Tomboys, Trans People, and the Times

The reality of our culture is that we are highly gendered. Even in liberal and progressive spaces, we too often divide things along binary lines. And for the majority of people, even some trans folks who transition along those lines, that works. But that’s not true for everyone.

Some of us will never be at home on the gender binary. And that’s okay. We don’t need to be pressured to fit into the gender box that matches the sex on our birth certificates. And we don’t need to transition because we’ve already become who we are meant to be.

To too many people, that is frustrating and confusing. And so, they take their own ingrained gender binary, and they try to apply it to the people who don’t make sense. They look at a tomboy, and they think “they’re a boy”. Or, they look at a boy who likes princess dresses and dolls and think “they should be a girl”.

And, maybe some of those kids are indeed trans. If so , we should do everything possible to support them. But , maybe they’re not. Maybe they’re kids who will grow up into someone like me. Or, maybe some of the boys who play with trucks will figure out later that they are indeed trans women, and some of the girls who dress up like Elsa will grow up to rock bow ties. They wouldn’t be the first. There are trans women who were Navy SEALS and trans men who were prom queens. That’s because traditionally gendered interests and aptitudes do not always determine gender.

And this is where my problem with Davis’ piece comes in. As she writes about the desire of other adults to characterize her daughter’s gender, I can’t help but think your woman does the same thing. In asserting “she’s a tomboy”, is this faithful to her child’s voice and experience? Did her child consent to having this story informed nationally?

Finally, is the author’s lack of knowledge of nonbinary information in some ways associated with a gendering of her child that may be equally as incorrect as those of strangers? Could be they are certainly a tomboy. Or maybe they are going to grow approximately be sexuality nonbinary mature. Or maybe they are going to indeed move.

In the end, the particular person showcased can figure out what identity is correct for them.

For all of you rest of all of us, here’s the work: face our own soreness with sexuality. Work out for what reason it troubles us whenever we can’t decide another man or woman gender at first sight. Learn to experience ambiguity. Find out what tasks we accomplish that cement the gender binary more tightly in place.

And the most importantly, understand how to keep the mouths close when the confusion or perhaps discomfort along with the gender phrase of others pertains to the surface. Since it’s the problem, not really theirs.

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