Stop Saying “Transtrender”

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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”?
  8. 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.

And finally,

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. ❤



New Profile Pic
[Sage, a white non-binary person with short red hair, tilts their head to the left and giving a small smile, wearing a black-and-yellow flower-patterned shirt, with their hair parted to the left and a paint splattered background].
Hello, I’m Sage, and I would like to welcome you to my new website!

I decided to create a domain using my internet handle rather than my full name for, like, job applications and other adult life stuff. I also wanted to start a fresh blog that is more incorporated in with my YouTube channel and all the other fun things I do online.

I have two goals for this site. The first is for it to be a place that connects the dots of all of the things I do around the internet. The second is to put out weekly blog posts on a range of different topics, from LGBT+ issues to book recommendations to personal updates. In a way, these blog posts will be the written correspondents to my videos. For example, I may write about my love of amateur photography on Monday and then make a video on Thursday about how awesome it is to be able to share that love with like-minded folks online.

So, if you prefer reading to watching videos, then this is the place for you. Or maybe you just want to know more about the Sage-things, and that’s cool too!

Speaking of the Sage-things, who the heck am I? And what do I do?

I’m a writer and a YouTuber. I make reflective videos over here about being a young person, school, feminism, identity, jobs, art, traveling and everything else that affects my life. In terms of writing, I’m currently working on a book as well as various smaller pieces here and there. I tend to write poetry, memoir, and short stories.

I’m non-binary and use they/them pronouns. I’m queer/bi/pansexual. I’m white, able-bodied, and deal with various mental health issues. I’m on the cusp of graduating with my undergrad from the University of Toronto. Bet you’ll never guess what I studied there (hint: it’s quite obvious).

I love being outside and in the nature. YA audiobooks are totally my jam and I am not ashamed to admit that I still read fanfiction. I prefer TV over movies. I hate cooking but don’t mind cleaning. I’m addicted to coffee but still don’t know how to make the perfect cup.

I make videos here. I tumbl here. You’ll find photos of nature and some quotes here. Frequent posts and updates reside over here. I write articles here sometimes. My adventures with books happen over here.  And I even utilize archaic technology here.

I’ll be adding some of my old pieces from my previous site to a separate page so they will not be gone from the web forever when I take that site down.

I want to make my internet presence as accessible as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about this site, please fill out my contact form or send a DM to @herbdinoohno on Twitter.

That’s all for now! Expect another post next Monday.