Transgender Violation of Gender Rules

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Breaking the Law.”

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of law: the hard law and the soft law. The hard law are those written in black and white such us regulations and constitutions. On the other hand soft laws are those regulation that are not written in paper and yet universally executed and accepted. Basically, laws are based on the normative principles, but we should not be quick to equate laws with norms. Norms work in a very implicit way, while at the same time has a dramatic effect in our society. Normative principle is a signifier where rules are created that separates the normal from abnormal, good from bad, from what is acceptable and what is not, and so on.

I consider myself as an obedient citizen. I follow all the rules and as far as I know I am not breaking any law. Sometimes, the problem with a bureaucracy is that there are so many rules and regulations that you are not aware of and you do not know anymore if you are breaking any. Then of course, you if you are not caught, you are officially not doing anything against the law.

However, I disobey the normative rules of our gendered society on a daily basis. Every day, I transgress the boundaries of the dichotomous gender binary. Fundamentally speaking, male sex should embrace every conforming norms about the masculine gender, which of course a fundamental gender rule that I disobey every day. Being a biological male who is always seeking recognition as feminine, I am guilty of violating every essence of the gender rules of our society.  I claim and perform my transgender identity openly and express my gender not according to the rules of hetero-normativity.

Of course, it is not illegal for a man to be feminine or for a woman to be masculine. Police men will not arrest me for wearing female clothing, little make-up, long hair and allowing my peers to use female pronouns on me. But then, there is another kind of policing: the policing of our society. When one violates the unwritten rules and regulation of our society, he or she can be policed by the judgemental looks, bullies, discrimination, hate speech, and sometimes violence.

This exclusion through social policing has a silver lining. It is very empowering. When one is confronted by the social police, you symbolically stand up firm on your feet and look straight back at them. I said symbolically, because I do not mean that we should make scenes in public by fighting back. We fight by continuing to express our genders in fundamentally different ways. We transgender and transsexual men and women should express that there is more to it than a strict and suffocating structure of gender binary. And yes, we and we should be proud with our unruly behaviour, of course as long as we do not compromise our own sake and of other people around us. As long as we keep that in mind, we are not doing anything against humanity.


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