Maybe it is because I have so many connections on social media, but more and more I start to see arguments break out amongst people about what we used to call “true trans”.
There is some belief that certain conditions must exist for a person to be truly trans, a certain plan of action must be followed in order to transition and take up the mantle of “trans”, or that transition must occur by a certain age to be trans. I frequently read and hear opinions like “drag queens are not trans”.
This discord not only alienates other trans people, but it also confuses cis people. For some, it gives them additional ammunition to use against us in public forums. If we trans people don’t even know what trans is, how can we expect them to know. We also conflate “sex” and “gender” so much that the terms have become muddied and synonymous for all intents and purposes. Because of this, I’ll just use the term “gender”.
- Based on your external genitalia, everyone was assigned a legal gender.
- The vast majority of people grow up completely satisfied with this assignment. The sensory feedback their brain expects from their body is completely comfortable in regard to this assignment. These people are cis.
- A small minority of people grow up pained by this assignment. The sensory feedback their brain expects from their body is wrong in regard to this assignment, in some to a larger degree and in others not so much. These people are trans. This wrongness is our dysphoria.
- You do not have to “come out” to be trans.
- You do not have to transition to be trans.
- You can stay in the closet your entire life, never telling a soul, and still be trans. You cannot hide from it. It will never go away. It will eat at you your entire life, robbing you of little bits of joy here and there.
- You can participate in any type of employment or recreation, like being a drag queen, whether or not you are trans. While some queens are trans the vast majority of queens are not trans, but rather cis gay men. My own wife was a drag queen for a time.
- You do not have to conform to any expected gender presentation to be trans or be out as trans.
That being said, you must know that in our society, the further away you deviate from expected gender norms, the less acceptance you will receive from the masses, cis and trans alike. For most people, the gender binary is the gold standard. Gender segregated spaces and voices may only welcome you as you approach that gold standard. In other words, if you do not physically transition toward one of those standards, do not expect the warmest of welcomes if you attempt to enter a women’s restroom wearing hiking boots and a full beard.
However, if you are one of those that does not adhere to the binary, if you push the boundaries of gender presentation and societal roles, you and people like you are going to be the people that change the world for the better, not us stuffy old men and women that want to blend in and maintain the status quo.