Friday, June 12, 2009

Keepin' it real

Ok, this might get a bit ranty, so I apologize in advance.

As of late, I've noticed a tendency for the trans community to divide itself under the notion that you are either a "real" transgender person, or you're not. By this definition, if I am not:

- Taking hormones
- Working towards surgical transition (top surgery, SRS, etc.)
- Identifying as a Transsexual
- Able to cleanly fit into the boxes of A-Male and B-Female, regardless of my present biological gender or surgical status

...then I am not a "real" transperson.

By this definition, if you identify as genderqueer, third gender, gender ambiguous, androgyne, or anywhere on the gender spectrum outside of the two poles of Male and Female, then you my friend are not a transperson.

You are:
- a drag queen/king
- a crossdresser
- a crossplayer
- confused
- doing it to get attention
- a tomboy/sissygirl
- faking it/pretending

Ok, now here's where the ranty part comes in.

I would like to know what gives someone the right, the sheer audacity, to think that they know who I am better than I do? My gender identity is no more or less valid than any other transsexual. How can you expect me to respect "the person you are inside", when you can't show me the same courtesy?

Much of the transsexual community is so caught up in the cisgender propaganda that you MUST conform to TAB A or SLOT B, with no variables in between. While they may be born in the wrong gendered body, they still confine themselves to their own true identity. That identity just happens to fit into those nice little boxes the cisgender community has designed. Like the cisgendered community, some transsexuals refuse to believe that there are gender identities that defy the polar definitions of male and female. You MUST force your peg into the square or round holes, or risk being ostracized from both the cis and trans communities.

My friends, I call bullshit.

I don't fit your clearly defined gender roles. I'm too physically masculine to be seen as fully female. I've got large breasts and a vagina, so I can't be viewed as fully male. I don't feel any connection to the identities of male or female. I am the third gender, physically, mentally, socially, in every way. Nothing you say or do will invalidate that, and if you are a transperson who attempts to take away who I am, then you are hypocrite in the truest sense of the term.

When I work towards rights and education in regards to trans issues, I'm doing so for the sake of ALL transpeople. I'm not saying "I'm only working for the HBS people" or "I'm only working for the gender fluid people". Absolutely not. Whether people like to admit it or not, we are all in this together. Setting up walls and isolating each other is simply breaking apart what strength we have in unity. This is how society will keep us down and continue to view us as some kind of freakshow.

I am as real as my cisgendered partner and my FtM friend. My thoughts, feelings and identity are just as valid as yours, regardless of my surgical or transitional status. As much as I would like to be able to fit into a neat little box, I don't, I never have and never could. Forcing me into those narrow definitions is just as confining as forcing a FtM to live their life as a woman. I would be living a lie.

If you want to be accepted as your true self, you must be equally willing to accept others who live by the same paradigm. Alternatives in gender expression does not make anyone less "real" than the pre and post op crowd. Don't assume I have any more choice in who I am than you do, simply because I don't conform to your idea of what gender identity should be.

I will not lie to myself and those I love to gain your acceptance. End of story.