Gender roles are like languages, with men expected to ‘speak’ their version of ‘masculinity,’ and women ‘femininity.’ Those who don’t talk like natives invariably stand out. Trans women weren’t raised with femininity as their ‘language’ (or to express themselves in a ‘feminine’ manner) — and in a world that often warns those born male against any display of femininity from a young age, and in which those adjudged to get it wrong can be ruthlessly attacked, this can be a problem. Unlike languages, which have concrete rules, gender is often defined as much by what it isn’t as what it is, and learned by doing. – Juliet Jacques

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