Next generation

Posted: November 27, 2010 in Bodies, Damned binaries, Gender, Personal
Tags: , , ,

Trigger warning for transphobia, cissexism and internalised both.

One question I’m still pondering in my mind about myself; when I thought I was the ‘opposite’ gender to my assigned one, why didn’t I want to transition?

The rational mind process was, ‘I want to be able to do x; most people who do x are the ‘opposite’ gender; thus I will have to be the ‘opposite’ gender’ – and then I went beyond merely pretending to be the ‘opposite’ gender to thinking I was, to feeling triumph whenever anyone took me for that gender, to planning out my life as that gender and wanting to obliterate everything associated with my assigned gender. The less rational process, that I didn’t have words for back then, was almost certainly, ‘I’m not comfortable in my assigned gender, so I must be the other one, let’s be that.’

Never said it; but other people noticed. That’s when I got my first dose of transphobia and homophobia, which was pretty nasty. I was thirteen (looked younger…) and having ‘T****Y’ yelled at me from across the street. [What’s wrong with people? Anyway.] But in my plans for my future, transitioning – which I would have known as having a sex change, such is the problem with the cis filter on trans stories – did not feature. At all. Nothing. Not even the small things like padding/minimising of some areas. I just modified my posture and gait, changed my hair, did a slight bit of voice work and that was that. After being asked if I was planning a ‘sex change’ I didn’t even contemplate it.

Why? Well, it was probably because, in my almost-certainly exclusively cis social circle, trans people were the crossdresser in that shop in the city centre… and a slur to be levelled at non-gender-conforming people. How would I have had any idea that it was possible and okay to be trans?

This is the problem trans and non-cis youth faces. Non-heterosexual youth also get a bit of it, but not as extreme; non-heterosexual visibility is increasing and most young people know that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is possible, even if it’s seen as extremely negative. But I’m not the only young non-cis (I’m not sure about claiming the label trans, so I use non-cis) person who had lots of problems partially caused by not knowing anything outside a binary cis framework. Coming to terms with a non-binary identity and a lack of gender was even worse, but at least I had the internet that time.

It’s why I’m determined to be as out as possible. Hopefully if there are any non-cis folks in the same position as I was, I can show them that it’s fine and human to not be cis and that they’re not alone. The internet is also a valuable resource, for anyone who can get through the transphobic, cissexist shit that’s everywhere; because here, we speak our own stories in our own voices. But it’s still hard to find us. Our voices need to be heard; not only in our own community, but everywhere. For our next generation.

  1. […] this. It stigmatizes and others trans people, leaving trans children thinking that there’s no way it could be them, even when we know our gender doesn’t match the way we’re expected to be. I know I felt […]

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