One of the most challenging parts of coming out as transgender is the resistance people have to changing the pronouns they use. Sure, some slip-ups are understandable at first. But when people actively refuse to use your pronouns, then that’s a whole other story. Here are ten things that this refusal actually signifies to the trans person.
Asexuality is defined as not experiencing sexual attraction. Seems straightforward, right? But like most things, asexuality isn’t as simple as it appears. Within asexuality there are many different spectra to consider: from gender and sexual attraction to sexual drive and desire. There is a lot of nuance to this identity. Check out this video for a helpful introduction!
There are a lot of misconceptions about genital reconstruction. “It’s just cosmetic.” “You need therapy, not surgery.” “It’s not like it’s life or death.” And that’s just for general reconstruction conversations! There are even more specific myths about individual kinds of surgery — ie: trans men. Here are eight non-truths about trans men’s genital reconstruction!
Professionalism is a funny term. It masquerades as neutral, despite being loaded with immense oppression. For years, professionalism has been my enemy because it requires that my gender identity is constantly and unrepentantly erased. But I finally realized something: As transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people, we deserve better.
Misinformation is the enemy of progressive change and social improvement. And unfortunately, there is a LOT of misinformation about gender confirmation surgery. “They need therapy, not surgery!” “I don’t want to pay for that.” “It’s not like it’s life or death.” These ideas aren’t helping anyone. In fact, they’re harmful to many. So let’s clear up a few misconceptions.
Recently, a beautiful and moving video about a transgender child in California named Ryland Whittington went viral. Sadly, like every other conversation about transgender children, the comments section was often unkind. Scanning the comments, I saw the same poorly thought-out ideas keep popping up. I think it’s time to put these misconceptions to bed.
In the fall of 2013, Sasha Fleischman was set on fire on a public bus because they wore a skirt with a men’s shirt. San Francisco Magazine asked photographer Chloe Aftel to shoot a portrait of individuals who refuse to define themselves as strictly male or female. Aftel explains, “The collection is an exploration of what this movement looks like and what it means.”
I never really used to give much thought to the idea that society needs positive cultural images of minorities until I came to embrace my Hispanic heritage and come out of the closet. When I finally did, it raised the question: Where the hell are the transgender Latinas? Is it true that there really aren’t very many Latina/Hispanic trans women in this country?
Trans folks are people, just like cis folks are. But the way some cis people talk to trans people implies otherwise. Disrespectful questions, trivialization of trans issues, conflation of gender identity and sexual preference all add up to the dehumanization of trans folks. Check out this video compilation of some of the most common transphobic microaggressions!
A lot of people don’t understand what it means to have a non-binary gender identity. That’s understandable. After all, society does a great job enforcing a gender binary. But just because you don’t understand non-binary identities doesn’t mean you get to dehumanize or invade the privacy of non-binary folks! Check out this video for a crash course in what not to say to gender non-conforming people.