You Are Trans Enough

If a dandelion makes its home in a crack in the sidewalk, who can tell its leaves not to stretch toward the sunlight? All beings possess a will to thrive and the intuitive wisdom to seek what they require. You are also turning towards the sun. But you have something the dandelion does not: shame.

As gender diverse people, we get a lot of shit from all sides. Some people love to judge us. They love to put us outside the bounds of what is real, permissible, legitimate, even possible. I suppose it serves to make themselves superior, briefly, in the distorted mirror of their own minds. Whether the naysayers are radical feminists, religious fundamentalists, or our own parents, the message is the same. Don’t be the way you are.

That’s not option, for us or for anyone. We are that we are. We have two choices: we can be in agony, resisting our own life-impulse, or we can be whole.

The incessant demand that we not exist is the root of a lot of our misery. It takes so many forms. There is the demand, on the one hand, that we conform to the countless dictates of our assigned gender. And on the other hand, the demand that all gender diverse people be “true transsexuals,” which is just an idea made up by a bunch of ignorant old white guys. We get crushed between these absurd requirements.

This dilemma is impossible. We’re trans: we will never fit our assigned gender. We’re human beings: we will never match up to a description in a textbook. If we need to transition to live well, we don’t deserve to live; if we do our best to live our own truth, we don’t deserve to transition.

This is a set up. We will never win this game. Let’s stop trying.

Don’t believe the propaganda. You do, in fact, exist. Go ahead and check. You are a being of unspeakable value. There is no reason, no test, no cause that should supersede your will to life. You are entitled to live and to do whatever you can to be healthy and whole. That includes an endless variety of actions and things: food, water, experiences, relationships, clothing, medicine. Whatever it is, do it, as much as you’re able. There is nothing special about the cluster of choices we call transition.

Let no one put arbitrary limitations on your quest to live–not even yourself. You must care for yourself, or no one will. This is our one glorious shot at life. We can’t settle for misery if joy is possible.

The paralysis that comes from the question of “trans enough” is exactly the point. They’ve set the bar for trans so high up, almost no one can reach it. That way they can let a few through, leave the rest for dead, and claim the system is just and legitimate. That’s a bunch of bullshit. When we beat ourselves and each other up like this, we’re singing their same old cissexist tune.

There is no such thing as not being trans enough. There is such a thing as being trans, and not being trans. That’s a question you have to answer for yourself. It may take some time to answer, but the question itself is a simple one.

“Simple” probably isn’t that first word that comes to mind when you think about being trans. Being trans is challenging, confusing, misunderstood, and so many heavy things. But it’s also quite straightforward, a single datum about a human being, one point on one axis of our lives. Because of our social context, that little fact has vast, reverberating consequences for every area of life. But the ripples are not the skipped stone.

Does your gender identity and/or expression fall outside the bounds prescribed by your society? You are transgender. That is plenty trans enough.

Now do what you need to do.

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13 comments

  1. notathoughtgiven

    I really liked your post and you make a very good point. What other people say or want us to do is just an opinion or a suggestion at the most. How we express ourselves is up to ourselves to decide and that is only opinion that counts. We shouldn’t allow other people dictate to us our we choose to live our lives. For me that is the most important of my transition is deciding for myself and not letting the naysayers or other people influence expression of myself.

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  4. pasunhomme

    This is an extraordinarily beautiful and moving piece. I’m crying. Your image of the dandelion in the sidewalk captures so well the rare and fleeting moments where I remember that I felt unbridled joy some time so long ago it seems only like a dream. The idea of joy is frightening to me.

    • rimonim

      Thank you so much for posting this comment. The hope of reaching someone the way this reached you is what made me start blogging; comments like this one are what make me continue.

      Joy changes everything.

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