“What does a not-girl, not-boy transition to?”


I can so relate to this post.

I remember first hearing the word t*y being used by transguys on YouTube.  “I’m a trannyfag,” was the most frequently occurring one.  I used it on a guy a little after that, and was swiftly kicked in the butt.  He most certainly did not like being called a *, and how dare you use that word in the first place?  He hated that word.

It’s weird, though, how language changes the context of things.  Being normalized by guys on their vlogs, I thought it would be fine for me to use it. 

Now I realize that it’s not mine to use.  While other people identify me as trans*, I don’t identify myself as such.

Because for me, being trans* is something that does require more than a social transition, a change of names and/or pronouns.  Or even driver’s license.

It’s the need to change your body in a way that requires pharmaceutical use.  (Not always, though.  There are plenty of folks who don’t transition biochemically but keep their trans* identities, their names, their true pronouns).

s.e. smith makes the point that the word t*y doesn’t belong to me: it’s not mine to use, ever.  Even with explicit permission, in my opinion.  Those reclaiming it are trans* women, who’ve been called that while just doing daily things, as well as while being raped, being killed.

Not my term.

The closest term that resonates with me in the same way is “it.”  I was called that once by my brother’s neighbors who had just moved in.  Sitting on the hood of my brother’s car with my nephew.  Whenever I hear that slur, I wonder if the person using it has gender issues that manifest themselves in the form of a slur: self-hatred inculcates a particularly violent kind of acting out.

But yes, transitioning.  What do you transition to if you don’t identify with male or female parts?  If you’re in flux so much that doing something permanent feels particularly drastic, as it does to me?

Reminds me of a series of photos that Antony, of Antony and the Johnsons (, did a few years ago.  A fellow genderqueer,ze/she (not sure of her pronouns) covered her body in white paint and eliminated all gender markers.  It scared the crap out of me at first, but there was a feeling that I was like that too.  That I wanted to experiment with genderlessness.

So I dressed like a boy and, yeah, got called names.  But what freedom!  Feeling that I was finally in the role that I was finally supposed to be in.



  1. Try to let go of your fixation on body parts being the marker of transgender. I’d argue the old refrain that it is what is between your ears that counts, not what is between your legs. Surgery is a modern construct, and there were transgender people around for eons before there were surgical or hormonal options (which many people still do not have access to).

    Transition is multifaceted and personal. There is medical transition (surgery and/or hormones) but also social transition, legal transition, psychological transition, and gender expression. Again you may ask transition to what? I would argue that it doesn’t have to be binary, and that focusing on a particular goal of surgery/hormones keeps pushing it back to the binary, as if there were no possibility of a non-binary transition.

    • Hey, thanks for replying!
      I think I was just using body parts to illustrate my point; I’m not particularly hung up on them.
      I like what one of my acquaintences said about adulthood: just be yourself.
      I think that goes for transness too.

  2. This gender/sex identity is huge in the LGBT community.

    You should check out my blog about defining yourself.

    I’ve grown to learn each transition is different and how they identify themselves is ultimately up to them but we are surrounded by people who cant accept “Now” or “as is”. We in the constant need to figure stuff out including others business lol. I enjoy this entry. Entirely relatable.

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