Trans Socialization



Gonna be another one of my rants~ so we’ll see where this goes. Also note that this is all my personal experience, and if it’s similar to yours that’s great, but if not then that’s okay too.

Basically I’ve noticed how a bunch of people want to say CAMAB trans people have experienced male socialization and CAFAB trans people have experienced female socialization.

Usually when I see this it’s when cis people say how they can’t feel safe around CAMAB trans people due to our apparent male socialization. Most commonly with trans women in an effort to find some rational for keeping trans women out of women spaces. I’ll also see this same thing used as justification for trans men to be in women’s spaces because of their apparent female socialization and ‘shared girlhood’.

Now if you’re a CAMAB trans person who feels they have had male socialization that’s fine (same with CAFAB trans people vice versa). But I really don’t like this trend of implying that all trans people experience socialization in the same way.

So now to get to the meat of this post, I’ll be talking about how I personally view my own socialization.

As a trans woman looking at any part of my socialization as ‘male’ seems bizarre and completely wrong to me. I’m female so my socialization was female. However I also don’t buy into the whole ‘shared girlhood’ nonsense since everyone is raised so differently and in so many different circumstances.

Growing up I feel everyone is bombarded with different social expectations but whether or not we actually internalize any of that depends on our own personal identities. I saw things directed at girls and women and internalized what I felt should be directed at me. The thing about my socialization though is that I feel waaaaay too many people look at socialization through entirely a cis point of view.

Imagine from a trans point of view how conflicted a little girl would be when she’s told by society that she needs to be feminine, she needs to like ‘girly’ stuff, she needs to be softspoken, etc, etc. And internalizing all that. But then having the people around you telling you that you need to be more assertive, that you can’t be feminine, that we’ll hurt you with physical violence if you are any of those ‘girly’ things. And just not getting that at all.

My socialization was a society telling me how girls and women should act but then also threatening me with violence if I did so. And this isn’t male socialization at all. This is something completely different from male socialization. This is how I was socialized as a young trans girl.

I hate that we have to talk about our socialization in cis terms. I had female socialization because I’m female. But my experiences, and my continuing experiences are not the same as a cis woman’s. Much like how any marginalized (insert adjective - trans, neuroatypical, queer, fat, etc ) woman’s experiences are not the same as a skinny, hetero, cis, white woman’s experiences. And yet we hold that as some sort of standard to measure all others. What the hell.

Let’s stop buying into this cis narrative that we have to measure our worth and our experiences by what they’ve been through.

So yeah. I definitely had female socialization. But I also had trans socialization. And queer socialization. And a huge number of other internalized socialization all intersecting with each other and making my experiences my own.

The one thing I can say I didn’t have was male socialization.

—-ahhh this was really quickly written so bare with my rantings and lack of proof reading~ Feel free to comment or reblog, but again note that this is just how I view my own experiences and how I feel cis people are pushing their narratives onto trans people.

THIS, pretty much. I’m not a trans woman (anymore), but I am femme and so I internalized a lot of female socialization.

I first reblogged without commentary, but am now going to add a bit on why I reblogged this:

I am not reblogging because I believe that this is representative of all trans* people’s  experiences/relationships with socialization; rather this is one experience among many. (There are some aspects of this post that I don’t fully understand, such as “queer socialization,” in that we live in a heterosexist society and as such do not get exposed to many queer messages as we develop and studies have shown that the internalization of dominant culture ideals happens really early on and so internalized heterosexism happens from a young age. But I may be misinterpreting the author’s point.) 

That said, I think it is important to recognize and value the many different experiences people have as relates to gender, society, and development. This also highlights the need to move away from the tendency to apply concepts in static and rigid terms to groups that are not homogenous. This is not to say that these concepts are necessarily wrong, but that sometimes they do not reflect someone’s lived experience, and when that happens there is a need to listen to their experience, and perhaps come up with new concepts or adjust old ones to make room for people who’s experiences are not reflected in current concepts, or at least have a discussion about the difference between the conceptual and the experienced/lived world because sometimes these are divergent and that divergence may be an aspect of the concept. 

Sorry for the lack of clarity in this writing; I am feeling highly distracted by the snow outside which is a rarity here.

(via hairyqueerkid-deactivated201206)