Sexual Stereotypes are not “Trans Ideology”

Society is Pressuring Transgender People into Passing

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

One of the many criticisms against the transgender community is that we perpetuate sexual stereotypes, as part of the transgender ideology. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s actually societal expectations that force sexual stereotypes on transgender people in order for us to pass and be taken seriously as the gender we identify with.

Trans People Hate Sexual Stereotypes

I know for a fact that transgender people hate sexual stereotypes as much as anyone else. Yet, we feel we have to follow these stereotypes, or our gender identities are constantly questioned.

For example, for years I used to love going to the nail salon and getting my nails done. As I’ve gotten farther along in my transition, I’ve felt societal pressure to stop getting my nails done, and even to stop wearing nail polish entirely. As long as I was wearing nail polish, I was seen as female and would be misgendered constantly. I’ve spoken to other trans people who have similar laments. Whenever a transgender person tries to be gender nonconforming, people misgender us. Even worse, some go so far as to judge our sincerity to transition.

Many of us want to break gender boundaries but are often shamed into falling back into sexual stereotypes in order to be taken seriously. The pressure to conform to these stereotypes is not from a transgender ideology, but from people outside our community judging us for not being trans enough.

There is no Transgender Ideology

Not only are transgender people not actively trying to perpetuate sexual stereotypes, but there is no transgender ideology. We’re not trying to indoctrinate anyone into a cult, and we’re certainly not trying to attack or assault cisgender people. Transgender people are not predators. We’re just ordinary people trying to feel comfortable in our own skins while trying to live our lives.

For there to be a transgender ideology, there would have to be some centralized effort within the transgender community in order to agree on a standard set of ideals. To my knowledge, this has never happened.

It would be difficult for us to have a standard set of ideals, because every transgender person’s journey is unique. We all experience our transition differently and some of us never transition at all. There are financial, medical, and genetic reasons why some of us cannot transition. We also experience varying degrees of dysphoria, from extremely mild to completely debilitating.

There is no single right way to transition and therefore no way for us to have any kind of central ideology.

Tolerance and Respect

All transgender people really want is for us to be tolerated by society as a whole and respected by those around us. We just want to live our lives in peace and have the freedom to be comfortable in our own skins. For most of us, that means some level of medical transition. For some of us, it simply means socially transitioning and asking people to respect our pronouns.

I never understood why asking people to respect our pronouns was considered such an imposition. There are very masculine looking cisgender women and very feminine looking cisgender men who often have to ask people to respect their pronouns.

I have a cis male friend who happens to wear his hair long, and he’s told me that he often gets mistaken for a woman from behind. When he turns around, the person who misgendered them will often apologize profusely. Yet, when this happens with transgender people, suddenly it’s a huge thing to ask.

People who are vehemently against the transgender community make it seem like we are demanding a lot from society. Yes, apparently demanding the dignity of being able to pee in the bathroom we identify with, having our pronouns respected, and not being brutalized and murdered for simply existing, is a lot to ask.

Is it really, though?

Written by

Transgender writer and author. Posting weekly on a variety of LGBTQ and health related topics. http://glbalend.com/

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