My sister and I have conversations about gender identity and sexuality all the time. We've come to realize, that talking about being different, is what makes us normal. This is a story from my sister's perspective.
Last night, I had a nightmare my father's wife found out I'm genderflux*. She called me "he" with a voice so full of distain I wildly thought that no amount of bleach would make it clean again. In my dream, she cut me open with her words and my father looked on as if nothing were happening. When I woke up, I deleted my preferred pronouns (she/her, he/him) from my Twitter bio out of fear a family member might see them and react as my father's wife had in my dream.
A lot of cisgender people — people that identify with the gender they were born as —believe that in order to be transgender, you must transition fully. You must have top surgery, sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy in order to be trans.
This is an impossible standard that many cisgender people hold trans people to; as if existing as we do sans any kind of surgery makes our identities any less valid, makes us any less trans.
There is no right way to be trans. There are so many different trans identities that it is impossible to box us into any one thing. Nonbinary, agender, transgender, bigender, genderfluid — all very real and very valid identities.
But it seems to me that our mere existence is a political statement to so many people. In North Carolina, transgender people are not allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender, instead they must use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex. Mississippi legalized discrimination against trans people, allowing business owners to turn away trans people on the basis of “religious freedom.”
Did you know that there is a 41 percent chance of a trans person committing suicide? Trans visibility is on the rise, but so is the murder of our rights, our safety and our people. There is always violence toward things people don't understand, and most people don't want to understand. Daily, transgender people deal with transphobia, sexual harassment and violence. Not to mention that transgender people of color have to grapple with all the above and racism.
Personally, as a Latina who identifies as gay and genderflux, I believe the world should be safe enough for me to exist in. I think the world can and should do better. Society is killing us, and it's time for it to stop.
*Genderflux: is the fluctuation between intensity of identification between two or more genders.