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PSA For Transgender Awareness Week: Transgender Doesn’t (Always) Equal Transitioning

Transgender Does Not Always Equal Transitioning copy

About a month ago, I wrote a write on my tumblr account in response to numerous inquiries from people right after I disclosed that I was gradually accepting a shift in my gender identity (i.e. feeling way more masculine than I do feminine) about when I would be transitioning. Na wa oh.

So here it is for those of you who didn’t get to read my Rant — Transgender Doesn’t Always Equal Transitioning:

I don’t even feel like I have to explain myself further than this. If I do, I’m talking to you, and I leave you to google, wikipedia, investigate, get some god damn perspective on class privilege.

Not everyone has the means to transition — that includes dollars, family support, community etc. And even beyond means, not every transgender person wants to medically transition.

No one’s trans* identity should be called into question simply because the path laid before them has been dominated and dictated by white trans male coddling media.

Just like not all people of color, lesbians, muslims, immigrants, women etc look the same, not all transgender people look the same.

And just so I’m clear, not every transgender person looks like Chaz Bono.

If one more person asks me ‘when’ I plan to transition, or asks me how I can affirm my gender without having transitioned, or suggests that I’m confused simply because I don’t go by ‘he’ pronouns all the time (as if femininity hasn’t always been badass enough to hold and birth masculinity in the first place), I will explode / burst into flames.

How’s that for hormonal.

I was obviously feeling quite angry and frustrated when I wrote that post. It lasted only a while, and have since then been replaced by a nagging obsession to answer the question: what would transitioning look like for me — a queer Nigerian (who still has fantasies of moving back home permanently)? I promise to attempt to address this more fully in a blog post very soon.

To be continued…

Comments

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  1. Wow! I've been fighting this same type of stuff for about a year now, and this is the first time I've come across someone else who seems to express this concept to the same extent.

    In my experience I've had non-trans folk, specifically non-trans women, not accept me as trans because trans among many of the members of my community is exclusive to trans-women (or those mistaken, by authorities as trans-women) who seek or can't afford transition and prefer she/her. Trans-men, gender variants and non-gender trans individuals who have female assignments are not considered at all. At the same time I've had other trans folks not accept me because I do not identify as a trans-man, am not and don't want to transition, don't believe that gender is fixed or innate and don't have a pronoun preference–to be honest being able to choose anything in regards to what people refer to me as is a foreign concept and to me suggests a level of privilege on its own.

    Anyways, I said all that to say thanks for posting this. I feel less alone now.

    On another note, I was wondering what you meant by “trans male coddling?” More specifically when you say “trans-male” do you mean any category or group related to the trans-community that advocates misogyny, thus trans-men who seek male privilege and to oppress women and trans-women who seek to maintain male privilege (including their own) and to oppress and redirect issues concerning non-trans women, and trans-folks who were assigned or socialized (in the case of intersex women) as girls and women. Or when you say “trans male coddling” do you just mean the recent tendency for groups to allow trans men to perpetuate sexism as most of mainstream society encourages non-trans men to do?

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