‘Not Trans Enough’ Is Not A Thing, And Insinuating Otherwise Is Dangerous

‘Not Trans Enough’ Is Not A Thing, And Insinuating Otherwise Is Dangerous

Important factors to consider before issuing this invalidating statement to an already marginalized and at-risk group.

As a member of the transgender community, I hear the phrase “not trans enough” tossed around by transgender and cisgender (people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth) alike.

Whether it has to do with someone’s age, wardrobe or medical transition status, there seems to be an unspoken guidebook of what qualifies someone as being “actually transgender.”

The definition of transgender is a simple one: someone whose gender identity does not align with their sex assigned at birth. This includes people that identify both within and outside of the gender binary of male and female.

The statement I just made, however, is often denied when it comes to gatekeeping. That’s right; as a non-binary person who experiences gender dysphoria (distress at the lack of alignment between my body and gender identity as well as disregard of my preferred pronouns), I am apparently not trans.

The idea of the term transgender applying only to those born male who identify as female and vice versa is often perpetuated by the media. Transgender celebrities such as Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono are the faces of the transgender community, and are often the standards by which someone is judged as being “actually trans.”

These celebs also perpetuate transgender rulebook lesson number two: if someone hasn’t medically transitioned, they’re obviously faking it.

Although many transgender people do decide to medically transition, whether through hormone replacement treatment and/or gender reassignment surgery, there’s another portion of the transgender community who either can’t or don’t want to transition. Whether due to financial difficulties, medical complications, age, inability to come out or simply lack of desire to change their body, lack of medical transition offen bars transgender individuals from receiving the validation and acceptance they deserve.

This emphasis on passing (the ability to be seen by strangers as a cisgender member of the gender one identifies with) is yet another issue, both within and outside of the trans community. Often, one’s ability to pass is based on their body type and wardrobe. I am biologically female, meaning I have curves that don’t lend themselves to clothing from the men’s section. It also means that I don’t always look androgynous. It doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly cisgender or “faking it.”

There are also many instances in which passing can be unsafe, as according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 55 percent of all reported LGBT homicide victims were transgender women, and predominantly transgender women of color.

Younger members of the transgender community also experience increased violence and discrimination from peers, with 78 percent of transgender and gender nonconforming students from kindergarten to grade 12 experiencing harassment. In addition to mistreatment from other students, young transgender people are often invalidated by adults, including those who are also trans. Just as younger members of the LGBT community are told that it’s “just a phase,” transgender kids are often labeled as confused and attention-seeking. Yes, gender and sexuality can be fluid-- but that doesn’t make the identity and associated emotions of young transgender people any less real or valid than those of adults.

There is no such thing as being “trans enough,” and insinuating otherwise can be incredibly damaging.

Transgender people already have a suicide rate that is 25 times higher than that of the general population; do we really want to further contribute to that statistic?

All members of the transgender community deserve respect, regardless of the specific aspects and status of their identity. Accepting transgender individuals as who they are (that is, as actual transgender individuals) regardless of whether they meet a set of made-up, irrelevant standards is crucial, especially in the current political climate.

You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer that their disease isn’t legitimate enough to be taken seriously; telling someone that they aren’t “trans enough” is a sickness in and of itself.

And unfortunately, that sickness can be just as deadly.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Edelman

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.

There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

16. Mind your own business.

17. There is such a thing as an ugly baby.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Exclusive Premiere: LGBTQ+ Artist, Linnel, Releases Stunning Visual With A Strong Message For The Community

Pride month just got that much better


Made to feel ashamed of who he was, Linnel has only recently been able to accept and explore his queer identity. "I'm Sick" is the culmination of self expression that had been suppressed for 18 years. The song came out a few short months ago and today the world finally gets a chance to see the video that changes the narrative of the song entirely.

What at first sounds like a love song, is really an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community. The video, directed by Madi Boll, is centered around a boy named Leyton, played by Pierson Carlson, who is interested in wearing makeup. But when his mom and sister walk in on him putting lipstick on he is made to feel ashamed and a "disease" begins to take form on his skin, alluding to how being gay used to be listed in the DSM. While the gay community has made many improvements in equality, the trans community is now experiencing similar discrimination.

Feeling insecure about his identity, Leyton goes on a walk to clear his head, but finds himself at a party where Linnel is singing "I'm Sick" and everyone there is confidently displaying signs of the same disease. It is a place of community and togetherness, where everyone is welcome. By the end of the party, Leyton's "disease" has fully taken form, but feeling confident in himself, he goes home ready to fully embrace just that. The hope for this video is that it serves as an opportunity for all intersections of the queer community to reclaim the idea that being queer, and/or any other part of the LGBTQ+ community, is a "sickness" or "disease."

Being queer himself, the message of this video is incredibly important to Linnel not only as an artist, but as a person. In the weeks leading up to the video Linnel hosted a "Question of the Week" series on Instagram that consisted of different topics within the LGBTQ+ community. Topics ranged from internalized homophobia to favorite queer art and the responses came pouring in. It enabled people to have a platform to speak out on certain issues/topics that aren't generally brought up in the mainstream media. The responses from all different people brought to light many similarities in regards to why people don't or wait to come out, what they love about their queerness, and how they feel about their own internalized homophobia. For more on this, check out Linnel's Instagram story highlights under "QOW".

Linnel is only just getting started. The "I'm Sick" music video has made a statement about the kind of behavior and morals that he stands for. Linnel hopes to continue to shine a positive light on the LGBTQ+ community, while making music that brings people of all mindsets together to start a conversation.

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