I hate being misgendered. I’m not sure if all trans people feel this way, but for me it’s like being completely dismissed and people don’t see me. They see social norms, or hear my voice and no matter how hard I fight to be gendered correctly it’s a failure. I live in Texas and I get misgendered all day every day. I am not exaggerating. It’s not once in a while. And if I’m not being misgendered I’m being told I’m in the wrong bathroom no matter which one I use. If I, or other queer people, responded to each and every comment we get on a daily basis we would be ranting constantly. And I’m not talking about just online. We get them everywhere we go. I can’t live my live that way. I would be unhappy, and combative and I’d be the person people label as the ‘angry queer.’ More than that though it is exhausting to constantly correct people on your identity so much so that I don’t bother half the time. It’s not my job to educate people. It’s not my job to turn Texas on its head. I just want to live in peace and have people use the right pronouns most of the time.
I don’t think it’s even conceivable to most people how often I’d be correcting people if I did. Yeah, I know I shouldn’t have to deal with these comments. Yeah, I know in a perfect world I’d correct people who constantly misgendered me and I’d blow their minds. Yeah in a perfect world I could wear makeup and not be misgendered, but this isn’t even close to a perfect world. If I post one picture of me how I go to the gym I’d get misgendered on social media. I do as much as I can to keep my image the way it is to combat being misgendered. I already deal with dysphoria looking in the mirror, and to have to face how people speak about me when I’m not around is too much at times. I’m trans-masculine, but I’m genderqueer. I’m not fully either gender. I do enjoy makeup, but I gave it up when I realized getting properly gendered was more important to my mental health. And I’m sure even talking about this most people won’t understand what it’s like to deal with dysphoria, or having to make this decision. I’m trying to give a tiny glance into a world where maybe like ‘just correct people’ or ‘you shouldn’t have to do that’ don’t get posted when a queer person is trying to share their experience and something that kills a little piece of their soul.
But it’s not only about being exhausting and disheartening and a mental fuck, which it is. It’s also extremely dangerous to live as I live. In the current climate, people are getting bolder with their hate. They don’t feel like they have to hide behind a screen anymore. Here is a link to a trans woman in Texas who was brutally beaten, her abuser confessed to the police. They have a fucking confession on tape, and he walks free. You know why? Because when brought in front of a grand jury the transphobic people of Texas decided not to bring charges. They decided that this woman who was nearly killed, and her attacker said he thought he killed her in the confession, wasn’t worth justice. The police and prosecutor did everything right. This wasn’t miss Handled evidence. This was a group of my peers in Texas sitting in a courtroom, looking at pictures of this woman in the ICU fighting for her life and deciding this man who beat her did nothing wrong. And that my friends is one of the reasons I don’t correct every person who calls me she.
So yeah, in a perfect world I’d probably wear makeup some days. Hell, I know a lot of my gay and straight guy friends who probably would. But we don’t because we know our lives are still on the line.