It is quite an understatement identifying with a gender different from the sex you were assigned with at birth can be difficult. Being transgender is incredibly challenging at times. In reality, every aspect of one’s life is impacted by their gender identity; regardless which identification you relate to. Here are just 20 things people who don’t feel as though they are in the right body struggle with on a daily basis. Here’s 20 things things transgender people worry about.
1. Using a Public Restroom
This one is pretty well known, but having to limit your liquid intake in order to avoid the use of a public bathroom is not the ideal situation. For many, the restrooms can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. Confusion on which one to use is easily eliminated with a gender-neutral option, which is becoming more popular and is incredibly helpful for people who are uncomfortable in gendered restrooms (not just the transgender community). This is one of those things transgender people worry about that has finally reached public discourse.
2. Clothes Shopping
Retail clothing stores tend to separate articles of clothing and accessories by sex in different departments. Though this seems to be a great way of displaying merchandise, it can be extremely problematic for everyone. For a trans person, it can be a nightmare trying to shop in the department they feel comfortable in without awkward stares or comments. For cisgender people (those who do not identify as transgender), it reinforces stereotypes associated with gender/sex and can be harmful. By separating items by traditional gendered means, it discourages the idea of wearing what you want rather than what society tells you to wear based on your gender.
3. Fitting Into Said Clothing
If obtaining the clothing wasn’t enough, the style and cut of clothing is often catered to the gender it is associated with. This means that someone who has a more masculine shape would have a tough time fitting into dresses, blouses, skinny jeans, or other articles of clothing meant for a woman’s figure. The same issue arises for people with a feminine figure attempting to wear more masculine clothing. Finding clothes that fit right is usually an issue for trans individuals because their bodies are typically shaped the opposite of what they would need to fit into the clothing of their choice.
4. Performing a Morning Routine
Most individuals have a morning routine that includes showering, dressing, putting on makeup, shaving, etc. However, something as simple as getting dressed can be a hassle for transgender people. For someone who wants to look more feminine/masculine, their routine may include a much more complicated sequence of events such as binding their chest, applying contouring makeup, giving the appearance of having a larger chest, and many more.
5. Performing a Nightly Routine
As one would assume, undoing all of the tasks performed in the morning routine is typically part of a nightly routine. This means taking off the makeup, binder, etc. and for many it can be very challenging to remove the comforting “tools” they applied in the morning to feel more like themselves on the outside rather than just the inside. This makes the list of things transgender people worry about because it’s a daily struggle and routine we perform.
6. Looking in the Mirror
Now this one can seem kind of melodramatic, but it is a pretty big deal for many trans or gender-nonconforming individuals as it is a blatant reminder that their outside doesn’t necessarily match their inside. It is very easy to pick out what you perceive to be flaws or imperfections, weaknesses, and insecurities when you are literally face to face with them.
7. Speaking to a Stranger
Though it may sound like a simple concept to most, meeting and interacting with strangers has the possibility of being very triggering for many. Not only is it more likely to be misgendered, but the sound of one’s voice has the power to determine which gender they are thought to be. Whether their voice is higher or lower pitched, it can cause careless assumptions about the person’s gender.
Of course many people can understand that the dating world can be a real struggle, but finding someone comfortable with you for who you truly are can be an extra difficulty when it comes to your love life. The preferences of others can often make or break a relationship in regards to sexual orientation and gender identity and this is one of those things transgender people worry about that heavily impacts our life.
There really is no way to sugarcoat this one. Being trans is expensive. Hormone treatments, a new wardrobe, surgeries, binders, legal name changes, etc. really adds up over time. It isn’t much of a surprise that many transgender people are struggling with financial problems mostly due to the costs of their transition, no matter what stage they are at.
10. Being Called the Wrong Name
Typically referred to as being “dead-named” many people will have a hard time adjusting to the name change of a loved one, understandably so. Legally changing your name is sometimes difficult and can be expensive, leaving it out as an option for many. This doesn’t mean their name is invalid or it is wrong to use the name they prefer. In fact, it is disrespectful to not use the name one prefers to be called and referred to as. Also, please don’t ask someone what their “old name” was, as it can be triggering and is considered rude. This is an important one of those things transgender people worry about that affect them greatly.
11. Being Called “Ma’am” or “Sir”
Trying to determine someone’s gender can be pretty difficult sometimes, making it rather easy to call someone the wrong respectful term. However, when ma’am or sir is applied in line with the person’s preference, it is sure to put a smile on their face and reassure them that they are what is called “passing”.
12. Lacking Representation
The lack of representation in the media and in everyday life of transgender people unarguably leads to ignorance. This has the ability to confuse people and cause them to not understand what it means to be transgender or how to appropriately interact with someone who is trans. Representation, awareness, and education are the key to understanding and goes hand in hand with respect and acceptance.
13. Answering Intrusive Questions
Though asking questions is typically a good way to educate yourself, many times people will ask transgender individuals questions they are not comfortable asking. Some will answer them, yes, but many will feel violated with questions regarding their legal name, genitalia, sexuality, etc. It is always best to keep in mind how you would feel if asked these questions before trying to pry answers with a uncomfortable interview full of personal questions. This is one of those things transgender people worry about that happens quite often.
14. Going to the Doctor
Visiting a health professional can lead to many issues in the transgender community. Many doctors and staff are not fully educated on trans-related topics and it can be tedious and embarrassing to attend an appointment full of explanations. On top of that, many trans people cannot even go to the doctor because they cannot get approved for health insurance simply because a company does not cover people with that “lifestyle” and are often denied coverage. This blatant discrimination is very unfair and dangerous.
15. Fearing Discrimination/Violence
Continuing with discrimination, it can happen anywhere at anytime from anyone. Being discriminated against for attempting to be your genuine self is truly heartbreaking. Many transgender people fear for their physical safety. Hate-crimes, assaults, attacks, even murder are fears. There is a substantial amount of transgender-identifying individuals killed each year for simply living the life they feel is genuine and more comfortable. Discrimination and violence are constant things transgender people worry about.
16. Acting “Too Masculine/Feminine”
Liking a certain color, style, pattern, television show or movie, type of clothing, and many more preferences are often paired with either sex. A male acting feminine or a female acting more masculine is not something abnormal, in fact, it is abnormal to assume someone’s sex or gender based on the things they like. Also the way one speaks, walks, or carries his or herself should not determine whether they are a man, woman, neither, or both in the eyes of others. Preferences are not equivalent to gender-identity and sex. That man should love pink and that woman should love monster trucks without the fear of judgement. This is among one of the most popular things transgender people worry about.
17. Using Social Media
Social media has the potential to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Whether it be cyber-bullying, opinionated posts, or old photographs on your profile, many people find social media as an easy way to be targeted. Presenting yourself as the gender you feel fits you best on the internet can be risky and it takes a lot of strength and courage. Leaving up old pictures and posts can be revealing and an annoying reminder for many, resulting in discomfort and dysphoria. Putting your life out there to the world takes some guts and a whole lot of bravery.
We all know that hormones can make us kind of crazy sometimes. Being on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can really affect your life. Acting, thinking, and responding to things differently than you are used to can be troubling sometimes. Imagine going through puberty all over again. Enough said; these are one of the most crucial things transgender people worry about.
19. Participating in Sports
This one goes back to the bathroom dilemma. Which team? Unless an integrated sport, playing a sport can be challenging. Many transgender people on HRT are often denied access to participate in sports because hormones are steroids. Binding your chest for trans men can be very dangerous when exercising. In fact, exercising in general is another struggle for many transgender individuals.
20. Mental Health Issues
With all of these things to worry about, it’s not a surprise many transgender people suffer from mental illness. Whether it be about how they feel or how others feel, being transgender can be a struggle for many and often leads to other issues.
To conclude, transgender people tend to worry a lot about little things that can have a big impact. All we want is respect and equality. Hopefully this will open your mind a bit more and possibly clear up some misconceptions. If you are transgender, I hope this is relatable and shows you that you are not alone. Everyone is different but everyone is human and everyone deserves love, respect, and validity. Don’t worry though, things will get better.