Bethany. 25. Bi. Married. Alaska resident. Likes: Dinosaurs. language(s). linguistics. history. maps. space. science. lgbt folk. science fiction. fantasy. books. movies. literature. and Dinosaurs. Dislikes: mean people. head colds. ignorance.
so that’s cool.
this is my imperfect not-a-fluent-signer understanding but:
(based on a presentation by a deaf trans guy i was at in 2005 where he was promoting that sign)
it seems like that sign was invented and implemented by trans people over the last 10-ish years. before that the predominant vocabulary was “sex change” and then some deaf trans people were like “yo fuck that” and came up with the current sign, which starts off with the sign for “myself,” then motion that indicates both change and coming together, and ends with the closed hand held against the sternum.
and in the process it also mimics the sign for “beautiful”
and because of spatial grammar, things closer to the front of your body in ASL are generally more vital, more emphatic, more immediate, more present.
so it’s actually a case where the word coherently indicates “beauty” and “self transformation” and contains hints of the complete thought of “my self transforming, through a coming together of disparate factors, into something more real, immediate, and vital than I was before.”
so yeah. that’s just fuckin’ awesome.
and that’s just the way to express that concept now.