I’ve spoken with some people who self-identify as transsexual but they don’t really seem transsexual to me. They tell me that their reasoning for identifying that way is because they don’t conform to society’s established gender roles. That strikes me as a faulty understanding of what transsexualism is.

That seems like a mentality that’s allowing themselves to be defined by society’s standards — society says, “This is what a man is,” and because they don’t fit into that narrow box, then they stop identifying as male.

That seems a little absurd to me. Because gender roles are social constructs. There’s nothing objective about them.

I’ve also never fit into that narrow box. I’m not competitive or aggressive, and I’d rather watch a musical over a football game any day of the week. So I don’t conform to the gender roles, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a man.

And it’s not just absurd, but damaging. Because it’s a tacit acknowledgment that society’s gender roles are correct. By saying, “I don’t identify as a man because I don’t conform to your gender roles,” these people are upholding and strengthening those gender roles. When what we should be doing is tearing them down.

The transracial thing strikes me as being very similar.

There’s no rule that says black people have to be into hip-hop, or Asian people have to be into anime, or that white people have to be into… I don’t know… Neil Diamond?

When you say you identified more as Thai than as a white American, what that says to me is that you simply had a deeper appreciation for Thai culture than you did for American culture.

But I wouldn’t call that transracial. I’d call it transcultural.

Writer.

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