Labels, libels…

An ongoing conversation I’m having with myself, and with others – both friends, and online in forums – about what labels fit, and why use them – and how others use them to free you or imprison you.

First of all, I was writing yesterday on a forum that I don’t wish to be called queer or genderqueer – even though I’m technically both – because queer was wielded on me like a weapon at school, and I choose not to have that around me any more. But after writing that, I realised I’m actually comfortable with genderqueer as a description after all, because it doesn’t have the same connotations for me – I’d just assumed it would have. Interesting. It also occurred to me that the joke’s on the kids who called me queer at school, because the reason why they were right was because I liked girls :).

I’ve mentioned here before now that I came up with this label Womandrogyne to describe myself. I like it a lot, because it describes me well in my own terms. But the big problem is, most people don’t get it, unless I go into a lengthy explanation. So I’ve been casting about for a better choice of description. Last night, what with full moon and all, I was pretty fizzy, and realised that something I’d been joking about was actually a very good description of me, and that’s Trans Tomboy. I like it because it feels very much like I feel – and I like it because people seem to “get” it straight away, without needing much explanation.

This is important to me not because I desperately want yet another label (yawn), but because I’m heartily tired of people writing me off as not being a “proper” trans woman because I’m not girly. This seems to do the trick, because people have a pigeonhole in their mind for “tomboy”, and they can fit me in it, and that makes them think “kind of woman” and then we can all move on, thank goodness.

I mentioned this on that forum last night, and today some knob-end has had a go at me for not simply calling myself a trans woman. It’s actually quite entertaining: on the one hand he’s telling me to “just be yourself”, and then on the other he’s telling me in no uncertain terms I can only do that on his terms. Pff… (as I like to say on such occasions). Ah, well.


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