The Journey of Gender Expression

For me, my gender has always been super important. I have started to question my devotion to using exclusively they/them pronouns. I have begun to question it more on the trans identifying side as opposed to the nonbinary identity that I have had for almost two years. My personal gender expression essentially means that it embodies what my gender is to me inside of my head. This is something that some trans and nonbinary people in the world feel, but I also resonate with it. I personally aspire to be the most masculine non-man to exist, but everyone’s gender is something different. 

Charlie Guinan, local transgender advocate, shares his experience as a trans guy who came out later than a lot of other queer people. He was 20 years old when he came out as Charlie and using he/him pronouns. He is now 22 years old, and experiencing life as an adult through the anti-trans country we live in today. 

“Unlike a lot of trans guys, I put a lot of emphasis on the trans part of my identity rather than the guy part. I want people that are queer and that I am friends with to know that I am trans,” Guinan said. “I am who I am today because I grew up and was raised as a girl, and experienced a majority of my life as a girl. I am the oldest child in my family so I still relate to the eldest daughter syndrome,” Guinan expressed. 

Guinan says that the people who represent what views his gender expression in the media the best are Jesse Pinkman, a character from Breaking Bad and Ally Beardsley, who is a comedian and has very masculine features that Guinan appreciates. 

Guinan finishes with how he hopes to feel comfortable and confident in his own body. “I do not feel comfortable in my own body right now, but after I am able to get top surgery I will feel better about my body,” Guinan shared. “I have always hated my chest, even before I came out as trans so I think after top surgery I will have a lot of confidence not even with just my gender but in general as well,” Guinan said. 

Alexz Owens, a local busser at Rockne’s, shares her experience with gender. “Gender to me is how I feel the most comfortable in my body,” Owens shared. “Seeing my progress on HRT has been really euphoric for myself in a gender sense.” This is really unique in itself because trans women have a lot of prejudices against them, and their experiences on HRT are so different from trans men. 

Owens expresses that she wishes most people would just treat her like a woman, because that is what she identifies as. She says she does not want people to feel threatened by her just existing as the most authentic version of herself. 

 This is the stereotype of trans people that has always made me so incredibly confused. Why would someone who is trans want to come into the restroom for their gender to hurt someone else? Most, if not all the time, they just want to use the restroom like everyone else in there. Also imagine if someone assumed that someone else was trans and using the restroom to spy on someone, and that person is not even trans. That is so embarrassing and reflects them as a person more than a trans person using the correct restroom. 

Owens finishes with what she feels as though is unique about her gender to herself. “As a masc presenting transfem I think that is pretty unique compared to other trans women who want to be presented as super feminine,” Owens reflected. This is something that a lot of trans people go through when transitioning or even after their full transition. This feeling of after coming out as a ftm or mtf person that they have to present themselves so masculine or feminine so that no one can even assume that they could be their biological gender. This could lead people to feel uncomfortable in their bodies in a different way of not being able to dress, act, or live like their authentic selves. 

All in all, everyone experiences gender differently. Gender is such a unique experience for everyone to have, especially those of us outside of the gender binary. It is a way to feel connected with the body you have and to give yourself artistic freedom within your mind, body, and soul to have them all intertwine. This is a beautiful, but complicated experience for anyone to have to process what gender they are and how to go about changing everything about the life they have been living. It can be difficult to manage life at first, but for many it is rewarding. 


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