“My trans allies are anything but”

My trans allies are anything but. I’ve not been out as trans for long and I doubt I’ll be coming out to many more people any time soon because of the responses I’ve had from people I thought would be the ones I could trust most to help me through coming out and living as trans. When I came out to the first person I talked to about it I was asked if I was sure I wasn’t just wanting to identify as gender neutral because it was cool to do so or because it made me less privileged and therefore somehow negated all my other privileges. I’ve also been told that I’m not a proper trans because my gender expression isn’t at odds with how my body is perceived. I’ve been told that my experience of trans isn’t as true as other trans people for the same reason. I’m scared of telling people I’d like them to use the pronoun ‘they’ when talking about me because in the past I’ve always been used as an example of a man who is an ally of women and trans people, and so I feel very much pushed into having ‘he’ as a pronoun. The very fact that my gender expression is still on the whole relatively male is actually mostly a product of the responses I’ve had from people I’ve come out to. Before I came out I wore ‘female clothing’ a lot more than I do now as now I can’t help but get anxious that people will assume I’m only wearing it to negate what they said in the past about my gender expression being too cis to be trans. For me this is really affecting my mental health as well as seriously affecting my opinion of my friends and those I saw as allies. My gender expression should have nothing to do with how I see my gender and the gender I wish to be seen as; for me that’s a large point of the freedom of gender expression, being gender neutral, and standing up against the gender binary. Writing this, even anonymously, is my way of liberating myself. There’s no one I can talk to about it in depth in real life because of the amount of negative responses I’ve had from those who identify as trans and those who claim to be trans allies. I’m hoping that some people will read this and think twice before judging ‘how trans’ someone else is. Every trans experience is different and we have to stand united against cisnormative transphobia.

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