On Being Trans

And what it really means.

Am I Trans- (1)

I came out as nonbinary early in 2015. And since then I get asked a lot about being nonbinary, what it means, and how to classify my gender. There’s one question I get so regularly, I have a generic answer I copy and paste to people because constantly typing it out would wear my fingers to the bone.

“So are you trans?”

In short, yes, I am. But before you begin addressing me with he/him pronouns, calling me a guy, or thinking that because I answered yes, I belong in the men’s changing room and bathroom, hear me out.

Transgender is defined as “noting or relating to a person whose gender identity doesnot correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth” by Dictionary.com

Let’s keep that definition in mind as we explore just what that means, or at least what it means to me.

Trans is a community just as much as it is an identity. It is used as an umbrella term for the entire community of people whose gender differs from their assigned sex at birth. Therefore, yes I am a part of the trans community, and I do use the term trans to define myself at times, sometimes because it is easier than telling people I am nonbinary and having to go into just what that means.

Because transgender can be used as an umbrella term, the definition isn’t always as descriptive as others may be. Which is why I also choose to use other terms to define myself at times. Terms such as genderqueer or nonbinary, despite them also being umbrella terms, they happen to fit under transgender and are a little bit more descriptive.

Note* Before going any further, I want to talk about nonbinary and genderqueer being used together. Genderqueer is by definition is someone whose gender identity or gender expression doesn’t fit into the gender norms of their biological sex. Nonbinary, however, is defined as a gender identity that isn’t exclusively male or female. Therefore, they are not the same thing. That being said, often times people who are genderqueer are also nonbinary. But, not all nonbinary people are genderqueer.

Now if that made any sense, let’s get back into the whole “Am I Trans” thing.

I am trans, but not in the sense that I am an AFAB (assigned female at birth) to male. I’m more androgynous. I’m not female, and I reject any notion that I am. But, I am also not male. That doesn’t make me any less trans though.

There are people who identify as transgender and mean that they are the opposite gender from what they were assigned at birth. And they may or may not use other terms to describe themselves as well. It is their choice of what they use to describe themselves and their identity.

So next time someone tells you that they are trans, don’t be so quick to assume that they are male to female or female to male. There is a whole spectrum inside of the trans community who are just as valid and important.

Being transgender isn’t about being a certain gender, but more about not identifying as the gender you are assigned at birth.

First seen on Courtney’s Voice, edited for Living Queer.

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