I often get asked about the questioning part of Trans, Non-binary and Questioning groups.
Whilst we don’t get many people who fall into this category, it is as important for those who through talking about their feelings decide that they are not trans as it is for those who later transition.
For some people, questioning their gender stops there – at questioning. For others it may be something that they do at an early stage in their transition, something they do only when the fear of surgery looms, or something they skip all together.
So what does this all mean in practice?
For some people, questioning their gender is barely on their radar. These are both cis and trans+ people who feel secure in who they are (even if for some of them society feels otherwise).
For others, they may question their gender and be unsure of whether or not they identify as society has labelled them. Sometimes this will look like someone trying out some different ways of presenting themselves – masc, butch, and femme presentations regardless of gender. These people may then go on to identify as trans+, or they may not.
Yet other people are fairly sure for the most part how they identify, but may sometimes have days that they query how sure they are. Often this is around irreversible changes, such as surgery. It usually doesn’t mean that they are not trans+, but that they want to check in with their feelings and make sure that what they are doing is right for them. These are feelings they can bring to groups.
At Beyond Reflections, one of the things that we do is support people in their journey with this. We don’t push either way. We listen, we say what we are hearing from them, and we sit with their ‘unsureness’ whilst they work it out, without judging them.
This means that we support not only those who go on to transition, but also those who make a start into the process then realise that what they are experiencing is not a need to transition, but maybe just a need for self-acceptance and to dress and present themselves more fluidly.
We work with gender identity, not just transition, and this is a conscious choice.