Saw a documentary about transfolk the other day. It wasn’t very good so I won’t link it here (the program had a whiff of exploitation about it; I guess I should have guessed that with a title like “Taboo”), but one of the people they interviewed, a MtF woman who had married an FtM man, said that she had been to war and transitioning, for her, was more terrifying.
I always felt bad speculating that my WWI memories were triggered by gender dysphoria, as if it sort of devalued what John actually went through. Also, I can’t say it was worse transitioning than going to war in my case because so far, I haven’t been in any great degree of danger during my transition because I pass well. But like war, it is a huge disruption to have to go through that feeling of sheer terror when you realize that your clock is ticking and you’ve just lost 28 years living a lie. It’s a disruption severe enough to trigger some really deep, visceral reactions.
Maybe there is more to the comparison of experiences than I might have allowed myself to think. I feel somewhat vindicated.