The Trans Individual VS The Trans Movement

I apologize for not posting in a bit – June was a very busy month! I’ll be resuming regular posts shortly!

Anyone who is reading this and has met me in person knows I’m a very feminine woman. When I was beginning transitioning, I was alarmed by this. I berated myself for not being a good trans activist since I was reinforcing the gender binary. I always thought I should have been more to the center of the spectrum and try to teach others through that. There is some amount of pressure from within the trans community that we should do what we can to break down the binary, since once people really start understanding the gender spectrum, it becomes much easier to understand transgender people as a whole.

During my transition, I was seen as a very androgynous person. I would get just as many “Ma’am’s” as “Sir’s” and I was incredibly uncomfortable. I was eager for hormones to work better, to learn about makeup and clothes, to figure out what to wear to make me look more feminine, to make me pass better. As time went on, hormones did their magic and I learned more and more about dressing right and using make up, I would get more and more “Ma’am’s” than “Sir’s.” There came a point where, even if I didn’t wear makeup or dress nicely, I would only get “Ma’am’s.” But I still liked wearing make up and dressing nice, not because it helped me pass, but because I liked how I looked, and more importantly, I liked how it made me feel. In many ways, I am that cliche girl who worries about her looks, just like many other women out there.

For a while, I considered being such a feminine girl being a failure to break the gender binary. But then I realized, the gender spectrum does have two ends, and being closer to one or the other end does not mean you are failing to see the spectrum. Instead, I’ve embraced where I identify on the spectrum, near the feminine end, but I acknowledge that it is a spectrum, not a binary. I had to physically live through moving through that spectrum, and I’ll never forget that experience. Still, I am who I am, and I am comfortable with that. I don’t need to change who I am to fight to break the gender binary. In that way, there is a major separation between the fight of an individual transgender person and the fight of the transgender movement.

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  • July 2012
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