I’ve gotten quite a few emails lately about people questioning their gender identity. Someone may love to wear dresses, but does that mean they are transgender? How often, and to what degree to you “need” to step outside of traditional societal gender norms to be “allowed” to be transgender?
First of all, there is no such thing as not being trans enough. There’s no qualifying exam.
Got it? Good. 🙂
It was explained to me a few years ago that the term ‘transgender’ is a big, fabulous umbrella that can cover a wide variety of gender identities and that when someone does something that is outside of stereotypical gender norms that are usually associated with the gender that is assigned as birth that it falls under being transgender.
So, a big tough construction worker that wears panties? Transgender. A 20 year coffee shop barista that paints his nails? Transgender. Someone who spends two hours on their makeup and selecting an outfit and styling their wig to hit the mall? Transgender.
Being transgender is a hard thing to explain as it can cover quite a wide spectrum. We may all be trans, but my trans-ness is likely different than yours. Sure, Laverne Cox is transgender and so am I, but there’s a world of difference between she and I.
I highly recommend watching this little video that nicely summarizes many of the terms that our community has. Thanks to Jennifer for sending this over.