Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by Glowing Eyes, May 31, 2016.
As the title States.
As far as I know, transgender is an umbrella term for all non binary and non cisgender binary gender identities, it is occasionally also used to refer to just trans men and women, the meaning typically depends on the context.
Transmasculine/feminine is a non binary gender identity that some adopt if they feel uncomfortable identifying fully as binary trans but they feel mostly male or female. If there was a kinsey scale for gender identity from 1-5 it would be analogous to 2 or 4 on the scale or even 1.5 or 4.5. It's a personal choice that depends on a person's subjective feeling and there are no criteria that places one person as binary trans and another as transmasculine/feminine...
Transmasculine and transfeminine are catch-all phrases, too. Transfeminine identities cover all trans people on the feminine end of things, from non-op, nonbinary individuals to mtf transsexuals; and the opposite is true of transmasculine individuals.
More often than not, though, Eveline is absolutely correct - because most people I've known to use transmasculine/transfeminine as opposed to transmale/ftm/transman or transfemale/mtf/transwoman are not comfortable with the latter terms, or don't identify on the binary.
Think of transgender as one big umbrella, and transmasc/transfemme as two smaller umbrellas under that umbrella.
I've always seen the terms as a merge of trans- and demi- terms. So amab demi girl would be transfeminine if she likes the label that states both the demi and trans aspect at the same time.
Would that be a sensible interpretation?
While demigirl and transfeminine are in many ways interchangable, demigirl seems to be used in the majority of cases by afabs who don't feel a strong connection to being female. Transfeminine, on the other hand, is used mostly by amabs. It does make sense as the trans prefix does hold a large amount of meaning and someone who is afab might feel uncomfortable identifying with a trans prefixed gender identity when they feel mostly female. Demigirl also sounds wrong in the case of amabs because demi can be seen as a problematic prefix to describe someone who is trans. On the other hand, the choice of gender identity is based on personal feelings of what sounds and feels right and for different people identities have different meanings. With this in mind, saying that a non binary identity has one meaning tends to be problematic because there will always be people who interpret the identity differently.
In other words, every person seems to experience gender in their own unique way and their choice of gender identity reflects as best as they can how they feel inside... that's at least how I understand things. I believe that it is important to understand that adopting a gender identity has a huge amount of meaning eventhough the signifer used might be relativey unknown. It describes a central part of a person's sense of self and being and it can heavily influence a person's actions and decisions as they often feel a need to express that part of themselves to reinforce their identity.
I think everyone above said it well in their own words. I guess I can add that, if I understand things correctly, a (binary) trans girl would per definition (also) be transfeminine, but a transfeminine person isn't necessarily a binary trans person. (And the other way around applies for trans guys/transmasculine people, too, of course.)
Also, transfeminine/masculine may at times be used by people questioning their gender who are not sure of whether they're just mostly a girl/boy, or if they want to identify entirely as a girl/boy. I did that, for example, when I was questioning.