A: No. Many cis people have a very limited understanding of how trans people’s bodies work. When trans people report things that are at odds with cis people’s preconceptions, this is typically not because we are delusional, but because cis people have misunderstood what we are saying, or because cis people are missing crucial information.
Cis confusions about terminology
A trans man is somebody who was classified as a girl when he was born, but who now considers himself a man. Notable trans men include Chaz Bono, Ben Barres, Wilmer “Little Ax” Broadnax, and Chella Man. Likewise, a trans woman is somebody who was classified as a boy when she was born, but who now considers herself a woman. Notable trans women include Laverne Cox, Emi Koyama, Julia Serano, and Chelsea Manning.
Some cis people get this the wrong way around, using the phrase “trans men” to refer to trans women, and “trans women” to refer to trans men. The error is sometimes a deliberate attempt to undermine trans people by insinuating that we are not what we claim to be. (For example, the hashtag #TransMenAreNotWomen, which briefly trended on Twitter in November 2018, was started by transphobes in an attempt to invalidate trans women.) Basic confusions about terminology may give rise to other kinds of confusion about trans people, our bodies, and our experiences.
We are not deluded about how biology works.
Trans people sometimes make claims that strike cis people as surprising. For example, some trans people claim to menstruate or give birth, even though they are not women. They often go on to say that they prefer to deal with these aspects of their bodies in ways that are not gendered; for instance, they don’t like it when their menstrual products are called “feminine”, or when their doctors speak of giving birth as something only women do.
These trans people are neither deluded nor lying. They include trans men who were assigned female at birth, and who may have uteruses, menstruate, or give birth. They also include some nonbinary people, who consider themselves neither men nor women, but who may have uteruses, menstruate, or give birth.
People sometimes assume that trans women must be the ones asking for less gendered experiences of menstruation and birth. This assumption is false. Trans women (who were assigned male at birth) don’t have uteruses, and they typically don’t mind being classified as women.
We are not deluded about the shape of our own bodies.
Cis people sometimes misread trans people’s reports about our gender as reports about our bodies. For instance, when a trans man says “I am a man,” a cis person might hear “I was born with a penis.” But this is not what trans men are saying, first, because it’s typically considered rude to talk about one’s genitals in public, and second, because trans men typically don’t believe that they were born with penises.
Trans people know how our bodies are shaped. We don’t always like it, and we may seek to change it with hormones and surgery. But we change our bodies because we know how they’re shaped, and we can tell when the facts don’t line up with what we want.
If you have difficulty believing what trans people say about their bodies, it’s a good idea to examine your own preconceptions.