There is no such thing as *looking* transgender. Trans politics is a critique of the idea that gender is a ‘thing’ that is necessarily discernible by others. The idea that gender is 'visible' is violent because those who have power are the ones who determine and regulate the standards of visibility. Trans politics are not just about trans people (a discrete and identifiable community based on a shared visibility), they are about respecting the self-narration of people’s bodies and experiences. Trans politics are about resisting the compulsory disclosure of gender – a mandate of the state’s ongoing colonial project which seeks to categorize and control us. Requiring people to be *visibly* trans is nonconsensual and facilitates harm against people who do not have the safety and resources to embody gender in the ways that you define it. Increasingly people are beginning to accept that gender is not what’s between your legs, but fewer accept that gender is not one’s body more generally. We should not establish a politics of authenticity by deciding who is legitimately trans or not. Otherwise we might end up using a movement intended to challenge gender norms to create new ones.
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