Vickie writes: "It seems that we just do not have the terms yet, and thereThanks for your thoughtful comments! I agree - terminology is a tricky subject. One one hand having a set of terms and control over how they are used/understood is essential if we want to have any sort of movement to fight for our civil rights and gain a wider understanding in society. On the other hand terminology in the end can only be constricting - definitions always are because there will always be exceptions or else the definition is too broad to have much meaning.
are endless battles over what to call us. Actually there are battles going on
over all our terms."
Kaye writes: "I seem to gravitate towards the unusual .... as my wife of 35
years so frequently points out .... if it's 'uber niche' then that's where you
People in any group will probably never totally agree on just one set of self-defining terms. Just look at the fights over terminology in any profession or academic discipline for an example of this. Certainly I get some sense of self from being "different" (or as I sometimes put it: non-conforming), but I do also feel, like everyone, a desire to be part of a community, ideally one of my own choosing.
In the end perhaps the only thing that matters is that people needn't be restricted by the terminology and labels that others apply to them (nor by the "communities" that such labels place them in) - labels are a quick and dirty but necessary means to an end - which is understanding the world around us.
The big obstacle in my view is that so many in the TG community are in the closet or have a completely understandable and burning desire to fit in or escape persecution and or shame, that they don't get out in society as proud transgendered individuals and let people know that in the end we're just like them - diverse, fallible, human.