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Trans FAQ

This is a running collection of answers to questions I've noticed are common both among people who are trans/questioning and seeking help as well as cis people who are confused or skeptical about trans identity.

I'm going to refer mainly to trans women and other transfeminine people, because it reflects my personal experience, and also it gets cumbersome to constantly say, for instance, "things associated with the gender opposite to your assigned gender at birth." However, for the most part, you can reverse the specific gender references and what I say will still hold.

Am I a trans woman? Am I non-binary? Help!

Slow down.

The particular label you use is the last thing you need to figure out. First comes the question of what you actually want.

Consider all of the questions as if you lived in an ideal world: Don't make the question about what others would think, or what kind of results you could realistically expect from transition. Figure out who your ideal self is, then decide in what ways you can or can't become like that person.


For name and pronouns, I would strongly recommend finding a way to try out different possibilities and see how the make you feel. Ideally, this would in-person be with someone you trust, however, you can also get a lot of milage out of online spaces.



When I was trying to figure out whether I was trans woman or genderqueer, When I broke down the specifics, I realized that for pretty much every item, I wanted to be more feminine. The strongest sign was that when I experienced people calling me "she" as well as "they," I like "she" better. There's no hard and fast rules: gender isn't a set of discrete values: it's a spectrum—or maybe more of an n-dimensional hyperspace. What I realized, though, was that all things considered, the place I felt my ideal self was located in genderspace was close enough to the circle of people seen as "women" that it felt like the best label for me.

What does it mean to "feel like a woman"?

This is an extremely overloaded term, and a huge amount of difficulty is caused by confounding different usages. At the minimum, it can mean:

  1. Feeling like you want to be a woman
  2. Feeling like you're supposed to be a woman
  3. Feeling like that you have the typical thoughts and feelings of a woman
  4. Feeling like others see you woman
  5. Feeling like you are carrying out a female role

Of these, only (1), and two a lesser extent (2) or (3) are essential to being a woman.