There are two things in the queer community that need to be addressed and need to stop. I see non-queer people doing this as well, but most of the issue seems to be in the community itself. These two things are the idea of ‘trend tr*nnies’ and identity policing. While similar and intertwined, they are two unique issues.
‘Trend tr*nnies’ are trans* people who are trans* (and very open about it) just for attention. They are believed to hopping on a bandwagon just to be unique and different. Here is the problem with this. You are questioning people on something they only know. Also, these people tend to be teenagers. Teenagers tend to try on identities, personalities, likes, dislikes, etc. It’s part of being a teenager. It’s part of growing up. Gender and sexuality are extremely fluid and can change. This does not mean that the previous identity was not real or true. It is possible that this identity was just not a perfect fit for them or something that no longer fits. As for being loud, obnoxious, and abrasive with their identities, that is just how young adults are, especially with something new. They do not know all the social trappings that come with interacting with the world.
Now, there are also people who come into being trans* when they are adults. These people who come and go from the community do not deserve a special treatment above the younger people. As I stated before, gender and sexuality are extremely fluid things. Identities are forever evolving with people, of all ages. It is no one’s place to question someone’s gender or sexuality. These people are the only ones who truly know and understand their internal musings. I have never ever seen someone proclaim they are being trans* for attention. Does this mean these people do not exist? I am sure they do. If you can imagine it, there is probably someone out there who believes it. The problem is when people begin to push the idea of these people existing onto everyone who acts a certain way. This rolls into the other issues I mentioned before, identity policing.
Identity policing is trying to tell someone what they are, or are not, based on their beliefs, feelings, actions, etc. This tends to go hand and hand with people believing in ‘trend tr*nnies’ and another very vile idea, ‘not trans*/queer enough”. Basically, people saying what other people are or are not based on their actions and the accusers personal feelings towards said individual or group of people. These people project their own personal narratives onto others and hold them to specific bars that if they do not meet (or even excel past), they cannot claim a particular identity. Now, I am not talking about things such as straight men proclaiming they are lesbians. I am talking about the folks who proclaim I am not trans*, not trans* enough, or not being trans* ‘right’, because I am a non-binary trans male who still dresses effeminate. These people tell me I am not transitioning properly because I still wear and prefer stereotypical female clothing, heels, retain my feminine mannerisms, etc.
This identity policing is strong in the trans* community, especially in specific places (such as tumblr) and is extremely detrimental to all aspects of the queer community. They try to silence the beautiful rainbow and plethora of stories our community has to offer. Even two people with the same identity can have wildly differing life stories, experiences, thought trains, etc. No one is detrimental to the queer community for being ‘too queer’, ‘too loud’ or being ‘out and proud’. Instead, we are harming the community by policing the identities of our queer siblings. There is no right or wrong way to be trans* or queer. Each person is unique in their queerness. Each person is unique in how they express and embrace it. We need to remember our common threads of being queer instead of focusing on our differences. However, we need to also remember our differences are what make us such a colorful community. We must not mute our colors and instead embrace and make them more vibrant. We are all our own individuals and only we can share our unique experiences. No one else can tell us who or what we are.