgender person is not delusional when it comes to their gender, but now their delusions should be fed as they aren’t really the gender they say? That’s a pretty blatant contradiction. It seems as though some of these questions really made people think about each individual one as separate and that it’s likely that they aren’t aware that they aren’t really sure how they really feel about transgender people. Furthermore, every single person that answered this way also answered that I am a woman. This means that either (A) they were being polite even though it’s a survey in which I asked for “brutal honesty,” or (B) it’s simply a contradiction. To go even further than that, some people who answered the “correct,” non-transphobic way also said that I’m a man. Either they (A) were scared to say trans people are delusional but not scared to think I’m a man, (B) don’t think I’m trans enough, or (C) are contradicting themselves.
Only one person answered with the “most incorrect” answer (“No; transgender women do not deserve to be addressed as women but rather should be addressed as men because that’s what they really are”), but I believe that they actually chose that answer by mistake. I left it in like that because it’s the answer that was chosen, but it completely stuck out on that person’s survey results. They also answered that I’m a woman, female, that they agree that I’m female because it’s true, that they can’t always tell a person is trans by looking, that they’re not delusional, that trans people are the gender they identify as, and that trans women are women no matter what. Basically, it seems like they misread the question or misclicked the box.
Three people even wrote in that trans women should be addressed how they want regardless of what you think. This could basically be any of the other answers in which trans women aren’t women but should be addressed as such, but the respondents didn’t seem to want to be as harsh as I worded the answers. One person decided to say that trans women aren’t “complete” women, whatever that means (it doesn’t mean anything).
10 - I think transgender people are really:
- just homosexuals. - 0/117 (0%)
- just delusional. - 0/117 (0%)
- just weird. - 0/117 (0%)
- the gender that they identify as. - 99/117 (84.6%)
- the gender that they identify as, as long as that gender is man or woman. - 4/117 (3.4%)
- OTHER: Positive Answer - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: Weird, but hey, so is everyone. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: their assigned-at-birth gender. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: the gender that they identify as, but it helps a lot when they’re actually passable. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: the gender that they identify as in most cases, but not all. 1/117 - (0.9%)
- OTHER: Normal - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: I don’t know - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: people with a viewpoint I have no bearing on. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: people. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: crossdressers. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: brave. - 1/117 (0.9%)
I’m honestly a tiny bit surprised that 0% of respondents answered “just homosexuals,” “just delusional,” or “just weird.” Out of the 117 people who took the survey, none of them went with these. Good going, survey takers.
84.6% of respondents think that transgender people are the gender they identify as. Good call.
3.4% think that you have to believe yourself to belong to the gender binary. The gender binary refers to there being two genders: “man” and “woman.” There are people who fall outside of these categories and identify as neither, or as both, or as something else entirely. They may identify as genderqueer, genderfluid, third gender, or as one or more of many other labels (or no label at all!). 3.4% of respondents are on the right track as to accepting transsexuals (those who identify with the “opposite” sex and gender than the one assigned at birth), but still have ways to go when it comes to accepting anyone who falls outside of the binary.
A few people gave a positive answer, such as “transgender people are really AWESOME!” One person thinks that transgender people are weird like everyone else, but that’s really just a cop out to not answering the question. One person thinks that transgender people should be “passable,” which is a word that often refers to transgender people being able to ‘blend in with the crowd,’ or to basically look as though they’re cisgender and not be noticed as transgender. I could talk forever about that too, but I’ll save that for another time. Just know that transgender people are not obligated to “pass.” One person says that it’s true in most cases but not all because that one person is a gatekeeper I guess.
One person thinks transgender people are really crossdressers, which means this person thinks that transgender people are really their assigned at birth gender and they simply wear clothes of the gender they claim to be. Another person says that transgender people are simply their assigned-at-birth gender. To those two people: Fuck you. I mean, why are we even friends on Facebook? I almost exclusively post articles on there written by trans feminists or articles about the rights of trans people, and you obviously not only disagree with all of that, but you also don’t find my or any other trans people’s gender as valid. Fuck you. Really. Get out of my life.
On with the questions!
11 - Do you find Madison sexually attractive?
- Yes; I identify as a straight man - 8/117 (6.8%)
- Yes; I identify as a gay man - 0/117 (0%)
- Yes; I identify as a straight woman - 4/117 (3.4%)
- Yes; I identify as a gay woman - 5/117 (4.3%)
- Yes; I identify as a bisexual or pansexual man - 1/117 (0.9%)
- Yes; I identify as a bisexual or pansexual woman - 16/117 (13.7%)
- Yes; I identify as neither man nor woman, both man and woman, or any combination of the two and identify as either straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, or any other sexual orientation. - 7/117 (6%)
- No; I identify as a straight man - 30/117 (25.6%)
- No; I identify as a gay man - 2/117 (1.7%)
- No; I identify as a straight woman - 21/117 (17.9%)
- No; I identify as a gay woman - 4/117 (3.4%)
- No; I identify as a bisexual or pansexual man - 3/117 (2.6%)
- No; I identify as a bisexual or pansexual woman - 8/117 (6.8%)
- No; I identify as neither man nor woman, both man and woman, or any combination of the two and identify as either straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, or any other sexual orientation. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: No (Not My Type); I identify as a straight man - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Yes; I identify as a questioning woman - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Refuse to Answer - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Yes; (No Personal Identification) - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: No; (No Personal Identification) - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: No (Not My Type); (No Personal Identification) - 1/117 (0.9%)
12 - When you read the previous question, you:
- Immediately were like “YEAH, WHERES THE BUTTON TO SAY YEAH!” - 19/117 (16.2%)
- Immediately were revolted by the mere fact that you were asked. - 0/117 (0%)
- Neither of the two above answers / Didn’t care one way or the other - 82/117 (70.1%)
- OTHER: Positive Answer. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: felt confused. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Not my type. - 6/117 (5.1%)
- OTHER: No answer was applicable - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: were caught off guard. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: thought that the question is out of place in this survey. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Refuse to Answer - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: were entertained by your curiosity. - 1/117 (0.9%)
These two questions might be the oddballs of the survey. They were the only questions that I seriously debated actually including in the final survey, but ultimately decided to go with them. I really just wanted to know what people that I know think of me, and I was curious to see if there were correlations between how people identify and what they thought. I can think of certain cis women, for example, that would probably get a nearly unanimous “Yes; I identify as a straight man” set of results, and I was just curious to see where I would fit in, and I was especially curious to see if the results would skew in a nearly unanimous way towards “no” answers.
Results weren’t unanimous in either direction, but here are a couple of categories broken down: 31 self-identified straight men (including the one who specified that I’m not their type) said no and 8 said yes. That means about 1 out of 5 straight-identified men who took this survey find me sexually attractive and about 4 out of 5 do not.
16 self-identified bisexual or pansexual women found me attractive, whereas 8 did not. That means that about 2 out of 3 self-identified bisexual or pansexual women who took this survey find me sexually attractive and about 1 out of 3 does not.
It seems that, out of the people who took this survey, bisexual and pansexual identified women are more likely to find me attractive than straight men. This could possibly indicate that bisexual and pansexual identified women are more likely to be open minded about transgender people than heterosexual-identified men, or it could mean that my physical traits are less appealing to what heterosexual men are taught to find attractive. It could also mean nothing at all, but I just found it interesting to ask.
It’s also worth mentioning that 21 self-identified straight women did not find me sexually attractive and 4 did, and two self-identified gay men did not find me attractive while none did. Though a few straight identified women find me sexually attractive (and it’s unclear whether they think I’m sexually attractive to others, or if they feel sexual attraction to some women but do not act upon it, or feel sexual attraction to women but not romantic attraction, etc.), this mostly skewed in the direction that I would assume, as most heterosexual women and homosexual men don’t find women sexually attractive.
I also want to emphasize that answering “no” to this question is totally fine. You’re not expected to be sexually attracted to everyone. If you answered “no” only because I’m trans, that’s not okay. If you answered “no” because you simply aren’t sexually attracted to me, that’s perfectly fine. I’m not sexually attracted to all of you either, and that’s okay.
The follow-up question was really for me to gauge how many people reacted in an immediate negative way to the question about sexual attraction. Fortunately, there wasn’t a single person who was “revolted by the mere fact that you were asked,” which is awesome. I really thought that there might be people (cis straight men in particular) who would be immediately revolted by simply being asked whether or not a trans woman is sexually attractive. Out of the 117 respondents here, none were.
6 respondents wanted to specify that I wasn’t their type and that it didn’t have anything to do with me being trans. That’s totally fine; you don’t have to find every person sexually attractive.
16.2% of you were all ‘hells yes.’ Oh, you!
13 - Do you agree with this statement: “I support Madison but I don’t agree with this gender transition thing.”
- yes - 4/117 (3.4%)
- no - 113/117 (96.6%)
14 - Do you agree with this statement: “I support Madison but I she shouldn’t be changing her body like she is.”
- yes - 2/117 (1.7%)
- no - 115/117 (98.3%)
These are both questions that everyone should answer as “no.” Nobody has the right to disagree with another person’s transition, whether it has to do with someone’s body or simply social aspects. This goes for parents of transgender people, children of transgender people, the spouse of a transgender person, etc. There can be conversations about it, but it can’t be disagreed with.
I also want to add that by not agreeing with someone’s transition, you’re not supporting them. If you’re claiming to be super supportive of them but would talk them out of HRT if you could, you’re really being the opposite of supportive. It’s possible that the answers were limiting in that you had to say that you still support me if you disagree, but I do stand by that sentiment.
Thankfully, the vast majority of respondents chose “no” on both questions. Still, four respondents said that they don’t agree with my gender transition and two respondents said that they don’t think that I should alter my body.
It’s also interesting that only one person chose “yes” on both of these questions. Every other “yes” (three people for question 13 and one person for question 14) chose “no” for the other question. That means that three people don’t agree with my gender transition but think changing my body is fine, and one person doesn’t support me changing my body but thinks transition is fine. I find this somewhat odd, as they’re very closely related. It’s sort of like saying “You can have breasts and a vagina and estrogen and smooth skin, but aside from that, I don’t agree with the whole gender transition thing.” I guess I don’t get it, but it helps to note that most of these respondents also had contradicting answers down the line on their surveys; some said I was a woman but that transgender women aren’t women, and some said that I’m a man but transgender women are all women, etc.
15 - Transgender women:
- must prove that they are women by looking and/or acting “feminine.” - 3/117 (2.6%)
- must prove that they are women by looking “feminine,” but not necessarily acting “feminine.” - 4/117 (3.4%)
- must prove that they are women by acting “feminine,” but not necessarily looking “feminine.” - 1/117 (0.9%)
- are women regardless of how they look or act. - 92/117 (78.6%)
- are men regardless of how they look or act. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- are neither men nor women regardless of how they look or act. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: are both men and women regardless of how they look or act. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: shouldn’t feel the need to prove anything. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: it’s not up to me. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: are women regardless of how they look or act, but “passing” helps. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: Did not answer. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: Positive answer. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Did not like answer choices. - 1/117 (0.9%)
Transgender women are women regardless of how they look or act, plain and simple. This is much like cisgender women are women regardless of how they look or act. Women are women. Boom. 78.6% of respondents agree.
6.9% of respondents think that transgender women must prove it by either looking or acting “feminine,” or both. Believe it or not, it’s not always just cis people who share this view, but I hear it from trans people a good deal as well. The fact of the matter is that trans women (and trans people in general) (and people in general) shouldn’t have to prove anything to anyone when it comes to their gender. If I want to cut my hair short and play Halo and talk about football, I can do that and it doesn’t change how much of a woman I am. Many cis women don’t “look feminine” and they’re still women; trans women don’t have to live up to an arbitrary ‘higher standard of womanhood’ in order to validate their gender.
Two respondents believe that “transgender women are men regardless of how they look or act.” Fuck you. Get out of my life. One of those two respondents also said that I’m a woman, so take what you will from that.
Three respondents believe that “transgender women are neither men nor women regardless of how they look or act.” This is a belief that transgender people aren’t their assigned-at-birth gender, but still do not qualify as the gender they identify as because they’re not really that gender. It’s just as transphobic and invalidating as believing that I’m really my assigned-at-birth gender, though possibly more unintentional. When a transsexual person says that they feel as if people are ‘othering’ them, it commonly refers to this; people don’t think they’re men or women, but rather, something else, in a “You’re a woman, but you’re a transgender woman, so therefore you’re not really a woman” sort of way. It’s shitty. It’s worth noting here that all three of these respondents have at least one contradicting answer: Two said that I’m a woman and the other one who said I’m a man also states that all transgender women are really women and aren’t delusional.
Three respondents feel that transgender women shouldn’t need to prove anything. While that’s great in theory, transgender people (most typically those who identify as transsexual) commonly feel the need to “prove” their gender to others because they don’t enjoy being misgendered. For example, when I was out this past weekend, I asked a woman who worked in a mall store where the bathroom was. She looked at me for a moment and then politely pointed and told me which direction to go. When I walked to where she said to go, I found that there was only a men’s bathroom, so I asked another store associate there where the bathrooms were, and they told me that the women’s bathroom was on the other side of the store. It’s both humiliating and frustrating to be sent to the men’s bathroom. It’s not that I feel as though I need to gussy up for that store employee and go back and rub how woman-like I am in her face; I just don’t want people to send me to the wrong bathroom or to call me “sir” or to possibly become violent with me because they think I’m a man or that I’m threatening their sexuality or something equally as brain-hurty to me.
Two respondents felt the need to specify that it’s not up to them. This is absolutely true; it’s not up to you. The question did specify that it was asking about transgender women, though, and transgender women are women. You had that selection, and since it’s not up to you, just pick it next time.
Two respondents specified that transgender women are always women, but “passing” helps. Please remember that looking as though you are a cisgender person at all times is a privilege that some do not have and that because someone may be read as transgender, it doesn’t make them any less their gender than someone who may not be read as transgender, whether they’re trans or cis.
16 - I think that Madison’s breasts are:
- fake. - 9/117 (7.7%)
- real. - 58/117 (49.6%)
- both real and fake. - 15/117 (12.8%)
- OTHER: Haven’t considered / Don’t know. - 20/117 (17.1%)
- OTHER: breasts. - 4/117 (3.4%)
- OTHER: caused by hormones. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: none of my business. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: Cannot answer without seeing. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: hers. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: I don’t want to think about it. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Positive Answer - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Refuse to Answer - 1/117 (0.9%)
Remember again, I don’t have to give you this information. I don’t owe it to you, but rather, am sharing it with you of my own volition.
With that said: My breasts are currently a size 34A. This is completely from HRT, of which I’ve been on for just over one year and one month now. On HRT, breasts will typically grow for about 2 – 4 years before stopping, but that’s just an estimate and everyone is different. I have not had any surgeries and do not wear any extra padding; just my standard Victoria’s Secret bras.
All HRT does is basically stop my body from producing so much testosterone and adds estrogen instead so that my hormone levels will mirror that of the average cisgender woman. I also take progesterone which (supposedly) helps with breast growth as well. This means that my breasts grew by simply having estrogen in my system in the same way that cisgender women’s breasts grow during puberty.
So, if you didn’t know, now you do. I’d personally consider my breasts real, but of course, there are some who would still read that and feel as though the fact that pills are what causes the hormone-level changes in my body would somehow make them less real, as if somehow they’re not really there and/or aren’t really authentic because they didn’t just appear there on their own. I mean, my body made them, what more do you want?
In any case, here are the results: 49.6% of respondents agree and say that they’re real. 7.7% think (or thought, before they read this explanation) that they’re fake. 12.8% think they’re both real and fake at the same time.
What really surprised me was that 17.1% of respondents never considered it or simply didn’t know. That’s a lot of similar “other” answers, and I suppose many people just don’t care all that much about other people’s breasts. I don’t know if there’s much to draw from this statistic or not.
Four respondents say that they’re breasts. This is true.
One respondent says that they’re caused by hormones. This is also true.
Three respondents say that it’s none of their business. Typically this is true, but considering I asked, I allowed it to be their business for that moment. Still, that’s totally acceptable.
One person didn’t even want to think about it. Fair enough, as long as it’s not because I’m trans.
Three respondents said that they couldn’t answer the question without seeing my breasts. I see you in the bushes outside with the binoculars.
17 - I think that Madison’s hands are:
- “man hands.” - 1/117 (0.9%)
- “woman hands.” - 0/117 (0%)
- “human hands.” - 9/117 (7.7%)
- male hands. - 0/117 (0%)
- female hands. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- her hands. - 54/117 (46.2%)
- just hands. - 44/117 (37.6%)
- OTHER: both her hands and “woman hands.” - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Did not answer. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Refuse to Answer - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Irrelevant - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Need to see hands in order to answer. - 4/117 (3.4%)
I wanted to include a question about a part of my body – a trans woman’s body – that isn’t sexually gendered (such as breasts, adam’s apple, etc) for one specific reason: I used to have this bias. I used to have this internalized fear when I was younger that if a man touched me, for instance, it was disgusting and “gay” because it was a “man hand” that touched me. I used to have this fear that if I transitioned, the skin on my arm would always be “man” skin or that my toes would always be “man” toes or that the left side of my neck would be a “man’s” left-side-of-the-neck. Now I know that this is a preposterous internalized fear that I used to have and that my body parts are both “woman” parts as they belong to a woman, and they’re my parts as they belong to me. I’ll go with “female” parts as well as you’re already aware of my stance on sex and sex identity.
To my surprise, only three respondents (2.6%) gendered my hands at all. The majority of respondents (84.7% total) thinks that my hands simply belong to me, and chose one of the two incredibly similar answers (“her hands” and “just hands”) to let me know this. Neat.
Four respondents need to see my hands in order to answer. NEVER!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!111one
18 - You meet someone who you are attracted to. After getting to know them for a few hours, they confess that they find you attractive as well and you both kiss. You give them your phone number and they say goodbye and leave. After they leave, a mutual friend tells you that they are transgender. You were not aware of this. You:
- feel deceived. - 12/117 (10.3%)
- feel disgusted. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- feel deceived and disgusted. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- don’t mind. - 41/117 (35%)
- don’t mind and are angry with your friend for outing this person without their consent. - 31/117 (26.5%)
- are ecstatic because they are transgender. - 7/117 (6%)
- OTHER: unsure - 5/117 (4.3%)
- OTHER: feel like “oh cool, me too.” - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: don’t mind, are angry with your friend for outing them, and are ecstatic they are transgender. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: feel weird or okay depending on the status of their genitalia. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: feel surprised. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: don’t mind the situation, but would not pursue the person further. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: feel deceived but also curious. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Did not answer. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: feel deceived, but later understand that you may have been in the wrong to feel that way. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: are angry with your friend for outing them, but feel disappointed that the transgender person did not trust you enough to disclose their transgender status. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: pursue relationship based on having another conversation with transgender person about their transgender status. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: feel confused. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: feel weird. - 1/117 (0.9%)
This question has to do specifically with disclosure of trans status.
So, you meet someone that you are attracted to. You only talk to them for a few hours. After these few hours pass, they admit that they also find you attractive and you both share a kiss. You give them your phone number and they leave. Once they leave, a friend “outs” them as transgender to you, which you were not aware of.
Most respondents don’t mind and a large chunk of them are also angry at the friend for outing the trans person. This is all good. Some are also ecstatic that this person is trans for one reason or another, which is fine too, as long as you’re not specifically looking for trans people for sex only because of their genitalia.
Twelve respondents feel deceived, one feels disgusted, and three feel both deceived and disgusted, which comes to a grand total of 13.8% of respondents who kind of suck.
First, let’s talk about deception: A transgender person is not deceiving you when they tell you that they are a man or a woman. They are what they identify as, much like cisgender people are what they identify as. If you feel deceived by this person that you found attractive, whom found you attractive, whom you got along awesome with for a few hours, whom you kissed, and whom happened to be trans and not tell you, then you have put very little time into thinking about what it might be like to be trans. Many trans people do not talk about their status to anyone unless they feel as though the situation is absolutely safe to do so, and even still, many just don’t want to talk about it. They don’t know if you’re going to beat the shit out of them yet, but they do know that you find them attractive because you weren’t complaining when you kissed them. The fact that they’re trans should change incredibly little from the situation that just occurred, and if you feel deceived, then you deceived them by acting like a cool person.
Next, disgust: If you’re disgusted that you just felt attracted to a trans person and/or just kissed a trans person without knowing it, you’re transphobic. If the mere fact that someone is trans makes it disgusting, even though you are attracted to them, that’s transphobic.
A few of the written-in answers were combinations of previous positive answers. Two respondents felt surprised, either because they’re surprised they couldn’t tell that this person was trans or because they’re surprised that everyone they come across isn’t cis. Three respondents don’t mind but wouldn’t pursue the relationship because they’re apparently transphobic. Two respondents immediately feel deceived but later realize that they were wrong to feel this way, and I’m glad you’ve made it to this point so that when it actually happens, hopefully you can skip the whole feeling of deceit. One respondent is confused for some reason and one respondent feels all weird inside. One person would only pursue after having a conversation about their trans status with them.
One person is angry at the trans person for not trusting them enough to disclose. Remember: This engagement was only a few hours long and at no point did anything transgender-related come up. Why should someone trust you enough with something that’s personal about themselves, that could cause an adverse or unsafe reaction, or that they themselves might not be proud of or even possibly hate about themselves after only a few hours? How do they know you won’t snap after hearing about this, and now that you might assume they’re disgusting and perverted and are making you question your sexuality, won’t berate or hurt them, only to later blame it on “trans panic?” The fact of the matter is, you have no right to be angry with a trans person if they do not disclose their trans status to you, even if you’re potentially going to date and even if you are dating. It’s their information to do what they want with; maybe they’ll share it with the world, maybe they’ll only tell close friends and those who they completely trust, and maybe they had the privilege of having lower surgery and “passing” all of the time and will never tell anyone including the person they marry. It’s all up to them.
Here are some articles about trans disclosure: http://zinniajones.com/blog/transcripts/trans-disclosure-we-can-get-into-that/ and http://www.theprecarious.com/content/gender-stealth-why-transgender-disclosure-not-necessary
19 - A transgender person comes out at work. Their boss fires them because they think a transgender employee is bad for business and might scare off some of their more conservative customers. This is:
- unfair; transgender people need work too. - 96/117 (82.1%)
- fair; a place of business shouldn’t be forced to have someone work for them who might be bad for business. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- unfair, but life isn’t always fair. That’s just the way it is. - 9/117 (7.7%)
- none of my concern. - 0/117 (0%)
- something that I would like to see solved, but don’t know how I would go about it so I’ll just watch and see how it plays out. - 6/117 (5.1%)
- OTHER: unfair; confront boss and consider leaving my position. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: unfair; I would quit if that happened at my place of work. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: Depends on if the transgender person “passes” and if they have direct contact with customers. - 1/117 (0.9%)
20 - You have a friend who is transgender and is looking for work. There is or may be a position open at your place of work which your friend is qualified for. Would you put in a good word for them with your boss?
- yes. - 106/117 (90.1%)
- yes; only if they “pass.” - 4/117 (3.4%)
- no; it may reflect poorly on me. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- no; I wouldn’t put in a good word for anybody regardless of who they are. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: Yes, but would not look forward to awkward conversations about my friend being transgender. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: no; I am protecting my transgender friend from a conservative environment. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: yes, but I feel they have no chance to get hired if they do not “pass.” - 1/117 (0.9%)
- OTHER: Depends on dress code. - 1/117 (0.9%)
Both of these questions are related as they’re both about transgender people and employment. For transgender people, employment can be incredibly difficult to find and keep. Many transgender people lose their existing jobs because they come out as trans (I am one of those people). Many transgender people have an incredibly difficult time finding a job because their legal name does not match their actual name or the way they look (I am one of those people). According to a 2009 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 26% of respondents lost their jobs because they were transgender and 97% of respondents were harassed at work in some way. (http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/fact_sheets/transsurvey_prelim_findings.pdf)
In my survey, 82.1% of respondents understand that firing a transgender person for simply being a transgender person is unfair. This is completely accurate, but in many states and cities and counties, there are no protections at all for people who are transgender. They can be fired without second thought simply for being transgender. This is why we need to fight for protections.
7.7% of respondents also believe that it’s unfair, but hey, that’s just life. Remember, things can always change for the better; we just have to make those changes.
5.1% of respondents recognize that this is a problem, but want to watch from the sidelines. My recommendation is to read, read, read! Learn about what other people go through. Empathize with their situations. You can make changes if you learn and speak up!
One respondent thinks that it’s fair because a business can do whatever they want. This person would probably vote for Rand Paul if he ran for president. I disagree with your politics and think you’re a poop face.
Two respondents would confront their boss and consider quitting if this were to happen at their place of work, and two people would just quit. I might as well mention that when I was fired from the restaurant that I worked at for being ‘found out’ as trans by my boss, tons of co-workers said that they would either quit or confront him or strike or whatever and nobody did. People need work and I totally understand that and I don’t expect anyone to be a hero and risk not being able to pay their bills because someone else was fired unfairly; I just want you to keep in mind that the person who was fired for being themselves also has bills to pay and will in all likeliness struggle to find another job because of who they are.
One person is hung up on whether or not the trans person passes for cis and whether or not they’ll directly interact with customers. Being transgender isn’t a disease; trans people can do a job that deals with or without customers just fine.
Moving on to Question 20: This one is about whether or not you would recommend a transgender friend whom you know is qualified for the position for said position at your place of work. I asked this because typically when I would previously be looking for work, I would have friends offer to put in a good word to their bosses and have landed jobs this way. Now that I’m out as trans, I had zero people do this, and I really do feel like it’s simply because I’m trans.
90.1% of respondents said they would put in a good word for them. Another 3.4% would put in a good word only if they pass as cisgender. One respondent said that they would not because it might reflect poorly on them and two more said they wouldn’t simply because they’re not comfortable putting in a good word for anyone.
One person would put in a good word but isn’t looking forward to the awkward conversations about being trans. Welcome to my life.
One person would not because they’re protecting their friend. My hero.
One person says that it depends on the dress code. Why would this matter? If the dress code for men and women is different, I’m showing up to work wearing women’s clothes because I’m a woman.
One person would put in a good word but believes that it would be futile if the trans person did not “pass.” Everyone please remember that people who don’t look as though they’re cisgender at all times still need money to pay for food and shelter and that they can do their work just as good or as bad as anyone else. They’re qualified for this position and you’d help them out and that’s all awesome, but this is why we need protections in the workplace and why we need to keep fighting to make it known that transgender people are all worth as much as anyone else.
Here’s a recent article about the difficulties of being trans and finding and keeping work: http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/22/pf/transgender-unemployment/index.html
21 - I found this survey to be:
- interesting or neat / a good idea. - 71/117 (60.7%)
- uncomfortable. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- a waste of time. - 1/117 (0.9%)
- fun. - 5/117 (4.3%)
- a bad idea. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- a survey that I filled out and nothing more. Neutral or no feelings about it. - 21/117 (17.9%)
- OTHER: It made me think and realize that I should become more educated on the subject. - 6/117 (5.1%)
- OTHER: too focused on Madison and not enough on transgender people. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: I think Madison shouldn’t care what others think of her / shouldn’t be so self-conscious. - 2/117 (1.7%)
- OTHER: I feel that the survey suffered from construction issues. - 3/117 (2.6%)
- OTHER: Interesting, uncomfortable, and some of the questions were limiting. - 1/117 (0.9%)
I’m glad that so many respondents (60.7%) found the survey to be interesting or neat, or just generally a good idea. That’s what I thought it would be and I think that’s how it came out. 4.3% of respondents said it was fun and 17.9% of people felt neutral toward it, which are both cool too.
It was pretty awesome that six respondents (5.1%) wrote in various answers that amounted to them realizing that they don’t actually know that much on the subject of transgender people and feel as though they should become more educated.
Two respondents were made uncomfortable by the survey. If this is because anything on the survey was triggering, I sincerely apologize.
Two respondents felt that the survey was too focused on me and not focused enough on transgender people. One of those people was the person who refused to answer half of the questions, answered neutral on the first two questions just to be a jerk, and told me in just about every question with a box that they hated the questions. Well, the name of the survey was “Anonymous Survey about Madison and Transgenderism.” I created the survey, I had my reasons for making it lean towards myself at times, and my name even comes first in the title. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo.
Three respondents felt that the survey suffered from construction issues, and I don’t blame you. I created the survey all in one night without any previous formal experience in this. It’s not the best survey and it’s certainly not scientific, but it was the best that I could come up with and I feel it served its purpose and especially gave me room to speak on these specific issues here.
Two respondents felt that I shouldn’t care what other people think about me and that I shouldn’t be so self-conscious, especially for being out as transgender. Believe it or not, transgender people tend to be incredibly self-conscious; try walking around for a good chunk of your life as something you’re not, and then try living as yourself and still having people tell you you’re not really what you are and that you’re worthless and disgusting. Try carrying the thought around that if you don’t look a certain way, you might be harassed or attacked based upon being transgender. Like I’d written previously, I don’t enjoy being sent to the men’s bathroom for many reasons. I don’t enjoy my body and my face at times. I don’t enjoy being around “friends” when they don’t believe in my gender. I don’t enjoy my genitalia. It’s hard to not be self-conscious and to not care what others think when so much is working against you.
I learned a great deal from this survey. Mostly, I’m glad that the vast majority of the results were positive and weren’t transphobic. There were some responses that invalidate and question who I am (and transgender people in general), but they weren’t in nearly as great of numbers as the positive responses that I received.
I was probably most surprised by the amount of people who answered similar questions negatively in contradicting ways, though I also feel as though it makes sense and I really shouldn’t be surprised by that. For instance, one respondent answered that “transgender women are neither men nor women regardless of how they look or act,” but also answered that “transgender women are not delusional and I am being accurate when addressing them as women,” and also answered that I am a woman. Another respondent said that “transgender women are women regardless of how they look or act” and responded that “transgender women are not delusional and I am being accurate when addressing them as women,” but also stated that I am a man. Out of the 117 respondents, I count 16 that blatantly contradict themselves multiple times in the same way as the previous examples given when answering some similar questions negatively and others positively. I count only 2 respondents that were negative completely down the line without contradicting themselves, but both said that people should be polite to transgender people and to basically pretend they’re their identified gender so that they don’t feel bad. As I stated earlier, one respondent was a jerk who decided to answer most of the questions in a way that let me know that they didn’t like taking the survey.
I hope everyone enjoyed reading the survey results and accompanying essay. It was a long one (I’m on page 19 in a single-spaced Word document) but I couldn’t stop myself from writing.
I wish everyone well, except for those of you who said shitty things on this survey, which in that case, fuck you. Get out of my life. Otherwise, if you said positive things, then you’re awesome. The opposite of fuck you! Get into my life.
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