Trans people are not born in the wrong bodies

7 min readSep 24, 2023
Photo by Evelyn Chong :

Medical science has spent over 160+ years attempting to explain the existence of gender incongruence and trans people, often in an attempt to explain why there are different from the normative understanding of gender and sex. Notions of otherness flowed from the attempts to use terms like invert, inversion of normative sexuality and gender, to explain why gender incongruence exists, which evolved into the shorthand notion that trans people are simply born in the wrong bodies. This notion took root in the 1960s and 70s as a shorthand to explain trans identities, yet it falls far short of the actual understanding most trans people have of themselves. Indeed, I argue and personally believe that trans folk are not born in the wrong bodies; rather, we simply align the bodies we have to match our personal gender identities in whatever ways we see fit.

Wrong bodies suggest a cosmic mistake, that somehow biology took a left turn when it meant a right. It roots the trans experience as a biological one, rather than a holistic understanding of self. Yes, there are people like myself who use medicine to reshape our bodies, but for me that does not suggest a mistake, rather, it shows that bodies are there to be reformed should we desire it so. Gender critical thinkers and many psycho-medical practitioners suggest this is a sign of mental illness, yet they all forget that altering the body through medical science is carried out by far more cisgender folk than it is trans. Indeed, if the hallmark of being trans is being born in the wrong body, then we must surely say the same of cisgender folk if we follow that logic.

In addition, wrong bodies suggest that simply fixing the body solves the “problem” of being trans. It does not. No surgery or medicine can ever make you whole, it is the work you put in yourself and how society treats you that forms the complex calculation in working through gender incongruence alongside any medical intervention. Bodies are only ever part of the solution, and without all the other aspects of life aligning will always fall short of the good life.

Notions of a good life must also acknowledge that the good life includes the right to bodily autonomy and taking charge of the categories assigned to your throughout your life. If you are assign the category of male at birth, yet your…