Androgynous Benefits

You know what really pisses off cis “”allies””? Trans people who are happy and/or *gasp* proud of being trans.

I once got into an argument with some dude who thought I was taking advantage of “the system” by using whichever bathroom was convenient. Wow being able to pee. So advantage. Very benefit. But to be honest, so what if there are benefits? It’s not like people are being trans for the benefits. Some people are only okay with trans people as long as it doesn’t seem like we are getting anything out of it, and have enough proof of Suffering.

That is also the unfortunate thinking behind people only convinced by the “born this way” argument: we only support the queers because they’re born that way and can’t help it, poor dears. Obviously nobody would choose to be queer if they could be cishet, the clearly superior option.

“I’m really sorry you are afflicted with this condition, and I will respect your pronouns out of my amazing magnanimity and kindness. I may withdraw this support as and when I see fit, if at some point I decide you are not Real Trans enough by my standards. God bless my tolerant heart :3”

The fact that some people are proud to be trans disrupts the idea that granting people basic dignity is an amazing act of charity performed for the poor and downtrodden as proof of being a good person.

I do not like that so much of trans activism even by trans people centers the trans experience on suffering. “being trans is really hard and we wouldn’t do this for fun” is convincing but not true for every transperson: literally the only requirement for being trans is to not identify solely as your gender assigned at birth, suffering 100% optional. Yes, depression and suicide rates are staggeringly high among transpeople, but do you really need to wait until somebody is about to kill themselves before you believe they are what they claim to be?

This idea hurts transpeople who may feel like their identities and genders are invalid if they are not suffering for them. But I started this post with the express purpose of pissing off cis people, so here is a short list of Benefits that I shamelessly enjoy, some by passing myself off as whichever binary gender is convenient, because it’s not my fault that most people don’t know that my gender exists:

  • I get to use whichever toilet has the shorter queue
  • Ladies’ nights. *shrug*
  • Being able to compliment strangers on the train without coming across as threatening
  • Platonic physical contact with friends of all genders without coming across as weird
  • I get to pick and choose social norms to adhere to, especially re: dress codes, makeup, and dance parts
  • Actually I just get to escape a lot of gender policing because people don’t know which set of rules to apply to me
  • I can potentially date people of any gender and orientation
  • 300% of opportunities for gendered jokes
  • Trans community
  • A great filler conversation in awkward situations
    • *awkward silence*
    • “so did you hear? I’m trans :)”
  • Androgynous strangers don’t bother me the way they seem to bother some cis people
  • There seem to be quite a number of androgynous models right now. So many benefits! No need to employ two separate people to model your male and female lines! See also: acting. I will play any gender, someone employ me pls…
  • Sports. I’ve been thinking about this, and decided it makes the most sense for me to participate in the same category as other predominantly estrogen-driven people.
  • Just by leaving my house and living my life I confuse and inconvenience the cisheteropatriarchy. My existence and happiness are revolutionary.

 

Additional reading on being “born this way”:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/09/queer-by-choice-not-by-chance-against-being-born-this-way/244898/

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160627-i-am-gay-but-i-wasnt-born-this-way

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/born-way-bad-defense-need-stop-depending

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Androgynous Benefits

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