Tag Archives: legitimacy

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. Continue reading

Listening to the Right Voice

EXPLORING TRANS — THURSDAY, JULY 1, 2010, 12:38 AM

It sometimes seems as though there’s this societal insistence that gender can only be either personal or social. It’s either directly due to people as individuals, or it’s solely the result of socialization. Furthermore, I, at least, have felt a message that it needs to be individual, in order to be “real” or “authentic” or “legitimate.”

There’s this idea that how I feel about my gender, or how I present myself, isn’t real if it’s influenced by society. It’s only considered legitimate if I do something because it’s what I want for myself, not because I want others to view me in a certain way. And while I understand and respect the importance of staying true to oneself and not being too bothered by the rest of the world, it’s an undeniable fact that we’re influenced by society. Continue reading

Questioning Trans Legitimacy

EXPLORING TRANS — MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2010, 1:49 AM

“Legitimacy” always seems like such an important thing. In this case, it’s a question of who is “really” trans, as if there’s somehow an illegitimate form of trans identity that is separate from the “true” trans folk.

The legitimacy of my trans identity is a big insecurity for me, given that I’ve started questioning my gender at a rather late stage in my life (relatively speaking) and that I don’t have a sense of binary gender, which is the only type of gender that is generally recognized. Continue reading

Legitimacy and Being Korean

This post was posted in its original form at 10:37 PM, November 8, 2009 on my former blog.

Issues of legitimacy have affected for nearly as long as I can remember. Nowadays, I have a whole bunch of ways in which the legitimacy of my membership to an identity group is questioned, but when I was younger, there was really only one identity that was challenged. Still, I’ve dealt with questions of legitimacy for nearly my entire life.

I’m a person of color, as most of you know. I’m Asian — Korean, if you want to be specific. I’m also — and here’s one of the big reasons why there are legitimacy issues — I’m an adoptee. I was adopted as an infant and raised by my two wonderful (and very not Korean) parents in the heartland of the grand U.S. of A. In a lot of people’s eyes, that’s makes me not Korean. Never mind my brown skin, my birth in the Republic of Korea (that’s the official name for South Korea), my status as a naturalized citizen (which, by the way, makes me ineligible for presidential candidacy), my self-identification as Korean, or the fact that people here in the States see me as “other.” I wasn’t raised by Koreans; I don’t speak Korean: ergo, I am not “really” Korean. Continue reading