Being Publicly Misgendered Doesn't Bother Me

I am valid the way that I am.

I’ve been out for almost a decade. I identify as a transgender man, although, at 23, I look like I’m 15 or 16. I look so young because I’m not on the male hormone testosterone, a hormone that most transgender men take to develop secondary sex characteristics such as a beard and low voice.

I chose not to go on “T” to preserve my singing voice. I made many albums with this voice so I feel like it would be unwise to have a new voice. Sometimes I go back and forth whether I should take it or not but deep down inside I know that it isn’t for me.

Due to not being on “T” I don’t pass as male most of the time. Oddly, I usually am read as a girl. At restaurants I am referred to as “miss” or “girls” when I’m with a girl or group of girls. This would make most transgender people (that I know), irate. However, I don’t let it get to me. I just brush it off my shoulders.

Due to not being on “T” I don’t pass as male most of the time.

I have trans friends that get so mad to the point that they would yell at the waiter for calling them the wrong pronouns. I happen to believe that it’s not the waiter’s fault. It’s just something that has been taught by society, a social construct. It’s not hateful, it’s just ignorant.

The only way to change it is to educate people. You can correct the waiter, nicely, and maybe he won’t be so quick to judge someone’s gender upon meeting them or maybe next time he’ll ask what someone would like to be called. Or you can educate in other ways. I like to go into high schools and colleges and talk about being transgender to spread visibility. If they know we exist, they are less likely to assume a strangers gender.

But why doesn’t being publicly misgendered bother me anymore? It’s because I’m comfortable with who I am. I don’t need some random person’s validation to feel man enough. I am man enough the way I am. I just need to believe in myself. I need to see myself the way that I want to see myself, for who I am. It’s about inner validation.

I don’t need some random person’s validation to feel man enough.

If I have friends and family members who call me the right name and pronouns, it’s even better. But, I don’t need every stranger on the street to acknowledge my gender the way I acknowledge my gender. I just need to be me and that’s enough. I am valid the way that I am.

Disclaimer: This is just my perspective as a transgender person living in the open minded city of Los Angeles, California. I understand that passing can be very important to transgender people living in less privileged places.