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My Experience

There was never a moment when I realized that I was trans. But there was a moment when I realized I needed to come out. I was watching Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, National Geographic’s documentary about trans people, for a gender studies class, and in it there was a trans woman in her 80s. This was the first time I had seen any trans person that old, since there are too few trans elders now, due to a generation lost to the AIDs epidemic. And as I watched that scene it hit me like a bus that I would be trans for the rest of my life, and I would not be in the closet for the rest of my life, and it would be easier for everyone if I came out sooner rather than later. So the next day I came out to my gender studies class, and within a week I had come out to my family and friends. 

Author Bio:

Edmund Green Langdell (they/them) is an ever becoming enby, whose work focuses on promoting human and environmental wellbeing through design and education. They work for Play Out Apparel as a Marketing Assistant. They strive to spread love and healing in the world through connection and education. They also design eco-friendly needle felted packers. They earned a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design, where they worked as a Peer Health Advocate for four years, and created and led Gender Venting, a group for transgender students.


Author Bio:

Edmund Green Langdell (they/them) is an ever becoming enby, whose work focuses on promoting human and environmental wellbeing through design and education. They work for Play Out Apparel as a Marketing Assistant. They strive to spread love and healing in the world through connection and education. They also design eco-friendly needle felted packers. They earned a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design, where they worked as a Peer Health Advocate for four years, and created and led Gender Venting, a group for transgender students.



My Experience

There was never a moment when I realized that I was trans. But there was a moment when I realized I needed to come out. I was watching Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, National Geographic’s documentary about trans people, for a gender studies class, and in it there was a trans woman in her 80s. This was the first time I had seen any trans person that old, since there are too few trans elders now, due to a generation lost to the AIDs epidemic. And as I watched that scene it hit me like a bus that I would be trans for the rest of my life, and I would not be in the closet for the rest of my life, and it would be easier for everyone if I came out sooner rather than later. So the next day I came out to my gender studies class, and within a week I had come out to my family and friends. 

Trans-ness Beyond the Binary


I didn’t know what my gender was. What I did know was that being in my body as it was made me sick. I didn’t feel like a man, but I knew that I had dreamed of having a beard since I was a small child. I knew that the way my fat gathered on my chest and hips made me sick. And I felt naked without more visible body hair. I knew being perceived as a woman made me feel unseen and angry. And I knew that convincing a therapist that I was a man was the way to get the medical care I needed to be at peace. 


Everything I told my therapist about moments of dysphoria and euphoria relating to gender was true, except the gender binary. The idea that there are only two distinct and opposite genders is a social construction that doesn’t include the lived experiences of all people. I’m nonbinary. I am not a man, and I am not a woman. What I am is free. I no longer put any pressure on myself to have my gender “figured out.” Because whatever label I use is just that, a label, a word to describe my experience of being human. And the human experience is too delightfully varied to fit into only two options. 


Before I started living openly as nonbinary, I came out as a trans man because I wanted cisgender people to see me, and understand me. I knew that it would be easier for people to see me as “the other” binary gender than to completely unlearn the gender binary that had been conditioned into them since birth. And I knew that I needed gender affirming medical treatment in order to be at peace, and that nonbinary people are often denied gender affirming medical treatment because their gender doesn’t fit into the normative binary narrative of gender.


As I was connecting with the trans community at my college, leading a group for transgender students, designing clothes for trans people and having trans folks I met model and test garments, I was hearing all of these beautiful stories about people’s experiences with gender that were so diverse. I began to realize that the term “man” didn’t apply to me. But it took another year of intentional work on self compassion and fearlessness before I was able to live fully as myself and stop editing my truth to fit into society’s expectations. 


 

The Medical Cis-tem


The fact that trans people don’t have access to gender affirming medical care without reliving a lifetime of dysphoria with a therapist, and that the therapist has the power to deny them the care they need if their experience of gender falls outside of what the therapist understands, is a way that the healthcare system discriminates against trans people. Cisgender people are able to get the gender affirming medical care they want without having to speak to a therapist. Cisgender people can get breast augmentation and other gender affirming surgeries without anyone else approving their decision to make changes to their own body. Trans people deserve the right to self determination and bodily autonomy. 



National Testosterone Day!


Today is National Testosterone Day. National Today describes National Testosterone Day as being “all about the primary male hormone for men.” The idea that testosterone is the male hormone and estrogen is the female hormone is a deeply pervasive myth. This idea is reinforced with jokes about how there’s too much testosterone in the room when a group of men are getting aggressive or expressing sexual desire. Or that there’s too much estrogen in the room when women are expressing empathy. However, despite popular belief, “there is no conclusive evidence that testosterone level predicts aggression, sexual desire, strength, and athleticism.” (source


The binary between testosterone and estrogen as the male and female hormones was created by scientists who used their authority to reinforce their belief in the gender binary, rather than to examine and present the actual facts. Researchers willfully ignored evidence that both testosterone and estrogen are found across genders and sexes, and that both testosterone and estrogen are involved in bodily processes that are considered both feminine and masculine. One example of this is that testosterone is involved in ovulation. The binary model of sex, including the myth that testosterone and estrogen are strictly belonging to one sex or the other is harmful to nonbinary people because it bars us from accessing healthcare that greatly improves our emotional wellbeing. 



Source:

To learn more about how and why the binary model of sex was invented to replace the unisex model of humanity that was previously used, check out these book reports by Alok Vaid Menon:

The sex binary is a social construct

The invention of the sex binary


Sources:

Testosterone has no gender, a book report by @alokvmenon

National Today, National Testosterone Awareness Day - November 17, 2021


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