I’ve been thinking about writing a post on gender for a while now, and #DiversityInLingerie seems like the perfect opportunity to talk about this:
I am transgender*. The asterisk there signifies that “transgender”, as used here, refers not just to binary trans persons, but also to genderqueer and agender individuals. More specifically, I am agender. That means that I don’t identify as female… or male… or genderfluid… or anything gendered at all. I am not a woman- I’m just a person.
In the realm of lingerie, there’s a lot of pressure to conform to traditional gender roles… a few months ago, I was even afraid to post photos that showed my armpit hair. Over the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of transphobia in the realm of lingerie, and it makes me really sad. I’ll talk about a few things here:
1) I wear lace and frilly things. I cannot for the life of me understand what lace and frills have to do with “womanhood”. But I’ve had countless people tell me that clearly I am female because I like to wear dresses and velvet and lace. Or that I have large breasts and don’t try to minimize them means that I identify as female.
Nope. I like lace and velvet and dresses because I like the way they look. It’s as simple as that.
2) Lots of bra forums and related websites are “for women only”. I know the intent is to keep out fetishists**, but what about people female-bodied persons who are not women?
3) Related to the last point: a lot of hate spouted at transwomen. My hunch here is that people just don’t get that there is a difference between people who wear bras or who post on bra forums because they find it sexually arousing** and transwomen (non-female-bodied women). Transwomen aren’t “sort or women” or “men pretending to be women”… transwomen are women.
(**I’m bringing this up not because fetishes are “icky” or “perverted”, but because there is a big difference between crossdressing and being transgender. When you’re involving sexual things (fetishes), you need to make sure all involved parties are consenting… which isn’t the case on forums for bra-fitting, which isn’t a sexual subject.)
I haven’t nearly exhausted my thoughts on this subject, but I think this is a good place to start.