Welcome Aboard!

If this is the first time you’ve flown Trans Substantiation, there are a couple things you might need to know: First of all, this is an inclusive space. While this blog is run by a trans woman, by no means is it limited to trans people who were AMAB (Assigned Male at Birth) and their perspectives. I hope that all people—whether part of the LGBTQ+ community or not—find something of interest here. Obviously, this blog’s focus is on trans issues, so if you’re wanting to research your fantasy football lineup, this is probably not the place for that. However, there is no barrier to […]

A person hanging their head and grabbing at the back of their skull.

I Do Not Have a Mental Disorder 3

About a year and a half ago a new condition was added to my medical record, “Gender Dysphoria.” For those who aren’t aware, “Gender Dysphoria” is a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). “Gender Dysphoria” replaced the older diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder” that was present starting in the DSM-III released in 1980. This change was prompted by the recognition that transgender people are not automatically disordered. In fact, according to the DSM-V, it is only the distress and pain that can sometimes accompany transgender identities that can be said to be a […]

Showing up for Trans Rights

A lot has happened in the last week. However, the most significant thing that happened—at least as far as LGBTQIA+ issues go—was Donald Trump announcing, on Twitter, a ban on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. Military. There’s a lot that was wrong with this. However, looking on the bright side, a lot of great things happened as a result. Support for trans veterans and servicemembers came from multiple directions, including some very unexpected places. In addition, the trans community was, for the first time, truly present in the media. For once, a conversation about trans rights directly involved actual […]

The White House at night, lit up in rainbow colors.

On “Passing” 7

I hate the term “passing.” It stems from a fundamentally transphobic and cissexist viewpoint, and casts trans people as deceptive. So, I greatly prefer the phrase “read as cis” to the term “passing” and I wish the trans community could slough off the feeling of need that drives many of us—including me, at times—to obsess with the idea of being read as cis. However, as much as I wish it wasn’t, “passing” is a thing. The term, like the concept it’s attached to, hangs on due to the fear it taps into—the fear that has kept me, and many others, […]

A Theory of Everything (So Long as It’s Related to Gender)

I’ve been working for a while to come up with a theory of sex, gender, and sexuality that accounts for the wide variation seen in the world. This work has been done primarily through responses to specific issues, or viewpoints—often with my personal experience thrown into the mix. However, I haven’t done much to collect my positions and unify them into a theory of everything (so long as it’s related to gender). Sex, gender and sexuality are overarching concepts that provide a structure for thinking about various sets of multivalent descriptive categories and their relationships to each other. Membership in […]

Things That Understandably Call My Gender Into Question 2

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to come to understand those who oppose trans rights. You could call it “know thy enemy” if you wanted to get weirdly militaristic, but I’ve been trying to approach the issue with empathy. You know, trying to see the world from their perspective in hopes that it might engender in me some sense of understanding and compassion. As part of this, I decided to make a list of all the things that might understandably call my gender into question. By this I mean things that, once pointed out, simply “make sense” […]

The LGBTQIA+ Community—Or Lack Thereof 1

Featured image by mathiaswasik from New York City, USA (LGBT Solidarity Rally) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons A lot of people refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people (and occasionally queer, intersex, asexual and other people) as a “community.” There is a lot of utility in referring to these groups as a whole. We have a lot in common, and we have all been engaged—to varying degrees—in a sort of collective bargaining for our right to exist in the world. The prejudice, discrimination, and hate directed at us by various narrow minded individuals and groups has made us […]

Image of LGBT rally by mathiaswasik from New York City, USA.

How am I not myself?

There are a number of times in our lives where we are prompted (or forced) to evaluate where we are at in our lives, determine how we feel about where we are, and decide what to do next. Such prompts can be as small as breaking up with your first love after two tumultuous weeks of dating, and as large as the death of a loved one. Depending on the enormity of the prompt, we might even find ourselves evaluating who we are as individuals, and how we see the world. Over the last two years I’ve had a number […]

Trans Self-Love Is A Revolutionary Act 1

“Even if your love was unconditional It still wouldn’t be enough to save me” -Laura Jane Grace, “Unconditional Love” Being trans, and loving yourself—not just in spite of the fact you are trans, but in part because you are trans—is a revolutionary act. It is an act of celebration. It is an act of rebellion. It is, in effect, a giant, bold, and defiant middle finger held up to a society that continually paints trans people in a negative light. Ultimately, this sort of self-love is the most powerful response a trans person can have to all the negative messages […]

I Was A Bearded Lady – I Just Didn’t Know It Yet 4

Society is used to trans women saying that we knew we were girls from a young age. It’s part of the traditional narrative around trans women that includes the “woman trapped in a man’s body” trope. This idea of knowing you were a girl from a young age accurately describes the feelings of many trans women. However, it doesn’t describe the feelings of every trans woman. We all have a unique way of framing and explaining our feelings—both to ourselves and to others. Unfortunately, an informal hierarchy has popped up around these different ways of talking about our experiences (among […]

Richard Simmons Suing Over False Transition Claims Isn’t Transphobic

I’m going to interrupt my usual navel gazing for a second to address something that has become something of a talking point in the last few days. Richard Simmons is suing the National Enquirer for libel. Simmons is most certainly not the first person to ever sue the Enquirer over their “reporting” choices. The Enquirer thrives on “scandalous” and “salacious” news. It relies on these things in order to get people to pick up their tabloid and buy it. Accurate, objective reporting isn’t all that profitable, and the Enquirer is more than willing to push against the general mores of […]