GIRLHOOD, INTERRUPTED (essay)

There is this thing that cisgender people assume about my life as a transgender woman: that before I transitioned, I had male privilege. According to their interpretation of my body, the male privilege I acquired during puberty and freely used all the way up through my transition currently and forevermore informs and invalidates my understanding of what it means to be a “real” girl, and subsequently a “real” woman.

The problem here lies in one very flawed, cissexist assumption: that a girl designated male at birth (i.e. a transgender girl) experiences puberty just like a boy designated male at birth (i.e. a cisgender boy).This assumption also implies that transgender girls and transgender women experience their bodies in the same way that cisgender boys and cisgender men do. This logic is biological determination at its best, and transmisogyny at its worst.

So I implore you, my gentle readers, to consider the following. Consider what your life would feel like if you inhabited a different body than the one you have now, a body that didn’t “match” the gender you know you are. Think about that for a moment, and then travel back in time with me– to puberty.

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