Q&A not Q&A: “a person told me that I was “stealing other experiences” and “hurting other people that felt that way…”
I have used the label neutrois for a a time now, but now I am using demiguy. I add that people could consider me a trans man now. I announce this decision on a group in facebook and a person told me that I was “stealing other experiences” and “hurting other people that felt that way” I said I was experimenting with label until I can find the one that “stick” and they think is a whim.
not only is that person trying to invalidate your identity, they also seem to be trying to guilt trip you by suggesting that you are somehow hurting other people. gender/identity police and would-be gatekeepers are such asshats, i swear. i’m sorry that you’re dealing with a person (or even people) like this.
for one, you are not “stealing” anything. no one owns nor has a monopoly on what it means to be X, Y or Z. the very fact that this person is essentially implying this is ridiculous.
secondly, your experience with gender and the words you use to describe that experience is no less valid than anyone else’s. to suggest that your experience and words hurt others is to suggest that others somehow get to have their experiences and words be accepted as “true” or “valid” and you do not, which is again is ridiculous. furthermore, your experience and words do not impede on anyone else’s experience or identity, so why would it be hurting anyone?
sometimes people get so attached to a label and their specific understanding or definition of that label that they are all too quick to feel personally attacked or offended when someone else comes along with a different experience or understanding of that label. they lose sight of the fact that while they are an authority on their own identity, they are not an authority on anyone else’s. they also seem to forget what it’s like to be questioning and that it is perfectly okay and natural to change the words that one uses to describe oneself.
i realize that this is easier said than done, but try not to pay such people any mind. they are wrong and even if you were to try and explain to them why, it may only exacerbate the situation. rest assured that you are valid. your identity is valid. changing the word(s) you use while on your search for the one that feels right is valid. people will not always understand, but that doesn’t matter. stay true to yourself and i wish you all the best on your journey. 🙂