I’ve never been very good at being transgender, but that was never really the point for me.

It can’t be proven empirically, but my instincts have always been a mottled mix of what a male and female creature would logically exhibit.  An incoherent jumble of the two.

I spent half my life nominally male, so I figured I would spend the rest somewhat female, primarily by altering my hormone levels to roughly match female parameters.

On so many levels, I had no idea what I was getting in to(having no real social awareness), and I was really not in a healthy state of mind to handle it(having been depressed for a decade, completely isolated, and prescribed stimulant medication for years that was quite interesting).

To summarize the lessons:

  1. In the highly polarized American political climate, particularly starting in about 2015, everyone thinks transgender people belong to group “B”.  Group “A” hates you on sight, because you can’t hide being medically transgender.  Group “B” expects you to conform to group “B”s rigid social and political norms.  The former is mentally impossible for me, and the latter is too absurd for me to go along with.
  2. In the American workplace, you become a landmine.  Everyone is afraid to offend you, and there’s nothing you can do to effectively assuage their fears, because they can lose their job over it.  Even if they trust you to not report anything, other parties can report “incidents” on your behalf, which is just as damaging.
  3. Women often assume that your behavior, ideals, and interests, as a transgender female, is reflective of the way you see them.  In actuality, I’m just me.  I don’t do a very good job representing myself in life, much less anyone else.  I like things because I like them, not because I think women are supposed to like them.  Really, I’m just me.  I’m not good at social things.  I just like to work and think.
  4. Men do not understand women, and women do not really understand men.  This is by design.  Once you understand both, you understand, in a very visceral, emotional way, just how heartless nature is.  Perhaps you then decide you want nothing to do with gender whatsoever.  And then, perhaps, you wish you didn’t understand, but you can’t go back.
  5. Estrogen and Testosterone are profoundly and deeply mind altering.  The presence, absence, and ratio of the two all have noticeable effects, and if you are graced with control of them, and you experiment enough, you can tell by the way you are thinking and feeling, roughly what your levels are.  This takes place on various time scales; some changes are fairly immediate, but others take weeks, or months, to occur.

If there’s one takeaway lesson I wish everyone could know from my terrible but fascinating experiment, and the twists and turns my life has taken since then, it’s this: there are many events and states in life that males and females experience in a profoundly different way, by design.

If someone shows strong indications that they don’t like something, even if that something wouldn’t bother you, perhaps it makes them uncomfortable in a way you can’t even imagine.

By design.

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