Tomboy vs. Trans

Tomboy vs. Trans

[TW TERFs, misgendering, medical abuse]

For context, this is what a TERF is. I put this here because they are the sort of people who write these articles and applaud them, and should be avoided.

This topic isn’t new, but there was an article (this article, if you can stomach reading it) circulating this week about how the rise of “tomboys” in media is making young girls “want to swap gender”.


Let’s unpack a few things:

“Tomboy” in itself is a problematic term for a number of reasons:

  1. It makes everything about males yet again, which can be damaging for young girls.
  2. It links “butch” with “masculine”, which is a false connection. You can be butch without being masculine in any way. Ask any butch femme.
  3. It infantilises gender presentation, and implies that it is a presentation that young girls will grow out of and instead grow into stereotypical gender roles. THIS IS HARMFUL.
  4. It is also linked to sexuality stereotypes. For example, my sister has always presented in a butch way, and my parents used that as a reason to belittle her coming out as a lesbian. Just no.

The other highly problematic part of this article is the assumption that someone who presents “masculine” will want to transition. The wording in the article is gross, people don’t “choose” their gender, they transition to fit their true gender, but this is the nonsense we see constantly.

And from a personal point, this is absolutely an article attacking trans men, and whilst we absolutely don’t have anywhere near as shitty a time of it as trans women do, there is not a lot of information available for trans men. Seeing articles like this is going to scare a lot of young trans men into thinking they’re “deluded” or somehow “just butch lesbians”, and there is a lot of literature out there on the effects of suppressing gender identities on people’s mental health.

Also this whole thing is just bullshit: we trans and non-binary folks are finally seeing better representations of ourselves, and young trans people have access to more and more info about gender identity versus gender expression, about transitioning, and support networks I would have loved as a teen.

Yet someone who is head of the Gender Clinic in NHS England and SHOULD FUCKING WELL KNOW BETTER is publishing articles about how kids choose their gender and how they’re so easily influenced by media.

On a personal level this terrifies me because the number of known trans teen suicides is frighteningly high, and that’s only the ones we know were out. The impact normalising opinions like this about gender expression and identity is going to have is going to be devastating.

Trans people should be the ones writing on these topics. Please search out and read their words over this trash.


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