It really, truly, entirely seriously does NOT matter how you or I or any other person came to be a member of your/my/their gender. It doesn’t matter whether or not there are brain differences between women and men or how much or how little the brains of dead trans men and women resemble those of dead cis men and women. It doesn’t matter if there’s a genetic disposition to transness or cisness or if there isn’t. There’s no need to search for the “cis gene”.
Whether you or I or anyone was full of this or that hormone while in utero, what our pituitary glands did or didn’t do when we were kids, whether or not our parents gave us gendered names and clothes and toys in our infancy… none of that has anything like a deciding vote on who we are NOW.
Nature, nurture or none of the above, whatever gender you or I or anyone has today is valid and real. It’s enough.
Even if it’s changed once or twice or hundreds of times. Even if that gender is “I don’t know”. Even if it might change again. It’s your gender – whether you’re trans or cis, intersex or dyadic, absolutely certain or completely confused, your gender is yours. It’s real. It’s valid. It’s enough. No one can take it from you. You don’t need to meet anyone’s standards of femininity, androgyny or masculinity to be who you are. You are enough.
It doesn’t matter how you got here, you’re here now. You are a person and you deserve to be treated with respect – respect for your chosen name, pronouns and gender. Even sticking with what you were given is a choice, remember. You are a person and you deserve to live with complete bodily autonomy, choosing how to dress your body, what to put into your body, who can see and touch your body. You deserve any medical care you need to feel safe and comfortable in your body. You deserve to make your own informed choices about your body without meeting someone else’s criteria for who you should be first.
No matter why you are who you are, no matter whether your path to a gender is similar or vastly different from anyone else’s*, what really does matter is that you are a person and you deserve to be treated with respect. Always.
*Addendum: Whilst I believe myself to have been born a trans boy, I do not believe that other men must ALL have been born as boys to “count” as men. If you were a girl and grew up to be a man, I believe you. If your gender has been in flux for years but you’re a man right now, I believe you. If you’re a trans man who has never been masculine, I believe you. I don’t police genders and nobody should or really can. You are you, your gender is yours alone and I believe you.