Magical thinking – a question for trans readers

September 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

Just a small thought, but one that amuses me more than it upsets me.


Are you familiar with the sensation, when in terrible pain, and crying out/breaking down – that, even if you’re alone, that surely something/someone has to come to comfort you? A kind of subconscious, irrational expectation – to be held, and soothed? And coupled with a sense of disbelief – that it can’t be possible to be in such pain?


I feel something of the same sensation when it comes to my body. Without consciously desiring to engage in magical thinking, it very much feels as though a childish and instinctive part of my mind is convinced that, at some point, my body will just come right. Because it’s so ridiculous that it’s not right, and I’ve been ever so good, and shouldn’t such a silly problem be sorted? Kind of: “Excuse me, my good universe – I don’t mean to trouble you, but there’s been a bit of a mix-up. A bit awkward, you see. They sent out the wrong model – I know, would you credit it? So, if you wouldn’t mind – I’ve kept the receipt, and I haven’t taken the tags off – a simple exchange?”


We are funny creatures. Or, at least, I am.

§ 3 Responses to Magical thinking – a question for trans readers

  • Holly Hayes says:

    A good question!

    I’m convinced that my magical thinking is actually magic, at least in terms of the body coming right. I don’t believe in anything mystical, but in the time between stopping living as a boy and starting hormones, my body changed an awful lot without any conscious effort. I also know a trans man who’s never taken hormones, and has had his penis grow several centimeters in the last year, and he’s now 34.

    That seems to dodge the question a little though, and in terms of genitalia and what-have-you, I emphasise in that I don’t think I’ve gotten my head around never being able to carry and nurse a child. I know it’s impossible, but I can’t lay claim to any of the grief that would result from actually accepting it. Adoption is a given for me, I want it, and I want it soon; but whenever I contemplate this very real (and large) part of my plans and motivations, my mind jumps just as quickly to a miracle scientific breakthrough in womb transplants.

    We are funny creatures, but maybe this magical thinking is in fact effective. Maybe, whilst my body hasn’t changed, these thoughts are an important part of the honing and redefining of my identity. I am happy to be a feminine genderqueer, but I’d never have got here without the pain and discomfort which took my identity through a path of “boy wishing they were a girl”->”someone called a boy who realised they were a girl”->”cis-gendered girl”->”oh dear it’s all gone a bit wrong I’m genderqueer but yay!” Maybe this is something you identify with? My point here is that by sincerely shifting our introspective identities, we are achieving what that magical thought had wished for, we’re closing the gap between who/what we are and who/what we want to be. I still have no body-part-X, but now I have less need for one, and less longing.

  • owanderer says:

    Oh, yes! I still look into the mirror and think “what are those two blobs of fat on my chest doing there?” And I’m convinced that once I finally figured out what my gender was, strangers started perceiving me more often as male. Although I think this is because once I figured out I am male, I was able to understand what social cues and body language I could use. Gender only started to make sense when I came into my boyhood.

  • […] I was glad to find out that CN Lester also is a magical thinker. This short piece from their blog a gentleman and a scholar  describes their plea to the universe to set things […]

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