Hopefully this is at all inspiring to someone out there. But it probably is the opposite of help for someone else, so do feel free to completely ignore anything I have to say.
There are all sorts of hypotheses to explain away trans existence. “What if genderqueer people are just compensating for hating all gender roles!” “What if trans men are reacting to internalized misogyny?” “What if trans women are fetishizing women’s bodies!” …SO? No really, who gives a flying fuck if this or any other reason explains trans existence? If we truly believe that all genders are equally valid and deserve equal rights, we don’t get to police why anyone would want to be a gender. It’s OKAY to want to be a woman for any reason at all. It’s OKAY to want to be genderqueer for any reason at all. It’s OKAY to want to be a man for any reason at all. Unless we think there’s something wrong with being a woman, or being genderqueer, or being a man, or being any flipping gender or none at all.
I’ve seen trans men turn around and be the biggest shitheads I’ve ever met, rolling in male privilege. And that still has nothing to do with that they’re legitimately a man, because it’s the Patriarchy that’s fucked up, not being a man that’s fucked up. I’ve seen trans lesbians be absolutely in love with their bodies and getting to experience female sexuality on themselves and with other people and do sex work flaunting their hot sexy selves. And that still has nothing to do with that they’re legitimately a woman, because it’s the Patriarchy that’s fucked up, not thriving within one’s womanly sexuality. And guess how few shits I give if some genderqueer or agender people think they’re special snowflakes that just want everyone to give them shiny star stickers for showing up.
Cuz you know what? After we smash the Kyriarchy, being gender-unique won’t be rare or outstanding at all. It will be part of the richness of humanity. And it already is - we already are legitimate people, and we already are getting a voice, and we already are seeing a world in which gender roles are being stretched ever wider every day. And if someone doesn’t get that? If someone ever thinks that we’re going away or can be explained away? We’ve already outgrown them.
The single greatest inspirational quote for me (and I hate inspirational quotes most of the time) is when Kate Bornstein said the secret to her living a genderfree life is that “you look for where gender is, and then you go someplace else.” And I didn’t realize the impact it had at the time, this being several years ago. At first I was like How, Mama Bornstein, how could I ever accomplish such a thing? And I can’t, not 100%, not perfectly.
But after a while, I realized that I’m not aiming for perfection - I don’t want perfection, because I don’t want to live a life without gender, I want to live a life with all the genders. I look forward to each and every moment when I get to live as woman, man, gender-confusing, androgynous, gender-fucking, nerdy, genderqueer me at any time and every time and no time. Obviously it still sucks when someone tells me I “have” to be any one of those things! But when I get to be? Phenomenal.
Because this is my life. I have 50 more years of this ahead of me (based on my grandparents’ longevity). I don’t have a choice - I have to make peace with myself and my approach to life, or I don’t get to live.