This submission is from Alex Forshaw, who blogs at Married, With Aspergers.
POINT: I am a trans woman.
COUNTERPOINT: I’ve been told by a few people that I’m not a woman because my body is male. They insist on calling me by my old male name and refuse to use female pronouns to refer to me even though I am now presenting as female (outside of work). To them a person who is physically male is male: to put it bluntly, one’s gender is determined by what is between one’s legs.
ACTUAL POINT: Gender is not about one’s physical characteristics; it is psychological. I believe totally that I am female. I identify as a woman: this has caused me to feel that my body is wrong. Many people feel dissatisfied with their bodies: they may feel that they are too short, overweight, unattractive. In my case I am unhappy with the aspects of my body that are masculine: significant facial and body hair, deep voice, lack of breast development, narrow hips, poorly-defined waist. Unhappy enough that I am being treated for depression. It has literally been making me ill.
When I’m not at work I now present as a woman. My transition at work will happen in due course along with my physical transition: I have already spoken to my HR manager, and several of my colleagues know and are supportive. Most people I know socially have made the effort to call me by my new name and refer to me as a woman. They slip up from time to time but I don’t get offended because they are making the effort.
I have begun the long process of changing my body to bring it into line with my identity. I feel accepted, I feel happy and optimistic. And I have no time for those that cannot accept me as my female self.