It might be imposter syndrome. It might be the discomfort of assigning yourself a label. Or it might be that you’re just questioning your gender identity and haven’t reached a conclusion. But many people at some point feel bad about not being trans enough.
I would say most people I know who have worried about not being trans end up being trans. I mean, they probably were all along, it just took a bit of time and soul searching for that label to feel right.
It really doesn’t help that a lot of our role models show perfect lives on social media. Most people are not activists and influencers, but these are the trans people we may see most often. It’s unrealistic for most people to aspire to such a public image.
About half of the trans people I am friends with in real life have not proceeded with a medical transition, either because they don’t want to or they have a conflicting medical condition or don’t have the money to pursue these options. In the media it can seem like everyone who is trans is getting on hormones and on the wait list for surgery. But if you’re trans and not pursuing any of these medical options, that doesn’t make you not trans: it just means you’re average.
I love the idea that no one is actually cis, as discussed in Episode 126 of Gender Reveal where Tuck Woodstock interviews Jules Gill-Peterson.
Our laws can be cisgender, enforcing that everyone must choose a binary gender category. But any individual person has their own personal interpretation of gender roles and the way they express themselves. One way of looking at this: is anyone truly cis? Doubtful.
Someone I know said they are “70% cis.” Does that make them more or less cis than the average cis person? Who knows.
If you’re wondering if you have a right to call yourself trans, yes, you do. If you are not out to anyone yet, you are still trans. If you have not done anything to change your appearance, you are still trans.
If you are nonbinary but not trans, that is valid too! These are just labels to help us understand ourselves and others. You are free to pick whatever combination of words resonates with you.
Most people have imposter syndrome. Thinking you aren’t trans enough is a type of imposter syndrome. It’s uncomfortable, but you are not alone in this experience!
I hope you find the words that feel right and use them confidently, knowing that this is hard for many people but you are a brave and strong individual who knows who they are!
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