Let me invite you into the mind of a transgirl
Let me get one thing clear from the very first paragraph here. I am not writing this post to tell you what you can or can not say. I am not writing this post to censor you or to control how you refer to people of your choosing. I’m writing this post for one specific reason only. I’m writing this post to ask for a understanding. A understanding of how other people might react and think.
What you choose to do after that is up to you.
Lately I’ve been getting into conversations about a specific term with several people, be it over Twitter, Skype, Ask.FM, Facebook or any other form of online social interaction. The term in question is very common worldwide both in relating to fictional characters as well as, unfortunately, real people. The term is “trap”, referring to either a boy who looks feminine, a girl who looks masculine or a transperson. While today it might be most linked with the anime and East-Asian culture fandom more than anything else, it’s not really all that simple.
What does the term suggest? Well, it’s pretty simple to understand it. The word itself holds a definition of “A stratagem for catching or tricking an unwary person.“. As a term for a person, it suggests that the person in question is trying to entrap/ensnare a person with the opposite sexual attraction. That they’re trying to trick you into thinking one thing to get one thing out of you, and that’s sex. No matter if you find the term okay to use or not okay, you can not deny that that is what it means. That is why it’s used, because a boy looked a bit like a girl and that must mean that he’s trying to trick people into gay sex. Right?
Well, in case you aren’t convinced about the definition, let me tell you where the usage of trap originated from, or at least where it first became popularized. During the Vietnam war it became a term used for transgender prostitutes that would pretend to have female genitalia until they got the American soldiers alone, upon which they would rape them. It’s horrible but true and it certainly befits the definition of the word. What trap meant for those soldiers, was a rapist that would trick you into getting raped.
But I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking that it’s a term that in modern times are only used to describe anime characters like Saika Totsuka from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU or, initially, Charlotte Dunois from Infinite Stratos. And you know what? If that was the case, then I’d not have much of a problem with it. But that is not the case.
I’ve been called a trap. I’ve been called out for trying to “trick people” into sex just by me mentioning that I’m a transgirl with no mention of anything else. I’m not alone either, almost every transgender person I know have had the term or a variation of it used against them to paint them up as sick perverts who are preying on people of the same birth-gender. We’re effectively being called rapists just for existing.
But let me invite you into the mind of a transgirl for just a little bit. Because we are indeed by a different defintion “traps”, though not to others, but to ourselves. One of the most commonly described ways for the way a transperson feels is “trapped in a body that’s not their own” and I find that very accurate. I have a mirror right next to my computer, I put it up there because I can’t stand to look at myself as I hate the way I look. By having the mirror there I’m reminded that I need to break out of what I’m stuck in, if it so take years.
It’s harsh and it hurts to constantly look upon myself hate, but it also helps for me to realize a situation. I know that no matter what I do, if I go through surgery, take hormones, dress like a girl or anything like it, I will always have been born a male on a physical level. I don’t want to forget this, because I need to understand that I was not fortunate enough to be born the way I wanted. I want to never forget that I am, in fact, a girl trapped in a mans body. That’s why I’m open with it on the internet, that’s why I’m writing this post.
I would never ever want to trick anyone into thinking I’m something I’m not. If I end up with a partner at some point in the future, I could never do anything with them if I didn’t tell them about what I had gone through first. There’s a high risk that I will never actually find someone that I love that will love me back because of that. Because when you meet a person who’s attracted to your physical appearance and you tell them that you were born with a different gender and had to go through therapy and surgery to become, in my case, a girl, they commonly have one reaction.
They’re going to call me disgusting. They’re going to say I lied to them. They’re going to say I tricked them. They’re going to call me a tranny. They’re going to call me, indirectly, a rapist.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the very first thing I ever tell them, I’ve already had that reaction from a person whom I literally told my gender identity before I even told the person my name. I’m being judged as the worst scum of the earth before people know the first thing about it. It goes beyond just conversations as well, I’ve seen people hide away their children and avoid me as I walk past people on the street, just because I’m dressed in a skirt and have a wig on my head. It’s soul-crushing and makes me hate myself far more than I already do because it makes me feel like I’m not even worthy of being a person. I’m not a person, I’m not a human being, I’m a disgusting and dangerous trap.
Every time I read or hear the term trap being used, be it against a real person or a fictional character, these thoughts go through my head. I’ve not been out of the trans-closet as a girl for one year yet and I already have scars in my memory flashing from the dehumanizing behavior people put towards people of my gender identity.
Let me end this the same way I opened it. I am not asking you to stop using a term that you’re using and I’m not asking you to censor yourself because of the way I feel. I believe in personal freedom, I would never force someone to do anything like that. But I do ask for some understanding and to maybe reconsider if you will. If you’re going to take anything away from this, take away that a term can hold more weight than you might first think. I would like it if you didn’t use the term when talking to me personally, but that’s up to you in the end. Please just understand…
I don’t like being called a rapist just for existing.