Transitioning is stigmatized as betraying our assigned gender. Sometimes, though, it takes two betrayals to get where we need to be.
If I could tell everyone how to differentiate between gender expression feels and gender feels, I’d be Sovereign Ruler of Gender and maybe things would be easier, but probably also a lot less fun.
In a post “love-wins” America, we’ve circled back to the underlying legal thinking of the 1950s. In the late 2010s and especially under Trump, gender and gender conformity are back under the legal microscope in a move that targets the gender nonconformity fundamental to aspects of gay identity for many, and also increasingly and dangerously, trans people.
On top of how hard it is to be transgender in a cissexist world, it’s also really hard to be a child. It can be hard to have two moms in a heterosexist world. It can be hard to have a transgender mom. Put that all together, and I’m just one giant ball of anxiety who is frequently at a loss for the perfect way to help my child navigate the world.
“I can’t be a woman without the right clothes. I’ve been on HRT a year by now, but I still haven’t been gendered correctly by a stranger. It’s a lot of things. I try not to think about bone structure, about shoulders and necks and foreheads.”
I hadn’t experienced transphobic violence in medicalized form before. But I’d experienced it in many others: in punches and pushes, through threats with weapons, or by being run off the road by cars while I was on foot.
“I was unwilling to buy a binder. It seemed like a declaration, the kind I was nowhere near ready to make yet. But for that winter, I had the bag.”
“I can simply rest in this strange and beautiful world of homosexual daddies with expansive definitions of what it means to be masculine; given how raw and terrible I feel as I continue to come out as trans, continue to lift up the rocks within myself and peer under them, this is what I need.”
Massachusetts is considered a progressive vanguard when it comes to LGBT issues, and a loss there would be devastating. Question 3 was put forth by anti-trans organizers betting on the hope that they had more of a foothold in public discourse now than they did two years ago; No on 3 would prove them right.
This morning, the New York Times broke the story that the Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration is “[considering] defining transgender out of existence.”
“I almost felt like I owed it to everybody to be that gay boy. But that has never been the way I think of myself.”
“Presenting as male every day hurts. When the ship is in port, it’s not as bad; I grow to hate coming in to work, but once the day ends I can go home and be myself. When we’re underway, it’s worse. I’m stuck being ‘him’ all day, every day. Sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks… once, for months.”
Trans Day of Action took place on Friday in New York, inviting trans, gender non-conforming people and allies to mobilize and demand “access to both public and private spaces without fear of harassment or brutality.” It was hosted by the Audre Lorde Project and set off from from the Christopher Street Bridge, a historic safe haven for marginalized members of the LGBT community.
I find myself preemptively mourning the transgenerational communities and cliques and cults and clubs and covens of girls like me that could be and may not be.
The Pervert is definitely going to turn off some readers, it’s full of swearing and violent homophobia and transphobia and explicit sex scenes, but for the people who read it, it will stick with them forever. This book is a wake up call.
Blackness and transness interconnect in this radical history of not just black and trans people, but also where beliefs about black and trans people come from.
“It’s common to want to tell everyone about your newfound realization about your identity, so that you can feel like you’re living authentically and with integrity. But you get to do whatever feels best to you!”
“If we are going to mourn our lost trans siblings, family and community members publicly, we need to do right by our community and contextualize their deaths with accuracy and intention.”
“The joy these people are feeling for having found happy, loving and affirming relationships is radiating off of the page. These are clearly trans people who have found happiness with who they are and where they are in life, and the art goes a long, long way to show that.”
If The Merry Spinster seems almost fixated on gender, it’s because Ortberg began participating in gender therapy and exploring identity while writing it, and “It turns out I’m trans!”