I am writing today to tender my resignation. I cannot identify as a man in any binary sense anymore. After several years of observation, research, and thought, the conclusion I’ve arrived at is being a man is defined only by what it is not. Outside of the context of patriarchy, it means nothing. Many experiences I’ve had since I began identifying as a trans man are invaluable to me. I’ve learned far, far more about gender, sexism, myself… too many things to name… than I ever would have had I not transitioned. I do not regret transitioning in the slightest. I will continue my regular shots of testosterone because it makes me feel better, mentally and physically.
I have found very little that I feel good about that comes with identifying as a man. Because of how gendering generally works, I am very aware of the fact I will most often be gendered as a man. But I am done letting this system we all agree is bullshit determine how I identify and keep me from being insistent about it. I will continue to acknowledge the ways I receive conditional male privilege, but I am done letting others make me feel like I cannot be who I am because of it. I will not disavow my experiences from before I started testosterone. I will not limit the ways I express and present because it makes people, yes even queer people, uncomfortable. “Think outside the gender binary” isn’t a fucking slogan. It’s a plea, a warning that our queer communities cannot continue within this framework. “Well, MOST people are either women or men” is NOT a good reason. “Non-binary people make things complicated” is also NOT a good reason!
Shit’s already complicated!
It angers me how much our communities police people’s genders, both on- and off-line. We all say and do misogynistic and sexist things. ALL OF US. We’re all products of this culture and we’re all human beings who have blind spots and fuck up sometimes. Since the gender binary ain’t going anywhere anytime soon, I think women’s spaces are necessary, but I’m also very, very uncomfortable with the amount of policing that is done in the name of preserving them. If you’re upset because there are people in a women’s space that you feel shouldn’t be there, first you need to check your assumptions before you do ANYTHING else. Then talk to them. And maybe, hey, you’re right, this really isn’t the best space for them. But they’re there because there’s no alternative space where they feel safe. That’s a fucking problem for your whole damn queer community. It won’t be easy to solve. AND THE ANSWER IS NOT TELLING THEM TO GO MAKE THEIR OWN SPACE AS YOU KICK THEM OUT. If you comfortably identify and are gendered as a woman and they identify as non-binary, then you are the one with more privilege in that particular situation. If you identify as and are comfortably gendered as a woman or a man, then you have more privilege in queer spaces than those who do/are not.
I am trans, non-binary, and gender-fluid. My gender is far more than my clothes or my hair or my mannerisms on any particular day. My pronouns are they/them/their. I refuse to continue identifying as a trans man just because it makes things easy and comfortable for other people. Fuck your comfort. Queer isn’t suppose to be easy.