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Feeling Validated in All the Wrong Places

Why we often settle for less than we deserve out of fear of not being seen for who we truly are in “The Weekly Rant”.

It is one of the greatest feelings. The smile that comes across my face every time someone uses the “she” pronoun when referring to me. It is a reflexive response, one that I have absolutely no control over. I get the same feeling when someone says "miss" or “ma’am” (though it does make me feel a little old). It is a little sad that a simple acknowledgment of who I am, one that most people take for granted and don’t even have to think about in their lives, can automatically make me feel elated. Perhaps it is the result of having been seen as someone who I never truly was all my life? Either way, it never gets old when I hear such words spoken in reference to me. It is always as if I were hearing them for the first time.

In many cases we have to fight for our validation. It usually stems from the purposeful denial of our identities from family members, former friends, religious people, and political groups. These very challenges to our existence are often what causes us to seek validation in the first place. It is the major difference between the bigotry LGBT+ people experience compared to other groups that are oppressed in today’s society. We are faced with having to prove who we are. There are still many people who don’t understand what exactly a transgender person is. We have to educate people to help them understand who we are, and despite the fact that we are standing right in front of them, some will still deny the fact that someone’s gender could be different from what was assigned to them at birth.

“THERE IS ALSO A DARKER PLACE WHERE MANY OF US ACCEPT DIFFERENT FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION JUST BECAUSE WE FIND A SMALL HINT OF VALIDATION IN IT.”

There is also a darker place where many of us accept different forms of discrimination just because we find a small hint of validation in it. When someone assumes I don’t know what I am talking about just because I am female for example. Dealing with sexist attitudes and being offered less pay for the same type of work. These are all clear cases of discrimination that every woman has to deal with, but embarrassingly there is part of me that feels a sense of validation from the experience. Though as a woman this angers me, as a transgender woman I feel validation in the fact that I have to face the same discrimination that any other woman has to face. There is conflict in me when such instances occur. A part of me feels pathetic for feeling the sense of acceptance when I am being persecuted.

As transgender women, so many of us settle for less than we deserve out of fear of not being truly seen for who we are. It can be a relationship with the wrong person, but we tolerate it because they are at least willing to treat us according to our identity. We often find our validation in the worst of places because as transgender people, many of us do not have better options. We are often seen as less than by not only men, but other women as well.

"MY NEED TO FEEL VALIDATED IS A PRODUCT OF MY OWN INSECURITIES."

My need to feel validated is a product of my own insecurities. As strong as I would like to think I am, I have a way of letting society’s madness seep in. I let it affect me. I allow myself to feel invalidated at times. It is not something I am proud to reveal about myself, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel that need for validation.

The truth is that the only validation we really do need is that from ourselves. We are all valid no matter how we identify, and we don’t require anyone’s acknowledgement or approval in order to exist. I hope to reach the point in my journey where I truly get to see myself as valid. A point when I don’t allow people’s views or treatment of me to affect what I see in the mirror. When I no longer have theses insecurities. When I can stand up for myself and all women. Where I am not just happy to be part of the team and content with just being able to sit on the bench. I hope someday I will truly become the person I was meant to be.

I was thinking of something like this the other day . It was about how standing up for myself in the face of sexist treatment could lead to rejection on levels that may not be readily noticeable . Such as being expected to be allowed to be treated a certain way bc of being female and then standing up against that and then be label the usual derisive terms or subconscious Or also having to negotiate the myriad of sexist attitudes that can vary from person to person that may effect me on whichever level I am or need to be involved and or interact with that person ..

meant to say subconsciously or consciously rejected ..

All of this is very true. I feel it too. But what I've also experienced lately is being treated badly because I'm a transgender woman and people know they can get away with it. In some cases it's been that I don't know any better. Since I haven't grown up as a cis woman, I sometimes don't have context for how I'm supposed to be treated. So I allow myself to be treated badly, thinking that since the person treating me this way has been treating me as female, this must be normal. It's like being on a date and the guy uses the right pronouns and opens the door for me. When he turns into an octopus trying to eat my face at the end of the date, I think that it must be what happens to every woman and that it's normal. Sometimes it takes days for me to analyze the situation, maybe even talk with a cis friend before I can realize how wrong it really was....

“We are faced with having to prove who we are”

Nah, just be likeable, joke, be fun, let your personality shine, you will catch the bees with honey than proving who you are.

“I hope to reach the point in my journey where I truly get to see myself as valid. A point when I don’t allow people’s views or treatment of me to affect what I see in the mirror. When I no longer have theses insecurities. “

It will happen, it takes time, more for some, less for others, you've transitioned(ing) to better yourself, we’ve transitioned because we've reached a point that we cannot continue to live a healthy life in our bodies birth gender. I'm sorry some have a hard time with that, but I will not harm myself to make strangers feel better about themselves and or their religion, at my our expense.

I'm 68 years old and quite active in my local business community, in the local Chambers of Commerce and business networking groups. I started informing business acquaintances of my gender transition back in August and I went full time at the beginning of January. Last I week, I commented to my therapist that I'm finding that long-time male friends are relating to me in a subtly different way. I sense that they feel I need to be treated more gently and need to be cared for. It feels like they are being kinder and softer with me. It almost feels like I'm being treated as a child, but not quite. It feels as if they view me as less competent than they previously viewed me. Her response was, "welcome to the club". Yet, it does validate me in that I'm treated just like any other woman. It's a joy to me to be just one of the women. It's kind of pathetic, isn't it?

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