No one truly understands what it means to be transgender the way a Transgender person does.
Unless you are also transgender, it’s impossible truly understand the trials and tribulations, the challenges and obstacles, or the fears and concerns that the vast majority of trans people face on a daily basis, simply whilst trying to live their authentic life.
Medical experts such as neurologists and psychologists can study, probe and analyse, draw conclusions and make recommendations. Scientists across the world can investigate and ponder, all the while continually trying to enhance their understanding of what it means to be transgender from a scientific point of view. Yet, unless you are transgender, many of the emotional and mental challenges and finer nuances will continue to elude science as, believe me, unless you have lived the life, you really, really don't know!
As for me I know; I truly know, as I have the experience, been there, done that…
Throughout my entire life, I have been dealing with the mental anguish and emotional challenges associated with being transgender. Unfortunately for me, for a variety of reasons, I have never found the final ounce of courage needed to get myself out of my comfort zone and fully transition to living full time as a female. Indeed, my wish to do this seemingly forever has been clouded by sufficient self-doubt and uncertainty so as to prevent me from making the “final leap” into womanhood.
Having said the above, I have finally, after all these years, found a workable compromise with myself where I think I have (almost) found contentment and realised that I am at a place where I want to be!
I’ll tell you more about me and my own transgender journey later in this book, which I have written to try and explain as objectively as possible, and with first-hand experience, some of the more pertinent aspects of what it means to be transgender.
Unless stated to the contrary, all references to transgender or trans people or “T” people herein refer to male to female transgender people as it is this sub-sector of the overall T grouping which attracts most of the hate and bigotry. It is also the part of being transgender with which I am most familiar with.
At the end of the day, it's fair to say, the main thing the vast majority of transgender people want is simply to be able to live their lives in peace, safely and with respect. Most are law abiding, average, normal people just wanting to get on with their lives and have the support of others to deal with their own situation as best as they can.
Despite those people who believe to the contrary, being transgender harms no third party, and the stress and problems associated with not being mainstream in terms of appearance or behaviour only really affect the individual trans person concerned.
Let’s go back to basics and revisit the main question: what does it mean to be Transgender?
Being transgender refers to a complex set of circumstances and personal experiences of, in the case of this book, a male individual whose gender identity does not align with the gender (or sex as some still like to call it) assigned to them at birth. It encompasses a broad spectrum of identities and experiences, and understanding what being trans means requires empathy, knowledge and experience plus also the recognition that there is actually huge diversity within the transgender community itself.