Ok let’s get to opening this particular can o worms, the I am trapped in the wrong body meme has become a problem. This explanation was intended originally for one reason, to explain the unimaginable to people who could never ever in a billion years understand it, because they have no context from which to empathise, without the vital personal context trans realities are incredibly difficult, if not impossible to comprehend fully.
Explaining becomes somewhat like trying to describe a duck billed platypus to somebody who had never heard of a duck, or a beaver, or an otter.
The reality is my body is not a prison, not a cell, it is mine from head to toe, but here’s where it gets hard to explain. The issue lies in how a person percieves themselves, nobody had to tell most people they were male or female, they look at their bodies and compare to others and just know. From the day our bodies are born we have an awareness of who we are, an internal blueprint if you will. Observe a child some time in early infancy and you will see they may be a tad clumsy but even if the child cannot see or hear they are aware of their body.
They know where their feet are, their nose is, where every part of their body is that awareness is constant, even prior to social conditioning. If they suddenly grew extra parts they would no doubt be upset, why? because even as a child a brain knows what shape the body is, to suddenly alter that leads to extreme and distressing cognitive dissonance.
Now it gets tricky, the plainest evidence I can produce is the unusual phenomenon known as phantom limb. If a human being loses a limb it is a recorded phenomenon that 60 to 80 percent of cases the individual may retain sensations of movement and awareness of the presence of said limb or organ despite its loss.
This phenomenon is due to the fact the body is neurologically mapped by the brain, as evidenced by experiments showing that holding a mirror between missing and attached limb make it physically possible to stop the phantom limb itching by scratching the existing arm. Remove the mirror and the same results cannot be achieved.
In cases of transsexualism the same issue arises, the blueprints our brains are following do not seem to match to the current form of our bodies, talking therapies have of course been tested, however in all cases the experiments failed. In my life I have heard of every kind of reparative therapy you could care to imagine used in an attempt to “cure” us, from talking therapy, ammonia therapy, and exorcism, right through to electro convulsion therapy altered for use as an aversion therapy.
For proof of how ineffective said treatments are look to the barbaric case often heralded as the proof that all of a persons identity is socially defined the tragic case of David Reimer (August 22, 1965 – May 5, 2004) was a Canadian man who was born as a healthy male, but was sexually reassigned and raised as female after his penis was accidentally destroyed during circumcision Psychologist john money oversaw the case and reported the reassignment as successful, and as evidence that gender identity is primarily learned. Academic sexologist Milton Diamond later reported that Reimer failed to identify as female since the age of 9 to 11, and that he began living as male at age 15. Reimer later went public with his story to discourage similar medical practices. He later committed suicide, owing to suffering years of severe depression, financial instability and a troubled marriage.
This is the crux of the issue, when a person states that gender is entirely social construction. I agree with that entirely gender as we currently experience it is entirely social, HOWEVER I firmly believe that transsexuality is something outside the issue of gender, something currently lacking a word as gender was never our word to use. We merely borrowed it due to absence of appropriate language to explain fully our condition. Gender is a word for the social roles a person experiences daily, we need a word that better fits the lived realities of people rather than just more words of convenience. If we ever wish to gain full agency of our full bodies, if we are ever to break the stereotypes and attain the medical care we need to transition without judgement it’s time we took our bodies back. Found our own words, and showed the world we are human beings worthy of respect not an abstract theory of some quack, and sure as hell not something to be controlled.