The fact that it took you until this late in the essay to even acknowledge the existence of transgender gay men really betrays how much your privilege is obstructing your vision of this issue.

You are right to note that gay men have a complex relationship to gender norms, presentation, terminology, and so much more — but that is not the same thing as being transgender. If it were, you wouldn’t be writing off transgender gay men as a group so small and unimportant as to be cast off from consideration. You’re claiming in this piece that “cisgender” as a term is being weaponized against gay men — but by whom? Who is that powerful force exerting this influence? Is it the tiny tiny population of trans gay men you see as so small and powerless and insignificant that you barely even mention we exist in the piece?

You can’t have it both ways. Are we a powerful force that is trying to silence you and erase your gender diversity, or are we a tiny minority you nearly forget exists, even in an essay supposedly about gender variance? The whole reason cisgender is used as a term is to highlight advantages one group has over another. And this essay reeks of the ease that cis gay men have navigating gay spaces compared to transgender gay men.

There is a meaningful discussion to be had here, about gender nonconformity in gay circles, about nonbinary amab gay people like Jonathan Van Ness and Jeffrey Marsh, about how homophobia and transphobia dovetail to harm effeminate people. But you can’t even begin to have that conversation responsibly until you learn to center trans voices in it, and stop being outraged and offended that an oppressed group within your ranks is trying to name their oppression at your hands.

Written by

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store