No, I think the mindset was always there, but more people are either admitting it or understand things better. The thing is, we don’t “become”. We already “are”. Nothing happens to us beyond actually realizing who we are. Same goes for gay and lesbian folks. The notion that we become is not logical, but it satisfies the prejudices that people have. If it did happen that we become, then conversion therapy would work; only if doesn’t.
Yes, we are born transgender and learn how to mask the aspect of ourselves that does not conform to the heteronorms of society as it evolved to profit from placing males and females in separate boxes. The downside is that those of us AMAB were forced to suppress our emotions because men are not supposed to be emotional. This suppression has had a negative impact on both individuals and society as a whole. Violence is glorified and normalized while being a caring and compassionate man is deemed to be weak and effeminate.
As we age we come to appreciate that spending our lives repressing who we are inside has resulted in us being less than we could have been had we been allowed to be ourselves. A lifetime of pretending to be who we are not is a heavy burden to bear. Yet so many of us fear the scorn and ridicule that we will face if we show our true selves in public. I know because I too was afraid. Weirdly enough my first outing wearing a dress was not planned, it happened because I was too grief stricken to realize that I had gone to see my therapist without first changing into my male clothes. Nothing untoward occurred, no one even gave me a 2nd glance. That was the revelation I needed, as long as I don’t draw attention to myself no one else cares what I am wearing.
My SIL recently revealed that he is trans and I would never have guessed even though I have known him for almost half a century. My own older sister who has known me my entire life said she would never have guessed that I was trans either. So we hide in plain sight and I suspect that some of those who are anti-trans are afraid that their own trans personas will be exposed once society eventually accepts us for who we really are. Their fear is based upon the hatred they see being directed towards the entire LBGTQ community. It would not surprise me if we have all experienced some form of that fear in our lives.
Jennifer is right that we need to enable the rest of society to see us as “normal” just as it did when same-sex marriage was normalized. The societal attitude towards gay-marriage changed in less than 2 decades from a majority being opposed in the 1990’s to a majority supporting it after the turn of the century. We can repeat that change by just being ourselves and enabling the rest of society to realize that we are not a threat to them and their lives.
Kind regards, Rowena 👩🦳