The short answer is yes. You are trans enough. But let’s elaborate. If you don’t feel like you fit into the gender you were assigned at birth, nobody can stop you from calling yourself trans and you will be welcomed into trans spaces and communities. Yes, even if you just aren’t quite sure about this whole gender thing and maybe need some help figuring it out. For the most part, trans communities are so aware of the difficulties faced by trans people that they can get very protective of people on their own journey of discovery.
Your “transness” is a purely personal and internal thing. Yes, some trans people might transition in some way, adopt new pronouns, change their name. Remember though, that there are as many ways to be trans as there are trans people.
In our society, particularly here in the UK, being trans is desperately misunderstood by the majority of people and there is a huge amount of misinformation about what it means to be trans out there – unless you know where to look, the bad press can often outweigh the good. So it stands to reason that if you are interrogating your own gender, you might be confused and worried, feeling “not trans enough” for trans people but not cisnormative enough for society at large.
There is no single right way to be trans.
The gender binary is embedded so deeply into Western culture that it can feel suffocating. If you are processing your internal conflicts, waging war on the concepts of ‘identity’ and ‘self,’ you might feel like you have to come down on one side. The real truth is that there is no side. Gender isn’t a coin. Identity isn’t a yes or no question. We are mutable, changeable, full of the capacity for growth and change and discovery.
Unfortunately, there are some trans people who want to ‘gatekeep’ the community – these are usually (but not always) transmedicalist, people who feel that in order to be trans you have to transition from A to B. People who think that if you don’t experience gender dysphoria you can’t be trans.
Sadly, in as much as trans people are not a single monolithic entity, one does not represent all; there are mean trans people just as much as mean cis people. “Trans” isn’t something that is mutually exclusive with any other traits (aside from cis). You can be trans and love dancing. You can be trans and sporty. You can be trans and vegan. You can be a trans entrepreneur. You can be anything.
It’s worth restating that gender isn’t a coin, a simple, two sided, two option little thing. Gender is a prism through which your thoughts and feelings and experiences pass, and which filters inwards the things that happen to you and how people see you. Prisms refract light in infinite ways, an endless haze of possibilities that you never have to explain to anyone because gender is simply a facet of your internal self.
If you are a trans woman who loves to wear pink and has a thousand skirts and wears makeup, you are trans enough. If you have never told anyone about the shame and confusion you feel when you look in the mirror, you are trans enough. If you are experimenting with your pronouns, you are trans enough.
There is no one right way to be trans. You are trans enough.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels/Oriel Frankie Ashcroft
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