Sorry if this sounds really ignorant but is being trans a choice? My brother is FTM and he said that he "just knew" he wasn't a girl. How does someone raised as a girl realize they're a boy?
Zak: The short and simple answer to your question is no, being trans isn’t a choice. There are a lot of different ways that trans people think about what it means to be trans, but overall most people accept that it isn’t something that someone just wakes up deciding to be. No one knows what makes people trans, but some researchers suggest that it could be related to hormones a fetus is exposed to in the womb.
There are all sorts of different ways that people realize that they are trans. Some people realize when they are 3 or 4 years old, while other people don’t realize until they are adults. Someone might realize that they are a boy, for instance, because they feel discomfort with their body during puberty and hate their developing breasts and wish they had a flat chest. I personally took a long time to figure things out. I was confused for awhile because I couldn’t imagine myself as an adult woman in the future and never felt like I fit in with other women. It wasn’t that I had more masculine interests or hobbies, in fact I don’t really, it was deeper than that and really a lot more difficult to describe.
If you’re really interested in this, I’d recommend reading an autobiography of a trans man that goes into more detail about the personal journey of figurings things out and what it feels like to be trans. A few that I’d recommend are Just Add Hormones, Becoming a Visible Man, or Second Son. Each of those books are from the perspectives of quite different people, though all are trans men. If you are a cisgender woman (a woman who was assigned female at birth), than it may be difficult for you to understand how your brother could identify as male or what it would feel like to feel male. It might be more useful to imagine what it would be like if you felt the way about your gender that you do now, but that you were assigned male at birth instead. To provide another perspective, you might want to read Redefining Realness, which is by a trans woman.
I hope that at least provides a good start for better understanding your brother!
Unfriendly reminder that in America it’s reasonable to say an unarmed, poor black kid deserved to be shot six times because he might have robbed a convenience store, but a high school athlete shouldn’t be kicked off the high school football team just because he violently raped a girl.
Ways you can help:
Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider. For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event, anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do). This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.
Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. I only just heard the sad, sad news of Robin Williams’s death. My wife sent me a message to tell me he had died, and, when I asked her what he died from, she told me something that nobody in the news seems to be talking about.
When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”.
The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide…
But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that.
wow I didn’t know fuckin chocolate eggs were gendered
OKAY LET ME TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT THE FUCKING PINK EGGS.
I work at a concession stand in an ice rink. We sell a bunch of chocolate bars and snacks and shit including Kinder Surprise eggs.
So one day this woman comes up to the counter with her two little kids, a girl who’s probably about 6 or 7 and a little boy, maybe 3 or 4. The mom asks what they want, the little girl points at the Kinder eggs and says “One of those!”. I asked if she wanted the white or the pink egg. She said pink. The little boy pointed to the Kinder eggs and says “One of those!”. I asked if he wanted the white or the pink egg. He said pink. HOLY SHIT IT WAS LIKE I OPENED THE GATES OF HELL. The mom absolutely FLIPPED and was like “YOU ARE NOT GETTING THE PINK EGG IT’S ONLY FOR GIRLS. YOU CAN GET THE WHITE ONE OR NOTHING AT ALL”. The little boy looked at his mom and said “But I want the same as ______ (whatever the sister’s name was)”. The mom completely ignored him and turned to me and gave me a death glare. “He can have the white egg.”
I had to give a little boy a white egg when he wanted the pink so that he could be the same as his big sister and he started crying. The mom just reiterated that the pink egg was for girls and told him that boys don’t cry.
And this is why we shouldn’t gender fucking chocolate eggs.
This is actually a relatively new thing, originally Kinder Eggs were all white like the ones on the left. I don’t know at what point they decided to make ‘girl’s’ Kinder Eggs, but I do not like it.
Holy shit do not even get me started on how moms constantly police their sons’ masculinity. I’ve seen mothers do it WAY more often than fathers.
I used to work at a bakery that specialized in creating custom cakes. We had this feature where we could print out any image off the computer and put it on a cake (with rice paper). One day this lady comes in and asks for an image we had of the baby Sesame Street characters. They’re all together with cake and confetti, and she asks, “Oh, well since it’s a boy, can you please change all of the little pink confettis into blue confetti? I mean, he’s a boy, you know.”
The fucking confetti.
It barely covered 5% of the image.
Another instance was when a lady asked me for an image of four superheroes to put on her son’s cake because her son was turning four. She admitted to not knowing any superheroes, so I offered the most obvious choice—The Fantastic Four. I pulled up a picture of them and she goes, “Oh no no, we can’t have that. Let’s do another one.” Confused, I pulled up a Justice League one with Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman. Again, she said no. I asked her if she needed anything specific (she didn’t know superheroes, why was she so picky?), and she just said, “Oh, it’s just that he’s a boy, you know? We can’t have a girl superhero on his cake.”
I nearly lost my shit. I did temporarily lose my customer service face and ask why, women have been superheroes all the time, Wonder Woman is iconic, etc etc and she was like, “It’s just that my son has been playing with Barbie dolls lately and I really don’t want him to end up… well, you know.”
This shit has got to stop. When you teach boys that certain things are only for girls, you’re limiting them and you’re teaching them that girls or “girly things” are bad. If you want gender equality as an adult, you better make DAMN sure that you’re teaching the same thing to your kids.
So this woman did not want her son to turn out ‘you know’ and her plan for that was to get him a cake with spandex-clad manly men AND ONLY MEN on it? I don’t think she thought that one through too well…
Minimum wage should be linked to the poverty level.
This is basic economic fact.
A business that claims it can’t afford to pay a living wage to its workers is admitting that by definition it fails to meet its basic operating expenses. That major multinational corporations can be “successful” while failing to meet a basic operating expense is only possible because We The People pick up their greedy/lazy slack through taxes and charity.
And yet somehow it’s everybody else who’s a moocher and a looter…
And this corrosive greed is a big part of what’s slowly poisoning the U.S. economy. Money being hoarded at the top and put in “safe” investments and bank accounts is money that does nothing for no one. It’s just an elaborate means of keeping score. Money put into the hands of the workers does what money is meant to do: it circulates. It gets spent. The same dollar will go through dozens of sets of hands, touching dozens of lives, feeding dozens of people and sparking profits for dozens of businesses. The same dollar, in the hands of the rich, will generally do… nothing. It won’t create jobs. It won’t fund innovations. It won’t start businesses.
Less than 1% of corporate revenues become wages for workers. Less than 3% of the wealthy are actually entrepreneurs (people who risk their money on business ventures that create jobs).
But 100% of the working class spends their money. That money creates jobs. That money fuels innovations. That money becomes profits. That money keeps the economy ticking.
We have been lied to about who are the parasites and who are the drivers of the economy. We have largely accepted a view of money as a means of keeping score and the economy as something that must have winners and losers, rather than money being a proxy for barter and an economy being a way to divide the labor of society and distribute the load of living
"A business that claims it can’t afford to pay a living wage to its workers is admitting that by definition it fails to meet its basic operating expenses."
"Less than 1% of corporate revenues become wages for the workers."
And yesterday my dad was debating with me and practically said that we should cut the size of the government in half and let corporations have more power. No joke, he really says this shit.
No more excuses.
I will forever reblog this
It’s sort of horrifying that we all know what they’re talking about without them really saying it.. that it’s become that much of a norm in our society that we just know.