I’m writing a paper about wellbeing in transgender adults. This has me reading lots and lots of articles. These articles include phrases like “chosen gender” and “desired gender,” lots and lots of times.
We do not choose to be trans–we simply are. We do not desire to be men, women, or nonbinary people–we simply are. What we choose is to share our identities with others and to take steps to alleviate dysphoria. What we desire is access to gender-affirming treatment, social and legal recognition of our genders, and a life free from violence and bigotry.
I ask our allies to join me in using accurate, respectful language to describe transgender people. The little things matter. Next time you’re tempted to say something like “chosen gender,” try one of these words instead:
Transgender people suffer when not recognized as members of their genuine gender.
Transition allows transgender people to begin expressing an authentic gender.
Transgender people benefit from treatment that helps them present as the correct gender.
Readers, what would you say instead of “chosen” or “desired” gender?