There it was. The words were flung so easily, so carelessly yet with deadly accuracy by someone who should have known better. Perhaps they did. Perhaps it wasn’t such a careless act after all. No matter, the words did their work.
Gouging deep into my soul they inflicted pain that should not be. What made the pain more insidious was the fact that the words were spoken by someone who seems to have a very different definition of ‘community’, someone who should have a broader view than that of a simple gender binary. Again, as I have been in the past, I was criticised and belittled as a fake – “You are not really transgender because you don’t want to be a woman.”
What this person failed to realise is that it isn’t a case of me not wanting to be a woman. If the process was simple, if there were no others involved and if dreams really did come true then I would happily pursue transition. For me though, at over 60 years of age, I really think that boat has sailed. There are many reasons why I’ve not pursued transition but in all honesty, they are none of her business. What matters to me is that I have a right to express myself by way of whatever gender presentation I choose.
If we consider the somewhat bigoted view of this person, at what point does one cross that mystical Rubicon that marks the binary border of male and female? Does one need to do more than present an appearance of the ‘other’ gender to be considered ‘trans’ – across – gender? If to be transgender one needs more than just the appearance of the other what does that “more” entail? Despite the physical changes that the use of hormones can produce they do not change the anatomical markers often used to define gender. Is someone really only ‘transgender’ if they have completed gender reassignment surgery?
Here in CDH I often see the question asked “Are you a CD or trans?” “Trans” of course might be short for ‘transsexual’ or it might be short for ‘transgender’. When it’s used in such a question the abbreviation could be taken either way. My problem with either use though is that by inference it suggests that a person must be either a CD or trans-something but can’t be a CD and transgender. It’s another one of those labels scenarios that I detest so much. Is someone who wants to pursue transition but who as yet has not even discussed it with a doctor still “just a CD” or should we call them ‘transgender’ because they want to be a woman? Even when seeking a location to post this story I saw one choice was the forum ‘Crossdresser & Transgender Chat’, again suggesting that I am either a CD or transgender but can’t be both.
For me it’s the inner need that defines ‘transgender’. I don’t present as female for thrills. I have no doubt that few if any people think I am genetically female yet still I have the need to present as such. It is an inner, emotional need to cross the gender binary, if such a binary really exists. If that makes me a fake then so be it. If I’m “not really transgender” because I will never be legally classed as a female then perhaps I need to find a new definition. Perhaps I could be called ‘unorthodox-gender’ so that I can satisfy the bigots from either of the other ‘true’ gender streams.