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Gender Identity and Expression A forum for support and advice about figuring out and expressing your gender identity. If you have concerns about coming out, please use the Coming Out Advice forum.

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Old 21st Apr 2017, 07:08 AM   #1
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Is a certain amount of internalized transphobia okay?

This has been bothering me for a while. Sometimes it's hard to see myself as anything other than a boy. Sometimes it's hard to see other trans people as anything other than what they were born as. It makes me feel pretty awful, and I don't know how to stop.

Does anyone feel the same way as me?
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: Is a certain amount of internalized transphobia okay?

It is natural, I think, to work through these thoughts. But ultimately it is mind over matter and who you are inside is more important than what is under the belt.

When I have doubts, I remember the fact that trans people who transition are often much happier in their lives. That humans are not the only species to have gender variety. That there mere fact of living in a body that gives you hell every day is not worth it. That families and friends can be accepting. That is doesn't have to be your everything and the pillar of your identity. You're trans. So what? That is nothing to be ashamed about. Just like any other medical condition, you didn't choose it and you are trying to work through a difficult thing in the most medically responsible way you can.

You're you. And that is enough.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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Re: Is a certain amount of internalized transphobia okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodo View Post
It is natural, I think, to work through these thoughts. But ultimately it is mind over matter and who you are inside is more important than what is under the belt.

When I have doubts, I remember the fact that trans people who transition are often much happier in their lives. That humans are not the only species to have gender variety. That there mere fact of living in a body that gives you hell every day is not worth it. That families and friends can be accepting. That is doesn't have to be your everything and the pillar of your identity. You're trans. So what? That is nothing to be ashamed about. Just like any other medical condition, you didn't choose it and you are trying to work through a difficult thing in the most medically responsible way you can.

You're you. And that is enough.
Thank you so much! This was really helpful <3
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: Is a certain amount of internalized transphobia okay?

I struggle with the same thoughts all the time. It's a main reason I haven't taken any steps toward a transition: I feel like I'm a woman, not a "trannie" as we used to say as kids. It's hard to get over our upbringings no matter how we hope we've changed. Education, exposure, and a heart full of love, that's how we grow!
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: Is a certain amount of internalized transphobia okay?

It's absolutely natural and the way our minds are wired to think. I also see trans people as their birth gender, unless they're completely passing. My brain accepts what my eyes perceive, that's how we're wired, to classify everything we see and know, and our brains want to use typical sex characteristics to classify male and female by width of shoulders, facial types, etc. That's how it works for the vast majority of people. Even newborn babies with no acculturation show this behavior, classifying faces as male and female, pretty and ugly. Yes, this was studied pretty intensively. Sex/gender classification of others is hard-wired into our brains.

I seriously doubt we can change our perceptions of other people, but, we can control our behavior. When we see that dichotomy in others (when we see birth sex instead of gender presentation) we treat them with respect, honoring their feelings.

Yeah, supposedly as trans folks ourselves we're supposedly beyond this stuff. But no. No matter how we identify ourselves, perceiving others as being outside the gender norm still causes brain confusion.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 04:53 PM   #6
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Re: Is a certain amount of internalized transphobia okay?

It depends on what you mean by "okay".

Is it something you should be ashamed of or feel guilty for? No. It's very natural for trans people to have internalized transphobia and have thoughts like that. I've certainly had those thoughts. It's not something that you can just snap your fingers and fix immediately. It takes a long time to work through. You don't have to feel bad that you have internalized transphobia.

Is is something that you should just accept and not try to work on? No. You know that the transphobic thoughts are bad, so as long as you're conscious of that and trying to unlearn them, that's okay.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 05:45 PM   #7
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Re: Is a certain amount of internalized transphobia okay?

There is also the problem of intrusive thoughts. To understand it, think of your mind as a swirling vortex of thoughts and memories. When you see someome trans or think about who.you are, your mind searches for the right response to that image out of that multitude of information. However, if one of the thoughts is a source of anxiety, it will light up and become the dominate thought as your mind has connected the thought with danger. In other words, The idea of transphobia is marked as dangerous and the mind has created an automatic response when the thought is triggered by external or internal stimuli. The key is that the thought came to you but you didn't act on the thought and hurt another person, it was just there in the background making you feel anxious. In such situations, breath deeply and remind yourself that you are just feeling anxious.
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