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Author Topic: Who am I? /:
Erica Monsterrr
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Aaaaagh, I haven't had any sleep so bear with me if I really get too caught up in this. It's a complex subject and plainly I have no clue who I am or what I am.

I'm thirteen. Female. Overweight. "Fashionable", I'd like to think. Intelligent. Obnoxious. But as all humans I'm very... confusing. If I can't sort myself out how are other people supposed to get to know me?

The main problem is my sexuality. I'd like to have one word to refer to myself as. I think pansexual is the answer, but I'm not sure. What do you call this... a straight girl who likes transvestites? I'm not entirely sure if I'm straight anyways. I haven't had enough experience to know if I like it or not.

There isn't really anyone I can talk to about what I like. I'd just get made fun of for it. I don't want to be "normal" but I don't want to be "weird". I want to be myself but I don't want to cause a scene.

How many girls are mainly attracted to feminine boys? /:
I don't know, but something about a boy in a skirt really gets me.
Even better, adrogynous faces. I think it's beautiful. Specifically the boy/girl I just saw on a website. Totally creepy, right?

I think leg hair on most men is disgusting, same with the armpits. Haha.

If there is a boy at school that I find as "cute" it's usually because he's skinny or has longish hair or a pretty face and doesn't have a very masculine appearance.

I find other girls very attractive but I wouldn't want to be with one. I want to be with a boy that looks like a girl. Simple as that.

-sigh-

And then the chances of me meeting someone like that in the near future is very slim. Should I stop being so picky with who I'm attracted to? Because, ah. I'm not going to wait until I'm 40 and even more unattractive to meet the boy of my dreams.

[ 09-10-2007, 09:54 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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(Erica: I edited the image out of your post. In our guidelines, we ask users to not post very personal information such as email addresses or photos to protect privacy. Thanks!)

Androgyny and transvestitism are generally different things. However, both are common enough, and most men who do cross-dress are heterosexual.

You know, I came of age in the 80's, so it was a slightly different scene, but when I dated boys, nearly all the boys I dated were skirt and eyeliner-wearing guys. Most people of all sexes I've dated throughout my life have been very androgynous. While I don't have a problem with body hair, I have always tended to find that with men, I am more strongly attracted to men with very little, but having lived in very diverse cities in terms of race and culture, again, that hasn't been something in short supply. It has never been something I have had to seek out that hard simply because there are plenty of people who are, by effort or not. I'm not even 40 yet (close, but not yet!) so I certainly didn't have to wait that long. [Smile]

I'm not sure why you think any of this is creepy. Very traditional gender roles or types are but ONE expression of gender, of which there are SO many. Depending on where you live, you might not be seeing as much diversity, but in diverse areas, I promise you, it truly is myriad. Lots of people are attracted to one given expression of gender, or one arena of gender appearance and expression: some of those are attracted to the Marlboro Man, others to David Bowie, but it's a mix all the same (and both those are roles).

It's no more "creepy" to be a "feminine" looking man, than a "masculine" looking man, especially given how arbitrary those distinctions are in the first place.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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snail
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As for nomenclature; I would guess "queer" to be the most accurate descriptor the GLTBQQAPA(etc etc) community has come up with, though of course you're completely free to identify with whatever term you like.

Actually, there is a beautiful pair of articles on the BBC's h2g2 encyclopedia describing two people who have a labelless relationship; an FtM transexual and his female partner: Girl Three and Three Girls

Perhaps not exactly analogous to your situation, but at least treats on the subject of sexual orientation that there is no word as of yet to describe.

--------------------
What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.

~Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947

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Erica Monsterrr
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Ah, I wasn't sure when I posted the image so thanks.

And when I said "creepy" I wasn't referring to the way he looks, it was about me staring at his pictures for three hours much and then bookmarking it. Then again, more than half of the comments on his page are "OMG YOU'RE SO PRETTY! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE A GUY! NO OFFENCE, ARE YOU A TRANSVESTITE?"

So.
I'm just queer?
Straight but queer at the same time.
Oh, that'll be fun explaining in the future.

Thanks! :'D

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Heather
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Well, per those comments, a lot of people in the world (and particularly in myspace and facebook comments) are a) stupid, b) bigoted, c)posturing and/or d) incredibly sheltered when it comes to ideas about gender.

If queer feels right to you, that's certainly a label you can choose for yourself.

However, it's also worth noting that might also imply that men who look anything outside certain limited gender stereotypes, roles or traditional ideas about masculinity aren't really men -- or that it's necessarily female to wear skirts or cosmetics -- which is a pretty iffy thing to suggest, to say the least. I don't see that there is any sort of void for a term to describe women attracted to men: if it feels that way because you (or anyone else) are attracted to different sorts of men that look different ways than you've had masculinity defined, that's not an issue of an orientation terminology problem -- it's a matter of people viewing gender in FAR too binary a way and masculinity and femininity as far more two-dimensional and simplistic than they actually are.

Sounds to me like you're questioning, but I'd base that more on you saying you don't know if you're attracted to women or not, NOT based on you having a preference for other heterosexual men who look a certain way. I mean, you say you like andorgyny, but you also seem to be being very clear that you mean MALE androgyny: you can picture yourself with a male who is aesthetically pleasing to you in this way, but you say you couldn't picture the same with a woman.

If you discover you're solely or primarily attracted to men -- no matter how they dress or how much body hair they have -- then you're heterosexual. If I had ever only been attracted to and dated biological, male-identified men -- and not women as well -- I'd be calling myself heterosexual no matter what those men looked like, because that would have seemed the only accurate moniker. People who are emotionally and sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex -- in all its myriad forms and expressions -- are heterosexual people.

If someone identifies as a man, and/or is biologically male, he's male. If he does not see his manner of dress or presentation as cross-dressing, then it isn't -- it's not up to an outside source to determine what manner of dress is 'right" for a given gender (and it's especially silly to do worldwide: for instance, there are an awful lot of men with very little body hair wearing skirts or sarongs every say in many of the Pacific islands). I'm willing to bet that the emo/pretty boys you're going gaga over would NOT self-identify as transvestites in most cases, nor as women, and you obviously need to take their identity into account.

[ 09-10-2007, 05:40 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Erica Monsterrr
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Oh, believe me, this isn't myspace. I'm actually very against the website. This is Gaia Online, a very confusing place but it's home to many people that are very (hard to choose a word) but I guess "weird" in the views of the majority would do.

Of course I'm not grouping clothing items, colors or interests as having to do with certain sexes, that's ignorant. I do not think that it is likely to see a boy with curled hair, in an evtragant dress, makeup, tights and heels or even fake breasts and still consider himself as completely male. He may, but that is still on his part. I do not consider all men prancing around in skirts to be transvestites or adrogynous, that's entirely up to them. If man who is open to every manly part about him puts on a skirt that does not make him any less man.

And in no way am I chasing after emos, haha. /:
This boy and another one I'm friends with are in no way, shape or form emo pretty boys. He considers himself what he wishes to consider himself whether he's straight, bi, gay, transexual, asexual, transgender, adrogynous --whatever.
Some of the "emos" may have pretty faces but I prefer someone who is happy with THEIR identity over some sulky kid who can't stand up for himself. The overused look gets kind of boring, too.

I love the small distinctions that physically seperate most males and females (the shoulders, hips and legs, face structure/chin, a "box-ier" body, etc) but looking at the same time 'feminine' if you will, using things intended for women.

I may not have explained it well but if me dating someone who refers to himself as a she is just as heterosexual as the girl with Mr. Macho then I'm very confused. It's hard to... describe. o___O

If he wants to be called a "she" isn't that like homosexuality on my part? Or as Eddie Izzard said "a lesbian trapped in a man's body".

I guess I'm attracted to the result of a man being given the wrong body and then his way of changing himself in an effort to match up. That may not be an orientation. Maybe it's sort of like heterosexuality but being attracted to a specific group of males just like everyone else like how someone may like cowboys yet someone else may want the punk rocker? I am so lost. Correct me on this one.

[ 09-10-2007, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Erica Monsterrr ]

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Heather
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Trouble is, those distinctions you're making leave out a LOT of people. Many of those physical distinctions are only so accurate. More to the point, if we're going to accept that a chosen gender identity is just as valid as one assigned at birth or by certain sets of chromosomes, we have to let go of those ideas and distinctions pretty much full-stop.

If you have a partner or love interest who identifies as female, that one partner doesn't define your entire sexuality, because the whole of your orientation is about more than any one person you find attractive. Should you find that over time, you often or always are attracted to those who are transgender -- and get that a biological male who IDs as female full-time is not a transvestite, but transgender -- male-to-female, and you understand/think of those people to be women, then yes, it'd not make much sense to think of you as heterosexual. But right now, I'm hearing you be pretty clear that YOU identify who you're attracted to as male, and that YOU are attracted to men who look or act a certain way. Someone who fully identifies as female, even if they are biologically male, does NOT see themselves as male (nor would likely want to be very intimate with a partner who saw them that way, either).

On the other hand, if you're with someone like you're talking about, who changes what they call their identity and orientation every five minutes, or eschews ALL labels...well, then what they are can't really have much bearing on what you are, since if they could be anything that way, then when it comes to orientation, so do you. Keeping in mind that most younger people are identity-seeking, and thus changing how they define themselves often, this might not be the best example. [Smile]

Honestly, this is some of why a lot of us in queer communities, in tolerance-based communities, etc. talk a lot about the fact that we all just love who we love, and that trying to fit it all into neat little boxes -- especially boxes so often based on binary ideas that are so flawd and so exclusive -- isn't so swift.

Because it IS confusing, as yes, it's entirely possible that you dating someone who refers to herself (you said himself, but you said that person ID's as she, so) as a she sometimes is just as heterosexual as another girl dating someone who looks like the poster child for "perfect" western masculinity. It's also possible you aren't: but so much of that hinges on anyone having an idea that there are things beyond chromosomes or assignment of sex and gender that make gender so: that hinge on gender essentialism, to boot.

In case that's not clear enough, Mr. Macho wasn't usually born Mr. Macho. He has a choice: he can express himself that way, he can express himself the way your friends do. For all you know about the girl dating him, she is most attracted to aspects of him that aren't apparent in his appearance, or which his appearance even hides. She might assume about you that you really want to date women, even though you're telling me you really don't. See what I mean? There's very little any of you can know about one another just based on how you or your partners choose to physically present, or what any of you are physically attracted to -- especially since physical interest is only one part of the equation.

(Too, young adults change very fast, even in aspects of identity which feel very permanent. For all you know, your friend here may be Mr. Macho himself in a couple of years, and Mr. Macho may start in with the eyeliner and the full body wax: it's certainly happened many, many times for many people. It's perhaps also worth mentioning in that vein that plenty of very young people are a bit averse to more "adult" looking people -- in other words, people who look more fully grown per body hair, etc. So, this may even be phasal for you in that respect or some other....or it may not.)

I'd ask if any of that made it make more sense, save that it's a bit of an oxymoron: you're asking to make sense of something that in so many ways, is based on so many flawed structures that it's fallen apart to begin with.

Ultimately, you get to identify in whatever way feels most authentic to you. And it may well be, like for many of us, that hetero/homo/bisexual isn't the right descriptor for you. Maybe yours is something more like andro-loving: who knows, be creative to make something work for you.

Or just love who you love, and be attracted to who you're attracted to, especially given that when we're starting our social sexual development, we shift around a lot. Most of the time, the only pertinent information with this -- truly pertinent -- is if someone is attracted to us, are we attracted back? No one *needs* a name for that, and you don't *(need* one to tell someone you're NOT interested, either. Flatly, given that this age is the time for people TO be questioning in this way, unless any one term really feels just right, I'm an advocate of going without, or, as Popeye always said "I yam what I yam."

[ 09-10-2007, 06:50 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Heather
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I want to add one more thing here: you're thirteen.

I get from being thirteen and a little more worldly, believe me. I don't just have the t-shirt, I have the whole darn trousseau.

However.

MOST people do not have anything even remotely close to definative answers about their sexual orientation or their gender identity so young, in part not because of your age, but because most people's exposure to the great sphere of everyone at that age is exceptionally small.

And also because of your age. [Smile]

If you don't get to not have some firm answer for who you are at 13 -- though I also get really wishing you did -- then I don't know when the heck anyone is supposed to have permission to be unclear or uncertain. There are 40-year-olds who don't have the answers to these questions, even after decades of dating and living, so I hope you also can know that it's totally okay not to know this. You're kind of not supposed to yet, because this is the start of the time when you begin exploring everything and everyone to find out.

(There really should be some sort of theme music for that speech, and birds chirping with it, but alas, I got nothin'.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Erica Monsterrr
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Or maybe hallelujah just started playing from my speakers. Rufus Wainwright's version would do us good, yes?

I came here pissed off and crying because of both how beautiful the man on my screen was and how on impulse I showed my friend then was immediately ridiculed for the sudden admiration I felt.

I've gotten plenty of weird looks before. One of my best friends joked that she would be staying ten feet away from me if I was ever bi (not realizing how she deeply hurt me, though). I'm going to encounter so many more issues. I wanted to try and make it easier on myself now so I don't have to lie and pull off a fake act like I've been doing for so many people.

When ever asked my orientation I thought it'd be so much simpler to just use a word with meaning that describes what I feel instead of having to explain myself.

You brought up so many things that changed my views and thoughts, so thank you! [Big Grin]
I don't have to be something specific I can be whatever I want. I'll come up with something eventually.

And yes, people change and I am positive that I will too. I just needed insight on how to save the stress I encounter now for my "andro-loving" attraction because I refuse to live a lie in order to spare myself from conflict. Shy doesn't get me anywhere and if I lose friends it'll be better to make them as a result of standing up for myself. Thanks, Heather. <3

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Heather
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Ah, the Rufus. Nice choice.

Well, I'm certainly glad all my prattling about was helpful, and I'm very glad you're feeling so much better.

It's also worth noting that a lot of Florida isn't exactly the most progressive place in the world, to say the least. So, do know that the reactions you're getting there, and also from peers your same age, really aren't indicative of the reactions you'll get your whole life, or everywhere else.

I agree with you: friends are only friends if they accept us as we are, and it's a pretty big deal to draw some lines on that score. Never easy, but sounds to me like you've got the self-esteem and the chutzpah to make sure that the people you surround yourself with are people who make you feel good about yourself. Good on you!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

Posts: 68006 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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