If you’ve ever had that moment where you went to a social event and it turns out you weren’t really welcome or invited there, then you know the kind of feeling I get whenever I head out to a transgender group and find only binary trans people who seem completely unaware of the rest of the trans community. How awkward. Half the time, people assume I’m a cis ally, which is a bit disconcerting, but other times, they simply assume I’m a really far along trans lady. Mostly comments like “Wow, I can’t even tell that you were born a man!!” that are pretty cringe inducing. Maybe it’s the eyeliner?
At some point, we go around the room introducing ourselves and our pronouns, and I generally find myself kind of pumping myself up for my turn. It takes a lot of guts to break the pattern of she/hers and he/hims in the circle, because it almost always means questions. Or worse, it means a look of “Ah, yes, that’s a trendy tumblr ‘trans’ person” which is pretty disheartening. Nothing quite like the feeling of being judged without a chance to explain yourself.
Most of the time, after I do explain myself and get to know people, my charisma pays off, and people accept me for what I am. I’m a bubbly extrovert, so I generally have that effect on people. However, it becomes pretty clear pretty fast that I’m an exception; when they discuss non-binary genders, most of the time it’s to talk about some strange new tumblr gender (like, apparently being a plantgender is a thing now? I don’t really follow that stuff on tumblr.) It’s more than a little uncomfortable to listen to someone mock a “strange” gender when you used to be considered one of those strange genders.
While finding a community is nice, I’m getting to the point that, if I find a trans group and there’s no other non-binary people in it, I’m peacing out. It’s clearly not a group meant for someone like me, whatever good it’s doing for other people. In the meantime, I think I’ve found a non-binary group; I’ll be updating to let y’all know how that goes!