Trans Reporting: Katelyn Burns on Writing, Politics, and Moving Forward

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TransEthics: What inspired you to get into writing for various media establishments?

Katelyn Burns: I never really set out to be a writer or even an activist really. I’ve always been fairly political and my interest in trans politics and theory extend back even into my teenage years. I always did a good job covering my tracks, so all of my reading was done in secret when I was still in the closet. One day, after I had decided to transition but before I had started hormones or come out to many people, I was really struggling with my own body. I’d lost 110 pounds already but still had a lot of internal baggage to work through. My therapist suggested writing about it as a therapeutic method. Continue reading

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The Disturbing Endgame of ‘Clovergender’ Trolls

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The year of 2017 did not get off to the best of starts for trans and gender nonconforming people. 2017 wasn’t even five days old when a dangerously savage smear campaign raised its head from the bowels of the internet. It’s not the typical kind of trolling trans people have experienced before. It’s dangerously different.

Trigger warnings for child sexual abuse, pedophilia normalization, gaslighting, transmisogyny, and gender misappropriation.

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My Dark Secret…

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With a title like that, you already know that what I’m about to reveal to you, Dear Reader, is not something I easily admit. It’s a confession of sorts. You see, I wouldn’t wish being transgender on anyone.

And I mean anyone.

Being transgender means showing the world who you are on the inside, in spite (and because) of the gender of the shell you have. Some trans folks know at a very young age; some discover later on; some are neither male, nor female; some are both; some ignore gender altogether. But there is one constant: We all spend an incredible amount of time considering gender.

Why is my body this way?
Why can’t I wear what I want?
But I’m not a (boy/girl)!

These are things we as trans people ponder. We dive into the gender spectrum and try to find our color in it. And it’s never what our doctors and parents declared on our birthdays. We struggle to find out why we’re so unlike the alleged members of our “own sex”. We struggle to discover the roots of kinks we discover later in life. We don’t wonder who we are.

We know who we are. We wonder why we are this way.

Something just doesn’t fit. Or it fits a different way. Or maybe it can be redesigned to fit.

There are those who would accuse any trans person as trying to redesign themselves, perhaps even for nefarious reasons. Some would claim trans people “try to remake God’s design” and are therefore abominations. Others may say “live and let live” yet turn a blind eye to the rampant persecution of trans people by those who feel our very existence is a threat.

We threaten it all.

We threaten the patriarchy. We threaten the binary concept of gender. We’re willing to give up privilege, and live with the consequences. Many of us turn to sex work just to survive. Most of us know the risks before we come out. We could literally lose everything simply to be who we are. So why the fuck would anyone transition?

There is only one answer: We cannot accept that society reduced who we are when it stapled an M or an F to us at birth. We know ourselves better than those who would force such roles upon us. We transcend our labels. We know that version of us isn’t true. For this, we’re perceived as a threat. But this piece wasn’t going to be about the binary, or the gender spectrum, or anything political. It was about a secret. My secret.

My secret is that I wish I didn’t ponder such things; that I didn’t question gender; that I could just be someone who accepted the M or F without further consideration.

I wish I could have been born cis.

But I’m happy that I was born trans.

By TransEthics Posted in Blogs