it’d be good to have an explanation for why, at least in my experience, you tend to see more camab nb people in certain ~queer~ scenes and social circles (usually cafab trans dominated ones), compared to “binary” trans women.
i guess i would speculate that
- cafab people like to have a monopoly on womanhood (even when they dont identify as women)
- it’s probably easier to convince camab nb people that they have privilege over u since they’re less likely to understand their experiences through the lens of transmisogyny (and this is no doubt a deciding factor in “qualifying” for these spaces)
- there’s a decent chance that these are trans women who have yet to come to terms with their womanhood, or are even being pressured away from identifying as women, so they are probably hurt and confused and everything else that comes with being closeted, making them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation
- camab nb people are possibly(?) more likely to present in a visibly gender non-conforming “queer” (but ultimately feminine) way, meeting the rigorous aesthetic (read: fuckable) standards imposed by these sorts of groups
- related: dont have that “camab person who started taking estrogen after puberty” bod non trans women are obviously so uncomfortable with
- and, most importantly – in my limited experience, are more likely to identify as bi or exclusively male-attracted
(read: driven out)
and then i chimed in:
i partly agree with @radtransfem. but/aaaand, there’s also this inconvenient thing where nb trans women are pretty actively unwelcomed from most social spaces set up specifically by/for trans women.
this is noticably less universal, and done less openly now than fifteen or twenty years ago, when the border skirmishes between “ts” and “tg” were more of a thing. but it’s still a fairly big social factor, and one i’ve experienced from binary-oriented trans women who’ve come out in the last five-to-seven years (and known me for much or all of that time) as well as folks who i met twentyish years ago, when i was just starting to name myself in these terms. and (3) above is a concern-troll version of one of the consistent, boring, excuses/logics of that exclusion: “nb trans women just haven’t figured themselves out yet”.
(and on (6), i actually don’t think i’ve ever met an exclusively-male-attracted nb trans woman; apparently @war-lesbian and i move in very different social circles)
i also think the ways all this works are very different based on concrete differences in how folks move through the world. “identifying” is pretty meaningless for thinking about social interactions, except in the very limited (largely white, college-educated, comparatively well-off) spaces where the price of admission is constant use of a specific identity discourse.
“nonbinary” these days tends to include, in material terms, (1) folks who always present outside their original assignment, but aren’t necessarily engaging with medical/legal transition structures [what we used to call transgenderists or non-ops]; (2) folks who present outside their original assignment only in specific social contexts [what we used to call transvestites/cross-dressers, and some drag performers]; and (3) folks who always present within their original assignment but internally disidentify with it. there’s almost nothing that all three sets of folks have in common in how the world deals with us, regardless of whether we would use the same terms for ourselves if asked.
i tend to think that binary-oriented trans women and folks in (1) have a great deal in common, including a less than warm welcome in ‘queer’ spaces centered on cis women and the trans men they date. i tend to think that folks in (2) and (3) who make it through the race/class gatekeeping are likely to find those spaces some of the only ones willing to recognize them as something other than men, and so stay in them.
edited later to add: and i think @the-transfeminine-mystique is spot-on with the point about the lack of solidarity among nb trans women in these spaces. i see it (in my life and elsewhere) as a partly a version of the “one diva problem”…