So we go back down to the “not trans enough”

I haven’t mentioned this before, but ever since I have began to interact with “real life queer people”, I have become friends with people like P, who I have already talked about, P’s girlfriend and L. L and I have become good friends because we are the same age and we are going through the same circumstances and situations at school and in life in general. The other day, though, L told me that P isn’t trans because he doesn’t want to be a boy, referring to the fact that he is non-binary, has no preference for pronouns and hasn’t undergone surgery.

P was telling me a while ago how he had bought a binder and how he was planning to have top surgery as soon as he could pay for it and convince his parents. I also know that he has been through a lot of difficult experiences because of his identity, so I didn’t really like L’s comment. But it isn’t the first time I hear people saying that non-binary people aren’t really trans, or completely ignoring or invalidating their existence.

I am also non-binary, but I can tell you that I very well am trans. I have somewhat found a way to feel comfortable with my body and have accepted the way society may perceive me and my gender instead of letting myself succumb to dysphoria. Who says I am not trans because I sometimes use the girls’ toilets? Shall I tell them about how hard it is to not be able to listen to Korean music regardless of how much I love it because of the amount of jealousy I feel towards the singers? Do I have to mention that just the other day I was insulted while walking down my very own school because of my gender expression? Do I have to give explanations as to why I like wearing pink, why I giggle sometimes or how I cry when watching “Bridge to Terabithia” for the fifth time even though I identify as a boy? Do they not understand that I don’t want to undergo surgery, that I love my body, that my fear of injections is much bigger than my fear of being misgendered by a stranger? Did they know that I say I’m comfortable with my body but still spend half an hour in front of the mirror deciding which clothes to wear because I don’t want my breasts to show or my hips to be noticed?

Does the way how somebody feels uncomfortable about themselves determine their transliness? Of course it doesn’t. Neither does the way they love their bodies or how they act or the way they express their gender. Surgery, hormones, clothes and experiences are completely irrelevant when it comes to determine a person’s identity. P is trans, I am trans and so is L. And so is anyone else who says they are. We are all just different types of trans.

7 thoughts on “So we go back down to the “not trans enough”

    • Thank you! I have been wanting to write this for a while just to show that even those of us that are trans and are acceptant of others’ identities can sometimes say transphobic things or offend somebody from our community without meaning to.

  1. I have to say, as a gender fluid person, I was a bit non-plussed about the whole trans thing (I know we come under the trans umbrella) but I accept that if it’s a choice between being cis or trans then “fluid” is definitely on the trans side of the line.

    But then, that’s how I label myself – and that’s the key here! We own our own identities. You’re trans because you identify yourself as trans. Your friends are trans because they identify themselves as trans. It’s not for anyone to tell you (or your friends, or anyone) the identity they *should* be.

    It’s also really sad that this comes from inside the queer community – as if we don’t get enough of it from the cis people!

  2. Ack! Attack of the labels! If we reject society’s labels, then why do we get caught up in the labels they put on us! Blarg, blarg, stomp! Which is to say – I totally agree with you and am struggling with this as people try to label my son and I just want everyone to mind their own business and devote their energy to, I don’t know, hunger? poverty? the environment? Something of deep import instead of “is that a boy or a girl?”

    • Absolutely, there are much more important things to be worrying about. That’s why whenever I catch myself thinking about something that doesn’t really matter whether I know the answer (like somebody’s gender), I ask myself “will it change my life?”. The answer is usually a no, so I then think about something else of more importance.

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