Here’s The Thing, Trans People Exist: An Open Letter To Cathy Brennan

“Maybe this just isn’t worth it,” I muttered under my breath, sprawled across the road, longing for a car to put a stop to this tired self-doubt.

From my experience of being trans, the ground is a familiar friend. It’s where I find myself when my tears feel too heavy, as if I’m trying to escape some preverbal transphobic smoke from suffocating me. I’m tired of having to prove my gender to the point where even I start doubting it.

I’m not entirely sure of many things. But if there’s one thing I can say for certain, it’s that the human brain is literally the most complex thing in the known universe. And biology is clearly messy.

But lawyer and internet terrorist, Cathy Brennan, thinks she knows all the intricate ways a brain can fold, connect and be. You can’t see 99.9% of the electromagnetic spectrum or the curvature of space-time. Despite this, TERFs think they can see gender. At least they argue that it’s something purely socialized, unchanging and not inherent in neurology. Gender expression is totally cultural. Like, there’s no fixed reality of neurology that makes pink a “girl’s color.” But gender identity? Nah, biology is more complicated than you think. And if there’s another thing I’m certain of is that everything’s more complicated than what we think — everything.

Socialization obviously has a significant impact on our behaviors and identities. It’s sculpted majority of our prejudices on what it means to be a woman/man. But to pretend that it’s the be-all and end-all to gender is short-sighted at best. Especially when you claim it’s stagnant, as if neuroplasticity doesn’t exist. As if trans people weren’t raised in different and often ostracized social settings, transitioning at a variety of ages; even as early as five.

We forget that we’re biological machines, strictly dependent on our neurological structures and chemical balances. For instance, there’s a cognitive disorder where a person can recognize their keys but not their own face in the mirror. This is because there’s a part of our brain that has specifically evolved to recognize faces. When that part of the brain is fucked with you’re virtually helpless to it.

Despite the fragile vulnerability I had on the road, I can’t stop being a woman. Believe me, I’ve fucking tried. My gender identity isn’t some trend I picked from the shelf. It’s been a relentless knocking at my door. I’m exhausted for feeling apologetic for it. We have a right to exist, despite that this fact challenges your stale second-wave ideology that you cling to.

My gender isn’t decided by my consciousness nor yours. It wasn’t marked by my genitals. It was forged in my mother’s womb, where the massive testosterone burst that normally coverts the female canvas into a male fetus wasn’t enough to rewire my brain. It took me over a decade to unravel the confusion and brainwashing. But I know who I am.

I know that my natural feminine curves, high voice, lack of body/facial hair, delayed puberty and the suicidal urge from being labeled as a man is much more than biological coincidence and social circumstance. Being transgender is a scientific reality.

You can’t solve “transgenderism” by pretending that we don’t really exist. You can’t solve it with tactics that trigger PTSD, anxiety and depression. You can’t label it as “critiquing trans politics” to pretend like you’re not directly harming actual human beings.

You can’t back trans women into a corner and then claim “male socialization” when we shout loudly because we’re being attacked.

If we’re America’s next civil rights frontier then TERFs are our science-denying ideology-preaching WBC. So before it’s too late, casted to the wrong side of history, let me ask you:

What if you’re actually wrong?


5 thoughts on “Here’s The Thing, Trans People Exist: An Open Letter To Cathy Brennan

  1. This is amazing! Thank you! .
    I also want to point out that the “gender identity is only special snowflake status” theory is still doing it’s rounds online. This is really freaking annoying because it assumes that anybody with a GID (hate the “disorder” part of that as well) is only doing it for attention. And that really needs to stop. Its that type of mentality that makes me scared to open up to people, for fear that people will just think im attention seeking.


  2. That’s a good article but here’s the thing. I live in the UK. Who the hell is Cathy Brennan & what is her problem?


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