Thank you for this lovely and vulnerable piece. I believe most people have already said it, but it is certainly true that there are PLENTY of cis women who have never been able to pull off or feel comfortable having “girl talk.” I think the larger point is how socially constructed our ideas of gender are, and how that serves to create an insider/outsider experience for so, so many, be they cis or trans. Women run the whole spectrum of “masculine" to “feminine" (the tomboy or butch identity is disappearing as we transition to nonbinary identity but you get the point, similarly with the male spectrum). I deeply understand the desire for inclusion and full transition to “woman" but honestly I love the questions about what that looks like more than the answers. It makes space for the full spectrum of human experience and expression, which ultimately will benefit us all.

Samantha Smithstein (she/her) is a writer, photographer, and psychologist who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.