I am hearing that many trans & nonbinary people are considering de-transitioning or going stealth in light of the Trump presidency in fear of increased violence and persecution. This is so, so real and I just want to send my love to all of the trans & nonbinary people out there who are having to make impossible choices between safety and authenticity. You are valid and real no matter what! This doesn't make you any less trans! This is such an important time to scream from the rooftops that gender is not what we look like, it's who we are. Standardizing gender as appearance is part of a transmisogynist culture that puts the onus on trans people to make ourselves visible to cis people instead of cis people having to expand their own ideas of gender. It also mistakenly understands trans visibility outside of violence: unfortunately we live in a world where due to racism and transmisogyny most of us can't control and self-determine our genders without considering the very real threat of intimate, familial, interpersonal, and state violence. Every day -- and especially these days -- so many trans, nonbinary (and especially gender non-conforming) people like myself have to compromise our appearance in order to remain safe. I often don't post photos of myself wearing "men's clothing" (whatever that means) online because I worry about being misgendered and I worry about my experiences with transmisogynist violence being erased and discredited. But I'm back in my home town in Texas which went for Trump and I am wearing "men's clothes" and I have never felt more like an unapologetically trans femme in my life! Going forward I am going to post more photos of myself wearing whatever I'm wearing. We need more expansive and real representations of what trans life can look like. We don't live in a world yet where gender non-conforming/nonbinary/transfeminine people of color like me can be safe presenting as we choose. This doesn't make us "men," that doesn't mean we have "male privilege." What this makes us is strategic, is complex, is real. To all of the nonbinary & trans people out there: you are REAL no matter what you look like and I love you!

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