Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bronies and beared ladies.

Last week there was a Dutch article on a German woman who had beard growth and had decided to not pluck it out any longer. She now works at the circus. It's a lonely life but she is happier being herself even though not everyone reacts positively, telling her she should be shot etc.

I was a bit surprised at this article and not in a good way. I found myself thinking: she really works in the circus? That is so two centuries ago. It seemed like fiction. But this probably is her only option. Let's be honest, what kind of job do you see her doing? Something where other people couldn't see her. But who would hire her in the first place? I don't think anyone would. Other then circus that is. People are so stuck in the binary that anything that does not fit people's ideas of what is feminine or masculine is simply not accepted. A bearded lady is a freak and should either be shot or in the circus. In the rest of the world there is no place for someone like that. 

What I was even more surprised at, were the reactions the article got. It was posted in one of the trans groups on Facebook. It was a mixed group so there were transmen and women on there. The post has been removed and I only saw a few of the comments but I saw it was getting out of hand real quick. The transmen mostly reacted approving, perhaps even a bit jealous. Some of the transwomen however were shocked, appalled and offended. How could a woman want to grow a beard? They were trying really hard to not grow a beard in becoming a real woman. And now there was this cis (people born in the body that fits their gender identity) woman, who saw herself as 100% woman, who was growing a beard! How could she do that? It seems that a lot of transsexuals are just as stuck in the binary as most cis people are. They rebuke any behavior that doesn't fit just as hard as others do. 

As much as that shocks me, I also feel embarrassed as I am part of that group and I would like to be able to say: we, transgenders, think outside of the binary boxes of male and female. But it turns out we don't. We are just as human as the rest of you. We are just as insecure, or maybe even more. We want to fit in. That's all that matters in the end. At least, for a lot of trans people. The want to be accepted for who they are and because of that they will go through great lengths to be as passable as possible. Even if that means rejecting people who don't fit the standard either, who are just trying to be themselves, just like they are.

Passability is one of the greatest issues among the trans community. It's so important. It is the greatest achievement there is for a transsexual. It makes me wonder why. A lot of transsexuals are afraid they will be found out. That something will give away the fact that they were born in the wrong body. They are afraid that, if/when people find out, they will be rejected. A lot of them will tell you it's not about that. It's about feeling like a real woman or like a real man. Sorry but that's a load of crap. If you didn't feel like a woman or a man, you wouldn't want to change your body and your social role to fit how you feel. So you already feel like a real woman or a real man. What you look like has nothing to do with that. If we look at the so called ideal of what women or men should look like, hardly anyone meets that standard. But a lot of trans people think they should, because they have to compensate for not having ovaries or testicles. Do we really have to? A friend of mine posted a video on my wall the other day, about bronies. About what? Bronies. Just watch the video here

Did you watch it? It raises some interesting questions. Personally I'm a big fan of bronies. Not of My Little Pony to be honest. But I think bronies are awesome. I hope it will be the start of something new. A new definition of what masculine and feminine means. And how stuck we are with those two as being divided. I believe that everyone has a feminine and a masculine side. We are now at an age where we have the ability to express both sides. Whether you are transsexual or cis or transgender, you always have a feminine and a masculine side. Embrace them and make them work together. If we, the trans people, really want to be ourselves and be free to express the way we see ourselves, everyone should be able to. I think that's the only way to do it. So I say let's get the bearded lady out of the circus and see her as just another human being, just like the rest of us. 

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