Dušan Pajović: The five biggest myths against the trans community

DiEM25 Campaign Coordinator Dušan Pajović insists trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned

The right to self-determination is the ultimate leftist concept and one of its core values. Just look at the decolonisation process, and how important it was not to let someone else define your identity, but to own it yourself. Trans people are fighting for all of us.

If we want to develop an intersectional perspective, the trans community is showing us the way. But we need to go beyond that and support the trans community precisely because this community has taught us how to challenge that which is totally accepted as ‘normal’. I don’t think we would be where we are today – encouraging ever larger numbers of people to think within an abolitionist frame – had the trans community not taught us that it is possible to effectively challenge that which is considered the very foundation of our sense of normalcy.

But first, let me debunk some myths and propaganda in order to clear everything up:

“A lot of people regret going to surgery”

Only 1 percent of trans people that underwent surgery regret that at one point in their lives, with 82.5 percent of those 1 percent ascribe it to external factors (cannot find jobs, pressure from family, etc.). To give an example, 12 percent of tattooed people regret having tattoos, 20 percent of people who have undergone knee surgery regretted it.

“They shouldn’t push transitions on children”

Trans kids are not undergoing transition operation; they can just take puberty blockers that are safe and reversable. As proved by decades of research where intersex kids were using it for different reasons.

“What about trans woman in sports?”

Current sport is a capitalism notion that should be approached as such. But besides that, there are nine categories of sexual characteristics (such as shape and form of our chromosomes, length of our internal organs, testosterone and estrogen ratio, etc.) that define even biological sex, let alone gender, which cannot all be measured due to financial and time constraints, and privacy issues, of course. When you see trans women and cisgender women you can easily mix them up on who is “more masculine” according to your perception.

“What about trans women using women toilets”

More than 300 international anti-domestic abuse organisations supported using toilets based on self-identification, because there are even no significant cases of misbehaviour. Trans people are, however, victims when they used toilets that are “in according” to the sex assigned at their birth. Let’s not lie to ourselves – it was never about toilets, just like during the segregation it never was about who can use the specific water fountains, Blacks or Whites.

“It’s just a trend”

It’s not a new thing: in India there were three genders, while many tribes had five or more. Our thinking of gender and sex is based on false dichotomy during the enlightenment era in the West, that got spread due to imperialism.

Join Dušan today at 18:00 CEST for a discussion on this issue

Now, on a more practical level, let me give you an example of my friend. He is a trans man that had to undergo multiple EXORCISMS in the chambers of Serbian Orthodox Church, forced by his parents. When that didn’t work, surprise surprise, his own parents threw him out of the house. He is working since he was 17, and he never managed to finish his high school.

And another friend said something that still resonates with me until this day: “I always feel so much safer with my identity with liberals, than with leftists. Leftists tend to overintellectualize and overinterpret everything, while telling you ‘what you don’t know about yourself’, when the liberals see that it’s self-identification that counts.” It’s something that we should all think about.

I am sorry, but it’s not on these people to educate you while they are literally barely surviving through their trauma.

A lot of people are opinionated on this topic, without having the right knowledge, and imagine how many wounds you can inflict with some potentially bigoted attitudes. So, ask and discuss, but with good intentions, open minds and open hearts.

Remember that 41 percent of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People (TGNC) people attempt suicide at some point in their life. This is not due to some internal issues, but because of a psychological concept called minority stress – which states that mental health distress is often the result of a hostile or stressful social environment, thus, observed disparities in mental health in this population are socially produced.

Progress of a society should be measured by the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people, and not in any other way. Trans rights are human rights. Therefore, I call you TGNC people, who are reading this to join us on this Tuesday’s livestream which discusses these very matters. And those of you who are already DiEMers, consider running for our Coordinating Collective elections this summer and have your voices be heard.

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