This, by Jude Ellison Sady Doyle, is very good. Doyle, like me, came out in later life.
It is increasingly possible to envision a future where being trans or nonbinary is as unexceptional as being left-handed. In that world, conversion therapy for trans children will seem as barbaric and nonsensical as the stories about left-handed children who had their hands strapped to their desks until they learned to write “correctly.”
The Shriers and Singals of the world aim to prevent that future with disinformation campaigns. By framing trans children as diseased, deluded, and contagious, they’ve paved the way for a legal agenda that aims to eliminate those children entirely.
…the transphobic agenda has much more wide-ranging ambitions than you’d suppose. In the wake of the U.K.’s puberty-blocker ruling, TERFs immediately began arguing that “the promotion of transgender issues on social media” should be criminalized as well.
Doyle makes the point that while it’s true suicide rates are higher among trans people who aren’t supported, that misrepresents the real human cost: people living miserable lives.
Trans people are forced to perform extremes of suffering to prove that we have a right to exist, as if only the utmost agony could excuse the otherwise unforgivable act of transition. Lots of trans people have been suicidal, including me, but not all trans people die. Lots of us just wind up in the position I was in on my 38th birthday — lonely, depressed, uncomfortable with other people, uncomfortable with ourselves, with a lifetime of relationships that didn’t work, with a history of drinking too much or getting high or playing video games for 24 hours straight to escape our bodies, tense and angry and tired, navigating every social interaction as if we’re playing piano blindfolded at gunpoint, but too afraid to do anything about it, because actually being happy might mean losing our jobs or our friends or the people we love. This is a livable condition. You don’t die from it, at least not right away. It’s just that it’s also not how anyone should live.