confused for a long time

Questions and discussions about gender, gender roles and identity.
pinkblossom
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confused for a long time

Unread postby pinkblossom » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:04 pm

i've been questioning for almost like two years? over that time i've had loads of labels and none of them really stuck. i've been thinking about this for so long i dont think ill ever be done. at this point labels just feel pointless, they don't really mean anything. i feel like i just need to pick one and stick with it but i dont really know of one that i could go with.
Oof

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
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Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: confused for a long time

Unread postby Heather » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:11 pm

I wonder if you can identify why you feel like you need to pick one -- and stick with it, even if and when it doesn't feel right -- and stick with it?

In other words, why not just accept for now nothing really works as shorthand (and hey, so often we don't even need the shorthand, especially if and when we don't easy fall into the most simple of binaries), and so skip it until or unless you come up with, or fall unto, something that does?

What do you see as the barrier or downsides to that latter situation instead of using frameworks or terms that don't work for you?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

pinkblossom
not a newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:17 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: i try my best
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her???
My sexual identity and orientation: not sure
Location: wales

Re: confused for a long time

Unread postby pinkblossom » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:51 pm

Heather wrote:I wonder if you can identify why you feel like you need to pick one -- and stick with it, even if and when it doesn't feel right -- and stick with it?

In other words, why not just accept for now nothing really works as shorthand (and hey, so often we don't even need the shorthand, especially if and when we don't easy fall into the most simple of binaries), and so skip it until or unless you come up with, or fall unto, something that does?

What do you see as the barrier or downsides to that latter situation instead of using frameworks or terms that don't work for you?


i guess it's just that finding a label has been my goal for so long and even though it feels pointless i still want to do it.
also when talking about it with other people its way easier to just say a label than to describe how your feeling/explain that you don't like labels
Oof

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6744
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: confused for a long time

Unread postby Heather » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:11 am

Okay, I can understand those things.

That said, I also think that while for sure, sometimes having shorthand (personally, I don't think of or experience the words I use for my own sexual or gender identity as labels, and feel like if I thought of them that way, or they felt that way, I probably wouldn't want them!) makes it easier with people, so often it doesn't. Especially if the words you are using aren't things that are basically straight, gay or lesbian. As someone who has identified as both bisexual and queer for decades, I think that doing that has just as often resulted in people responding with something like, "What does that mean for you?" or "I never get what that means, explain it to me," as people just taking that shorthand as-is. So, in reality, in may make things less easy than you thought, just as something to know.

How about this: how about you collect, let's say, five words that you think describe your sexual identity (or just orientation, if that's all you're looking for) as it feels right now. Can you think of those and tell me what they are? I want to see what happens if you call up a few words instead of trying to just come up with one, and how it feels to "say" those words out loud in this kind of space.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

pinkblossom
not a newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:17 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: i try my best
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her???
My sexual identity and orientation: not sure
Location: wales

Re: confused for a long time

Unread postby pinkblossom » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:20 pm

Heather wrote:Okay, I can understand those things.

That said, I also think that while for sure, sometimes having shorthand (personally, I don't think of or experience the words I use for my own sexual or gender identity as labels, and feel like if I thought of them that way, or they felt that way, I probably wouldn't want them!) makes it easier with people, so often it doesn't. Especially if the words you are using aren't things that are basically straight, gay or lesbian. As someone who has identified as both bisexual and queer for decades, I think that doing that has just as often resulted in people responding with something like, "What does that mean for you?" or "I never get what that means, explain it to me," as people just taking that shorthand as-is. So, in reality, in may make things less easy than you thought, just as something to know.

How about this: how about you collect, let's say, five words that you think describe your sexual identity (or just orientation, if that's all you're looking for) as it feels right now. Can you think of those and tell me what they are? I want to see what happens if you call up a few words instead of trying to just come up with one, and how it feels to "say" those words out loud in this kind of space.


i pretty much have an idea of my sexuality but i can't relate to any labels? ugh it's stupid really
i know i like girls (in a pink, soft, butterflies in your stomach way) and i know i like guys (less often in a red smirky way?) but i can't make sense of it
my main problem is with gender where i can't make head or tails of how im feeling, sometimes i want to be more masculine sometimes i want to be more feminine but i can't see myself as either long term (as in 'would i like to be this all the time in 10 years') and to say it in 5 words it's tangled, mild, soft boyish yet girlish
Oof

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6744
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: confused for a long time

Unread postby Heather » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:28 pm

You know, the way you're talking it sounds to me like part of the problem is that a lot of the terms about gender and attraction make it so we have to identify our own gender in one binary, certain way to describe who we're attracted to. And for sure, that adds a WHOLE other layer of complications to trying to come up with just one or two words.

I hear you already pretty clearly describing yourself in a way that as an outsider still makes sense to me, like, I feel like I do have a grip on the generals of your sexuality in this regard.

But if you're not already familiar, I'm wondering how you feel about the way of framing orientation that's like this:

Androsexual, gynesexual, ambisexual or skoliosexual: These terms are a different framework for orientation than the framework of heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, one that can be more inclusive and expansive than hetero/homo/bi and doesn't require the gender of the person who is feeling the attraction to be defined in a given way, or at all. Androsexuality refers to someone who is attracted to masculinity, gynesexuality to femininity; am ambisexual is someone who can be attracted to both or either, or experiences gender as a non-issue, and a skolisexual, someone who is attracted to non-cisgender or non-binary people in general. Asexuality is also included in this framework. This framework doesn't make rigid assumptions about the other person's gender, either: a person can be attracted to masculinity in women or femininity in men, for example.


(That's from here: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/gende ... r_everyone)

Listening to you in your post, using this framework you'd -- if you wanted to and it felt right -- maybe be someone who described themselves as ambisexual. Understand too, that someone who was, say, attracted to masculinity in EITHER men, women or non-binary people might identify as androsexual AND ambisexual.

Mind, it's possible some of what's happening here is that you're looking to identify two separate, but sometimes (not always, as you experience!) overlap or intersect, which is your sexual orientation -- to whom you are attracted based on gender -- and your own gender identity. So, it could be another part of the struggle you're having is trying to find one thing that fits both of those, easy, when, in fact, those are two different things.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

pinkblossom
not a newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:17 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: i try my best
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her???
My sexual identity and orientation: not sure
Location: wales

Re: confused for a long time

Unread postby pinkblossom » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:07 am

Heather wrote:You know, the way you're talking it sounds to me like part of the problem is that a lot of the terms about gender and attraction make it so we have to identify our own gender in one binary, certain way to describe who we're attracted to. And for sure, that adds a WHOLE other layer of complications to trying to come up with just one or two words.

I hear you already pretty clearly describing yourself in a way that as an outsider still makes sense to me, like, I feel like I do have a grip on the generals of your sexuality in this regard.

But if you're not already familiar, I'm wondering how you feel about the way of framing orientation that's like this:

Androsexual, gynesexual, ambisexual or skoliosexual: These terms are a different framework for orientation than the framework of heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, one that can be more inclusive and expansive than hetero/homo/bi and doesn't require the gender of the person who is feeling the attraction to be defined in a given way, or at all. Androsexuality refers to someone who is attracted to masculinity, gynesexuality to femininity; am ambisexual is someone who can be attracted to both or either, or experiences gender as a non-issue, and a skolisexual, someone who is attracted to non-cisgender or non-binary people in general. Asexuality is also included in this framework. This framework doesn't make rigid assumptions about the other person's gender, either: a person can be attracted to masculinity in women or femininity in men, for example.


(That's from here: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/gende ... r_everyone)

Listening to you in your post, using this framework you'd -- if you wanted to and it felt right -- maybe be someone who described themselves as ambisexual. Understand too, that someone who was, say, attracted to masculinity in EITHER men, women or non-binary people might identify as androsexual AND ambisexual.

Mind, it's possible some of what's happening here is that you're looking to identify two separate, but sometimes (not always, as you experience!) overlap or intersect, which is your sexual orientation -- to whom you are attracted based on gender -- and your own gender identity. So, it could be another part of the struggle you're having is trying to find one thing that fits both of those, easy, when, in fact, those are two different things.


okay, i have some digging to do i guess. getting to talk about it openly like this has let me sort through what im feeling. i understand myself a lot better, thank you
Oof

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6744
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: confused for a long time

Unread postby Heather » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:03 am

Of course! Happy to keep talking about it as much as you’d like. Sometimes just talking it all out - and getting outside our own heads with it - helps! :)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead


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