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Alex Dickinson
RWW9, Class 8
Ms. Bartz
April 7, 2016
What If?
Having the possibly of being a different gender than one was assigned at birth is a
taunting topic that some people must face when growing up. Confusion about who they really are
hangs over their head. With a threat of abuse and harm towards transgender people in present day
society, many are afraid to even think of the idea that they may be a different gender than what
their birth certificate says. For a cisgender individual, one who identifies with their given gender,
this might seem like a very minor and easy to establish detail but for a transgender person this is
very important step to discovering who they are. But, establishing ones gender identity is the
biggest contributing factors to creating an identity.
Discovering ones gender identity eliminates the sense of dysphoria and not fitting in that
most people struggle with. On an online transgender forum, multiple transgender individuals
shared their stories. A girl, Jayce, commented about her experience on how she knew she was
transgender. She expressed, I felt weird when a friend of mine, a transgender mtf [male to
female], came back to school for the first time. She seems perfectly fine the way she is, but for
some reason I felt jealous. Jayce is describing dysphoria in her appearance when she says she
was jealous. Jayce wanted to fit in and the changeover helped her achieve that because it made
her feel that she fit in with the world. Popular magazine Cosmopolitan interviewed a transgender
woman, and she talked about her emotions after she transitioned. She said, I feel more at home
in my skin and people treat me in a way I'm more comfortable with. Through the actions of

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other people she has found a new sense of fitting in and belonging that her misgendering held her
back from. Her struggles of not fitting in and dysphoria are relatable by many, transgender or
not. Through the changing of her given gender she has created her true identity.
When transgender individuals shift gender identity most can feel like they have a new
freedom that their misgendering prevented. When the magazine Cosmopolitan asked transgender
people their thoughts and feelings on their new public gender identity shift, one interviewee said,
It feels like a storm cloud clearing away. Except you grew up under the storm cloud, you know
nothing but the storm cloud, and you've only ever heard rumors that the sun exists. After sexual
reassignment surgery, the individual is able to hold a new and liberating way of life that she can
identify with. Cosmopolitan prompted her to talk more about transitioning which resulted in her
admitting she could now wear a swimsuit and go in the ocean for the first time in four years, put
on a pair skinny jeans without feeling uncomfortable, fit into my own underwear. This womans
ability to participate comfortably in typical everyday activities helps her achieve a new sense of
freedom, whereas before she could not do these things. She is very excited to be doing the basic
activities many cisgender people take for granted.
An argument some people would use to invalidate a transgender individuals transition is
that being a different gender than how one was born is not real. This claim is invalid because no
one would pretend to go through the mentally and physically draining process of transitioning to
another gender. The transgender men and women would not feel as though a storm cloud [is]
clearing away. The raw emotion that transgender people have expressed about their new gender
identity is something that cannot be faked. Transitioning to the gender in which an individual
identifies with is important to the overall making of who they are.

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Gender identity is crucial to discovering ones path as a person and how they fit into the
world. All people in the world deserve to be labeled as something they identify with. Through the
education of transgender peoples stories of how it shaped them, society can be more accepting
towards them. If they do not accept them, then a state of never being who they really are will
hang over their heads and might cause illnesses such as depression and suicidal thoughts or
actions. An open community is one that will benefit and strive.

Works Cited
Moore, Lane. "What It's Really Like to Transition From Male to Female." Cosmopolitan.
Cosmopolitan, 22 Jan. 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Jayce. "When Do Trans People Realize It." Genderfork. Genderfork, 02 Aug. 2010. Web. 14

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Apr. 2016.