whiteness as default
as usual, i find myself turning to YouTube as a resource for information only to be reminded that…. YouTube is So Damn White. most things non-binary and / or trans are So Damn White. a search for “non-binary” and “testosterone” turns up almost nothing but skinny, short haired, white, non-binary people, none of whom i can really see myself in.
which is nothing new. that’s part of the reason i’m on YouTube in the first place.
beyond that, a bigger problem that i find myself faced with is that the very image / concept of “androgyny” or stereotypical “non-binary appearance” is inherently linked to whiteness. i want people to pause before they misgender me (seeing as how they will inevitably misgender me regardless) and the best way to bring about that is, presumably, androgynous appearance.
however, androgyny feels unobtainable to me as a black person, because no matter what i do– even if i do the exact same thing as my white, non-binary peers– the end result will always be me being read as masculine / FtM even more so than those white peers, because within society, blackness itself is already associated with [hyper]masculinity to begin with. your average white person is afforded the social latitude of self-expression to be androgynous, because societal standards of “androgyny”– and indeed beauty in general– have been established by white people with white people in mind.
as such, part of my internal struggle with pursuing T has always been the fact that i don’t want to be read as a man anymore than i want to be read as a woman, but T will pretty much guarantee that the former happens and i’m not sure how i will be able to deal with that going forward. not only because i will be read as a man; more specifically, because i will be read as a Black Man and thus will also have to shoulder a lot of the baggage that comes with that.
and that’s a really heavy thing to bear.
i feel like if i could just decolonize the concept of what “femininity”, “masculinity” and “androgyny” even is– the concept of those things that has been socially programmed into me from birth– then at the very least i could be more at peace within myself regarding my own self-expression, even if society will forever– with or without T– misread me in a way that is inherently informed by my race and the lack of social latitude that it affords me.
and just to reiterate, YouTube being So Damn White isn’t the main focus of this post, although it is one of many ways that the bigger problem, which is the main focus of this post, manifests itself in [quasi-]mainstream media.