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Feedback: “I’m sure there are plenty of other trans people who want to be visibly trans…”

anonymous said:

On the visibility thing- I am a trans person who wants to be proudly and visibly trans, mostly because I’m genderqueer and there isn’t really a way to “pass” as gq, so being seen as cis is automatically misgendering me. So I try to be as “nonpassing” and obviously trans/queer as possible. And I’m sure there are plenty of other trans people who want to be visibly trans, otherwise stuff like trans pride shirts and such wouldn’t exist, no? Or am I misunderstanding what you mean by visibility?

( re: this post )

i agree with you, anon, that there are a lot of people who want to visibly subvert and / or defy the assumption that they are cis a man / woman or otherwise a binary gender that they are not– especially among those for whom (as you pointed out) “passing” as their gender (or lack thereof) is unlikely for various reasons. there are also people who are out and proud as trans and have no qualms about making that known by sporting trans pride merchandise.

however, neither of those things are what i’m referring to when i say “visibly trans” and it’s my fault for not being clearer.

in the above post (and in general) i use(d) “visibly trans” in a way that parallels common usage of “visibly queer” and “visibly gay”.* that is, without anything literally spelling it out for people (ie. without pride merchandise that screams “i’m trans!”), random people can / do peg you as being trans due to whatever they interpret to be visual ‘cues’ that you are not a cis man or a cis woman, even if they’ve only just met you or passed by you in the street and thus don’t actually know anything about you.

and while the vague description of my usage of “visibly trans” above may at a glance seem the same as yours, there’s a pretty significant difference in my humble opinion because being “visibly not cis” (whatever that happens to mean) is not the same as being “visibly neither a man nor a woman” or “visibly gender ambiguous” (again, whatever that happens to mean)– the later of which i feel describes your usage of “visibly trans” but not mine.

again, i don’t question the fact that there are people who do want to subvert / defy assumptions about their gender and visually signal to people that they aren’t cis whatever binary gender people assume them to be. i’m just hung up on details, i guess.

“visibly trans” already has a more or less established (or rather just common?) meaning of someone who appears ‘stereotypically trans’; someone whose expression / presentation of their gender does not align with whatever gender the observer thinks the person in question was assigned at birth… with the added implication that the observer assumes that the person in question is trying to pass as ‘the other gender’ but simply failing at it rather than actually not being that ‘other gender’.

again, to me, it feels like what you’re referring to in your ask isn’t about being “visibly not-cis” so much as being “visibly ambiguous” / “visibly neither clearly a man nor a woman”… and the latter two things are not and should not be treated as synonymous with the former imho, because some trans people are men or women; more specifically, some are trans men and women are seen as being “visibly trans” except more often than not “visibly trans” here isn’t being used to mean ambiguous or androgynous, nor does it mean being seen as neither a man nor a woman… there’s the implied meaning, imho, that you’re “falling short” of “passing” due largely to cissexism and / or trans misogyny, which is a related but distinct issue from the binarism and erasure that a genderqueer person is faced with when assumed to be a man or woman (be it cis or trans). binarism is the reason why being assumed to be cis is synonymous with being misgendered for genderqueer and / or non-binary people, while being assumed to be cis is not automatically synonymous with being misgendered for binary trans men and women.

…..but i realize that i’m probably not making much sense to anyone but myself, so i don’t know. tl;dr i should have been clearer and should have explicitly noted genderqueer, non-binary and gender non-conforming people in my OP, but yeah. my usage of “visibly trans” differs from yours because of my pedantic semantics.

*and let it be known that i’m not even entirely comfortable with ‘visibly gay / trans / etc’ language in general, which is why i usually follow up usage of such language with “whatever that [even] means”, as i did in the OP, but whatever. discussion for another time.

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

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