CW: transphobic slurs, non-binary hate
A few people dropped comments on my channel calling me a “transtrender” and a “tranny wannabe” a couple days ago.
Can you just stop? These are really gross terms. I see them used against non-binary folks all the time, even within the trans community, and it’s really upsetting.
Let’s clear some things up:
- I don’t call myself trans, though technically I am. I refer to myself as bigender, gender fluid, or non-binary, but I don’t use trans as an identity marker. I find it weird that people just assume that I do and then attempt to “use” that against me?
- BUT non-binary people can totally use trans as an identity marker to describe themselves. If you don’t identify with the gender you were assigned at birth, then you can claim the label trans. Full stop.
- Trans folks are more visible now than before. The Internet is allowing for more conversations to happen and for more people to share their experiences, leading to more diverse representation. This doesn’t mean that trans is “trending”. Trans and non-binary folks have always existed. What you may see as a trend is really just more visibility. With more visibility, also, I believe there are more people who may realize that they’re trans and/or non-binary, leading to more folks IDing that way. I know NB visibility certainly did that for me, as the Internet has been a great resource for my gender identity process.
- Why would someone “want to be” trans but not actually be trans? I don’t understand this whole “wannabe” thing. I feel like you either are trans or you’re not, and perhaps if you want to be, that means that you already are? I feel like this designates a gatekeeping process, whereby there are “real” trans people and then folks who only just “want to be” trans but are not based on some bullshit restrictions.
- These terms position people to have to “prove” their trans-ness and reinforce ideas of being “not trans enough”. Read a good zine about this here.
- The whole “transtrender” thing is often based on the “doing it for attention” argument, which I think is bullshit because a lot of the attention you get for being trans and/or non-binary (especially online!) is extremely negative. For example, sometimes I can’t bring myself to make videos about gender stuff because I can’t deal with the hate I know I’m gonna get that week, and so I do something less “controversial”. As another example, I rarely come out as non-binary in public unless I feel safe, as people can be dismissive, disgusted, or outright angry when I tell them. I don’t “use” my identity to seek out attention, and in fact, I often try to avoid attention based on my identity, as that attention can be scary/dangerous for me.
- Hypothetically, even if someone were “just doing it for attention,” what business is it of yours? Who are they hurting? Why hurt them in return? Also, why do you think that you get to decide whether or not it is “for attention”?
- I think that sometimes, occasionally, someone will use terms like these in a botched attempt to engage in a conversation about privilege in trans and non-binary communities. I absolutely want to have these conversations, but beginning them with the terms “transtrender” and “tranny wannabe” are not the way to have them.
9. My identity is valid. Your identity is valid. No one has to prove shit to anyone, so stop trying to put people in that position.
P.S. Partly, I feel like there’s little point to writing this as the folks who call me and other enbies these things are likely not going to listen, but, on the other hand, I feel the need to say something. If you’re non-binary and/or trans and you’ve been targeted by this kind of thing, I hope that this post is at least a little helpful. You are valid, you are legitimate, and you are enough. ❤