Reading about the shift in media coverage of Christine is heartbreaking. Originally, the journalists were under the impression that Christine had been born with some sort of ‘malady’ that surgery had corrected. The implication being that Christine had been born as some sort of ‘imperfect’ woman that had ‘passed’ as male, perhaps as what we would today refer to as intersex. They went on about how impressive it was that this bastion of All-American maleness had suffered and finally science had saved her and turned her body into the form it should have been. The articles went on about how perfectly feminine and lovely Christine was, I remember one even likening her to Marilyn Monroe.
When it came to light that this was not the case, that Christine had been perfectly ‘male’ at birth, media coverage took an ugly turn. Science was no longer a savior, she was no longer a lovely lady. She was a fraud and a cheat.
I hate that this sense of being ‘lied’ to still surrounds trans* people, that others ask about your ‘real’ gender, or your ‘real’ name. I hate hearing people say things like “You can hardly tell they used to be a man,” or “I couldn’t tell what they were,” or “The voice tipped me off.”
This is real.
This is what I am.
You don’t get to decide.
Male, female, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, any name I choose to use or identify with is mine to choose and yours to respect.