Mythbusters: Gender




As a nonbinary person, I've found that there has been a lot of harmful ideas regarding gender that have spread around. In this article, I will address some of them- but note: my ideas do not represent the entire trans community, and these are simply my feelings on them.

MYTH #1: SEX AND GENDER ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS

While this train of thought may help cis people begin to understand tran-sness, this ideology is actually pretty detrimental. I'm not saying that people don't have different sex organs or different amounts of certain chromosomes. The main problem is when people assign different genders to people based on a body part that is arbitrary in fundamental human individuality. Why does having a uterus or testicles determine someone's personhood? This gender propaganda infiltrates every aspect of life, from baby showers to the non-consensual operations performed on intersex people.

Overtime, this rhetoric evolves from "trans with x sex organ" to "they say they're trans, but they're really ______". Gender liberation is about destroying the idea that sex has anything to do with a person's identity. I'm not saying people can't live happily within the societally accepted ideas of gender. I propose and fight for simply living without being constrained to what you're "supposed to be". I have a uterus, but that doesn't mean I'm a woman. The uterus is simply a part of the body, as much as a knee or an elbow is. Sex is not inherently gendered.

MYTH #2: TRANSGENDER MEANS IDENTIFYING WITH THE OPPOSITE GENDER

The main problem with this is the idea of an "opposite" gender. This idea still works from the framework of gender binary- and in the process you still completely erase every trans person that doesn't identify on the gender binary.


In the gender-binarist cissexist narrative, you assert a toxic idea of gender on everyone when it doesn't even apply for some. To understand what being trans is in its essence, it essentially means: being of a gender other than the one you were assigned at birth. It's not horribly hard of a concept to grasp. If someone assumes and speaks over you, tells you who you are as an individual- there are bound to be disagreements. The same goes for gender.

MYTH #3: TRANS PEOPLE ARE LIARS


This myth has always startled me, because it's always an attack and a direct invalidation of a person's mere existence. Trans people aren't lying when they tell you their gender. Why would they? When trans people face many disparities, which can range from the extremes of homelessness to mental illness, due to a blatantly ignorant and hateful society- who would voluntarily sign up for that?

Trans people are only misconstrued as liars because people are uncomfortable looking beyond the gender binary or even considering the lifetime of conditioning and propaganda they have been fed since the day they were born. It's a lot to take in, sure- but it's not an excuse to target your confusion, hate, and anger onto a person merely living their truth. The only person who's lying here is you by perpetuating this myth. Trans people have always existed, and just because it's new to you doesn't mean it's invalid.

MYTH #4: SURGERY EQUALS VALIDITY


There are just so many shades of wrong that rub me the wrong way. It sets this precedent that trans people have to prove their trans-ness, and the only way to do that is through drastic body changes, and living some form of palatable trans-ness that cis people can accept (ie. white, binary, fit, features that live up to eurocentric beauty standards).

It's morally wrong and unnecessary. Surgery shouldn't be the condition for outside sources to accept and validate a person's gender. I'm not saying that trans people who want to undergo surgery shouldn't be allowed to, but it comes to the point where the surgeries are non-consensual and a person's gender is dictated by other people's standards that not based on how the person actually identifies; but what fucking genitalia they have. 

Not to mention SRS (Sexual Reassignment Surgery) or even hormone therapy is expensive. It's ridiculous to insist and obligate trans people to pay for surgeries and hormone treatments when the job discrimination they face leaves trans people with double the rate of employment.

See here to explore different requirements that states have in order to change the gender marker.

MYTH #5: TRANS PEOPLE DON'T EXIST


This one is just straight up wrong. Inaccurate. False. Do I have to say more? 

Trans people, especially trans people of color, exist and continue to face extreme violence. It's only been 3 months in 2016, but how have 7 trans people already been murdered? We create culture, and by perpetuating these myths and enforcing microaggressions, you really contribute to minimize the genuine oppression of trans people today.


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