There are no identities lurking in the shadows of the psyche

Third Way Trans

Some people theorize that people can have a “repressed transgender identity” and that the process of deciding to transition is a question of determining whether one has such an identity. This frames the process of transgender identity development as a discovery process. If one has cross-gender feelings one needs to discover whether they are “really” transgender or it is from another cause. This idea is false and also dangerous, because once someone identifies with something, it becomes reified and leads to one acting from one’s self-concept rather than organic desire. Identities are constructed, not discovered. This is nothing special to transgender identity, it applies to all identities.

We see this idea in multiple contexts of religion and psychotherapy. In Hinduism there is a meditation called “neti, neti” or “not this, not that”. This is a process of seeing that one is separate from all identities/concepts. Mindfulness practice can help one…

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