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Samara 🦑 Larkin @squidlarkin
, 17 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
as a trans woman, I've had a lot of people (even well-meaning allies!) tell me that no matter what I do, no matter how much I change my body, I'll always be male. and that it's not transphobic to say so. it's just science, after all.

let's talk about that.
the short answer is: yes it's transphobic, because I'm trans and I'm telling you so.

that's how it works for any marginalized group you don't belong to. we're more aware of what language is harmful to us than you are, and we don't always have the energy to explain
after all, I wouldn't even bring it up if it wasn't a problem, would I?

when someone says "ow, you're standing on my foot", your first response should be to move your damn foot, not say "but I'm not putting all my weight on it!"
it's not an attack on your character, either. just because you've said something transphobic, likely out of ignorance, doesn't mean I think you hate trans people or anything

but if you get defensive about it, I might start to suspect that you do
but even if it hurts my feelings, it's still true, right? it's a scientific fact. X and Y chromosomes. we learned this stuff in grade school

which is exactly the problem, you're listening to elementary science instead of, y'know, actual scientists
what science actually says is that biological sex isn't a binary. it's not even one thing, it's chromosomes, genitals, hormone balance, secondary sexual characteristics, etc. etc. and they don't always all line up on one side of the male/female divide…
but that carries some uncomfortable implications, doesn't it? you wouldn't say a cis woman is "less female" if she's had a hysterectomy or gone through menopause or whatever. people don't change sex based on medical conditions, we need to define it as a constant somehow
and that's where the temptation to use chromosomes as the Absolute Truth comes from, because they never change

but they also don't always match what you'd expect, because intersex people exist. and you probably don't even know your own karyotype for sure, it's not a routine test
so that's why science doesn't say that I'm male. but here's the thing: it doesn't say that I'm female, either. there's no scientific proof that I'm a woman. because that's not science's job.
gender's a social construct. the question of who's male and who's female, on a practical everyday level, isn't decided by academia. it's decided by all of us, through our words and thoughts and actions. it's a part of our consensus reality.
"just saying trans women are female doesn't make it true" - no, it literally does

if enough people say it and believe it, that becomes the reality we live in. why do you think transphobes get so upset when we say it?
and if we're shaping reality like that, then we're faced with the ethical question of whether trans people SHOULD be considered the gender we say we are

and that's a hotly debated topic, but science has some insights there as well
not so much from biology, but from psychology and sociology

we know that incongruence of gender identity is a part of normal human variation, not a delusion, not something that can or should be "cured"

we know that transition is an effective treatment for dysphoria
we know that our quality of life is greatly improved when we're accepted by society as our correct genders

we know that the outcomes are far worse when we're not
and as someone who's been exposed to a lot of transphobia, I can tell you that the VAST majority, if not all of it, ultimately stems from that one assumption: that I'm fundamentally male. it's an idea that attacks me at every level, from the personal to the systemic
you can save trans people so much misery just by letting go of the idea that our assigned sex at birth is the fundamental truth of who we are

it costs you nothing to stop saying it, unless you think I'm "erasing womanhood" and I've already written on that
oh, and there's another reason trans women are female: it's because women are female

in everyday life "sex" and "gender" are basically synonymous, they're mostly only treated as separate concepts when we talk about trans people. and it's not helpful. let's stop doing that
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