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Are Transmasc and Transfem based more on identity or expression?

Do you think the identities transmasculine and transfeminine are based more on internal identity or outward gender expression?  

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I briefly identified as a feminine trans man and during that time I met a lot of other trans men and male-leaning afab nonbinary people who identified as transmasculine. To us, it was never about masculinity itself but about the fact that we leaned more toward manhood and had been assigned female at birth. I've also seen masculine trans women doing the same, identifying as transfeminine to express that they lean more toward womanhood despite having been assigned male at birth.

In recent years I've seen more and more afab masculine nonbinary people using the label to express that they were assigned female at birth and were transitioning toward masculinity, toward a more masculine gender identity than what had been expected of them, but not toward manhood - and many of them still identify partially as women. I'm told that amab feminine nonbinary people are doing the same but haven't seen it as much personally. This brought up some identity issues for me considering that I'm more masculine presenting, afab, and nonbinary but not a trans man.

It seems like the first group is using the labels to indicate gender identity but the second is using them to indicate gender expression. So if you're trans, nonbinary, or otherwise non-cis, vote in this poll and comment your feelings and observations below. If you're cis, feel free to read the results and ask questions of course but this is an intracommunity issue for trans and nonbinary people.

EDIT: can a mod move this to gender and sexuality? I forgot we had that forum.

Edited by Finn
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I think it's identity. I'm a masculine trans woman and I'm certainly not nonbinary. From what I've noticed, nonbinary people have a fundamentally different experience of gender to binary trans people and I do not relate to nonbinary people. That's why I think it's identity and not expression.

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8 minutes ago, Zema said:

From what I've noticed, nonbinary people have a fundamentally different experience of gender to binary trans people

not invalidating you or anything but i just thought you should know, there are nonbinary trans women who would certainly disagree with that and who would relate more to your experiences than mine even though they're nonbinary and you're not. nonbinary is so varied that i don't think we can really be described as having a single experience of gender.

Edited by Finn
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My experience of gender, as a nonbinary person, has been that I am more masculine than feminine, and that I want a more traditionally masculine body. I call myself transmasculine sometimes because of the way I feel about myself, which I would consider internal identity, not because of the steps I am taking to change my body. I see my masculinity as more than just a way I choose to present myself; it's about who I want to be, and how I see myself in the future, and who I am now. My expression can change anytime I want; my identity is a core part of who I am.

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that i may sometimes identify as transmasc (genderfluid so it tends to fluctuate alskdls) generally doesn’t have anything to do with gender expression. for me, it’s more a matter of just, in essence, feeling male, but reluctant to say i’m male. not because it wouldn’t be accurate, just more out of self-consciousness that my gender expression isn't expressively “male.”

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