oh boy, you have just asked me the most complicated question in the world. i have, at times, identified as trans*, but that was a while back when i thought i was dead set on physical transition at some point. i don’t actively identify as trans, partly because i don’t identify as much of anything anymore because as i said in the last ask, i have not had the time or energy to give to identity or gender introspection. but i want to be really clear: i think it’s really complex and sometimes inappropriate for people who are afab genderqueer/genderfluid to identify as trans as a political identity, and that has always been part of my reasoning in staying away from the identity. for example, i wouldn’t feel comfortable in trans-only spaces (a bit like how i don’t feel comfortable in gendered spaces, or spaces where my identity has to be considered solid and static in some way) because my narrative of gender is so vastly different than a trans narrative, and also because i think that certain narratives of transition are already in constant threat of invalidation and appropriation by certain types of trans* identities (my on and off use of the asterisk is not by mistake, by the way) and i don’t want to contribute to that in any way, especially in safe spaces. while i do bind, physically augment my body to appear more masculine/male, and do not (always) identify as a woman, i don’t see myself as a transman. except sometimes? i don’t know, lord, this is hard.
i don’t explain to people that i’m fluid except on this tumblr, to be honest. i don’t find myself in positions where i have to explain my identity very often because, as i said, it is how they perceive me, and whatever they’ve perceived me as is what sticks. someone people know me as a butch girl, some people know me as a genderqueer person with gender neutral pronouns, some people think i am a boy and that kade is a male name from america. they’re all correct as far as i’m concerned. thus i don’t correct them and i roll with whatever our relationship has established as my identity.
it’s probably worth knowing that i do think about going through physical transition with hormones a lot, but i’m not sure how that would affect my identity. i am someone who wishes to be perceived as a boy but does not want to identify as male. i would like to make that more physically obvious, but at the same time i am really hesitant about permanent changes of any kind. i’m sorry this is a long hot mess but yep, i’m weird and on the fence about all this
The thing is, representation matters, and one of the worst things that this kind of narrative does is that it expects an LGBTQ audience to be satisfied with the bare minimum. When this bare minimum is not met with automatic praise and thanks, the audience is punished in any number of ways, from a producer’s social media snarkery to claims by the mainstream media that the darned homosexuals just aren’t grateful enough. Even the smallest amount of negative reaction is cited as reason enough to not bother with such a storyline in the future.
It’s sort of like showing up to Thanksgiving having said you’d bring green bean casserole, except you brought a single green bean on a paper plate. Even though this will obviously not feed any of the other guests and barely counts as a green bean casserole, you sneer at those who are protesting, telling them that they never specified what a green bean casserole is and besides that, they’re being whiny babies. You wave the single limp green bean in the air and tell them that it’s obvious they’ll never be happy, that they’re complaining for the sake of complaining and it’s no wonder they don’t get to eat quality green bean casserole, because nobody wants to share green bean casserole with such an aggressive and unfriendly group. In other words, making a character gay only to immediately write them out of the show makes me feel like shoving a green bean up someone’s nose."
— excerpt from the piece i’m writing for autostraddle on why i’ve stopped recapping once upon a time, because they pulled some bullshit
fellow butch and masculine people -
if you believe in “femme privilege” then i literally want you out of my space/life, please and thank you
been thinking a lot about how “uninvolved” i am in queer activism community and how much i’ve pulled away what little i had invested in the scene, particularly bc of the folks that started to dominate spaces. i find it…complicated…when cis women in radikewl circles identify as queer but then say they are only sexually attracted to (cis) men, but label their lack of sexual attraction to women/nonbinary folks as “internalized homophobia”. like, it’s 100% okay to only experience attraction in a way that would be considered cistypical heterosexuality. you are 100% fine and okay and wonderful even if you are straight, even if you run in a radikewl social scene and maybe it makes you feel like you have less chips in awareness poker. sure, it’s totally valid that homophobia is one facet of socialization that does have an effect on what we are taught to perceive as attractive/not attractive, but i feel like calling a complete lack of attraction to a gender “internalized homophobia” is warping the way that term represents a very violent situation for queer people. it’s just an uncomfortable situation all around y’all. especially when i see these same women feel very comfortable being vocal in queer spaces, probably because they are cis straight-passing women, and thus taking up a lot of space and making a lot of noise that keeps a lot of other folks in the corner. it’s…complicated.
i don’t know. i feel like i’ve retreated so much from queer activism in the last year because for me, i always operate from the extremely personal, and queer activist spaces have become so much less personal and so much more “big concept”, with very particular voices of a very particular social nook dominating the majority of conversation. it’s probably telling that i don’t really miss these spaces at all. idk. i’m having thoughts y’all