I feel like the concept of the trans* umbrella is largely frustrating because of the grouping together of a lot of identities and concepts that don’t necessarily mesh well or come from the same source. The biggest problem from where I stand is probably the confluence of those who willfully transgress gender categorization and the binary and those for whom it was not a choice.
Obviously there is some overlap- there are people who identify as a binary gender who are happy with not having been born cis, or mtf/ftm individuals who play with gender presentation come to mind. But the fact is, there’s a category of people who enjoy not being part of the binary who fall under the trans* umbrella, and their mindset is fundamentally different than that of the other category, and they experience and define being trans* in a very, very different sense than those of us who don’t experience being trans* in that way.
I want to be part of the binary. I wish I could have been born with a typical XY male body with no parts straying from the most textbook example of the human male body. Obviously I don’t want to be a hypermasculine stereotype who conforms to every societal idea of what a man should be, but that’s something common to men both cis and trans*, not some kind of willful gender transgression. I cannot speak for everyone, but I know I am not alone in being a trans* person who does not take joy in existing somewhere seen as outside of “normal” gender. I also cannot speak for intersex individuals, but the impression I’ve gotten is that not all of them take joy in the nature of their bodies. These are situations that fall under the trans* umbrella, but are incredibly different in nature than the category of binary-smashing, proud-to-be-not-cis identities that are also under the umbrella. In fact, that second category is more alien to me than the mindsets of cis people.
I don’t know what I’m saying. I wish there was a classification that split up the trans* umbrella along those lines, because I don’t want to speak for the other ground, and I don’t want them to speak for me.