You make a lot of points here and I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to articulate them so well.

Regarding bad faith actors making false claims about their identity, this aspect feels tangential given that bad faith actors operate in numerous communities and the issue is not unique to gender groups.

As for your second thread, I think it’s tempting for someone to suggest a slippery slope here, but I don’t think that’s actually the case here given the myriad identities that hinge on one’s gender identity. But I also think there’s a false dichotomy that a definition is either reductive or inconclusive — I think we can have a clear definition of form that follows a set of guidelines and is also flexible enough to account for the variance we experience in everyday life.

In geometry, all closed figures follow a strict set of guidelines in order to fit the description of their form. If we consider a circle, it’s formed by the points that are equidistant from a single center. For a square, it’s four sides of equal length meeting at right angles. For any given perimeter — let’s say 12 units — there is a single circle or a single square described by that condition. But what about a triangle? The archetypal 3/4/5 right triangle has a perimeter of 12 units, but so does an equilateral triangle of side length 4. And an infinite number of other triangles, as well. All of them consist of three sides with internal angles adding up to 180. But the definition of the form is flexible enough that it allows for an infinite number of expressions while still being clear and identifiable. In the same way, I think we can produce a satisfying definition of identity that is complex without sacrificing clarity.


My name anagrams to “a man becomes.” I love movies and Kurt Vonnegut. I don’t understand how anagrams work.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store