He'd told me that surely I must have been familiar enough with the documentation on autogynephilia to know the stories I could exist in.
I didn't tell him that word. I said there was no space for me, to be really a woman, that I wasn't allowing myself to exist, really. Why isn't that lens turned around more often? Sex is alien. A trans woman is not a man - men do not frequently undergo orchiectomy or vaginoplasty nor intend to, men do not suppress the testosterone in their body and replace it with estrogen and progesterone, they do not comfortably experience the feminizing effects of hormone replacement therapy.
Our sex is decided by this conversation. you're inspected physically and psycho-analytically and then ruled female enough to be prescribed hormones, recommended surgery, and re-assigned a sex by the government.
Wittig wrote about our liberation, as lesbians, in terms of giving up our womanhood - is this an available practice? We need to be women because of inertia, because therapists have more power over our lives than the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Or, increasingly, we can buy hormones from unreliable supplies on the grey market, test and research our own blood, and risk every health effect without the advice of a professional endocrinologist.
Even if healthcare were free, and you could afford enough of a therapist's sessions to
We need to understand that sex is a legal, social, and medical institution. At one point, it was decided that some humans should own property and some should not, that different schools should be attended and that it was proper that one fraction of the population dominate in all respects the rest. This was treated as natural because our state is maintained via feedback loop, and incorporation therewith allowed for certain reforms that have gotten us to here: legal assignment into domestic violence, a wage gap, arranged marriage, bodily policing and mutilation (to name a few). In the particular case of most trans women, our legal assignment is to be among men who have been trained as long as we know them to dominate us sexually, to assert themselves as the sex which owns us. And to be treated this way at any point in our lives pre-transition is considered "male socialization", already disqualifying us from complete womanhood and the few legal and social protections that exist for battered women from this abuse. It's nothing more than injustice that this behavior is identification - hardly our own - with our oppressor.
I was never a man, I was never interested in men. How could I? Men have always been my oppressor - ever since I wasn't one of them, ever since they began to realize they could bar me from treatment as anything other than a sex toy, that my entire social worth was in a specific embodiment of capital.