Q&A: “I’m very hesistant to identify as nonbinary because as a dmab individual…”

anonymous said:

I’m very hesistant to identify as nonbinary because as a dmab individual, I’ve been told that I’m a male my whole life even if I haven’t neccessarily felt that way. It’s one of those things that’s so ingrained in my being that I can’t imagine anyone seeing past it. I’m cis-passing and privileged to the point that calling myself non-binary, calling myself trans feels like hijacking and claiming a struggle, an oppression that I haven’t really faced. :/ I don’t want to be problematic. Any thoughts?


hello, anon. 🙂

it sounds like your policing your own identity and i think that it is fairly safe to say that many maaaany people do this/feel this way when they first begin to question their gender identity.

i just want to stress that if you feel that you are not the gender that you were assigned at birth, then you aren’t. period.

everyone has had their assigned gender forced on them in some way or another from the moment they were born. this does not invalidate their identity any more than it invalidates yours.

imho, there really is no such thing as ‘cis-passing’. having your identity erased because people assume you were assigned X or Y at birth and thus are X or Y isn’t ‘passing’, nor is it ‘privilege’, it’s erasure.

society incessantly categorizes everyone as male or female, regardless of the person’s actual gender identity. even if a person appears androgynous by society’s standards, society will still shove that person into one of two binary categories. there is no escaping this at present. this is cissexism, transphobia, nonbinary erasure and binarism at work against us all, yourself included.

you said that you feel like you’d be hijacking and claiming a struggle and oppression that you haven’t faced and yet here you are struggling with the same toxic thoughts that many non-binary and trans people struggle with. these toxic thoughts are often referred to as internalized transphobia or internalized non-binary erasure; you are not alone in your struggle.

it’s commonly said that everyone is their own worst critic. i sincerely feel that this is the case for you. please do not allow internalized transphobia/non-binary erasure to belittle or invalidate your identity. please do feel free to identify as non-binary and/or trans if that is who you feel yourself to be.

perhaps you’re still not sure. feel free to try on the identity(ies) for a little while. see how it makes you feel, then discard or keep the identity(ies) as you see fit. they are simply words to describe who you are, they do not actually dictate who you are and it’s important to keep this in mind. you are who you are regardless of the words used, but if you do find that non-binary and/or trans do(es) describe you, it can be an incredibly empowering feeling to finally have words to describe yourself and to have found a new sense of community. 🙂

wishing you all the best, anon.

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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