Binary Thinking: No and No

There’s a post up at The Bilerico Project that attempts to respond to five misconceptions about trans people.  One of the five misconceptions is:

Transgender people are just men trying to cross an artificial gender boundary that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

My personal response to that misconception would be simple: binary notions of gender will never effectively incorporate a wide variety of behaviors and ways of being that have been expressed since human beings have walked the planet.  Transgender people are individuals (women, men, and those who define as neither or both) who are trying to survive an inadequate system of categorizing human beings.  They are people who are forced to live under a rigid binary and are doing their best to adjust to a shitty, oppressive system,  just as everyone else is forced to adjust to it. At worst, the binary hurts anyone who is unable to conform to it, and at best, it deeply limits the lives of those who can.  Labels are artificial constructs that rarely—if ever—recognize and acknowledge the diversity of the natural word, including a vast spectrum of human behavior.

Part of the response at The Bilerico Project says:

These people are usually unaware of the internal anguish created by gender dysphoria, and cannot imagine a life where their minds and bodies are in conflict. Furthermore, they’re convinced that there is no difference between men and women, save for the parts and the proportions. This is easily rectified; ask them to name a few things that men do/women do that they simply do not understand. (Everyone has a half-dozen of these, easy.) [Emphasis added.]

This statement bothers me and I’m a trans woman.

I can think of a half-dozen things that men and women do that firmly fit into little pink and blue boxes that *I* don’t quite understand.  Lo and behold, I still identify as a woman.  I’ve certainly known my share of cis and trans people who look at standard gender expectations and think, “How odd.  That’s certainly not me.”

Also, what about genderqueer people?  They look at standard binary modes of gender behavior and find that there is no place for them.  The above comment doesn’t address those experiences.  Quite to the contrary, it ignores those experiences.  I’m not willing to throw genderqueer people under the bus so that my binary-conforming ass gets civil rights and social acceptance before they do.

The core issue that lies at the center of sexism, transphobia and homophobia is the very real problem that a gender binary can never incorporate the wide diversity of ways of being that humans express.  In spite of this, we cling to this system of categories and invest tons of individual and institutional resources forcing ourselves and others to conform.

Any queer person who has run up against that conformity can attest to how the system doesn’t work.  It hurts people.  That’s the raison d’être behind homophobia and transphobia: to hurt those who do not conform.  Loving someone of the same sex/gender violates gender expectations. Consequently, people fear and hate lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.  Transgender people violate gender expectations by shifting physical form and/or expressing non-conforming gender behaviors.  So, people fear and hate trans people.  That fear and hatred leads to social repercussions that either force people to conform or face social sanctions and violence.

Of course, this perspective doesn’t play well with mainstream folk because they are deeply invested in conforming to the norm.  If you try to tell John and Jane Q America that a rigid gender binary oppresses people, they will look at you as though you are a two headed monster.

In the long run, however, this perspective makes more sense to me.  The system is broken.  There are many, many people whose lives do not fit into this system.  It needs to be fixed.  It’s going to take generations to do this, but the effort is worth it, for as long as human beings cling to rigid notions of male/female/masculine/feminine, there’s always going to be a certain amount of hatred and mistrust of anyone who defies the binary.

Even so, this notion scares people.  It scares many trangender women and men because under a non-binary culture, we might exist as entirely different people.  I’m OK with that.  Under the current system, I’m a woman.  That’s how all the the individual components of my persona interact with this social system.  This is all that I know.  I work with the tools I am given.  What more can any perosn do?  However, if we lived under a system that simply exploded the notions of male and female, feminine and masculine?  I’m not sure who I would be.  Not a single person living on this planet at this point in history can answer that question, either.  That scares the shit out of people and that’s the whole point: change is frightening, even if it is healthy.

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~ by timberwraith on June 24, 2009.

18 Responses to “Binary Thinking: No and No”

  1. I suppose our gender perceptions may stem from the fact that biological gender is, with very rare (less than .5%) exceptions, binary. Nearly everyone is either a male or a female biologically, and we have yet to develop sufficient technology to change that. We can surgically alter our systems, and we can change how we interact with the society, but every cell of our bodies would still be labeled with our original gender. XX or XY

    Because we are a race fairly early in our development however, I believe it’s reasonable to think that most of our preconceptions stem from our biology. Biological binary begets mental binary, and it will take time and effort to change those views for a more enlightened outlook.

    I personally don’t mind my place in the gender binary, and even quite enjoy many of the gender roles I’m assigned. I don’t like hate though (There is nothing to hate but hatred itself), and I find it difficult to understand the hatred experienced by many against people who are different, such as those who don’t conform to what we’ve come to see as the social norm for gender rolls.

  2. I could not agree more! I’ve always thought that challenging the binary is completely consistent with unequivocally supporting those who choose to inhabit one end or other of the gender spectrum, whether they’re cis or trans. I mean, once we let go of the binary, then the whole spectrum, including the extremes is up for grabs and a valid space to inhabit, right?

  3. Right on, Rachel! My concern is that some parts of the trans community are too eager to embrace gender normativity in the effort toward greater inclusion. It’s reminiscent of a tendency in the gay community to embrace the notion of “straight acting” in order to assimilate and be accepted. In the short term, that approach will certainly gain us rights, but at what cost to those who don’t fit into the two-box system?

    Jacob says:

    We can surgically alter our systems, and we can change how we interact with the society, but every cell of our bodies would still be labeled with our original gender. XX or XY

    Jacob, biological sex includes many more factors than simply chromosomes and those factors can combine in a multitude of ways. That fact that we label one particular combination one way and another particular combination another way has more to do with human folly than biological reality. For example, there are actually women born with XY chromosomes who are not transgender but have a condition called complete androgen insensitivity syndrome.

    In this post, I address how people use biology to box trans people into the sex they were assigned at birth. You can easily generalize the content of the post to your comment about sex chromosomes. I strongly advise you to avoid saying things like this on transgender blogs, as someone is likely to hand you your head. While I’m being gentle with you this time, you might not get that kind of treatment at another transgender blog. Given that we face the exact same comments from cis people over and over again, I wouldn’t blame them for a such a negative reaction.

    Gender variance covers a huge swath of the populace, particularly when you include crossdressers (as dyssonance pointed out at the Bilerico post), lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and genderqueer people. This isn’t simply about transsexuals, such as myself. The bottom line is that the behavioral and social reality of human beings far outstrip the binary labeling system that has been mounted atop sexual dimorphism. It’s hurting people, and it needs to change.

  4. My concern is that some parts of the trans community are too eager to embrace gender normativity in the effort toward greater inclusion.

    I think this is somewhat systemic too. When my cousin was transitioning she felt a great deal of pressure by the health professionals she was working with to be “extra girly,” as she put it, in order to convince everyone that she was really serious about the transition and honestly experienced the requisite dysphoria. As if anyone would lie about that!

    I’ve also seen quite the backlash because a social construction view of gender (which is the most reasonable view to me, and the most freeing) has often been (mis)used to imply that the choice to transition is invalid, because it rests on the assumption that gender is “real” or must be binary. And this is a ridiculous misinterpretation of social construction theory (social constructs are very, very real) used for the convenience of hateful people. In reality, social construction theory should result in an openness to a whole range of gender expression, no matter how masculine or feminine or both or neither.

  5. Oh yes: therapists. Yup, they can be a problem. I lucked out, as my therapist was pretty darned liberal. She didn’t mind that I was a lesbian and for the most part, she didn’t pressure me to be girly. Even so, there was plenty of pressure from friends and general social expectations to pressure me into behavior that doesn’t square with who I really am.

    I too generally embrace social construction as an explanation for much of gender. That approach seems to be rare in both cis and trans realms.

    The thing is, we’re social beings, right? We aren’t predators who live on large parcels of land, isolated from each other. We interact with each other daily from birth until death. We have a deep need to interact with each other. Given that the social forms the very substrate of our being, how cold we claim that the social is not real? So yeah, gender—however it is constructed in a particular culture—is real. That doesn’t mean it is immutable, but it certainly is real.

    I hear you on the backlash issue. That backlash is causing quiet a rift between trans people and feminism too. It’s unfortunate.

    One thing that bothers me a lot is that some people in the trans community piggy back the validity of our identities upon the common notion that gender is an immutable outcome of biology. They fully embrace the notion that men and women are different and never shall the twain meet. They simply resort to the explanation that trans women have “female brains” and trans men have “male brains.” I can certainly see how this strategy can turn sexism and gender prejudice against itself in the effort to expand transgender acceptance. However, I’m bothered by the long term implications. I’m bothered by the way it embraces a notion that serves as a core justification for sexism.

    Plus, it doesn’t agree with my personal experience. I’m rare in that I can remember the events the brought about my identity. My gender identity shifted during my adolescence. This was late enough in my life that I can remember the contributing factors and what the process felt like. Whatever biological forces may have been at play—if there were any—I can trace the social forces that contributed to me becoming who I am today.

  6. Whatever biological forces may have been at play—if there were any—I can trace the social forces that contributed to me becoming who I am today.

    That is reallyreally interesting. Reallyreally.

    I’ve gotten in trouble for objecting to the idea that everyone’s brain is gendered from birth, largely because it simply doesn’t mesh with my experience. As a child I never identified as a girl, I didn’t feel like a girl (whatever that means) and I was puzzled by the fact that I was supposed to identify as a girl. But I didn’t feel like a boy either, and would have classified myself as neither, if it weren’t for the fact that I learned very early on that this is unacceptable. So I learned how to use my athleticism (“she’s just a tomboy”) and the fact that I’m conventionally attractive to just sort of fly under the radar while being rather androgynous and combining male and female characteristics. But I really get policed for mentioning that I doubt that every person is born with an inner gender identity. This is generally dismissed as being cis privilege (“of course cis people aren’t aware of their gender identity – just like white people aren’t aware of their whiteness”) or of being trans-hating, although I’m not saying that I doubt that many other people do have a strong inner gender identity all their lives. I’ve also been told that just because I didn’t like girls toys and games doesn’t mean I didn’t have an inner gender, and that simply objecting to the script doesn’t reflect on whether or not you have an inner gender identity. But that seems really reductive and dismissive. And if you have an inner gender identity, aren’t you supposed to be aware of it and feel comfortable with the script that goes with it, and at least not feel really alienated by having people attribute that gender to you? And I guess I don’t see why positing that perhaps some people don’t have a strong inner gender identity amounts to claiming that nobody has a strong inner gender. It seems to me like there could be a wide range of experiences in this area.

  7. Your experiences sound quite similar to a very close friend of mine. She too is a cis woman. She grew up not identifying with either girls or boys. As a adult, she’s pretty androgynous and I have a deep respect for her “bucking the system.”

    I spent the first ten years of my life assuming I was a boy. That’s what I was taught to think and so that’s what I thought of myself. I had no reason to question it and so I didn’t. Nevertheless, there were a couple of key ways in which I didn’t fit into the culture’s notion of what a boy should be. I would have been content with who I was, but everyone around me wasn’t content, including my father. I was ostracized and abused by my peers. As a consequence of this mess, I found myself wondering what my life would have been like if I had been born a girl, and I frequently daydreamed about the possibility.

    Because of this ongoing conflict, my gender identity started to shift sometime after I was ten years old. Around that time, I started to become aware that my body felt wrong to me and I felt a deep and growing connection with women and girls… not just simple physical attraction, but something much deeper: a connection so deep that I couldn’t imagine not living my life as a woman. The thought of living as a man seemed empty and depressing.

    When I hit 17, I became aware that the culture I grew up in was trying to forge boys into incredibly unhealthy people. I let go of my last few threads of resistance to being transgender and embraced my growing female identity as a means to challenge and heal a lot of unhealthy socialization. I’m a better person for it. I’m glad I’m a woman and I’m thankful that I’m transgender. When I think of the alternative lives that I might have lived, I shudder.

    I’m glossing over a lot of important details. The full story is more than I can fit in a comment thread and in some ways I still feel uncomfortable sharing the details. Much of what I experienced exists on a deeply emotional level and can’t be effectively related in words.

    Anyone reading this shouldn’t generalize this story to other trans people. Everyone’s story is different. Most people haven’t a clue as to why they have the gender identity they live with.

  8. But I really get policed for mentioning that I doubt that every person is born with an inner gender identity. This is generally dismissed as being cis privilege (”of course cis people aren’t aware of their gender identity – just like white people aren’t aware of their whiteness”) or of being trans-hating, although I’m not saying that I doubt that many other people do have a strong inner gender identity all their lives.

    I too doubt that every person is born with an inner gender identity. I’ll take it further than that: I strongly doubt that anyone is born with a gender identity—at least not anything approximating what people understand as “I’m a boy” or “I’m a girl.” Whatever potential is inborn that might influence gender identity, social forces inevitably shape how these potentials play out and how people see themselves.

    Yes, I can see that you would get policed on that one. Biology is a really popular explanation for all things gender related, both in the trans community and in cis communities, too. I spend a lot of time challenging folks (mostly cis people because I know mostly cis people in the real world) on their assumptions about biology and gender and I get policed as well. I’m usually told that I’m denying reality. In fact, some people tell me that I don’t have a clue as to what *real* women and men experience because my life is too freakish to draw any useful information from. No joke. I usually get pretty pissed off at that point.

    The policing you are speaking of? Don’t feel bad. It’s an epidemic.

    And I guess I don’t see why positing that perhaps some people don’t have a strong inner gender identity amounts to claiming that nobody has a strong inner gender. It seems to me like there could be a wide range of experiences in this area.

    No! There is only ONE WAY to experience gender! You are wrong! /sarcasm

    Isn’t it ironic how conformity pops up everywhere? Even among people who didn’t do such a good job conforming in the first place? It’s kind of like a plot from the Simpson’s, but without the animation.

    The thing is, not feeling comfortable with society’s gender expectations is fairly common. The standards are so narrow, that few people fit the stereotypes precisely and people can be pretty neurotic when they feel uncomfortable about not fitting in. Think of all the gender normative posturing that guys engage in when their sense of masculinity is challenged.

    The major difference is that many trans people feel the conflict between what is expected of them and what feels right on a far more extreme level. Some trans people also feel a conflict between their internal sense of what their body should be and the external reality of their body’s current biology.

    If anyone challenges the reality and validity of those two phenomena, then I have problems. Other than that, I don’t care. You are clearly not a person who denies the reality of trans people’s identities. You simply have a perspective on gender and it’s origins that defies much of the common beliefs about gender. So do I. I don’t see a problem.

  9. Timberweaith,

    I wasn’t trying to be offensive, I was trying to point out what I feel is a likely explanation as to why we as a society view gender as a Binary.

    I know there’s more to sex than this, but this is representative of the basic nature of my suggestion. Because biologically there are two genders manifesting 99% of the time on the biological level, we as a species tend to place it at the binary level.

    I’m not trying to suggest that gender is or must be binary, but that biologically it is almost always one or the other, and that may be a basis for people having a difficult time accepting it.

  10. I didn’t think you were deliberately trying to be offensive, Jacob. If I had thought that, I probably wouldn’t have approved your comment. However, I was definitely left wondering if you were unwittingly revealing prejudice toward trans people. Given your follow up comment, I’m going to assume that you do not believe that the possession of XY chromosomes invalidates my identity as a woman… that I have just as much claim to this identity as any other woman. (If you feel otherwise, please know that you are not welcome on this blog.)

    There are common ideas used by the general populace to invalidate trans people’s identities—usually referred to as “tropes”—and trans people have to listen to cis people say these things ad nauseum. These tropes can be extremely triggering because they are usually associated with prejudice and/or ill intent. As a cis person, when you use language that strongly resembles a common transphobic trope, you have to be very, very clear on your intent and the reason why you are bringing it up. A simple denial that you believe the prejudiced ideas in the trope you are referencing would suffice.

    A comment that references sex chromosomes and how they will always be there, marking our “original” sex/gender is a very common idea that is used to assert that transgender people can never be the sex/gender they claim to be. Boiled down to the simplest of language, the person is saying, “Science indicates that who you claim to be is a falsehood. Hence, you are either deluded or actively engaged in deceiving others.” This kind of language has a long, nasty history behind it. I’ve personally been confronted with variations on this trope by people of ill intent, as have many other trans people. Be aware of that. For that reason, I strongly recommend caution when using such language to express your point.

  11. In fact, some people tell me that I don’t have a clue as to what *real* women and men experience because my life is too freakish to draw any useful information from.

    So depressing! =(

  12. No, I think that you have claim to be whatever you want to be. And actually I think it is within possibility to alter even the most basic element of gender, and bring about XX (or inversely XY) genes in people born with the other, and I think fertility may even be eventually possible. In theory I think it would only take a modified retrovirus, but so far as I know we just haven’t gotten that far technologically yet.

    That aside I think that people can be whatever they set their minds to, be that a woman with XY genes, or a man with XXY genes, or whatever. Our sex may be biological, and maybe even difficult to change, but our gender is social and mental and at least partially arbitrary, if not entirely. I mean to be honest, a lot of “gender traits” attributed male female significance have no bearing on anything at all. Such as who should initiate romantic encounters, who should be shy, and how a person should cross their legs. Just a few traits which around the age of 13-14 would have determined I was female, with a slew of other things. I’m not, but by a lot of social measures I was when I was an adolescent. I crossed my legs, found sports boring, valued little my bodily strength or durability, and was roughly terrified of confrontations. I adapted and now I’m male by all accounts, but my adolescence did prove to me that many gender traits are arbitrarily defined. And that other children can be cruel, though I’m lucky to have avoided going through anything nearly what you did.

    But no. While I acknowledge that reproduction is important and I enjoy my gender role now, I don’t harbor prejudice against anyone based on their sexual habits so long as they don’t cause suffering to others. Who someone is intimate with is entirely their own business, and it doesn’t really matter in the long run who gender either person was, is, or should be, save perhaps in matters of reproduction…

  13. I understand, Jacob. I’m glad to hear that you have an open mind about all of this.

    The story you related about your adolescence is interesting. I’ve had many people relate stories of having to alter portions of their behavior in an effort to meet the culture’s expectations of women and men. I suspect this kind of experience is quite common.

    And actually I think it is within possibility to alter even the most basic element of gender, and bring about XX (or inversely XY) genes in people born with the other, and I think fertility may even be eventually possible. In theory I think it would only take a modified retrovirus, but so far as I know we just haven’t gotten that far technologically yet.

    OK, I just have to ask this, Jacob. Are you an aficionado of science fiction? Something about the above quote made me wonder. Not that this is a bad thing. Hardly a month goes by without a sci-fi/fantasy novel falling into my hands.

  14. Yes, I am. I’m drawn to the science fiction. I’m also drawn to science fact though, and I’m someone who watches the line between the two like a hawk, and gene altering technology is heading towards that line rapidly.

  15. Question: was the strip of red text there before? I didn’t notice it being red previously, but I may just not have been paying attention to the color.

  16. You mean this:

    I’m not willing to throw genderqueer people under the bus so that my binary-conforming ass gets civil rights and social acceptance before they do.

    Yup, that was red before. 🙂 It appears right before the page break, so perhaps the distraction of having to switching pages after you clicked on “Continue reading ‘Binary Thinking: No and No’” was enough to make you forget the color oddity.

    I made that statement red because it was the core motivation behind writing the post. Even though my transition from from male to female violated countless numbers of norms, now that I am here on this side of the binary, I could choose to blend in and fade into the woodwork. For the most part, I do choose to blend in simply because it makes life easier and unless I come out to someone, it’s hard not to blend in. I’m just another granola dyke living in Minneapolis. That’s not all that unusual for this part of the country.

    Anyway, it would be easy for me and other binary-conforming transgender folks (and cis people, too) to simply forget about those transgender people who do not live within the framework of the binary, such as genderqueer people and cross dressers. Fitting within the binary comes with it’s own set of privileges, and privilege always makes it easy to ignore the concerns of those who lack those privileges. Privilege renders many forms of discrimination invisible to the bearer.

  17. “Our sex may be biological, and maybe even difficult to change, but our gender is social and mental and at least partially arbitrary, if not entirely. I mean to be honest, a lot of “gender traits” attributed male female significance have no bearing on anything at all. Such as who should initiate romantic encounters, who should be shy, and how a person should cross their legs. Just a few traits which around the age of 13-14 would have determined I was female, with a slew of other things”

    Some points:
    -Radical feminist arguments (not from all of them, only TERF) will counter this argument squarely and without effort, and if this is your only argument, I’d almost have to agree with them (if it wasn’t so hateful).

    I agree that gender presentation/expression is variable, plastic if you will, and that while someone may have predisposition based on like (ie favorite color), people modify those in practice because of different pressure, or to rebel against it.

    The radfem argument will say something like:

    Trans men and trans women should not transition, they can be as feminine or as masculine as they want to be without requiring to sue patriarchal medicine. Everyone of them can do everything possible without transitioning (except maybe give birth, menstruate and such things that can be physically impossible).

    In other words, arguing that people transition because of social forces is arguing that there is no body dysphoria, or that the body dysphoria is 95% caused by social forces. This has not been my experience.

    In the radfem utopia, those forces would not exist, and thus, in their mind, trans women and trans men would not transition. In other words, trans men would remain women and trans women would remain men.

    Ergo: we can hate trans women now, because in out utopia they would really be men, and thus, not our concern.

    See where this argument can lead? I’m also playing devil’s advocate, I’m definitely against their argument, but yours simply lets theirs work (even if in a twisted way).

    ——-

    Here is my story:

    Born with approximate male body, thus declared male.

    Noticeably feminine since primary school years though lack of female friends or peers to interact with, not wanting to interact much with male peers either (friend would be an overstatement for the male ones). In other words, a loner, and rejected by most for being unfit.

    Tendencies linked to asperger syndrome become apparent. Logically think of everything, avoid social interactions (which are also usually negative anyway).

    8 years old: Figured I must’ve been adopted or delivered by aliens, or abducted as a baby by aliens before having a penis constructed on my body. Ergo: I must really physically be a girl disguised as a guy as a sort of conspiracy for X reason I could never figure.

    11 years old: Discovery of reincarnation. Belief that I want to be reincarnated as a girl (unaware of previous lives and not conceptualizing what they could have been, then). Kept as a secret. Abandonment of Catholicism and Christianism and its theology as fraudulent for its lack of reincarnation component (although I’d learn later that Origen of Alexandria proposed something very close to it, but was declared an heretic by roman emperor Justinian – I still do not believe in Christian theology though).

    16 years old: Assumed to be gay by all peers and family (although asexual). Extreme depression due to being unaware of who I am. This depression will last until I transitioned at age 23. Voice slightly goes down, becomes androgynous.

    19 years old: First facial hair.

    21 years old: Conception that I might be an angel because of esoteric discussions with a friend enclined in those beliefs, and learning of the concept of otherkin.

    22 years old: Facial hair growth very sub-par and stopped mostly (does not grow in more places or longer/faster). No armpit hair at all, no chest hair. Voice same as 6 years before.

    Learning of the concept of trans because of the same friend above discussing about spiritual (as in not-physical and not psychological/social) sex. Learning about the process of transition. Attempting to obtain hormones. Therapist treating me like a jerk. No hormones.

    23 years old: Obtention of hormones from a generalist used to treat trans people. Social transition. Physical transition started.

    26 years old: Seeing another therapist to change doctor for hormones and be able to change my legal name. Diagnosis obtained.

    27 years old (now): Name change process started.

    I’ve always been somewhat feminine before, but besides the obvious trauma suffered for being insufficiently masculine by others (and assumed to be gay), I simply saw no point in living. I wasn’t even myself until I turned 23 and started hormones.

    From this point on, I was able, not only to express myself in ways that were more familiar and favorite to me without being chastised for it, I also developed as a person from my undeveloped self. Closing myself and refusing to attempt to develop as a person is what happened to me. I simply saw no point, the body didn’t fit, I knew it with extreme certainty. I can’t point the exactly how I knew, but I did.

    I didn’t figure what body would fit until I heard about transition. Then I figured: If I’m gonna suicide anyway, might as well try that before, it might be worth a shot. And it was.

    The social transition went smoothly, the physical transition went somewhat smoothly (I think I should have waited some maybe before socially transitioning…I did both at the same time.) I finally was at ease within my body, something I had never experienced before. I’m still not too happy about having a penis, but it’s actually liveable now, whereas it wasn’t before.

    I do intend on having surgery, if only to have the kind of sex I prefer, at least it being on the table. Also to be legally female, I like being employable.

    Not much has changed. Testosterone was poisonous enough that most of its effect has been acne…for 8 straight years (16 to 24). Few physical changes, but a boatload of acne. I should say I resist testosterone somewhat, although never been diagnosed with PAIS (docs refuse to even consider the possibility). Then estrogen….no longer asexual (estrogen gave me a libido, whereas normal male levels of testosterone did not), and it feels, well, a lot more good than poison.

    This is how I describe my being trans. Not in social terms, not in “I’m a woman because I have breasts” terms either. It’s in “I’m a female because I always knew.” from the brain, my spirit or whatever else, maybe Jesus is inside my spirit for all I know – but I know for sure that I am female.

  18. “I’m not willing to throw genderqueer people under the bus so that my binary-conforming ass gets civil rights and social acceptance before they do.”

    Thank you! It annoys the heck out of me when binary trans people feel like they have the right to say “get back in the closet so I’m allowed to come out”. Being ignored bothers me as well, but I’ve had people actually say that, practically in so many words. On a trans forum there was a moderator who would police the androgyne area and attack anyone who was questioning their gender and using terms he didn’t like, saying that they were ruining trans rights and no one would take us seriously if we used words like that. No one (else, I got him to stop, not that he reformed, he just stopped posting there) even cared that he was doing it.

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