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Author Topic: What makes you, YOU?
smittenkitten
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Hi everyone,

So I've been thinking lately that a lot of how I identify is caught up in visible things, material things. Of course they're reflections of how I feel inside, but they're still important "trappings" of identity.

I was wondering what things, inside and out, make you feel like YOU?

I'll start with my inside. I have a strong identity as a queer femme. I know a lot about library studies and my identity as a cataloger is important to me. It gives me immense pride to be able to do my job well. My love of music is something that makes my heart soar every time I get to express it. And I have a wonderful wife who supports me in whatever I do (even though that has its rocky patches).

As for external things, I love anything animal print, most especially my leopard print minidress which hugs my curves perfectly. I am known for my MAC Russian Red lipstick (though I mix it up with hot pink at times). My makeup is important to how I present myself - it's such a fun tool of self expression. My tattoos are intrinsically linked to my identity. They are both in pin-up style, one says femme, a reflection of my femme identity, and the other goddess, a symbol of my goddess-oriented paganism. And having red hair cut all spiky is important to me too.

So, that's me (for now at least). What makes you YOU?

Marion

Posts: 465 | From: Canberra, ACT, Australia | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cricket
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I love that I'm wired in such a way that the things I want to express, in words or in writing, usually come out in fairly full, smooth sentences. I love being able to speak spontaneously about the things I love without stumbling, and occasionally support my friends in expressing themselves by bringing clarity to points they aren't quite sure how to express. Whenever someone tells me they think they understand something about life or themselves better after talking to me, I feel deeply fulfilled and happy.
I'm trying to learn a third instrument - listening to, playing, and writing music are some of my favorite things. I also draw cartoons and cook pretty great vegetarian food.
I'm studying environmental justice in college and can't think of a subject I'd be happier devoting my time to.

I proudly self-identify as genderqueer, pansexual, a hippie, and a soft butch. I love my glasses and can't quite imagine how I'd look or feel with contacts or corrective eye surgery because my glasses feel like a part of my face. I love the curliness of my hair and the broadness of my shoulders. I live in flannel and brightly colored boxer briefs. I like my jeans deep-pocketed, my t-shirts unisex, and my shoes and jewelry simple and sturdy. I value clothes that blend style and utility smoothly.

The people I'm close to also play a huge part in making me be "me," but there are too many of them to list easily, so I'll leave it at that.

Posts: 62 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jacob at Scarleteen
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Hmmm!

I'm not sure I think of this as 'who I am', but I guess you're right... How I physically present myself makes a big difference.

I present kind of boyishly in terms of my gender, so I love wearing swish neck-ties, proper shirts and essentially overdressing... but it's weird that as my features become more 'manly' as I get older that the way I dress can become uncomfortably appropriate!

Thank gods for wet shaves!

PS Marion, I volunteer in a music library and have been cataloguing the 60 year old 7000 items plus vinyl & cd collection! It is so amazing, I get your passion!

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MusicNerd
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Cricket, I'm also studying environmental justice in college! [Smile] I'm toying with the idea of going into law.

Well, let's see... I identify as bisexual, a woman, female, a student, a daughter, a musician, a science nerd, environmentally-conscious (or just a tree-hugger, if you will [Big Grin] ), a bookworm, an atheist, an article-junkie, an activist-hippie-who-was-born-in-the-wrong-era (as my mom likes to jokingly put it [Smile] ), a political enthusiast, a feminist, a biracial person, a listener (especially when someone wants some advice), a Gemini, and someone who enjoys debates and finds it fascinating to hear other people's perspectives regardless of whether or not I agree with them.

I guess a part of my identity that I've been trying to sort out is how I appear to other people. The thing is, I think of myself as "femme", but I feel like ever since I got my hair cut short 6 months ago and started wearing my hair in its natural texture, I might come off as less "feminine". My hair used to look like this here, but it now looks more like this here. I joke around with my mom saying that I look kinda like the female Bruno Mars now. lol! I'm not really mad though, since I think he's a beautiful man. [Big Grin]

I don't think there's anything wrong with being less "feminine" in appearance. Absolutely not at all (and I'll debate anyone who says otherwise)! I don't even know how to define femininity without using stereotypes that society has put before me, to be honest. I just wish that I could immediately come off as femme in appearance to people because that's what I've been used to and what I feel most comfortable in. Before my haircut, I used to be seen as very feminine-looking even when I had a sweatshirt on, because at the time I had permed (a.k.a. "chemically-straightened") long hair; but for some reason, I feel like I'm not as "femme" anymore, and I've been paying more attention to how I dress and how I can look more "feminine". My mannerisms also aren't what some people would consider stereotypically "girly" either (ex. I curse like a sailor, don't like to cross my legs in a "lady-like" way), but even when I had long hair I was like that. So, all in all, I guess I'm still struggling to figure out that part of my identity.

Phew, that was a lot! Sorry, if my post was too long! This was a great thread to start, smittenkitten! I guess I didn't realize how much I'd been thinking about it lately.

[ 12-27-2012, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

Posts: 272 | From: a galaxy far, far away... | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
smittenkitten
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@Jacob That's totally awesome! I haven't yet worked in the music cataloguing team at work but I'm working my way around the place [Wink]

@Cricket I didn't even think of people around me! I guess I'm self-centered like that [Razz]

@MusicNerd I wouldn't say having short hair necessarily makes you less femme - my own hair is quite short (as is the hair of many of my femme friends). Of course you may feel less femme that way. I guess I'm just saying it is possible to be high femme and not look traditionally feminine. (Sorry, I'm pretty passionate about femme issues!)

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MusicNerd
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I guess it is possible for me to look femme without a traditional trait of femininity such as long hair. When I had long hair, I never really paid much mind to how long hair is held up as this standard; I wasn't oblivious to it, of course, but I never really gave it as much thought as I do now. I just can't stand the fact that I haven't reached that level of acceptance with myself yet. :/ I think you're right in that it's probably more about me not feeling as femme as I did before, than it is about being femme.
(Smittenkitten, don't be sorry! Being femme seems to be an important part of your identity, so of course you'd be passionate about it! [Smile] )

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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Cricket
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@MusicNerd: Hooray for environmental justice! It's such an exciting field to be going into in our current era.
With regards to hair length and femmeness - though I don't often do so myself, one way to really accent femme style with short hair is to wear dramatic/dangly earrings. When your hair is short, anything you put in your ears will look way more striking. Your neck and jawline will show more as well, if you're interested in accenting them with makeup or other jewelry.
You also say you "just can't stand the fact" that you haven't reached the point where you can accept your potential to look (nontraditionally) femme without your long hair. It's often way too easy to get into a cycle where you get mad at yourself for not accepting yourself fully or fast enough, which is a heck of a Catch-22 to get caught in. It's okay to not accept everything smoothly and easily, and to have boundaries to your personal understanding or comfort with femmeness. I hope you find the happiest possible identity zone that suits you, with very little rush or self-judgment in the process.

Posts: 62 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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