Complexities of Gender Identity

trans word cloud gender complexity

If you haven’t ever heard of Lou Sullivan, you should read a little about him. He is considered probably to be the first out gay trans man. For a long time, he was denied gender reassignment surgery because of his sexuality. Back then, gender and sexuality were conflated. If you were assigned one gender at birth, and were attracted to the opposite gender, you couldn’t possibly be trans.

Of course now we know that gender and sexuality are not the same thing, and there are plenty of gay trans men, and lesbian trans women, as well as pan-sexual, bisexual, asexual, etc. trans people.

And also, increasingly, the medical community is embracing the complexity of gender identity. It’s not a binary, and many people who identify as trans aren’t just moving from one end of a binary to another, but occupying many spaces in-between. I have chosen to identify as a man, and I also embrace a part of my identity that is feminine.

What I’ve enjoyed about being trans is being able to fully inhabit all of the complexities of my own identity. Once I was able to fully accept myself for who I was, I was able to find the right way to express my identity. When we suppress who we are, and aren’t able to fully embrace it, it stifles us from being able to understand our own complexity. As I continue to live my life externally as a man I am much more open to exploring how to express my internal feminine than I was before transition.

Many (most?) people have gender identity complexities, because that’s the nature of human beings, even if it has been denied for so long. And one of the great benefits of a society that embraces trans and gender-expansive people is more freedom for anyone to express gender complexities.

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