In an insomnia filled evening of browsing Reddit, I found myself on one of the many TERF pages on the site. For those who are unfamiliar, TERF stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. They are notoriously anti-trans and believe that there is a small, or even no, connection between transwomen and women. There are further subgroups, such as Gender Critical (GC), that explain this belief with various theories. The people behind GC are fully behind the idea that gender is purely socially constructed and that for one to change their body, is wrong. This thinking doesn’t support dysphoria, other than a loosely based explanation of social psychology. I’m not quite sure why I visit such pages of these groups. Maybe it’s wanting to widen my perspective or, more simply, it’s just self-deprecation via deeply entrenched thoughts on what is right and wrong.
In this visit, I came across a post from a cis-woman that questioned why trans-women insist on identifying with women-hood. In addition to her, there was another women who commented stating that the can relate more so to cis-men than trans-women, as their genders both agree with their sex; however, this brushes over the concept of dysphoria and incompatible gender (identity) and sex*. The conversation goes on for quite a while, and the commentator later acknowledges dysphoria, but she’s adamant in for the separation and her belief that women and trans-women are inherently different.
I prefer to base a lot of my arguments in science, I’m a STEM student after all; however, the science of transgendered people is inconclusive, other than the fact that we exist and that people can suffer from dysphoira. If it’s not obvious, this scientific uncertainty is what really drives my frustration with being trans. I accept my depression and anxiety because I can break it down to why it occurs and how. I know what processes in my brain are deficient (or hyperactive) and how this is caused by both situational experience and my genetic code. In the case of such, the science puts me at ease. With being trans, I can’t have that satisfaction. I’m left in the dark. There’s certainly a lot of theories out there on what causes such a condition, but nothing conclusive. If you want to know more about the science behind being trans, I recommend this video by Riley J. Dennis: a Trans Youtuber who makes great LGBTQ+ content. I’ve also linked some further reading below.
In an effort to maintain reader engagement, this article was split in three. The second part will explain and explore my carpentry analogy (the name-sake of this article) and the basis behind it.
Please feel free to leave a comment or question below. I’ll gladly respond!
*This is discussed further in the comments. I realise now that this may have been a poor wording choice.