Thoughts of a Heterosexual Woman on Transgender People
The Third Sex Issue 2, article 6 (September 1930)
With interest, I’ve been following everything that the trans people1 express here in these pages. Sometimes I am overcome with deep compassion for you, but then again I have to make the assessment that they are in part quite awkward people who have not truly experienced life because an unfathomable nature has been imposed upon them. My interest for these people has gone so far that I have seeked out their acquaintance and have met many. I want to describe my experiences with trans people2 here. If my opinion does not always make trans people happy, I’m sorry, but it’s the facts, and it can be quietly spoken here just this once.
The first trans person3 I met was a person maybe 30 years old. He looked very young, was a perfect lady in a dress, and a beauty. I knew that the desire to dress4 is innate, just like homosexuality, so there’s nothing to say against the desire. But if a man only feels good in women’s clothes, he must necessarily take over all women’s work, no matter what kind. That’s my opinion, and every reasonable trans woman5 will agree with me. The aforementioned man thought of nothing but his dress. As soon as he was in beautiful blouses and skirts, there was a lot more than his linens, perfume, and all that an elegant woman needs for her perfect look6. Though he was single, he wasted his money, and his appearance was in great contrast to his home. A true woman would never forgive herself if her apartment were in such a state. His excuse was that he was only ever visited by the unenlightened, who forgave his lack of housekeeping. But I gave him my view clearly: if you’re going to be a womam, then you need to be one entirely. He cannot merely obtain the rights of a woman to groom himself all day in front of the mirror, without also taking on the obligations of a wife. He must turn to his own if he wants to be recognized and taken seriously.
The next one I got to know was about 22 years old. Never had he had worn women’s dresses, though he always longed to. There was no time for pity because I realized that he had an almost unnatural anxiety and helplessness. He thought it was a great sin if a man ran around in the clothes of the other sex. But the desire was very strong, despite his tremendous will and effort to suppress it, which naturally required a lot of nerve. These constant struggles weren’t without consequences. Work troubles, nervousness, irritability and finally weariness of life were the consequences. I suggested that in order to end this condition, I should finally provide him women’s clothing. He answered that he did not dare to go to a business to buy clothes of the other sex. He would never dare to wear women’s clothes out in the street. In short, he had so much inhibition that his life was a living hell.
This person was in the end was not to be pitied. The desire to dress is such a natural drive, that he should have realized that you cannot suppress the entire organism without damage. I repeated to him that he should finally get women’s clothes, I even wanted to help him. Then he should only live at home as a lady, even if only for an hour a day. Such an instinct drives toward liberation and release. He would become a completely different person in a short time. And the idea that wearing women’s clothes is a sin, this opinion could only have been taught to him by a very stupid man or some church authority. However, I have to add that this person was Catholic, which certainly played an large role for his inhibitions.
Through these two examples, I only want to show that these clearly suffering trans people7 do not properly structure their lives, which is certainly not always enviable. It would be much easier for them to settle with their inner natures. Life isn’t so hard that it never provides a way to tread. Perhaps, a woman can provide another point of view, so I want to try to help and advise. In the next issues of this magazine I will continue to tell about my experiences and advendtures with other trans people8. I will gladly answer questions of any kind.