When I first decided to write about transgender people living in Finland I made a few assumptions that turned out to be wrong. I assumed the topic would be easy to write about because it's received such widespread media coverage over the last few years. As a liberal, I also assumed I had an evolved understanding of trans people because that's what we liberals do; we understand and empathize with marginalized groups in our society. Sometimes this attempt at understanding, however well-intentioned, may be considered patronizing by some trans people who don’t see themselves as victims to be pitied.
My understanding of trans people was lacking because of misinformation and brought to bare my own stereotypes and misconceptions. I used to think that they are people born in the wrong body who undergo gender reassignment in order to make right what nature made wrong. I confused trans people with homosexuals, believing that one's gender identity and sexual orientation were somehow linked. In the past, I believed that gender was a fixed concept. Either you were born male or female. I found out that it’s not that simple. There are those who are neither male nor female in terms of their gender identity.