Anonymous asked: What does "male-of-center" mean?
"Male-of-center" is a term i use, derived from the fairly common "masculine-of-center" used to describe masculine-leaning trans* folk (mostly afab, in my experience) and feminine-of-center, which seems to be less common.
Masculine-of-center can cover, to my knowledge, trans* men, nonbinary people who identify and present closer to masculine than feminine, and butch women. Basically it covers the whole spectrum of masculine people who aren’t cis men. It’s used to group all these people together when it’s relevant to do so, without assigning an identity to any of them that is mislabeling.
The reason I use male-of-center here is that some femme trans* men and femme nonbinary people who ID as men to some degree feel that transmasculine or masculine-of-center is inaccurate for them and erases their femmity. Femininity and masculinity are typically, in modern white supremacist western culture, considered to be opposites. This was the best way I came up with to express the male identities of such people without coercively assigning them as ‘masculine’.
This language is still not without it’s flaws. ‘Of-center’ relies on a concept of gender as a spectrum on a single plane, with a neutral center and masculinity and femininity or maleness and femaleness on either side. It’s a simplification and it erases many nonbinary identities.
Also, using male and masculine to mean different things relies heavily on concepts of sex vs. gender that do seem to work at the level of trans* 101 but which actually are busted and oppressive at any higher level of discussion and in the practical application to real people.
Sex v. gender terminology does still work for some trans* people, however, and no individual should be shamed for describing themself in the way that works best for them, so long as they aren’t appropriating someone else’s language and experiencing.
TL;DR Male-of-center means identifying as a man and/or as male to some degree, though not necessarily identifying as masculine.
I hope this answer is what you were looking for, anon, and I hope this has made sense to everyone. If anything I’ve said here offends anyone, please let me know. I want to use the best language I can here, and to be inclusive of everyone who has any interest in being included here.