Some very interesting questions
I found this entry on Jack Molay's Crossdreamer portal (dated January 2022) where some of the very same interesting questions which I ponder were being discussed (for example I don't believe that expression and identity are necessarily synonymous) :
"Over at CDL Carah Maise asks whether it makes sense to include people who have a different gender expression (as opposed to gender identity) in the transgender family.
I've been around the trans world for what is becoming a very long time. I've seen things evolve and change. I’m seeing, a growing call for gender nonconformity and expression (whether for crossdressing, drag, fashion, etc) to move from just being under the trans umbrella but a call to be considered the same thing as transgender, regardless of actual gender identity/dysphoria. Beyond what we have classically seeing requiring at least an identity of not cis. Much of this comes from a very sincere place and is motivated by good. However something about this makes me feel just a little uncomfortable, probably that I've been accused and denied a trans identity by cis people.
This intro leads to a lot of interesting questions:
- Are gender expression and gender identity really two completely distinct phenomena?
- How do you deal with the fact that many transgender people are on a journey, where their self understanding changes?
- Do we have the science needed to determine who are trans and who are not?
- Who is the arbiter, given that no one else but the trans person themselves can truly know who they are?
- Is being transgender a question about some kind of gender essence or is this a relative political or social term, defined by the way cis people treat trans people.
- If trans is defined as the opposite of cis, and cis are seen as those who are not trans, can the term be anything but relative?"