Re: Questioning Trans Legitimacy

Responding to “Questioning Trans Legitimacy

Legitimacy is still something I think about, although not always in the same way as before. I’ve become a lot more secure in my identity as a trans person — I know more trans and genderqueer people. I know people who also came out as trans / genderqueer / gender-variant in their twenties. I know people who also don’t have a classic trans childhood narrative. I know both in theory and in real life that gender comes in a rainbow of varieties, and that helps me feel far more comfortable about being part of that diversity.

My insecurities have shifted a bit. I know I’m trans. That’s not the issue. But transmasculinity, maleness, being a transguy — the insecurities are still fresh. Maybe it will help once I go on T — when I don’t see a female looking back at me in the mirror, maybe it will be easier. I know, of course, that hormones have nothing to do with gendered legitimacy, and when I think about other people, their identities are less legitimate if they aren’t on hormones. But for myself, it doesn’t feel as real.

I am less attached to the idea of transcending gender than I once was. Certainly, I still believe we shouldn’t need to be tied down by it, and I’m still not comfortable with the idea of fitting into that specific, narrow idea of manhood that society expects, but I no longer feel quite so beyond the concepts of man and woman.

I’m not a frat boy; I’m not a military academy cadet; I’m not a jock. But I no longer believe that that means I must not be a man. In a post for the Genderqueer Chicago blog, Malic Moxie wrote:

Despite questions about gender identity that had been tugging incessantly at the corners of my brain for the last few years, I had accepted the dyke identity that was given to me for the sake of convenience. I was too short to pass as a guy anyway, and I definitely couldn’t identify with traditional notions of masculinity. I didn’t think that I was “trans enough” to be a transguy. Now I realize that those thoughts were influenced by my socially-constructed ideas of a very stereotypical kind of masculinity. I clearly hadn’t read enough Judith Butler.

Yes. Absolutely. I was reading through old posts, missing GqC, and stumbled upon this. Most of my trans-related insecurities are “influenced by my socially-constructed ideas of a very stereotypical kind of masculinity.” That articulates it nicely. It’s something I’m still trying to work through, but being around non-stereotypical forms of masculinity (or, failing that, thinking about and remembering them) helps a great deal.

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One response to “Re: Questioning Trans Legitimacy

  1. So is it cool if I use your older post as a conversation starter for a trans (umbrella of speculum) social group I facilitate?

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