We need to be more careful when we casually tell people to be themselves. In some cases, being yourself can lead to being ostracized by friends and family and from society. It can lead to public harassment and discrimination on an extreme level. There is also a risk of unemployment, homelessness and destitution. In some cases, there is also a risk of being physically assaulted or even murdered.
I urge caution and restraint when telling someone to be themselves, in the face of adversity, particularly when it comes to gender expression. Some people end up merely swapping one prison for another and placing themselves in serious danger. It is easy to say “be yourself” from an idealistic point of view, but we need to be at least as pragmatic as we are idealistic in giving advice to someone contemplating a major change.
With regard to transgender issues spectacularly, you need to strip away the idealism and realize that it is not an easy life. Most of us don’t have Caitlyn Jenner’s money and protections from the scum of society. Not all transgender people live in places that are liberal enough to allow us to live predominantly free from risk and danger. Society is a dangerous and hateful place, which has been highlighted by the rise of Donald Trump and the relatively recent bathroom bills being passed or proposed.
So please be careful before you so freely encourage people to be themselves. In many cases, it simply isn’t possible without help and support and if you’re white and cisgender, you won’t necessarily understand without someone like me trying my best to express how difficult and painful this life is.
While I would never go back to being male, I would not wish this life on my worst enemy and I would gladly opt for death, if I knew it would be quick and painless. I sometimes wonder if some people derive a twisted pleasure from giving advice that is literally setting you up for failure?