Who really has “gender issues”?

Let’s get one thing straight. I write a lot about the anxieties and complications and self-doubts that I sometimes deal with as a genderqueer person. And I think sometimes people interpret this to mean that I am confused, or that I have issues with my identity. And I think this happens a lot in any conversation about trans people, really. You’ll get someone, eventually, who just throws up their hands and declares that they just don’t get why people have these “gender issues”, and gender has always been simple to them, so why can’t we all just get along, or whatever. But here’s the thing these folks fail to recognize.

I do not have gender issues. I really don’t. The fact that my experience of gender is complex while others’ experience of it is simple is not an issue. At least, it isn’t an issue for me.

I do not have gender issues.

What I do have, very often, is other people (specifically, almost always cisgender people) taking out their gender issues on me, on my body, and on people like me. I do constantly have to be prepared to face up to other people’s gender issues, their stubborn insistence on holding onto essentialist ideas about biology and gender and binary systems. It is these other people’s issues that make me wonder whether it is all worth it, that make me consider just pretending to be of a binary gender (which one I’m considering depends on the day), that make it hard for me to simply exist sometimes.

I do not have gender issues.

People who insist that there are only two genders, and who insist that you can determine which of those two genders a person belongs to by looking at their genitals, and insist against all reality that biological sex is binary, that all gender is simple because *their* gender is simple? Those people have gender issues.

Why is it so important to them that these ideas be true? Why is it so important for them ignore actual people’s actual bodies, actual biology, actual lived experiences? Is there own sense of themselves so fragile that the existence of difference is a threat to them?

I do not have gender issues.

What I have is a shit-ton of issues with other people’s gender issues.

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