Being a Transgirl in a Cisnormative World

Okay so now here comes Delilah’s rant on gender in society and how it’s not even remotely okay how people understand and perceive gender roles and expectations.

First, let’s lay some groundwork

As I’m sure many queer people are aware of, the transgender community is a highly neglected and misrepresented group of people in society as a whole, but this is also applicable within the queer community itself.

I was born male, and only until the past few years have I accepted that I identify as female and I no longer want to be perceived as a male. There’s a myriad of issues that have come into my life because of this part of my identity, but we don’t need to get into to heavy detail, at least not now. I promise you I’ll be talking a lot about gender and trans* experiences in my posts.

So let’s get one thing straight.

Sexuality does not equal gender, and vice versa. More importantly, they are both spectrums, not binaries.

These are some important distinctions to make. I’m not going to go into sexuality in this post, because that’s too much to talk about at once. I just wanted to make the distinction between that and gender.

So, yeah, the gender spectrum. I kinda forgot to mention something else.

Gender identity and biological sex are not the same thing.

Your gender identity is whatever part of the gender spectrum you fall on, whether that’s masculine, feminine, androgynous, what have you. I myself don’t even fall 100% on the feminine side, I’m like 70-80% there I’d say. And that’s okay!

Your biological sex is what’s going on your pants. It’s no one’s right but yours to know what’s going on down there, at least until you get your sexy time on with a partner, and even then, it shouldn’t be anyone’s right to judge for what you were born with. I mean, you can’t even control that!

So now let’s talk about how being trans* affects all this stuff

Okay, so now that we’ve made some distinctions about what gender entails, I’m going to jump into my experience as a transgirl.

I actually haven’t met anyone else who identifies the same way I do. Which makes me very, very, very lonely. Very lonely. As I mentioned before, transgender people are ostracized even within the queer community. I’m not going to lie, going to QueerWes meetings and what not always bring a little anxiety with it because I feel awkward talking so much about trans* issues when it doesn’t apply to like 80-90% of people in the room, and it definitely doesn’t apply to anyone in the way it applies to me… (Although, I suppose that’s an inherent truth about any given person).

I don’t really know how to talk about my issues. I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy (i.e., taking testosterone blockers and straight up estrogen) for nearly two months now and yet for some reason I’m still terrified to go out and present female in public. Why is that? Perhaps we can blame cisnormativity and the fact that society ostracizes and even harms people who don’t conform to gender roles. Perhaps I’m scared that I won’t be “enough of a girl,” whatever that means. As in, maybe I feel that in order for people to accept me, I need to actually enforce female stereotypes in regards to my personality, choice of clothing, etc., in order for people to accept me.

Why should I care so much about what other people think of me?

I don’t know. I really, really don’t want to. But I do. And that’s because I’m terrified of alienating the people I love and becoming alone, and no one wants that to happen to them.

Being transgender, especially male-to-female, which brings in so many issues regarding society’s messed up views on masculinity, in a cisnormative world means a lot of things.

  • I don’t have the comfort of using the bathroom without feeling safe.
  • I don’t have the opportunity of securing a job without the risk of being fired for my gender identity.
  • I don’t have the luxury of not having to explain to my romantic and/or sexual partner that I have male parts.
  • Hell, once I finally start presenting female, I won’t even have the ability to just go to lunch without feeling scared that I’ll get ostracized.

Okay, well that’s enough for now

That’s just barely scratching the surface. Okay, this post has gone on way too long already, and there will be much more, trust me, on all the crazy feelings I have and lots more gender-related things and what not. Look forward to them. Sorry if I came off as a whiny, crazy, radical queer. I really don’t like to get angry about my life situation, in fact I like it’s given me opportunity to be an open-minded, loving person.

Come say hi to me in real life, I’m actually a fairly bubbly, friendly, warm, and loving person. At least I hope I am! Thanks for reading this rant of mine and I hope it’s offered some food for thought.

– Delilah Luna Seligman

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