I’ve heard this about others, and I even heard this had circulated at work just before I had officially come out. After the email went out, but before the training meeting. That I was selfish. That so and so is selfish; why did they get married if they knew. That he’s selfish, how could he do this after so many years. That she’s selfish because it will hurt people.
Selfish is an interesting word. def: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. I will humbly say that they are wrong on many levels, but it will be up to you to judge whether my arguments hold water.
They shouldn’t have married
This is a popular one. You knew you were trans, why did you marry. It ignores many pieces of reality.
- Trans people, like virtually all people, want to be seen as normal and in fact would prefer to be normal.
- We often think we can control things we cannot control. We believe that denying our inward conflict will cause the conflict to disappear; but it just causes it to get worse.
- We believe we are in control when we are not
- We want love
The bottom line is, we obviously didn’t think it was going to come to the impasse it did. We didn’t enter into marriage believing it was going to end over our issues.
Why didn’t you come out earlier?
When I was in my twenties, the decade was the 80’s. Admitting I was trans would have been tantamount to committing career and social suicide. The stories I’ve heard of people transitioning in the 80s are not pretty ones.
I also don’t think it is possible to overemphasize how much people want to be and be seen as normal. Trans people will go through great lengths to try to drive out the “trans” from their life. Joining the military or taking on hyper masculine jobs or activities is a very common tactic. For example Kristin Beck was a member of Seal Team 6 and has talked about keeping hidden while being part of the team. If being a Navy Seal isn’t a hyper masculine role I don’t know what is.
Coming out in later years is not done on a whim. We aren’t just tired of hiding, we are often desperate and horribly depressed by this time. I had been going down hill for most of a decade before I hit bottom and came out. Hardly a knee jerk reaction.
I would ask those who call us selfish whether we would be committing a greater kindness by self harm. I suspect not.
Somehow people think this is about sex. It isn’t, at least not in the sense of desire. It most certainly isn’t about indulging fantasies. There are much easier ways of doing that with far less inconvenience, prejudice and pain.