I, like many transmen and trans*masculine people before me, have been experiencing recently a disconnect politically.
If you need a cold hard term to use, I identify as a third-wave feminist. I support rights for every person, regardless of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual variations. For a long time, before I began to explore the genders outside of the binary, I have had almost aggressive internal movements towards equality. A huge part of the reason I began to reject my female status is because I feel like being female is not respected in this world.
But then, I feel like a traitor. Because my gender is so often not female, and because there are so many many women who do great things. I feel like I’m abandoning them. I cannot say that I’m an example the first woman in space, or one of the best female writers of our time. I’m not a woman.
But I still feel like I’m running away. I feel like, by becoming a man or a genderqueer trans*masculine person, I’m affirming the misogynistic views of our society- that only a man can be successful outside of having a family, that a man can do great things and be a great person.
The best expression of this, I think, comes from a book I read on gender a few weeks ago, “Nina Here Nor There” by Nick Krieger (which is also the inspiration for my blog title). The author’s friend Jess, when discussing why he wore a binder even around the house, and packed even though it was itchy and somewhat uncomfortable, said something that really stuck with me.
He said “Physically, I’m male, but politically, I’m a woman.”
Yes. I think I’ll say the same. Politically, I’m a woman. I can never abandon that, and I will never try to hide from anyone that I was born a woman.
But physically, mentally, emotionally? I’m not a woman. I’m not a man either, but that’s closer to how I feel most of the time, and I will keep both, and hold them close to my heart.