I’m writing this outside in the hope that I can gain some kind of fresh perspective and feel further away from the trappings of social media. One thing you should know about me is this: I hate feeling trapped. I hate labels and boxes and spaces which people can put me into in order to fulfil their own understanding of me.
I mentioned, briefly, in my last post, about the expectations of queer and trans people and my conflicted view of this. I don’t agree that people should have to fit into boxes in order to appease other people in the world, and for a long time I felt that the queer community did a good job of fighting that ideal. Recently, it’s been clear to me that the LGBT+ community enforces those boxes and ideals just as much as anyone else. Here’s the thing, I have previously considered myself to be trans but I also:
1: don’t hate my body
2: don’t care how people view me (masc/femme etc)
3: don’t want surgery
4: don’t feel the need to fulfil a stereotype (not saying this is a bad thing, I’m just aware that many binary trans people feel the need to alter their interests and behaviour in order to pass)
5: don’t care what I wear, will wear anything no matter the ‘gender’ department
If people in society want to view me as female? Fine. Male? Also fine. I don’t live my life in order to fulfil others or to abide by unspoken rules and ideals. I conform to the basic understanding of how we should behave in society, but for me, that doesn’t extend to how I present myself or how I think.
Why I’m Not Trans
The general definition of transgender is as follows: someone whose gender identity differs from their assigned gender at birth.
How people within the community are more rigorously defining trans:
1: someone who plans on undergoing surgery and hormone therapy in order to feel more aligned with their gender
2: someone who conforms to a specific gender norm & is conventionally masculine or feminine
3: someone who experiences dysphoria regarding their body, specifically elements of their body which signify gender or sex
The medical profession also holds trans people to the above standards, at least in the UK, and focuses primarily on binary trans people. Gender Identity Disorder still places focus on dysphoria and the need for surgery and hormones in order to transition within the gender binary. (Again, I have no personal problem with this as I never want medical assistance relating to my gender, however, it is a problematic standard to hold all trans people to).
I was assigned female at birth but I am non-binary (& have intersex development), I use neutral pronouns and a neutral name. By general definition: I’m trans. However, medically and in the ‘terms and conditions of transness’ within the community, I’m not trans.
I guess another thing I’ve felt is that, if I don’t want to transition (in many medical and social binary terms), I’m probably not trans. (This logic doesn’t apply to everyone and is purely how I feel about my gender/myself being trans). I have also previously felt aware that by identifying myself as trans, I could potentially be seen to ‘take away’ or distract from the experiences of trans people who have things more difficult than myself.
Pressure within the Community
This is going to be an unpopular opinion, but as always I would like to encourage you to share your views in comments, especially if you disagree with me, I’m always seeking new viewpoints.
I’ve found that there’s a lot of pressure within the LGBT+ community to confine yourself to labels which have rigorous standards. Not only is there pressure, but the erasure of identities, such as bisexual and non-binary erasure, further enforces the pressure to assign yourself labels which don’t quite fit. Trans isn’t simply an identification, as it’s often discussed as being, it comes with a huge weight of expectations and ideals, both inside and outside the LGBT+ community.
It’s worth noting that ‘trans’ still fairly distinctly applies to binary transition and, therefore, I no longer feel comfortable using ‘trans’ to define myself. I will never be binary in either, my sex or gender. I also don’t want to take up space in a community which relies upon clear definitions in order to receive correct medical and societal treatment.
Personally, I don’t agree with the expectations of trans identification, nor the erasure of non-binary identity which it can imply, and, perhaps, that’s simply because it’s not the right label & identification for me. That’s okay too- I will never regret exploring different ways of identifying and I will always accept that identity is changeable and fluid. Let me know your opinions in comments. This may be the last you hear from me for a while- as you can tell, I’m feeling a little disillusioned with the community as a whole.- AB
none of my views apply to all people who identify as trans, they only apply to me and the way that I identify