I think identifying as anything beyond cisgender will probably create a very complicated life.
Perhaps complicated isn’t the most accurate word, but multi-faceted is the more accurate term. For example, yes, I am transgender, but being trans isn’t the same level of trans-ness as say, Laverne Cox. Some of us feel that hormones, surgery, and legal changes are what feels right. For others, underdressing is all we want.
Identifying as transgender means different things to different people and we are all valid.
On one hand it’s wonderful that there is a term that we can identify as (if you want to identify as anything). On the other hand, this can also complicate things. When I look at my followers on Twitter, I see people who are, from what I can tell, completely cisgender. I see girls like me, I see drag queens, I see activists, I see those who have transitioned, I see fetishists, I see those who are very much in the closet, and many others.
My website allows me to see the terms that people google to find me. In the last 24 hours my website has been discovered using a wide variety of terms such as:
-crossdressing mtf how to tell your family
-how to get into crossdressing
-male to female makeover services
I write a lot about coming out and things to keep in mind when if and when we have these conversations. I write about marriage, though not about being a feminized husband (that crosses into the fetish category, though I am not kink-shaming anyone). I write about different resources, including makeover services.
Although these terms are not necessarily what I write about (and there are some very specific fetishy ones that I did not include here), it’s not too surprising to see them. Those like us will look for help and support. Those like us look for makeup artists who know how to color-correct and contour a face like ours. I have seen the search term for “trans girls with purse fetish”, so um, here you go:
We all are who we are or what we wear for different reasons. It could be because wearing a dress just aligns better with our gender identity. It could be because wearing a nightie is just more comfortable when we sleep. Same with panties or leggings. We might wear what we wear because we like the fact that they are “girl clothes”. We might wear what we wear because, well, we get a sexual thrill from it.
You do you, girl.
Coming out or identifying as trans often puts a lot of caveats on our gender identity. It’s important to be understood, but this part of us is hard to explain,and it’s hard for someone else to understand. It’s even hard for us to understand it.
Perhaps it is easier to explain what we are not. I am not a sissy, I am not a drag queen, I am not a fetish. Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course. I was not assigned the wrong gender at birth, I am not a woman trapped in a man’s body. I am not unhappy in my male life.
Of course, we are under no obligation to be understood but the world, our families, almost require us to explain who we are and who we’re not. These conversations will likely happen. The are often intrusive, they will often cross boundaries of what is polite and can often be too nosy or personal. But they will probably happen and we should be prepared for them.
Who are you?
Who are you not?
4 thoughts on “I am Not”
Thank you Hannah for this discussion; yes I am trans, but I do enjoy certain aspects of my male life. I am not disappointed that I am male, but if I had one wish, I would want to be a woman. I love women’s fashion and shopping for clothes is fun and exciting. Satin and lace feels so adorable on my skin; heels are wonderful and fun to wear especially with shiny hose. Just a few thoughts from a male who would not be disappointed to wake up a woman.
I can say with absolute certainty that what you are, Hannah, is an inspiration.
Personally, i wrestle with who/what I am on a near daily basis, but your insight has helped me to move forward rather than back even in these trying times. Even more so when dealing with the sadly large contingent of family and acquaintances that are openly bigots.
Keep doing what you’re doing Hannah. The world needs more girls like you.
We had a speaker at our TG group dinner meeting and she said “when you’ve met one trans person, you’ve met one trans person”, meaning we all are unique and you cannot judge based on one person.
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Thank you so much for sharing such insightful words. I, like you, am not unhappy being a man. I also enjoy dressing to look fem…in my eyes. Since I dress for the sexual thrill, I guess I get categorized as a fetishist (hard word to even say!), but hopefully not a creep.
I’ve been married over 40 years, and I can’t tell you how much I wish I could share Haley with my wife. Probably not the best idea, but at this point I have to admit I consider it daily! Thanks for all you do to help us understand that it’s OK.