I’ve noticed that there are (at least) two different types of genderqueer individual: the person who desires a genderqueer body (penis and breasts, no sex characteristics at all — ie: neutrois, etc.) and the person who claims genderqueer as their primary gender identity.Â I understand the first, at least in theory.Â After all, they simply have a slightly different form of my own medical condition: they feel that their body should be different from what they were born with.
The second…I take issue with.Â Not because I want to try telling someone how to identify, simply because it’s illogical.Â Most social genderqueers believe that there is no such thing as gender, they believe that every person has some feminine traits and some masculine traits and we’re only taught to view them as “male” or “female” because of our socialisation.Â This is a nice enough premise, right?Â After all, what is considered a “masculine” trait in one culture can easily be considered “feminine” in another.
I can accept the idea that we’re taught certain things are for men and others are for women.Â I think there’s more to it than that, but I at least can understand the theory they’re working with.Â What I don’t understand is why this means anyone who doesn’t conform to perfect, 1950s gender norms must suddenly identify as genderqueer.
This is a common issue in the FtM community.Â A guy comes out, claims a 100% male gender identity, and then a few years later decides that he must be genderqueer because he’s not as stereotypically macho as he thought he’d be.Â It makes very little sense, particularly given the premise that the genderqueer community is working with.Â If all gender roles are socialised and you’re trying to subvert that then wouldn’t it make more sense to embrace life as a man with some feminine characteristiscs?
Normally I’d stay out of this particular argument simply because it has nothing to do with me.Â I’m not genderqueer therefore it shouldn’t affect my life.Â It does though.Â When more enlightened people find out I’m trans they assume I must also be genderqueer because I’m not a macho man (and never will be).Â They assume that I must be purposely trying to make some political statement about gender when in reality I just like glitter.
I try very hard not to make my own frustration colour my views of the genderqueer individuals I meet.Â I try very hard to make sure that I’m not acting like all those HRC loving gay men who despise flamboyance simply because they’re not flamboyant themselves.Â Still, at times I find myself just wanting to shake a few of the people who identify as both FtM and genderqueer.Â Partially because it’s illogical (how are you male and other gendered at the same time?), but also because it once again puts transmen in a different category from all other men.
I know men who are more effeminate than I.Â I know men who put on gorgeous gowns every weekend, men who parade around in fairy wings and short shorts.Â I know men who would make far better women than I ever did.Â Those men very rarely identify as genderqueer.Â They engage in far more gender blurring than most genderqueer identified people, but they are secure in their identities as men.Â Not only that, no one asks them if they consider themselves anything other than male.
So yes, I do get offended when people — particularly other transpeople — hold me to a different standard.Â I don’t like (US) football.Â I don’t like cars or wrestling or hunting or beer or women.Â I like musicals and pop and crafting.Â So do many other men.Â Just because I was born with a vagina does not mean that I should be treated differently from every other man in the world.