"What exactly does it mean to be transgender? Why do they want to change their sex? Why can't they just be gay or lesbian?" These are some of the questions I so ignorantly used to think about transgender people. But I am a firm believer that ignorance must always be replaced by education.
Although I think it's important to promote articles that bring up issues surrounding gender variance in a positive light, the twists and turns in Ruth Padawer's reasoning appear more like Dr. Phil, and less like reality.
The FTM (female-to-male) community cannot gloss over the fact that we who are genderqueer and identify as men, dress as men, bind, pack, etc. are not "less-than" because we don't take testosterone. We are not less than any man because of our choice not to have surgery.
Are you male or female? For many people, answering this question doesn't cause a moment's hesitation. But for genderqueer people, this question isn't so easy to answer, and survey research that offers only two gender options may overlook genderqueer people's experiences altogether.
Being transgender, bigender, genderqueer, or however you identify is amazing, and you should never be ashamed of how you identify. There are other people out there just like you who are happy, successful, and looking forward to meeting you! Never give up hope.
Normal Life is an essential, comprehensive work for trans activists. And for those outside the gender nonconforming community, Spade's work can be viewed as trans-law case study of a burgeoning social justice movement that has yet to take on the compromising hues of assimilation.
What gender-variant youth need are teachers who don't make assumptions, who ask lots of questions and then listen to the answers. Everyone is different. When a kid tells you what's important to them, that's what they want you to do.
As I was coming out as trans*, every corner of cyberspace I turned to said I had to feel like a "boy stuck in a girl's body." Every documentary and TV show taught me that I had to harbor an intense hatred for my body being wrong. This is the normative transgender narrative, and I don't fit it.