Forever Femme.

As a trans person, there are certain expectations that people place on me that I am expected to fulfill. Making legal and medical steps to change things about myself definitely tops the list. Without those steps, people often forget about my gender identity. Getting people to consistently use my pronouns is a task and a half, and I really feel that if I looked differently or made changes in my life, people would remember that I am not who they perceive me to be. 

I feel boxed in my expectations of what I “should” be doing as a trans person to get validation of my gender. At the same time, I feel boxed in by my lack of desire to legally or medically transition. I don’t have the desire to make any medical changed to my body at this time. Even though I am one hundred percent okay with that, I find myself frustrated with the thought that my lack of transition locks me into forever being a “female”.

This makes me circle back to thoughts about not being trans enough (a stupid idea that is only brought on by the unnecessary categorization of people). How valid is my identity if there is nothing I want to do that validates my identity? How valid is my identify if other people can’t see pieces of my identity? We live in a world where gender presentation equals gender identity and that’s not the case.  I shouldn’t need external anything to validate who I say I am, and yet, I can’t seem to get very far without that. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then its a duck, right? Except that I look like a “woman”, dress like a “woman”, have a vocal pitch that sounds like other women… and yet- I’m not. 

The norms for gender that have been established, and that most of us buy into, are the things that constrict me into a place of identity suppression and submission. The norms are in place to force conformity and its working! I’m not different enough to be excused from the norms so instead I am trapped by them. Safe from humiliation and ridicule of being different but internally tortured by the system that claims to be protecting me. 

How many other people are suffering as I am? I may never know. Finding the conforming nonconformists is like finding hay in a hay stack- we all may look the same, just a bunch of femmes trying to live our best life, when really our diversity is buried, hidden from others because they refuse to look past who we should be and see who we are. 

One thought on “Forever Femme.

  1. Hi there,

    I wanted to drop you a line. What I would say, then, is another question!…but I understand the place of conforming, on a level coincidentally, and on another level also coerced. I don’t think we’re really alone in this, though. I think that most of us, at least among females, actually go through this.

    Specific to femmes…there’s a difference between being someone you’re forced to be; and coming back to an identity which others either told you that you couldn’t do right, or that you could not escape because of your sex. In my view, really each person should determine who they want to be in this world, regardless of the approval or disdain of others.

    What I’ve gone through is…complicated. I’m not sure I ever really wrote down my journey (I’d have to look through my archives)…it’s hard to describe the place I’m at, now. To people who don’t know anything about gender minorities, I’m fairly certain I come off most of the time as a woman. I don’t see myself as a woman (I feel alienated in womens’ groups), but then, I’ve spent the better part of 20 years trying to figure out who I am.

    In binary terms (though I don’t identify as male anymore), I find inspiration in people who are male and have enough guts to be feminine. However, I don’t wish to transition to male so that I can be feminine and be recognized as someone who is feminine and also denied the right to be so without harassment. That just isn’t in my best interest. It’s easier to stay female, especially when I’m dealing with multiple health issues which might be exacerbated upon transition, and because as a guy, I’m a soft and obviously non-cis guy.

    I’m lucky that I don’t have severe body dysphoria, though I think that enby identity is basically on the cutting edge of gender positionality right now. I also think that people who choose to be traditionally visible often have a kind of fear of people who are invisible or erased, like we’re not serious or that we’re faking.

    In my case…I’m still not sure whether to name my particular aesthetic as “feminine” or not (does it help???), though as others would look at it…I can get ultrafeminine. Not in a gauche way, but in a delicate, intricate way (which doesn’t show the fact that I sometimes have trouble dealing with my own aggression). I don’t know if I can count the times I’ve frightened people (including multiple boys) I’ve had crushes on, from not being tactful enough, or not knowing how to play the “ask me out please” game or what else, I don’t know…


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