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Author Topic: Questioning - possibly genderqueer/genderfluid?
Burdened with glorious booty
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So recently, I've started questioning my gender identity. I've tried to on previous occasions, but I would always step down and tell myself that I was being stupid, because I at least partially identify as female (I'm female bodied) and I don't feel any dysphoria - I feel comfortable in my body, and sometimes I adore looking the way I do.

But I don't exactly feel that that's the full picture. Like, there's something missing, and I've made some headway in finding out what those missing pieces are. I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it all.

Sometimes, I feel female, and that's fine. A lot of the time, though, I feel quite neutral. Like my gender isn't really something that's relevant unless I'm specifically thinking about it. So I thought "okay, logically that would make me partially agender and partially cis. That's fine, I'm comfortable with that." Except that that's not it either, and I'm still missing something...except I know what I'm missing, and I'm really not sure what to do about it.

Sometimes, I want to be a gay man. I like reading a lot of gay-themed stories and other media, and sometimes I feel so curious, and at the same time I feel sad because I know it's something I'll never be able to experience for myself. I remember reading an article on Scarleteen from a woman who felt the same way, and aside from the depression and the dysphoria she felt, she managed to sum up quite a few (not all) of my feelings regarding this. Sometimes, I want to crossdress and take a male role in my heterosexual relationship, and the guys I tend to like are either gay/bi (although I never know that when I fancy them) or are interested in things that go outside their gender (one of my crushes, for instance, was on this guy who was obsessed with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic). This is where I feel uncomfortable, because while I'd like to be able to say "yes, this is a part of my identity," I feel like I can't. Because I looked around to see if there were any terms that fitted this description, and I found one..."Girlfag". And I found some sources that listed it as a valid genderqueer identity, and I found many more sources that ranted about how they're nothing but "cisgendered perverts" who objectify gay men and try and invade the queer community for their own sick pleasures. The idea of my gender identity being offensive to people makes me afraid of ever saying it aloud, especially since part of my identity is cisgendered.

So I think I'm genderqueer, but I'm a little iffy about it, since I can't really explain how I know that I'm female or agendered, and I'm too afraid to explain how I know I'm a girlfag. I'd like to think that just saying the term "genderqueer" would work, but I know if I were to come out, people would ask me to explain myself in detail, which I don't feel comfortable doing. And I still can't shake this feeling that I'm being ridiculous and I should just stop worrying myself over nothing, that I should just say I'm cisgendered and forget about all the rest. So, what do I do - do I stop questioning it? Are my feelings valid, or okay? I don't know, really.

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Heather
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I'm really sorry that you read that negative stuff about what your identity is feeling like. Unfortunately, just like with race or weight, gender is so loaded for so many people, and so many people have so much to unpack around it that for anything positive anyone might find about their own gender ID or feelings, they're going to find just as much that's icky.

(It can also be helpful to remember that how people are on the net often isn't reflective of how people are IRL.)

No one has to explain their gender ID in-depth to anyone: you don't owe that to anyone. Bear in mind how many people couldn't if we even asked them to!

You get to ID how you want to ID. I'm sure that if you are truly worried that somehow what feels right for you is appropriating gay men's identities, we could talk that out, and anything that really was appropriation would be something you could work out to speak about or perform in a way that wasn't.

So, what you should say you are is what you want to say about who you are in this regard, like any other. And that includes how much information you share and with whom.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Burdened with glorious booty
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It doesn't help that I've tried to discuss the issue of Girlfags and how that can tie in with a genderqueer identity on forums that I usually think of as safe, only to get those same reactions directed at me. If I'd just said "I'm genderfluid between female and agendered", the people on this other forum would have been 100% supportive - the second I mentioned this other term, everyone flipped a shit. I've had one or two people come to my defence, but it's not enough to make me feel all that comfortable about it.

It doesn't help that I don't know if, when I get like this, I feel like I AM a man, or if I WANT to be a man. With my female and agendered sides, I can definitely say I AM female and I AM agendered - but I'm not entirely sure about that with any male identity I may have. I don't know in this instance what the difference is, or what kind of impact that would make on the issue. Usually, when I get like that, I'm also usually feeling female at the same time, so it's all a little bit confused. I'm kind of worried that if it's a case of "wanting" to be a man instead of "being" a man, then that makes everything much less valid and a lot more offensive for people who would find that identity to be offensive.

And I can't really explain it right now, either - I remember hearing that "it's not a case of the old shoe being such an ill fit, just that the new one fits so much better", but I can't really say which shoes fit right now. So it's not something I'll be yelling from the rooftops, as it's still kinda confused and still very much in the questioning stage of things.

Thank you for the reply, though - I think anything at this point is much needed.

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Ta-da!

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WesLuck
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Hope you enjoy your muffins. [Smile]

Yes, ideas about sexuality and gender have been used as a weapon for a long time. It does make it harder for people to uniquely resonate on their own individual frequency. Society made the categories and judgements, it's not the people who fall into the categories that are doing anything wrong. I think as time goes on, the walls will eventually come down, but the inbetween times may be difficult.

Anyway, I wish you all the best! And:

-hugs for Derpy Hooves!- [Smile]

[ 07-17-2012, 03:34 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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Heather
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Just FYI, and because I am a flaming etymology geek, did you know that "faggot," after meaning "bundle of sticks," and BEFORE meaning "male homosexual," was apparently a slur applied to WOMEN, expressing that a woman's value was no more than a bundle of sticks, basically?

Probably not, especially since few people are such big geeks [Razz] , but I bet the people giving you grief about this have never bothered to look into this either.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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A lot of the people giving me grief are doing so because they assume that if I like gay/bi men, then it must be purely because they're gay/bi and this is inherently objectifying. I don't. Gay, straight or whatever, I often like guys who are honest about themselves and who break the norms, either by being androgynous/feminine or unashamed of being "geeky", and guys who have no shame about having feminine or geeky interests. And in my experience, a lot of guys who I like I later find out are gay or bi. It doesn't make me like them any less, but it's never the main/only reason I like them and I don't think that I objectify them in the way people think I am. I don't actively go around saying "I like gay men" because of the unfortunate implications behind that, but I do end up fancying a lot of guys who, either by coincidence or something else, end up being queer-identified anyway. It doesn't help that I'm demisexual too, so I don't think people are attractive just based on looks.

I've been doing more research on it, including finding this survey on the subject - the responses were a hugely mixed bag, but there were a lot of things there that matched my own experiences. It's still something I'm slightly uncomfortable about coming out as right away, though, since I'm not entirely sure what exactly it all means or what other terms can fit. Would it make me androgynous, or bigendered? Is there a difference? How can I tell which one I am, or if I'm either? It's still a bit confuzzled.

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Ta-da!

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Heather
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Really, the language you're asking about isn't strictly defined, even if some folks claim it is (those of us who study queer history or who have been around a long while in queer communities know better). It's all about what feels right to you and what those things do or don't mean to you.

We also get to connect and identify with whoever we do, and really, no one can control that, not even if we wanted to.

When we talk about objectification, we're talking about people not seeing people as people, but as objects. It's very clear that's not something you're doing. If it's not clear to some folks,

Right now, do you feel like your discomfort is coming from YOU not having a sense of your identity and what you want to call it, or certain people -- people you actually know or not? -- having an objection to your sense of identity and what you want to call it?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Burdened with glorious booty
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Sorry it took so long to get back to this, I've been a bit busy.

I guess it's a little of both, really. I've realised that my gender split is kind of like how Eddie Izzard once described his own - like "an entire girl plus half a boy", if that makes sense. So that's not something that makes me uncomfortable (although I don't know what other words could describe that). But there is some fear of what other people would think of me, I admit this. In private, I've started describing myself as a girlfag and agendered, and my pride in these facts is getting stronger, but it's not strong enough for me to totally go public with it.

I don't think it's something I'm mention to my parents, since I doubt it's something they'd understand, and I loathe the idea of my nearest and dearest not understanding me. Plus, I have other reasons for being uneasy about coming out as being genderqueer, which I'll mention in another topic. But otherwise, I'm getting more comfortable with the idea.

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Ta-da!

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Robin Lee
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HI Derpy Hooves,

I'm sorry that your response here wasn't acknowledged/answered. [Smile]

Hearing you say that you're feeling mor pride in your personal identity is awesome. I'm wondering if perhaps it's a matter of sitting with your identity, developing it, and naturally building up comfort about sharing it with others? That is, the more pride and confidence you have, the less other people's potential reactions and opinions will matter/feel influential.

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Robin

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Derpy_Whooves
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You know it's sorta creepyy when I create an account, and someone with almost the same username has almost the same question I do.. whoa. Just, whoa.

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Ve~

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Heather
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Maybe the two of you have found your doppleganger. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Burdened with glorious booty
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Yeah, I just noticed that. [Big Grin]

I just get so irritated with myself, actually. Every time I think I'm absolutely certain about what I am, something new comes up which makes me scrap all my progress and get back to the drawing board. I think "Yeah! This is it, and I'm proud!", and then it's like "...Oh, hang on a minute...did I take this into consideration...? Now I don't know...".

I decided to chat with my "friend" about it, but not in a way that had me explicitly tell him that I'm questioning my gender (although I'm assuming that he guessed anyway), and it turns out that not "feeling" one way or another is a normal thing (he doesn't "feel" male or female, but identifies as male because he believes that he has a lot of alpha-male protecting instincts - and yes, he acknowledges that this might be an archaic/chauvinistic way of looking at it, but hey, it's his identity). I guess, looking at it in the simplest terms possible (mainly, that I'm not going to change my body and I don't mind being viewed as a girl), I'm a girl, but I can't deny that I want to crossdress so badly and that there are times that I get so jealous of guys for being able to be guys, which...yeah, that complicates things. Thankfully, my "friend" is really supportive of me wanting to cross-dress, but still, I hate that this is even an issue.

It doesn't really help that there have been several occasions in which I've overthought things and worried myself over nothing, and that my AS means that I have a fairly obsessive mind. So part of me is always worried that I'm questioning myself and the very concept of what gender even is for absolutely no reason.

I'm thinking of just using "androgynous" as an umbrella term to sum up my want to crossdress (which might make me a transvestite? is that the right term to use?) and my occasional internal whining of "I want to be a maaaaan!". I don't think that's too unreasonable, is it? But even on this site, I've gone between so many terms, I know my credibility it completely destroyed. That bothers me, too.

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Ta-da!

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Heather
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You know, my feeling as a person in my forties is that any certainty any of us ever have about all of who we are? It's momentary. None of it -- not all of it, anyway -- is forever and ever.

People aren't static, our lives aren't static, so our identities really can't be, either.

And of course, at any time of life when it's a given we're in a seriously developmental place? My advice is to stop trying to find permanent settings for those things, because you aren't going to have any (or if you do, won't know they were until decades down the road) and probably aren't supposed to. In a developmental time or place, we're not supposed to be locking onto anything: we're supposed to be fluid, you know?

quote:
But even on this site, I've gone between so many terms, I know my credibility it completely destroyed. That bothers me, too.
I can absolutely assure you that here, of all places, no one's credibility has anything to do with them finding or sticking to given words or frameworks for their sexual identities. I can't speak for all our readers and community, to be sure, but I can say I'd be pretty bummed out, especially given how much time and effort we've put into helping people understand the fluidity of sexuality and identity, for anyone who did base a user's credibility on that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Molias
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Hi Derpy Hooves,

I just wanted to address that mention you made of your credibility being destroyed at the end of your post. I certainly don't think that, and I hope that if you hear people saying that sort of thing to you, you don't take it to heart. You get to determine what your identity is and what words you use for yourself. If that changes a hundred times it doesn't make any difference to me.

Gender is such a huge and multifaceted thing that I think it's really easy for just one person to have a number of different ways of understanding (or being confused by!) their own gender. I hear you saying that it's frustrating you not to have a handle on exactly what language you want to use for yourself or how to articulate your feelings about your identity, and I really do get that - I have pretty much given up on having a quick and easy gender description for myself. I think it really is ok to be in that fluid/uncertain space, or to feel like things are changing constantly. I've been able to embrace that uncertainly, sometimes, and had that be a really wonderful experience. But I just want to emphasize that being uncertain, or changing your mind, or trying something out for a while does not say anything bad about you or mean you're less credible/authentic of a person.

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Burdened with glorious booty
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Thank you. [Big Grin]

I've pretty much figured that I'm not agendered, since there's way too much going on for that to be the case, and I think feeling "neutral" is kind of how a lot of cis people operate anyway. But lately, I've been feeling odd about it. Like, I'll be chilling out, and it'll suddenly hit me that I don't have a male body, and my daydreams about being a guy who's with other guys is just that - a dream, impossible to accomplish in the real world. And I just end up feeling low, and a little antsy about it. It goes away once I drink lots of tea and acquire lots of comics, but still, it's starting to bother me a bit. I don't know if that's dysphoria or what, but it's started to make me feel odd about my body. I still like it, but I'll sometimes go to bed and suddenly think "Wait a second, where's my penis gone...? Oh yeah, I don't have one. Well THAT sucks." And when I'm not feeling sad about that, I either feel odd and a little out of place, or I literally forget that I have a female body. So yeah, I'm not sure what's going on with that.

I feel like I should start telling people about it - like I owe some people this explanation. I've mentioned it to two of my really close friends, and I've alluded to it with other friends, but I can tell that they think it's just another quirk of mine, something that's not as important as it is. And I need to tell my boy about it, but I know he wouldn't understand. My parents can't know, and if they DO know, then it'd have to be in a form they can understand, like saying that I need to crossdress because I enjoy it or something. So letting people know might be a problem, but I think I need someone to go to with this.

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Burdened with glorious booty
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So good news, I came out to a close friend as being bigendered (implying being a girlfag by mentioning that as a man, I'd be a gay-leaning bisexual rather than a straight-leaning bisexual), and he was totally okay with it. I'm the most comfortable with it that I've ever been, and I really want to start expressing it.

Bad news...I don't know how, and I don't know how safe it is to do so. I want to tell my sister and my boyfriend, because they already know a lot of my thoughts on gender anyway...but my big problem is whether they'd believe me. While I'm apparently "a little bit androgynous," and pretty much a tomboy-femme in terms of presentation (or at least, I'm getting there), I've been really surprised to find that a lot of people consider me to be a natural femme - I have longish curly blonde hair, and I generally look like your typical english rose, so I could see where they're coming from with that, but I apparently have a graceful walk and an adorable sneeze and other shit that I don't really notice about myself. I obviously don't mind being femme - femme is kind of what I'm going for. But I don't know how to come across as a femme guy, is all. I know that just binding isn't going to do much, but I don't know what else I can do on top of that. I don't want to radically change my wardrobe, especially since I often wear androgynous clothes anyway...but blokish clothes or not, I clearly have a womanly body (I'm fairly thin, but I'm pretty pear-shaped), so I still come across as more femme than anything else. As well as that, despite that people know I want to crossdress and people know I'm bisexual and people know that I like dressing in an androgynous style, how would anyone believe that such a natural femme as myself is secretly genderqueer? I know that being more femme than butch doesn't invalidate my personal ID, but I think it could be a case of "try telling THEM that." I just don't know how I can get across that this is how I feel about myself. So yeah, I'm really worried about that, because I don't really want to change my style, but it's not really getting across what I want to get across - right now, I'm feeling like I'd HAVE to cut my hair really short to pass, should I cross dress, but I don't want to do that. I just don't know what to do with that.

On top of that, I've been wondering - how the hell do I mention it to any other people I date? I have an interest in a few other people (this is okay in terms of my relationship, though), mostly this one really sweet guy...but as far as I can tell, he's 100% straight and I don't know how he'd take that kind of thing. I feel like, if I'm going to be telling people, I have to do so in fragments and without using any specific terms, but that still feels like a lie. Like, it's okay for cis girls to crossdress, so I can admit to that, but mentioning that it's an expression of being genderqueer just isn't cricket. So yeah, I have a few dating anxieties.

[ 04-08-2013, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: Derpy Hooves ]

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Ta-da!

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Heather
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Hey, Derpy, glad that went well!

I think it might be helpful if we talked about the fact that there are limits to how much we can present all that our gender is on the surface.

In other words, it's sounding to me like maybe you want people to know more things about your gender identity just by looking than most , if not all, people are going to actually be ABLE to tell just by how you dress or style your hair.

It's also sounding like there's a good deal of feeling like you have to somehow prove your gender ID is what it is to others, like this:

quote:
As well as that, despite that people know I want to crossdress and people know I'm bisexual and people know that I like dressing in an androgynous style, how would anyone believe that such a natural femme as myself is secretly genderqueer?
When I read a sentence like that, here's what I think, "Some people would, others wouldn't, but you can only control what other people think and believe to a certain degree. Also, who cares about what people think who don't accept your gender identity as it is simply by you telling them that's what it is? And is there actually anything we CAN do to convince people who don't? Probably not."

Maybe it would help to talk about what you actually want from other people in this regard?

In other words, when you worry you won't be able to get your gender identity across to them, what are you looking for from them IN getting it across? Especially from the kind of people you're probably not close enough to for them to even know you well enough to read your gender -- or anyone's they're not very close to -- as anything but some kind of binary, which is what I think most people, most of the time, are going to tend to do when they don't know us well or talk with us about our gender.

Whether we like it or not, most people, just by looking, are really only going to do the boy-or-girl thing, not "read" by looking for more complex, mushy, kinds of gender. And to some degree, that's not surprising since how we visually present our gender a) is only one part of gender anyway, and b) it's not like ANY one gender identity, including those for cisgender men or women looks one certain, universal way.

[Edited: because, good lord, my typos today!]

[ 04-08-2013, 06:14 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Molias
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DerpyHooves, I think Heather has a good point - no matter how excited you might be about your fabulous gendered cues that are fitting right in with your complex understanding of your own gender, most folks are not going to register much beyond male, female, and maaaybe "huh, I'm confused." Other trans and genderqueer folks will be more likely to pick up on nuance but you can't guarantee it'll all be interpreted the way you want, sadly.

I've struggled with this from time to time, and I really only feel best when I'm doing what feels best to me in my presentation, regardless of how folks read me, because any attempts I've made to control that perception of me just haven't been very helpful. Most of the time, people just see what they want to see or what they're used to seeing.

In terms of people you may want to date, I think any time you have a conversation about interests and boundaries relating to sex (or just setting up relationship parameters), it's a pretty natural segue from there to talking about how your gender relates to what you want out of a relationship. It can be a little awkward, sure, but at least in my life it would be way more awkward to be intimate with someone who had a completely different understanding of my gender.

So for potential romantic partners or other people in your life, how does your sense of your gender impact how you want those folks to treat you? What can you tell them about ways to interact with you that will make you feel like your gender is being respected? These might be helpful things to think about, and maybe you can have some small conversations with the folks closest to you where you outline some of this.

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I know there are limits, and I don't intend to convey all of it. Obviously, it's probably not possible to do so. I think what I want is the kind of look that's androgynous enough where I'm still comfortable in it, but if I were to bind/pack, it'd be enough that I'd possibly pass as a feminine boy (and if that isn't the effect I get, then I'd probably still look like an androgynous girl, which is still fine by me). I don't like the idea of having two separate wardrobes for that - firstly, I don't have the money to be able to do that, and secondly because, like I said, I don't want to have to force myself into adapting a style I don't want to purely so I could pass. Even if people aren't thinking that I'm the exact flavour of genderqueer that I am, then they'd probably at least see (or be able to tell) that I'm binding, or that I'm presenting in a "huh, I'm confused" kind of way. That's enough for me. I'm just worried that no matter what I do, I'll just come across as "slightly tomboyish cis girl," is all.

I don't think it's so important for strangers to know, actually. I want to present that way for my own comfort, really. But I think if I told a person close to me, and they didn't understand, or they went "but you're too femme to be genderqueer!", then I'd probably feel put off from ever expressing these feelings again, really. I'm generally quite poor at communication and quite good at hiding things, so I know a lot of the people in my life would have no idea that I have any gender issues unless I told them, and yeah, that does bother me...but so would the looks of "huh? I'm confused."

I don't know about this guy I like - I'm only just getting to know him, so I think it'd be a bit early to say. He knows that I'm a comic fan, and we have that in common (you wouldn't believe how happy he looked when I said to him out of the blue "Hey, you want to borrow all five volumes of Journey Into Mystery?"), but aside from that, I don't know. I met him through Pole Fitness, though, so I guess he's mostly seen me in teeny shorts and bright make-up (for the show we both did), so I dunno. He might get it, he might not, we'll have to wait and see. My other sort-of love interest, who I gave up on because I already confessed...well, I feel like, if she were to change her mind, then the reveal would disappoint her. Like I'd be making her straight or something. So I guess it's a good thing she turned me down and we're just friends?

I think it does affect my relationship, though. My boy is...well, not sexist. Definitely not that. But he's definitely a bit chauvinistic, in that he honestly feels that he should be protecting me and providing for me because I'm a woman and that's his job as the man in the relationship. He gets really annoyed when I insist that we pay for our own food when we go out (because he feels he should be paying for all of it), and he likes doing things like cooking for me because it's his way of expressing that protecting instinct of his. And talking to him about gender (I may have implied some kind of not-cis identity, but I never outright said anything), he mentioned that his ideas on gender are possibly archaic, in that he gets trans people and such, but he doesn't believe it's something people should think about too much, or it loses its meaning. He's also said that I'm "the most feminine girl he knows," and that my femininity is natural and beautiful and it most definitely doesn't come across as a man being feminine. I just have no idea what the hell I can really do about this. I mean, I don't think it'd be something that would make him run for the hills or whatever, but I feel like he definitely wouldn't understand. The best I could hope for, actually, is that he accepts it entirely because he's bi and it wouldn't make a difference if I'm a man or a woman, but I'm not pushing my luck with that. I don't think I want anyone to really treat me that differently (aside from not bat an eyelash when I do something gender-nonconforming), but with this boy, I want him to stop treating me like a doll. I like being pampered, yes, but I don't want him to be doing that because he feels it's his job to do that, I would want him to do those things because I either asked nicely, or he just randomly felt like it because he likes me that much.

tl;dr: I'm not presenting for other people, and I don't mind if they end up seeing me as something different, because I acknowledge that I probably won't be able to project all of it. But I generally want to look more androgynous than I am now so I can at least make a start, but I don't know how to without doing things like buying a whole new set of clothes or cutting all my hair off. Also, I don't know how it'd affect my possible relationships, but it definitely affects my current one.

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Ta-da!

Posts: 130 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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quote:
I'm just worried that no matter what I do, I'll just come across as "slightly tomboyish cis girl," is all.
Well, to plenty of people, you probably will. And, of course, to plenty of people, that phrase would probably also sum up how they'd understand or conceptualize your gender identity anyway, you know?

In other words, like Mo pointed out, how you present is really going to mostly be about how you present for yourself, your own comfort and expression, more than being about what it might or might not convey to others. It'd be awesome if gender presentation could create real change in how people think about/conceptualize gender, but in my experience so far in life, it just lacks that power.

With this guy, I'm hearing that this person is someone who really isn't at all likely to grok your gender identity, and who sounds like he also really wants some behaviour from you, mostly in alignment with his idea about gender roles and the gender role he wants you to have, that isn't in alignment with who you are and what your gender ID is.

Too, being bisexual doesn't mean, for plenty of bisexuals (though not all) that it "doesn't matter" if someone is a man or a woman (or another gender entirely), nor does bisexuality eradicate whatever ideas someone might have about gender roles, or make them not assign gender roles.

Perhaps this person just might not be a good fit for you? I hear you saying you don't think your gender frame will make him run, but I'm wondering if this is something where YOU would really want to keep pursing this kind of relationship?

If you're not sure, have you very plainly talked with him about all the things you've mentioned that are bothering you or aren't working for you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Burdened with glorious booty
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I know. I guess it's because I don't like misunderstandings and such. I'm going to see how short I can cut my hair without the need to straighten/curl it all the time for it to look good, but otherwise, I'll keep trying with the clothes I'm getting now and see how I look in them whilst binding as well (I intend to get a binder next school term, when I have more money for it). It's the best I can do.

It's not that he wants me to conform to some stereotype or gender role, because he's fine with me behaving the way I do - he understands that I can take care of myself, and he does respect me and agree with me on a lot of feminist things. He just feels like a lot of his behaviour towards me is fuelled by this "hunter-gatherer male" stuff. He's mentioned his bisexuality a lot in regards to being open-minded about some things, like stuff to do in the bedroom and gender presentation and such (one really fun conversation had us discuss a "drag date," where we could both go out in drag for the night and swap roles - as a whole, he's been 100% okay with me wanting to crossdress, and I think he's done it himself, actually), which is why it really surprised me to find that he's all "I know I shouldn't and that it's wrong, but I just want to protect you." He gets how it can be disrespectful to me, and he's even said that his ideas on gender and gender roles are probably really outdated and archaic, but he also has this weird idea that it's a biological impulse, because he certainly wasn't taught to think and act that way. To him, it's a very big part of what makes him identify as a man (which is, coincidentally, very different from what makes me identify as a man). I don't know, every time I think he's the most open-minded and accepting guy in the world, he comes out with something that proves me wrong, and I honestly don't know what to do with this attitude.

I'd really like it to work with him, but I'm starting to think that maybe we ARE better off being "just friends". Our relationship has been complicated for years, and for years there was a lot of unspoken, unacted on romantic feelings, there's been a lot of missed chances and promises and when we were together "properly", it was just so good. But firstly, while I get that some people just don't gel with certain types of relationships, I've had a bit of a problem with his attitudes towards us being long distance. We had to break up because he missed me too much, to a massive, crying himself to sleep sort of degree...but he can basically have a relationship with me as long as he insists on thinking of me as a really, really close friend, and I don't understand why that's such an important difference to him. I don't think he's entirely comfortable with me being poly, either. I've explained it to him, and mentioned that it's not a case of me not loving him anymore, and he does understand that, but at the same time, I think he'd be jealous. He's mentioned being jealous in the past, because he's had girlfriends cheat on him before, but he's claimed that he's gotten better...but I'm not sure. On top of that, there's this gender thing here, which is going to be so delightful to talk to him about, and the very simple fact that I've not talked to him that much over the past month or so, and I'm generally feeling quite separate from him. And this entire time, I've been kind of afraid, because despite every odd thing he's had to deal with in this relationship, I keep being scared that the next thing I say will be the one thing to drive him away, because I'm just so weird that people can't be with me. And I can't shake this horrible, horrible idea that I can't break up with him because he's the only one who'd put up with all my weird shit. I know that isn't true, but some days, thinking about how the world is, I keep thinking that it is.

I haven't really had the chance to discuss all this with him, because again, we've barely spoken recently. I think it's high time I did, though, because if anything, he needs to be informed of all of this, and he needs to know that if we don't entirely fit together the way that we should be, then he shouldn't feel like he has to keep trying, because right now I'm just not feeling it. Maybe we should just move on? I don't know. I don't want to be rash with this. I'm talking to him now, so I'll try and explain the whole genderqueer thing to him and see how he takes it, go from there.

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Ta-da!

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Heather
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Have you looked at this yet, Derpy?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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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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Apparently I already told him and I just forgot? I mentioned it to him, not in exact terms (I put it to him that if I could alternate between male and female, then I would), and he says "This is meant to shock me? Or bother me?", before telling me that I don't always have to be feminine and that "you have said several times that you feel you would like to be able to act like a man at times and at others like a women to suit your feelings." And he's okay with that. Maybe because I put it in such uncertain "maybe I'm this?" terms? I don't know. He seems okay with it anyway, which, yeah. That's good.

He's been ill lately, apparently, which is why he's not been online or on the phone to talk, but yeah, when he gets better, I intend to discuss the relationship more with him. Because yeah, I'm not too sure about it now.

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Ta-da!

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Molias
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Hi Derpy,

From how much you've talked on here about your gender, it definitely seems to me like this would be a helpful thing to discuss with your boyfriend. It does sound like some of his ideas about gender and reasons for his behavior may not be super-compatible with how you understand yourself, but the way to find out is to talk to him about it. If nothing else it seems like it would be pretty stressful to not be talking about this with someone you're in a relationship with.

In addition, from what you've said here it does seem like there's a pretty big disconnect between how the two of you are approaching your relationship, both from how he's handling being in a long-distance relationship (I have to admit I'm not sure what he means by thinking of you as a really really close friend in this context - does he mean he has to think of you as a friend and not a romantic partner?) and in terms of poly issues, plus you said yourself you're "not feeling it" right now. That article Heather linked to is one of my favorites here for thinking about relationships; I'd definitely give it a look if you haven't yet, and it may give you some ideas of things to talk about with him.

Also: you say you're worried that you might be "too weird" for other people to want to date you, and I get that this can be a very real fear, but I know a lot of really weird people who manage to find dating partners, some of whom are just as weird as they are, or are weird in other ways.
At the same time, though, it's generally going to be a much better and healthier choice to leave a relationship that isn't working out and be single for a while instead of staying with a partner only because you worry you won't be able to find another one. You may prefer to be partnered and not single, but it's certainly good to have reasons to stay in a relationship other than just for the sake of being in one, you know?

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Burdened with glorious booty
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I think the problem might be that, rather than thinking I could be genderfluid in some way, he thinks I'm either questioning of that it's a case of behaving in a masculine way rather than being a man. And I'm not too sure how to tell him otherwise.

I think the disconnected feeling comes from having not spoken to him so frequently recently. I communicate much better through writing, so I actually prefer instant messaging, but he had to delete his facebook, so we've been messaging over skype and he's been phoning me a lot more, which I don't like - it means we talk for shorter periods of time, and my communication issues get much worse over the phone, so I end up dominating the conversation and then feeling like a git over it. I think he prefers phone conversations because it means he can hear my voice (which he finds soothing, apparently - for someone who's voice is usually considered annoying, this is greatly amusing to me), but yeah, I don't like phone conversations. I don't know, I'll give it some time.

It's always a worry, because there are so many things about me that some people would consider deal-breakers. I'm not all that sexual as a person, I'm bisexual, I'm genderqueer, I'm a massive geek, I'm a feminist, I have Aspergers - so many things that could possibly be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I know it's probably unfounded, but I don't doubt that any one of those things could be a major problem for a future partner. And I think in the case of this guy, part of it is the history - that he waited so long to get together with me, and who else would actually be that dedicated?

I do have some more good-news-bad-news, though.

The good news is that I've finally bought some men's jeans, which I was lacking before. I had men's shirts, but I still looked feminine in them, but today, having bought a men's top, I joked to my friend that I should try on these men's jeans because I'd never worn men's trouser before. And in the changing room, I put it on, realised how it looked, and I put on the men's shirt that I'd bought as well. If I were binding, then I swear, I could have looked like a bloke who happened to have a feminine face and long hair. And there was something so brilliant about it. I called for my friend and stepped out to show him how it looked, and he said something along the lines of "Wow, you look like you could go under cover," and I was just happy.

The bad news is that I've had a few conversations with my mum today and yesterday that made me realise that I can never come out to her. Last night, there was this documentary about a sexual health clinic, and it showed a transman and a transwoman going out looking for sex work - the second she saw the transwoman, she went "Oh, that's a bloke!" and after carefully analysing the transman, she said "Wait, I think that's a woman." I pointed out that they were probably both trans, and she understood that, but she still kept using the wrong pronouns. This morning, talking about gay marriage, I mentioned this case: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/03/29/us-transgender-man-told-he-cannot-divorce-wife/ And when I pointed out how stupid it is, she said "Well maybe they're being as contrary and indecisive as he is," claiming that by being pregnant he was changing his mind about being a man. And when I got home, she did have a nag at me about buying men's clothes (although I think it's because she looked at the sizing labels and assumed that I'd bought them without trying them on and that they're probably too big for me), and I really had to convince her that I didn't care that they were men's jeans and that I'd tried them on and that they were comfy and they fit me. If she's going to be so dismissive of the identities of transpeople, and so nasty about the idea of a person changing their minds about their gender, then there's a snowball's chance in hell of her understanding me. She isn't a cruel person, and she wouldn't be bad to me on purpose, but it still sucks to know that it's not something I can share with her. I don't think it's something I have to reveal to her, but still.

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Ta-da!

Posts: 130 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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