Sometimes I get really caught up in what it means to be trans. What makes someone trans. What causes me to be trans. Do stereotypes of gender roles come from somewhere, or are they completely made up? Nature vs nurture. Biology vs psychology. Things start to get jumbled when you try to define and analyze biology and gender and sex and male and female and man and woman and girl and boy and chromosomes and… And figure out which ones are social and which are natural and whether being transgender really is a biological issue or a social one.
And then I realize it doesn’t matter. I feel better when people call me she. That’s what matters. I feel better when I think of myself as a girl. I feel better when other people think of me as a girl. When all the politics, all the pitfalls, all the transphobia is put aside, this is who I want to be, and who I am. So why do I need to know what that means in a textbook way? Why do I need to be able to explain it, and feel inadequate when I try? Why do I have to do anything but know I’m doing what I should be doing?
I like dresses. Not because I’m a girl, just because I do. I like a lot of things typically associated with femininity. But that doesn’t make me a girl. I like cars and motorcycles, too. And that didn’t make me a man. I like what I like because I do. If I happen to like feminine things more than masculine, then that’s fine. But I’m a girl because I identify as a girl. And not because the things I like and want to wear are girly. Yet I still have to explain that. And I feel guilty for sometimes equating the two to help people understand. Things like explaining I knew because I liked playing with Barbie’s hair when I was a kid. What I don’t explain is that it wasn’t the Barbie, its how comfortable I felt perceiving myself as a girl when I was playing with her. I know wanting to wear dresses doesn’t make me a woman, and I didn’t transition just to wear dresses, but I know it makes me feel more like one. And sometimes that’s what helps people see me as one, too. And I also know that’s not the experience of every trans girl out there. So why do I need to be an expert on trans things even though every girl who identifies as a girl is different?
The answer is obvious, really. I know that. I need to be an expert on why I’m transgender, and what that means, and be able to explain it so I can defend myself when people call trans people delusional. So I can educate people to eliminate misunderstanding and fight for rights I shouldn’t have to fight for. Because despite different interests, we all share a common need to transition due to the social and physical dysphoria I decribed in a previous post. But what living as a trans woman means is as varied as what living as a cis woman means. They’re one in the same. Women are women, but what it means to be a woman is personal. That is, anyone who identifies as a woman is a woman. End of story. Its not biology or a vagina or whatever else transphobic people want you to think. What you do with that womanhood is your choice.
So be a girl the way you know how to be a girl. And fight like a grrrl the same way.
Update: Lots going on this week…
So, one job is getting worse, and the other is getting better. My new boss is still terrible. And now she’s enforcing dress codes that haven’t ever been enforced in 2 years, so I can’t wear a sweatshirt under my chef coat anymore, which means I get completely soaked when I do dishes and it’s uncomfortable. And I can’t wear my cute beanie with the bow anymore, I have to wear a visor or baseball hat. Which would be fine, but I always used to wear one pre-transition. Like… Always. So the bill sticking out above my face just reminds me of that, and it’s really not cool.
But at my night job, my manager/ally/friend once again helped me out. I had mentioned before about wanting to ask my boss which bathroom I could use, so I asked her if she would ask on my behalf. She did, and it ended up being no big deal at all. I was told to use whatever restroom I’m comfortable with, and if there were any problems that they would deal with them. Why can’t it always be that easy?
I went for my first laser session last night… And the outlook isn’t great. Apparently most of my facial hair is too red, so if I want to get rid of it, electrolysis is the only way. =way more time and more money. Oh well.