I’ve gotten some questions about the term “transtrender,” so I’m going to do a short Q&A:
What does transtrender mean?
It’s an insult used by trans people policing other transgender people’s identities.
Transtrender comes from an ideology that pits trans people against each other.
People who use this word try to justify their identity by putting other people down. Don’t do this!
Not all transgender people have gender dysphoria. Some do.
Not all transgender people identify strongly with the gender binary (like “trans woman, trans man.) Some do.
Some transgender (meaning “not cisgender”) people identify as agender, genderqueer, non-binary, genderfluid, and a ton of identities outside of the binary.
Shouldn’t we weed out the fake trans people?
It’s none of your business how people identify. How can you know how other people feel?
Let’s take the worst case scenario: Even if people think they’re transgender and later realize they are not, why do you care?
But doesn’t having people pretend to be trans lessen the cause in the eyes of cis people?
Let’s talk about “respectability politics.”
It’s very common for people in marginalized communities to figure out how to have the dominant communities take them seriously. If only I met DSM criteria for dysphoria! If only I complained less and dressed better.
Respectability politics is a lie. It’s a tool used to blame people for their own victimization.
We don’t have to believe it and turn against each other!
Trying to appease the dominant culture is a losing battle. Making yourself smaller to please others isn’t the way forward.
Wait, I shouldn’t spend all my time appealing to cisgender people? But isn’t that how transgender rights moved forward?
Since the beginning, transgender rights have been slowed down by gay and lesbian allies policing their appearance and behavior.
Here is how renowned activist and transgender woman Sylvia Rivera described her experiences:
…you had to be what they called themselves the “normal homosexuals.” They wore suits and ties. One of the first demonstrations that they had, lesbians who’d never even worn dresses were wearing dresses and high heels to show the world that they were normal.
…on the fourth anniversary of the Stonewall movement, of the Stonewall riot, the transgender community was silenced because of a radical lesbian named Jean O’Leary, who felt that the transgender community was offensive to women because we liked to wear makeup and we liked to wear miniskirts…
…Anyway, Jean O’Leary started the big commotion at this rally [Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1973]. It was the year that Bette Midler performed for us.I was supposed to be a featured speaker that day. But being that the women felt that we were offensive, the drag queens Tiffany and Billy were not allowed to perform. I had to fight my way up on that stage and literally, people that I called my comrades in the movement, literally beat the shit out of me. That’s where it all began, to really silence us. They beat me, I kicked their asses.
Am I a transtrender?
No. Transtrender is just an insult. It’s not real.
Who uses the word transtrender?
Wait, transgender people can be bullies?
Yes. Anyone who judges and makes fun of others has the capability to be a bully.
Please tell me your gender identity so I can judge and make fun of you.
What? No. Go away.
I’m going to hang out with this really great cat who never judges me.
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