Two and a half years ago I wrote a blogpost
coming out as “nonbinary trans-femme”.
It was a big moment for me, but much has happened since, and I thought
I’d take some time to talk about those changes and what my experience
To open things, I don’t go by “Chris” anymore… “Christine” only.
And while I still somewhat identify as nonbinary, I don’t put
nonbinary at the front of things the way I did… to the extent I am
nonbinary, it’s more of a space I occupy internally, and I go by
Christine and she/her, and they/them is okay but that’s more of a
“fuck the gender binary in general and I support abolishing gendered
pronouns from the English language” thing.
This change happened gradually as I found where I fit.
I’m a woman, and much more decisively femme than I realized
previously, and you’ve got to be kind of got to be very well tuned
into things for me to trust you with the nonbinary side of myself
In this sense, the transition I’ve undergone really has felt
But I feel astoundingly better with myself than I ever have.
I thought this post might be longer. I guess I’m realizing I’ve said
a lot of what I wanted to say. But one more thing.
People talk a lot about “queer pride” and “trans pride”, and of course
those terms get co-opted plenty but… I am proud to be trans.
I know people, and often but not always they’re people who are in
oppressive social situations, who wish they were cisgender.
It would be nice for everything to be the way I want it by default,
without all the extra work, without all the journey, without the bad
parts where people are terrible to myself and others like me.
But I have also found community and camaraderie amongst many friends
who are also trans and the flip side to that journey, though I wish
I had to do less of it, is it’s been a bonding experience, and it’s a
community to which I really do feel like I belong and I feel proud to
be a part of.
I don’t wish I were cis. I wish I had realized I was trans earlier.
I wish that when I was four or five years old and a family member
asked me “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and I said “a girl”
that it wasn’t just a “cute story”, that there was enough cultural
context for my family to have understood how to support me in that
way, as opposed to growing up as something that felt loathesome to
I don’t blame any family members, I know they too now wish they had the
tools at the time to have been supportive to me in that way.
I wish a decade ago when a friend came out to me as trans and suddenly
all of my friend group suddenly seemed to be trans and more and more
community members in FOSS projects I was involved in would private
message me seemingly out of the blue telling me they were trans that
I could have put the pieces together why I appeared to be such a
“supportive ally” that all my trans friends seemed to feel comfortable
I wish I had realized that the joke that I was “an honorary trans
woman” in that group was because really, I was just trans. I wish
when I started obsessively looking into HRT and transition processes
around that time, when I joined a trans support chatroom to “learn to
be a better ally”, when I started looking into laser treatment for
hair removal, when I started having heaving panic attacks in the fetal
position about the possibility of losing my hair (relatively speaking,
I’ve been fairly fortunate there given how late I transitioned), that
all of these things had a mutual name, “gender dysphoria”, and that if
you zoomed out, there was an obvious reason.
People often ask, “what if you regret transitioning?” of trans people.
I’m not saying there aren’t people out there who have regretted
transitioning, and that de-transitioning is an invalid thing, but I’m
telling you, it’s rare.
Trans people do tend to have a regret about transitioning: not
I don’t regret transitioning at all.
But I wish I had transitioned sooner.
That’s my big regret.
I wish I didn’t have a decade and a half of FOSS work, some prominent,
to my deadname.
I wish I had transitioned with fewer changes from pre-transition to
Still… considering I didn’t transition until my mid-thirties, my
transition has been comparatively smooth.
“Passing”… well, it’s kind of a bullshit metric, it’s more of an
issue of self-defense against being misgendered or hostility from
someone realizing you’re trans who’s unfriendly to it.
On average, I tend to be pretty happy with my appearance and how I
move through the world, until someone misgenders me, and then I end up
in a world of pain.
A partner of mine recently said, “I don’t think cis people realize how
little agency trans people have in terms of transitioning.”
And I think that’s true.
Still, I wish I had transitioned sooner. I think transitioning was
eventually inevitable for me, and transitioning sooner in life would
have made me much happier in general, but I’m still very happy.
I’ve read it said before: “The best time to transition would have been
yesterday, but the second best time to transition is today.”
I think sometimes about the period of feeling kind of “selfish” for
“wishing I was trans too” and feeling jealousy of my friends who had
transitioned and seemed much happier in a way that felt like it was
unattainable for me because, unlike them, “I wasn’t really trans”,
I was an imposter.
I will tell you now what I wish someone had told me then: if you wish
you were trans, that’s because you’re trans. Cis people don’t “wish
they were trans”, and they don’t wish they were a different gender.
If you wish you were differently gender configured, that’s because
you’re trans (or nonbinary, genderfluid, etc), and transitioning is
open to you if you want it.
And if you’re not trans, well… support your trans friends. The
world is incredibly harsh and scary right now to be a trans person.
In some parts of the world, including in the United States, it’s
downright dangerous. I live in a part of the US which is relatively
safe but I’ve had friends literally had to flee from the states they
lived in and literally feared for their lives. It’s
incredibly dangerous to be trans in places like Florida and Texas
and Alabama right now, and that’s just… unfair. It shouldn’t be unfair.
I had a friend who fled from her home state and said “I’m a domestic
refugee, and if it weren’t for political reasons why the UN is reluctant
to acknowledge that the US would have a portion of its own citizenship
which are refugees, I would be recognized as such.”
So, support your trans friends. And try to help make it less scary out
there for us, to be and to live. We’re just trying to live our lives and
Well, I guess I had more to say than I thought at the mid-way mark, huh?
But one more thing…
I’m Christine Lemmer-Webber, and I’m a woman.
The fact that I’m trans is just a detail of that, and it’s an aspect of
myself that ties me into larger and tighter knit communities, but it’s
I’m a woman, and I’m happy to be living authentically as so.
Thanks for reading. <3