I sometimes wonder if it would be worth it to introduce the idea of a spectrum of transness. I hate how some people have already poisoned that well with “not trans enough” discourse, because I think the idea could be valid.
If we started with the assumption that any amount of transness was “enough”, and put aside invalidating or excluding anyone, wouldn’t it be useful to have the idea that there was a spectrum of how incongruent one’s gender map might be?
On one end, there would be the people who were in severe and constant pain, who knew early on, etc. And on the other end, there might be the people might not feel classical dysphoria, who conceivably could live out their lives as their assigned gender, but who’d have a better quality of life if they transitioned.
If all were considered valid and worth treating, wouldn’t it put a stop to some of these confusions and issues of needing to demonstrate a lot of pain? I guess I just hate the idea that people need to suffer a certain amount to be allowed care and validation. Who decides how much is enough? It’s a bit sadistic.
I’ve got hypothyroidism. Some people have it so bad, they aren’t functional without care. Some people don’t even know they have it, until they’re tested. They both get essentially the same medicine, and almost all of them are better off for it. We don’t take the people with subtle and invisible symptoms and deny them medicine, or make them have to get worse before they’re validated and diagnosed. That would be cruel.
I think we only do that to trans people — and encourage them to do it to themselves and to each other — because our understanding of transgenderism is still tied up in notions of shame and perversion.