The Genderqueer Challenge is here.
12. Discuss your relationship with the term ‘transgender’.
I have a really weird grasp on my relationship with ‘trans’, so I think I’ll start by explaining something a little off-topic, which is my relationship to religion.
I was brought up Catholic, and spent about 12 years in Catholic schooling. If you know anyone who’s been to Catholic school, you will probably have heard the concept that sending your child to a Catholic school is the best way to guarantee that they aren’t Catholic when they grow up. Following that trend, I am agnostic. However, my levels of agnosticism vary depending on context.
If I’m around atheists, my connection to Catholicism/religion/believing in God skyrockets as some kind of weird defense mechanism (or possibly a form of masochism). I guess that being around people who really don’t believe in God makes me realise that actually I’m a lot less like them than I thought I was.
In contrast, if you stick me with a bunch of religious people, especially Christians, I immediately feel like a heathen who doesn’t believe in God. I guess that being around people who really believe in God makes me realise that actually I’m a lot less like them than I thought I was.
So, my relationship to religion is just a bunch of cognitive dissonance wrapped up in a pretty bow. Which is very similar to my relationship to ‘transgender’.
When I identify as trans and when I don’t is a lot more complicated than when I feel religious or not. I think, as a general rule, I feel less comfortable using it when I’m around/in conversation with/reading the experiences of binary trans people, but I’m not sure what the rhyme or reason to when I feel happy identifying as trans is. I’m not even sure why I don’t ID as trans around binary trans people — presumably it’s because I feel ‘not trans enough’, but that’s just an educated guess. I really just tend to go with whatever I feel comfortable with at the time and hope for the best.