Gender variance ≠ Transgender

When I see posts like this, it infuriates me, because an important idea is lost on all the talk of the transgender phenonenon. Using “snow” as a comparison doesn’t help:

I’m gonna venture to say, if you use the word snow, it will mean something different to someone who lives in Denver, than it does to someone who lives in upstate New York, and yet something different to someone who lives in Houston.


Most of us know drag preformers aren’t part of the trans borg. There, out of the way.

Gender variance is an age old concept, the idea of people who don’t adhere to the usual cultural norms for men and women as dictated by the predominant culture. Growing up, before I knew about the idea of sex changes, I was extremely tomboyish, to the point I wanted to be a boy. Lots of creative pieces in school had me pretending I was a boy. In Spanish class, I argued with the teacher that I wanted to use the -o ending (to describe myself in the masculine), not -a (in the feminine). As a teenager, after coming to realize I was attracted to women and not men, I identified strongly as butch, but the concept of still identifying as a “gender-variant” woman bothered me, and hated being left out from guys-only events.

Despite what LGBT organizations like GLAAD try to promote, most if not the majority of gender-variant people identify as transgender.

The difference between guys like me and my butch friends is that we identify as male, want to live as men, while my butch friends, as masculine as they are, are still women.

Gender variance does not promote the idea to negate gender societal norms, nor does it seek to reinforce them. It states that there are general trends, and people who choose differently are just offshoots. While for men gender variance often end in humiliation or discrimination, for women it’s often encouraged if not celebrated, because allow women to choose to remain femme, or to embrace a more masculine approach to things.

The trans borg needs to stop co-opting terms and concepts to try and cushion their numbers. A good majority of gender-variant people do not identify as trans, maybe even as part of the larger lgbt community. Many of them are allies, and many are not. The trans borg can’t have it both ways, saying there is a difference between gender identity and presentation, but then considers anyone who is gender variant as “transgender”.

This is why a growing number of us are reclaiming the term “transsexual”. As “transgender” is not only still a fluid term, it’s also so watered down that the average person doesn’t know what it means or emcompasses anymore. Transsexual is a concise, concrete concept, you only need to say the word alone and people know what you mean. It’s not some intangible abstract that requires a monologue to describe. Transgender, as both a term and concept, is a clusterfuck.

Author: Charlie

I live my life trying to be your everyday guy. Drink—maybe too much?—coffee. Watch hockey. Work to pay the bills. The truth is, there’s one major aspect of me that separates me from most men: I was born with a female body. I am three years post-op, and have never been happier with both my body and my life, or quality of life.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.