Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Lost

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Lost
SnapperJack
Neophyte
Member # 49145

Icon 9 posted      Profile for SnapperJack     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi guys,
I have posted on here before so apologies if I'm repeating myself. I just, I have never felt so lost in my gender identity as I do now. I feel so lost. Not to mention depressed.

I am biologically female - and for years that was fine with me. I think I always knew I felt a bit different from some of the other girls - but at the same time I knew I didn't want to be a boy (at least in the stereotypical sense) and "girl" seemed to fit me reasonably well. I was happy.

I love my identity around girls actually. All my childhood, girls were my friends. I feel I get to play a "protector" role towards them whilst remaining true to my "soft/silly" self! I am extremely feminine (despite feeling somewhat "male") and I feel "at home" playing this protector role but in a feminine/ soft way.

The problems for me, come in relationships... with males (as a female). I struggle a lot relating to males/male identified people as a female (in the traditional boy/girl sense). My first and only "true" boyfriend was a very soft/ feminine male - and I don't think I could have it any other way.

I have had relationships since but I hate the feeling of feeling "female". I seem to fall into this identity around boys/men - which is incredibly frustrating. I dunno, maybe it has something to do with confidence? It's like I just give in to them. I submitt. I am the submissive female. I hate the expectations that seem to come with being a girl in a relationship - maybe it's just me? But then I KNOW I am submissive. My character is submissive. I am just not comfortable being submissive as female?!

I just struggle so much at the moment. I am trying desperately to find a more "male" version of me where I might be happier. At the same time, I KNOW I have a very unhealthy outlook on being "female" and what it MEANS to be a woman. I see being a woman as somehow being weak or inferior to a man. I know this isn't really true but it is how I feel it is - like in society. I feel vulnerable around guys and in this role. I KNOW I don't want that role.

I am in counselling at the moment, trying to figure out why I perceive women as weak.
It got me thinking recently - am I really Genderqueer? Is labelling myself as Genderqueer helpful? It's almost like I'm trying to escape being seen as a woman because I see that as weak. As "Other". And I don't want that.

It feels like I am at a crossroads at the moment. Do I try and make "peace" with being a woman in society? or do I stay true to how I feel inside and label myself as Genderqueer? Or do I maybe take the middle road and make peace with my identity (at least partly) as a woman, whilst at the same time remaining true to my inner sense of self?

I apologise for the ramble. If anyone has any insight or thoughts on this, I would be extremely grateful.

A very lost and confused sole. [Frown]

Posts: 18 | From: England | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jacob at Scarleteen
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 66249

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jacob at Scarleteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey snapperjack... glad to hear your counselling is approaching that issue. Here's just a few thoughts, but no direct advice.

I think what's really helpful is to just completely separate out your personality traits (ie, times when you feel submissive etc) from 'what' you are.

How you identify should never have to restrict what kinds of relationships you want to have with people and how you want to express yourself.

I think identifying as genderqueer can be a strong way to challenge people and yourself and can be truer for plenty of people to the genderlessness they might feel inside. But it's also just as fine to ID as female, and reject any ideas of what that means which you don't like.

One other thought is that hey if there are guys who make you feel crap when you hang around with them, it's probably not you who who has a problem! It might be useful just to realise that maybe these guys have some issues too.

I also think it's cool you know you're into being in relationships with guys who are either femme or 'softer' as you put it (those things are separate). But this doesn't undermine you or whatever sort of gender identity... it's taste. And it's yours to freely decide what that is to you.

I think when it comes to these things there are no right answers, but also no wrong answers... I think expressing your identity as per what feels good and feels right is always the best way to make decisions of gender expression, rather than trying to guess what's truer or not.

Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
coralee
Peer Ambassador
Member # 43628

Icon 1 posted      Profile for coralee         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi SnapperJack, I think you're talking about two different things in your post. One is your gender identity, the other is how you feel in certain situations. For example, say you have a woman who is often disrespected and forced to be submissive. Maybe ze sometimes thinks "gee, if I wasn't a woman, maybe I would not be treated like this!" Having this thought doesn't necessarily mean ze is genderqueer. Ze may identify as female and just wish ze was treated with more respect. Or, ze may certainly find genderqueer, or male, is zir true identity.

No matter one's gender, I think it's important to respect all genders, and if you perceive women as weak and want to explore or change that feeling, I think it is an important and healthy thing to do, no matter what your own gender is.

Hope what I had to say helps.

Posts: 143 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SnapperJack
Neophyte
Member # 49145

Icon 1 posted      Profile for SnapperJack     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey guys,
Thanks for the responses. I hear what you're saying. And thank you for not automatically putting me in the "female" category [Smile]

I dunno, I think I'm OK with being seen as female the majority of the time (even if this doesn't reflect EXACTLY how I feel). I guess I figure these boxes probably don't match any of us... COMPLETELY. And that's kind of ok with me.

It really is in relationships where I struggle... relationships with males. I automatically feel inferior as female. I envy the male identity. I thought labelling myself as "genderqueer" would help and help me feel more empowered. I still think I am partly genderqueer (if that's even possible!). I feel I connect most to it and what it stands for. i.e. I honestly do see gender as a construct and I don't see why I should behave in a particular way just because of what's inbetween my legs!

Having said that, I can't help but feel at least part of me does still identify as female (and always will do) and I'm almost trying to run away or "cover up" my problems by labelling myself as GQ. I think I have some REAL issues when it comes to being seen and read as female and what this means for me (particularly in romantic settings).

I dunno, do people who identify as genderqueer identify as such because... I dunno, it just feels "right" to them, it's sort of inherent/biological to them? Or is there more to it? Is it more to do with social roles? Do I only identify as GQ because I want to "escape" being female or being seen as inferior or in need of protection in our society?

Does this make sense?

I guess, as I said in my first post really, I just sort of feel at a crossroads with what to do. I know I have some very unhealthy views on what it means to be a woman. I feel like I should probably work these out. But at the same time, I know I believe strongly in what it means to be genderqueer. I guess maybe part of me is scared that if I go through with this counselling, I'll somehow be "converted" to being a woman! Lol!

Sorry for the ramble! I really am very lost at the moment. Thank you so much for the replies. It means a lot.

Posts: 18 | From: England | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
coralee
Peer Ambassador
Member # 43628

Icon 1 posted      Profile for coralee         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A lot of what you said in your post feels like it's written about me. I identify as female some of the time and genderqueer some of the time.

I hear you saying that a part of you feels female and a part of you feels genderqueer? I think a person who identifies as female some of the time, and as "not female" some of the time, can definitely call themselves genderqueer if that felt right to them. "Genderqueer" is a very broad term. But there are also other terms that may feel like more of a "good fit" for a particular person, such as agender or genderfluid. What do you think about these other terms? I hear you using the terms "genderqueer" and "female" a lot, but those are not the only two ways you can describe your identity. I think any term is just a word, and it is the meaning you put into that word that makes it your identity.

Posts: 143 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jacob at Scarleteen
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 66249

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jacob at Scarleteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SnapperJack:
Hey guys,
Thanks for the responses. I hear what you're saying. And thank you for not automatically putting me in the "female" category [Smile]

I dunno, I think I'm OK with being seen as female the majority of the time (even if this doesn't reflect EXACTLY how I feel). I guess I figure these boxes probably don't match any of us... COMPLETELY. And that's kind of ok with me.

I think that's one of the biggest things to take away from this all. I think knowing that the boxes don't fit means you can deal with them way better than if you expect them to be snug and perfect.

quote:
It really is in relationships where I struggle... relationships with males. I automatically feel inferior as female. I envy the male identity. I thought labelling myself as "genderqueer" would help and help me feel more empowered. I still think I am partly genderqueer (if that's even possible!). I feel I connect most to it and what it stands for. i.e. I honestly do see gender as a construct and I don't see why I should behave in a particular way just because of what's inbetween my legs!
I think you could do some of this through identity. But right here it just sounds to me like you don't like being submissive... Does that sound right? Have you spoken to the guys you've been in relationships about this? That being in a submissive role is a big turn-off for you?

quote:
Having said that, I can't help but feel at least part of me does still identify as female (and always will do) and I'm almost trying to run away or "cover up" my problems by labelling myself as GQ. I think I have some REAL issues when it comes to being seen and read as female and what this means for me (particularly in romantic settings).
I think the thing with labels is that they can all be peeled off. There's no 'true' one underneath the others... and they're yours to stick on-top of each-other or whatever. There's no rules against identifying as genderqueer AND female... or one at some points and the other at other times or neither. This can be an ongoing process of change and growth that goes on.

Not wanting be read as female in my mind gives you a full license to do what you like to change that... whether it's a tshirt that says "genderqueer" or messing with your clothes or whatever. Go for it.

quote:
I dunno, do people who identify as genderqueer identify as such because... I dunno, it just feels "right" to them, it's sort of inherent/biological to them? Or is there more to it? Is it more to do with social roles? Do I only identify as GQ because I want to "escape" being female or being seen as inferior or in need of protection in our society?

Does this make sense?

Yep! Makes sense.

The way I view gender is that of course biology affects all of us and triggers strong tenancies... hey even "thinking" is biological... so yeah there can be all sorts of biological backgrounds to someone wanting to call themselves GQ... but I don't think it's about something being inherent. Generally people have to be taught words like man, woman, (or genderqueer or etc) and are taught which one they are, our bodies are one way, but what we choose call ourselves is a product of lots of things, of which that is just one major part.

SO basically to identify as GQ, you're not at risk of being inauthentic! A big part of it could even be claiming that there IS no 'authentic'.

I wouldn't see it as an identity that can actually get rid of how people view you in terms of inferiority, but if it changes how YOU feel about yourself then that's great. Beyond that being respected in relationships is more about communication and being properly heard by someone for who we are and what we want from each other.

Also another way to play with gender is with clothes, hair etc.

quote:
I guess, as I said in my first post really, I just sort of feel at a crossroads with what to do. I know I have some very unhealthy views on what it means to be a woman. I feel like I should probably work these out. But at the same time, I know I believe strongly in what it means to be genderqueer. I guess maybe part of me is scared that if I go through with this counselling, I'll somehow be "converted" to being a woman! Lol!

Sorry for the ramble! I really am very lost at the moment. Thank you so much for the replies. It means a lot.

I think I've been at that crossroads... and I sort of set up a picnic there, and I'm still there. Have a sandwich:

 -

Gender for me is about always being right!

You've said things about about covering up an identity with another one, and about nothing fitting, but seriously, no-one is testing. This is about what you get emotionally out of how you identify. That is all that matters! You can hang out on this cross roads if it feels right, or go down one way, and then come back, or go trekking off road.

Also, I don't know if you've read this:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/genderpalooza_a_sex_gender_primer
or maybe this:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/gaydar/living_without_labels

maybe they could help.

Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jacob at Scarleteen
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 66249

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jacob at Scarleteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So true coralee!
Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SnapperJack
Neophyte
Member # 49145

Icon 1 posted      Profile for SnapperJack     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jacob and Coralee... thank you! I've spent some time reading both your responses and thinking about this and reading the links you sent me. It all makes sense.
... so why does no one around me *get* this? I feel SO alone with all this stuff (even though I know in my mind, it's true). It just seems like so many people assume gender is *natural*. Don't get me wrong, no one I've told about this has disowned me or anything like that. But they still don't really *get it*, know what I mean?
I just feel so bloody miserable and alone. I hate this life.

Posts: 18 | From: England | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SnapperJack
Neophyte
Member # 49145

Icon 1 posted      Profile for SnapperJack     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
... Jacob, thanks for the sandwich! (and Coralee, I think genderfluid works well for me) - thank you.
Posts: 18 | From: England | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
coralee
Peer Ambassador
Member # 43628

Icon 1 posted      Profile for coralee         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You're welcome, SnapperJack. I'm glad what I said was helpful.
Posts: 143 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cricket
Activist
Member # 96015

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cricket     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
SnapperJack, I identify as genderqueer and a LOT of the descriptions you've posted here are very much in alignment with how I felt when I was first exploring that identity. For me, embracing genderqueerness has made me far more comfortable with myself and my body and made me feel more able to hold a variety of sexual and relationship roles and ask for the things I want most in bed and in relationships in general. As you may have guessed, I think you identifying as genderqueer/genderfluid is absolutely valid and okay. I have found it very liberating to be part of a gender category that doesn't have distinct stereotypes attached to it, especially in relation to how I'm supposed to have sex or behave in relationships.

I also know what you mean about people not getting it. My parents have made a vague attempt, but they really don't fully understand what I mean. Luckily, I have some friends at college who have a deeper understanding of it, as do my sexual partners. There are people out there who understand, and you can find them. This website is a great place to start. =D

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

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3