Transitioning Isn’t Conformist

It may seem like choosing to medically or otherwise visibly transition is an act of conformity to outdated gender definitions. Why not fight them, instead? Wouldn’t that be easier, cheaper, and more revolutionary?


Most humans just want to get on with their lives, and not spend 100% of their time explaining gender theory to the mailman and everyone else that’s going to be confused. That’s why some of us choose to physically transition.

I felt male. I could attempt to press everyone around me to see my maleness from within a body coded as “woman”; or I could medically transition, and help them see it easier, and parcel out my remaining energy to projects like my book and this blog. It’s just a question of priorities, and I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way.

I hope I don’t sound like a bitter old fart, but this “Screw what society thinks! It’s all just words and labels!” attitude is only half of the truth. It’s beautifully idealist, and shouldn’t be extinguished. The other part of the truth is that adult life is busy, and other adults are busy, and what may seem like compromises in one thing can lead to opportunities in other things.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be seen correctly. Some people try to frame it as “caring too much what others think”, and that’s BS. This isn’t some stranger’s opinion of your favorite band at stake. It’s others’ perception of your gender, which can affect absolutely everything in your life, from whether you can afford to eat, to whether you have children. Most people have an intrinsic human need to be seen by others approximately how they see themselves, and that’s natural, not weak.

Additionally, most people are more than their gender. I shiver to think of what I’d be sacrificing, if I had to devote every ounce of my energy to the gender fight. I support people who can do that…as long as they in turn support my desire to divide my energy between this revolution, and my spirituality, and my novel writing, and my sex life, and caring for my cat, and learning German…

If you want to work to be seen as a man without medically transitioning, that’s your right. If you want to medically transition and make it a bit easier to be seen as a man, that’s also your right. If gender is a free-for-all, then there’s absolutely no moral reason not to pursue transition, if it’s correct for your life. Gender revolution doesn’t begin or end with transition.