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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Trying to Live In-Between is Hard when you Dislike being treated as your Birth Sex

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Author Topic: Trying to Live In-Between is Hard when you Dislike being treated as your Birth Sex
bornpurple
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Luckily I'm seeing a therapist soon, in about a week I have my first appointment. It's a college therapist but still... it's better than nothing. But for now I'll share my confusion with you all. Any input/similar experiences/advice?

1. I love being treated like a guy and called by male pronouns.

2. I don’t want to medically or surgically transition. I don’t have body angst; I’m fine having breasts and such, though I wish I had a more androgynous body and that I had a penis instead of a vag. I’m afraid that if I went on ‘mones, I wouldn’t see myself in the mirror.

3. I’d also lose my family—black, Baptist—if I transitioned. When I came out to them, they tried to expel the ‘demons’ from me. This made me sadder than anything. They’re loving and supportive in all other areas of my life… but my Mom has stated that she’d break off contact with any child who went ‘that way,’ whether it was being gay/bi/queer or trans. (and yes, she would) She considers it tough love. I consider it abandonment. I told them I felt more like a girl again to get rid of the strife. And I tried. But I still like being seen as male. I wish they were comfortable with even a more androgynous gender expression from me.

4. I want to be successful. Everyone I know professionally knows me as female. I wouldn’t want to lose them after I transition to male.

5. I wish I had an understanding and loving partner. Straight guys don’t seem to work for me; I’m not comfortable with the male-female relationship expectations and dynamics. I like a bisexual guy friend now. I like that he finds my body attractive and is more open sexually, but I also feel squicked when he calls me by female pronouns. HE KNOWS about my gender identity. Sometimes I want to cuddle with him and other times I want to kick him where it hurts. I wouldn’t accept this from anyone else. But I like him. –sigh-

6. I wished I passed sometimes, but I’ve had to accept that I don’t. My face is too feminine. Half the time I enjoy wearing girls’ clothes and wearing makeup and looking ‘pretty’. I take advantage of the fact that others see me as female, which means I can wear these things in public. I’d miss cute clothes if I wore boys clothes all the time. But it makes me feel like a ‘fake’ for wanting to be called male.

7. I wish I could just be androgynous and be comfortable with being called female pronouns. I wouldn’t feel pressured to transition. I could live as a bio-female and not risk losing my family or not ever finding a partner because my gender and my sex don’t match up.

8. I’m confused. I don’t know what I want to do or where I want to go. I’m trying to live in-between, but it’s really hard to do. I don’t even know if I’ll feel this way forever. Part of me hopes I don’t and I can acclimate to being a social female like I did before I was aware of FTMs. It’s really painful living this way and I hate the anxiety spells.

[ 01-12-2011, 02:57 PM: Message edited by: bornpurple ]

Posts: 12 | From: Cali | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CoatRack
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Oh.
My.
Goodness.

We are like, gender-identity twins. Creepy.

I came out as a trans-guy in the summer of 2008. I was in therapy, and even went to far as to be given a letter authorizing me to start hormones. And then earlier this year I basically had a complete identity freak out about feeling like I would lose my queer identity and not feeling totally like a man, just knowing I wasn't a woman and basically everything you mentioned up there. I don't pass as male 90% of the time, and when I do? The second I speak people start apologizing for calling me he.

So I was sitting with one of my friends and I said "can I trans-angst at you for a few minutes?" and she said sure.

I explained how I was feeling, how I wanted my life to be "easier" and I knew that it would be if I passed. She had some stuff to say that really, really made sense to me.

It was all about how, sometimes we live in the middle. We don't drop by the middleground on our way from point A to point B - we live in some amorphous and heretofore unnamed spot inbetween. We haven't set up camp, we've set up houses, and they are sturdy by necessity, because the weather is rough.

But we wouldn't choose to live anywhere else, because we must be authentic. We must be real, first to who we are and then to the world. And we must stand up and persevere because THAT is how change is created. Living in-between is really, really hard, and it really, really sucks sometimes.

For a long time, years before I came out, I felt like I was taught that I SHOULD hate my body, and after I came out as trans that push seemed even stronger. I wanted to identify as male so clearly I had to hate my breasts and such, right? Except I kept realizing that I didn't, and I kept realizing that I got so much pleasure from my body being touched, and really? My body was mine, no matter what. So if I identified as a man? Then this body, with the breasts and the hips and the high voice and everything else? Then that was the body of a man.

Real. To me first; the rest of the world is secondary.

[ 01-12-2011, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: CoatRack ]

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Hey folks, my name is Andrew and I was a mod here for awhile a couple years ago. I'll be here for a couple weeks while Heather is out and the site is even more short-staffed than usual

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Heather
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quote:
It was all about how, sometimes we live in the middle. We don't drop by the middleground on our way from point A to point B - we live in some amorphous and heretofore unnamed spot inbetween. We haven't set up camp, we've set up houses, and they are sturdy by necessity, because the weather is rough.

But we wouldn't choose to live anywhere else, because we must be authentic. We must be real, first to who we are and then to the world. And we must stand up and persevere because THAT is how change is created.

That is so amazing and beautiful and right on.

I also think I'd add, making clear I'm so not diminishing your discomfort (which I personally understand to some degree), that I think it's also helpful to acknowledge, and true, that if most people were really self-aware and really honest and authentic, most of us would, in fact, be living in the middle in some way in a lot of our identity, whether that's about gender, orientation, race or ethnicity, what have you.

The poles at the end of anything linear are always, by definition, the furthest flung, and what's in the middle of anything human that's framed as having poles is always a LOT bigger than those poles, even if and when anyone or any system does not present it as such. Know what I mean?

[ 01-12-2011, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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bornpurple
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Thank you guys, this is actually pretty helpful as far as how to think about it.
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Heather
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As an addition, when I was thinking more about this later, it also struck me that one of the things that can make being in a space like this feel so uncomfortable is that while you are describing a middle, it's a middle pushed to the margins, if you follow me. In other words, so often a gender "middle" is presented as a gender deviance, or a gender identity/experience that's not in the middle, but outside the whole sphere and spectrum, even though that's not true.

Obviously, being pushed to the margins is always uncomfortable, but I think there's an extra discomfort in finding yourself there when, in reality, that's not where you actually are, but where the folks at the furthest poles, who usually create/enable those dynamics and social strata, are actually closer to.

Which can just do your brain in as well as your heart, because logically, practically, being in the middle and at the margins with the same thing, at the same time, just makes absolutely no sense.

Do you know what I mean?

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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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brighter_from_ashes
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

I also think I'd add, making clear I'm so not diminishing your discomfort (which I personally understand to some degree), that I think it's also helpful to acknowledge, and true, that if most people were really self-aware and really honest and authentic, most of us would, in fact, be living in the middle in some way in a lot of our identity, whether that's about gender, orientation, race or ethnicity, what have you.

I had an epiphany when I read this: I used to buy into the biological-binarist view of sex/gender. When I realized there were other viewpoints, I realized I was a middle person. So now when people are telling me I'm wrong because the biological-binarist viewpoint is the absolute truth, I can just think, "When/if they realize their ideology's silly, they might realize they aren't what they thought they 'had' to be. And they'll be thankful for that freedom."

Also, the OP and the person who replied to this thread succinctly and clearly expressed something I feel as well. Wish I'd read this before I posted my own rambling story.

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WesLuck
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We are all people, and we are all unique. [Smile] And each moment of one of us is unique, unlike any other. =)

[ 06-01-2011, 09:35 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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