According to the dictionary, the word "transgender" is used to describe "a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person's biological sex assigned at birth."
Growing up in the 1990s-early 2000s, there was a large push to break away from gender stereotypes. I was told that girls could do anything boys can do. Any job a man had I could have too if I wanted it. Boys could wear girly clothes and I could wear boyish clothes (I did). Boys and girls could play with dolls and legos (I did). Over and over the mantra was repeated, "Be true to yourself and don't care what anyone else thinks!"
Our culture now likes to think that we've arrived there, that we do accept everyone for who they are regardless of whether or not they adhere to traditional stereotypes. I'm sure there's still room for growth in this area, but looking back on history, we've come a long way towards achieving this goal..
Which is why I have to ask this question:
Doesn't the word "transgender" reinforce the traditional gender stereotypes our culture is trying so desperately to break away from?
I am not asking this to the part of the transgender community that is transgender solely due to biological issues (i.e. a biological female born with additional male reproductive parts or an incomplete set of female reproductive parts). I feel that is its own thing altogether. I am asking this to the part of the transgender community in which is this a psychological issue (i.e. I feel that I'm a female but I have a male body).
I have to ask where this reasoning comes from, because isn't this assumption based on the fact that particular gender stereotypes are associated with each biological sex? And wouldn't that mean a person who identifies as "transgender" reinforces those stereotypes by claiming their gender identity does not match their biological sex because they identify with/adhere to more of the traditional gender stereotypes of the opposite biological sex?
Is the concept of gender identity based on stereotypes itself? Because wouldn't eliminating all gender stereotypes make someone's gender identity apart from their biological sex irrelevant?
This is not meant to be an argument for or against the transgender community, and it is not my intent to belittle or insult anyone in anyway. I would simply like to raise these questions because they create dissonance in my mind, and to make this observation:
Sometimes in the pursuit to demolish something we end up following it down its path...