ahunter3 (ahunter3) wrote,

Being Weaponized

"It's surprising to me that you aren't sure the trans community will accept gender queer people who don't transition", my friend writes in response to something I had posted. "Many such people do identify as trans and are active in the community, particularly in specifically non-binary spaces".

Yeah, let me explain and unpack that a bit.

Early this week, in another, very different space, someone else had posted something dismissive about trans people -- there was a photo of a bathroom door with all kinds of alternatives to the conventional male and female bathroom silhouettes along with the notice "We don't care, just don't pee on the seat" or something to that effect; the person posting it had then written a screed about how fragile and self-immersed and pathetic these kids these days are, etc.

So I wrote some descriptions of the shit I'd had to put up with from my classmates, the sissyphobia and homophobia and misogyny bundle, you know? What it had been like being harassed for being sissy and femme. And how since they had made an issue of it and acted like it was my secret shame, I damn well had the right to make an issue of it myself to say I was proud of my identity.

I got some likes and some supportive comments but I also got people saying that this shouldn't make it necessary to transition because I'm just as entitled to walk around in the body I was born in as those bullies were. So I explained that I am not a transitioner, that I don't present as female, that I identify as femme but also as physically male.

"Oh", they said. "Well, that makes more sense. But these pathetic people we're talking about, they don't do that. They have to change their name and their pronouns and put on a dress and tell us we have to accept their identity".

So these transphobes are seizing on nonbinary people like me who don't transition and using us as a weapon to attack our trans sisters and brothers.

That happens. It isn't rare. It's a thing.

Now, let's consider the kind of things I myself say. I'm not merely a genderqueer person who does not transition. I'm a loud and pushy genderqueer person who is tired of feeling erased so I make a lot of noise about having an identity that is different from the type of trans identities that comprise the main cultural narrative about being trans. I'm constantly mouthing off about not being a transitioner. I'm often challenging language used and generalizations made in transgender / genderqueer groups when it doesn't leave room for people who consider themselves women or femme but don't present as female.

My behavior reminds a lot of trans people of those transphobes. Because identities like mine have been weaponized against them. Used to attack the legitimacy of their identities.

We should not let them divide us that way. Those nasty creepazoids don't legitimately accept my identity. They use the word "just". As in "See, you can just be nonmasculine and still be male". They trivialize my experience and my identity. They will go on to say I don't have a separate gender identity, I'm just a man who likes to eat quiche and watch chick flicks or something. They plug their ears about how polarizing it is to be perceived as male but to be (and to be perceived as being) a person with the priorities and tastes, behaviors and attitudes that are expected of girls and women and not the ones associated with boys and men. They pretend they are fine with that as long as I don't transition and ask them to accept me as female. They pretend they aren't participating in the problem, that it wasn't them calling me names and exhibiting attitude and dropping insinuendos about what's wrong with me.

My trans sisters and brothers who transition are my kin. What works for me does not work for them. They have the right to be, to exist socially without being misgendered or condescended to. Nobody has any justification for questioning the route they have taken, which validates their identity and lets them stand proud. They need a supportive medical community and insurance coverage, they need to be allowed to pee without people questioning or challenging their gender identity, they need to be able to walk down the sidewalk in peace and in safety. And they need to not have identities like mine thrown in their faces like gender was some kind of One Size Fits All boutique and cisgender bigots are suddenly the fashion aribrators.

You do not have my consent to use me as a goddam weapon.


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Do you counsel young people trying to sort out their gender identity? You should read my book! It's going to add a new entry to your map of possibilities when you interact with your clients!

My book, GenderQueer: A Story From a Different Closet, has been published by Sunstone Press. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and ebook, and as ebook only from Apple, Kobo, and directly from Sunstone Press themselves.

My second book, That Guy in Our Women's Studies Class, is also being published by Sunstone Press. It's a sequel to GenderQueer Stay tuned for further details.

Links to published reviews and comments are listed on my Home Page


This DreamWidth blog is echoed on LiveJournal and WordPress. Please friend/link me from any of those environments on which you have an account.


Index of all Blog Posts
comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth -- https://ahunter3.dreamwidth.org/77268.html#comments
Tags: backstory, diversity versus community, dysphoria and misgendering, femininity, genderqueer, masculinity, nonbinary, sex v gender, transgender

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