It’s taken me pretty much my entire life to finally identify as trans because I never saw myself as being enough to identify as trans. A big part of that was I lacked the resources and community to understand what being trans is for most of my life – I was 20 years old when I first met a trans individual and had no exposure to the trans community before that.
I had no exposure to the trans community when I was a kid and many of my experiences growing up were passive aggressive comment to be more feminine and to be more like my assigned gender. I’m not entirely sure I had any contact with the LGBTQ+ community until high school and even then, it was extremely limited and I was still very much in the closet.
And a big part of why it took so long for me to identify as trans is because I don’t fit into the general trans narrative of knowing from childhood that I was “born in the wrong body” and I don’t really identify across the binary, just away from it mostly. I never saw myself as trans until a couple months ago because I never saw myself on the gender binary and thought that because I’m non-binary, I couldn’t also be trans.
While I’m incredibly thankful for the rise of representation of trans individuals and stories in the media, there’s a part of me that worries about the universal narrative that’s being painted on the entire community. Janet Mock wrote about being trans in the media and unlearning the ‘trapped’ narrative and taking ownership of our bodies. Drew Cordes also wrote about the emergence and danger of the ‘acceptable trans narrative’. Julia Serano wrote an article for The Guardian about how a transgender 201 is now necessary now that there are more trans individuals in the media.