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.
This cisnormative society expects us to hate our bodies, especially our genitals, body hair, and chest. We are told that facial hair, thick body hair, penises and testicles are male, which would lead non-male people with them to hate those parts of them.
Similarly, those who don’t identify as female are shamed for having a vulva, hips, or breasts. Even for cis people there is an unspoken rule that having “male” characteristics is a form of failure for female-identifying people and vice versa.
None of this is true. If you’re a female, then your genitals are female with you, no matter what they are. The same is true if you’re male, nonbinary, agender, or any other gender. And if you happen to have something that’s usually regarded as part of a different gender, think of it as a bonus feature instead of a lacking one.
One way to do this is by giving your features new names. Many trans women rename their penises things like a girl-dick, girl cock, wand, clit, or—my personal favorite—strapless. Hey, people of all sexualities pay good money for strap-ons, so why not use the strapless one that came for free?
I’ve heard trans men, especially those with a clitoris enlarged by testosterone, call their parts dick, cock, or penis along with their cunt, pussy, vagina, or bonus hole. There are many creative names out there, and trans erotica is a great place to get inspiration.
Trans bodies are in high demand. Ask any trans sex worker. We aren’t freaks; we are treasures. A rare, sexy, and hot date anyone would be lucky to get their hands on.
Of course, we are more than sexual objects. We’re layered human beings, and our value isn’t dependent on how others view us. But to those who see themselves as undesirable, remember that between your personality and your body, you are someone’s wildest fantasy.
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.
- Not explain yourself
- Put yourself first
- Pass if you want to
- Not Pass if you don’t want to
- Like things that are stereotypically your assigned gender
- Like things that correspond to your gender identity
- Hate things your identity is supposed to like
- Feel sexy as hell
- Love yourself
- Accept others’ love
- Feel like you deserve that love
- Treat yo self and have a fun day
- Use whatever voice you want
- Be fluid with gender
- Be frustrated and impatient with the present
- Feel stressed out and overwhelmed
- Hope for the future
- Feel scared
- Ask for help
- See a therapist
- Be proud of yourself
- Take a break and relax
- Not know what the hell you’re doing
- Explore yourself (physically and emotionally)
- Make mistakes, lots and lots of them
- Play dress-up anytime, anywhere
- Say goodbye to those that hurt you
- Forget the bastards from the past
- Miss people you left behind
- Be queer and stand out
- Go stealth and blend in
- Tell someone to apologize
- Expect the correct pronouns
- Try on a new label every day
- Have a messy, wordless gender
- Control your own pace and transition
- Cry, scream, or punch a pillow in the face
- Take up as much space as you damn well please
- Strut your stuff like a badass motherf*cker
- Fake confidence until you find your own
- Spend time with people like you
- Take a walk by yourself
- Smile at the mirror
- Stand up for yourself
- Feel what you need to feel
- Change the world forever
- Resist by just existing
- Take one step at a time
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.