If you’ve visited my website you may have noticed that I am a transgender man who doesn’t believe in gender. How can I say that I am a transgender man and at the same time have the opinion that gender isn’t a real thing? Hmmm, 🤔 that’s an excellent question and perhaps by the end of this post, I will have clarification not only for you but for myself.
You see the thing is, I have this knowing and it is strong and undeniable. I am a man. But what does that even mean? I think for me it means that I know without a shadow of a doubt that I should have been born with a penis. I wasn’t though, which is why I am transgender. Because I was born without a penis, the doctors took a look at me and said “it’s a girl”. Imagine making such a ridiculous mistake. Of course, it wasn’t ridiculous on the part of the doctor because our society says no penis=girl and penis=boy.
We all have a basic understanding that people are born anatomically different and I think we all pretty much agree on this. Of course, this doesn’t even take into account those who are born intersex. The thing is, I don’t believe that our body parts should determine how we are labelled. And possibly even more important, I don’t believe that how we are assigned at birth should determine how we are raised and the expectations, stereotypes and roles that are placed upon us.
The following is a great article explaining the differences between sex, gender and gender identity.
So much pressure to adhere to the gender binary
I’ve witnessed many examples within the trans community who don’t agree with me. They believe that in order to be “trans enough”, one has to adhere to the gender binary and everything that goes along with that. If you’re a man like you say you are then you need to prove it. See this is one of the biggest issues that I have with gender, all the expectations that people feel they can put on me because I’m a man. I’ve been told that I can’t talk about the fact that I’ve birthed 5 babies or people won’t think I’m a man. I’m supposed to stand a certain way, speak with less inflection, don’t giggle or smile too big. Keep my hair cut short, don’t ever be seen without a binder, etc. etc. etc. Some days I do try hard to be man enough because I want to fit in but 90% of the time I just want to be allowed the freedom to be me.
Does rejecting gender deny trans people the right to express who they truly are?
People have asked if rejecting gender denies trans people the right to express who they truly are, my short answer, no it doesn’t.
The long answer
I think that abolishing gender does the exact opposite. In my opinion, it allows transgender people even more freedom to just be themselves. If a trans woman wants to present uber feminine, of course, she can, but what if for instance, she was a butch lesbian, would that be acceptable? As a trans guy, what if I never wanted to cut my hair short or choose to wear pink? Most trans people feel compelled to be as closely aligned to the gender binary in order to be accepted and often out of concern for our safety. If our society wasn’t so wrapped up in gender and all the stereotypes that go along with it, I believe trans folks would have so much more freedom to be themselves.
Let’s imagine for a minute
Let’s imagine a world without gender. A place where kids can grow up with the same rights, responsibilities and expectations devoid of gender. A society where everyone whether seen as a man or woman had the freedom to just walk through life in any way they wished without having to consider the benefits or consequences of how they should present, show up, exist. A world without gender sounds pretty ideal if you ask me.