[In the Gender Perspectives series, I hope to curate writing by people with a wide variety of gender identities and experiences, talking about their gender, what it means to them personally, and what it means for the ways in which they move through and interact with the world. Basically, this is where I point out that I’m not the only person in the world who has complex thoughts about gender, and that there as many ways to be Trans* and/or genderqueer as there are to be cisgender (and yes, there are many different ways to be cisgender). Check out the rest of the series.]
Today, I bring you a mixed bag:
- Thoughts on what it means to “transition” as a non-binary person
It used to stress me out, thinking about having to prove to people that I am transgender and that I am transitioning. But I’m starting to realize and truly internalize that I don’t need to do anything to prove that I am trans, especially if it’s for the benefit of other people and not myself
I feel like transitioning isn’t quite the right word for what I do. I reify my gender through these actions and in my actions every day. It isn’t showy, its components change daily, and it will never be finished.
- Angi Becker Stevens examines her life growing up as a tomboy, and the internalized misogyny that was a part of her experiences.
…to view all girlhood acts of gender non-conformity as necessarily positive strikes me, now, as an oversimplification.
All these years later, when I look back on my adolescence, it seems that rather than being progressive, it was actually quite anti-feminist.
After all, it wasn’t as if I had liberated myself from caring what the boys thought of me.
On the contrary, my entire life centered on proving myself and gaining their approval.
- Rimonim discusses the “Man Enough Trap” from his perspective as a transgender man.
Sometimes I get sick with the fear and shame of not being man enough. Is my dick too small? Is my body too weird? Are my gestures effeminate? My line of work unmanly? What really sticks in my craw is the sneaking sense that as a transsexual, I am somehow permanently inadequate, a poor imitation.
Yet this sinking feeling and shame and fear lie at the very heart of what it is to be a man in my society.
- Jens talks about beginning to pass as male, and the complicated experience of being complimented on seeming like “real” boy.
Of course, I AM a boy, and yes sometimes I’m more intentional about my behavior and appearance to appear more masculine, but I also am a boy even if I put on a dress. Just because I’m medically transitioning into manhood does NOT mean that I wasn’t a boy before, or that pre-t photos of me are not photos of a young man.
To “suspect” I might not be a cisgender boy is to question my identity and expression. It lowers the validity someone is giving me. To think to yourself “Oh, [he’s not a boy] he’s trans!” is sad for me. Yes, I’m trans. But I’m also a boy. I can be both, and I am both very earnestly.