Having been out as a trans woman for some time I would like to impart a degree of advice to you younger trans women finding your paths in the world today.
First of all I would like to commend you for going through what is obviously a difficult path of transition at such a young age, for many of us this was not an option and even today transition at a young age often comes at a heavy price.
I would give you the following advice.
1. Never allow cis people to silence you about your oppression. Cis men and women benefit from the oppression of trans women and transfeminine people. Pushing back against this is critical. Oppression must always be resisted and your survival is always an act of resistance. You dont have to go to protests or be part of activists groups, you just have to be yourself in public to challenge transmisogyny.
2. Your very exsitence is a challenge to the system that oppresses everyone, your survival and your thriving is a direct assault on the structures of oppression itself.
3. Trans men also benefit from the oppression of trans women and transfeminine people, they will attempt to derail discussions of transmisogyny by cloaking them in de-gendering terms such as “transphobia” “cissexism” and things like this. Make no mistake, the majority of anti trans hate is targeted to trans women, and especially trans women of color. Do not let *anyone* decenter the opppression of trans women and transfeminine people.
4. Anyone who is not oppressed by transmisogyny benefits from it. Do not trust anyone who gains by your loss, they will rarely act in your interests.
5.Non binary AMAB ( assigned male at birth) trans people also are targeted by transmisogyny you have more in common with them than you think, non binary AFAB (assigned female at birth) people are not.
6. Just about everyone has some kind of institutional power over you, however this does not mean you should give up. As i said before, survival *is* resistance.
7. Aid your fellow trans feminine person. Live by the motto an injury to one is an injury to all. My generation failed to do this at large. Learn from our mistakes. Solidarity is powerful.
8. Learn transgender history, learn about the awesome radical trans women of color who kickstarted the LGBT rights movement and how they were erased from history and why. The information is out there.
9. The police are not your friends. Repeat after me. The police are not your friends. A lot of violence against trans women and transfeminine people are either done by law enforcment or condoned by it.
10. If you feel someone is toxic to have in your life, cut them out of it. It doesnt matter who they are, dont tolerate abuse.
11. Its trans woman, not transwoman, not trans*woman. These things matter and are litmus tests for peoples understanding of trans issues.
12. Some people will abuse you simply because they can. Its senseless but its real.
13. Tumblr is not the final authority on social justice.
14. Dont trust cis feminism, they worked very hard to take away legal rights from you, and work to do so to this day. Even the ones who claim to be on your side likely are not.
15. Never do work for anyone who has institutional power over you for free. It doesnt matter what kind.
16. If you can find a trans woman of trans feminine person to hire for a service, hire them over anyone else first. If you can buy from a trans woman of trans feminine person buy from them first. Keep your money within our community as much as possible.
17. Offer discounts to trans women and trans feminine people.
18. Bad allies are worse than no allies. Dont let anyone tell you differently.
19. Learn the power of collective barganing.
20. A college education is nice to have, but it wont end your oppression. Trans women have more degrees per capita than cis people and yet we have the highest rates of unemployment.
21. Learn what respectability politics are and why its bad and wont work.
22. No marginalized group in the history of activism ever has gained their liberation by asking their oppressor nicely to stop oppressing them. Give them a reason to think twice about harming you. Give them consequences. Fight back.
23. Take care of yourself, this is probably the most important advice i can give you. Do whatever it takes to survive, but no more. Dont lose your moral center.
24. The majority of the social constructs in the world are oppressive in some way, seek to dismantle them and replace the functions they provide in non oppressive ways, you benefit from this.
In conclusion im going to quote a line from one of my favorite video games.
Make life take the lemons back.