26 Reasons I Take Joy in Being Trans – Rachel Anne Williams
I’ve written plenty about the pain of being trans. The trials and tribulations of transition. The agony of dysphoria. The always-present fear in public places and the pressures of discrimination.
But I also take great joy in being trans. Here are 26 reasons why I take joy in being trans
1. I got to choose my own name
This one is pretty cool. With the exception of their last names, cis people are usually stuck with the names given to them at birth, which they may or may not like. As a trans person, I got to pick a name that means something special to me.
2. I got to choose to live authentically
This is perhaps one of the biggest tropes of being trans but sometimes there is a lot of truth in cliches. Choosing to live authentically is about having a deep vision of how you want your life to go and not letting society’s obstacles stop you to from achieving that life. As a trans person, I get to live my authentic truth every day.
3. I get to enjoy ambiguity
While I do wish I passed better and could go stealth, there is a certain joy to being ambiguous that allows me exist in the liminal space between male and female.
4. I make my own destiny
This is related to living authentically. Being trans means that I have been able to change my life to live on my own terms and make my own future.
5. I get to play with gender
The great Kate Bornstein always reminds us that gender can be fun. Being trans lets me have a playful “fuck it” attitude in regards to gender.
6. I get to see clearly the absurdities of the gender system
Being trans has taught me that almost all the stereotypes and norms surrounding gender are ridiculous e.g. the idea that female pants don’t have pockets or that women aren’t supposed to be into videogames.
7. I got to come out of the closet
Although this is not necessarily always a joyful experience, coming out of the closet allowed me to live in freedom and not fear.
8. I get to experience the joy of temporarily relieving gender dysphoria
Finally seeing the person you want to be in the mirror is an amazing experience. Feeling comfortable with your body is joyful. To be honest, I transitioned more for the joys of gender euphoria than the pains of gender dysphoria. That is, I was pulled into transition rather than pushed into it.
9. I get to be a part of a community of amazing people
The trans community is pretty amazing. So many beautiful, diverse people who have big hearts and a lot of creativity. I’m happy to be a part of it.
10. I got a chance to recreate my body in the image I chose
Taking hormones has been a joyful experience because I got to take direct steps to change my body in a way that makes me happy.
11. I get to experience the joy of t4t relationships
As a trans person, dating another trans person is always a special experience. There’s a special closeness that I never experienced before transition though my new relationships with cis people are pretty great too.
12. I get the joy of knowing I’m on the right side of history
Although being under the political thumb of conservatives and TERFs is not pleasant, there is a joy of knowing I am on the right side of this important civil rights issue. Trans rights are human rights. In 100 years, the history books will not look kindly on TERFs and other anti-trans idealogues.
13. I get to contribute to a thriving culture
I write a lot about the trans community and for the trans community and I am honored to be part of a thriving culture that is so creative in our outpouring of love. There are brilliant people contributing to trans culture and I get joy from making my own contributions.
14. I don’t let other people define my gender
Part of being trans is rejecting the norms associated with my birth gender. This means that other people don’t define my gender. Gender is a subjective experience and I get to dictate what it means for me.
15. I get to participate in the diversity of the LGBT community
The trans community is an important part of the LGBT community and as a trans person I am happy to be part of such a joyful and vibrant community. Love is love.
16. I get to enjoy the benefits of great allies
Sometimes cis allies get it wrong. But often allies can be wonderfully affirming and it’s nice to be on the receiving end of such support.
17. I get to enjoy contributing to the destruction of toxic cis normativity
Cis normativity is the supposition that being cis is the default and normal state of being human that is superior to being trans. As a trans person, I get to enjoy breaking down these toxic assumptions and challenging the cis normativity of society.
18. I get to be a possibility model for young trans people and closeted trans people
As a trans person in my thirties it’s a joy to know that my existence, being out and visible, gives young trans people and those in the closet a possibility model for how to be a happy trans person living my best life.
19. I get to experience the joy of chosen family
I am lucky enough to have a supportive family, but my chosen family is also important to me and an important contributor to my happiness and daily existence. Having a support network that accepts me for who I am in all my particularities is not to be taken for granted.
20. I get to tell my own narrative
As a trans person, and especially as a writer, I get to continuously write my own narrative and define my existence and my identity in the way I see fit. All trans people have an important story to tell.
21. I get to travel on a journey of self-becoming
Being trans is more of a process than a static state of being. When I started transition, I embarked on a journey I am still traveling to this day.
22. I get to experience deep introspective knowledge of my own identity
There is a great philosophical call to know thyself. Trans people do this especially well. Knowing my desires is part of how I define my identity.
23. I don’t have to be in a box
Society wants to put us all in these tiny gender boxes but for me being trans means that I can step outside those limiting definitions and defy the stereotypes of gender.
24. I get to have the unique perspective of walking on both sides of the gender fence
Having lived as both a man and a woman, I get a unique perspective of the gender dynamics of society. This is one of the more interesting aspects of being trans.
25. I get to have the joy of challenging the gender binary every day
The gender binary says that there are just boys and girls and they must act/exist in according to certain rules. As a nonbinary trans person, I challenge those norms everyday simply in virtue of existing. There is a special joy in that.
26. I get to truly express myself
In choosing how I present myself to the world, I have the freedom to truly express myself. This was not always the case before I transitioned. But now I am free to be myself in all aspects and it’s beautiful.