For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about or what the term means, transmisogyny is a term that was coined by Julia Serano in Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. It describes the intersectional oppression of cissexism/transphobia and misogyny.
The term transgender is also a word that people all too often associate with someone who is seeking gender confirmation surgery (GRS) or someone who is living in the role of their chosen gender full time and is seeking HRT.
The dictionary actually defines transgender as - denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.
And therein lies the reason for this article.
I know many people who are gender fluid, happy to present as male or female – crossdressers (people who are happy to express themselves as the opposite gender only to then go back to their own gender) – people who are happy to live as male and female, having 2 separate identities and yet are very happy with this. Nor are they seeking GCS, HRT or to transition. And all of these people consider themselves to be transgender.
I’m going to admit before I continue with this article, prior to my transitioning fulltime I did have an issue with people in this second group, who weren’t full time yet still labelled themselves as trans.
But I was wrong, and I admit that to you without needing to – to try and make you understand the emotions behind this article.
Once you live as someone who identifies as transgender, (whether its full or part time), you start to see things differently. People challenge you because you don’t fit with their ideals of what gender expression is. You’re called out for being different – you have less privilege. One of the most difficult things I’ve found is coming to terms with prejudice from people who I thought pre-transition would be allies.
And this is the thing – in my view heteronormative ideals of gender expression are misogynistic. You’re either male or female, there’s no in between. You’re not transgender if you’re not full time. Who are we to define what anyone else’s expression of gender is to them?
When someone who is transgender says that someone else isn’t transgender enough, then as I see it, that’s Transmisogyny – you’re basically saying that because someone doesn’t fit into a heteronormative expression of gender identity they’re not transgender. Can you see the oxymoron?
Last week Jai Dara Latto, 22, winner of a national transgender beauty pageant was stripped of her title because she was 'not transgender enough' read the shocking article here
According to the pageant runner six months after the contest Jai was pictured in boxer shorts! Yes that’s right boxer shorts!
In response Jai who incidentally is seeking GCS did consider sharing a letter from her GP, confirming her diagnosis of gender dysphoria, but she has chosen not to.
She is however planning to walk 30 miles in high heels to highlight the issues of transgender people waiting GCS.
I applaud her for not sharing the letter. Why should she have to? Even if she wasn’t fulltime the fact remains she identifies as transgender. To me that’s enough.
Until we embrace every persons right to define themselves – then we are no better than the systems that oppress us and others in the first place.