Agents of Change

When I write a post, I usually brainstorm a little bit about the title and about a picture that would do the content justice. When I started to think about this one yesterday, I originally was thinking up a title along the lines of “Double Agent 002”, operating and infiltrating a world where they previously weren´t.

mystery

There is still a lot of controversy surrounding trans* affairs. Although trans* identified people have aqcuired a lot more visibility lately, often coming out as transgender still feels like a bit of a novelty or a Big Deal. Like one poster of the Loesje campaign says: “Transgender. Not because I want to be different… but because I want to be myself“. People often think that transgenderism is a choice.

But you don´t just up one day and decide to be a man or a woman if you aren´t. I read a book that someone lent me, about this female journalist who disguises herself as a man for a while, so she can see what the world of men is like. She becomes extremely unhappy and in the end even genuinely depressive; because by being male she feels like she has to hide who she truly is. That´s the exact opposite of being transgender.

Just like people aren´t suddenly gay out of the blue, or bicurious, you aren´t trans by choice. Still, there is a particular mindset that prevails in certain circles, sometimes influential ones, that being trans* is a decision and that this choice justifies perverted transgressions, like use of the bathroom that correponds to their sense of gender identity. Certain politicians even go so far as to suggest trans* individuals go there to spy.

As a society we have a lot of guilt concerning gender. I think a lot of people are feeling conflicted about these topics nowadays – boundaries are becoming vague and previously defined categories are becoming fluid. As someone who identifies as transgender I feel simultaneously accepted and rejected. It´s a weird place to be in. I live in both worlds still; I move my pawn across the board and my movement goes by unnoticed.

Is it wrong to move across categories and not be noticed? I probably have an easier time than other trans* people, who might not pass as well as I do, and therefore decide to either stay in their biological category or be visibly genderfluid and suffer the stigma attached to that. Either way, I daresay that we often feel like secret innovators; little agents of change, quite mundane individually but a social catalyst as a group.

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