First, please forgive me if I accidentally said something insensitive or used the wrong terminology. That is definitely not my intention!
While being transgender must not be easy: coming to that realization, making the transition if they so choose, being understood, accepted and respected, etc., there is one amazing thing about it. It’s helping men and women/males and females better understand one another.
Men and women (cis-gendered) have always thought differently and have had trouble getting why the other does or sees things a certain way. We think the way we see the world is the right way, naturally. But with transgender people taking hormones and presenting as the other gender, a lot of realizations have come to light, on both sides of the fence.
I’ve read articles about people making the male to female transition feeling much more emotional and realizing that it is not something they can control, that women were not just using tears to get sympathy (or most). Yay, hormones. Sadly, they also experienced not being taken as seriously at work as a woman, which was a shock to some. They had heard about it, but it was not until they experienced it themselves that it really sunk in.
People making the female to male transition realized that it is not so easy to keep from eyeing the opposite sex, that it’s an imperative, not a choice. Some felt more clear-headed and aggressive due to testosterone flooding their system. Some found they no longer agonized over choices, like what yogurt to buy, simply made a decision and moved on.
Both camps lost something and gained something in their new life. People transitioning from female to male felt safer walking alone at night, but were now perceived as a potential threat by women walking alone. People transitioning from male to female felt more at home in their bodies, but were suddenly ogled wherever they went, as if they were now public property.
Before these transitions, we could try to understand the other gender, but we could never actually be in their shoes. Now people are experiencing how the other half lives.
I find it fascinating that there are finally people who can say: there is a difference in how I was treated when I presented as a man/woman, in how I felt, saw and experienced things before and after. And most importantly: now I understand. It’s also interesting how much of a role hormones play in our lives.
I sincerely hope that the experiences these people have shared will help all of us better understand and respect one another’s differences and bring about social change.