For my sins I have been discussing the whole issue of being transgender with a former colleague; he would say “friend” of mine. He is someone with whom I became involved with through a business venture. This meant I was unable to simply walk away when his bigotry over trans matters started being articulated. His stance is firmly in the Gender Critical camp of sex is biology and that is it. He was for many years a farmer and firmly believes that nature is nature, that he knows all about these matters and nature, sex, cannot be changed.
Many months ago I lent him a copy of Jan Morris’ book Conundrum. I thought this might help him have another perspective. My light bulb moment of understanding I was transgender had come through reading the book. Once I had started it I did not put it down, read from cover to cover in hours. It did not have the same effect on my colleague. Firstly it has taken him the best part of a year to read it slowly, painstakingly analysing every paragraph it would seem. The outcome is that he cannot understand how a trans person can “happily procreate” (to use his words) and subsequently want to change their sex. His expression was somewhat cruder than that. My colleague acknowledges there are substantial chunks of Jan Morris’ life which are not covered in the book; his feelings in childhood, puberty, his very successful life as a man pre transition and that to an extent the book raises more questions than it supplies answers – a Conundrum indeed.
I have revealed more of myself than I would normally do in terms of how long I knew that there was a mismatch in me, even if I did not know exactly what that was until much later when I had the light bulb moment. I have tried to explain the angst such a mismatch causes, that it is a real feeling not some fantasy or fetish. I do not recall it, but my colleague states that Jan Morris says somewhere in the book that he enjoys the feel of women’s clothes and gets real satisfaction from being able to go out and parade herself in such apparel. He uses this as support for it being a fetish. The autogynephilia argument which is coming to the fore again supported by Debbie Hayton.
I have conceded that trans issues cover a considerable spectrum from cross dressing by way of a fetish, transvestite to full transgender where sex does not form a constituent part for transitioning. Indeed my sexuality so far has not been influenced by changing my gender and transitioning, though I have not discussed my sexuality with him as I feel that is too much information to divulge.
I have conceded that I cannot be a cis woman. I have never claimed that I would be able to become one. I acknowledge I am a trans woman. I argued that gender and sex are separate a concept he finds he is unable to accept. He steadfastly uses my deadname at all times and more than is usual in a conversation.
I suppose I should have known better than to attempt to open the mind of someone such as him. Curiously enough he enthused over Jan Morris’ writing style and is going to seek out more of her writing. He thinks he will enjoy “his” work!. Nothing more to be said really. Within a few months I should be able to close that door once and for all.