Being trans is, fundamentally, not about gender. It's about actualising a potential version of yourself, itself constructed by piecing together role models, vibes, interests, and this unexplicable push inherent to human life which makes us want to be one way rather than another. And that isn't specific to the trans experience. Everyone feels this urge to be a version of themself which is more closely aligned with their mental representation of the self. 1/

I think I have suffered a lot from the realisation that I was trans, despite consciously knowing that it is perfectly fine and being surrounded by amazing supportive people, because I first interpreted it as a constraint exterior to myself, something that had suddenly come down on me to strike me down.

The idea I exposed in the previous post is liberating. It allows me to think about transition as but a part in a wider, lifelong process of striving to be the person I want to be. 2/

This also helps me think about the difficult problem of the use of modern technologies in the transition process. This problem raises the question of how trans people could ever have lived a happy life in the past. By asserting that the use of HRT and other modern technologies is an inherently necessary component of a happy life for trans people, we also assert that trans people were, in the past, doomed to a life of misery. This is position is, to me, impossible to hold for us trans people.

Today, we are in possession of certain technological tools that broaden the control that we have over ourselves and our bodies. These tools are amazing. However, we have to keep in mind that they have not always been there, and won't always be there. What if their availability were restricted further and further by the right wing? What if a disruption in the supply chain lead to the abandonment of these tools to prioritise exclusively the forms of medicine considered to be more essential? 4/

I'm conscious that the ideas I am laying down here are, in some ways, dangerous. It might seem like I am implying that trans people can get rid of their need for medical treatment through the adoption of certain ideas, which sounds like a form of conversion therapy. Though I have not found a satisfying explanation to the question of why gender dysphoria manifests as it does in our society, I strongly hold the position that medical treatment for trans people should not be gatekept. 5/

Whatever the cause of so-called gender dysphoria manifesting the way it does could be, morphological freedom is a right we should fight for. This goes beyond trans issues as well.

This thread was an attempt at writing down the basic ideas of the framework I use to think about transness. It might not be clear, as I am still figuring things out, and didn't take the time to proofread myself properly. The question of gender dysphoria is still unresolved for me. I'll keep thinking. 6/6

Errata:

- in 4/, I said that the tools we have access to today "won't always be there". I meant to say that they won't *necessarily* always be there, that there is a possibility that access to them could, at some point in the future, be restricted. It is not meant as a prediction.

I want to add some thoughts to this thread as I keep thinking and talking about transness. I recently had a discussion with a trans friend who is studying history. This has allowed me to consider the thought that gender has changed incredibly much throughout the ages (and the world), so much so, in fact, that it might be impossible for us, having been socialised under a strict medical-biological framework of gender, to imagine the experience of gender in, e.g., the European middle ages.

Basically, I'm saying that the phenomenology of living in the gendered society of, for example, the European middle ages, might be almost totally out of reach for us living in today's gendered society, because the social construct of gender has varied tremendously since then. As such, the phenomenology of being trans might be extremely varied throughout the ages and around the world. Today's experience of transness in western societies is greatly influenced by the medicalisation of gender, ...

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... but in a hypothetical society where gender is a marker of social status first, rather than an epiphenomenon of sex (as in today's construction of gender), medical procedures might not have been considered as intrinsically linked to the trans experience.

These are WIP thoughts, and I am really not knowledgeable when it comes to history and specifically that of gender, but my friend is planning to study exactly that, so that's gonna be very interesting.

/temporary end of thread

@6EQUJ5 i'm just using my freshgirl philosophy big words like phenomenology and stuff lol

@6EQUJ5 i should probably define phenomenology and epiphenomenon but tbh

phenomenology: part of philosophy that deals with the question of lived experiences, that is, "what is it like to be X (e.g. trans)?"

epiphenomenon: thing that happens as a byproduct of another thing (e.g. one may consider the mind as an epiphenomenon of brain matter and chemistry), with no way of influencing it's basis of survenance (in the example: the mind can't influence the brain matter etc, it has no power)

@categorille Basically, philosophers in the 60s noted that the shift to medicalize parts of the human experience like sexuality had been occurring since the 18th century as a way to exert power. If the truth-havers (govt, church, etc.) can categorize behaviors, they can also assign moral or truth values to those categories. Medicalization is just another form of this but done via the 'well-meaning' health and wellness arm of the state.

@categorille While I am thankful for E, the road to get here spent several decades overlooking traditional human experience in favor of the idealized "transsexual", completely ignoring the entire subcultures that transpeople were immersed in and keeping a lot of people in the closet.

It's really obvious how many more gender nonconforming and queer people are out now than in the 90s/00s.

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