trans

Cis people, please listen up: I am not required to educate you

“What makes you transgender?”
“Is it like cross dressing?”
“So, have you had the surgery?”
“What do you have down there?”
“Oh my God, I couldn’t even tell, what’s it like?”
“When did you decide you were trans?”
“Why do you want to do this?”

Dear cis people,

I love that you want to learn, that you want to understand. I think it is wonderful that you have so many questions. It’s beautiful to have allies, and to have you be truly inquisitive, but us trans people don’t want to have to hold your hand through the whole thing. It’s one thing to ask someone questions when they have invited them, but to think that any of us, anyone in any minority group at all, has a requirement to teach you is just wrong.

I know you want to learn, I totally get that and understand that, but I mean, would you feel pretty disrespected and uncomfortable if I just came up to you and started asking you so many questions it starts feeling like an interrogation, expecting you, basically demanding that you explain to me what it is like to be cisgender? What about if I asked you how you knew you were cis, and when you realized it, and if you were even sure. We get asked these questions constantly by cis people, but when we ask them back, we get looks as if it were extremely strange and wrong to be asking. Do you recognize the double standard there?

I don’t mind answering questions if I’ve given you permission. I’m an open book at that point, but until then, why the hell do you think that it is your right to be privy to my private life when you would never, ever even think of doing that to another cis person?! It amazes me how disrespectful of my trans sibling’s and my personal space that our allies are. You guys are lovely, but holy shit, come on. Please, have some respect. Would you dig into personal information (especially what genitals someone has) if they were cis? I know you’re interested, but bluntly honestly loves?

It’s none of your business unless you’re going to fuck me. Okay? Okay.

Something else you should understand: surgery is absolutely not the ultimate end all be all for any trans people, even incredibly dysphoric individuals like myself who absolutely require surgery. If you focus your questions around what someone does or does not have, or if they’ve “had the surgery” yet, you are minimizing our entire life experiences.

I mean, if you’re going to ask about my life, why can’t you ask about what it’s like to have my ability to piss in peace be a political issue? How do gender roles affect us? What about how incredibly difficult every day life is for many trans people? Or dating and sex, and not even understanding the basics of our sexuality, as if by being trans it becomes something foreign? Or self-esteem? Did you know that simply the act of talking can be difficult for trans people? What about child bearing? How about the massive murder, rape, beating and suicide rates of trans people? Do you ever wonder if it’s harder for trans people to get jobs, housing, medical care? Have you wondered why trans people get so upset about dead naming and misgendering? Or how there’s often no space for us in other communities like the GBL and feminist communities? Did you realize how dangerous it could be when you out us to, well, anyone, and that it’s really screwed up that you think you have the right to tell anyone at all that we are trans, even another trans person?

If you feel the need to intrude, could you please at least make your questions relevant to the entirety of life? I love you my cis allies, I do, but I can’t say that I don’t get pissed off. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want you to ask questions, please, ask away, but only to people who have given you express permission to do so. If you’re so interested, but don’t have a trans person in your life who’s given you permission to ask them lots of questions, then start looking things up! Just type in “family member of trans person” or something to that effect in Google and go buck wild loves! Learn as much as you can, educate yourself as much as you can. It would be super helpful for us, and for you.

It’s nice when allies want to know. It sucks when it is expected as a requirement to play ambassador for an entire group of people.

So the bottom line?
You are absolutely not entitled to have a single one of your unwarranted questions answered, and no, it is not disrespect if we say we don’t want to answer them.
I’m not your puppet.
I’m not your personal Google search.
I am not your ambassador to the trans world,

and I will not be treated as inherently inferior to you, which, I’m sorry loves, but is exactly what you do when you demand answers from us. We are not yours to control sunshines, okay? We don’t owe you an explanation, we don’t owe you anything at all. Please stop acting like we do.

I know you may not realize that this is what you are doing, or the kind of power play it is to just assume it’s okay to dig into our personal lives, but hopefully this clears it up a little bit.

This letter isn’t meant to degrade you, but it’s definitely something we need to talk about. I need you to understand how not okay this is. If you take it personally, there’s nothing I can do, but know that it’s not.

And lastly, if this letter makes you mad or offended, can you please ask yourself why it does?

Thank you loves,

~ Ivy

P.S. – No. I’m not “becoming a woman” or anything like that. I have always been female, I just had to grow up as a boy because cis people almost always force their views of gender on everyone.

As always, I love to hear your feedback, leave your comments below! Take care of yourselves sunshines, thank you for reading, and have a beautiful day.

 

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9 thoughts on “Cis people, please listen up: I am not required to educate you

  1. I’ve been thinking about this post for a while and thought I’d share something that happen a few months back.
    I work in IT and basically had a standup argument with CRM team over placing gender on the site I wasn’t suggesting the 50+ available on facebook but did suggest at least a little more latitude beyond the binary. It all really came down to a lack of understanding around genetic sex defined at birth and gender which is a choice. I won my argument 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How beautiful! Thank you so, so, so, so, so, so much sunshine for standing your ground for trans people. *hugs* You just made my day. My Facebook feed has been pretty depressing today between oppressive bills and seeing more reports of deaths of my siblings. Thank you love, so much. I don’t know if you know how much that really means.
      Have a beautiful day

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For me, the worst part of “educating” people is being blamed for their inability to get over the notions in their head and understand what I am saying. They often find my words triggering their fears, bringing up their own issues or just baffling them and then they believe that I have failed to teach properly, not that they have blocks to learning.

    It’s hard for them to grasp that they have no right to understand and judge my choices. Because they live a privileged, normative life, they assume that anything beyond their own comprehension is noise, warped and wrong.

    As a queer person, I know that I will never understand the drives of every human in the world. I just have to let them have their individuality unless what they do uses others without consent.

    When people assume that their failure to understand is my failure to properly explain, or worse, indication that my beliefs and choices are corrupt and wrongheaded, I know that understanding was never their goal. Instead, they just wanted to judge me by their limited view of the world.

    They have no obligation to details of my difference, treating me like I am an abject freak with an obligation to perform for the normal people. More than that, though, their obligation to learn is much more than my obligation to disclose, and when they fail to “get it,” blaming me just is their own myopia showing.

    Like

    1. Those that are mostly or entirely unreceptive are absolutely the most difficult to deal with, but I have found some level of this in the majority of people I educate. I’m sorry, it sounds like you’ve had to deal with this quite a bit.
      Thank you very much for your input sunshine and have a beautiful day ^.^

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeay ^.^ You’re welcome sunshine. I like answering people’s questions, but it’s been a subject that’s been wearing on me for a while now. I hope I got things across as clearly as I was intending without having too much of a “fuck off” tone.

      Liked by 1 person

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