The "I'm a woman/man trapped in a man's/woman's body" line is old and perhaps even damaging. While I can understand it's effectiveness as an easier way to communicate what gender dysphoria feels like to cis people, I think it does more harm than good for a number of reasons. When I started to come to terms with who I was and "came out" to myself, I quickly resented the "wrong body" narrative because it implied that I should hate my body. And apart from the gendered differences and weight issues, I didn't hate my body. My body had seen me through a lot in my life and I wouldn't completely ditch it even if that was an option. One of my first radical rejections of transgender narratives (right after deciding to keep my birth name) was when I said, "I am not a woman trapped in a man's body. My body is already a woman's body, because I am a woman and this is my body. There are certain birth defects I want to correct, but my body is not responsible for my unhappiness. Just because my body might not currently fit with people's notions about what a woman's body looks like does not mean I should hate my body."
|Trans Girl Diaries is awsome and hilarious. Go check it out.|
Body blaming is not unique to trans people either. There are plenty of things we can all do to change our physical appearance, but we don't get a "new body". If you lose a lot of weight or have a baby, you might look thinner but you still have stretch marks. If you live long enough, you might look the same, but have lines or wrinkles. Even if you have SRS, your genitals aren't swapped with a different set, they're rearranged in a more appropriate configuration. Your genitals might look different, but it's still the same skin and nerve endings you were born with. No matter what, your body is with you from the beginning to the end. Some people might find that notion depressing, especially in regards to being trans, but I think it can be a beautiful thing. I like to think of my body as a permanent record of my life. One of my cheeks is puffy because I was pulled out with forceps when I was born. I got these stretch marks on my breasts when I went from a B cup to a D cup in one year. This scar on my right knee is from a gnarly fall I had on my bike. My right ankle is weak because of a roller derby injury. My right arm is slightly bigger than the left one because I broke it when I was 9. I have the very faint beginnings of laugh lines because when I laugh, I laugh deeply. If you point to any "imperfection" in my body, I guarantee you it has a story to tell. And the same will hold true with my future surgery scars. Oh, these scars around my labia? That's just a reminder of how hard I had to fight to get what I deserve. And that sometimes you need to share and ask for help to make your dreams come true. (By the way, have I mentioned my SRS donation site lately?)
|The moral of the story? Gender norms suck.|