Strange but true: some people who say they are trans (or were trans…) are lying.
Seems a strange thing to do, but the internet lends itself to strange fictions. It allows people to pretend to be other people. It is a game of sorts, role playing in a world where most of the characters are who they say they are. It’s not just a trans thing. It’s an internet thing and it happens in every corner.
But trans fakers are interesting to me. Some are easy to spot. Some are more difficult.
For instance, when I was in recovery from my surgery, I was befriended on Facebook by a person who was friends with some of my other trans acquaintances there. This person was very sweet and her positive messages were nice to hear whilst I was convalescing. One more supportive voice among many and I didn’t question it. We take all the positive energy we can, especially when healing.
And this person kept up with me for a time. I was interesting as I healed I suppose. But after a time, the messages stopped coming. Someone else was in recovery I suppose.
This person posted a lot of pictures up on FB and they were always of a young, beautiful woman who was enjoying her life and, to be fair, I would never have read her as trans except that she said so. Additionally, an awful lot of space was spent discussing her marvelous breasts and it was kind of weird to me. I eventually turned off her feed. It bored me.
And now it has come out that this person is a faker, a role player who has been at it for a long time and I wonder at the dedication to the play.
The same way I wonder at any of the other fakers, the ones who claim trans identities for any number of reasons that I am not qualified to identify (there are a great number of lay psychologists out there who know a term or two to apply and are eager to do so…I’m not one of them). I’m not entirely sure why this would be the community to choose to role play within except that trans people on the interwebz do tend to be chatty and, in general, do not question the validity of someone else’s identity…
Oh. I wrote that. Ha.
Perhaps it is because there are so many questioning the validity of others that it is easy to turn this kind of criticism around as a spiteful or jealous attack or an attack by someone who feels they have the right so say who is or who is not trans.
This makes me wonder if these fakers are completely dishonest about their trans identity. Perhaps the only way they can express their trans identities in their lives is through this online role playing. Should I feel for them if this is the case? Does their online fiction make my reality less valid or damage my ability to live in this world?
It hasn’t directly as of yet that I know of. Perhaps their actions slowly chip away at the overall validity of trans people everywhere.
What I do know is this. A relative stranger on FB who had some validity because she knew people that I knew befriended and comforted me, was kind and lovely and chatty and ultimately boring and banal. And it turns out she was not really who she said she was.
And life goes on with no real harm done.