Various transphobes/cissupremacists and transnormative people have decided my gender for me, based on what they assume is between my legs. Their absolute convictions in statements such as “LucyPaw [sic] is a man” or “Lucy is female” have inspired me to reflect on my social realities.
When Am I a Man?
Is it when I get mansplained to by some random man who knows that Mt Rainier is NOT a volcano, knowing this for sure since he’s just arrived in the Seattle area and knows way more about it than I do as he didn’t even know it existed before he arrived?
Is it when people talk to my breasts and not my face?
Is it when I get sexually assaulted?
Is it when men get that look on their face, the one of interest, the one where I’m supposed to show interest back, the one where I belong to their desires?
Is it when I’m assumed to be the mother of one of my partners who decides that therefore now would be a good time to pull my face to zis and kiss me hard to make the point that we are not mother and daughter and so instead people disgustedly assume we’re lesbians?
Is it when I’m assumed incapable of carrying my own luggage?
Is it when men assume I’m supposed to reflect their greatness back at them?
Is it when men assume my politeness and kindness indicates romantic/sexual interest in them?
Is it when I put on my binder and packer and jeans and a poofy shirt and get strange, even hostile, looks when I go to the men’s toilet at a gay club?
When Am I a Woman?
Is it when people assume I’m a cross-dressing man?
Is it when, because I’m a trans femme and non-binary, I’m assumed to be a gay man who couldn’t handle being gay (even though my gay sex is incredibly fun)?
Is it when my femmeness is assumed to be more real, more radical as long as my body supposedly doesn’t ‘naturally’ fit that?
Is it when my words about the problems with transnormativity coming from some trans women are assumed to have no validity because supposedly some doctor announced “It’s a girl!” when I was born?
Look, I get it
You have bought so much into the oppressive ideas of sex and gender that you can’t stop
Even when you’re told
No, really, stop
Your ideas of what sex and gender are do violence
I know you need the reassurance
Of an absolute binary
Of an uncrossable certainty
Of unchangeable, obvious biology
(although you’ll pardon my laughter)
Write your words on my body
Write your meaning on me
If it helps
If it keeps the uncertainty, the chaos, the fears at bay
Then write to keep yourself safe
Construct your reality and lie to yourself that you merely demonstrate fact
Reference the social as though it is marble not clay
But understand that I then need you to tell me
When am I a man? When am I a woman?
Am I ever me?