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A trans-positive hashtag has gone viral on Twitter for showing how transgender people don’t have to look or perform gender in a certain way.
Twitter user @wondyful started the hashtag #TransLooksLikeThis on Wednesday, bringing to light the discrimination some face for not being “trans enough,” not having top surgery or being on hormone therapy, or “passing” as their preferred gender.
not everyone can transition for many reasons and that doesn’t make us any less trans than someone post-op and years on HRT, we’re all siblings at the end of it so please let’s support each other— odd eye by shinee (@wondyful) January 3, 2019
(4/4) and for that reason im starting a hashtag called #TransLooksLikeThis because at the end of the day being transgender doesn’t come with a set look, it comes with just being you!! please rt/like this so it gets traction!! and @ me in all ur posts i wanna rt all of you cuties!— odd eye by shinee (@wondyful) January 3, 2019
While trans visibility has increased significantly over the past few years, the scope is limited as to what trans bodies, faces, and experiences look like, as the hashtag points out.
The hashtag inspired many to share their own stories and photos on Twitter.
transcum are wild, they say you need dysphoria to be trans but the moment you explain you have dysphoria but can't afford testosterone for various health or money related issues they say you're trender. Just say you want people to fit your narrow idea of gender— eat pant (@hrenochka) January 5, 2019
#TransLooksLikeThis im a nonbinary boy (he/they) im proud of who i am, and I am enough. Thank you to @SteelballMyles my loving boyfriend for pushing me to be confident and love myself. And thank you @gothfruits for being so damn inspiring and giving me the courage to post this ❤ pic.twitter.com/3ENyJ3OuSZ— 🔥🔥 sickie mode 🔥🔥 (@Kiervocado) January 3, 2019
The idea being trans or gnc means u gotta look one way is absolutely ridiculous. But it makes me happy to see that people are fighting against that idea and are showing that we all walk different paths and that’s okay! I’m Kaye and I’m agender. They/Them!#TransLooksLikeThis pic.twitter.com/y1rE3wPoX9— due to personal reasons....im baby (@Werewoozi) January 3, 2019
It also revealed the intersectionality of race, class, age, and body positivity in the trans community.
#TransLooksLikeThis not every transgirl in the world can afford e (and not every trans person wants hormone reassignment)— Cara The Sim (@CaraThe5imian) January 3, 2019
I hate the thin facial hair I have but posting this pic is important to me pic.twitter.com/R7KpodBHXn
#TransLooksLikeThis surprise! There are fat trans people, and we don’t need your Eurocentric and toxic body standards to exist! Also, just cause I’m super femme doesn’t mean I’m binary!!! Support trans NB femmes and folks pls☺️ she/they pic.twitter.com/h2wBrl16Zc— cisgender biological woman🚺 (@rutituti57) January 3, 2019
#TransLooksLikeThis: AC (they/them), 28, trans non-binary, Filipino-American, they/them pronouns. 5’2”. Brown. Gender euphoric. Butch to Andro to Femme depending on the day. Gender is not a 2D spectrum, it’s a galaxy and I love this hashtag. pic.twitter.com/4WItn9PYe3— Mx. AC Dumlao (they/them) (@mxacdumlao) January 3, 2019
Some are using the hashtag to share their journeys and teach us a thing or two about self-love.
#TransLooksLikeThis I'm somewhere between nb and agender when I was younger I struggled with my identity and felt much more comfortable learning non binary was a thing as I did not feel like a boy or a girl pic.twitter.com/U9CErTg53G— brain slush (@crystallinek9) January 4, 2019
#TransLooksLikeThis I am non binary and this past year I’ve embraced my identity and tried to love it more than ever. I love makeup and usually look p femme I guess but at the end of the day my identity IS valid and this is who I am. pic.twitter.com/GZZLIVEAqR— lil case (@_caseyvalentine) January 4, 2019
And a trans family shared a photo with their babies, giving us hope for the future.
The hashtag comes in a week of trans visibility on a national scale, with Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Virg.) putting up the trans flag outside her office within hours of being sworn into Congress.
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque