My Sex Chromosomes are Irrelevant
Every trans advocate has heard a variation on these words, usually delivered with the smug satisfaction of one convinced they’ve made an unassailable argument:
“You can’t change your chromosomes. XY=male, XX= female. Period.”
These words are frequently used to deny the legitimacy of trans people. They tell us that no matter what social, legal, or medical options we’ve pursued to better align our bodies and presentations with our genders, we will always and forever be the sex we were assigned at birth. (Though the people making these arguments rarely use the term “assigned”, more likely referring to us as “born” or “genetically” male or female.)
In countering this argument, I’ve pointed out that no one can know for sure what chromosomes they have without genetic testing, which is rarely performed without a specific reason for doing so. I’ve also explained that intersex variations on XX and XY exist, and linked to experts like Julia Serano who show that sex determination is far more nuanced than most people realize.
Biology, Sex, and Transgender People: A Resource Page
Anti-transgender propaganda largely rests on two main narratives. The first is that trans people constitute a potential…
Regardless, I’m now realizing that arguing with people who are convinced that trans people are illegitimate “because chromosomes” is really not worth my time. These people are misusing science as an excuse for their trans-exclusionary views. Sex essentialism that views trans women as men or males and trans men as women or females is not only ignorant and harmful, but ignores the practical impossibility of enforcing these views in everyday life.
Enforcing sex segregation based on chromosomes would require universal genetic testing, official documentation, and routine inspections. Such measures would be a serious invasion of privacy, which should be unpalatable to the U.S. conservatives who are constantly pushing legislation to keep trans people out of gendered restrooms, shelters, sports, and other settings.