Transman, man, both?

I was watching a TedTalk the other day by a person called Ivan Coyote. (I’ll link the talk below) The main topic was the need for gender neutral bathrooms, which was interesting but nothing I had not really heard before.

What interested me more was how Ivan talked about their self. (I’m using they/them pronouns because i’m not sure what pronouns they prefer so I’ve gone to middle ground). Ivan is a transman, who was clear that although they looked masculine and present masculine, they are transgender so of course they have a different anatomy to a biological male. It was a kind of “look, I am a transman, not a man” type speech that I had not experienced before. It made one of the strongest points I’ve seen so far for the need of binary-gender non-conforming spaces. It was really refreshing seeing someone stand in public and claim the word transgender for their own. Most the time recently i’m used to the different stance. I.e. “I am a transman, but I am a man“.

It got me thinking about how I am so keen that people do not misgender me that often I’m falling into the trap of assuming the 2 gender boxes.  I erase out the “scale” of gender in my rush not to be… what?… embarrassed or scared? Whereas really there should be (among many other areas) an area for “that’s a transguy”. I suppose people in society today are unlikely to think of that “box” to place me in. But if I knew they would think of it, I would be happy to be placed there.

However it’s a tricky area. I can imagine some transmen not taking well to the idea of them not being labelled totally and utterly “male”. However I’m beginning to see that identifying more with the term transman than just man can be beneficial. It allows us to stand up and say,

“Look, the world is designed for people who fit neatly in these 2 gender roles, with our new understanding, we need to design a world for people on any point of the gender spectrum”

Because I am a transman, I can never fit into that neat little “male” box, nor can I fit into that neat little “female” one. Where does that leave me? Us? Unfortunately it often places transgender and gender non-conforming people in un-safe and stressful situations.

So I don’t know, i’m still thinking, learning about it all and how I feel. But I suppose it’s made me think I should not feel I have to scrub off the “trans” label so much to fit into society. Instead, society has to learn to catch up and fit around the gender spectrum. I would be really interested to hear how other people feel about this topic so please leave a comment 🙂

Life

No news of Uni yet…. 😦

Neighbour (NB) is still taking the piss. I’m holding out handing in the noise complaint form though until I hear about Uni. If i’m leaving, I don’t give two hoots any more you see. If i’m not then I will hand in the sheets but also see about moving out of here too I think. I doubt NB is ever going to be rule abiding for long.

Mood wise, I’ve found this week hard. It just seems i’m trying to bat away a load of crap all the time. Bill problems, washing machine breaking down, engineer getting wrong address, no Uni news, student finance not finding my ID, NB notching up music more, tree guy from volunteering not turning up…. I just need a break! It’s all mentally exhausting and it’s making me physically tired too. I just need to keep going though, hoping that I’ve just driven into a s*** storm and that i’m bound to have to come out the other side at some point.

I’m trying to appreciate little things to keep my head straight. A nice cup of coffee with a Maryland biscuit. 5 minutes meditation. Reading a good book. A hug. A walk. Quiet space. I don’t give a pelican’s kneecap if these are not “manly” things. I think you may know by now how I feel about that!

Comparison pic: 14 days vs 224 days (2 weeks vs 8 months)

Ted Talk : https://www.ted.com/talks/ivan_coyote_why_we_need_gender_neutral_bathrooms?language=en#t-21573

 

 

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