I’m sick of the “don’t complain when strangers misgender you” strawman arguments that get hurled at non-binary people. They always make the assumption that misgendering can’t possibly UPSET A PERSON WHO ISN’T 100% BINARY-IDENTIFIED (or result in violence toward the non-binary person).
Those strawmen also ignore the fact that some non-binary people (I’m not sure how many) are all right with being referred to by one of the binary genders. The gender that I present to the general public is 100% male (even during the times when I feel completely genderless), and even though it is still misgendering to me, it’s a lot more comfortable for me than being misgendered as female.
I have every right to be upset when strangers misgender me. If a non-binary person yells at a stranger for that, their feelings are totally valid. They’re not “hurting the cause” because the only people who will think that of them are the shitty people who don’t think non-binary people’s feelings are valid in the first place.
And I have every reason to resent when I am in a culture that doesn’t recognize my actual gender.
Bolded mine, because the corollary of that is that there are a lot of people, myself included, who feel extremely uncomfortable being misgendered as male OR female. I present as a cis woman to pretty much everybody, but if somebody called me “he” out of the blue it would feel just as wrong as the constant barrage of “she”s I get.
Telling non-binary people not to correct someone who misgenders them or telling them there’s no reason to get upset because not as many people even understand that there are gender identities outside of the binary isn’t okay.
Do you know what I hear when someone tells me that it’s not the other person’s fault, it’s not like they know any better? What I hear is that I have no right to educate them so that they will know better. I don’t have the right to have an identity that is new to them, never mind how real it is to me.
That’s ridiculous. The validity of my existence is not negotiable based on how inconvenient you might think it is for others to have to broaden their understanding of the world.
Reblogging for very good commentary.
“They didn’t know any better, therefore you shouldn’t correct them” is thinly veiled code for “I don’t think your identity is real therefore I think you shouldn’t be allowed to tell people about it.”
And also that confusing or upsetting other people is so clearly worse. Suffering in silence is awesome! (and will totally help us)
“The Administrative Court of Appeals in Stockholm, Sweden announced today, December 19th 2012 that the requirement in the Swedish Law on Legal Gender Recognition that a person wishing to change gender marker must undergo sterilization indeed violates the Swedish Constitution (Regeringsformen 2 kap 6 §) as well as the articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights.”
I’ve heard a few horror stories that make me concerned, is the site still friendly to diverse trans women?
If not, what other resources would you recommend?
I can think of a dozen FTM resources, but I know far fewer MTF resources.
Testosterone: Our Rocky Relationship. (or how I finally decided to get back on T)The Break Up
Back in early June, I was giving up on T for good– or at least, “indefinitely” – because it wasn’t working out. The day-to-day mental torture was unnecessary; it was ultimately not worth it. And if I was ever going back on T, it had to be on…
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i won’t simply state that i started to transition a year and a half ago. i refuse to link transition and hormones. And for me, that link is just not reality.
For me, there wasn’t a definitive start. i want to tell her my transition started at birth. i want to tell her that her definitions are fucked. But i’ve tried to have that conversation before and i’m fairly sure she can’t (or won’t) hear me."
A very interesting list discussing the privileges FAAB/ftm-spectrum/transmasculine folks have in contrast to those who are MAAB/mtf-spectrum/transfeminine. There is also a good link at the bottom of the article linking to another discussion of this topic. I can imagine some really interesting discussions surrounding this from many different perspectives. Privilege is kinda like being in a fish bowl. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you’re in one, but if you’re in it, you’re in it. May not be the same experience for you as it is for someone else, and it may be a bigger or smaller bowl, but you are in it. Gotta acknowledge it and think about it, otherwise we are living outside reality.
And I’ve now been introduced to the terms DFAB and DMAB (designated female/male at birth). I’m curious if there is a specific difference between saying designated and assigned (such as in FAAB/MAAB female/male assigned at birth).
200g of unwanted “passing” advice
150g of “wow I didn’t know you were trans! You don’t look it”
100g of misgendering for the first 6 months of coming out
50g of self-congratulating “I’m a good person for accepting your gender identity”
25g of cis-feelings
10g of cis-tears
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark “you will burn in the flames of hell” and grease a pan with butter.
Mix the misgendering with the unwanted passing advice until you are sick of society’s expectations of how you should present as a trans* person then stir in the self-congratulation until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Add in the “I didn’t know you were trans*” and beat for 5 minutes, or until properly mixed. Then add in the cis-feelings, and the cis-tears to taste.
Cook for half an hour.
Throw at stupid cis people.
and a teaspoon of “what about the allies?”
zest with surgery questions if it’s to be served cold
with comments about how the cis person is fine with gay people if served hot
Monica Roberts, Transgriot.
For LGBTQ organizations that don’t routinely throw people of color and trans* people under the bus (and who need and deserve more help than they’re getting given that the vast majority of anti-LGBTQ violence is committed against trans* women of color), check out the Audre Lorde Project, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, FIERCE, and Queers for Economic Justice.
Good, and informative article/post.