Before I get to the meat of your question, Anon, I think one thing that’s been overlooked so far is the sheer amount of gatekeeping there is on the medical side of things to keep people who identify as trans AWAY from hormones and surgeries.
I can say now, oh yes, I saw such-and-such doctor at This Name’s clinic between X and Z years– but you don’t see the months upon months of waiting to get in to even *see* those doctors, nor the piles of paperwork and therapy visits I had to undergo, to see if I was determined to be a good candidate for hormones or surgery. Then I had literal years wrangling with my insurance company at the time– then leaving them, and spending months of calling the representatives from a *different* insurance company– every morning after that, before I found somebody who could tell me how I could qualify for having my bottom surgery be deemed “medically necessary.” Back to the doctors’ schedulers again, to get the paperwork my insurance AND my surgeon team required.
They’re not handing out hormones or surgeries like candy, I’ll just say that.
But *speaking* of gatekeeping. I noticed that a lot of the hate mail I’ve gotten recently came *from other trans folks,* who were adamant that I didn’t “count” as a REAL trans person.
This… really saddens me. Not because I give their opinion that kind of sway over me, but because there are apparently folks out there who know what it’s like to have the whole world try to outvote who they are– and when somebody comes up who isn’t doing things by *their* rules, they act to *perpetuate* that same kind of gatekeeping onto someone else.
I’m rambling a bit, Anon. Forgive me. The short answer to your question is: I think anyone who feels they might be trans… might be trans. And anybody who identifies as a gender other than what they were declared at birth, IS trans. No obstacle course should be needed to prove you’re the “right” kind of trans. It really shouldn’t be more complicated than that.
Now, having said that, I *do* happen to have a friend who’s stopped taking hormones and transitioning altogether. It was not an overnight whim. They spent *years* contemplating this. And this person has had no end of shit flung at them from all sides, online and off, because– again– theirs wasn’t the usual game plan. All I can say in a case like that is, people change, sometimes more drastically over a lifetime than other people, and I don’t think it’s anybody’s call but the person in question to make that decision.
WOW that was one of my more rambly answers, haha. Points to you for reading through all that! :3