This is not a comprehensive guide to the “right” language to use when discussing trans topics, and these topics are subject to change just like any aspect of language. But to start off, let’s start with a metaphor. Let’s say you’re explaining the three states of matter that water can take: ice, water, and water vapor.Continue reading
The short answer: I can’t tell you. In a masterstroke of unhelpfulness, I have to tell you the truth: only you can decide if you’re trans. Even then, there isn’t a definitive test to find out. So instead of telling you if you’re trans, I’m going to give you a few questions to meditate on and some experiments to try out.
The traditional trans story describes a person who must transition from one binary gender to the other to escape extreme gender dysphoria. This may be true for some. But there are many ways to think about and carry out a transition, and they don’t always have to include self-loathing.
We often sort things into binaries, systems with only two categories. The categories often take the form of “this” or “not this.” For example, fiction and nonfiction. Free and priced. These labels sometimes work when there are clear-cut differences between inanimate objects. However, people are rarely so simple.
The gender binary is the idea that all people are either entirely male or entirely female. No exceptions, nothing in between. We’ll point out how that idea is flawed and how gender identity is much more colorful than black and white.
Gender is a complex concept describing how a person sees and presents themselves. This includes many different components, all of which exist on a continuum. We will touch on five of these components and some of the more common expressions of each.