I believe it exists, and that it is entirely different from experimenting and exploring with gender identity and expression. Here are my definitions of the terms:
Trans-trending. The need to “try on” the idea of transgender like a piece of clothing, to then discard when you’ve had enough. The obsession with labeling every feeling you’ve had in attempt to attach yourself to a marginalized group. To think that alternative pronouns are a cute accessory and a fashion statement. Feeling compelled to deviate from the norm in order to fit in. Ostracizing the fluidity and fragility of gender like you would a flashy costume. Unrightfully claiming the struggles of a group to which you know you do not belong, but you do so anyway to avoid being seen as an oppressor in the majority.
Gender Exploration. Experimenting with your identity because you feel compelled within yourself, and not from an external force. Acknowledging that you are, for now, stepping into areas that have significant history beyond your own self. Being mindful of this while fulfilling your desire to expand your experiences with the spectrum of gender. Knowing that in the end of your journey, you might end up right where you started, but will be better for it. Finding inspiration in the perseverance of others and respecting their strength without comparing it to your own struggle. Realizing that trans and gender-noncomforming individuals are not part of a competition, but a community.
(hi Chase this is Lee, i’m reblogging this to my sideblog bc i have a lot of followers who are kind of anti-…this & i wouldn’t want you to get a lot of messages or anything. anyhow i have some thoughts)
i can understand where this feeling originates, & i can understand the desire to differentiate yourself from people you’ve perceived to be less serious about their transness. i spent a lot of time my first year of being trans trying to prove that i was “different” from a lot of trans people on tumblr but i’m not about that anymore & here’s why
first of all, there are a lot of reasons that a person would explore their gender. discomfort with your body is a big one & a thing that needs to be deeeeply respected, but there’s also discomfort with social roles, feeling limited by your birth assignment, etc. i think promoting the idea that there are “transtrenders” makes it harder for less-traditional* trans or gender non-conforming people to justify their identities to themselves.
* (i use the phrase traditional with some hesitation, because it’s important to understand that the way the mainstream defines transhood, as a direct response to long-term body dysphoria, hasn’t been historically universal)
& second, i don’t really see the purpose in differentiating people that way? tbh if there were a person who adopted different pronouns & a different identity in order to seem cool or fit in (which would take EXTRAORDINARY energy let’s be real), they’d still be… living transness. there are different ways that transgender people struggle, which is why i advocate for a specificity of language when talking about the oppression that various trans people face. but ultimately if a person is deviating from their assigned sex, & fighting to be recognized as another gender & with other pronouns, they are trans. their intentions only matter if they voice something problematic. they are living the reality of a transgender person, & their path to getting there doesn’t change that.