Truscum… Say it out loud to yourself. True Scum. My first thought when I learned about this term was ‘why would anyone label themselves something so vile?’. Well they didn’t, ‘Truscum’ was coined by a Tumblr account called idislikecispeople (who has since changed their URL), along with the term ‘Tucute’.
Truscum = True Transsexual scum
The idea that medical treatment and gender dysphoria are essential components of being “truly Transsexual”.
Tucute = Too cute to be Cis
The idea that gender dysphoria is not necessary to be Transgender.
Both of these terms are equally as shitty, divisive, and dangerous to those that choose to identify within these camps, those in the ‘I-dont-even-know-these-terms-until-now‘ middle, and the people that those words are used against to isolate. But not because of the words… And honestly, not because of the thought processes behind each identity, but because of the Alt-Camps that have sprung up.
Because of the gatekeeping, infighting, and stereotyping.
My research into these terms have stretched for a few months now. This is an article that should be read completely, to the end, as this is a journey I’ve had to go on.
I remember learning the difference between Transsexual and Transgender, and in that moment I knew I was Transsexual. Based on the definitions, I felt as if I was always very obviously male to myself, I knew it, my body just came out wrong. This caused me Dysphoria as I tried to just be the girl I was born. Later, I took medical steps to change my body and legal steps to change my documentation.
Living as a man in the larger picture has reduced the amount of Dysphoria I felt but it didn’t go away fully. Sometimes when I’m up against the ways in which Trans and Cis rub together I still feel it.
A friend of mine (Rowan Collins) described dysphoria as heartache. Sometimes you’re doing fine, and things are great, you got this… And then the radio plays that one song that takes you back, and it punches you in the stomach. And it effects your day in ways you weren’t planning.
So I’m a “Transgender Medicalist” with Dysphoria and most of the other Trans Men I know went through similar transitions. That’s an identity that is placed upon me, almost like part of a tweet version of my transition.
Being the definition of Truscum, doesn’t mean you should identify as Truscum because the active gatekeeping of others has never been helpful to anyone
…and causes a divid inside an already small community. We all know there are so many ways to be men, women, human, transgender, that’s why since the beginning there has been a definitional differences between sex and gender.
Thus, a different between Transsexual and Transgender.
Transsexual is under the Trans Umbrella, along with Trans-Masc, Trans-Fem, Non-Binary, Genderqueer, Agender, Bigender, and more. Literally a ton of identities are under the Transgender Umbrella.
It felt to me during my research that those that identify as Truscum were afraid. Afraid that those that express their gender differently would somehow cause Transsexuals/Binary identifying individuals to lose ground in our political and medical success in law and social standing.
We didn’t understand why someone who said they were Transgender would do X, Y and Z, or even want to.
That if we identified as Trans and someone who, lets say, wore cat ears, had pride-anger, and had 12 genders that switched through daily; the world as a whole would see both of us and think we’re both Trans so we’re both the same. That the policy makers and professionals of the world we’re trying to fit into would use other Trans-peoples expressions to deny us care, rights, and a more conservative dignity.
And honestly, speaking for myself, I was afraid that non-binary people meant more and more that the Trans community at large would reject me more than they seem to already, because I looked like cisgender men. I’d already been pushed out of the Queer culture for the same thing.
Truscum, widely, is known for fear and conservativism.
Dysphoria: That’s the biggest line drawn between the ‘Truscum’ and those that hate them.
Fear, being the key word. It’s my understanding that fear leads to suffering… Suffering leads to anger… Anger leads to hatred… and hatred leads to the dark side (-Yoda). We’re here, we’re at the dark side, and identifying as Truscum is like purposely identifying as a Sith Lord.
Even if the definition is where your life fits, and even if that’s where you are philosophically or what-have-you, actively identifying as Truscum is the community version of wearing a MAGA hat… you’re applying your story as a rule to the identity of another.
Because everyone else sees Truscum as meaning “You have to transition completely, and you must hate yourself and be super masculine to be a Trans Man” (No joke).
So how can you be Trans WITHOUT Dysphoria?
Dysphoria is unneeded to being Trans because of all the self-care and self-love and acceptance that the entire Trans community has been promoting and pushing for generations. We’re here, we’re seen, we’re accepted. We can’t expect that to not ripple into the community and evolve into knowing someone their gender without having to reject their natural body parts.
Having pride in being birthparents with their uteruses, or chestfeeding.
Knowing they like their nipples played with pre-top.
Identifying with their Mike & Ike of growth and calling it their penis.
We’re all arguing for the same bodily rights.
False-positive Memes are THE WORST
There was a largely commented thread in a Transgender Support group, they asked what the worst and most difficult problem within the transgender community was and the overwhelming feedback was the gatekeeping within the community. The comments others were receiving about their expression from those within the community. The infighting.
- Saying u need this or that to be trans and that being trans has rules etc.
- People need to just respect labels and not argue about who can use them and who can’t.
- Folks who are trans binary but go ‘NONBINARY ISNT REAL’ or assume you need to hate yourself to be trans.
- The fact that both me and my boyfriend have to say that we’re nonbinary trans men so we can be feminine when the want arises says a lot.
- The biggest problem within the community is this sense of disconnection a lot of trans people try to create. For example “I’m not like those crazy people, I’m a ‘real’ trans person” or “I don’t associate with the trans community” because of misconceptions and the idea that if they put themselves above someone else, that validates their identity more. I’m nonbinary, masculine-presenting btw.
- The judgement of NB folks, GNC or gender fluid folks, the judgement on being too femme if transmasc or too masc if transfeminine, of not having a “full” medical binary transition, etc. I feel like too many trans people like to impose their own gender rules on other trans people and it’s just not how it works. (TM/NB)
- Gatekeeping and trans medicalism.
- I would say the fact that people get so caught up about our perceived differences (experiencing/not experiencing dysphoria, being binary/nonbinary, conforming to gender norms/not conforming, etc) that we forget our common struggles. People waste so much time arguing on tumblr (and I’m not exempt from this) about semantics that we forget there’s a real world out there, with real issues of high suicide rates, difficulty getting important surgeries, and high abuse rates.
- The weird aggressive privilege debates (there definitely is something to talk about but people get AWFUL with each other sometimes), and sometimes people take the knowledge of others being queer/trans as an invitation for very graphic flirtation.
- Gatekeeping and Truscum.
- Specifically truscum and transmed people who say you have to have dysphoria to be trans, or that you cant be trans unless you transition, respectively.
- The debate of if you need dysphoria to be trans is the most toxic thing our community keeps bringing up and it really needs to stop. We are all supposed to be supporting each other, not making each other feel awful. We also need to stop comparing our journeys to someone else’s because each journey is special and unique to the individual, it is not a race.
- Truscum. Idk how to fix it but the problem is their fragility and insecurities. Theyre destroying and mocking the trans community for the sake of bootlicking and its disgusting. Im trans and used to be that way myself, and only after understanding my own problems with myself did i change.
More than the outside cisgender world, it was the infighting… Our community is suffering at our own hands. And it’s not exclusively Truscum vs Tucute or the Non-Binary community, it’s policing through comments and Instagram Flop Accounts.
Supporting each other looks like removing these titles from the Transsexual/Transgender community. It looks like having spaces for Trans Men, and those who feel like they’re losing their community the more they transition and fit back into the binary. Education like this toward a better understand of our beautiful differences, rather than infighting.