As I start seminary, I’ll be spending most of my “home” time in a dorm room on campus. My official home is still in San Mateo, but I’m moving out little by little.
At the campus, I was originally supposed to have a room in a 3-bedroom suite. I’d share a living room and bathroom with two other women. Or rather, I’d be sharing those with two women. Housing in Arch is grouped by gender. As I’m legally female I’d be in a suite for women. But when I learned that a single room would be available in Benton, I opted for that. Yeah, it would mean sharing a communal bathroom down the hall with the others on my floor, but that seemed easier to deal with for me.
And I wondered at that. Was it my introversion exerting itself? Only partially. The main reason was gender, and I think I’ve made an important discovery about myself.
I am not a woman. I am a trans woman.
I found that I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of sharing a 3-bedroom suite with women, even though that would’ve been vastly preferable to sharing such lodgings with men. The closest to gender neutral housing at PSR are the single dorm rooms in Benton Hall. I’m not gender neutral. I’m gaining a better understanding for what it might mean to be non-binary. I exist within the binary of male-to-female, but even if I’m able to transition I still won’t be able or inclined to deny my history. I am, and will remain, trans.
Even as I mulled these thoughts over, I saw the following blog post by Gender Mom in which she discusses the difference between her daughter, M, and other girls. People like M and I are different, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Not all trans persons I’ve encountered are comfortable with publicly embracing this difference. I know MTFs who identify solely as women and FTMs who identify as solely as men. But for my part, I’m finding that I can’t really claim the identity as woman. Not now, at least. I seem to go in cycles about this in that regard.
Yeah, it hurts when people use pronouns like he, him, his, and himself to refer to me. Usually it’s accidental, and I understand that. It’s still possible to hurt people by accident though. And while I’m fully comfortable with pronouns like she, her, hers and herself I still feel like it’s necessary for my peace of mind to identify as a trans woman rather than as a woman.
That is my choice, and that’s how I’ll identify.