Transgender or Transgendered? [Article]

I came across a debate on an friend's LJ about whether it's alright to use 'transgendered' when referring to trans* people, and was surprised to discover that it was actually an offensive word (I think I might have used it a few times myself). For a trans person who is new to the whole lexicon of terms related to the trans community, I found the following article (which was shared during the debate) by a retired transgender advocate very enlightening, and thought I'd share. Here's a short excerpt:

Transgender or Transgendered?

I've increasingly been seeing and hearing the word "transgendered," and I have cringed every time. What's wrong with the seemingly subtle difference between saying "transgendered" and "transgender?" Actually, a lot.

Readers of my age and older will remember a sad time when this country labeled African-Americans as "colored people." One problem with this label was that it implied something happened to make the person "of color," which denied the person's dignity of being born that way. Today, we are somewhat more enlightened and say "people of color" instead.

Most transgender people I know have felt a gender incongruity for as long as they remember, and evolving science says we were probably born feeling like this. The only thing that changed along the way has been our awareness that there are others like us. We didn't "decide" to be transgender.

If hearing "transgendered people" is a problem for me, you can imagine how I felt when two different non-transgender friends recently told me independently that they knew a "person who had transgendered." These friends were assuming that all transgender people transition from living in one gender to living in another, just as I did. In reality, only part of the transgender population does this.

[Read full article]

Some honest words

Originally posted by zaza_napoli at Some honest words
OK bitches, I feel like there is so much I want to say right now and it’s just going to all fall out, hopefully in some kind of organized way  I have taken to using the word "bitches" affectionately in case you’re wondering.

OK so the first thing that I must say, is that I cannot help feeling that most of the people who have given their gender the tiniest amount of thought seem to be ri.di.culously young and cool. Kind of alienating for people like me who still get so much inspiration from “Some Like it Hot” and “La Cage aux Folles” (the original films), which I am totally mad about. (what was your first clue lol)

I feel like people who think about their gender have too much time on their hands, hey I do too. Not trying to criticize “other people”. I am as guilty as anyone else of over-thinking my whole childhood and adolescence and looking for “clues”. And sometimes I think so deeply into my essence that I may not have a gender at all, I mean what is our gender when we are asleep? It’s one of those things, the harder you think the more it fades. You only see it clearly when you’re NOT concentrating on it.

Well anyway, now that I have found my own personal gender identity, I feel like I should just get on with my life. We can’t force anyone else to see us as we see ourselves unfortunately.
I am thinking maybe my gender identity “thing” is connected with female Asperger’s Syndrome which is completely different from male Asperger’s so don’t expect me to recite PI to 100 decimal places. I have read up about Asperger’s in women and so much seems to fit like a glove. Although nobody will believe that I have Asperger’s because I am so high-functioning. But look at the length of this rant about my gender!

I believe Asperger’s has made me feel like I have had to LEARN how to be “a girl” in a similar way to a drag queen. That is by far the neatest explanation I have found so far. And yet I have always, always known that I WANTED to be a girl (preferably a princess actually). In 2015 when I could be anything I want, even a genderless blob, even a trans guy, a neutrois anything – I WANT to be a girl. But I still don't feel like one in my core.

I embrace “drag queen” as my gender identity, not my profession. My life is really my performance, although any excuse to dress up is most welcome :) I personally do not feel that biological females can be “drag queens” although some try. For the simple reason that it is not drag. It’s a woman dressing extravagantly and putting on lots of make-up. That is fun, but it’s not drag unfortunately! A biological male drag queen can stand there in fish drag and lip sync. He doesn’t need to do anything wacky or original to be a drag queen, just the fact of being dressed in female clothing is enough. And there’s the difference.

Sometimes I feel that I am quite literally mentally a gay man, specifically an effeminate one. I have my masculine side too which leads people to see me as not so feminine. Because as I am female-bodied, I don’t always speak and act the way I am expected to. I have my more macho moments. I am not feminine I am effeminate. There is a subtle difference that I cannot explain. I really can’t. You’d have to meet me.

Not being seen as a queen /drag queen is something that I can deal with, because ultimately all I can do is BE. If I really am true to myself, then everyone will see the real me even if they don’t quite “get” my gender.

But what I can’t stand is being seen as what I am NOT. For one, I am not a lesbian, I happen to be biromantic and also bisexual enough to want to try it (which I have) but sexually speaking I know what I like, and it’s men. Thanks.

Also I am not a fag hag. I am a fag. I have had some female friends who were kind of like my fag hag, it was that kind of dynamic. Because I feel different somehow, in a way that I just cannot explain. When I am with a group of guys, I feel like I don’t fit in, but when I am with a group of girls I feel different too. But I feel like I get on better with girls. By the way, fag hag is not an insult in itself, I just find it is synonymous sometimes with a supremely irritating woman who thinks that she is ever so glamorous because she is friends with some gays *yawn*. And also being a complete bitch is not a gender. It is not a pre-requisite of any gender or sexuality to be unpleasant and judgemental and “throw shade” around whenever you get the chance. Grow up.

Also I do not have a fetish. Sometimes I feel like my fascination with drag queens and transsexual women could potentially be seen as offensive in the sense that people like to be seen as human beings and not objects of fascination. Also it must be said that I do not believe a drag queen and a transsexual woman is the same thing, of course not. The only thing that I see in common is the biological maleness and feminine appearance. Just before everyone hates me. I guarantee that most TG women probably don't know what I am talking about since they feel like women, and I don't :)

I sometimes feel more like a drag queen because I feel like fundamentally inside, I am quite masculine. I just don’t wish to LOOK masculine. I guess I am fascinated by what I physically can never be. I do not think that I am transsexual because it seems rather absurd to take lots of T just so that you can appear more like a drag queen and that is not something I would ever do. But sometimes I do wish that I already had a male body so that I could then become a woman rather than just being one to begin with. I think that if I had a male body I would not be particularly dysphoric, I am not sure. It’s a question I ask myself. I think my ideal body would be taller, male shaped and sized but with little body hair, and definitely.not.bald. If I took T, I would be a very, very short bald guy – which quite frankly I would not be very thrilled about. In fact there is NO WAY. Sorry. I am not that dysphoric as to do that to myself. In fact I am not sure I suffer too much from body dysphoria. I would be happy to be either, and I think I am MUCH better off in a female body.

Also, I am not just jumping on some kind of gender bandwagon to be one of the cool kids. Far from it – I have never in my life been a cool kid and never will be one. I am not a particularly alternative person, I am not loud or gregarious or extrovert, I am not just a femme or someone who wants to draw attention to themselves. It is really sad that every loud-mouthed bitch who happens to like glamorous clothes and make-up thinks that she is a “gay man trapped in a womans’ body”. Whatever. Have you ever looked in the mirror and seen that the more make-up you put on the more you look like a man? The sexier you try and look, the more you look like a man? Have you ever cried with sheer confusion? No well don’t talk to me bitch. Thanks.

Perhaps one of the reasons that I actually revel in femininity is that it actually makes me feel MORE masculine in a funny kind of way. Whereas if I try to look like a boy, I just end up looking like a lesbian and that is not what I want because why would I want people to think I am the exact opposite of what I am. I am not a gay woman, I am a gay man duh. I do not really like or get on with lesbians tbh. Sorry.

That was really honest. I really hope that nobody hates me as a result.

How do you express your gender identity?

I live in a part of the world where people are gender-conforming to a fault and dress in mainstream ways because the available fashion styles are limited to a few clothing brands. Most are happy with the status quo, so I don't see a lot of creativity in the way that people express themselves through fashion. For someone who's just learning to accept their transgenderism, this makes it difficult to settle on an indivualistic style that reflects my preferences. Not only because there aren't that many choices out there, but also because being different would really stand out and draw pontentially negative attention.

As gender non-comforming individuals, how do you reflect your own identity through fashion? How do others react to you as a result, and have you found that 'look' that you're comfortable with?
Wishful thinking

Ever Posted a Secret?

I don't follow many blogs, but there is this particular one that never ceases to fascinate me: Post a Secret. I'm sure you've heard of it, but just in case you haven't, click here (and here for their archive of older posts). Aside from the interesting postcards and artwork, I'm especially intrigued by the level of vulnerability people are willing to share, even if it's done anonymously. I've been following the blog for years, and the more I read the stronger the urge becomes to post a secret myself. Who knows, it might be liberating. Would/have you ever put up a secret on there?

One from their new batch:
Wishful thinking

How did you know that you were trans*?

I always thought that, like being gay or lesbian, trans* folk intuitively knew what they were from an early age, which is why I really struggled with accepting the fact that I was transgender when a friend pointed it out to me a couple of years ago. When I finally did accept it (this year), I felt pretty dense. How could I not know something like that about myself? If my friend hadn't opened my eyes, I never would have realized it. Because to me, transgendered people looked and acted in a very specific way - a misconception shaped by limited media representation and prejudiced cultural views. Turns out that I'm not the only one to catch on late. Apparently, to many trans folk, knowing that they're in the wrong body and relating it to being trans isn't an instinctive leap of logic if they've never been educated about it.

The following is a video of Dade's experience of how he realized he was trans. Dade has undergone one of the most successful transitions I've seen on Youtube, and his videos really strike a chord.


Disney Trans* Theme?

Was reading this article, "Most Disney Movies Are Pro-Gay" when I came across this part:

Another obvious example: Mulan, where the protagonist disguises herself as a male soldier. When the soldiers later dress themselves as courtesans so they can sneak into the palace, the film completes its theme of gender as performance, with women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women. Mulan’s “I Want” song also plays like an anthem for kids born into the wrong gendered body—“When will my reflection show who I am inside?”—and intriguingly, the film insinuates that her male captain fell in love with her while she was masquerading as a man.

That intrigued me enough to Google the lyrics. Change the context and it would be the perfect transgender theme song.

Look at me,
I may never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter.
Can it be,
I'm not meant to play this part?
Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself,
I would break my family's heart.

Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don't know?
Who is that perfect bride?
It's not me, though I've tried.
When will my reflection show, who I am, inside?
How I pray, that a time will come,
I can free myself, from their expectations
On that day, I'll discover someway to be myself,
and to make my family proud.
They want a docile lamb,
No-one knows who I am.
Must there be a secret me,
I'm forced to hide?
Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?

Emil and Marta

(no subject)

Hi everyone, so I'm new to this community, I found it by trying to find more genderqueer/genderfluid communities on the internet.

So I'm kind of new to the concept of gender fluidity. I've kind of always shifted between "I want to dress girly!" and "I will be the manliest fucking shit today" and only recently did I make the connection that this was connected to my gender identity. Some days I wake up and I am a boy and other days I wake up and I am a woman. Most of the time I identify as a woman, but a few times I identify as male. If I were male most of the time, I might consider transitioning, but I literally desire to be physically male so rarely that I just deal with it and am a male with boobs and a vagina while I identify as male.

I work in a department store running the lingerie department and so I am not open about my sexuality (pansexual) or gender identity at work, because I live in a conservative area and I'm afraid of customers and perhaps coworkers being like "You're gay! You can't work in a bra department that's gross!" *rolls eyes* Sorry ladies, but the only boobs I am interested in are my girlfriend's. But anyway, my work requires me to wear makeup dress nice and on days when I identify as female its fine, but on days when I am male its really uncomfortable.

The thing is, while I don't really "shift" into a male gender that often, (I'd say I identify as female 95% of the time, and I cannot really explain why but maybe once a month I wake up in the morning and boom! I'm male) I don't really have any outlet on the days that I'm male, especially if I have to work that day. Also because I am not "out" and living with people, I don't have any male clothes. I want to start dressing as a male on days that I am able and feel like it, but its difficult. Getting a hold of shoes, pants and shirts won't be a problem, and I have a binder bookmarked online, but the problem is my hair. I love my long, waist-length hair when I am a woman, but I hate it when I am male. I don't want to cut my hair, so if anyone has info on short wigs (and how to put them on over long hair) it would be greatly appreciated.

So, um, thanks for listening, I guess. I just wonder if its weird that my genderfluidity is so skewed towards female and rarely male. I can't really explain it its just--some rare days, I wake up in the morning and I'm a dude. 

I'm not sure what I am

I have always identified as a female and never really questioned it until now. I've never really been interested in makeup or dresses. I always feel wrong when I wear them. I think they're super cute and continue to buy them but when I put them on it feels wrong. I'm better and making guy friends than girl friends. I know that I am interested in males but occasionally I get a weird feeling. Like some days I really wish I had a penis. And I wouldn't mind having sex with a female. I've never told anyone about this but it's happening more and more. Like I really wish that I could have an operation and get a penis but also keep my vagina because I want the option of both lol. I'm not interested in sports but I've always been interested in building things and fixing cars. I've always thought I was a tomboy but now I'm wondering if maybe I'm genderfluid. Some days I absolutely love my body and other days I wish it looked less 'girly' I suppose. What does all of this mean?