cis gratitude

 

A wonderful byproduct of transgender visibility for me as a cis person is that I no longer take it for granted how lucky I am to really fit in the gender that was provided for me. I have a deep sense of being female, and my preferred gender expression fits well with contemporary society’s idea of femininity. Even where I’m “non-conforming,” I never think of that as being un-femme– I just think “well, I’m a woman who does this, so here’s another data point on femininity.”

This is not to endorse any particular theory of what causes gender dysphoria or how best to ameliorate in any given case. It is simply to recognize all the ways in which a person can feel alienated from their body and the way they are perceived socially with regard to gender, and to say how lucky cis people are that that stuff is working out for them. If anything, I have gender euphoria! No matter how many disadvantages come with being female (though I happen to think there are many, many unsung advantages as well), I will always want to be female to the extent that gender is relevant because it feels like an expression of me.

I imagine gender dysphoria is very similar to depression in this regard. Mood just sort of works out for most people, but for some it doesn’t, and it’s only then that one appreciates how many things need to be going right to feel “normal” and take that feeling for granted. So I’m trying to fully appreciate a thing that has worked out for me! As a depressive person, I feel that non-depressed people are honoring my struggle the most when they are truly grateful for the well-functioning mood regulation they have. It means they understand the gravity of what I lack in that moment– plus they get to feel happy and grateful for a wonderful thing they might be overlooking! I hope it’s the same for trans people.

 

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