With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy[1]

Have you ever …

  • worried that your tax dollars might be going to support transsexuals’ lifestyle choices?
  • wondered if that person who just entered the “wrong” bathroom has something inappropriate in mind?
  • shuddered at the thought of working alongside the freak who just showed up to work in a dress?

If so, then this test is for you. Take a minute to walk life in our shoes. Then let’s get back to those pesky worries.

Note:  This “test” makes a serious point with a little mischievous humor. Transition is, in fact, a very personalized journey. Not all female transsexuals undergo everything listed here. The factors listed below are common to many transitions but are far from universal.

That’s right. You Just Might Be a Transsexual. Take this simple test and find out. Read each of the statements below. Give yourself a point for each one that applies to you. When you are done, add up your score.

__ 1. If you are willing to spend a year dressed as the opposite sex while …

  • You still sport a five-o’clock shadow.
  • Wino’s laugh at you as you walk down the street. Construction workers holler out “Dude walking!” as you pass by.
  • Gas station attendants sneer at you with contempt or proposition you.
  • Children on the train ask who the man in the dress is. Mothers glare at you in disgust.
  • You don’t feel safe in any bathroom.

If you are willing to do all of this knowing that, if you are attacked, nobody is likely to lift a hand in your defense … you might be a transsexual.

__ 2. If you are willing to ask a surgeon to operate on you for nine hours so that he can …

  • Split your head open and saw off part of your forehead.
  • Yank your scalp forward an inch, then staple your head back together so it looks like a Rawlings baseball.
  • Put a power saw in your mouth and cut out some of your left and right jawbone.
  • Break your nose.
  • Cut your lip.
  • Rearrange your eyes.

If you can do all this and live with the pain and unsightliness for weeks after, and without seeing the final results for nine months … you might be a transsexual.

__ 3. If you are willing to pay someone to …

  • Stick a needle down each and every hair shaft on your face.
  • Zap you with enough voltage or chemicals to effectively boil each hair root to death.
  • Yank each offending hair from beneath your skin with a pair of tweezers.

If you are prepared to pay them to do this as many as 100,000 times over a 2- to 5-year period—and if you are willing to try to pass your lacerated face off as female while not allowed to wear makeup after each session … you might be a transsexual.

__ 4. If you are willing to find a specialist to …

  • Cut away a perfectly useful piece of your scalp.
  • Pit the bald and thinning spots of your head with a few thousand holes.
  • Fill each hole with a hair that was harvested from the back of your head.

If you are willing to do all this and then return to work while you wait nine months for the results … you might be a transsexual.

__ 5. If you are willing to have a surgeon …

  • Cut off your testicles.
  • Cut an opening between your legs—right next to major arteries and veins.
  • Carve up your penis, turn it inside out, and sew it back together inside you.
  • Do this only after an electrologist has electrocuted and plucked each hair on your penis and scrotum—possibly several times.

If you are willing to do all of this and then hold a cold tube of plastic inside you for 30 minutes—three to five times every day for the next six months … you might be a transsexual.

__ 6. If you are willing to do all of the paperwork to …

  • Change your legal name, your driver’s license, passport, social security card, birth certificate, and voter registration.
  • Change your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, 401Ks, checks.
  • Update your mortgage documents, deeds, vehicle titles, vehicle registrations, and loan documents.
  • Update your college and high school transcripts and your diplomas.
  • Update your records with previous employers.
  • Update all of your work records—your employee ID, email address, Form I-9, directory listing and pictures, profile office name plate, travel records, payroll data.
  • Update your health insurance, your medical and dental records.
  • Update your life insurance policy.
  • Update your credit history.
  • Change your name for each and every loyalty club you belong to (airlines, hotels, stores).
  • Pay to have both your will and your parents’ wills revised.
  • Update your electric bill, gas bill, phone bill, sewer bill.
  • Update your magazine subscriptions and catalogs.
  • Update your online accounts (email, Facebook, Google+, iTunes, Amazon, eBay, Audible, LinkedIn, Pinterest …).
  • Update your records with local and professional organizations, your church, and your local police.

If you are willing to stand in all these lines, make all these calls and fill out all these documents—all while asking people to stop calling you “sir” … you might be a transsexual[2].

__ 7. If you are willing to spend several years in therapy to …

  • Discuss your most embarrassing urges and activities.
  • Share intimate personal and family details.
  • Explore your options and feelings over and over.

If you are willing to do all of this in order to allow two relative strangers to decide whether to “approve” your gender identity (required for certain surgeries and legal document changes) … you might be a transsexual.[3]

__ 8. If you are willing to spend the rest of your life …

  • Injecting yourself with hormones, taking pills or wearing skin patches.
  • Increasing your risk for blood clots, breast cancer, and liver failure.
  • Dealing with mood swings.
  • Making regular visits for blood tests.
  • Getting breast exams—while continuing with prostate exams.
  • Educating your medical providers about your unique medical history.

If you are willing to do all these things while losing muscle mass, gaining fat and watching your metabolism slow … you might be a transsexual.

__ 9. If you are willing to allow the entire world to watch as you struggle to …

  • Raise the pitch of your voice an octave.
  • Speak from the front of your mouth and just below your nose.
  • Learn entirely new ways of inflecting words and connecting sentences to present a more “feminine” style of expression.
  • Walk, stand, and sit differently. Get into and out of cars differently.
  • Learn to eat and drink differently. (“Use only the front of your fork, ladies!”).
  • Learn how to style your hair and apply your makeup—and remember to maintain it throughout the day.
  • Pull together a wardrobe that matches your unique body frame.

If you are willing to attempt all of this while still focusing on what you are trying to say and do … you might be a transsexual[4].

__ 10. If you are willing to adopt new routines …

  • Waiting in line for twenty minutes instead of one to go the bathroom.
  • Spending twenty minutes doing your hair and face just so you can pick up some milk at the mini mart.
  • Carrying a purse filled with creams, lotions, lip balm, makeup, spot remover and a lint brush.
  • Trying on sixteen bras to find three that work under different types of outfits.
  • Carrying your briefcase differently so as not to run your pantyhose.
  • Changing blouses six times to find the one that matches your skirt—not just for color, but for fabric weight, length, and drape.

If you are willing to do all of these things without missing the bus or aggravating your date … you might be a transsexual.

__ 11. If you are willing to …

  • Work with Human Resources and your manager to develop a formal transition plan.
  • Write dozens of transition letters—to family, friends, colleagues, and organizations.
  • Answer the same questions about your identity hundreds of times—each time as though it were the first.
  • Politely explain—for the umpteenth time—“No, I have not seen Kinky Boots.”
  • Check your temper and your mood each time you are referred to as “sir” or “he”.

If you are willing to cheerfully commit to these while being criticized for your selfishness … you might be a transsexual.

__ 12. If you are willing to risk a few things …

  • Your job and career.
  • Your marriage, family, and friends.
  • Harassment, bullying, and violence—at school, at work, in restaurants, on the street, in the restroom.
  • Loss of your basic civil rights.
  • Eviction from your apartment merely for being transsexual.
  • Denial of access to homeless shelters.
  • Denial of medical services and / or medical coverage.
  • Incarceration with violent male criminals.
  • Life-threatening medical complications.
  • Loss of access to men’s and women’s sports leagues.
  • The possibility that you will never experience arousal or sexual intimacy again.

If you are willing to risk all of the above, as well as a cut in salary, wealth, and life expectancy … you might be a transsexual.

__ 13. If you are willing to do everything above while

  • holding onto your job,
  • caring for your family,
  • doing your taxes,
  • mowing the lawn,
  • fixing the car,
  • repairing the roof, and
  • buying groceries

In short—everything you had to do before … you might be a transsexual.

Scoring Your Answers

So how did you do? Did you score a perfect thirteen?

If you answered YES to EVERYTHING above, you just might be a transsexual. Pour yourself a stiff drink and get ready for a rough ride!

If you are a concerned taxpayer, angered that you might be funding a transsexual’s lifestyle choice, perhaps you should reconsider. Do you honestly think that anyone would ever choose to do all of these things in order to pursue a more exciting lifestyle? Every day, millions of other people decide to get drunk, smoke cigarettes, eat too much, exercise too little, and/or drive under the influence. Now those are lifestyle choices! And they cost you a million times more than a few luckless transsexuals ever could. Lighten up!

If you are a moralist inclined to believe that transsexuals are into this for a kinky lark, read the list above again. Find a single item that sounds like fun. Try it and let me know how it turned out.

If you think that transsexuals are “damaged goods”, ask yourself: Could you possibly navigate the checklist above and hold your life and career together? There’s a good reason a lot of transsexuals go on to become great leaders and talented professionals. They have had to overcome incredible obstacles, with little support, to achieve a singular goal.

I hope you get the point. I don’t mind if someone wants to admit that they feel discomfort around transsexuals. We do bend and break a lot of comfortable norms. But I am tired of armchair moralists and pundits who try to judge us without making any effort to understand what our lives are really like and what motivates us. It is a despicable and self-serving form of prejudice.

[1] If you have never heard any of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck” routines, you may want to take a moment to look some up on YouTube. Then read this with his same deadpan delivery.

[2] If you are able to figure out the precise order and timing of each of these document changes so that you aren’t reported as an illegal worker, a deadbeat credit or have to resubmit documents … you might be an extraordinarily gifted transsexual!

[3] I would like to emphasize: I support this very important part of the standard medical protocol. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t humiliating!

[4] Many cis-women don’t act according to these feminine stereotypes. But they aren’t under the microscope in the way that trans-women are. Many trans-women learn these skills and behaviors – not for vanity – but for safety and acceptance. For example, I don’t care who opens a door. But I have often confused office colleagues who stood waiting for me to go through a door first. Our goal isn’t to realize some feminine ideal so much as it is to blend in with the expectations common to our personal community.