das_boot wrote: ↑
10 Jun 2021, 10:45
Trans identities are far more complex than self-identification though. So like… hm. Okay, this might be meandering slightly but I really do think it’s important to explain the surgical aspects that you mentioned.
I think... and again, I'm not trans so it is just my understanding after reading different perspectives... trans identity can be MUCH more than just self-ID - for all the very, very significant surgical changes you mentioned. BUT...it can also
be just self-ID. So to self-ID as trans without surgical changes does not invalidate that person's status as trans, if they identify as such.
There is no one 'route' for transition - seemingly, there is not a one-size fits all tickbox process. The challenge of this in some of the discourse regarding trans identity seemingly suggests it is a VERY broad umbrella term - it is seemingly, everything from non-binary, to gender-fluid, to non-surgical presentation through to top-half only, or top and bottom half surgeries. For example, for two of the people you work with, non-binary is a 'stepping-stone' on the route to an intended transition, but for others non-binary is the destination, rather than the journey (does that make sense?) with no intent on further steps towards one gender or the other, but that 'mid-point' on the spectrum is where they are happiest.
Then there's the difficult questions about 'passing' (and yeah, it's horrid phrase which is why I put in quotes, but I'm not sure if there's a better term?) - does self-identification (either with or without any of the surgical changes you mention) as trans essentially limit 'passing'? I don't know. There's probably many, many trans people who would not obviously be trans to a casual observer in most day-to-day interactions and be treated socially as their presenting gender but by identifying additionally and publicly as a transperson it makes it evident to an observer that they are trans (well, duh), and not members of the natal/biological sex associated with their presented gender. It is that very identification of being trans (rather than just being a man/woman) that may cause different social reactions by those around them.
Of course, the degree to which a trans person would 'pass' (again, apologies, I understand it's clumsy language, so if there's a better term, please do let me know!) may well depend on what changes they have made. If a transwoman still has a beard, a very muscular frame and wears 'masculine' clothes (whatever they are!) but she still perceives herself and presents herself to be a woman, there's probably going to be cognitive dissonance by an observer. Alternatively, a transwoman who has had full top and bottom surgery, has taken many of the very serious changes you mentioned before, may well find she is accepted as a woman in pretty much all of her social interactions with others. Both women are still trans but the way these women are presenting would have very different societal interactions that either affirm their self-ID or confront it.