CONTENT WARNING: - Suicide, depression. Please do not read if you are feeling low or depressed.
This morning I Tweeted out the link to a piece published in My London News in which Carolyn Mercer tells of her experiences regarding conversion therapy. She explains how electric shocks were passed through her body while secured to a chair. Carolyn and I are not dissimilar in age (late sixties/early seventies), and anyone who reads "My Story" on this website will note that it was something I was well aware could happen to me. Frightened, confused and expected to follow gender norms, the insult "sissy" was all too common in those days I "manned up" like so many of us at that time.
But you can not pretend to be a man forever - one day, it hits you that you have no choices left. Well, perhaps two - I won't go any further on that - the bottom line was I HAD to transition.
I guess I shine up reasonably well for an elederley trans woman. My health is undoubtedly failing, but the brain is as sharp as ever - perhaps even sharper than twenty years ago. I have followed the transition road to the very end; there is no going back now, and nor would most other trans women - detransition rate according to the latest study is just 0.6% - yes, about one in one hundred and eighty de-trans.
Imagine then my surprise receiving an email from a guy I will call "Dave".
Dave, bless him, dont understand why I am trans, and assumably that goes for other trans men and trans women. This is what Dave wrote, (including the spelling mistakes):
I am sending this email not really or not intended to be "Hate" mail.. I've been doing a lot of reading mostly this evening starting from Twitter and just going thru my normal profiles of those I follow and some how wound up reading quite a bit of posts from profiles I don't follow at all on I guess you could call "Transgenderism" ( if that's even a word I'm not so sure I didn't just make it up, lol ).
My question is ( not meaning to insult ), but why couldn't you make it as a man?
I'm trying really hard right now "Not" to be a hater but to understand and word myself carefully. Myself I am a man and couldn't see myself any other way. And to possibly go against my fellow Christians and possibly the first maybe figuratively to sit with you and just only but seriously again ask why.
I also may be the first to sit with you ( with out a Judgemental attitude ) but to possibly ask you where in life you started I guess questioning your then sexual identity. There are those with in my faith who feel that people who take on the word "Christian" really give us a bad name cause their not representing the "Lord" at all but using it as a "Catch Phrase" to spread hate. I am truly sorry myself for that. But can't speak for the Whole body.
But back on my original topic. I'm just trying to understand what happen. At one time "Men" were men and "Weman" were weman.. kids be it boys or girls at times do question things cause its only natural.. it will always be that way with every generation their in.. so I guess I'm asking again when did you no longer see yourself as a man.
For me it doesn't seem right that a guy would one day wake up on any given morning get out of bed and in the bath room mirror look at himself and decide he's suppose to be a woman and if he believes in God say hey you really made a mistake. So when you have time after you read this email and I'm hoping your not upset cause that was not the intent that you might reply when possible.
And if you do place this email on your website for others to read I really hope neither you nor I recieve hate mail over what I'm asking cause thats all I'm doing is just asking. Thank you for your attention
To many, this email may seem a reasonable email from a well-meaning Christian - except it's not.
Dave has made up his mind that I am confused and am in need help.
But I did not ask for help - nor is there any consideration of my mental state. For sure, I can shrug off this email quite easily, but for someone who is suicidal, the comments Dave makes could tip someone over the edge.
Dave's email is exactly why we should ban conversion therapy - Dave's email suggests something is wrong and there isn't - we are just trans.
Further, let us not forget that around 40% of us attempt to take our own life at some point - and the suggestion something is "wrong" with us is far from helpful.
Being trans is not a mental illness - what causes the high suicide rates is the lack of speedy care within the NHS. For many, hormones are a lifeline which in time, must be provided within primary care.
I have not replied to the email, but if you are reading this Dave, please dont email other LGBT+ people.
Just accept that we are just part of a diverse society and we are different to you.
Live your life Dave - and let us live ours.
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph