I’ve found, recently, that there’s something more scary, to me, than thinking I might be trans those few years ago.
That thing is thinking I might not be trans.
I remember when I first thought I was trans. How I dressed up like a man (Er, Mitt Romney) for halloween and realized that, well, I liked it. So I did it more. Eventually, I realized that I wanted people to call me he. I remember being scared. Scared that people would disown me. But also, happy. I liked my binders and buying boy clothes and going in boy mode. I told off a security guard once, because I had gone in the mens’ restroom and dammit, I belonged there as much as in the women’s. That’s really how I felt.
But now, looking back, it feels shallow. I remember always feeling apprehensive, and chalking it up to being afraid of society. Afraid that my boyfriend or my parents or someone would be disgusted by me. But again, looking back, I think it just felt wrong. Wrong for me.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20. I can’t expect my past self to know how my current self does, will, feel.
But I can expect my current self to know how I currently feel. And I should expect my current self to respect those feelings.
But it’s scary to think that I’m not trans, which sounds weird, because there’s nothing dangerous about being cis. But it’s scary, because I feel like I lied not just to myself, but to my peers. To everyone I told to call me “Kit.”
It’s scary, also, that I could be so wrong about what I am. That I could consider taking hormones to become a me that I might have never wanted to really be.
And then I wonder, did I really make a mistake back then? Was I really wrong about being trans? Am I right about being cis now?
I don’t know. I do know, that I’ve been told- and hell, I’ve told people- that gender is fluid. And maybe, this is the prime example. Maybe I was trans then, and I’m cis now, and both of those things can be true at the same time.
Or perhaps, being trans once, I’m trans forever. Perhaps genderfluidity means that you can change back to being your assigned at birth gender when it feels right, and you won’t negate your past transness.
But I don’t think that I want to call myself trans anymore, period. Maybe genderfluid, maybe gender nonconforming. But not trans.
Because as I look into this closet full of often-worn femme clothes and male-coded clothes that are gathering dust, I feel like calling myself trans would be a lie.
I wonder what I would tell someone in my shoes.
I would probably tell them that they can be whatever they identify as. But now, as I say that to myself, I feel it ringing hollow.
What do I identify as when I don’t know how to identify? Can I really just say “I’m trans because I say so,” slap on some makeup and girly clothes for at least 365 near-consecutive days, and not feel like something’s off?
I mean, I know what I’d say to someone in my shoes. “Your expression doesn’t have to match your identification. You can dress a girl and be 100% boy.”
Except, for me, my identification is my expression. That’s not true for everyone, I know, but it is for me. When I wear makeup and pretty clothes, it’s not because I’m a boy, or an enby, saying “fuck the system”. Then again, it’s not because I’m saying to myself “I will woman today. Today, as I have for the last year, I will dress Woman.”
I’m just dressing me.
Maybe that, in itself, makes me gender nonconformist?
I feel like I’m arguing with myself. Half of me is telling me to just give up and be cis, and half is telling me “once genderfluid, always genderfluid.”
But that’s just an issue of names and labels. Except, well, it’s not.
I actively do not want to be cis, is the problem. I’ve spent so much time being all “down with cis” and all, and I’ve spent so much time saying that cis people were the oppressors, and quite frankly I don’t want to be my past self’s oppressor.
Labeling politics shouldn’t play into identities, though. I would never try to claim a non-white ethnicity just because white people suck at racism and shit, so why should I claim to be non-cis just because cis people tend to be transphobic?
I don’t know.
And part of me knows, too, that there’s a chance that in the future I’ll feel trans again. And then I’ll feel like a waffler.
Part of me- no, all of me- wants some all-knowing trans goddess to come down and bestow upon me a label of “cis” or “genderfluid.” I don’t want to navigate this myself.
I don’t want to say I’m genderfluid, because I don’t want to appropriate others’ struggles.
I don’t want to say I’m cis, because I don’t want to have been wrong and/or become the oppressor.
And I can’t look past those labeling wants and determine what I am.
I don’t know what I am.
I really just don’t know.
I really. Just. Don’t. Know.