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Things Trans Women Want You To Know

We're all human, first.

BY Stephanie Kapfunde

Mar 24, 2021, 07:42 AM

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It's okay to not understand all there is about gender, sexuality and orientation. The trouble starts when we let the ignorance simmer. 

I've tried to not pretend to get the entire plight of the 'alphabet people'. Firstly because it's impossible as it is not my experience and there's always something new to learn. In that spirit, I made it my business to ask the questions we're often too afraid to ask. Well aware that we are many who could always use a little educating, I called up Zimbabwean LGBTQIA+ Activist and Presenter Jordan Chanetsa to discuss being out as a Black Trans Woman.

I Don't Want To Discuss My Sex Life With You 

When I asked Jordan about some of the most obnoxious questions people asked her she said "Have you had the surgery" and "How do you have sex" came up tops. Come to think of it, how would you feel if a stranger walked up to you randomly and asked you about your intimate bits and also wanted intricate details about your sex life. There's a name for that, it's called harassment.
"When you ask that it shows me that you are forward, have no manners, and don't have any tact." - Jordan
According to an Ameican Survey in 2011, only 61% of trans and gender-nonconforming respondents reported having medically transitioned while 33% opted for surgical transitioning. Medical Transitioning in this case involves Hormone Therapy while the latter, surgical involves full genital construction. In the same study, it was found that 14% of trans women said they didn't ever want full genital construction surgery.
"It feels like I'm this Social Experiment where people feel entitled to poke and prod me with questions."- Jordan
 In simple terms, not every trans woman opts for surgery and it's none of our business how people go bump in the night. So don't be a weirdo, please. 

A Trans Woman, Is A Woman

It is not unusual for some cis Women to find difficulty in understanding the shared experiences of trans women, heck, I was there myself but reading helps I promise! CIS women are those called girls at birth who identify as girls. They are often also referred to in society as 'normal women'.
"I am a woman first, the rest are just semantics." - Jordan
 Some notable Feminists have even spoken out against the inclusion of trans women in the collective fight for women's rights. Despite this, Jordan made it clear that though every woman's struggle is different she faces the collective struggles cis women and trans women do. "We share the same enemy, patriarchy - we are commoditized, harassed, abused and objectified too," says Jordan.

I'm Normal, Just Different 

Despite determining normalcy off her experience as a trans-Black woman Jordan admitted that a conventional was a tough concept to grasp, let alone project.
"I do not relate to normalcy at all, culturally or sexually, I am a taboo, so my normal is what I have experienced."