Comment: I was not born in the wrong body and I wouldn’t wish to not be trans
Writing for PinkNews, Charly Golightly talks about feeling betrayed by an article in a magazine about her life, and calls for the portrayal of trans people in the media to change.
Last year I was approached by a journalist from a large UK magazine wanting to write a story about a vintage styled, “blonde bombshell” transwoman doing well for herself. When all the telephone interviews and the photoshoot were done, there it was:”Born in the Wrong Body”
A two page spread of misquoted lines, shredded context and a melancholy masterpiece of sombre drivel. Much the same as one has come to expect from the general media coverage of transwomen. The “blonde bombshell” was ditched when they discovered from the photographs that I was sporting a different hair colour. The story of strength and happiness was replaced with stories of my more grim teenage years and the focus of my success was absent, switched for the shock value of my twin sister being mildly tom-boyish. It was another ode to how terribly unfortunate it is to be trans. To be me. So count yourselves lucky!
It was all painfully heartbreaking but not surprising. What hit hardest were the generic phrases that you see in every trans related story, thrust onto mine where they didn’t belong, in exchange for the real me. Born in the wrong body? What body exactly should I have been born in? A female one, according to someone else. I had been labelled by an outside source as faulty at the point of manufacture. I have never considered my body to be wrong. I was NOT born in the wrong body – I was born in MY body. The vessel that carries my essence from day 1 to the end may be different to that of the average cisgender woman, but not incorrect. For 23 years it has caused me to be singled out, mocked, shunned, insulted, shamed and attacked. It’s stressed me out, caused anxiety and given me personal hangups. Much the same as any woman. But where my body differs to cisgender people, so do my experiences. My body taught me that equipped with a thick skin and self-love built like an impenetrable diamond wall were traits imperative to being happy. Traits I needed to acquire fast, and I did.
My body has led me down a specific path, with particular hurdles, trials and hard lessons. It’s lead me to love. It’s given me my family, my friends and my job. It’s given me a perspective on life I wouldn’t have if I was born female. It has shown me the darker side of life and the brighter side. I don’t consider it an unlucky card dealt by fate, at all.
I have my grandmothers amazing legs with wide size 10 feet. I have my mothers feminine features and my fathers masculine jaw. My waist measures 26 inches on a good day and I stand at 5ft 10 with excess breast tissue and a naturally androgynous figure. To me, I am blessed to have the body I have. It is, in my honest opinion – a trans body.
It’s not a problem or a defect. It’s a rite of passage. I would never wish to not be trans and be born biologically female. I am transgender. Not in the sense of transitioning from one gender to another, but transitioning towards a better physical representation of who I am as a person. My body is the only one I have and for all it has given me and taught me – it’s perfect.
As with all comment, this does not necessarily reflect the views of PinkNews