Raising a child from the birth with this belief, that gender must comply with sex, leads to fragmentation of personality, when you have to play someone you are not until the degree, when you believe this is who you are or just have to be. You don't have to avoid to assume your child's gender but rather listen, if he/she says it is not so. All men can play women, can behave feminine just as women – to behave masculine. But if you are forced to live in this state constantly: to play a role constantly and live your life while doing that, to live like everyone around does - solve various real life problems, etc., that causes exhaustion not understandable for others, cause they usually don't have it. Beside forced personality fragmentation you have an additional fatigue and you usually see people around you, who can express them-selves more as well, and that creates an impression, that you are doomed and defected. This injustice enables only one thing - self-hatred, grieving because of such behaviour with you, self-isolation and so on. All these are psychological problems, which leads to less efficient human behaviour in society, so not only transgender person suffers but also people around him/her. And all - because of wrong parenting. But those wounds can heal and person can change and he/she can find understanding and courage to take off this armour and finally be, who he/she is, was and will be, to become someone, you always thought you can be.
Absence of comprehensive, science-based, unified, clear classified results indicating knowledge/research on this case in society makes it difficult to be certain of your personal understanding/insights/knowledge. Moreover when traditions can't hardly recognise the diverse nature of human sexuality.
Society in general doesn't accept people, who know them-selves on a deeper level, who know more about their inner worlds and thoughts. Because this learning leads to "evil", "wrong" behaviour, behaviour that actually reflects more our-selves and our inside rather than needs and customs of the surroundings, and for such behaviour we all were punished for a long part of our life until we internalised it. However, this doesn't mean that the knowledge and learning, which frees, doesn't bring fruits of it, and I wish to each and everyone to find a way out of your cells or furnish them lavishly for times, when you would have a need to disconnect from people :)
Of course, you can choose not to change the body, to live a life of false gender, false self and so on. But most of people I met, who are living such a life consciously and (mostly) unconsciously, usually have variety of problems. And of course, who doesn’t have them, right? But I would say, that maybe most important is the degree of happiness and the understanding, understanding that after finally opening way to the truth – naming your true-self as your-self and false self and not your-self, it is possible to take care of more fundamental things for us, to get more inner peace.
In recognition of who you are you free yourself from significant part of an unnecessary load. Of course, there is a different load fast finding it's place for your attention, but then you can weight, when you are happier – with old loads or new ones. I would never push agenda, that everyone should and must open up right now and be brave right now, and must never fall and so on. But simply, there is a limit to everything and everything has it's own value, and we can afford to choose more comfortable and pleasant limits and values, even if people around us will be struggling to get and accept them.. Ironically, through discovery of something really important you will know, how many people remained blind and sleeping, so it is difficult to walk alone and lonely… But then you are finding other groups, other hearts that will confirm your significantly growth and your need for a relevant company. Of course this requires time, that may seem endless :) you can feel like climbing walls and so on.
Aaand final wish of best luck in your discoveries.
P.S.: there is lot of research related to human sexuality done, but they didn't give unified results.
The third obstacle - dysphoria and access to medical treatment. In addition to all the earlier listed obstacles this one is important as well. And this one is quite pragmatic, if you understand what dysphoria is. By my words dysphoria is like inability to accept your body with most part of our mind. And because in our minds none of us has solid and complete 1 gender, sort of: my much more greater part of a personality is a men but of course, I am also a woman and a child and a grandma. Therefore my body shape/map doesn't fit my mental understanding/feeling of the shape/map and especially during more difficult times, this discrepancy causes strong desire to ignore or push away some of the mind constructs, that are ok with female shape/map of the body, and that is causing internal conflicts. There is also the desire “not to be“ in your own body. It is a painful psychologically and sometimes even physically, it can cause panic, instability, absent-mindedness, as well as impatience, exhaustion, disorientation, depression, weakness, reluctance to move, be among the people and so on. It's like working in a toxic workplace. This is not fatal, and you have enough money to live on and you are glad to find small joys in it, but your life, well-being, or even finances can improve really strongly, if you would just change this workplace. So it is possible to live and enjoy, just it is even more better to make some changes. It happens so as well, that after long-term resisting your current situation and actively reaching for the changes, you can get tired until the level, where you decide that maybe changes are not needed, or that you will just stop for some time, because suffering while trying to change the situation is unbearable and fatigue becomes too high. Usually after such a period people come back on track again, although it can be highly frightening, when you temporary lose strength to continue. This is normal and doesn't happen only for transgender people, sometimes we just loose our-selves until recovery again. I think cisgender people can also experience dysphoria, but it is significantly weaker, mind's constructs that don't fit body's shape/map are balanced in such a smaller scale that cause insignificant impact if any, and thus, doesn't cause problems and isn't notice. I do not say that they skipped those problems. People dream about the androgynous body, or at least partially containing the body of another sex characteristics, which is completely understandable. Women cut their hair short, have intense physical activity, men are lacquering nails, weave their hair into "bulk", etc. Still, if anything is consciously noticeable for cis people regarding body issue, then it's body dysmorphia and that is completely different thing. Transgenders are feeling dysphoria at some degree all the time, but often it is subconscious to hold it from interfering with other things in life, or interfere as little as possible. During heavier times or during major changes or long lasting boredom you feel it quite strongly. It is also very difficult with sexual life with others and with yourself. It is difficult to shower, mirrors, voice timbre and more things that are worrying. Sometimes dysphoria can be too high. Set of people like to be socially playful, consciously knowing or not (often unconsciously) that there isn't one solid peace of gender in the mind, so you can be called in feminine way, if you're a guy, and in manly way, if you're a girl. Thus, it's worth to stop sometimes and to figure out, where you want to draw the limit of what is invalidating your gender and what is just reminding you, that you are a person as well, no matter what gender issues. In addition I just want to mention that many jobs, activities are universal/unisex just as some men have a soprano voice for example.
Treatment availability: another obstacle. In various countries there are various obstacles. In Lithuania – there isn't any official treatment procedure, documents can be changed only after the complete transition and that sounds like "bring me the sun, then I will marry you"... meah... Elsewhere, e.g.: in UK you have to wait in queues until you will get an appointment with doctors and will get medicine and required surgeries eventually, also you may also take the initiative to get treatment in private clinics. Documents are changed after doctor's approve, that you are trans. Transsexualism is considered more as sexual disorder in UK while mental one in Lithuania. Anyhow, we have to admit that it is - the disorder and that treatment is not cosmetic. What also popular among transgender persons: announce that they are healthy, but the treatment is necessary and serious.. Fully unrealistic, irrational statement. However I don't want to say that we have to read ourselves as sick all the time, just when you understand that you are sick and you need treatment, it becomes so much more convenient because you don't torture your mind with 2 complete opposite truths. World is full of people, who suffer from allergies and often use drugs, of course, diabetics and more folks with other health states, that I don't remember now or don't know, and all those people need help every day. Not everyone gets lucky enough to be born in such a way that doesn't demand any medical support/adjustment. I won't write how medical care is provided for trans people in other countries, you can find it on Internet.
What obstacles could be there for a transgender person to admit that he/she is transgender?
2) The second obstacle: immature society. Despite the fact that there are more and more stories and research on the case, people still see transgenders as, well …, as delusional people. I experienced that so many time by now: this idea that I am transgender man just because I want to get men's "privileges" - very popular thought of feminists. After tremendous achievements of feminism, when you can see more injustice remained towards men in Western culture rather than towards women, I want to have the "privilege" … Privileges such as - work like insane, like a horse, to ensure my family's welfare or simply because to remain to be attractive for potential romantic/sexual partners, or a privilege to remain strong, even, if I would have someone trimming a stone on to my head, otherwise I wouldn't be called a man. To die early because of increasingly inadequate financial and strength status, you just can't reach ok status ever also because plowing up to deadly tiredness. In case of divorce, I would be paying for the livelihood of my ex-wife and children .. well, stunning privileges. Not to mention: being unable to complain, if you are experiencing violence from women at home, would it be the mother, partner or someone else. But let me go back to the topic, the same feminists answer to the question “why there are transgender women as well then?” that this is because those people like feminine things ... Why transgender men exist because they want men's "privileges" and not because they like manly things? Because manly things do not exist, those things are universal? And transgender women do not want women's "privileges", because there are no such privileges? Such as the same alimony after divorce, role of an eternal victim or voice of a justice formed by feminism it-self. Which means that the greater part of the responsibility goes on to men and they themselves are to blame, which means that they can't speak up, because they do not understand equality between the sexes, because they are not the voice of justice, etc. - closed circle. Well, no women's privileges anywhere... And even when viewed from the feminist position, are trans women so well devoid of seriousness that they choose transsexualism simply because they like feminine things.
But again, back to topic. These examples show how much misunderstanding about sexuality there is among people: people can't accept that the gender is determined by further formation of the embryo, and despite that most of the existing research seem to agree on this, popular opinion still roams the air, that this health condition is learn but not brought with a birth. That something happened very early in your life, what prompted you to refuse your real self and take the opposite option, of who you are. And then as the result ... you have set of a crowd that wants to facilitate your suffering and to bring you back to the truth :))) without any possibly reachable realisation they just jumped into the same, life long aching wound and they wave their hands in demanding recognition of their good will, if you push them away... I understand that someone, who isn't educated enough on the case, can't see, how and what was happening through your life and such a person could be in a rush to help you instead of trying to understand. Faithful people often want to save non-believers ... Sworn democrats often are trying to show that even anarchists are conservative and so on. However .... I guess, best way is to admit that sometimes you just have to either withdraw your-self from the similar discussion or to withstand it, depending on priorities. Of course, it's pity that science still has no real answer/s, how is it with human sexuality and what are best ways to deal with it. Still, I would like to briefly mention the toilets, bullying, documents and other aspects, as well as the so-called misgendering.
Maybe I'll take misgendering at the start, since it causes very painful psychological reaction. In general it seems that nothing serious happens: you are walking down the street, you come to the store, the seller doesn't use pronouns fitting to your natural and finally discovered gender while addressing to you. It seems that it wouldn't matter, how wrong the person is calling you in one or another way, you still know who you are, and it shouldn't really work in such a way. I don't know, how to explain it better, why it is so painful. I think there probably few things in it:
1) It activates dysphoria, because you realise that your body is deceiving others. (About dysphoria - in the next text)
2) It triggers trauma (provokes memories of the incorrect and unfair behaviour with you in the past – your trauma). Unconsciously you can go back to the memories, and although the specific person who stands before you hasn't done nothing wrong to you in the past, you can project parents, children you played with, teachers and other people, who traumatised you on him/her. After realizing this thing, it may become easier to remain conscious and therefore calm while experiencing misgendering. Personally, I have tried a variety of tactics to work on pain caused by misgendering, however, it seems without any significant results so far. Every time I felt pain and after longer time - desire to disappear and go back home. However it is not fatal, and therefore possible to endure as well.
Toilets: when you are not guaranteed about, how you will be perceived, and while misgendering openly says that you can't be perceived for your gender so very well, it's hard to remain calm and not constantly scanning the environment. Anyhow, when choosing your gender mirroring toilet, it feels better. Well, of course not without efforts to appear properly, even, if not completely accurate at the start.
Verbal abuse: I know from experience that, if you are in an environment where you experience it really intense, patience and remaining to be your true-self even with some compromises, eventually brings good results. People regarding their own peace and comfort want to have nice relations with everyone, and if they understand how to have that, they will try to use this knowledge, at least when they are near you.
Documents: well, some countries do it in normal way - changes gender mark in documents only after the diagnosis, some require a partial or complete transition. I think it's not a big news. It is worth mentioning that this division into two categories by sex according to the body/face/voice's characteristics is not very convenient. It would be more convenient that addressing to people could be more neutral or person would be asked about their identification before addressing or after noting not very joyful reaction. As well as it is decent to ask about person's allergies, diabetes, left-handedness, so on. This may not cause swelling of the body, but it causes panic and insecurity and rougher behaviour with people around you afterwards.
I would like to mention a wide range of human sexuality in terms of identification as well: lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, all kinds of-sexual and transgender, inter-sexual, fluid-gender, non-binary, and all sorts of gender variation. In my eyes attraction to one or another gender is determined by you being a person of the opposite gender your-self, I believe that attraction for both genders is determined of you being a person with sort a both genders equally, like being inter-gender person., depending on how their brain works. All my texts are just my personal opinion based on personal experience, self-knowledge, discussions with others and information I found in various sources. I'm not a scientist, so I can not present his knowledge as objective truth. As I am mentioning in the following text, in my opinion all of us are not homogeneous in our mind, so I would say it is question of percentage. Intersexualism can't be denied as well. Most often I take left-handedness' analogy for comparison with gender-mind balance: there are people who are better with their left hand, there are people, who are better with their left eye but also with their right hand, so on, depending on how their brain works. This is the same with a gender, in my opinion, everyone has spectrum of the both: woman and man, and how much of each you have is up to your-self to know; perhaps later on there will be ways for discovering, how to explore and measure it in more sufficient details. Of course it is much more easier to understand and measure the body's sex. It is up to each and any person him-self/her-self, how they identifies them-selves, how they treat their body and what gender/sex people they prefer as romantic/sexual partners.
This is my blog about self-knowledge, self-work, emotional healing, growth, psychology, philosophy in general and other related themes.