But, then again, it isn’t that simple. In addition to being a performer, I’m also a trans person in a culture that seems to only understand gender through appearance. My being seen as the woman I am is almost entirely dependent on my ability to perform femininity as its been established in our culture—namely, to be beautiful. Here is how I feel most of us have been taught to process gender: if a person looks female, she’s a woman; if a person looks male, he’s a man. Those of us who don’t always look perfectly female or perfectly male are subject to being misgendered and misunderstood; we are often the subject of ridicule, judgement, and scrutiny. There is an unfair assumption made about each of our gender identities based on how we look, but gender identity and appearance are two completely separate things. Looking like a boy or looking like a girl doesn’t mean that you are one.
Isn’t that unfair? People associate a certain look with being female because being female presents as a certain look. People are using their vision to identify the world around them. Quick, make them stop!