Talk like a lady! Sit like a lady! Eat like a lady! Walk like a lady! Those were phrases I grew up with when I started transitioning to a girl at the age of 16. Being a girl also meant lots of expectations and rules that I suddenly had to follow. I went from being repressed and conditioned as a boy, to being repressed and conditioned as a girl.
But why didn't I have the same critical thinking in terms of gender identity and gender constructions that I have today? Why didn't I just give expectations and norms the finger and continued exploring gender in my own pace? Why didn't anybody teach me what I know today, then?
In Sweden 15 years ago, there weren’t any transgender role models. I found some Brazilian famous transsexuals through the internet, but I consider them women because they were post-op and therefore they were not making me redefine gender. We post-op transsexuals (the transgender people that undergo a sex change operation) are mostly self-defined as binary and therefore very heteronormative and stereotypical.
Today, I considered that I never had any real transgender role model in my life when I grew up... a true role model that made me question the norms instead of making me follow them.
So no, there didn't exist any queer, gender variant role model in media that I could identify with. Someone that taught me that my combination of masculine and feminine was beautiful and not something I had to fix. Someone that taught me not to suppress either of them. Because I do feel like I do have little masculinity inside of me that I have repressed to fit into the heteronomy of a woman.
But even today I´m conditioned by the heteronomy. Just look at me, I´m a girly girl. But what makes me happy is that the new generation of trans kids now have more alternatives of gender to identify with than I did. Meaning you will see a diversity of new personal self-definitions of gender.
Welcome to the new era of gender identity!
Have a great Friday my beautiful readers!
And speaking of role models, did you know that Saga Becker has her own blog? Click here to read (the blog is in Swedish).